The State of the Report System

This isn't a ban appeal or anything, but I did just get banned. I'm going to explain how my ban happened and why I think that it's representative of the faults of the system as a whole. Before I make my argument, I feel that it's necessary to make a quick disclaimer. I've been playing League for 5 years on and off, having quit many times after situations just like my current one, only to come back a few months later. I may not be great at League, but I have tons of experience interacting with the game, it's players, and most importantly to this post, the report system. My opinions, then, may not be valid with regard to gameplay, but I assure you that they are with that to toxicity. Try to remember, I'm silver, not stupid. I know what I'm talking about here. **Feel free to skip the story of my game. TLDR: Trolling Morgana.** So I'm in my 3rd promo game to Silver 1, a rank I've never achieved before. I'm on ad carry, and I have a Morg support. I was afk for the first 30 seconds or so, but I come back to my laptop, buy, and run down to river, where I think that my team hasn't seen any enemies yet (since nobody's taken any damage). All of a sudden, my team starts pinging me careful, so I start running, but 4 enemies come out of a bush, and the enemy Kaisa kills Morg and I. At this point, I'm thinking that this lane is still winnable, and that I've come back from much tougher lanes than this. The first thing I say is: _EvX3: didnt realize how many were there EvX3: was afk at start EvX3: mb_ Morg has other plans though. She decides that she isn't going bot for the rest of the game, and that she's gonna support our midlane Gangplank. Our Vi, GP, and I all beg her to just play bot, but she isn't having it. I die to Kaisa again, and realize that trying to play my lane is futile. I leave bot to go farm jungle. At this point, I say what I imagine is what got me banned: _EvX3: nope fuck this bitch EvX3: shes autistic EvX3: im outta bot_ My team surrenders at 20 minutes (since Morg didn't want to surrender at 15), and most of my team and the enemy team affirms that they're going to report her. Nobody says anything about reporting me. I go get a glass of water and cool off for 2 or 3 minutes. I come back to my laptop, and I see that my account is banned for the next 14 days. **There's a whole lot wrong with this.** The roots of the numerous problems with the report system always come back to its inherent inability to catch anything that isn't explicitly typed. Although at least 5 or 6 players in my game pledged to report my Morg (myself included), I can't imagine a situation in which she'll actually face punishment on any significant level. This is because she never typed anything except for, "I'm muting all of you, none of you speak english." Why would a chat reviewer decide that she was guilty of any of what she did during the game? Despite her blatantly toxic in-game behavior, she won't receive anything even remotely comparable to a two week ban. Interestingly, although I hadn't formed this opinion in an organized way until I wrote this post, I expressed a similar, albeit unrefined, version of this point during my game: _EvX3: the problem is its so hard to get reported for anything that isnt chat EvX3: like legitimately trolling and inting can go undetectable_ I hope the irony of this isn't lost on anybody. The game in which I expressed the problems plaguing the report system is the same game in which those very same problems resulted in my ban. My game was, in and of itself, an encapsulation of the incompetence of the report system as it exists right now, but I was also banned as a result of that incompetence from the very same game. Another troubling aspect of my ban was the pure brevity of it's consideration. I imagine this response to have been somehow automated, and if so, that should be deeply problematic. I mean, think about it: 1. Player calls somebody autistic. 2. Robot sees the word "autistic." 3. Robot bans player for two weeks. This all can happen over the course of 3 minutes, without approval from an actual human. If I'm wrong, and somebody did at least check over my ban first to review it, that's even worse. If somebody can decide within 3 minutes that I've done enough to deserve a 2 week ban, that means one of two things: either it was extremely easy to decide that I deserved my ban since I violated clearly defined rules, or it was felt that my status as a toxic individual was obvious and thus I that deserved a ban. If the former is true, the problem lies in those rules, which are the basis for systematic action. If the latter is true, the problem lies in the ways in which the system takes that action. Either should be troubling, and both are inherent to the report system as it currently stands (and therefore necessitate reform). It's impossible to detect a player