Sony LISTENS to Voice Chats to Scan for 'TOXICITY' in Latest PS4 Update?!

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Sony is listening. No, seriously, they might be listening in on your voice chats to see if you're a good little boy or if you're going werewolf. A new PS4 update is causing controversy with gamers. Now, they CLAIM they're not RECORDING anything, but some users are finding themselves blocked for unknown reasons. This, coupled with recent news about game devs trying to purge the industry of "toxic" players does leave us going HMMM...

Sony seems to want to flush $$$ down the toilet and become Big Brother.
 

vegeta535

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Sony is listening. No, seriously, they might be listening in on your voice chats to see if you're a good little boy or if you're going werewolf. A new PS4 update is causing controversy with gamers. Now, they CLAIM they're not RECORDING anything, but some users are finding themselves blocked for unknown reasons. This, coupled with recent news about game devs trying to purge the industry of "toxic" players does leave us going HMMM...

Sony seems to want to flush $$$ down the toilet and become Big Brother.
This is not what you think. It is a ps5 feature that allows users to record and report toxic players. That includes any ps4 player. Don't overreact to clock bait videos. You really think Sony going to invest all this money to spy on 10s of millions of players ?
 

T4rd

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RTFA. Seems like willful ignorance by OP and that video criticizing it.

Sony's statement:
“Following this update, users are seeing a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats in parties may be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.”

It's user recorded and reported. Sony isn't monitoring chats, only recorded reports that are sent to them from users.

Kotaku article for those that can comprehend and read. (Screw Forbes' clickbait article referenced in the video)
 

T4rd

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I wonder how this works with two-party consent laws? Do you give "consent" just by being on voice chat? Does that law even apply?

I don't think it's illegal to record in states that have that law, it's just not admissible in court should you try to use the recording against them in a case unless you had consent. I may be wrong though.
 

vegeta535

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I wonder how this works with two-party consent laws? Do you give "consent" just by being on voice chat? Does that law even apply?
Good question. I would think Sony's lawyers would of approved it first. Also the law various from country to country. Hell it does state to state in the US.
 

Lakados

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They are going to have too, at this point many parts of the online communities are bad, and sooner than later something will happen and they will be held legally and financially liable. Then we are going to see these guys hauled before some sort of committee where they are going to have to answer questions, best to head it off now rather than pay for it later.
 

DejaWiz

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SpyingOverWall.jpg
 

Derangel

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fucking whiners reeeing to get this implemented. these idiots trying to control speech are the "toxic" ones. shit, half of us here have been "dealing" with online shit talkers for 20+ years. so whens this moving to soapbox?
So....They shouldn't have systems to report people? The "we had to deal with it so everyone else has to" attitude isn't exactly healthy or helpful.
 

Furious_Styles

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sure? the US is the only play in the world with free speech and its being eroded by YOUR type.
ps: i dont have it, im canadian and envious
I get where you're coming from but we need these companies to take out the trash, they really are failing to do so. Having to mute these clowns hasn't fixed or helped at all in my experience.
 

Ebernanut

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I wonder how this works with two-party consent laws? Do you give "consent" just by being on voice chat? Does that law even apply?
If you're notified that you are or might be recorded and choose to speak that is considered consent, it's why customer service lines mention that a call might be recorded. That would also explain why people are getting a pop up warning them about the new feature.
 

xykreilon

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I get where you're coming from but we need these companies to take out the trash, they really are failing to do so. Having to mute these clowns hasn't fixed or helped at all in my experience.
The trash of a community is not a company's problem, it's a game's problem. Good game's have decent enough communities. Pests are attracted to trash.
If it's getting bad to a point where outside intervention seems necessary, the flaw lies outside of playerbase meta.
 

T4rd

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I get where you're coming from but we need these companies to take out the trash, they really are failing to do so. Having to mute these clowns hasn't fixed or helped at all in my experience.

