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More: https://rework.withgoogle.com/case-studies/riot-games-assessing-toxicity/

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    “Riot asks applicants for their in-game handle during the application process so they can review their gameplay and identify any toxic chats and behaviors.” The idiom that toxic players are toxic employees seems intuitively right so I appreciate wanting to be proactive. However I fear that this is a slippery slope.

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      There’s already been a rash of employers wanting access to prospective employees' Facebook accounts to vet them, so I think we’re getting pretty far down that slope (I’d consider that worse than this case, since Facebook for most people has more private things than a game chat log does).

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        There’s already been a rash of employers wanting access to prospective employees' Facebook accounts to vet them

        In some states, these Jawohl Mein Employer practices (i.e. demanding that employees give access to social media accounts, personal email, or previous W-2s) are illegal. Unfortunately, most people don’t know that, and it’s hard to say, “What you just asked me to do is illegal” without losing the job.

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          and it’s hard to say, “What you just asked me to do is illegal” without losing the job.

          It seems to me that if these laws were written such that a person wasn’t required to show “harm” in order to get punitive damages from the company they would be much, much more effective. In fact, you might even end up with people who make their living by enforcing laws and regulations for us, and the violators would be the ones paying for the enforcement mechanism!

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          I’ve heard that some US employers (though perhaps not in our industry) have been demanding drug tests for a long time. Makes me wonder what the hell went wrong in the Land of the Free.

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        Not the onion.

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          It seems like Riot may have acted prematurely in doing this. This kind of tactic really will only work once, after which everyone will get multiple accounts and make sure they stay safe on their “work-LoL”. Do they have anything to prevent this behavior?

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            A) Human beings are so bad at operational security.

            B) A 3-month-old account of an obviously talented (by game stats) player is clearly not their first one.

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              Will I get fired if I only disclose 1 or 2 of my accounts and they find out I have a 3rd? What if I’m good in LoL but have a toxic account in WoW?

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              Obvious creepy factor aside, is there any evidence that this actually works?

              I’d prefer a coworker that takes out their steam on online avatars than on coworkers any day. Obviously a zen master who is capable of resolving anger as it comes up is best, but I’ve run into people who are incredibly toxic and aggressive but never explicit as well as extremely big-hearted and loving folks who cuss like sailors, and so can imagine this kind of policy leading to an extremely toxic passive aggressive culture.

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                Obvious creepy factor aside, is there any evidence that this actually works?

                Corporate management fashion often goes against evidence. (Although in this case my gut feeling says that those who are assholes anywhere are assholes everywhere.)

                As you say, cussing like a proverbial sailor is not the same as being incredibly toxic. It’s the latter behaviour you want to weed out, but I’m doubtful that Riot is good at recognizing it.

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                  Employers don’t want “extremely big-hearted and loving folks”. They want obedient workers.

                  Passive aggression is more damaging to the company, but less of a threat to management and its social position. So, contrary to what one might hope for, the typical middle manager would rather have the slowly corrosive passive aggressive person than the one who’s a really great human being but might show short-lived and harmless emotional incontinence when frustrated.

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                  Fron the second article:

                  If a new player encounters toxic behavior in their very first game, they are 320% less likely to come back again.

                  What? Instead of 10 out of X coming back, you get -22 out of X?

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                    I suspect happy players are 320% more likely to return, but math is hard.

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                      Yeah, basic arithmetics is indeed non-trivial. Maybe we all should use decibels instead of percents to avoid this particular kind of mistakes in the future.