Sony has clarified more details about a controversial new PlayStation voice chat recording feature that was first mentioned in the latest update of 8.0 earlier this week, after some users were led to believe that the company would actively record and moderate conversations among private groups.
In a new blog post published Friday, Catherine Jensen, Sony’s vice president of global consumer experience, admits the company “should have explained more clearly why this feature was rolled out.”
Jensen now confirms that Sony will not actively listen to voice chats at all when the feature launches with the PS5 next month. “Its sole purpose is to assist in the reporting of inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our Community Code,”
Instead, the company says the feature will record the last five minutes of any private voice chat on a rolling basis. That way, if a user encounters harassment or something they feel violates Sony’s rules about player behavior, they can submit up to a 40-second clip that Sony’s moderation team can review. This includes 20 seconds of the potentially offensive behavior as selected by the user, with 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after the selected segment for added context.
“These reports can be sent directly via the PS5 console and sent to our Consumer Experience Team for moderation, who then listens to the recording and takes action if necessary. Some of the submitted reports are not valid, and our team uses this as an opportunity to provide guidance and training, ”Jensen explains.
She goes on to say that there will be no option to opt out of voice chat recording because Sony wants “all users to feel safe when playing with others online, not just those who choose to enable it.”