The Anti-Defamation League, which previously sought to outlaw the OK sign and Pepe the Frog, is now setting its sights on hate speech in video games. The gaming community can be toxic, but ADL-level censorship is not the answer.
Issues when it comes to the gaming community are never easy to tackle. Especially when it comes to the way that people decide to speak online. It goes without saying that inhibitions are dialed down on the internet. People will often speak in a way that they never would in public, when they realize they wont get fined, arrested, socially canceled or struck down by God if they drop a racist or homophobic slur. There were moments of playing Call of Duty 4 years ago where Id mute every single person whenever Id enter a match. The last thing I wanted to hear when shooting terrorists was some thirteen year old squawking like hes Richard Spencer at Charlottesville.
There are absolutely reprehensible things that are said on the internet. You can browse 4chan for ten seconds to realize that. But when it comes to gaming, especially competitive match environments, trash talk is almost part of the deal. People do it, and some tend to take it too far. Thats undisputable. Whats also undisputable is that there are already methods in place to deal with it. There exist mechanisms for reporting and banning players who break community rules which in virtually any game with a chat (voice or text) include prohibitions against racism, homophobia and other ways of inciting hatred.
Are those measures perfect? No. It goes without saying that, from the developers perspective, it probably feels like herding cats. But these arent idiots who are developing these games. They have experience and they have the agency to make their own rules for their own games and the interactions within.
Whether or not gamers feel safe with the community rules and the way they are enforced, they can decide for themselves by choosing or refusing to invest their dollars and their time in a given studios product. Ultimately, the fact of the matter is if you dont want to deal with other people in multiplayer outside of the competition, you dont have to.
Enter the Anti-Defamation League.
The Anti-Defamation League is a non-profit organization that works to combat anti-semitism and bigotry.
They are also the guys who branded Pepe the Frog as a hate symbol just because some online morons decided to photoshop it into something offensive and saw alt-right hate code in the OK sign and the word Boogaloo.
Oftentimes, theyre seen making public declarations whenever a public person says something particularly nasty. Other times theyre doing things that seem rather pointless, like hosting a virtual panel about xenophobia and Coronavirus. They also were rather infamously involved in the most recent adpocalypse at YouTube, where they were brought in to consult and fight hate speech.
Theres no reason not to believe the ADL will not take the same sledgehammer approach to gaming. Their ability to ignore context has already been demonstrated in the Gamesindustry.biz interview with Daniel Kelly, the assistant director for the ADLs Center for Technology, when it was first reported that the organization is preparing its foray.
The norms that come up in the qualitative research is that women and people of color go into game spaces and just turn off the mic and don't speak, because they know if they speak, they'll be identified, targeted, and harassed. That's just the reality of how they play, Kelly said.
Heres the reality. Everyone gets that sort of treatment online. Men are just as likely to receive online harassment as women, and video games are no different. Trash talk exists, and its not a pretty thing.
Kelly is worried that the video game industry fights hate by adopting the tactics of Facebook or Twitter circa 2006 . as if the Twitter and Facebook of today have it all figured out and are not suffering from excess censorship and liberal moderator bias.
There have been attempts at applying woke censorship to games before, and they have shown that those trying this approach have zero understanding of the environment and that actual gamers have zero wish for such interventions. If Bully Hunters was unnecessary, and if Anita Sarkeesians nonsense was unnecessary, then so is the ADLs.
Its certainly not fun for a twelve-year-old to tell me hes going to throw me in Auschwitz, but I can mute him because a developer thought of that ahead of time.
What you also notice is that, in the interview, the ADL is mum when it comes to the means of helping games. Thats because theyre not developers. Theyre protesters. They dont have a solution outside of censorship. Maybe they want something genuine, like less hate in the world. Maybe they want more control over peoples speech. If its the former, theyre terrible at what theyre trying to do. If its the latter, theyre sinister.
Though the systems already in place arent perfect by any means, the fact that the ADL isnt coming into it with anything aside from platitudes comes across like a power play, not genuine concern. If the ADL knew what to do from the get-go aside from doing something about hate speech they would have said it already.
