Leading up to the release of the PlayStation 5, Sony gradually announced many of the features gamers could expect the new console to have. Now that the PS5 is finally in some players’ homes, one feature that was not announced has seemingly been discovered and it is a Twitter profanity filter with no clear way of turning it off.
The PS5 launched earlier this month and with it came the expected issues that always crop up during a new console launch. While Sony continues to work on many of these issues, lucky players without system-breaking bugs have been testing the console’s limits. Demos and pre-launch announcements can only give so much information and it normally takes a few weeks, or even a few months, after release for players to figure out what a new game system is truly capable of. It is during this period that gamers can sometimes discover a feature or two that was not advertised prior to launch.
TheGamer reports that PS5 players who tried posting to Twitter using the new console uncovered a function that prevents the sharing of messages to the social media platform if the message contains profanity. As TheGamer found, there’s no option to turn the filter off in the console menu. Other incidents have been reported in which the filter functions incorrectly and blocks posts that have no profanity in them at all.
There is a possibility that the means to turn off the profanity filter has yet to be discovered. However if this is an unalterable function, then the reason for its inclusion might be found in the often overlooked terms of service. Prior to the PS5’s release, Sony added the new console to its long list of hardware covered by the terms of services. While this practice is nothing new, the technological advancements in the current-gen system could allow for Sony to have more control over how this system is used compared to other consoles in the past.
While gamers may be understandably and rightfully concerned that this is censorship, Sony may a strong legal argument in its favor. PlayStation’s code of conduct as spelled out in its terms of service makes clear its intention to deter as much negative interaction through the console as possible. When combined with the content license and restrictions section, an argument could be made that when the PS5 is used to create a tweet, Sony has the right to determine what that tweet can or cannot say. Even though Twitter allows the usage of those words, the fact that a tweet is being composed on a PlayStation 5 could potentially give Sony a legal right to block them.