This topic is not a new one, and we know it's a concern for our players and our player-parents. We hear perennial complaints about spots in our game where this activity is said to take place, and Moon Guard Goldshire appears in that list with some regularity.
Often the public assumption is that unless a GM appears with a crack of lightning and a mighty hammer, Blizzard is turning a blind eye.... this is very much not the case, so I'm hoping to shed a little more light on this topic from Blizzard's perspective.
For reference, the In-Game Harassment Policy:
It's our goal (and in our interests, obviously), to present a safe and accessible environment for play. While defining "offensive" behavior can be subjective, the policy linked above reflects our working definition, and our intent to keep certain types of offensive behavior from affecting the play experience.
With millions of players in hundreds of servers and thousands of channels, it is impossible to manually monitor everywhere. To this end, World of Warcraft provides features to help players protect themselves and help us moderate accordingly:
- Profanity/obscenity filter to automatically intercept the most obvious offensive language
- The ability to report any player violating the rules
- Ignore functionality to remove individuals from appearing in chat
No single one of these, by itself, is always sufficient. It's critical to understand the rules we're enforcing, and where they apply. Relevant to this case, whisper chat between two consenting individuals, guildmates, etc is not an area we are out to pro-actively police. Any offensive in-game behavior needs to be reported in order to receive the right followup.
"Punish in Private"
Some posters on this thread have suggested that Blizzard ignores those reports. From several years as a manager for our call centers, I can promise you that we take action routinely.... because they call us. Or they email us. Sometimes there's blame placed on a roommate or sibling, sometimes an account thief committed the offense, etc. The point is that players appeal because players receive actions. You won't see it happen.... well, unless it happens to you. Otherwise you can only decide whether you will take our word on it.
Okay, what now?
Members of our CS team will 'patrol' Goldshire on Moon Guard on a regular basis, and take appropriate action for individuals violating the Harassment Policy. Note that this pertains primarily to public messages (/say, /yell, General) and unsolicited whispers. We won't be showing up with that mythical crack of lightning-- we'll just be watching silently for any rule-breaking language and following up privately with the player[s] in question.