Game Director Jeff Kaplan noted that abusive chat is down since new features were implemented.
Game director Jeff Kaplan said in a new developer update, which you can watch below, Blizzard has begun proactively searching social media sites to “look for incidents of very toxic behavior.” Kaplan specifically cited YouTube as one of the sites which Blizzard is using to find toxic users. Kaplan said Blizzard has been actioning these users “oftentimes before anybody has even reported them.”
Kaplan cited three recently added Overwatch features Blizzard has been using to fight toxicity: allowing console users to report players, notifying players when a user they complained about has been banned, and giving in-game warnings to players who have been reported.
Kaplan said since the implementation of these features, incidents of abusive chat are down 17 percent and player reporting is up 20 percent.
Blizzard has also been working to increase penalties for players who are repeat offenders. In September 2017, Kaplan said a player could face a potential permanent ban from Competitive if they had been banned from several seasons.
Michael Domanico is a freelance writer and the host of the Oscars podcast Not Her Again. Follow him on Twitter.