Profanity filter needed!


Pathfinder Online

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For the second time in a week a troll has shown up in game with foul abusive language.

The first incident occurred during business hours a few days ago and was handled in short order by Ryan himself. Thank you Ryan.

But this random abusiveness from people clearly not interested in the game must stop.

Put in a squelch function, profanity filter, monitor 24/7 ... do something to get this stopped. I know people who play PFO with their kids; we should not have to suffer these idiots.

Goblin Squad Member

Profanity is going to happen, so I agree that a filter is most definitely needed. Some people are far more liberal with their language than others, and especially with the potential for children to be active, I think some measure of self applicable filter would be for the best.

Unfortunately 24/7 monitoring of channels is an extremely tall order without tapping the community for chat moderators, and my experience has been that that is a very, very bad idea. I think the best we can hope for is a robust reporting system that users can use to let the developers know that channel abuse has occurred.

That or make the General chat only usable by people with an active subscription, rather than Buddy Invites. But that doesn't exactly help reel those much needed players into the social structures of the game.

Silver Crusade

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Just watch out for unintentional blockages, like when you're trying to %#* & notice up that there's a raid coming on Sa#%*+ay.

has actually seen those examples, even in NPC text

Goblin Squad Member

Gol Tink wrote:
Unfortunately 24/7 monitoring of channels is an extremely tall order without tapping the community for chat moderators, and my experience has been that that is a very, very bad idea.

I've had a different experience, playing Wurm Online for example. They have a Help channel where only Help discussion is allowed and usually has a couple community mods on it. There is a no tolerance policy in the other channels for anti-social behavior. The other players inform someone of this if they act out and if they continue one of the mods warns them, often publicly. If it still continues then a mod Silences them, removing chat use. The whole process is handled quickly without letting it get out of control. Most importantly, the players know and respect it and inform new players. Those who don't aren't in-game very long.

The most important thing to take from this is that people will act out unless there is a way to enforce proper behavior. Rules don't matter without such enforcement.


Ravenlute wrote:


The most important thing to take from this is that people will act out unless there is a way to enforce proper behavior. Rules don't matter without such enforcement.

Exactly ... and this guy was asking how to get a 'buddy key' as well.

Goblin Squad Member

As long as I'm allowed to turn it off, sure.

Goblin Squad Member

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"Say What You Will, I Live Free"

I'm not a fan of speech filters, but I recognize that there is nothing that I can do if GW decides to use one. If there was a toggle option, I would of course toggle the filter off.

Goblin Squad Member

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F@~! profanity (filters)!
Your kids will learn the words soon enough, might as well be when you are there to explain them.


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TEO Pino wrote:

F$*& profanity (filters)!

Your kids will learn the words soon enough, might as well be when you are there to explain them.

Do you really want some random new account to show up named those words? How about if a toon pops into chat named "(Your name here) Suckmycockyoub&!~#"?

How about when some random troll comes in a starts spouting "Suck my fat dick" and when people ask it to stop it tells multiple people to "Go f!!+ yourself"? This and more is what players were subjected to last night.

It's not the words themselves but how the attention craving animal uses them to derail the game that is the problem.

If it's inappropriate enough to be filtered here, then it's inappropriate enough to be filtered in-game. Keep the foulness and vulgarity to your group on TS, Vent or Mumble if you wish.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I think it might be a good reminder to put part of the ToS up here

ToS PFO wrote:

No Adult Content.

When creating character names, company names, settlement names or typing in chat channels that are not "opt-in" (such as General or Local), or when communicating on the goblinworks.com forums do not submit any material that the general public would classify as "adult content," offensive, or inappropriate for minors.

Communicating in-game with other Users and Goblinworks representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of Pathfinder Online and is referred to here as "Chat." When engaging in Chat, you may not:

Transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Goblinworks, is deemed to be offensive, including without limitation content or language that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, nor may you use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the content and language restrictions listed above.

In addition you agree you will not harass, threaten, stalk, embarrass or cause distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to any user of Pathfinder Online.

It shouldn't be up for discussion if we should deal with bad behaviour.

The question are rather:

1) how best to deal with it?
2) what can be done by the community / what needs to be done by GW ?
3) how fast can it be done ?

