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Riot Games to record Valorant voice chats and review for harassment, hate speech

There are currently no plans to implement this change in League of Legends, Riot says.

Riot is looking to combat player harassment in Valorant.
Riot Games; screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Riot Games has updated its privacy notice and terms of service to say it can now record and potentially review voice chats of players who are using Riot-owned voice comms channels, the company said in a Friday blog post. Riot said it's making the change to help curb harassment, hate speech and other disruptive behavior from players. Valorant is currently the only game from the company that'll utilize voice data recordings and reviews, Riot says. 

"Even though the legal document update gives us the ability to capture voice data," Riot said in its post, "League of Legends, Wild Rift, and Teamfight Tactics currently have no plans to record player voice chat or expand the voice chat capabilities beyond party voice chat. Legends of Runeterra does not have any plans to implement voice chat."

The privacy notice requires players of all Riot games to accept the changes. 

When a player reports disruptive or offensive behavior in voice comms, Riot will evaluate relevant voice data to examine whether "our behavior agreement was violated," the company said in the post. If a player is found to be in violation, Riot will "take action," it said. Once the data is made available to the player who was subject to the violation and it isn't needed for review anymore, it'll be deleted, Riot said, "similar to how we currently handle text-based chat reports." If the company doesn't find any violations or if a report isn't made quickly enough, the data will be deleted. 

"Creating an inclusive gaming space means we need to foster an environment of respect, safety, and positivity for all players," Riot wrote in its blog post. "Valorant launched with more comprehensive voice comms than we use with League. And we're very happy with how Valorant voice works overall. However, we wanted a more reliable method to prevent disruptive behavior in our voice comms services."

The developer said it's been examining disruptive behavior in its offerings and has found that voice evaluation is a step that could make its games "better for everyone who plays them." Voice recordings can serve as "clear evidence to verify violations of behavioral policies before we take action," Riot said.