Shadowbanning of Elite Dangerous ‘slavers’ is reportedly corroborated by email screenshots

    
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The actions of the 7th Labor Division (7LD) group in Elite: Dangerous, who readers will recall were ensnaring brand-new players into mining servitude while actively keeping them misinformed about ways to escape, appear to have hit the consequence phase.

Earlier this week, at the end of an article detailing an interview with one of the group’s leaders from YouTuber The Pilot, we updated the story with word from the Fuel Rats that members of 7LD were receiving actions on their game accounts. Thanks to a new video from YouTuber ObsidianAnt, it appears that these “shadowbanning” reports are accurate.

This corroboration comes by way of people sharing emails from Frontier Developments that once again explain their accounts are banned from playing in private groups or Open Play and fleet carriers are inaccessible due to violation of the scamming section of the game’s TOS.

ObsidianAnt reached out to his contacts in FDev for comment about the matter, who stated, “Account details (including any action taken) are between Frontier and the account owners” and that “If anyone has lost access to their carrier unexpectedly, they should go through the usual bug report/support channels.” Furthermore, when ObsidianAnt asked a CM about whether FDev would make any further public statements about the whole ordeal, he was told, “I don’t expect we’ll comment anything further on the topic publicly.”

It’s once more important to note that these shadowban reports are coming from players, and it’s also important to note that members of 7LD plan to appeal the decision. You can get ObsidianAnt’s full report in the embed below.

sources: YouTube, Reddit
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lolzzer

This is simple f*ck-up by the Frontier community manager who banned this player with “Deceiving and exploiting other players; this breaches our Code of Conduct.”

The Frontier Code of Conduct does not prohibit deceiving and exploiting other players. If it did, a pirate would get banned for texting bluffs like “Give up your cargo or you’ll die “.

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lolzzer

Well, either a Frontier f*ck-up or a Frontier publicity stunt.

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Richard de Leon III

Unfortunately when given free reign, players tend to push the boundaries. In this case, the line they crossed merited the nuke option. By saying there was no specific prohibited offense, it was up to the players to moderate themselves. But most intelligent people know you cant give players unrestricted freedom to act, they invariably become the worst of humanity. Frankly all these players deserved to be banned once they started using terms/tactics universally condemned and the way they were proud of cheating other players.

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lolzzer

No-one’s suggesting players get unrestricted freedom to act. Players’ freedom is already restricted by the Code of Conduct. But those restrictions don’t include deceiving and exploiting other players, despite Frontier’s claim.

As for your claim these pranksters are cheating, well, no-one else is claiming this is cheating – including Frontier.

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Ironwu

For me personally, this statement by FD is simply not good enough.

It smacks of the old ‘slap on the wrist’ sort of ‘bans’ that have predominated companies that care more about profits than customers.

These days, something a lot stronger is needed to combat this sort of behavior and solidify that it is simply not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Just my 2c.

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Peregrine Falcon

Not good enough? There is literally nothing else that Frontier can do to these people. What would you have Frontier do? Hire hit-squads to go after them IRL?

What specifically do you think Frontier should do?

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Ironwu

I expect FD THEMSELVES to detail their actions. Not have some 3rd party speculate on those actions. Not needing to name names, but certainly to say what was done.

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Armsman

They FD are doing something legally – IE Taking action against someone for a violation of their TOS. By law, IF they post information about suck action and name the individual publicly (or release more personal details they may have) – it opens them up to Civil action from the player.

They said what they can say: “It’s a legally private matter between the company (FDev) and the person/player the action is taken against.

IF the person involved wants to announce the situation publicly, that’s their right; but FDev DOSEN’T have the legal right to do that for them (without the involved players consent).

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Peregrine Falcon

“I expect FD THEMSELVES to detail their actions.”

They did when they announced “Account details (including any action taken) are between Frontier and the account owners”.

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Greaterdivinity

What “stronger” measures can Frontier take beyond literally banning them from the game? Should they track down the user and hire a local PI to harass them a bit or something? Leave flaming bags of poop on their doorstep? Spam their email account with garbage, or sign them up for a ton of spam emails?

I mean what measures, beyond the confines of their product and removing the users access to that product, should a company take against a user that’s not doing anything illegal but just immoral?

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Ironwu

What FD actually has done is not really known as they have not announced or detailed what they have done. All that is available is 3rd party speculation.

And just FYI, what they were doing IS against TOS/EULA. Have a read, if might be informative. :)

EmberStar
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EmberStar

And once again I’ll point out that it almost NEVER happens that companies will publicly announce actions taken against a private account. They aren’t being lazy here, there’s apparently legal reasons why they *really* don’t want to do this. (I am not a lawyer.)

