Sony has clarified more details regarding the controversial new PlayStation voice chat recording feature, first mentioned in its latest update 8.0 earlier this week, after some users were forced to believe that the company would actively record and moderate conversations among private groups. .
In a new blog post on Friday, Catherine Jensen, Sony’s vice president of global consumer experience, acknowledged that the company “should have explained more clearly why this feature was deployed.”
Jensen now confirms that Sony will not be actively listening to voice chats when this feature comes out of the PS5 next month. “Its sole purpose is to help report inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our Community Code of Conduct,”; she wrote. “Please note that this feature will not actively monitor or listen to your conversations – ever – and is strictly reserved for reporting abuse or harassment on the Internet.”
Instead, the company claims that this feature will continuously record the last five minutes of any private voice chat. Thus, if a user encounters harassment or anything that they believe violates Sony’s rules of conduct, they may submit a 40-second clip to Sony’s moderation team for review. This will include 20 seconds of user-selectable behavior that is violated, with 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after the selected segment to add context.
“These reports can be submitted directly through the PS5 console and sent for moderation to our Consumer Experience team, who will listen to the recording and take action if necessary. Some of the reports submitted will not be valid, and our team will see this as an opportunity to provide leadership and education, ”explains Jensen.
She goes on to say that it will not be possible to opt out of recording voice chat, as Sony wants “all users to feel safe playing with other people on the Internet, not just those who choose to turn it on.”