Yeah, I disagree. I don't play online very much, but when I do, I rarely ever hear someone overtly verbally attacking someone outside of playful banter and occasional trolling, and that's what muting is for if you don't like it and you can also just leave and join another room/match. When companies try to censor anyone for any reason, it will inevitably get abused and cases of false positives will come up, prosecuting innocent players and alienating the community. This is why I really miss dedicated servers too though, so local mods can police crap like that up to their tolerance level and its rarely an issue. Now we have to rely on the game service itself to follow up on these reports and hopefully take the appropriate action with the evidence given, which usually is too little too late.

But really, this is all irrelevant to what's really going on in this article, as Sony is not actively listening to players or moderating them without being solicited by other players through their own reports, which is how it should be. Sony is just given players another feature (recording) to use for their reports.
 

Aireoth

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Yeah, I disagree. I don't play online very much, but when I do, I rarely ever hear someone overtly verbally attacking someone outside of playful banter and occasional trolling, and that's what muting is for if you don't like it and you can also just leave and join another room/match. When companies try to censor anyone for any reason, it will inevitably get abused and cases of false positives will come up, prosecuting innocent players and alienating the community. This is why I really miss dedicated servers too though, so local mods can police crap like that up to their tolerance level and its rarely an issue. Now we have to rely on the game service itself to follow up on these reports and hopefully take the appropriate action with the evidence given, which usually is too little too late.

But really, this is all irrelevant to what's really going on in this article, as Sony is not actively listening to players or moderating them without being solicited by other players through their own reports, which is how it should be. Sony is just given players another feature (recording) to use for their reports.

People barely talk outside of their party chat anymore.
 

Furious_Styles

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The trash of a community is not a company's problem, it's a game's problem. Good game's have decent enough communities. Pests are attracted to trash.
If it's getting bad to a point where outside intervention seems necessary, the flaw lies outside of playerbase meta.
Yes it is their problem. Many people have stopped playing their games because of their ineffective or poor response to users' reports. Overwatch is a good example. I myself was one of them.
 

xykreilon

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Yes it is their problem. Many people have stopped playing their games because of their ineffective or poor response to users' reports. Overwatch is a good example. I myself was one of them.
Those people would have been better off had they stopped playing instead of reporting in the first place. Would have saved all people involved some time and headaches.
Overwatch is indeed a good example of a progressively bad game attracting a progressively bad community.
 

Derangel

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Those people would have been better off had they stopped playing instead of reporting in the first place. Would have saved all people involved some time and headaches.
Overwatch is indeed a good example of a progressively bad game attracting a progressively bad community.

Why are people so willing to just forgive the douchebags and let them continue on? Should we not demand better of people and should people not face consequences for their actions? The whole "that's just how people are" is such a bullshit excuse. Rules exist for a reason and we should expect people to either follow them or to no longer be allowed in those communities. Attitude like this are why so much toxic shit happens and why it's allowed to continue. A system where people can prove harassment, bullying, and other rule breaking activities is great. Platforms and games should do what they can to try and build a good community, not let it be ruined by the minority of loud jackasses. I would certainly play a hell of a lot more MP stuff if there were good systems in place to deal with them. As it is, I simply can't be bothered to deal with it. I don't find it fun and if I'm not having fun there's no fucking point in playing the game.
 

Meeho

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Why are people so willing to just forgive the douchebags and let them continue on? Should we not demand better of people and should people not face consequences for their actions? The whole "that's just how people are" is such a bullshit excuse. Rules exist for a reason and we should expect people to either follow them or to no longer be allowed in those communities. Attitude like this are why so much toxic shit happens and why it's allowed to continue. A system where people can prove harassment, bullying, and other rule breaking activities is great. Platforms and games should do what they can to try and build a good community, not let it be ruined by the minority of loud jackasses. I would certainly play a hell of a lot more MP stuff if there were good systems in place to deal with them. As it is, I simply can't be bothered to deal with it. I don't find it fun and if I'm not having fun there's no fucking point in playing the game.
And you're dedicated to not making it fun for everyone else. By that I mean the never ending sterilization once you start your "toxic" control. Maybe stop buying shitty games without dedicated servers support. Or just mute. Or change lobby or whatever.

