Standardizing the language to ensure good community management practices
We’ve carefully chosen this list of 37 report and ban categories for Minecraft servers to help you better communicate and enforce community management policies with players and staff. Consistency is key when it comes to taking action and enforcing rules on a Minecraft server, and that consistency begins with standardizing the language used to describe potential offenses.
In time, by using these categories when issuing reports about your players you’ll start to uncover exactly where your server’s biggest strengths and weaknesses lie. Identifying and understanding these factors can be game changers to building a positive and more transparent server culture. In the future you’ll even be able to get long-term insights into how your player culture is evolving as policies are put into place based on these categories, and acted upon by you and your team members.
Use this list in your rules and enforcement
There are a number of positive impacts on your community that will come out of using this list of report, ban, mute, and kick categories with your server staff. It reduces confusion, makes it easier to create processes or act on different situations, and gives you more information about the health of your player-base.
Most importantly: Speaking the same language and tracking the same behavior categories can benefit the entire Minecraft server scene when we discuss and tackle these challenges. It can also help servers to educate players about those behaviors and actions taken to combat them.
Rather than analyzing hundreds (or 30,000 as we saw on one network) of self-defined text descriptions attached to bans, kicks, mutes, and reports, you can simplify. Many of these descriptions are only different due to typos or different input formats by moderators, which makes identifying solutions for problem areas in communities nearly impossible.
An example of a ban with the “antisocial” category using the GamerSafer plugin.
All of these categories are available as ban, report, mute, and kick reasons for your staff to use within the GamerSafer plugin or in the community guidelines and tools you already use on your servers.
Why we chose these categories:
We’ve chosen these categories as the foundation for where we’ll begin our journey with building better Minecraft player reporting and community management tools.
The categories also follow the latest reports created by organizations like Fair Play Alliance and Anti-Defamation League, trends in the gaming industry overall, and the specific use-case for Minecraft servers. If you have any suggestions or questions about any of the below categories, feel free to reach out to us using the form at the bottom of this page.
If some of these categories aren’t relevant to your community, that’s OK! But we do suggest you at least consider each category and your processes and enforcement policies for them so that you and your team are prepared before they happen.
37 Report, Ban, Mute, and Kick Categories:
Toxicity and Disruptions
Minecraft is a global game attracting people of all ages, demographics, cultures, backgrounds, and religions. While some players may choose to play solo, antisocial behavior can lead to the community feeling isolated.
Aggressive hostile behavior is often seen in competitive gamemodes as players get angry at the performance of themselves, opponents, or even other teammates. This can ruin the mood for everyone and cause tilted behaviors for a while.
While sometimes this behavior can fall under the “Hostility” category, excessive blaming can be done when a player is being called out for other disruptive behaviors, and can include blaming the server itself for problems.
Rather than acting out of anger or resentment, players who troll the community tend to have fun with their disruptions. Their intent is to upset and provoke negative reactions out of players.
Hostility and disruptive behaviors may not just lead to chat misbehavior, but also lead some players to acting out in the game and sabotaging the performance of the group or team.
Different communities and regions in the world have different rules of etiquette for what constitutes swearing. Communication and consistency is key when defining your rules with this.
Players may be intentionally trying to annoy others, or they may not understand that they’re crossing a boundary. Either way, this behavior can be frustrating and cause players to leave if they feel they can’t escape.
Part of what makes Minecraft so appealing is that players can explore being creative, and when creations are destroyed after 100s of hours spent building them it can make even the most dedicated players quit.
Smurfing generally refers to the act of playing on low-level alt accounts in order to level up or farm, but we also include camping low-level players in this category as it results in new players having a poor experience.
Minecraft server economy and performance balancing can be tough challenges to tackle, and even more-so when people abuse features to farm money and resources beyond excess. Does anyone really need 10k iron /hour? Maybe some servers, but not all.
The difference between this category and others is that it isn’t about abusing in-game features or using a hacked client, but in using external tech in an unintended way to get an advantage. The ease of access to these tactics can show habitually in exploiters of them.
Spamming isn’t just the behavior of someone who wants to be annoying. It could also be someone spamming invite links, self-advertisements scam links, or phishing attempts. Bots that are sending spam messages are covered under the “Botting” category, since they are not a real person.
Botting & Alt-Abuse
Alts and bots are easy to come by in the Minecraft community and can cause significant disruption on a server if abused. Many Minecraft chat bots target servers in order to spam invite links to other servers and websites.
Mobbing behavior can be done for a multitude of reasons, but can quickly escalate as the members of the “mob” feels encouraged to continue the behavior by their peers. It can easily turn into a form of targeted group bullying and harassment.
Minecraft is the epitome of being able to create whatever content you want, but that doesn’t mean all content is good for your community or target demographic. This includes in-game builds, skins, and links in chat.
