An Open Letter to Blizzard About Their Spam Problem
Dear Blizzard Entertainment,
I’m sure you like having the many gold farmers in your games that provide a considerable percentage of your revenue, but you just gotta fix the goddamn spam problem in your titles’ chat channels. (It was bad enough in World of Warcraft, but in Diablo III, it’s insanely horrible.)
Seriously, get smart and implement a URL blacklist within your games’ chat systems. When a gold spammer’s URL has been reported and you’ve acknowledged it, then add that URL to the blacklist, making it impossible for anyone to share that URL in any chat channel. If the spammers start using alt character workarounds, then add those, too. There’s only going to be a small number of ways to advertise a URL with alt characters and it still be legible by the populace, so I can’t see how a system like the one I propose will fail to work.
I’m sure the Blizzard apologists will say that such a system isn’t possible, or that it would be impossible for you to keep such a blacklist manually updated, but that’s surely 100% bullshit. Of all the things you can do with your software, adding a blacklist of particular URLs to the chat system is surely one of the easiest. And as for keeping up with the blacklist and updating it, I don’t see why you’d be unable to do that either. You most certainly have the resources, so just hire a couple of folks to do that job.
Hell, hire me, Blizzard…I’ll gladly take on those updating duties.
(If you simply refuse to work on a way to block spam from your games, then at least give us an option to opt-out of automatically joining any chat channels when we launch one of your titles.)