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Wii U Miiverse Will Use Human Screening

| 8 Jun 2012 03:55
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Nintendo employees will be on hand to make sure you don't write ****, **** or *********.

Gamers are, in my experience, prone to the desultory expletive, the occasional racial slur and the odd crudely-drawn phallus et scrotum combo. Their admirable determination to be base and awful to one another over the internet, no matter how hard service providers try to stop them, is legendary. So how does Nintendo intend to keep its Miiverse social network, which allows players to post drawings and scribbles they create on the Wii U's touch screen controller, clean and family friendly? According to Nintendo's chief executive, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo is going to use three separate systems.

First, all the content on the service will be fed through traditional content filtering software, which searches out all those unpleasant words kids hear in the schoolyard every day, and replaces them with harmless asterisks. Nothing your average teenager with a little bit of imagination and access to the odd mathematical symbol can't find his way around.

Then the posted content will be passed on to a human employee - one who can quite rightly claim to have the worst job in the world - who scans it for unpleasantness. Naturally using fallible, bathroom-break-taking flesh bags to check the content means there's going to be some delay between the content being submitted and it actually going up on the Miiverse feed. That'll likely depend on how many users are using the service (and presumably, on the suicide rate amongst the people Nintendo hires to check these messages), but according to Iwata anything up to a 30 minute wait would be "acceptable."

"The attraction of a social network is the immediacy of the feedback," he said. "On the other hand, it's absolutely essential that parents need to feel comfortable with Miiverse as a safe place for their children."

Finally, users can flag inappropriate content, should it make it past Nintendo's screening.

Personally, I'm not surprised. In the age of online consoles, Nintendo's family-friendly image relies on the company protecting its customer's darling offspring from the various horrors that inhabit the internet. The company hasn't been shy about reducing user convenience to achieve that goal: the unwieldy friend codes that hamstrung the Wii's multiplayer experience, being the most obvious example.

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Source: LA Times

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