Ubisoft And The UK’s Police Join Forces To Tackle Online Harassment

The French publisher will notify the authorities immediately in the most severe cases.


Games are getting bigger, so there are more and more places and ways to be together in a virtual space. Still, the more significant number of people makes it statistically impossible to prevent more harmful incidents. BBC reported that the UK police and Ubisoft had signed an agreement to immediately refer the worst cases of online harassment and threats in products from the Yves Guillemot-led publisher to the authorities.

It’s the first agreement of its kind, based around Ubisoft’s customer contact center in Newcastle (the publisher has four more around the world), which deals with the positive side of the gaming community, handling customer issues such as refunds, but also dealing with toxic problems. The agreement is with Northumbria Police. The specialist officers will train Ubisoft staff on negative online behavior. The French publisher can fast-track action in extreme cases where they believe there could be harm or even danger to life. The police will then take over the case and decide how to proceed.

Damien Glorieux, senior director of Ubisoft’s customer center, said: “We want to be on the right side of history. We have millions of players and tens of millions of interactions: so how can we spot incidents? It is daunting, but at the same time, it is crucial, which is why we wanted to sign this deal and try to make things right.” He says this only applies to the most extreme cases and that less than 0.01% of complaints reach the police. Andrew Holiday is on the team dealing with extremism, and he says it’s not just about one game but about the internet in general. He cited a case in Norway where “things were said, and behaviors displayed that hit our threshold for intervention. There was a threat to life or serious harm. The agreement with Northumbria Police meant that they could get Norwegian authorities involved after we flagged it, even though it wasn’t a UK citizen. It was quicker, more efficient, and safer than trying to do it as a private citizen.”

Detective chief superintendent Deborah Alderson added: “Policing changes continually, demands evolve, and we have different challenges all the time. Our job is to evolve with it.” Aéderson would like to see other publishers and police forces do the same.

Source: PCGamer

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