Back in September I reported on PS4 player Marmite_on_Toast who had been banned twice by Sony for the same offence. In what seemed to be an obvious case of double jeopardy.
Three months later and this tale is far from over. Despite getting his lifetime ban overturned in September Marmite_on_Toast has yet again received another lifetime ban. For the same offence!
If you are not familiar with Marmite_on_Toast’s story then you can read the original article I wrote in September here. I highly recommend you read that article before continuing.
When Marmite_on_Toast received his lifetime ban back in September he immediately appealed to Sony. His appeal was based on two main points:
- He had already served a ban for the offence
- This was clearly continued and sustained harassment from Player X
Sony took his points on board and overturned the life time ban. Just a week after having his account restored he received yet another lifetime ban for the exact same offence.
Yet again he appealed to Sony and pointed out that this is the exact same offence he was reported for twice before, the previous ban was overturned and this was continued and sustained harassment.
Sony refused to even entertain his plea saying that repeat infractions of Sony terms and conditions resulted in an automatic lifetime ban. Put simply because it is Marmite_on_Toast’s third time he has been reported there is no appeal.
No investigation by Sony. No room for context. In fact what has happened here is that Sony have essentially banned somebody for being a victim of harassment.
Marmite_on_Toast has no right to appeal. Sony are refusing to take context into count or listen to his defence. Despite sending multiple emails to Sony Support protesting his innocence. He has only received the exact same stock email in reply.
In today’s’ age of online gaming lifetime bans can be extremely catastrophic and I strongly believe they should be issued as a last resort.
I understand and accept that Sony have the right to protect their business and can deny access to their service if they wish. They also have a responsibility to protect users on their platform. So a policy of multiple infractions results in an automatic lifetime ban makes sense on the surface.
But what about cases like Marmite_on_Toast? Surely there should there be some form arbitration for him to make his defence? He blocked the player in question. He switched off the ability to receive messages. What more could he do? He has done everything he possibly could to protect his account but still gets a lifetime ban.
Whilst Sony has the right to deny service and protect its users where is Marmite_on_Toast’s right to protect his online identity? He has over a decade of friendships, content, progression and community links tied to his account.
Digital accounts are more than just a collection of licences to play games. They are an extension of our personalities. They are a portal to social circles. They enable us to foster and nurture deep and meaningful relationships. If Sony are truly “For the Players” then they need to reevaluate their process on automatic lifetime bans.
What are your thoughts on Marmite_on_Toast story? Have you suffered similar harassment online? Have you been unjustly banned from PSN? Do you agree with automatic lifetime bans? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Stoffel Presents has reached out to numerous contacts at Sony Interactive Europe and as of the time of writing has received no reply.