Habbo Readies For "The Great Unmute"

| 19 Jun 2012 15:20

Habbo wants its users to tell the world about their "positive and constructive experiences" with the game.

Habbo was rocked earlier this month by a report that portrayed the kid-focused MMO/social network as a haven for pedophiles. It's an albatross the game has worn for years but this report, by U.K.-based Channel 4, was especially damaging because the producer alleged that she was approached for inappropriate conversation or contact in each and every one of her 50 visits over a two-month span. The top two investors in Habbo developer Sulake dropped their holdings almost immediately after it aired, and U.K. retailers stopped selling Habbo prepaid cards.

Following the report, Sulake muted all conversations in Habbo while it struggled to come up with visible solutions to the problem of online predators and cope with the negative PR fallout. But tomorrow, at 9 am EDT, the mics will be opened - briefly - for "The Great Unmute," which will give Habbo players a chance to talk about how their positive experiences with the game.

"For six hours tomorrow [Wednesday], starting at 14:00 U.K time, a new and separate website called 'The Great Unmute' will open and allow you all to post your thoughts and feelings in a way never seen before in social media," Sulake CEO Paul LaFontaine wrote on the Habbo Blog. "It's your chance to tell me what I can do to improve the community."

"It is also a moment where the world will be watching us, listening carefully to our conversations to understand what our community means to us," he continued. "As the world media stops talking ABOUT us and takes a brief moment to listen TO us, I want us to demonstrate why we are proud of our community. The Habbo site has always been about interacting, sharing news and views and making new friends in a controlled and constructive environment. This is what we're going to show with a single voice in a wave of innovative content."

Once the six hours have passed, there will be a Great Re-Mute, after which the Habbo team will begin going through the submissions and using them to help finalize the changes planned for the service. LaFontaine didn't reveal when the game would be back in operation, saying only that it's "not far away."

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