Your head would've exploded on the Internet of the 90's and early 00's.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I get where you're coming from but we need these companies to take out the trash, they really are failing to do so. Having to mute these clowns hasn't fixed or helped at all in my experience.

In basically every case where a game company has gone in and "cleaned house", it invariably becomes draconian and harms users following the rules far more than it actually does anything to remove undesirable players. The scum that the system targets eventually finds a way to game the system, skirt around it or become part of it, so that they make everyone as or more miserable than they were before.

Valve's VAC is one such system designed as a result of people wanting something done about cheating, but it was ineffective from the get-go and has since become a draconian zero tolerance system that harms legitimate gamers more than cheaters. Valve's stance on it is that it is a perfect system with no faults, and has never had false positives, despite widespread evidence of it and numerous reported instances of such. They publicly state that nobody is ever unbanned for any reason, while silently unbanning thousands of accounts for fuckups on their part. It's also completely ineffective against cheaters, especially on certain games like TF2. If your account is banned, just create another account and keep playing, since the game is free. Cheaters can also rebuy the game, use cafe accounts or stolen accounts to continue cheating, VAC will never stop them.
 

next-Jin

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I get where you're coming from but we need these companies to take out the trash, they really are failing to do so. Having to mute these clowns hasn't fixed or helped at all in my experience.

Could always do a permanent mute function on the user side. Or even go so far as to have a feature where you speak words into the mic and the PS5 (like Siri sorta) would tag those words and permanently mute the player that said it and put them on a global ban list for all games so you don’t have to play them again.

In the same regard they could have a default word list a parent could shift through and add too which used in conjunction with speech to text could do the same thing. Or do them both.

I dunno I’m just not a fan of my voice/conversation being in the background of a file that’s sent to Sony reps. I never talk anyway and always mute everyone but it still applies to many thousands of others.
 

xykreilon

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Why are people so willing to just forgive the douchebags and let them continue on? Should we not demand better of people and should people not face consequences for their actions? The whole "that's just how people are" is such a bullshit excuse. Rules exist for a reason and we should expect people to either follow them or to no longer be allowed in those communities. Attitude like this are why so much toxic shit happens and why it's allowed to continue. A system where people can prove harassment, bullying, and other rule breaking activities is great. Platforms and games should do what they can to try and build a good community, not let it be ruined by the minority of loud jackasses. I would certainly play a hell of a lot more MP stuff if there were good systems in place to deal with them. As it is, I simply can't be bothered to deal with it. I don't find it fun and if I'm not having fun there's no fucking point in playing the game.
I'm not forgiving the douchebags. I'm pointing out that trash attracts pests. If you want a decent community, play a game with more to it than just grindy bs. Overwatch, CS:GO, and LOL (not to claim you, specifically, play them) are all prime examples of bad, sterile games that attract cheaters and attention whores, because there's so little to them besides "just being good"
 

Aurelius

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What's sad: T4rd pointed to Sony's statement noting that it wasn't recording everything, and yet some people ignored that entirely. And people wonder why clickbait news and misinformation campaigns work... folks, don't just read the headline and rush to be outraged.

It's still not ideal that Sony will hear recordings of other people while you're playing, but that was what the notice was about -- a heads-up to players. And let's face it, this is sadly necessary when a lot of abuse happens in voice chat. You don't have a right to harass people in real life, and you certainly don't have a right to harass people on someone else's platform.
 

Meeho

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And let's face it, this is sadly necessary when a lot of abuse happens in voice chat. You don't have a right to harass people in real life, and you certainly don't have a right to harass people on someone else's platform.
That's not abuse or harassment, that's dealing with an asshole.
 

Derangel

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And you're dedicated to not making it fun for everyone else. By that I mean the never ending sterilization once you start your "toxic" control. Maybe stop buying shitty games without dedicated servers support. Or just mute. Or change lobby or whatever.

Your head would've exploded on the Internet of the 90's and early 00's.

Or, I just leave the game and never return. You are lying to yourself and everyone else if you think it's just the ultra-competitive games that this happens in. I was around the internet in the early 2000s. I played a shit ton of Q3A and UT99 back then, among other games. However, I'm a lot older now than I was then and I have better things to do than deal with d-bags online.