There are issues that GW has no unlimited funds, 24/7 monitoring (at the current state of the game) is non realistic, getting something in place when it happens next time is also unrealistic and having a solution that is 100% will also not work.

But just because it can't be prefect shouldn't deter us from looking for a better solution.

I'm so far proud of this community and it would be a shame if even a single person of the community leaves because of bad behaviour by someone not interested in the community at all.

It would be useful to know how other well working communities in MMO games do to deal with this problem.

Goblin Squad Member

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Quote:
It would be useful to know how other well working communities in MMO games do to deal with this problem.

Dedicated GM staff, profanity filters, and an understanding that global channels will, occasionally, have things that they shouldn't have in them. Basically they throw money at the problem, which isn't an option GW really has at the moment.

Mostly the dedicated GM staff though. I really, really hope that they avoid community driven management of global channels. A certain kind of person is drawn to those positions of power, and they have an annoying tendency to exploit those positions in ways that cast an unfavorable light on the parent company.

Goblin Squad Member

Perhaps if a few people had quick access to a couple of people at GW, there is room for an intermediate state where a message from some community folks is taken seriously and results in Staff getting online ASAP without the community folks needing access to any power they can exert.

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe I think you are right on. I called it a bat phone to a GM. Maybe give it to a couple key people.

Goblin Squad Member

I hope we can find a solution that doesn't involve waking up the staff in the middle of the night. I'm sure they end up burning the midnight oil over this game enough as it is, I'd hate for it to cost them more sleep just because someone's saying some bad words. Community policing may not be ideal for the reason Tink pointed out, but it might be the lesser evil... if it's as simple as hey, stop saying bad words, and the only punishment they can dole out without approval from higher-ups is cutting off chat, it might not be so bad.

Or if they want a cheaper but more professional solution, they can pay me minimum wage to be on-call and monitoring chat while I'm doing my freelance work during certain odd hours. I got no problem with that. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

It's a global game in a global economy. One or two employees in Asia/Europe would eliminate the need for anyone to be dragged out of bed over someone swearing. If the game is successful, they would be well served by considering that in their hiring. Or simply hiring some people that like to keep those hours. That should be easier every day.

Goblin Squad Member

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PFU Hoffman wrote:
Caldeathe I think you are right on. I called it a bat phone to a GM. Maybe give it to a couple key people.

Kind of like how Band of Brothers had a "bat phone" to Devs / GMs in Eve..... Oh wait..... That got 250+ accounts banned and a couple of Devs fired.... NVM.

No player, company or settlement should have direct access to a Dev or GM for any circumstances, unless it is open access for all.

Goblin Squad Member

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By "quick access" I only mean a way to signal. All they need is to have a trigger that informs everyone in a group who then know that something is happening in game that needs a look. They don't need to be able to talk to them at all. And for that matter, Bluddwolf is right, it doesn't have to be restricted, though if anyone can trigger it, there's a chance for some annoying abuse, but that's a bridge that can be crossed if it becomes necessary.

Goblin Squad Member

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Flagging would definitely be good.

Goblin Squad Member

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Here is a solution, put some way to contact GW through the settlement UI, and you have to be part of that settlement to send a message/press the button. This will limit it being spammed, and they know exactly which person/community is using it.

Goblin Squad Member

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TEO Cheatle wrote:
Here is a solution, put some way to contact GW through the settlement UI, and you have to be part of that settlement to send a message/press the button. This will limit it being spammed, and they know exactly which person/community is using it.

Or a "/chatreport" type command that captures the last page or two of the chat and emails it to a team. Then they know who reported and what account was the problem without any further work.

Goblin Squad Member

fair enough

Goblin Squad Member

Having been a chat mod elsewhere, I'd say that GW could save their moderator team lots of pain and suffering with built-in moderation tools. At a minimum I'd suggest the ability for a mod to right click on the offending chat entry, then flag it (capture for future action by a GM or for building a case against a user) or select from a menu of punishment options (like mute, -500 Rep, flagged as Jerk for free PvP, whatever). All of these actions, flagging or punishing, would be logged so GW can likewise review the moderator's patterns of behavior and possible favoritism.

