GTA Online now has active voice chat moderation powered by AI. Rockstar Games have revealed new details on how it works following the GTA Online Chop Shop Update. They have also shared what is currently being done and what will change in 2024.
First reports of moderation
Rockstar Games implemented some new features to combat toxicity in GTA Online. One of those features was ToxMod, an AI-powered voice moderation tool to make online gaming safer for everyone. In the same update, Rockstar Games provided players with two new reporting options: Phone Texts and Emails.
Then this week Rockstar took more steps as part of the GTA Online Chop Shop update to take on bad actors who make GTAO not fun for others.
What is in the Chop Shop update then?
In the Chop Shop patch notes, Rockstar say “Voice chat now defaults off on console platforms. This can be switched on by navigating to Pause Menu > Settings > Voice Chat > Voice Chat Enabled”.
On top of that, emailing other players is no longer possible. They have removed the ability for players to send emails to each other within GTA Online and some fans are disappointed.
Is this just for PC?
They also turned on voice chat moderation in the update for every single PC lobby according to insider Tez2 on release day. Tez has since followed this up by saying “Voice Chat Moderation is now active on PS5 & Xbox Series X|S and covers 25% of sessions.” This tweak was made via a server side tunable update on Wednesday.
UPDATE on Friday 15th December: According to Tez2, Rockstar Games have now put voice moderation in all PS5 & Xbox Series X|S sessions.
Rockstar detail how they plan to use voice moderation
According to a new Rockstar Support post, the company want to help protect players. This is starting with testing of voice chat monitoring. The company confirm this is done through Modulate, the company behind ToxMod.
At this moment in time, it is only for testing purposes, Rockstar reiterates. After this trial period, Rockstar say “we anticipate launching a policy and enforcement approach in 2024.” This means in the coming months we’ll get an updated set of rules and details on how voice chat will be policed.
Trash talk and privacy protection
Many fans were disappointed this was happening when the news broke in October. Some felt Rockstar were being too “soft” whilst other players wondered about their privacy. Rockstar touch on both of these issues.
GTA Online will still allow “friendly competitive talk”. The Rockstar Support page notes that “there is no place in our community for player-to-player harassment” but you can still be competitive within reason. Plus, they claim this moderation system “takes into consideration conversational and other context.” It also uses the Rockstar Games Code of Conduct; this has been in effect for a long time and is not new.
As for the privacy issue, the game studio explains “Protecting our players’ privacy has always been a priority. When necessary for player safety, some audio chat may be securely recorded and retained for a limited period. It will never be sold or rented to third parties.”
Popular games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Call of Duty: Warzone and Among Us VR started using this AI-powered moderation tool in the past year. The idea is the AI will be able to detect certain things said by players and record it to aid banning bad actors more effectively.
ToxMod cite research that “83% of adult gamers report facing toxicity online, across every demographic of player, though often with emphasis on targeting the underprivileged.”
What are your thoughts on these new features that are now part of GTA Online on PC? Let us know down in the comments.
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