From one disaster to another. First a sex scandal, now ANOTHER moderation issue.
‘User-friendly’, ‘well moderated’ and ‘safe’ are just some of the words you may want to steer clear of when describing Sulake’s moderation scheme. Since the beginning of the English speaking hotel merge (and before) moderation has faced a huge decline in quality across hotels and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. We have recently learnt that the Singaporean moderators who worked on low-pay and knew little about the game, were made redundant and all moderation ended up outsourced to an external call centre.
That’s right, outsourced to an external call centre… in Costa Rica. (Click the image of the IM chat on the right to learn/see more.)
This move really sums up Sulake in a nutshell – ignorant. A business’s main priority should be profit AND customer support, not one or the other. Years ago, the large majority of the moderation team were ex-Hobbas (Hobbas were part of a community moderation system that was axed in 2005) but now it seems that you can have any job and become a Habbo moderator eh? The qualifications and veting process doesn’t seem to be to as much of a high standard as before. The cheap wages that they earn and the small number of player support staff on the hotel doesn’t present a fairly good image of Sulake either.
This cost cutting madness is really not something Sulake should be performing at the moment due to a latest sea of complaints about paedophilia occurring inside the hotel on a daily basis. Many users have now started wondering if Sulake or Habbo can “bounce back” or if this truly is “the beginning of the end”. It certainly will be the beginning of the end if users have to consistently endure poorer after poorer standards of moderation, heck moderators don’t even use the hotel these days. Habbo has become far too much of a profit making scheme than a “game” and the previous 2 CEOs seem to have done nothing about this.
In fact, Paul LaFontaine (current CEO of Sulake) himself claimed that moderation was the lowest per player on Habbo.com, yet the Habbo.com hotel is the third largest community. Failed logic seems to pop up left, right and centre.
Admittedly, moderators can’t track every single line of speech or every single IM sent and they certainly can’t help some users if they don’t send a help request. It’d be insanity if parents or users begged Sulake to anaylse every line of speech and moderators would certainly be working a lot longer and a lot harder, but all people want is decent moderators who preferably are not outsourced, play the hotel once in a while and speak fluent English – is that really such a big thing to ask for?
Oh well, let’s just wait for Sulake’s next fantastic update – maybe we can have a pet Giraffe that’ll go out of fashion in a week, maybe they’ll add the option to leave a trail of footprints wherever you walk and maybe they might even add an option to hug other Habbos!!! Silly, pointless and unnecessary.
Ironic isn’t it, the thing that is supposed to help us feel safe and secure (moderation schemes) is one of the things Sulake hide from us and then slowly destroy. Sure, users need to watch what they say on the hotel and if they are reported it is more than likely they will be banned eventually, but why aren’t we informed about who is actually “watching over us” hmm? I personally enjoyed the term “silent stalkers” when referring to moderators.
So Sulake, it’s your choice – customer consideration or complete ignorance? Let’s hope you make the right decision.
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