“Save Minecraft!” Fans cry as Mojang moderates private servers

"Save Minecraft!"  Fans cry as Mojang moderates private servers
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Minecraft heroes run away from new moderation rules.

Image: Mojang/Microsoft

Minecraft It is on fire. At least that’s how it currently feels if you follow the fandom on social media or certain message boards. A portion of the community is up in arms following the news that developer Mojang won’t back down on a controversial move to open up private servers to moderation and account-wide. player bans Fans now rally around the rallying cry “Save Minecraft”against what they see as an existential threat to hugely popular online builder.

“If Mojang thinks that all the expert programmers who are against this system won’t try to embarrass them by breaking this system, I’d bet against Mojang,” he said big time. Minecraft YouTuber Taylor “AntVenom” Harris tweeted. “Not a threat by the way. Just calling it what it is. #SaveMinecraft.” Another player was more succinct. “Fuck 1.19.1,” they wrote in a tweet that later exploded. Some blame the studio itself. Others believe the policy change is coming from Microsoft and blame the tech giant.

Mojang and Microsoft declined to comment.

The hate and the hashtag are due to Wednesday’s v1.19.1 update for Minecraft Java Edition. Players can now report each other for “inappropriate chat messages or dangerous behavior”, even on private servers. “The type of behavior that will ban it is hate speech, bullying, harassment, sexual solicitation, or threatening others,” Mojang wrote in a FAQ.

The reports will Minecraft moderators who then determine what follow-up action there should be, if any, including player bans. Sounds like a good system, especially for a game marketed for kids that anyone can play. But it is also a great intrusion into a part of Minecraft which has historically been ruled exclusively by players.

Read more: Minecraft‘s ‘worst’ server was exploited so harshly that the afflicted could see into the future

While Mojang said it will not monitor online chat or use bots for moderation, players still fear the new tool could be abused to wreak havoc on private servers. The idea is that players could conspire to maliciously report someone on a private server and then ban them from the entire game. An exploit called Gaslight V2 is a tool that players have used in the past to manipulate in-game chat logs, and its developers claim that it still works in the latest version of the game.

“We recognize that private servers work independently of Mojang Studios, and many use that independence to create remarkable Minecraft innovations that enrich the community”, the company wrote last month. At the same time, he maintains that he needs to force players to abide by his terms of service no matter where they play. “Each player should enjoy security Minecraft experience wherever they choose to play.”

Mojang anticipated the changes several weeks ago, but backlash is building after the studio made it clear it’s not ready to reconsider. In a comment that has now been downvoted over 1000 times on the about him Minecraft subreddit, community manager MojangMeesh wrote that while the studio valued feedback, “that doesn’t mean feedback will always change the design principles Mojang Studios adheres to.” MojangMeesh also asked fans to stop harassing developers about the issue in unrelated threads and discussions.

“Harassment helps no one: not the developers who receive it, nor the players who are passionate about an upcoming change.” they wrote. “We want to have a constructive and open dialogue with you, and this type of behavior inhibits that.”

“Bullshit sorry but this whole shit party has been raging in your community for about a month straight and there has been very very little real discussion from mojang,” one commenter said. returned fire. “Simple question, then: how long will an appeal take?” wrote another. “Since many of us are concerned about false positives, give us a period of time.”

Bans range from three days to permanent, and while Mojang says all reports and appeals will be reviewed by humans, some players are still concerned about edge cases, as well as the freedom to run private servers as they see fit. . This has led moderators to try to circumvent the new moderation system. a program calledNo chat reportsIt has already been downloaded more than 200,000 times. Says it removes “cryptographic signatures” from messages so they are no longer associated with a particular Minecraft bill.

Others in the community have taken a more nuanced approach. YouTuber xismumavoid, who runs his own private servers, argued in a recent video on the issue of gamers not fairly weighing abuse and predatory behavior that moderation would help catch. “Something good is going to come out of this system,” she said. “People will be protected and I feel like a lot of things in life are a tradeoff.”

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