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"Egg Boy" breaks the loophole of anti-addiction "backdoor", expert: it is not necessary to form a joint force from multiple parties

author:Southern Metropolis Daily

With the continuous advancement of the anti-addiction work of minors' games, loopholes such as "backdoor games", "backdoor recharge", and "vague rights and responsibilities of channel services" have also emerged.

Recently, in response to the above problems, "Egg Boy Party" has given a "solution", that is, the launch of three major "anti-addiction" measures, including Xiaomi, Huawei and other omni-channel access to the face recognition mechanism for high-risk groups, the setting of an exclusive customer service entrance for underage refunds on the whole platform, and the launch of one-click prohibition of recharge and prohibition of game functions. At the same time, some experts believe that anti-addiction work is not only the planning of the juvenile protection system, but also needs to cooperate with game manufacturers, schools, families and other parties to form a joint force to deal with more complex challenges, not only to protect minors from the disturbance of "addiction", but also to pay attention to the legitimate rights and interests of minors.

Three innovative measures have broken the new problem of "anti-addiction".

It has been two years since the implementation of the "strictest new regulations to prevent addiction", and the anti-addiction work of minors who press the accelerator button has achieved certain results. However, although mainstream game manufacturers have launched game anti-addiction systems that comply with the "most strictly prohibited order", it is still difficult to resist the "anti-addiction" loophole of some minors' "backdoor games" and "backdoor recharges", and some media have issued an appeal to "don't let channel servers become channels to escape anti-addiction".

Among them, due to the operation mechanism, "channel service" has always been one of the "hardest hit areas" for minors to prevent addiction. Mobile games are mostly divided into official servers and channel services, and channel services are customized versions of game manufacturers and platforms to cooperate in operation and promotion, and channel parties participate in game user information acquisition, turnover sharing, game intermodal transportation, etc., in the process of joint operation, there is still a certain level of ambiguity between the two parties in the division of rights and responsibilities.

Some media have reported that in reality, many game "channel servers" will read mobile phone account information on the initial login interface, and even use the system account to automatically log in by default. This means that many children can use their parents' real-name registered mobile phone accounts to "log in" to any channel with their parents' adult information and play games without hindrance.

In response to the above chaos, "Egg Boy Party" began to "strike hard". On December 8th, "Egg Boy Party" issued a letter to parents in response to the above problems, aiming at new problems such as minors fraudulently using adult accounts to play games and recharge, and launched three major "anti-addiction" measures, including Xiaomi, Huawei and other omni-channel access to the face recognition mechanism for high-risk groups, the setting of an exclusive customer service entrance for underage refunds on the whole platform, and the launch of one-click prohibition of recharge and prohibition of game functions.

"Egg Boy" breaks the loophole of anti-addiction "backdoor", expert: it is not necessary to form a joint force from multiple parties

It is reported that "Egg Boy Party" has been connected to AI juvenile protection patrol technology and face recognition mechanism for Xiaomi, Huawei and other channel servers, and face recognition has been activated in the payment link for high-risk behaviors such as large-value consumption, high-frequency consumption and suspected minors. This feature has achieved remarkable results in the trial operation of the top channel server, and has intercepted more than 5 million high-risk behaviors of underage players in the past two months. Next, "Egg Boy Party" will deploy all channel servers, which is expected to be completed within December.

In response to the establishment of an exclusive customer service portal for underage refunds across all channels, "Egg Boy Party" said that it will continue to optimize the relevant processes and speed up the review and processing efficiency to further help parents solve the refund problem. As of December 2023, more than 30,000 refund requests related to suspected minors have been processed, with a completion rate of 98%.

Regarding the recent attention of many media "Parent contact groups reflect that it is difficult for minors to refund channel services in the game "Egg Boy Party", "Egg Boy Party" frankly admitted that in the actual process of handling the refund application of minors, it has encountered some complex cases with special circumstances, involving situations such as "adults have repeatedly substituted for AI face recognition" and "illegal rental and sale accounts" and other black and gray industry issues, which will take more time to determine whether to recharge for minors, account refund amount, etc., which will affect the processing timeliness to a certain extent.