like my Morg in 3 minutes, since she didn't use chat, but if Riot has determined that 3 minutes is all that it takes, then they have also determined that it's acceptable for players like Morg to walk. Furthermore, my ban is useless as an action to take against me. It's not like I'm never going to call anybody autistic again after these two weeks. The very concept that this ban could serve to "reform" me is ridiculous, for reasons I shouldn't have to explain here. It presumes that I'm so addicted to League that I could change my mannerisms in order to retain my ability to play. Banning a player who says something toxic is ignorant of from where their toxicity is rooted. I think that as a whole, **Riot fails to realize that the source of toxicity**, (even in what was in my opinion a very minor case), **is not the playerbase, but the competitive nature of League.** As much as I thoroughly dislike elements of the game, especially those added in the recent years since season 6 or so that limit carry potential, I can confidently say that the reason I play video games is because I love the feeling of personal improvement at a complex skill. This explains my love of AD Carry, arguably the most mechanically intensive role in the game. This explains my love of similarly competitive games, such as CSGO. However, it also explains my tendency to jump to toxicity when I feel that another person is undermining that feeling. After all, who is some random guy to decide that for the next 20 minutes of my life, I don't get to enjoy myself or improve at League? Now don't get me wrong. I take responsibility for my actions. I understand that calling somebody autistic can be deeply offensive and hurtful. My good friend's brother is a r%%%%%ed person, and he gets very upset whenever somebody uses those terms in a derogatory light. I regret saying what I said already (in no part due to the ban, mind you, but rather to my own morality). However, we need to make an important distinction: **This is the internet.** League isn't some precious den of upstanding individuals representative of all that is right with society. It's a part of the internet, just like Youtube, Reddit, and other multiplayer online games. If an individual logs on to League and gets called a %%%%%%, %%%%%%, or anything comparable, that shouldn't detract in any meaningful way from their experience of the game. It isn't hard to hold down the tab key and click on the little volume button next to somebody's champion. If worst comes to worst, it's like I said during my game: _EvX3: just ff15, report her, and move on with your life_ My personal opinion is that toxicity in chat should remain entirely legal within the context of the report system. Genuine hate speech (which is constituted by more than just terms), as well as threats, are where the line should be drawn in terms of viably reportable offenses. As unrealistic of a goal as that is, it still isn't relevant to the greater issue at hand: The report system is incapable of catching toxic behavior, but remains overly sensitive to toxicity in comms. To be fair, the belief that Riot should be not only be ready and willing, but also be capable of enforcing just social standards of politeness (which are already incredibly subjective) upon a general playerbase of gamers is a wholly unreasonable expectation to have. After all, they're only a video game company; I highly doubt that Ryze and Tryndamere ever sought to police the behavior of a bunch of 19 year olds. Creating an enjoyable gameplay experience can and should be considered devoid of monitoring chatlog toxicity. Nevertheless, Riot continues to act in a way that would seem to suggest that as a company, they consider themselves to be both the legislators and the policemen of virtual "criminality". **The solution to that problem is not to enforce stronger and harsher rules; it isn't to declare more strict guidelines of conduct; it is to recognize the existence of these problems in the first place. Riot as a whole needs to stop trying to be something that it simply is not. It is a video game company. No more, and no less. Thus, it's focus should be on gameplay, and in terms of the report system, on every offense that detracts from that gameplay. The moment that Riot realizes that their players can be toxic not because of intrinsic personality flaws, but simply because of the competitiveness of this game is the moment Riot transcends their problems with the report system and creates a wonderfully free and nontoxic experience.** I'm linking my full chatlog from my game right here: https://pastebin.com/GWXTW282 Imo, Dunkey said it best. "I can understand getting banned for cheating, or going afk a bunch of times, or picking Orianna adc, or feeding on purpose, but talking shit to some guy that's a total dumbass?"
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