Open letter to Microsoft/Mojang

Dear Mojang team,

I have been playing Minecraft for a few years now, and I really love the game. However, I have some converns about the new Chat-Reporting feature. I understand that you probably just want the best for the community, but believe me when I say: If chat reporting is going to be working anywhere close to how it does on the bedrock edition, it will be no good.

Message security concerns

I know message integrity is ensured by the client and server. There is no room for technical error in the signing process, but there is an issue with chat preview: Many, if not most, players will not pay attention to that and a malicious server owner could inject content in the message just before it is sent, because many players will not double-check, and simply press enter. Double-Enter will also not change much about that, because it will become muscle-memory for sending the message quite quickly. There will be next to no conscious checking after a while. Live preview isn't much better: Servers might be so sinister as to check if the message ends with a period and only then modify part of it, maybe only the beginning so it isn't very obvious.

Concerns about context

I know context is sent along with the messages, but context might not include things that only the community of the server knows (running gags, etc). I am a member of the LGBT community and i occasionally use words some might consider bad when referring to myself. That's called reclaiming of words and has been done for decades. It's the act of using a "bad" word as if it wasn't "bad", with everyone around knowing that it isn't meant in a bad way. This could lead to false reports, where noone is actually offended, but a malicious player can abuse the situation to get another player banned.

Concerns about new players

New players might have no idea about chat reporting, and would be an easy target for ghostwriting (plugins modifying the text being sent). They might see the chat preview and simply be confused or ignore it, because no other games do it this way, for a good reason.

Why other games don't do this

Minecraft servers are hosted independently, meaning there can be modifications. That's why chat preview is required in the first place. However, no other games have chat preview. The reason for that is simple. All other games have either a) community servers, with community moderation, and no central report system; or b) developer-owned servers, with a central report system. This is also why I would be fine with realms having the report function. Those are owned by you, while community servers are not owned by you, and, in my opinion, shouldn't be your business to moderate.


Feel free to contact me!

I would love to hear what you, the reader, no matter if you are Mojang or not, think about this. Feel free to discuss and give feedback!

Discord TudbuT#2624