Accounts aren't free (well - except trial accounts) so the flagging operation could capture the account name as well as the character name, to show a pattern when people are using their alts just to be obnoxious in chat. A counter of violations on an account could also be used to steer the mods and GMs to more or less severe actions. Trial accounts could also be identified to the mods by the system - they are likely to be commonly be used for offensive purposes and it might be in GW's interest to note which paying customer is bringing in the jerk squad. ("No trial account tickets for you. It's not worth dealing with your friends!")

Goblin Squad Member

Urman wrote:

Having been a chat mod elsewhere, I'd say that GW could save their moderator team lots of pain and suffering with built-in moderation tools. At a minimum I'd suggest the ability for a mod to right click on the offending chat entry, then flag it (capture for future action by a GM or for building a case against a user) or select from a menu of punishment options (like mute, -500 Rep, flagged as Jerk for free PvP, whatever). All of these actions, flagging or punishing, would be logged so GW can likewise review the moderator's patterns of behavior and possible favoritism.

Accounts aren't free (well - except trial accounts) so the flagging operation could capture the account name as well as the character name, to show a pattern when people are using their alts just to be obnoxious in chat. A counter of violations on an account could also be used to steer the mods and GMs to more or less severe actions. Trial accounts could also be identified to the mods by the system - they are likely to be commonly be used for offensive purposes and it might be in GW's interest to note which paying customer is bringing in the jerk squad. ("No trial account tickets for you. It's not worth dealing with your friends!")

By definition and appointment the Mod would be a favorite of GW to begin with, so would that same Mod really be scrutinized by GW if they were in turn showing favoritism?

Having witnessed the EvE affair, second hand (I was in a secondary alliance), GW should avoid like the plague any perception of collusion.


Bluddwolf wrote:


Having witnessed the EvE affair, second hand (I was in a secondary alliance), GW should avoid like the plague any perception of collusion.

That is why the filter is the best and easiest solution. It eliminates any perception of bad judgment by a Mod. Plus you can turn off the filter whenever you want to hear the filth.

Goblin Squad Member

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People are flawed. Machines are perfect. All hail Zog.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
Urman wrote:
... All of these actions, flagging or punishing, would be logged so GW can likewise review the moderator's patterns of behavior and possible favoritism.

By definition and appointment the Mod would be a favorite of GW to begin with, so would that same Mod really be scrutinized by GW if they were in turn showing favoritism?

Having witnessed the EvE affair, second hand (I was in a secondary alliance), GW should avoid like the plague any perception of collusion.

I'm trying to not make assumptions here. GW might use paid moderators or GMs (which I'd prefer) or they might use volunteers. Either way, they likely need some form of quality control to try to detect problems before they get out of of hand. There will always be people who make accusations of favortism, whether it's there or not, but it's in GW's interest to have most players have faith in the mods.

I think that to some degree, general chat has some expiry date. But there will be always be chats like in the starting towns and the help chat that will need some policing.

Goblin Squad Member

There is a limit to what filters can catch. The whole reason leet evolved was not so 15 year olds can look cool replacing E with 3. It was a means of bypassing filters on message boards.

Meanwhile you can always screenshot inappropriate behavior in chat (whether offensive language, racist, politically inappropriate, sexist or just plain griefing) and email the screenshot to GW and let them decide what level of action against the offender is appropriate.


Thank you all for the discussion on this topic after the "politics" debate.

Goblin Squad Member

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Based on last nights discussion it appears the issue was with someone using a buddy key. That adds an additional layer of "what can they do about it? Probably nothing".

The best solutions are to:

1. Report
2. Minimize
3. Ignore

By all means report the offending speech and when the GMs get around to it, maybe they will ban.

In the meantime, minimize General Chat, so you won't see the comments.

If neither of these happen, then ignore, the duchebag will grow bored if not fed.

Goblin Squad Member

GripGuiness wrote:
TEO Pino wrote:

F$*& profanity (filters)!

Your kids will learn the words soon enough, might as well be when you are there to explain them.

Do you really want some random new account to show up named those words? How about if a toon pops into chat named "(Your name here) Suckmycockyoub+#*&"?

How about when some random troll comes in a starts spouting "Suck my fat dick" and when people ask it to stop it tells multiple people to "Go f&%$ yourself"? This and more is what players were subjected to last night.

It's not the words themselves but how the attention craving animal uses them to derail the game that is the problem.

