Rainbow Six Siege continues to fight hate speech in game
South African offensive slang added to the ban list
If you’ve ever played an online multiplayer you’ve likely had to deal with some form of racist slur or hate speech.
If you’re in South Africa, we have colloquial terms and slang that are extremely racist, homophobic and sexist. For big multiplayer games, usually developed overseas, these words are not often added to the ban list so can be easily spammed in text chats with very little consequence for the horrific gamers choosing to use them. However, if you are a regular player on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, you’d likely have seen the update to the in game text chat, which now blacklists local terms.
Fighting hate speech in game
As early as 2018, Ubisoft, the publisher behind Rainbow Six Siege, committed to issuing bans against players using “racial and homophobic slurs, or hate speech.” Players frequently using language that violates the game’s Code of Conduct are issued bans, the severity of which are decided on a case by case basis.
“Any language or content deemed illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive or constituting harassment is forbidden.”
The South African context
With eleven official languages it can be hard to ensure the plethora of offensive language to South Africans be added to the list. This is especially because we also have a somewhat tiny region of gamers in comparison to the rest of the world. However, Siege has ensured that various words that fit the criteria have now been banned in game. There are very specific (and horrific) racist slang in South Africa that is regularly dropped in to game chats by local players. However, those words have now been banned. Last year, myself and a few others in the industry were asked to contribute to a list of these awful words and offer up alternative spelling of them, to ensure they were added to the ban list in question.
The words have now been added.
I saw a draft of the list (and added suggestions to it) and can confirm it is pretty exhaustive. This is such a positive step forward ensuring a friendlier online space for online play. GG Ubisoft!
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