I don't want everything sterilized. However, I very much believe that actions should have consequences. If someone chooses to break the stated rules of a game (assuming the rules are both clear and actually make sense) then they deserve to face punishment for their choices. I will always be on the side of personal responsibility and everyone dealing with the outcomes of whatever they chose to do.
 

Furious_Styles

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I'm not forgiving the douchebags. I'm pointing out that trash attracts pests. If you want a decent community, play a game with more to it than just grindy bs. Overwatch, CS:GO, and LOL (not to claim you, specifically, play them) are all prime examples of bad, sterile games that attract cheaters and attention whores, because there's so little to them besides "just being good"

Just play my list of approved games that I think are good guys and there won't be any toxic assholes, got it.

Also guys I too loved dedicated servers but lots of games simply don't have them anymore so not sure why we're even discussing that as if it's an option.
 

RanceJustice

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Thank you for the sane context here, vs clickbait misinformation. Its like Discord or any centralized service where others can create or put content there. It doesnt necessarily mean that the bosses are listening all the time (and there's nothing to suggest they are , though in SOME circumstances like with advertising, Amazon Alexa etc... they can listen all the time for their benefit ) but rather that other users can record stuff on the service as part of a the normal suite of tools they're given for clipping gameplay. Thus, that could be used in things like reports as well, and Sony is making people aware of it : "Hey, if you're playing on this console platform which has a dedicated share button, people might clip content of your character/avatar/gameplay for any reason we let them, including providing evidence when they report people". Not a big deal.

Edit: With respect to "censorship", i'm vehemently against the concept of companies (not going to deal with gov't / 1st amendment stuff here but that's separate and equally as bad or worse), however that doesn't mean that setting sane policies is a bad thing. Especially on something like a console platform where the whole thing is essentially a walled garden, but really any game is going to have someone in charge of the rules. Sometimes that's a dedicated server owner/moderator, sometimes that's the developer etc..... who is in charge of setting and enforcing the rules. You break the rules, you are punished. Besides just being shitty overall, most of the time harassment is just bad business -nobody is having fun, nobody will stick around to spend money. Sure, people can go completely overboard on this but its usually posted what is against the rules - some trash talk is fine, but if you keep trolling people, use bigoted language, push for brigading/call for others to harass others etc, you're going to be warned, kicked, or banned. This isn't happening in real time but depend on user reports - so if someone has evidence of you throwing around slurs and telling your streaming audience they need to "deal with" this person, you're gonna have a bad time and I don't have much sympathy.
 
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Meeho

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Or, I just leave the game and never return. You are lying to yourself and everyone else if you think it's just the ultra-competitive games that this happens in. I was around the internet in the early 2000s. I played a shit ton of Q3A and UT99 back then, among other games. However, I'm a lot older now than I was then and I have better things to do than deal with d-bags online.

I don't want everything sterilized. However, I very much believe that actions should have consequences. If someone chooses to break the stated rules of a game (assuming the rules are both clear and actually make sense) then they deserve to face punishment for their choices. I will always be on the side of personal responsibility and everyone dealing with the outcomes of whatever they chose to do.
I never mentioned the type of games. You don't have to deal with it, but walking away is not what these people want. They want everyone else to change their behavior.

That's why you have dedicated servers with private owners/rules. Once you delegate moderating to the company, after you delegated running the servers, you get pandering to the lowest common denominator, aka oversensitive assholes that water down the experience for everyone, using the excuse of dealing with the "toxic" community...Once toxic is lightyears removed from that annoying troll that started it all.

And has anyone explained why simple player muting is not an acceptable solution? Do the affected players have to go full Karen with this?
 
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Meeho

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Also guys I too loved dedicated servers but lots of games simply don't have them anymore so not sure why we're even discussing that as if it's an option.
It's the best cure to the overblown problem being discussed here. It's futile, just like bitching about microtransactions. Gamers want to pay for those, just like they want season passes, bugged initial releases and sterilization of the multiplayer experience.
 
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