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Sony clarifies when and how recordings of PS5 voice chats are listened to

Sony has clarified more details on a controversial new PlayStation voice chat recording feature, first mentioned in its most recent 8.0 update earlier this week after some users believed the company was actively recording and recording conversations between private groups would moderate.

In a new blog post posted on Friday, Catherine Jensen, Sony’s vice president of global consumer experience, admits that the company “should have explained more clearly why this feature was introduced”.

Jensen has now confirmed that Sony will not actively listen in to voice chats when the feature is started with the PS5 next month. “Its only purpose is to help report inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our Community Code of Conduct,”

; she writes. “Please note that this function never actively monitors or listens to your conversations – and is reserved exclusively for reporting online abuse or harassment.”

Instead, the company states that the feature continuously records the last five minutes of private voice chat. That way, if a user encounters harassment or something they believe is against Sony’s rules on gamer behavior, they can submit a clip of up to 40 seconds for review by the Sony moderation team. This includes 20 seconds of user selected potentially disruptive behavior, 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after the selected segment for the added context.

“These reports can be submitted directly from the PS5 console and sent to our Consumer Experience team for moderation, who will listen to the recording and take action if necessary. Some reports submitted are not valid and our team will use this as an opportunity to provide guidance and clarification, ”explains Jensen.

She goes on to say that there will be no way to disable voice chat recording as Sony wants “all users to feel safe playing with others online, not just those who enable them”.

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