Sony is changing how it deals with offensive PlayStation Network IDs, shortly after it finally allowed people to change their usernames on the online platform.
When somebody registers a username that violates the terms of service of the PlayStation Network, Sony will automatically replace the ID with a temporary placeholder of “TempXXXX,” with the X’s representing numbers. The replacement will follow a report from another player and a subsequent investigation by moderators to check if the username really violates regulations.
The automatic replacement may affect both new PlayStation Network IDs and those that gamers changed using Sony’s new feature. New accounts may choose a different username to switch out of TempXXXX, while old accounts who tried to change into an offensive ID will be able to revert to their original username for free.
Sony previously banned PlayStation Network accounts that were found to have an offensive username. Changing the process to replace the IDs with a temporary placeholder makes it more user friendly, especially as there have been instances of mistaken suspensions.
For example, in November last year, a PlayStation 4 owner was wrongfully banned for his PlayStation Network ID of Kike_0615. The username was his nickname for Enrique and a common name in his home country of Mexico, but it is unfortunately also used as an offensive ethnic slur for Jewish people. Sony eventually corrected the mistake and reversed the ban, but things would not have been so stressful for Enrique if his PlayStation Network account just had its ID replaced, instead of a ban that cut him off from accessing the games that he had purchased.
Changing PlayStation Network IDs may be done either through an internet browser or through the PlayStation 4, and it could be done in a few simple steps. Sony has made the first change free for all users, but subsequent switches will cost $5 for PlayStation Plus subscribers and $10 for non-subscribers. Reverting to old usernames, meanwhile, will be free.
The free rollback to an earlier username does not only come into play when players change their mind or when they try to switch to an offensive ID. Not all games will recognize changed PlayStation Network IDs, so before using the feature, players should check out this list of games with issues.