Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
L0rinda

hearthstone Hearthstone: Mike Morhaime Statement on DreamHack Austin Racism

11 posts in this topic

20813-hearthstone-mike-morhaime-statemen

The large amount of racism, as well as other hate speech, in the live stream chat for DreamHack Austin has prompted Blizzard President, Mike Morhaime, to take action. The nature of the action has not yet been confirmed, but Morhaime has released a statement explaining that they are exploring various avenues to combat this growing problem.


The statment, given to Polygon, begins by expressing his disappointment with the offensive language used. He goes on to explain who is being consulted, and which options are being looked at.

Blizzard Icon Mike Morhaime

To help combat this type of behavior during live events, we've reached out to players, streamers, and moderators, along with partners like Twitch, DreamHack, and others, to get consensus and collaborate on what to do differently moving forward. To that end, we're investigating a pilot program that Twitch has in the works to streamline moderation and combat ban evasion. We're also updating our esports tournament partner policies with a stronger system of checks, balances, and repercussions to provide a better chat experience around our content. (source)

He is also aware, that while this cosmetic change will be very welcome, the underlying issue is something that also needs addressing.

Blizzard Icon Mike Morhaime

This is obviously a larger, societal problem that affects us on many levels," he said. "We can only hope that when instances like this come to light it encourages people to be more thoughtful and positive, and to fully reject mean-spirited commentary, whether within themselves or from their fellow gamers. (source)

It is a real shame that this is a necessary step, but having witnessed that chat first hand, it was inevitable. The anonymity provided by the Internet is powerful enough to allow people's hate speech to run free. Stopping this will not stop the hate, but it will make it a more pleasant experience for all involved if they don't have to know about it.
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any video of this? Curious to see how bad it got. Possible solution, a screening of incoming messages by a third party? Maybe even somethimg the streamer can access if it doesn't make the multitasking of playing a good game while chatting with the audience unbearable. You also wouldn't want to take screening too far, lest we lose free speech, however in this case, perhaps the talk should be primarily about the game.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aren't twitch.tv accounts connected to people's facebook accounts (atleast for playhearthstone chat)

and they still spam chat with racism?

 

not sure about dh austin

Edited by causevha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any video of this? Curious to see how bad it got. Possible solution, a screening of incoming messages by a third party? Maybe even somethimg the streamer can access if it doesn't make the multitasking of playing a good game while chatting with the audience unbearable. You also wouldn't want to take screening too far, lest we lose free speech, however in this case, perhaps the talk should be primarily about the game.

One of his matches can be seen here around 43m in https://www.twitch.tv/dreamhackhs/v/65293353

Not sure if this one was before or after the mods got a handle on it, but will give an example.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/19/2016 at 5:09 AM, Soultwist said:

Is there any video of this? Curious to see how bad it got. Possible solution, a screening of incoming messages by a third party? Maybe even somethimg the streamer can access if it doesn't make the multitasking of playing a good game while chatting with the audience unbearable. You also wouldn't want to take screening too far, lest we lose free speech, however in this case, perhaps the talk should be primarily about the game.

Something like Twitch chat is, in no way, a free speech issue.  It's a private space and the owner of a Twitch channel, and/or Twitch itself, dictates what behavior is acceptible; just like you're entitled to kick someone out of your house for any reason you see fit.  If a Twitch channel wanted to, they could auto-ban everyone who uses words beginning with "D".  Most people would think that's ridiculous and they'd lose a lot of viewers but it would not be infringing anyone's free speech.  Nobody is required to provide anyone else with a platform from which to speak.  

Even apart from this not being a free speech concern in the first place, hate speech is not protected speech.  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, daisyrawks said:

Even apart from this not being a free speech concern in the first place, hate speech is not protected speech.  

Exactly. Freedom of speech =/= the ability to attack someone verbally without consequence.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sigh... Not what I was trying to say really. At the time of writing my post I also had no context to go on. I will say that while I do not condone hate speech (or hate in general for that matter) I am a little leary of the term "hate speech" because I often see it used in place of "differing opinion."  I also believe that what someone says may indeed have consequences, so no argument there. That being said, I will now go take a look at the video to get a better idea of what happened. Hope this isn't taken the wrong way.

Edit: After viewing the content, I agree. Totally uncalled for and rather childish I might add. Looks like there is always going to be troublemakers. It's a shame people can't behave like adults in an environment meant to be fun for everyone.

Edited by Soultwist
Additional statement to make.
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the first piece of moderation advice is to "just ignore it", then it's being effectively condoned.  What's needed is a zero tolerance policy: because online abuse, just like offline abuse, should not be allowed to stand unchallenged.  Ultimately, to challenge it, the companies that provide the platforms need to spend money to find solutions.  If they don't, then they're condoning it through inaction, and are morally culpable.  They need to police the popular streamers that help them generate revenue, and ensure that they're playing nice as well.