If it's inappropriate enough to be filtered here, then it's inappropriate enough to be filtered in-game. Keep the foulness and vulgarity to your group on TS, Vent or Mumble if you wish.

First, it is against the TOS as Thod points out, GW already has a commitment to 'protect' us from that kind of person.

Second, same as real life, I chuckle at their impotent rage and get on with my day. Ignoring them (with or without in game tools for the task) is the best response. I support free speech, and I wish this were not a game for minors, that does not mean I want to read toilet humor from immature a*$&+~&s. But language is nothing.

How about when some random troll says "(your name here) ripped me off after I crossed 30 hexes to make a trade" over and over for hours ? And when asked about it, makes up more details ? And it's all BS ?
THAT'S foulness, brother.

To me, the point of concern is spamming public channels. No matter what language is used, it has to be stopped, fast. Only active moderation can help with that. My solution would be to make global channels only available to exp earning characters, and only usable when at least 100 feet from thornguards >D

TL/DR;
What Bludd said ^^^

Goblin Squad Member

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TEO Pino wrote:
To me, the point of concern is spamming public channels. No matter what language is used, it has to be stopped, fast. Only active moderation can help with that. My solution would be to make global channels only available to exp earning characters, and only usable when at least 100 feet from thornguards >D

ArcticMUD put a timer on how often someone could post a message in the global channel. I think a similar idea would be great in PFO for the General channel. It would take away the ability to use General for ongoing back-and-forth conversations. A 5 minute timer might be right.

Goblin Squad Member

It should also be noted that filter programs have difficulty with non English languages, unless they are specifically programmed for that "other" language.

I have seen characters named Testa DI Merda in WoW, EvE, AOC, SWTOR, and probably half a dozen others.

Yes I know that some people play this game with children. Yes, the game is marketed to ages 13+. But, it is also on the internet and you know the inherent dangers.

CEO, Goblinworks

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What we really need in the short term is just a way to /mute a character and then people won't have to see offensive content while we moderate the problem. No eta though.

Goblin Squad Member

Yup. However the trouble has come in most evident when the devs have gone off for the night.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
What we really need in the short term is just a way to /mute a character and then people won't have to see offensive content while we moderate the problem. No eta though.

Sounds good. Sooner is better. Some think it doesn't require immediate attention ... I do.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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GripGuiness wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
What we really need in the short term is just a way to /mute a character and then people won't have to see offensive content while we moderate the problem. No eta though.
Sounds good. Sooner is better. Some think it doesn't require immediate attention ... I do.

I do, too, so you're not alone.

Goblin Squad Member

There are a number of issues here getting confounded.

Bad language intended to shock is generally (though not always) a younger player. In one game I am aware of a player threatening to track down and rape and murder another player in real life turned out to be a 12 year old whose parents were apparently horrified when they were contacted.

Feasibly there may be game rating issues though I am not really sure of the legal situation with in game chat content, I suspect that would not have an effect. Game ratings are odd. For example a game that lets you kill people and dismember corpses has quit a low age rating but one that allows you to shoot horses will end up 18+.

The issue with spamming false information mentioned above is a separate question again. For a few days there was someone replying to every recruitment message from one group with a fake story about joining and crossing the map with all their gear and new player packs only to be killed and robbed and kicked out. I doubt anyone believed the story but the spam was annoying.

Goblin Squad Member

TEO Pino wrote:

F%$# profanity (filters)!

Your kids will learn the words soon enough, might as well be when you are there to explain them.

Yeah its pathetic the reason parent don't want kids swearing is that it makes them look bad to other idiot community police strata nazi types. There is no word strong enough to describe my disdain for this silly behavior.

Goblin Squad Member

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

If most of us didn't make any effort to control our use of profanity, the rest of you wouldn't be able to get the reaction you want by using it. This has been an escalating war for centuries. It's not that long since profanity actually meant something and would get you some attention as form of emotional exclamation point. Now it's mostly just a trivial fall-back for people who don't know enough real words to express their meaning.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I'm father of two kids who play. I want something done not to protect my kids but my settlement. My kids will carry on playing (as long as I allow them) - some of my members won't if bad language gets out of hand.
And these members are adults.

