May 092008

MMO Week: Industry has been irresponsible with kids // News //

Merrifield also thinks that there is an over-reliance on technology that ignores the human element, which is why they’ve decided to devote two-thirds of the company’s staff to positions such as safety moderators and customer service.

“We know the limits of technology, even though I would put our filtering software up against anybody’s, especially because of that human element – we’re adding 500 to 1000 words every day to the filters, simply because of slang that works its way into the language.

Jeez, I know professional writers who rack up less word count than that in a day.

  9 Responses to “Club Penguin adds 1000 words a day to their filter”

  1. you might have the wrong approach?

  2. In about three years they’ll have the entire English vocabulary in their filter. Do you think DHS would be interested in their technology for their no-fly list?

  3. I really don’t see why they don’t just go the Disney route and prevent direct communication if they’re really worried about the childrens. Pre-constructed sentences only if the parental controls are flipped on. And you can flag the characters that can’t hear normal chat so that you know you can’t communicate with them except by the pre-constructed stuff. It’d be a lot less work on their end, and it’d be more effective too.

  4. I think “words” may be a misleading term. Its quite possible that they mean “strings of characters” most of which are users’ attempts to circumvent the filter. Like “$hit” and other such variants.

  5. Seems like what they need is just a way to involve the parents directly. “Now Timmy, you know you’re not supposed to use MapHack if your IP is logged!”

  6. Raph wrote:

    Jeez, I know professional writers who rack up less word count than that in a day.

    Speaking of professional writers, how’s that new book coming along for the publisher that seems to have disappeared?

  7. Eolirin, they already do that. They have two different ways of chatting… in one of them, it’s entirely pre-scripted stuff, and in the other, the user can chat whatever they want, but it’s run through the filter, and other users can only hear it if the filter says it’s okay.

  8. Why would you need to filter text at all then, let alone to that level? If kids theoretically can’t access the chat unless their parents let them, that doesn’t make a great deal of sense…

    If they don’t do this already, make it so that you need a sub to use the real chat, and then require a parental control password to be set on account creation. Since subbing requires a credit card, an adult needs to be involved at some step in the process. At that point, having a filter is much less important, since the parent can directly control access to the chat content. Then it’s just leaving it up to the parents to parent, and not the filter.

  9. […] set of individual guidelines on posts. The popular children’s online world, Club Penguin, for example, offered multiple levels of language filtering as well as an “Ultimate Safe Chat” mode […]

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