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Helping you stay safe on PSN: PlayStation Network’s Code of Conduct explained

Common misconceptions debunked by our Safety & Moderation team

When you first create a PlayStation Network account you’ll be presented with a ‘Code of Conduct’ that we ask you read and agree to before you can continue. While we try and be as clear as possible in that form, we’ve seen a few common questions arise over time. So here are five things you need to know about our code of conduct, and how it’s helping us all stay safe while using PlayStation Network.

1. The code of conduct’s built to make PSN safe and enjoyable for everybody

While you are certainly entitled to think whatever you like, we must ask that players always adhere to the Community Code of Conduct to help us make PSN as safe and enjoyable as we can for everyone. The Code of Conduct applies to everything you say or do on PlayStation Network including but not limited to: the Online ID you create for yourself; the images and text within your profile; anything you create or share within games.

2. Communities can be made private, but they still need to be safe for all

There are certain types of content PlayStation will not allow to be posted to Communities – or anywhere else on PSN for that matter – regardless of how you may have named the community. These include, but are not limited to: abuse, pornography or highly-sexualised content, or any kind of discrimination. PSN is a place that everybody should be able to enjoy.

3. Sorry, gambling is against the rules

The Code of Conduct strictly prohibits using PSN for financial purposes. While we are more than happy for you to help people out in games – be that by sharing helpful tips in a Community or assisting via Share Play -money should not be changing hands. Similarly, we do not allow gambling on our network under any circumstances, even if it’s just between friends.

4. Bans will only happen with good reason, and only after a case has been reviewed.

Bans aren’t instantaneous or automatic. If you violate the Code of Conduct, a human moderator will then review and classify the case. The nature of the offence and your behavioural history is all taken into account.

5. Help the moderation team by giving a brief description when reporting another player

If in doubt, always report. So long as a report is submitted in good faith players shouldn’t have to worry about being punished for reporting bad things.

Still, it helps moderators greatly when players explain their issue in the reporter description field, especially if it’s an obscure issue or something difficult to spot. The only way you’d get in trouble for reporting something is if you reported something innocent multiple times.

The moderation team are there to help you and keep PSN safe for everyone.Removing inappropriate content from PSN is a big part of the job, but an equally important part of the job is educating players on how we expect them to behave – that’s why we always send an email or system message when we find a Code of Conduct violation (and, for that matter, why we’re writing this article!), as the last thing we want is to do is ban any of our players.

That said, we also don’t want any of our players’ experience on PlayStation to be ruined by those not obeying the Code of Conduct, so we take this responsibility seriously and will take action when necessary to keep the network as safe as possible.

Read more in our Safety & Moderation series:

15 Comments
5 Author replies
a456435335345334 27 April, 2018 @ 17:59
1

Question is if sensible or US standards are applied to what is considered “sexualized”

1.1

I think that our standards are generally quite sensible, but maybe I’m biased ;)

We ask that all content shared on PSN be suitable for users of any age. So that means no nudity, sexualised images that focus on breasts, genitals or buttocks, and certainly no pornography.

These Code of Conduct and Moderation blogs have been insightful and interesting to read. This series has been great. The mods are also very responsive, issued a report and within an hour there was a resolution.

2.1

Thanks, SpyDudeFX. I’m very pleased to hear that you’re enjoying these articles.

If gambling is against the rules, why are loot boxes allowed?

3.1

That’s the first thing I thought too!

(It’s odd how gambling is legally restricted to 18+, yet games with loot boxes somehow don’t get minimum age ratings of 18..)

Well it’s about to change (hopefully).

3.3

Lootboxes no longer acceptable on Sony systems, confirmed!!

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1

I didn’t even bother to read it. I know how the system works. I know what the moderation team expects from us players. No cussing or threats in messages, community posts or over the mic.

5

3. Sorry, gambling is against the rules*

* Unless they’re our own lootboxes, then that’s totally cool.

I still think that the system Sony has is a bit meh to be honest.

I fully understand that they are trying to make PSN a good place for everyone. But they just don’t always look at the bigger picture or rather they don’t look at context. If for example it’s in messages between players then they look at the message reported not the ones prior to understand the situation, personally I think understanding the situation would be better than each individual messages.

