When playing video games online, you’re stepping into a world of entertainment with virtually limitless possibilities. This is a world made up of a global community of players with varying abilities and interests. Keeping everyone’s experience joyful and welcoming means continuously protecting the security and privacy of our players, while creating an environment all players can enjoy, including our youngest and most vulnerable players. At Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), we take this responsibility very seriously.

While Safer Internet Day is only once a year, we at Sony Interactive Entertainment think about it every day. Today, we want to share some of our efforts behind this work as we continue to innovate to create a joyful and safe environment for our PlayStation community. 

Reporting and Human Moderation to ensure joyful interactions

At SIE, we want to ensure that our platforms allow all players to be united through the shared joy of gaming. For those moments when our community needs support, there are several tools at their disposal to report cheating, offensive in-game chat or any other inappropriate behavior. 

We have automated solutions in place that are supplemented by trained global moderation teams, which support players in all languages where PlayStation Network (PSN) services are available. We want to make it easy for players to report unwanted interactions on PS4 or PS5 who act innapropriately and violate the PlayStation Code of Conduct

Our Voice Chat reporting function enables players to access their most recent five minutes of voice chat and then submit a 20-second clip to our moderation team for review. This feature does not actively monitor or listen in on user conversations, and it is strictly reserved for reporting online abuse or harassment. 

In addition to that, players have the ability to control their own interactions through tools such as the block feature, which allows gamers to immediately stop an interaction with someone, or prevent it from the beginning. From the moment you block a player, they can’t view your profile, posts, or personal information, as well as send you messages or invitations to games. And if a player decides to give someone a second chance, they can easily unblock them. 

Technology solutions to create a controlled environment

SIE set up guidelines for everyone who wants to interact on our platforms including policies such as the PlayStation Network Code of Conduct and the PlayStation Network Policy Against Hate Speech. Only when we work together, we can create the best play to play for everyone on PlayStation Network. 

To further ensure our community can focus on the joy of gaming, we implemented global profanity and hate-speech filters in multiple languages across social and account experiences on the PlayStation Network. These filters for example detect word padding and other common tricks used to evade filters. The technology works in real time to limit language prohibited by the PlayStation Network Terms of Service and User Agreement from appearing in places where others may see it on the network. In addition, the tool can be managed by moderators to allow them to react in real time by adding new words and variations to the ​filter, as necessary.

Parental Controls to support our youngest players

One of the most important efforts for us is to keep the youngest and most vulnerable players protected on our platforms. This means providing the right tools and information to parents and guardians as they navigate their children’s experience. 
SIE offers a whole suite of parental control tools that allow parents to make sure their children can only see, play and interact with things that are age appropriate. For example, they can set play time limits, disable chat and messaging, restrict age-rated games and entertainment, set spending limits in their PSN wallets, add password authorization at check-out and more. Parental controls are easy to access from their console, PC or smartphone.

We are also working closely with partners such as the Family Video Game Database who share the same mission with us. To help parents understand and navigate their childrens’ gaming experiences in order to make the right choices for them and their family. 

We want to use Safer Internet Day 2022 as a moment to also encourage our players and online community to become more aware of what kind of tools are available to them and how they can respond to inappropriate behavior – you can find more information on PlayStation.com, or check out these Five Tips to Take Control of Your Gaming Experience as a quick read.