Public Service Announcement Regarding Minecraft Realms

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by cheracc, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    As you may or may not be aware, Mojang has recently released their “Minecraft Realms” service in North America. Minecraft Realms allows players to purchase a subscription for an additional monthly fee, which will allow them to have control over and run their own “server”, to which they can invite other players to play on. You can read more about it here: https://minecraft.net/realms

    For Parents:

    We (The Sandlot) have always had, as a part of our rules, a restriction on sharing personal information and account names for other services, including other private or public Minecraft servers. This is done solely for the protection of our players, as we cannot control what is done, said, or asked on any server other than ours.

    However, with the introduction of Minecraft Realms, we are encountered with a service that we cannot block or restrict. Any player with a Minecraft Realms subscription can “invite” any other player to play on their “server”. This can be done completely without our knowledge – a player can send invitations to everybody on our online players list, and we would never know they were sent. This is important, because your son, daughter, or other relative could be invited to a private server by anybody that has their player name. And we don’t know about it, so we can’t tell you.

    We are thus forced to make you aware and ask you, as parents, to speak with your kids about joining Realms servers that they may be invited to. We would like to officially encourage you to disallow your children from joining any Minecraft Realms server that does not belong to someone that you or your family knows intimately in real life. Kids don’t understand that the “12 year old girl named Savanna” that they have been playing with for the past week could really be “Rufus the 44 year old creep”. And once they are on Rufus’s server, his messages and actions are no longer being logged and supervised by someone that could turn that information over to you or the authorities as we are able to.

    So we ask you, please have this conversation with your kids/loved ones. Please urge them to not accept invitations or join Minecraft Realms servers that belong to people they don’t know in real life.

    EDIT: I have started a discussion on Reddit, requesting that Mojang add a "Parental Controls" option that would limit what servers/Realms your kids can connect to. Please comment on or "upvote" that post if you agree with my request.

    For Our Younger Players:

    I am intentionally going to make this sound scary. Because it IS scary.

    You may get invitations from your “friends” to play on Minecraft Realms servers with them. These may be “friends” that you have played with, built with, teamed with, etc., over the last days, weeks, or months. You have invited them to live with you, kill others in Hunger Games, build fantastical things in Creative, or shared your Skyblock island with them.

    The important information that is lacking here is that you have never met this person in real life. It is a fact that there are grown adults out on the internet whose sole driving force is to hurt kids your age. These people are smart, and they are very good at tricking you into thinking they are somebody they are not. They know how to talk to you to make them believe they are a boy or girl your age. They may pretend to be multiple different kids, to trick you even further into thinking that they are trustworthy, since you might know Suzy, Roger, and Caroline, and they all know each other, leading you to think that you can trust any of them. They could all be the same person. You would probably never know the difference until it is too late. All a person like this needs from you is some minor information, like what school you go to, what street you live on, what mall you like to shop at, etc., and all of a sudden they know where to find you.

    There are lots of tricks that the staff of The Sandlot know to look out for. If something bad ever did happen, we have logs of who you talked to and where they connected from. We can give these to the police, and this information can help to find you. These creeps know that they are being watched while on our server, which hopefully deters them from even being here in the first place.

    But if they invite you to a Minecraft Realms server, we have no way of knowing who it was and nothing to provide to your parents or the police in the event that something bad happens.

    I do not mean to imply that every person on our server is definitely a creep of some kind and you shouldn’t talk to anybody. That is certainly not true. But we also cannot guarantee that everybody here is who they say they are. And more than anything, we want you to be safe. For this reason, we very strongly urge you not to connect or accept invitations to a Minecraft Realms server from people that you do not know in real life. Similarly, if you have your own Minecraft Realms subscription, please share it with your real-life friends, and don’t try to invite people you only know from online – you also don’t know who they are. It isn’t safe. Don’t do it!

    I am going to reiterate that one more time, because it is very important:

    Do not connect to, send, or accept invitations to a Minecraft Realms server to or from anybody that you do not know in real life. It is not safe.

