Sony Online Entertainment to ban players for Abusive Behavior on Social Network Sites

In an attempt to control the abusive behavior which happens on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, Sony Online Entertainment have revealed that they will prevent players found to be abusive on these networks from playing their games. Any abusive behavior on these sites could potentially get you banned.

Sony Online Entertainment are responsible for games such as Planetside 2, Everquest and DC Universe Online to name a few, all of which have a huge following, with thousands of players playing daily. With one of the biggest online publishers keen to stamp out abusive behavior behind a computer screen, this could be a step in the right direction.

Speaking to Games Industry, SOE’s Director of Global Community Relations Linda Carlson, stated that ensuring their games offer a friendly and welcoming environment is one of the company’s top priorities.

Linda Carlson went on to state:

“Not only will we ban your forum account, but if it’s serious enough we’ll call up customer service and have you banned from all of our games, We do not need those individuals as customers.”

“A very influential player, high up in a huge guild – we’ll still ban them. In our games, if you are an exploiter we don’t care who you are, how big your guild is, how many people you threaten to take with you when you go. We can control anybody who’s playing our games…but if we know who you are and you’re abusing somebody on Twitter, we will ban your game account and we will not accept you as a customer ever again.”

“I don’t necessarily like humanity, or the fact that human nature so often trends towards the negative – just because that’s how we’re wired – but understanding that makes this whole field of study very fascinating to me, and I do consider community management to be a field of study.”

This comes at a time when many people are being abused with all kind of threats, and this was highlighted by Fez developer Phil Fish’s retirement from development due to the abuse and harassment he received on social media. Although Fish didn’t quit due to one comment, it was the sustained and unwarranted criticism, by people who would never speak that way in person, that made him leave the industry.

Whether or not Sony’s attempt to put off people from abusing others on Twitter and Facebook by potentially getting banned will work is yet to be seen, but if others in the Industry take a similar stance, then maybe some people will think twice before posting an abusive comment on the internet. Although with authorities struggling to keep on top with Twitter and Facebook, Sony Online Entertainment’s job of tracking people and banning them is made all that bit harder.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it will work or be near on impossible to enforce? Let us know!