Why did the organizers of Dreamhack Austin not simply pull the plug on the chat?  At the point where one of their players was being abused in front of his family and friends: somebody in a position of responsibility should have shut it down.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, mimech said:

Why did the organizers of Dreamhack Austin not simply pull the plug on the chat?  At the point where one of their players was being abused in front of his family and friends: somebody in a position of responsibility should have shut it down.  

I think this would be an interesting thing to see happen. The organisers would most likely receive hate no matter what they did.

It also would be interesting to see how many viewers were there for the chat rather than the tournament. There is definitely a group on Twitch that goes out of their way to cause stuff like this, so with a muted chat, would they keep watching? How many were there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/21/2016 at 10:26 AM, Soultwist said:

 I am a little leary of the term "hate speech" because I often see it used in place of "differing opinion."

To be honest, I'm leery of of comments like this because I find "differing opinion" is often used in place of "name calling and generally being horrible".   Every troll, abuser and harasser ever has made the claim that their targets banned or blocked them just for disagreeing or some other harmless sounding thing.  I'd much rather err on the side of a too liberal definition of "hate speech" than a too narrow one.  I'd rather see a small handful of people unfairly banned from Twitch (they can always make a new account or send someone a PM to plead their case and get unbanned) than entire vast groups of people feeling like all of Twitch is actively hostile to them. 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I research this one, the worse it seems to get.  It's all very well for Blizzard to say they're anti-racism, but there are quite a few examples of them seeming to openly support racism.  Like, they feature the streamer Reynad, both as a presenter at tournaments and as one of the people revealing their Old Gods cards.  And Reynad likes to laugh at racist jokes: you can see this on Youtube if you type "reynad laughing at racist jokes" into Google.  You can catch him on Twitter afterwards complaining about the fact that his text-to-speech racist joke frenzy will have to be discontinued due to complaints from Twitch.  So, he's not sorry then.

My conclusion: Blizzard seem to be supporting racism.  Or, more specifically - they support a streamer who laughs at racist jokes.

Then there's Leeroy Jenkins.  That's a white guy pretending to be a black guy, depicting him as tactically ignorant and then using the stereotypical idea of a love for chicken as the punchline.  So, that's racist.  And that's right there in the game of Hearthstone - and it's even a pretty good card in some face decks, so it's a relatively popular part of their popular game.

My conclusion: Blizzard seem to be supporting racism.  They have it in their game.

So, as they're discussing with people how to deal with it: they should clean their own house first.  Lead the way!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By L0rinda

      The Hearthstone Championship Tour continues this weekend, with the focus shifting to the Asia-Pacific region. In this article I have introduced some of the players, and listed their deck archetypes.
      The APAC region is often regarded as the weakest region, and with some justification. However, although the region lacks a little in depth, the best players are definitely world class. Not only that, but the rest of the pack is rapidly improving, and it would be very negligent to ignore the region in 2017. Staz, from The Philippines recently won the $150,000 first prize at a stacked WESG, which marked the first major tournament won by the region. The top players will be looking to keep the rest of the world on notice, with some high quality play this weekend.
      Below I have listed a few of the key players, along with notes and deck archetypes.
        CaraCute: Tempo Mage, Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      CaraCute has been touted by both NeilYo and Staz as having a good chance, and since those comments were made, she has come through the Tavern Hero Qualifier to take her place in the main Swiss. She learned her trade at Guildhouse Fireside gatherings, the same Fireside gatherings where caster Jia Dee also rose through the ranks.
        Che0nsu: Jade Druid, Miracle Rogue, Mid Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      Che0nsu made his name by first winning the Last Call qualifier, and then building on that to finish top four in the World Championship at BlizzCon. 
        ChongGEr: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Reno Warrior
      ChongGer is one of the most consistent performers in the South-East Asia scene. He came fourth in the Singapore Major, third in the Thai Major, and second in the Malaysia Major, where he lost two matches in the final to a player he had already beaten in the upper bracket! He also placed consistently high in the preliminaries last year. 
         GundamFlame: Tempo Mage, Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior
      GundanFlame impressed observers in the Japan Summer Championship with his understanding of aggressive play. His understanding of when to ease off the pedal, and when to go all-in, won him the national title. It is no surprise that his lineup for the Playoffs is an aggressive one.