According to the disclosure, up to now, more than 80% of the more than 590 refund applications registered by "Egg Boy Party" on the contact group have been processed. Among them, NetEase has taken refunds and banned relevant accounts for verified applications for recharge for minors to help parents solve the problem of children's addiction. "In response to this problem, we also ask parents to be more patient, and we are willing to actively listen to the opinions of all walks of life and continue to optimize everyone's experience. ”

In addition, "Egg Boy Party" has launched the functions of "one-click ban on game recharge" and "one-click ban on game login" to do a good job in the protection of minors from the source. Parents only need to bind their children's game accounts through the official account of the "NetEase Parental Care Platform", and they can manage and intervene in their children's game time and recharge in an all-round way 24 hours a day. According to official statistics, 8 million parents currently use the NetEase Parental Care Platform.

The way to cure the root cause: form a joint force to protect the rights and interests of minors and pay attention to their development

"Anti-addiction" work is a long-term and systematic important social issue. The problem faced by game manufacturers is no longer just the planning of the juvenile protection system, but also the need to think about how to cooperate with all sectors of society to deal with more complex challenges. In this process, it is necessary not only to work together with all parties, but also to pay attention to the legitimate rights and interests of minors.

Liu Xiaochun, executive director of the Internet Rule of Law Research Center of the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the core difficulty in the governance of the issue of minors' recharge and refund lies in how to effectively identify the identity of minors, especially if parents assist in verification, unless minors take the initiative to directly disclose their identities through ID cards and other means. "At present, there are no particularly clear standards in China. For game companies, there are a variety of ways to identify minors, including technical methods, such as facial recognition technology. We can see that platform companies are actually making different degrees of this effort. ”

Liu Xiaochun suggested that platforms can take corresponding technical measures and technical models to enhance the ability of algorithms to identify minors. "We have seen NetEase's reply, they are also constantly strengthening their technology in this area, and while we are supervising the platform, we also need to continue to encourage the platform to make more efforts to actively solve problems. ”

"Egg Boy" breaks the loophole of anti-addiction "backdoor", expert: it is not necessary to form a joint force from multiple parties

Previously, the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court made a final judgment on a juvenile recharge refund lawsuit. The court found that because the child's parents failed to fulfill their guardian supervision obligations, they had allowed the minor child to recharge the game by helping him pass facial recognition authentication and other acts, and rejected all his claims for recharge and refund in accordance with the law. According to the judgment, NetEase has taken preventive measures far beyond the legal requirements, and has taken the initiative to protect minors from addiction through technical means such as big data positioning and face recognition in the game, and the parties' failure to fulfill their statutory guardianship obligations and let them use them with practical actions is an important reason for the underage games and the completion of various consumptions.

Zhao Zhanzhan, a lawyer at Beijing Yunjia Law Firm and legal counsel of the Credit Evaluation Center of the Internet Society of China, believes that for relevant game companies, it is also necessary to do a good job in technical prevention and governance, timely customer service processing, and publicity and education. But more importantly, parents, as guardians, also have the responsibility and obligation to educate and guide minors.

In addition, some experts engaged in the protection of minors said that the key to the protection of minors lies in achieving a balance between multiple subjects and interests. The protection of minors is not to regulate and control the behavior of minors, but from the perspective of protecting the rights of minors, respect their rights to development and growth, and should not be deprived or restricted, but should reasonably guide them to use the Internet correctly. The current policy is generally from the perspective of protection, but there is relatively little attention paid to the developmental nature of minors. In the process of protecting minors, platforms, schools, and families should perform their respective duties - platforms should develop functions and innovate technology for anti-addiction systems, schools should cultivate and improve minors' network literacy, and parents should assume the responsibilities of guardianship, care, and protection of their children, so that the protection of minors can be done well.

Producer: Nandu Bay Finance Society Science and Technology Innovation Studio

Written by: Nandu Bay Finance Society reporter Chen Peijun