Minecraft’s new moderation features have some players worried

Moderation is essential in any digital space to avoid trolls and miscreants, but some players are worried about Minecraft's approach to it

Minecraft co-op speedrun: A group of Minecraft characters and animals on a mountaintop

Minecraft is a place for players to express themselves in many different ways. You can play using the space as a Dungeons & Dragons map, choose to recreate your favourite games, or just hang out with friends. It’s probably because of this that the new moderation tools have some people worried.

Let’s be clear about this: moderation tools are pretty much essential on the internet because you literally can’t trust people not to be the absolute worst if given the chance. However, they also have to work, and a few Redditors have posted their thoughts on things, and frankly, they’re not impressed at all. Probably the most in-depth post on the matter comes from JewelTK, who put a video up to talk about it from their perspective as someone that hosts a few servers.

The video contains some harsh language, so be aware of that if you’re going to watch it in full, but there’s a warning at the beginning about it. While the specifics of their worries are more nuanced, you can generally break down the issues into two parts. The first is that it’s possible to abuse the system to get people banned who shouldn’t be, specifically in retaliation for being banned from a server. The other is that players have different boundaries for what they think is and isn’t acceptable, and different communities already have their own rules in place. Having everything judged by people who don’t understand could lead to bannings that seem unfair.

Java chat reporting from the perspective of a server host from Minecraft

Redditor Quillka has suggested that these specific reporting tools should be limited to official Microsoft Realms, mostly for the same reasons as above. They argue that “It cannot be expected that the entirety of Minecraft’s player base that consists of those of all ages will conform to being perfectly kid-friendly.” It’s easy to see their point. While profanity filters help children stay safe in global chats, in smaller and more managed communities, groups of adults talking to each other shouldn’t have to worry about swearing. In less well-rounded arguments, there’s also a big old bit of “propaganda” from Popbobsnob, because Minecraft is all about creativity.

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