Call of Duty to crack down on racist player IDs & behavior, vows Infinity Ward

It probably shouldn't have taken an infamous moment for this to happen, but at least Activision and Infinity Ward are trying to put more effort into policing racism in Call of Duty.

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George Floyd’s wrongful death at the hands of Minneapolis police and the fervent outcry and protests that have followed have been a spark for many worldwide to stand up against the issue and say, “enough is enough.” One of the more interesting forms of this has been Infinity Ward’s recent vow to crack down hard on racist player IDs and behavior in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Mobile.

Infinity Ward announced its upcoming increased efforts to go after racist player behavior in Call of Duty in a post on the Infinity Ward Twitter on June 4, 2020. In the post, Infinity Ward made a vow that it would be putting more of its efforts towards a multi-priority initiative aimed at punishing racist behavior. This includes:

  • More resources to monitor and identify racist content
  • Expanded in-game reporting systems
  • Expanded filters and restrictions on name changes
  • Streamlined report process
  • Increased punishment for repeat offenders

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Mobile have had no lack of success in 2020 with Warzone having brought over 50 million players into the game. That said, Infinity Ward has had to up its report game constantly. A lot of focus had been on cheaters recently because Warzone, in particular, is suffering from a lot of them.

That said, racist and toxic players have long been a part of what could be considered the “Call of Duty experience.” Players yelling slurs when killed, winning, or for no particular reason, as well as choosing incendiary player IDs on burner accounts, is commonplace and has been around pretty much as long as Call of Duty has been playable online with a communication component. With that in mind, one could easily question why it took the murder of George Floyd and international demand for accountability and justice against blatant racism for Call of Duty to finally focus in on this issue.

Either way, Infinity Ward’s new focus on this effort to shove racist players out of its game can probably also be considered better late than never. Even if new seasons of Call of Duty are delayed, if this effort leads to a better, less toxic community experience, that can be as important as new content. Stay tuned for further news and updates on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Mobile, as we await the implementation of changes in this new initiative.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
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      June 4, 2020 8:00 AM

      More games need to do this in wake of this last week. The whole Gamergate situation woke the situation up to game chats being misogynistic but failed to recognize the racism that also persisted, and that needs to be dealt with in the same way. There's ways to have fun taunting players in a fun, competitive way without resorting to racial slurs or the like.

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        June 4, 2020 9:28 AM

        i'd argue that there isn't a way to taunt players in a "fun" way over an anonymous medium comprised of many different cultural and racial backgrounds.

        With a group a friends? absolutely. Strangers on the internet? not a chance.

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          June 4, 2020 9:41 AM

          well, like, take several of Overwatch's designed emotes and voice lines - they're playful and I've yet to hear of any serious complaints of these being insensitive or the like (only that "IS THIS EASY MODE" being abused by d.va players).

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            June 4, 2020 10:16 AM

            Spamming that crap is just as annoying because you can't turn it off.

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              June 4, 2020 10:27 AM

              That's the only thing I wish Blizzard would do related to emotes is to put a cool down on any of the "voice lines" ones so they just can't be spammed. But I'll take someone spamming that D.Va around as a annoyance compared to someone telling off others as the n-word or teabagging or the like.

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                June 4, 2020 10:49 AM

                teabagging is not a big deal imo. The n-word and other racial stuff should be bannable. They got exposed a while ago for what a joke their report and punishment system was.

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          June 4, 2020 9:43 AM

          There's literal 'taunt' emotes that work fine.

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      June 4, 2020 10:17 AM

      Good, this was very much needed. It was absolutely out of control in this game.

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        June 4, 2020 10:50 AM

        It’s bad in a lot of shooter games. It is bad in a lot of games. It’s been bad for a long time.

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          June 4, 2020 11:00 AM

          the "edgy gamer racist" thing is terrifying and makes me sad each time people claim racism is just a legacy thing we can age out.

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      June 4, 2020 11:27 AM

      I just remember playing quake, quake 2(aq2 dogg server), shogo, bf1942 and all kinds of dedicated server communities with good server ops and never seeing any of this shit you see online today.

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        June 4, 2020 11:29 AM

        Yeah, admins were key.

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        June 4, 2020 12:04 PM

        about when i started transitioning from “the internet is beautiful and needs to be free and unregulated” to “haha never mind terrible idea let’s go find some moderators i respect to help keep this hellscape from being overrun with idiots”

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        June 4, 2020 4:16 PM

        You always wrote down the IP and pwd of well-maintained servers back in the day

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        June 4, 2020 5:52 PM

        CoD Modern Warfare (2007) had dedicated servers with admins and was a joy to play, cheaters were kicked and banned.
        CoD Modern Warefare 2 (2009) introduced "matchmaking" servers and it was a nightmare after the hacks dropped, you could do nothing. It was infuriating that they removed dedicated servers.

        In this day and age where everyone has high speed connections it boggles my mind that we cannot have dedicated servers once again for our video games... Oh wait, lootboxes, unlocks, skins.. That's why. Goddamn microtransactions!

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      June 4, 2020 11:29 AM

      I think more games need to implement Phone verification. I would say it be fine to let accounts share the same number. But if any one account violates rules then accounts tied to that number gets banned (for a period since mobile numbers are recycled). If people complain about not having phone numbers then they have bigger problems with priorities.

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        June 4, 2020 12:54 PM

        How has the phone verification requirement impacted the ability to cheat? I haven’t played Warzone for quite a while now and felt like I ran into a few cheaters in my short time playing a few months ago. I wonder if there’s any data on this yet?

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      June 4, 2020 1:02 PM

      if someone reports you for racial slurs an automated system should randomly start taking voice samples from your mic or text samples from your chat, put them through a transcription service and ban you when the report is automatically validated. You can wait for a few positives to confirm before banning in order to avoid false positives. It's not like the guys throwing around the n word are doing a one off. It really isn't that technically hard. They just lack the will.

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      June 4, 2020 1:07 PM

      What about the part where the premise itself of their games is actually racist?

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      June 4, 2020 1:14 PM

      hey guys I went to play COD today and all the servers were empty - what gives???

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      June 4, 2020 2:05 PM

      I just don’t get why anyone would be allowed to have the N bomb included in their nickname. I’ve seen screenshots of examples in this game on Reddit

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      June 4, 2020 3:22 PM

      Now please do this in Rocket League too.

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      June 4, 2020 3:46 PM

      CSGO has got to do something. It's teh worse game I play. It's crazy to play hundreds of hours in Apex Seasons 1 - 3 and only having a few bad experience with players being racist. I go back to CSGO lately and it's like every other game. It's crazy.

      HOW CAN YOU STILL TYPE THE N WORD IN PUBLIC CHAT IN CSGO IN 2020

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