Following a recent incident involving a Hearthstone pro player, Blizzard has vowed to take action against racism, and other forms of abuse in livestreams.
During a professional Hearthstone tournament at Dreamhack Austin recently, Terrence “TerrenceM” Miller, a black player, faced racial abuse on Twitch chat from various commenters, so much so moderators couldn’t keep up.
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime released a statement following the incident, and said that the developer is working with Twitch on a new pilot programme to bring better moderation.
“We’re extremely disappointed by the hateful, offensive language used by some of the online viewers during the DreamHack Austin event the weekend before last,” said Morhaime.
“One of our company values is “Play Nice; Play Fair”; we feel there’s no place for racism, sexism, harassment, or other discriminatory behavior, in or outside of the gaming community. This is obviously a larger, societal problem that affects us on many levels. We can only hope that when instances like this come to light it encourages people to be more thoughtful and positive, and to fully reject mean-spirited commentary, whether within themselves or from their fellow gamers.
“To help combat this type of behavior during live events, we’ve reached out to players, streamers, and moderators, along with partners like Twitch, DreamHack, and others, to get consensus and collaborate on what to do differently moving forward. To that end, we’re investigating a pilot program that Twitch has in the works to streamline moderation and combat ban evasion. We’re also updating our esports tournament partner policies with a stronger system of checks, balances, and repercussions to provide a better chat experience around our content.
“We believe these are important steps to take to help address the related issues, but we acknowledge that they only address part of the problem. This is ultimately an industry-wide issue, and it will take all of us to make a real impact.”