Warzone's Racism Problem

Anti Toxicity Activision
Activision's chat filter has been implemented across 11 languages so far. (Credit: Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Warzone)

Activision have now responded to community concerns over the racism in Warzone. In a blog post on May 26, they outlined what they had done to tackle racial slurs and toxicity in the game. But will it be enough?

Racism has been an unfortunate part of online gaming since its inception; wherever an opportunity arises, certain players will scream racial slurs down the mic. But developers have been addressing this issue far more seriously in recent years, even going so far as to record all voice comms for potential evidence of wrongdoing. For Activision Blizzard, this has been a particular concern with Warzone, where so many players still insist on working the 'n–word' into their username. Now though, they claim they're making progress, and have unveiled some tools they'll use to detect toxicity.

Does Warzone Have A Racism Problem?

Warzone is still experiencing a big problem with racism; hundreds of thousands of accounts have been banned for racial slurs and toxicity, and the voice chat is overcrowded with people willing to hurl abuse. Only a few weeks ago, T–Pain was subjected to racial abuse while streaming, he went viral when he turned around and did this to them:

If you want to play as well as T–Pain, then make sure you're keeping up to speed with all the pro-tips, from Parachuting properly and using Contextual Tap, to knowing what each season's meta weapon setups are.

What Has Activision Done About Warzone's Racism Problem?

Activision have banned over 350,000 accounts suspected of racism and toxicity in Warzone. The developers have been working since the game's launch to try and filter out offensive language. Here's how they describe what they've done:

  • Held an extensive review of our player-name database
  • Deployed new in-game filters to catch potentially offensive usernames, clan tags, or profiles
  • Implemented new technology to filter potentially offensive text chat
  • Implemented filters across 11 languages

They suggest at the end of their message that more can be done, and even hint towards voice chat being addressed:

There’s much more to be done, including increasing player reporting capabilities and moderation, as well as addressing voice chat to help combat toxicity.

This could really divide the community if they do intend to record voice chat, but for now, at least that's just a distant plan.

Is It Enough To Fix Warzone's Racism Problem?

Activision will need to do a lot more to resolve Warzone's racism problem, it's a good start - to be sure- but there are still thousands of offenders active on the servers. Two-step verification has made it harder to make a new account if you're caught, so that definitely helps, and the other measures mentioned above also seem sensible. What makes this even more fraught though, is that Activision have to weigh all their actions against the secondary concern of being accused of going too far or of excessive 'wokeness'. We'll keep you updated as this story develops.

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This topic is always going to bring up raw feelings, but we really want to know how the community feels about measures like this. Is it enough? Too much? Too little? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. You should consider joining MyEarlyGame to get more of the latest stories like this, for Call of Duty, and all your favorite games.