ADL Cracks Down On Online Gaming Harassment

Halo and Master Chief (Microsoft)

Halo and Master Chief (Microsoft)

The Anti-Defamation League, a 100-year-old civil rights nonprofit organization, released a study on Thursday saying that 74 percent of adults who play video games online have suffered from harassment of some form.

The report explains that statistics on trolling, discrimination and threats are staggering in the online gaming community. The ADL also took a survey, which 1,000 people who play video games participated in. The survey looked over the developer’s moderations of those games, and found little-to-no moderation, according to Kotaku.

“Large-scale commercial games have these aspects of their platform that are totally unmoderated spaces,” said  the associate director of the Tech and Society center for ADL, Daniel Kelley, according to Kotaku. “We know from places like 4chan or 8chan that unmoderated spaces become toxic.”

Their study include two-thirds of the surveyors experienced “severe harassment,” and “physical threats, stalking and sustained harassment” when they were playing video games online.

Even more revealing, 29 percent of the group say they had private information released about them from a stranger after playing in an online game.

It goes without saying that it is highly recommended to never share private information about yourself in an online community or console lobby.

The ADL investigated their problem of harassment in the online gaming communities after collecting strong data against it.

“There’s a sense that there’s a problem here. I’d read about it but hadn’t talked to the community,” Kelly said, according to Kotaku. Is this something that had been hyped up in the media and was not real?”

According to the study, 35 percent admitted that they involve themselves with “bad behavior” or call themselves trolls to other players in online communities.

“Almost a quarter of online multiplayer gamers (23%) have been invited to discuss or have heard others discussing the ‘superiority of whites and inferiority of non-whites’ and/or ‘white identity/a home for the white race,’” the study reads, according to Kotaku. “While this result does not necessarily imply that players were being recruited to join a white supremacist organization in any online game, the prevalence of expressions of white supremacy in online games suggests that this hateful ideology may be normalized in some game subcultures.”

To tackle these problems, the ADL has decided to contact Entertainment Software Ratings Board and asked to put a strong restriction in age groups of certain games.

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