To put it succinctly, the ADL is trying to bully its way into a situation that it has no business in on the assumption that companies like Valve and Blizzard have no clue what theyre doing. Id ask this of the ADL. Of your organization, Valve, and Blizzard, which is the one that makes money off of innovation? I think they can handle things themselves.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
See the rest here:
- Letter: Censorship and the CPSDB - The Suburban Times - February 11th, 2021
- Chilling trend toward censorship - Chicago Daily Herald - February 11th, 2021
- Government censorship threats over TikTok spiked interest in VPNs - ZDNet - February 11th, 2021
- For a brief period, there was a platform for sensitive political debate in China. Then censors shut it down - CNN - February 11th, 2021
- Why I think censorship is important in the age of social media | Column - The Daily Collegian Online - February 11th, 2021
- Send a Big Message to Big Tech: Stop the Censorship - National Federation of Republican Women - February 11th, 2021
- Response to Censorship, freedom of speech article - The Tryon Daily Bulletin - Tryon Daily Bulletin - February 11th, 2021
- Facebook's depoliticization aimed at censorship of left-wing and socialist organizations - WSWS - February 11th, 2021
- Sundance 2021 Review: CENSOR, The Danger Of Confusing Fiction With Reality - ScreenAnarchy - February 11th, 2021
- Blacklisting And Censorship Are Hallmarks Of Repressive Societies - The Federalist - February 11th, 2021
- Censorship or conspiracy theory? Trump supporters say Facebook and Twitter censor them but conservatives still rule social media - USA TODAY - December 5th, 2020
- OIF Seeks Information on 2020 Censorship Incidents | News and Press Center - ala.org - December 5th, 2020
- In India, a Clash of Digital Innovation and Internet Censorship - CoinDesk - Coindesk - November 30th, 2020
- Censored Planet: University of Michigan research finds worldwide increase in internet censorship - WSWS - November 30th, 2020
- Twitter claims it has reversed ban of link to Sidney Powell's Georgia election lawsuit - Fox Business - November 30th, 2020
- Jeanine Pirro Thinks Big Tech is Censoring Her Text Messages - Mediaite - November 30th, 2020
- Censorship In The Biden Era - OpEd - Eurasia Review - November 30th, 2020
- Ex-Employee Confesses! Behind-the-Scenes of Google Censorship - The Liberty Web English - November 30th, 2020
- The attempt to censor Jordan Peterson shows the intolerance of the social justice generation - Telegraph.co.uk - November 30th, 2020
- PlayStation Reportedly Censoring PS5 Users on Twitter - ComicBook.com - November 30th, 2020
- Ted Nugents Wife Shemane Targets Instagram For The Recent Censor But She Puts It Again On Instagram To Find A Solution For Free Speech - Metalhead... - November 30th, 2020
- Censorship - Wikipedia - November 28th, 2020
- What Is Censorship? | American Civil Liberties Union - November 28th, 2020
- What is Censorship? - National Coalition Against Censorship - November 28th, 2020
- Censorship on social media? It's not what you think - CBS News - November 28th, 2020
- 'Welcome To The Party, Zoom': Video App's Rules Lead To Accusations Of Censorship - NPR - November 28th, 2020
- ICANN Can Stand Against Censorship (And Avoid Another .ORG Debacle) by Keeping Content Regulation and Other Dangerous Policies Out of Its Registry... - November 28th, 2020
- Ted Cruz digs in for congressional battle over censorship on Twitter, Facebook - Houston Chronicle - November 28th, 2020
- The Dangerous Inversions of the Debate Around Trans Censorship - The New Republic - November 28th, 2020
- Carter Estes: Effort to ban Trump officials from Harvard is a dangerous attack on free speech and education - Fox News - November 28th, 2020
- Meet the Censored: Andre Damon - WSWS - November 28th, 2020
- Donald Trump says Twitter censorship is a national security issue - Washington Times - November 28th, 2020
- In hybrid online-offline format, theatre fest explores the Unexpressed, censorship of womens bodies and artistic collaborations - The Indian Express - November 28th, 2020
- Was this censorship?: Noam Chomsky, Vijay Prashad ask Tata Lit Live after it cancels their discussion - The Hindu - November 28th, 2020
- Tata Lit Fest cancels a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad, raising concerns of censorship - Frontline - November 28th, 2020
- Barcelona members strike back vs. Bartomeu: What does 'motion of censorship' mean, and what's next? - ESPN - September 18th, 2020
- What the *, Nintendo? This in-game censorship is * terrible. - EFF - September 18th, 2020
