Special Report : Social Games Policy On Cyber Bullying
For weeks now I have been talking about the issue of bullying on Facebook & within the social games. Today I am going to give you the policies of what some of the social game companies have to say on it which unfortunately isn’t much.
I contacted some of the major social game companies to get statements on their policies on the issue of bullying. Well the response was disappointing to say the least. I am very upset some of them didn’t even bother to respond I mean even Facebook responded so I guess to some of them this is a non issue or perhaps they just don’t have a set policy on the issue, which is another thing I found.
Well let’s start with the responses I did recieve :
Pop Cap the makers of such games like Bejeweled Blitz had this to say through spokesman Garth Chaouteau, ” We at Pop Cap dont have cyber bullying issues around our social games ( Bejeweled Blitz & Zuma Blitz ) , So I am afraid we’re not able to provide much perspective for your story at hand,sorry.”
Playfish the makers of such games like Restaurant City, Pet Society, Monopoly Millionaires & Madden Football had this to say through their spokesman Tom Sarris, “Playfish views cyber bullying in a very serious manner. We foster and maintain a zero tolerance policy within the Playfish community for players who instigate personal attacks on other community members, and who post insulting, inflammatory or rude material aimed at groups or individuals. While debate and discussion is strongly encouraged, we believe everyone in our community has the right to participate in a respectful environment in which they feel safe, free from harassment or discrimination. We will continue to enforce this policy and take timely and appropriate action against those who do not respect it.”
That is out of all the companies I contacted only 2 responded and only Playfish had a real policy in place, and it is a real good one too.
I waited almost 2 weeks for the other companies to respond and did try to contact them again but still no response. This is very disturbing as the victims of bullying seem to be getting no help from them at all even after they provided indisputable proof of the bullying & in some cases extortion attempts.
I do want to be fair here as just because the other companies didn’t respond to my requests on their bully policies doesnt mean they dont have one. Although if they did, you would think with all the publicity around the bullying issues around the world you would think they would like to let the world know what they have in place as it makes for good PR.
However I do know from talking with the social game giant Zynga that they do not have a real policy in place and they are looking to institute one soon that will be acceptable to the victims.
So what can a victim do right now if they are being bullied ? To be honest not a whole lot, it looks like all they can do is keep reporting it to both Facebook & the social game companies & make sure they give them as much proof that they can to fully document it.
I also suggest if you are being bullied &/or extorted contact your local police enforcement agency and if I was you contact your local TV stations & other media outlets to see if they can help force the social game companies & Facebook to deal with it quickly. While your at it why not contact your local political Representative as they love this stuff especially around election time because it means more votes to them. Remember, no one likes bad press.
I personally believe that Facebook & the social games need to work together. I think if you block someone from seeing your profile due to bullying issues then they should also be blocked from contact within the social games. This will help eliminate alot of issues and this really should be implemented ASAP. Unfortunately I don’t see this happening anytime soon unless you get the social game giant Zynga to step up and try to get it done with Facebook then the other will fall in place.
Why Zynga ? Well Zynga accounts for most of the real revenue that Facebook gets and Zynga also accounts for over 40% of the members on Facebook , so if the social game giant asks for this on behalf of the victims, I think Facebook might then have to act on it.
Bullying is not fun for the victims of it and can cause real emotional distress for many of the victims. I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away but I dont and unfortunately on Facebook we must wait for them to act. I am saddened see this happen to many good people I do know and the lack of support from Facebook & the social games has driven them away from all together. I can only hope for change.
If you want to help then I suggest we all start a campaign to let Facebook & these social games know how we feel. Bombard them with with your letters, petitions & support groups and let the world see how we are not going to take it anymore.