The squelching system allows a group of players to report others and ultimately apply Silence effects to the reported player. This system works fine under the assumption that all reports are accurate, but it’s ripe for abuse from false reports from those with an agenda, or players who are ignorant of the rules.
This system has been problematic over the years but has really shined brightly with the recent boosting policy changes. Guilds/individuals are consistently being squelched, with GMs subsequently overturning the squelches, simply because other players feel that others shouldn’t be allowed to post advertisements that fully comply with in-game rules and guidance.
The effects of a squelch are the same as an official Silence, with the exception that a squelch is not marked as an official penalty unless confirmed by a GM. That is, not only is chat crippled, but other in-game features, such as mailbox usage, premade group finder, etc. are crippled, leaving many innocent players unable to enjoy the game due to false/inaccurate reporting. Those are detailed in the following article:
Allowing a toxic group of players, or players ignorant of the rules, to quash the playing abilities of others, regardless of innocence, should NOT be permitted. Either one of the following solutions should be implemented as soon as possible:
- Nerf squelching so that its effects are limited to the channel that the reported message is contained in. This seeks a balance between “someone shouldn’t be able to spam racism all night” and “I did nothing wrong so why can’t I use mail or join groups too, and now I have to deal with tickets as well?”
- Remove the squelching feature altogether and only allow reported players to suffer consequences if a GM, and only a GM, determines a violation occurs.
In any case, the current squelching system that is, in essence, weaponized by anti-boosting mobs, players ignorant of the rules, or other groups, needs seriously addressed.
For those who don’t want to see advertisements that are compliant with the rules, use the ignore feature and quit making false reports.