Punishment and Its Discontents: An Analysis of Permanent Ban in an Online Game Community

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15 Scopus citations


Platforms face the challenge of managing toxic behaviors such as flaming, hateful remarks, and harassment. To discipline their users, platforms usually adopt a punitive approach that issues punishments ranging from a warning message to content removal to permanent ban (PB). As the severest punishment, PB deprives the user of their privileges on the platform, such as account access and purchased content. But little is known regarding the experiential side of PB within the user community. In this study, we analyzed PB in League of Legends, one of the largest online games today. We argue that what PB does is not precisely to discipline players into well-behaved community members. Rather, PB functions to produce the stereotype of "the most toxic player"in the community and is best seen as a platform rhetoric. We further discuss the need to contextualize toxicity from the restorative lens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number334
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
StatePublished - Oct 18 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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