    Please help us to discourage others from doing so. If you see or hear people talking about their Realms server, urge them to use it to play with their real-life friends from school, church, camp, etc. Be nice, but encourage them not to invite other kids from The Sandlot, and share with them that it isn’t safe. We aren’t going to make it against the rules to do so, simply because we have no way to enforce it. It is up to you to protect yourself, and we hope we can rely on everyone to help keep The Sandlot a safe place for all of our players.

    Thanks for your time in reading this!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. bobandbunny

    bobandbunny Official Carrot Taste-Tester Moderator VIP Elder

    Okay thx cheracc
     
  3. Zaerudath

    Zaerudath Novice

    This is why Sandlot is important. Thank you!
     
  4. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    I've started a discussion on reddit asking for the introduction of parental controls for Minecraft. The link is in the main post. Please comment or upvote if you would like to see this. Please note that reddit is not exactly a child-friendly site and that all content there is user-generated.
     
  5. Shalinn

    Shalinn Novice

    What an excellent post (and reddit post)! Thank you, cheracc! What you do for everyone's safety is much appreciated!
     
  6. bighatscoutguy

    bighatscoutguy Expert Moderator VIP

    From Cheracc, Owner of The Sandlot Minecraft Server: ADD PARENTAL CONTROLS TO MINECRAFT!!!
    I run what I believe is the largest whitelisted, rules-enforced kid-friendly Minecraft server. We have an extensive approval process, requiring signed forms from parents of kids under 13 in order for them to join our server. It is highly regarded by parents, and our mission and rules are primarily focused on the safety of the kids that play there.
    For the past two years, we have had strict rules against sharing servers, private or otherwise. Our reasoning for this is that many of the kids on our server are there because their parents trust that they aren't viewing unsavory content, nor are they being solicited by child predators, and they also understand that we are fully willing to comply and cooperate with them and law enforcement should anything necessitating that cooperation occur during their child's time on our server. But once they leave our server, we can no longer guarantee any of this.
    With the introduction of Minecraft Realms, we can't restrict this anymore. We can't log when a player sends or receives an invite to a Realms server - they can do so with no communication, and thus, we can't even inform a parent that their kid might be playing on a private server with who-knows-who.
    My main concern is that a predator will troll our server, pretending to be a kid, seeking and looking for kids, then inviting them to a Realms server. Once on that Realms server, they can do their "dirty work" and manipulate the kid into getting whatever information they are after. We then don't have any logs of it, and we don't even know who invited them if they didn't discuss it in-game.
    We want parents to have the ultimate "say" in what servers their kids have access to and are allowed to play on. Many other games have "parental controls" settings, which are locked to a parent's password, and restrict certain game features. Especially with the introduction of Minecraft Realms, it would be greatly appreciated if you could introduce a parental portal for Minecraft.net, where parents can enable/disable the ability to connect to realms servers. Thus if I, or any parent, does not want their kid playing on someone else's private Realms server, I could toggle a box on your website and disable that button in-game. Alternately, this could all be done with a password-protected "Parent Controls" menu in the game client itself.
    I'd also like to expand this request further and ask that you provide an option for parents to define which multiplayer servers their kids can connect to. This would ideally block the "Add Server" button in-game, and either require a parent-defined password for them to add a server, or else add the option to add servers to the multiplayer server list via the minecraft.net website.
    Lots of parents are genuinely concerned about what their kids are exposed to on the internet, and I think providing these controls would increase both their peace of mind and comfort with letting their kids play your awesome game.
     
  7. bighatscoutguy

    bighatscoutguy Expert Moderator VIP

    copy and paste the above post to mojang and the minecraft facebook page.
     
  8. Indrichi

    Indrichi Expert VIP Elder

    Perhaps a local solution could be a plug-in that required new players to select a 'nickname' that was different from their minecraft account name, which would be used instead whenever they are logged into the Sandlot? Then not stating your actual account name could be added to the rule regarding privacy.