Even though “Punishment Evasion” is usually done with a player using an alt account, this wouldn’t fall under the “Alt-Abuse” category because of difference in intent, effect, and impact of the behavior. This includes Ban & Mute Evasion.
Harms and Crimes
This category can cover a wide range of behaviors, but ultimately it comes down to whether or not the server is able to function optimally, which in some cases can be considered a crime. This category includes griefing staff and preventing them from doing their jobs.
Chances are your server has experienced or will experience a player using a hacked client to get an unfair advantage. This breaks leaderboard trust and pushes honest players to leave if they feel there’s no chance for them to progress on the server (or to start hacking themselves).
It can be incredibly harmful if a server has its payment processor frozen because a player falsely reported them for fraud, but it can happen. Sometimes by minors who used a parent’s credit card without permission, which is why GamerSafer provides verified parental consent.
This behavior typically occurs outside of Minecraft in places like Discord or social media and can be hard to track. It can be especially harmful depending on the player’s age, gender, or sexuality. If a child is involved as a victim, contact NCMEC.
Online grooming is a crime involving an adult (abuser) befriending a child online and building trust with the intention of exploiting and causing them harm. Harm will often be sexual, both in person and online, and begins with moving a child into private chat channels.
The world’s current events can be quite polarizing on social media and destroy an otherwise healthy community. Some extremist groups look for safe-havens to recruit new members in the unfiltered and unmoderated chats of multiplayer games.
A common behavior that can often reveal other disruptive behaviors in competitive communities. Young players or those struggling emotionally/mentally can be especially sensitive to this bullying and immediately leave a game if pushed.
When interacting with players who make self-harm threats, it is hard to know who is really at risk and who is not. Each threat should be treated with care to get the person help. A clear policy for how to handle this is critical for the safety of those who need help.
It can be easy to dismiss the concerns of players who say they are being targeted for their race if we don’t understand different cultural experiences. Hearing players out who report this behavior can help keep the game positive and inclusive for all.
Women and girls who experience gender based insults or feel targeted are more likely to stop using chat or take other measures to hide their identity/gender. This compromises their experience, puts their team at a disadvantage, & lowers community engagement.
LGBTQ+ members of your community may not want to discuss their sexuality or out themselves publicly. Comments or jokes about someone’s identity or sexual orientation can be very hurtful and compromise their experience or community image.
Minecraft is a global game with millions of players representing different cultures & religions. Players who show xenophobic behavior may believe they speak for all members of the community, while those they target silently listen in chat and drift away.
Sometimes targeted harassment of an individual isn’t related to the victim’s gender, race, religion, or sexuality, but instead uses name-calling and attacks to humiliate someone for seemingly no reason at all. What may seem like “innocent” bullying can lead to depression and self-harm.
Online interpersonal and parasocial relationships can feel very real to some players, and they may take things too far by following the object of their attention everywhere online. Victims may be uncomfortable, annoyed, or threatened by the stalker, and choose to leave the server to escape.
Stolen and shared accounts can not only cause a lot of confusion for server staff trying to manage a community, but can also lead to a player’s reputation being damaged. Encourage players to use GamerSafer for identity verification and a secure password that they don’t share with others.
Scamming isn’t just about trying to get access to a player’s Minecraft account or digital goods. Some players use the same passwords across many of their online accounts, and gambling in-game can lead to gambling IRL goods. Scammers may attempt to get more access to other PII.
On some servers, players know that others that are playing might be young impressionable kids that they can manipulate to do what they want. Staff impersonation can make the work of server staff difficult, but it can also be a source of annoyance when players realize they’ve been lied to.
Swatting is the act of calling the police with a false threat of violence and giving another player’s address as the scene of the crime. In the US the SWAT team can be called out depending on the severity of the false threat. This is a serious crime and has even resulted in gamers being harmed or killed.
Doxing is the act of leaking a player’s personal information online. This can be done as an act of revenge or even innocently if players share someone’s private contact information or location without their permission in chat. Doxing is sometimes followed by severe targeted harassment.
While not a common issue in the Minecraft server scene, some people will ask for real life goods in return for some activity or exchange of items on a server. This can be a serious risk for minors or people who should not share their address publicly. It can also lead to other frauds, scams, stalking, and harms.
There are many reasons why a player might choose to make a real-life violent physical threat against another player or staff member. Even though the likelihood of an online stranger following through on a physical threat is low, it can happen and should be guarded against.
Self-Ban Requests & Auto-Ban Systems
Consider including “Self-Ban Request” and “Auto-Ban System” categories to your report lineup so that you can track players that are banned for these unique circumstances. Some players, or their parents, may decide that they need a break from the game to focus on school, work, or other priorities, but they don’t want the temptation of joining.
Taking action is the best way to impact the Minecraft community
If you liked this blog post, spread the message!