DICE multiplayer producer David Sirland has blamed a supposed AI algorithm for banning the words “white man” from being used in the chat of Battlefield V. He claims that it was based on a dictionary and phrases used to escalate chat to “toxic” levels, and therefore that’s why “white man” was banned.
Sirland also noted in a tweet on September 15th, 2018 that the team would be changing this chat filter in the near future.
Because the system is using a dictionary derived from several EA games based on some sort of AI learning algorithm that has tagged certain combinations of words to be escalators to toxic chat (or similar, I don’t claim to understand how it works in detail) – we will change this.
— David Sirland (@tiggr_) September 15, 2018
Sirland’s explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense given that “Free DLC” is not banned from chat but “DLC” is. If the algorithm was banning words because of “toxic” escalation, then why is “DLC” banned but not “Free “DLC”?
And why is Nazis banned in the chat for a game set in World War II… about Nazis? This was covered by a wide range of YouTubers, including No Buillshit.
What’s more is that Sirland doesn’t mention anything about removing “white man” from the filter, only notes that they will “change” it.
Sirland also doesn’t address the Origin user IDs from prohibiting users from having “white man” as a user ID.
And yes, you can have “black man” and “Asian man” and “Hispanic man” as a user ID, just not any variation of “white man” or “white male”.
If it were a chat algorithm at work, why does it affect the user IDs?
And how is saying “white man” toxic?
Why are other races not banned from being said in chat?
How does the algorithm determine what “toxicity” is in regards to chats?
How does the algorithm know certain words lead to escalation and others don’t?
Sirland’s answer doesn’t really address anything and he deflects by saying it’s something that they will change but leaves it very vague. Given all the other negative press surrounding Battlefield V, and DICE’s obvious Leftist bent, it’s unlikely that the game will be all that popular when it launches in November… especially among white men.
(Thanks for the news tip Panda)