Jun 1 2017 - 7:45 pm

Overwatch toxicity experiment shows that the report feature is working as intended

The ability to communicate in Overwatch is a privilege.
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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Sometimes, Overwatch matches can get tense and heated, but that is no excuse to get toxic in game chat. A Redditor has proven that doing so could get you muted.

In a thread posted today on the Overwatch Subreddit, "TheOverwatchInt" posted their findings from an experiment intended to find out if reporting players actually did anything. For two days, they purposely joined Quick Play matches and told their teammates to report them. They then would make a "toxic" comment in chat.

TheOverwatchInt claims that they played "about 50 games" between May 30 and June 1. Today they received an e-mail from Blizzard saying that their account had been "silenced" for an abusive chat violation because their fellow players reported them for "abusive language multiple times."

"Due to these player reports, we have silenced your Overwatch account until June 07 04:19 UTC," the e-mail stated. "As the owner of this account, you are responsible for all actions associated with it. We will only overturn penalties if there is evidence of a compromised account or similar extenuating circumstances."

A positive aspect of this situation is that it only took two days for Blizzard to take action, but it also took "about 50 games" of abuse for this change to occur. There's no way of knowing how many of TheOverwatchInt's teammates actually reported them, however.

The lesson to be learned here is that it truly is worth reporting someone if they are being toxic in voice chat or in-game chat, because if they continue to do so, the banhammer will swing eventually.

The process of silencing accounts is currently automatic, so numerous reports will equate to a silence. If they feel so inclined, though, players are able to dispute the rulings and submit a ticket.

Regardless of reasoning, the best Overwatch teammate is a non-toxic one.

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