        HandomeGuy (pictured above): Aggro Rogue, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      HandsomeGuy is regarded as the man to beat whenever he steps foot in an APAC tournament. He finished in second place in the APAC Winter Championship, and that proved to be his worst result, as he went on to win both the Spring and Summer Championships.
        Kranich: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman (shown below), Reno Warlock, Dragon Warrior
      Kranich played in both the 2014, and 2015 World Championships, finishing top four and top eight respectively. Due to this, and the fact that he was a member of Team Dignitas before they withdrew from Hearthstone, he is one of the best known APAC players in the West. He is not scared to put his own stamp on decks, his RenoLock contains Doomguard and Krul the Unshackled, while his Shaman deck is slower than most Aggro Shamans, and leans towards midrange.

        NaviOOT: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      NaviOOT has built a strong reputation on the back of relentless top 100 finishes, and a consistently popular stream. In recent months he has turned his attention more and more to the tournament scene, making the trip to the Malaysia Open, in which he placed top 8. He has also stated that he will be travelling to DreamHack Austin, which is coming up soon. He managed top four at last Winter's APAC Championship, and is a genuine contender in 2017.
       Pinpingho: Tempo Mage, Mid Shaman, Reno Warlock, Water Warrior
      Pinpingho finished top eight in the 2015 World Championship. He was known for being one of the strongest Shaman players, back before Shaman was regarded as a playable class, so it will be interesting to see how a does now! He qualified for two APAC Championship events in 2016, and so is no stranger to these events.
        Surrender: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      Although he is yet to have a big win, Surrender is highly regarded in the community and has numerous good results. He already had Xixo as a playtest partner, and has recently joined Counter Logic Gaming, along with Xixo and Hoej. He will be as well prepared as anyone for this event.
        Tom60229: Reno Mage, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior
      One of the most accomplished players in the field, Tom60229 has shown consistent results since the dawn of Hearthstone. His most recent tournament win was the Malaysia Major, but also had good success on the 2015 ONOG Tour. His worldwide tournament experience will stand him in good stead in this event.
       
      The event begins at 3am CET on Saturday 25 February, and coverage will be on the official PlayHearthstone Twitch channel.
    • By L0rinda

      For the past few days, top players have been discussing the pros and cons of the new MMR change at Legend Ranks. The only problem being, that Game Designer, Iksar, isn't aware of a change.
      There are far fewer Legendary players than usual this season, and as such things might feel a little different to the players, but the sample size across many streams and thousands of games of Hearthstone seems to point to the changing of the matchmaking system. It has been accepted by most that the system has changed so that you only play opponents in a very narrow band, rather than the previous system where you could be matched with someone with a wildly different Legend Rank.
      That alone might not have been enough evidence, but players are also queuing into the same opponent multiple times, to the point that they are having to play mind games on which deck to queue.

      Hoej independently witnessed the same thing, and went to Twitter to check that he was not alone. Several Legendary players agreed that the system has been changed, and people began to discuss what they thought of the changes.
      Placeholder for tweet 834430686325067776 The majority of players like the new matchmaking, although several did voice concerns that the new system heavily favours the players who reach Legend Rank early in the season. Just as the debate was getting interesting, Iksar dropped his bombshell:
        At this point there are several options, and all seem unlikely. Either the entire community is suffering from some kind of huge matchmaking fluctuation, Blizzard have made a major change without informing Iksar, or there is a bug which most people preferred to the actual game. Whatever happens, the reply when Iksar has investigated is sure to be interesting!
    • By L0rinda

      Blizzard have announced that the next update will contain big changes to the way Arena works.
      The newly announced changes will come into force at the same time as the nerfs to Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws, which we discussed previously.
      The most important change will be that Arena will change from Wild format to Standard. This will help to keep Arena feeling fresh, as well as make sure that card synergies can be drafted more easily.
      Changes have also been made to the distribution of cards. Common and Basic cards will show up less often, and the frequency of spells and class cards being offered has been raised. The full discussion can be found in the announcement link above, but the main reasoning is to allow players to have more opportunities to outdraft and outplay their opponents, rather than just playing the game on curve.
      This philosophy will have some implications in Standard too. If Blizzard are actively trying to reduce the impact of playing on curve in Arena, this could mean that they will carry over the same thoughts into constructed play. I feel that moving away from the style, unaffectionately known as Curvestone, would be good for the game. The changes will almost certainly be welcomed in the Arena community, and it is good to see Blizzard making them now, rather than waiting for the next set to launch.
    • By FreezedIce
      Im making a telegram bot that can send you new decks and news from https://www.icy-veins.com/hearthstone.
      It already can send some decks and filter them by class and deck format.
      Im going to open bot for all users in next few weeks. 
      Any suggestions?
      Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4


    • By Damien
      This thread is for comments about our Kazakus Zoo Warlock Gadgetzan Standard deck.