Goblin Squad Member

Pyronous Rath wrote:
TEO Pino wrote:

F%$# profanity (filters)!

Your kids will learn the words soon enough, might as well be when you are there to explain them.
Yeah its pathetic the reason parent don't want kids swearing is that it makes them look bad to other idiot community police strata nazi types. There is no word strong enough to describe my disdain for this silly behavior.

My kids don't curse, even though they have heard other kids (including their cousins) curse.

It is just like the way my kids didn't have to live in a "Child Proof Lock Box". Almost constant parental supervision and a simple but repeated request "don't touch that", later to be replaced by a more simple "No", was all that was necessary.

Now I'm not saying they are perfect little angels, but in comparison to many kids, I've never heard anything but praise for our kid's behavior.

I give 1000% of the credit to my wife for this. My only part was to reinforce what she does and to have the wherewithal to keep my wife home to raise them.


The most important rule of dealing with this kind of stuff is:
Don't feed the trolls. Don't give them attention. Don't respond, nothing. Totally ignore them and continue on your way. Just the fact that this post exists is unfortunately validating whoever offended you. I'm sure they're loving it seeing that it drove you to post on forums and garner more attention. If you have a problem write to Goblinworks directly, but don't give them a public forum like this to see the results of their trolling. The best thing you can do right now is let this post drop off the front page.


Mikaze wrote:

Just watch out for unintentional blockages, like when you're trying to %#* & notice up that there's a raid coming on Sa#%*+ay.

has actually seen those examples, even in NPC text

I hit this problem in two different online games. One wouldn't let me use the word "Klondike" (despite the epithet being spelled with a y), and another wouldn't let me say "accumulate"

Some filtres really are too sensitive.

Goblin Squad Member

Gol Elsworth Sugarfoot wrote:

The most important rule of dealing with this kind of stuff is:

Don't feed the trolls. Don't give them attention. Don't respond, nothing. Totally ignore them and continue on your way. Just the fact that this post exists is unfortunately validating whoever offended you. I'm sure they're loving it seeing that it drove you to post on forums and garner more attention. If you have a problem write to Goblinworks directly, but don't give them a public forum like this to see the results of their trolling. The best thing you can do right now is let this post drop off the front page.

While this thread came about because of a certain incident, it's not about them. This has happened before and will again until something is done about it.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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Scythia wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Just watch out for unintentional blockages, like when you're trying to %#* & notice up that there's a raid coming on Sa#%*+ay.

has actually seen those examples, even in NPC text

I hit this problem in two different online games. One wouldn't let me use the word "Klondike" (despite the epithet being spelled with a y), and another wouldn't let me say "accumulate"

Some filtres really are too sensitive.

That's a very clbuttic outcome of using a cheap filter.

Goblin Squad Member

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DeciusBrutus wrote:
That's a very clbuttic outcome of using a cheap filter.

I would not expect GW to use any other kind if they adopt any kind of a filter. The cheapest being for the player to:

1. Report
2. Minimize
3. Ignore

That is of course free, and still fixes the problem.

This was the pitfall of having General Chat, but I suppose the demands of the mega recruiters outweighed the worry over the rare troll.

I will reiterate my opinion, this is not a big enough issue for GW to dedicate any development time to. There are far more important systems and fixes that need to be done first.

Goblin Squad Member

sticks n stones....

Goblin Squad Member

Pyronous Rath wrote:
sticks n stones....

...may break your bones, but unchecked cursing makes the game less welcoming to people with little tolerance for b*+%##%~ and is detrimental the future development of the community.

Goblin Squad Member

Kadere wrote:
Pyronous Rath wrote:
sticks n stones....
...may break your bones, but unchecked cursing makes the game less welcoming to people with little tolerance for b+*$@+$* and is detrimental the future development of the community.

No MMO has ever suffered due solely or even significantly to an unfiltered chat channel. The reasons are simple. No one forces you to enter general chat , and they are very easy to minimize or completely tab out of.

This is making Everest out of a pimple.

Goblin Squad Member

Community toxicity /is/ a problem, and not a minor one (how many people does it drive away from EVE, I wonder? I know of several from personal experience) - but I'll admit, chat filtering or lack thereof is only tangentially related to that at best. I was mostly being tongue in cheek.

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