Being muted does not violate your human rights, court tells Runescape player

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A US court has ruled that being muted in a video game does not violate your human rights.

A Runescape player sued UK developer Jagex after he was muted in-game, claiming Jagex and its Chinese owners violated his right to free speech.

Jagex is able to perform "account mutes", which prevents players from chatting normally in Runescape or post on its forums, while still letting people play the game itself. "Mutes can be avoided by following the RuneScape rules and Terms and Conditions and are associated to the Jagex account, so will be active in all products for that account," reads the Runescape website.

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Image credit United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennysylvania.

Pennsylvanian Amro Elansari suffered an account mute around March 2019 and, according to PennLive.com, Jagex denied his appeal without telling him why.

Elansari, who claims to be a streamer with 2000 hours "invested" in the fantasy MMO, then issued a hand-written lawsuit against Jagex, which a district court judge promptly dismissed "for failure to state plausible claims". Now, the US Court of Appeals has shut down the lawsuit for good.

Elansari wanted damages amounting to "whatever the jury see fit" and a removal of the mute on his account, but circuit judges rejected Elansari's claim he had been subjected to illegal "unequal treatment... compared to all other players who are not muted".

"Nothing that happened to Elansari in the Jagex dispute equated to a violation of federal anti-discrimination laws, the circuit court found," PennLive.com reported.

Apparently Elansari is a bit of a serial litigator, and this is the second time in two months judges have knocked back one of his lawsuits. Prior to this Runescape suit, judges refused to reinstate a case he brought in which he claimed he was scammed by Tinder.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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