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Blizzard wants to shut up abusive World of Warcraft players

Players repeatedly engaging in offensive behaviour could find themselves severely restricted in chat thanks to World of Warcraft's new Silence Penalty.

Screenshot by Luke Lancaster/CNET

Blizzard is rolling out a new way to deal with abusive World of Warcraft players prior to the release of the upcoming Legion expansion, the developer announced Tuesday.

The Silence Penalty, as Blizzard has dubbed the new method, will restrict how and where offensive or abusive users can interact with the other players in the online game.

Following multiple red flags and an investigation by Blizzard, silenced players will be unable to post to public chat channels or send private messages to most players for a set length of time. The first offence will incur a 24-hour ban, with each successive offense doubling their time in the sin bin.

Dealing with abuse online has been at the forefront of many online games and social networks. While Blizzard's solution may not be as novel as roping in a jury of your peers, it's a sure step in the right direction to safe online play.

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