I really don’t understand what you expect Frontier to do here, or what you’re using as a basis of comparison. The only times I remember (without looking it up) that companies announce bannings: When they’ve done a major ban sweep and are stating that they’ve removed tens of thousands of accounts for exploits or other violations. (A group so broad that no one can claim they were specifically singled out.)

Or very specific cases of banning an individual from eSports because how how high profile it is when someone who streams to a massive audience suddenly can’t log in. Blizzard vs esports because Hong Kong. And that was mostly from the Chinese side wanting to make an example of how hard and fast they were stomping and how few damns they gave about “freedom of speech (lol).”

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Jon Wax

Really?

you don’t think “Hi, this is a guy from Sony. We just want to officially say XX_SmokeDawg420_XX has been banned for bad behaviour. We just thought you should know this. Carry on.”

what could possibly go wrong. Seeing as how the web is so full of stable, rational thinking individuals.

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Greaterdivinity

Companies rarely comment on user actions, and for plenty of good reason including liability and privacy. They’ve apparently been banned, which is what should have happened, and they don’t need to publicly confirm any actions taken for you.

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lolzzer

And just FYI, what they were doing IS against TOS/EULA. Have a read, if might be informative. :)

Frontier made this ban for “deceiving and exploiting other players breaching the Code of Conduct.” and anyone who reads that code can see no, that does not breach the Code of Conduct.

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Utakata

“What ‘stronger’ measures can Frontier take beyond literally banning them from the game?”

Eradicating offending players via a death ray from an orbital satellite. But I suspect that will run into legal fouls with a multitude of jurisdictions and their enforcement agencies… o.O

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David Goodman

I ran this suggestion through Compliance and they told me that getting finance to approve the energy cost would be virtually impossible.

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Bruno Brito

Just sponsor the ray. Everytime it fires, it yells BITCONNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECT

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Jon Wax

I think thats more of a Grand Theft Auto thing…?

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I mean, at the rate we’re going it won’t be long till they do the whole mass driver idea where they just let gravity impel a heavy object into a city from space to wipe it out for that one person’s infractions…

(I believe there was a movie about that a little while back…but I might be mixing it up with that Gerard Butler film Geostorm in my brain…)

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Bruno Brito

Leave flaming bags of poop on their doorstep?

Let’s all agree it would be a great headline to wake up to tomorrow.

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Jon Wax

as opposed to the bags they leave in our machines?

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lolzzer

What “stronger” measures can Frontier take beyond literally banning them from the game?

Send the police ships after them? The super-duper police ships that were added in Frontier’s latest attempt to fix the Crime and Punishment system. Except oh, they are still virtually useless.

Frontier, fix your game mechanics to punish in-game misbehaviour with in-game mechanics. And stop misusing the Code of Conduct as a band-aid for broken mechanics.

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Neurotic

I like the flaming bags of poop idea, I could definitely get behind that. (Well, not literally of course, the smell would be horrendous, but you know what I mean).

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Jon Wax

“want me to hold his arms back so you can hit him?”

cmon man

its a game

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Daniel Veit

This just looks like regular banning of accounts. Maybe just adding restrictions to accounts. I thought “Shadowbanning” was such that the account user did not see the restrictions. Hence, the ‘shadow’ part.

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Hikari Kenzaki

You’re right. That’s not what shadowban means.

The term originated when users on social media would get limited by “quality features” to the point that friends and family could not see their posts in the feed.

These days, it’s used as a buzzword and dog-whistle by generally bad people to play the victim and probably should not be perpetuated by MOP

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Armsman

Except E:D isn’t just a MMO only. You can play it privately (you still need a connection to the server); but the option is there. Therefore no, the player HASN’T lost access to the game itself, they are just banned from the multiplayer aspect – so no it’s not a full ban where they’re lost any and all access to the game they paid for – so it that context it is a ‘shadow ban’ as they still have access to the single player game.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

There’s also the part where they (apparently?) are also being removed from the calculations that affect NPC and in-game factions and stuff. So if someone really wanted to reach, they could point out that they’re being banned from even casting a shadow on the game. They can do stuff solo, but since they can’t interact with other players and can’t influence NPCs in any way, it’s as if they no longer exist. *makes logical equivalent of Kermit flails*

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dreamer

There’s nothing “shadow” about it in that context either. The term to describe that is “partial ban.”

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I don’t use Twitter, so I’d only heard the term “shadow ban” used in the context of something like Youtube. Specifically when a content creator would ask people to comment if they had gotten notifications about new videos or if they were seeing this just because they manually check for new videos… because the content creator has noticed their viewer numbers have dropped off a cliff for no other obvious reason. (IE, they did something to anger The Algorithm.)

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Thoughts and prayers.