    I'm glad I'm a nerdy gamer-dad. I see every silly thing my kids do online because I'm right here doing it with them :lol:
     
  9. bighatscoutguy

    bighatscoutguy Expert Moderator VIP

    adding parental control is a much needed change mojang has to do. a plugin like you describe would be cumbersome at best. being a good dad is not nerdy..also..name calling is not allowed please jail yourself for describing yourself as 'nerdy' lol
     
  10. LuckyLeo

    LuckyLeo Expert VIP Helper

    Thanks, cheracc! Though I don't have a Reddit account, I would like it! :D
     
  11. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    Yeah in my opinion the whole thing is a fault (likely just an oversight) on Mojang's part. I can't spend my life fixing their stuff, I already don't have enough time to fix my own stuff :lol:

    Totally anonymous invites to Realms servers is a terrible idea. I would have spoken up sooner if I knew that was how it worked, but it wasn't available in the U.S. until just a few days ago.
     
  12. Abbz05

    Abbz05 Artisan Helper

    Thank you very much cheracc for all that you do.

    I have one question: If players are talking about their "realms server" in-game, should we step in and act like it is any other server, or not? I understand about the invites how they are not logged, but if someone talks about it in-game, should we say something?
     
  13. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner


    Just see the last paragraph of the original post. That's exactly what I'd like to see happening.
     
  14. hamsrus1

    hamsrus1 is hiding Moderator VIP Elder

    That was very well written, thanks, cheracc. Once they announced Realms, I thought you would have more privacy, not, "trollface2000 has sent you a request to join his Realm." Mojang could have thought it through a little better, so I definitely agree that some restrictions should be added with parental controls. I hope that the reddit post gets quite a bit of attention, because its definitely worth considering for Mojang.
     
  15. cjmartt001

    cjmartt001 Novice

    Thank you cheracc. This problem with Realms is the reason my son and I are here at Sandlot. We agree that Mojang has come up short on this implementation. Thanks again cheracc for everything you do.
     
  16. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    Please also upvote and comment on my post in /r/minecraftsuggestions here: http://www.reddit.com/r/minecraftsugges ... ealms_and/

    Apparently Jeb peruses that subreddit and actually suggested it's creation. It also looks like once school got out and the angst-y 14-year-olds got home and saw that someone wants to take away their interwebs, the downvote brigades broke out on my original post.

    This is important and needs to be added. Please support me in my efforts! Upvote and comment with your support.
     
  17. c0wg0d

    c0wg0d Master Sandlot Administrator Moderator VIP

    I find r/minecraftsuggestions to be a rather fickle crowd. I upvoted and really hope that Mojang sees it.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, cheracc, for making The Sandlot a safe haven for my children and the entire community. There truly is no better place to play Minecraft.
     
  18. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    There was at least one Mojang employee that replied to one of the comments on the original post. So at least it was seen.

    We'll see what we can do to make sure it is heard. I'm on the verge of a "holy vendetta" here... I really want to see these parental controls happen.
     
  19. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    Please also support the bug report that I filed on the Minecraft issue tracker here: https://bugs.mojang.com/browse/MC-54262 it very well may be removed or closed at some point, but it is worth any chance to get visibility for this issue.

    You can make an account and "vote" for that issue, as well as leave a comment that this is something you would like to see addressed. Make sure that you refer to it as an "issue" or "bug" or "shortcoming" and not as a "new feature" because that issue tracker is only for bug reporting. This could easily be interpreted as a shortcoming or bug.
     
  20. cheracc

    cheracc Adept Owner

    So that bug report was locked, but again it was seen. Next step is a barrage of Tweets!

    Please use your twitter account and send a message to @jeb_ and @MojangSupport. Here is what I sent, but feel free to change it up:


    And please, please, please keep upvoting this post: http://www.reddit.com/r/minecraftsugges ... ealms_and/
     

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