Minecraft fans are protesting the Minecraft Java Edition 1.9.1 update on Twitter using the hashtag “SaveMinecraft”.
The Minecraft community is protesting this latest update because it introduces a new chat reporting tool that opens up private servers to moderation by the developer, Mojang Studios.
Players see the Minecraft Java update as a threat to the freedom they enjoy on private servers. They argue that the potential platform-wide ban is excessively aggressive.
While some players blame Mojang Studios for overreaching with the Minecraft Java update, others attribute this development to Microsoft, Mojang Studios’ parent company.
Gamers are of the belief that the update is motivated by Microsoft’s desire to implement mass surveillance and repress the freedom they enjoy in Minecraft. One player took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the update:
Seeing a game I grew up with and loved starting its downfall is extremely depressing, this isn’t the Minecraft I grew up playing and it shouldn’t be the Minecraft kids today are growing up with. #saveminecraft – @ImAPainYatta
Before the Minecraft Java Edition 1.91.1 update, private server owners were responsible for moderating their own servers. With the Minecraft Java update, players can report other gamers if they post inappropriate chat messages or display dangerous behavior.
Once a report is made, Minecraft’s moderators will review the report to determine what measures should be taken, if any. Possible consequences include temporary or permanent bans from the platform for repeat offenders.
Players who support the Minecraft Java update believe that the reason for the new update is rampant incidents of verbal harassment, hate, sexual misconduct, and grooming within the game.
In contrast, the others are of the opinion that the update is a case of a corporate giant implementing a mass surveillance mechanism in a game that players have historically controlled.
Reasons behind the Minecraft Java Edition 1.9.1 update
Although protesters believe the update is an intrusion on the privacy they have always enjoyed on Minecraft and that it presents an opportunity for malicious actors to exploit the new mechanism to get others banned unjustly, Minecraft clarified in multiple posts on its blog and help center that no such thing will happen.
Minecraft believes that human moderation is necessary if online communities are to be welcoming, and not prove dangerous to the security of players.
The Player Reporting FAQ goes further to state that this update was necessary to ensure the player reporting tool could be used in private servers because not all servers provide players with a means to report or resolve violations of the guidelines.
The FAQ clarifies that chats will not be monitored and that they will be sent to moderators only when a player submits a report.
According to the FAQ, players are not liable to be banned for swearing, profanity, or talking about suicide. Nor will reports filed without evidence or forged messages be taken into consideration. Players will also not be banned based on the volume of reports.
The decision to implement a suspension or temporary/permanent ban will only be made after the report is reviewed by a human moderator who has studied the surrounding chat lines to understand the context of the chat.
Players will be allowed to submit an appeal to have their case re-reviewed by a human moderator.
Minecraft community manager responds on Reddit
Despite the growing campaign on social media, a reversal of the Minecraft Java update is unlikely.
Although Microsoft and Mojang are yet to issue official replies to the backlash on social media, the Reddit Minecraft Community Manager, MojangMeesh, stated that although the developer appreciates feedback from the community, it will not always change Mojang Studios’ design principles, which includes the reporting system update.
“While we understand this may not be the answer some of you were hoping for, we are not planning on changing it.”