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The Drama Mamas guide to handling in-game harassment

The Drama Mamas guide to handling ingame harassment
You've tried being clear, and you've tried being firm. Somebody's on your case in game, and they're not letting up. What are your options for managing in-game harassment?

Rule #1: Managing harassment is about protecting you and your enjoyment of the game, not about stopping or changing a harasser's behavior. You can't change other people. It's extremely unlikely that anything you do or say will inspire someone to see the light and become a thoughtful, more compassionate person. Managing harassment, then, is not about how to "fix" your harasser but how to extricate yourself from the situation so you can get on with playing your game.

The Drama Mamas guide to handling ingame harassment
Dungeon and raid finder harassment

4 steps for dealing with raid finder harassment The raid finder and dungeon finder are home to three general types of bullies. Josh Myers helps you recognize each and then gives you four straightforward strategies for coping with pickup imbroglios.

The Drama Mamas guide to handling ingame harassment
Cut the connection

When you need to break off contact with a specific player in game, here's how to proceed. Keep in mind that these strategies for disengagement function on a global basis. Anything that wipes out your connection to another player also wipes out your connections to all other players, including your friends. It's a completely fresh start.

If you are Friends List friends with your harasser:

If you are Real ID friends with your harasser:
  • Disable Real ID before logging in to the game by visiting Battle.net Account Management on the web. When you re-enable Real ID, your list will remain wiped clean and you'll not appear on anyone's Real ID list.

If you're not Real ID friends with your harasser:

The Drama Mamas guide to handling ingame harassment
Handling Harassment 101: Basic strategies

Disengage. Stop talking to your harasser. Don't argue. Don't defend yourself verbally. Don't threaten with authorities. Silence is your best defense. Use it.

Ignore. You can't solve every harassment issue with /ignore, but it's certainly the first step in regaining your peace.

Change the email address associated with your account via Account Management.

Battletags can't be changed at this time, but they remain mostly unexposed in WoW at this point unless you are already friends.

Document continued harassment. Screenshots, chat logs, and notes are key to demonstrate ongoing harassment. (Use the /chatlog command to turn on and off chat channel logging; chat logs are saved in your World of Warcraft installation folder.) In addition, keep a log of dates, times, and facts of each incidence of harassment. These notes can be considered valid evidence, particularly since logs can be verified in game and phone records can be confirmed outside of WoW.

Report, report, report! If your harasser bothers you in game, file an immediate report to allow Blizzard to take disciplinary and preventive action. The reporting options in WoW from right-clicking are limited, but choosing the one for offensive behavior is good for a short-term hand slap. For ongoing harassment, open a ticket immediately: Game menu, Help, Open a ticket, Open a ticket (last option is repeated). Explain the situation concisely, including character names and incident times.

Follow up. File a new report every time a new incident occurs.

Hang tight. Even if you've been reporting on a regular basis, don't expect to hear results from Blizzard about action taken. You probably won't get anything more than a form letter in response. This is because Blizzard cannot break the confidentiality of its dealings with the other player/account holder. Trust in the system that good things are happening; Blizzard does want to help you.

The Drama Mamas guide to handling ingame harassment
One More Time: From Blizzard Customer Service

Let's review the basics one more time, straight from Blizzard Customer Service rep Daxxari.

Daxxari -- Curtailing bad behavior
Quote:

What is Blizzard doing to curtail bad behavior in their playerbase?

Harassment is a serious issue, and we've dedicated significant resources toward dealing with it. In fact, we have a large support team, and we've (comparatively) recently implemented faster tools to deal with harassment.

If you're experiencing harassment in-game, there are a few steps to take.
  • Don't respond, or get involved in an argument. Stooping to using language that violates our policies simply opens yourself up to suspension, and doesn't accomplish anything. Seriously, don't do it.
  • Use right-click Report on their name next to any lines of text that contain offensive language--the appropriate category should be Language.
  • Use /ignore to close the lines of communication.
  • If your harasser by-passes the /ignore feature and contacts you on an alternate character, immediately place that character on ignore, then open a support ticket to report Ongoing Harassment, and include that phrase, as well as the offending player's name, realm, the exact phrase that they used to harass you and that they by-passed the /ignore feature to do so. Please be detailed, our Support team works hard, but they aren't wizards. Mostly.

On the forums, just mouse-over the offending post, then click the 'downvote' hand, then select the 'Report' option.

You won't receive notification when another player receives any kind of disciplinary action due to our privacy policies, but rest assured that we like to make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding what constitutes acceptable conduct in-game.


Quick reference links:

Prevent most drama and dodge the rest with the Drama Mamas guide to preventing multiplayer drama.

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas guide to preventing multiplayer drama. Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Drama Mamas

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