Just an example:

Person 1: *Insert tons of insults and cursing*

Person 2: *Insert slight cursing (Ex: get lost)*

Person 1 reports Person 2 and Person 2 gets a warning. While in reality Person 1 approached and started the whole situation.

This specific case happened to me, I was playing some competitive game and may have got a lil bit too much into competitive mood, then some random person who I have never seen (not in game either) starts insulting. I write something like what his problem was and that he should get lost (An...

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I still think that the system Sony has is a bit meh to be honest.

I fully understand that they are trying to make PSN a good place for everyone. But they just don’t always look at the bigger picture or rather they don’t look at context. If for example it’s in messages between players then they look at the message reported not the ones prior to understand the situation, personally I think understanding the situation would be better than each individual messages.

Just an example:

Person 1: *Insert tons of insults and cursing*

Person 2: *Insert slight cursing (Ex: get lost)*

Person 1 reports Person 2 and Person 2 gets a warning. While in reality Person 1 approached and started the whole situation.

This specific case happened to me, I was playing some competitive game and may have got a lil bit too much into competitive mood, then some random person who I have never seen (not in game either) starts insulting. I write something like what his problem was and that he should get lost (And the word loser – I know my bad…) he proceeds with the insults and I stupidly as I was still wanted an explanation and as it went on my messages may have gotten rude (nothing too bad really in comparisson). Yet he can report the lot lesser insulting messages and Sony actually giving a warning. While if Sonys support team had done their job properly and looked at the context or rather the whole situation they would probably have had done otherwise. In the end my own fault for replying and accept that, though can’t accept how poorly Sony’s support handle things. Well it’s rather their moderators but in the end the same.

At least it made me change my settings so no random **** could message me. Though at times it’s annoying having to add people to quickly write to them if the game has a bad in game communication system.

By the way I think everyone can relate that if you are in either a competitive or stressfull mood in a game then the last thing you want is someone trying to push their luck on your patience. In past I definitely had lot less patience, so well I am glad I used Steam more back then.

6.1

Hi Fleexie,

I’m glad you brought this up because that is actually another common misconception. When messages are reported the moderation team will see the messages that were sent before the report message and afterwards – we even explicitly state this just before we ask players to confirm that they want to report the message.

I am in 100% agreement with you that context is really important. While I cannot comment on individual cases, some general advice I can offer anyone that ever receives an offensive message is to report it, block the sender and ignore them.

I hope that puts some of your concerns to rest.

Hey Luke

That’s odd because only the messages by me were deleted so had tons of abusive messages left while the lesser evil messages were deleted.

Anyway that case is like 6 months ago so it doesn’t matter that much. Atleast my account isn’t banned.

It’s good you remind people about this stuff every so often I have no issues about it. However, I have to laugh at 3. Sorry, gambling is against the rules if that’s the case why is the likes of Overwatch allowed on the PS4 with there gambling boxes. As well at the likes of Call Of Duty, Battlefield, FIFA, PES ect.

These games charge people real money to open a box to receive a random skin. People gambling their money in hope they get the correct skin they want. You know like how people go into a casino and throw a pound into a slot machine in hope they land on the jackpot. This is gambling but for kids and it needs to be banned.

8

Is there a SIE moderator by the name of [REDACTED] or are they merely just pretending to be one? Some of the stuff they post, and non professional stuff they post makes me think they are not.

SIE Moderation doesn’t seem to see anything wrong in the pictures.

8.1

Hi TechNinja,

I’m not aware of any moderator by that name and if they are behaving inappropriately then they are probably not who they claim to be. The only place you would see our moderators acting in an official capacity is on the PlayStation forums, and even then they tend to use dedicated moderator accounts because moderators are supposed to be entirely anonymous.

Similarly, if they don’t have the blue verified tick next to their online ID then the chances are they are not a member of staff.

If you ever have to report something that may need a little extra information can you write a brief description, if you didn’t already? That should help the moderators make the right decision.

8.2

I did though. And yet they can’t seem to see they are pretending to be SIE moderation.

8.3

So yeah you guys should get on it, instead of letting them threaten and post mocking/harrassing images pretending to be moderator and claiming to ban

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