PlayStation was all the rage for all the wrong reasons this week, when the PlayStation 4 firmware update 8.00 introduced a new warning message saying that voice chat conversations can be recorded. This led to all kinds of privacy concerns prompting the platform owner to issue a statement explaining that it all relates to a new PlayStation 5 reporting feature.
The company has since apologized for not letting fans know earlier and has released a more complete article explaining how his new voice chat moderation tool works. Indeed, if you are the victim of harassment or abuse while playing on the PlayStation Network, you will be able to capture the conversation and send a 40 seconds clip to the company.
“Only the last five minutes of a voice chat will be available for a player to use for this reporting function,” said Catherine Jensen, head of Global Consumer Experience. “These reports can be submitted directly through the PS5 console and will be sent to our Consumer Experience team for moderation, who will then listen to the recording and take action, if necessary.”
You won’t be able to turn off the feature because, well, if you could, you would be able to say whatever you want without consequence – undoing the whole point of the feature in the first place. Despite all this, the builder is clear: “Please note that this feature do not actively monitor or listen to your conversations – never – and it’s strictly reserved for reporting online abuse or harassment.
Personally, we think it’s a good addition. The overall online experience on PlayStation is, in our opinion, generally better than those early days of Xbox Live – but you still run into idiots, pulling their mouths out every now and then. The fact that you can now send audio proof of their antics should eventually help improve the experience for everyone.