- Social media censorship in Egypt targets women on TikTok - The World - September 18th, 2020
- Trumps Partial TikTok And WeChat Ban Tip-Toes Into Chinese-Style Censorship - Forbes - September 18th, 2020
- Judd Apatow Criticizes Hollywood's Censorship For International Market: China Has Bought Our Silence With Their Money - Deadline - September 18th, 2020
- Bangladesh in the Shadow of Censorship The Diplomat - The Diplomat - September 18th, 2020
- Why is the government pushing unprecedented online censorship? - Telegraph.co.uk - September 18th, 2020
- Not Content to Censor Conservatives, Zuckerberg Now Seeks to Meddle in Election - National Legal and Policy Center - September 18th, 2020
- New Alliance to Track and Fight Censoring of Conservatives - CBN News - September 18th, 2020
- Reading the Evolution of Censorship and Sedition in India - The Wire - September 18th, 2020
- China's Influence on the Global Human Rights System - Human Rights Watch - September 18th, 2020
- China Isn't Hiding the Border Tensions With India From Its Public Anymore - The Diplomat - September 18th, 2020
- Call Trumps Attacks On The 1619 Project What They Are Censorship of American History - Forbes - September 6th, 2020
- Facebook is bringing an updated content censorship term for its users from October 1st - Digital Information World - September 6th, 2020
- Will Joe Rogan Have The Guts To Call Out Spotify For 'Censorship'? - CCN.com - September 6th, 2020
- Joe Rogans Spotify move condemned by fans over right-wing censorship claims - The Independent - September 6th, 2020
- Shadow banning and its role in modern day censorship - Cherwell Online - September 6th, 2020
- Apple reacts to censorship censure - Mobile World Live - September 6th, 2020
- TunnelBear Circumvents Iran VPN Block, Launches 10GB Monthly Offer in the Country - Business Wire - September 6th, 2020
- Facebook is changing its Terms of Service, and users are not happy - Windows Central - September 6th, 2020
- End the blacklist of the World Socialist Web Site on Reddit! - WSWS - September 6th, 2020
- Kahle: Upholding the public trust - The Register-Guard - September 6th, 2020
- Science protections must be enforceable | TheHill - The Hill - September 6th, 2020
- Reddit isnt happy about President Trumps anti-censorship executive order - Reclaim The Net - September 6th, 2020
- Forget TikTok. Chinas Powerhouse App Is WeChat. - The New York Times - September 6th, 2020
- The shaky upcoming national election environment can be fixed - JNS.org - September 6th, 2020
- Kyle Rittenhouse lawyer Lin Wood threatens to sue Twitter over censorship - Reclaim The Net - September 4th, 2020
- Finding human territory in a fractured world - The Tech - September 4th, 2020
- We dont believe in censorship: Controversial Aboriginal commentator to lead WA festival amid fear of backlash from Noongar people - WAtoday - September 4th, 2020
- How WeChat Censored the Coronavirus Pandemic - WIRED - August 28th, 2020
- Voter Advocacy Orgs Sue Trump Administration for Executive Order Threatening Social Media Censorship - EFF - August 28th, 2020
- Kuwait eases censorship laws after banning 5000 titles in last 7 years - The Indian Express - August 28th, 2020
- Buffy's Amber Benson on censorship, the musical, and Tara's death - digitalspy.com - August 28th, 2020
- Kuwait relaxes book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles - The Guardian - August 28th, 2020
- Film and Publications Amendment Act: Protecting, not censoring, our citizens in the digital age - Daily Maverick - August 28th, 2020
- Chinas wrath on Hong Kong is causing artists to self-censor - Reclaim The Net - August 28th, 2020
- Here are 5 excuses liberals have put forward in defence of modern day book burning, and why it makes them look like total morons - OpIndia - August 28th, 2020
- Jessie and Austins aunt vs TikTok the debate around censorship of Bodies in the Suitcase video - HITC - August 28th, 2020
- Artists Ai Weiwei and Fang Fang's depictions of the Wuhan lockdown - DW (English) - August 28th, 2020
- A Radioactive Plague: The secrecy and censorship surrounding civilian deaths from World War II - Milwaukee Independent - August 10th, 2020
- Censorship on the internet in 2020: The potential effects of TikTok - Film Daily - August 10th, 2020
- Wicker: Time to address online censorship - The Vicksburg Post - Vicksburg Post - August 10th, 2020
- Open Technology Fund Authorization Act - BORGEN - Borgen Project - August 10th, 2020
- The Logic of a US WeChat Ban - The Diplomat - August 10th, 2020
- Ben Domenech Clashes With Joe Trippi Over Censorship Of Trump's Social Media - The Federalist - August 10th, 2020