Minecraft is on fire. At least that’s how it currently feels if you follow the fandom on social media or certain message boards. A portion of the community is up in arms following the news that developer Mojang won’t back down from a controversial move to open private servers up to moderation and account-wide player bans. Fans are now rallying around the battle cry “Save Minecraft” against what they see as an existential threat to massively popular online builder.
“If Mojang thinks that every skilled coder who is against this system won’t try and embarrass them by breaking this system, I would bet against Mojang,” big-time Minecraft YouTuber, Taylor “AntVenom” Harris, tweeted. “Not a threat btw. Just calling it like it is. #SaveMinecraft.” Another player was more succinct. “Fuck 1.19.1,” they wrote in a tweet that’s since blown up. Some are blaming the studio itself. Others believe the policy change is coming from Microsoft and are blaming the tech giant.
Mojang and Microsoft declined to comment.
The hate and the hashtag are all because of Wednesday’s v1.19.1 update for Minecraft: Java Edition. Players can now report one another for “inappropriate chat messages or dangerous behavior,” even on private servers. “The type of behavior that will get you banned is hate speech, bullying, harassing, sexual solicitation, or threatening others,” Mojang wrote in an FAQ.
The reports go to Minecraft moderators who then determine what follow-up action there should be, if any, including player bans. It sounds like a good system, especially for a game marketed toward kids that anyone can play. But it’s also a major intrusion into a part of Minecraft that has historically been ruled purely by players.