If you want to discuss corruption in games journalism, you can’t discuss it on Reddit’s /r/Games sub-Reddit. The topic of corruption, blacklisting and Kotaku are all off limits.
According to the official description of /r/Games on Reddit…
“The goal of /r/Games is to provide a place for informative and interesting gaming content and discussions. Submissions should be for the purpose of informing or initiating a discussion, not just with the goal of entertaining viewers.”
One would think that one of the largest gaming news websites out there discussing being allegedly blacklisted by Bethesda and Ubisoft for leaking story spoilers and assets ahead of their announcements would be a major topic of discussion. Right? Wrong.
The Drama sub-Reddit collected a few instances where the /r/Games/ mods deleted the topics surrounding the topic of Kotaku allegedly being blacklisted. In one thread that was removed, someone wrote…
“The Kotaku vs Bethesda blacklist issue is an incredibly important discussion of games and gaming journalism – and it was banned twice, if not more, on this subreddit. What? Why?”
Some people made the excuse that people needlessly hating on Kotaku was the reason for the topics being banned and censored from the /r/Games sub-Reddit. Others argued that it was something that needed to be discussed given the implications of what it means to proceed with publishing leaks, dealing with publisher blacklistings and respecting the development of unfinished creative works. There is a lot of discussion to be had about leaks and the ethics surrounding them, but the /r/Games/ mods were having none of it.
Even the posts asking why the threads were being removed was removed.
The removal of the threads also ended up affecting Jim Sterling, who did a video on the blacklisting that also happened to get removed from /r/Games/, as noted in a brief Twitter conversation between Sterling and John “TotalBiscuit” Bain below [via Kotaku in Action].
— John Bain (@Totalbiscuit) November 23, 2015
The ill-defined rules of Reddit’s /r/Games/ is no different than the ill-defined rules over at N4G. When the Reddit moderators were questioned about the rules they were coy about giving any definitive answers as to why these topics were censored. In the case of N4G they handed out perma-bans so they couldn’t be questioned anymore.
As for the video in question that Jim Sterling tried getting on /r/Games/ regarding the blacklisting, you can check it out below and decide if it’s something that people in the gaming community might actually like to discuss, as per the description of the /r/Games/ sub-Reddit.
This isn’t the first time /r/Games/ moderators have enacted the heavy hand of censorship to prevent people from discussing corruption in video game journalism. In fact, that’s one of the words they auto-filter on the site… “corruption”. It was discovered that /r/Games/ and /r/gaming/ moderators actively censor and remove topics from the two major gaming sub-Reddits on Reddit that deal with corruptions in media journalism, as revealed by the Reddit moderator leaks.
This is no different than the Reddit moderators previously protecting Kotaku when the conflict of interest was discovered involving Nathan Grayson’s indiscretion with an indie developer that not only involved romantic relations but also $800 in funds exchanging hands and a special thanks in the credits of the indie developer’s game. Unfortunately, pointing out the lack of disclosure in Grayson’s articles and asking for transparency and clarity from Kotaku was considered engaging in “misogyny”.