The latest version of Zwift’s Companion app (v 3.25) includes modified reporting features designed to foster an “inclusive, respectful, and fair environment in which Zwifters from all over the world can thrive.” Let’s take a look at how Zwift’s reporting tools work…
Existing “Flag User” Feature
The existing “Flag User” feature has been in place for years, but its functionality is quite limited (and a bit mysterious). More specifically:
- The “Flag User” button option only shows up if both you and the Zwifter you want to flag are actively Zwifting
- There is no way to enter details explaining why you are reporting the Zwifter. All you can do is click “Harassment”, “Bad Language”, or “Flier”
- It isn’t clear what happens after you flag someone – the dialog simply goes away
New “Report Users” Feature in Companion
While “Flag User” is still an option in Companion, Zwift’s new “Report User” functionality is much more robust, addressing some of the limitations of old flagging tool:
- You may report another user regardless of whether you or they are currently online
- Along with selecting a reason for your report (“Discrimination”, “Bad Language”, or “Something Else”) you may enter a comment to give your report some specific detail.
(Our guess is that “Flag User” will go away soon, or simply link to the “Report User” UI, as two separate reporting mechanisms on the same screen is a bit odd.)
Reporting a user is a simple process in the Companion app:
- Find the Zwifter and click the 3 dot menu
- Click “Report User”
- Fill out the report form and click “Submit”
So what actually happens after you report a user? This isn’t entirely clear, but we can gather some clues based on Zwift’s recent forum posts on this topic. Here’s an excerpt from the original announcement a few weeks back (emphasis added):
An expansion to the existing flagging feature, the reporting feature allows riders and runners to report discrimination, bad language, or other forms of harassment in real-time by clicking the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of a member’s ZC profile. This feature will allow our team to monitor the situation and enact shadow banning when appropriate.
It sounds like the report user feature is feeding directly to Zwift support personnel who can see the reports as they come in. in real-time, even taking action while the offending rider is still actively Zwifting. It’s possible we’re overstating this, though – Zwift support staff may not be equipped or even expected to respond to situations in real-time.
If you’re curious about the term “shadow banning” – this is a well-known tactic used against trolls and other bad actors in online communities. It has also been used by Zwift as well. Being shadow banned on Zwift means you can still use the product, but nobody else will see you or your messages. Essentially, it’s not obvious to the banned Zwifter that they have been banned – but they can no longer negatively affect others.
It’s also possible to report users via Zwift’s online support form. More information on reporting riders can be found on Zwift’s support post.
Questions or Comments?