It seems to be a growing phenomenon that some social media networks have made it untenable for people to criticize or espouse certain views. For instance, NeoGaf instantly banned people for criticizing the mods or staff for being SJWs. Twitter has been banning far right conservatives and pundits. Gamespot also prohibited people from criticizing SJWs in the comment section at one point. And now it appears that criticizing SJWs regarding their opinions on game likes Final Fantasy XV isn’t tolerated on the gaming forum of IMZY.
Robin Ek from The Gaming Ground recently published a piece over on the site called “Final Fantasy XV – The Whine About Cindy Aurum’s Boobs And Looks”. It discusses how regular culture critics – usually identified by most people as Social Justice Warriors – have been tearing into Final Fantasy XV, calling it sexist and a “male power fantasy”. This comes from individuals such as Jonathan McIntosh and games journalists, of course.
Nevertheless, the article from TheGG pointing out certain hypocrisies by culture critics, male feminists and SJWs was not welcome on IMZY. If you check the entry on the social sharing site, you’ll see that IMZY has removed TheGG’s article.
I did ask Robin Ek about the ban and apparently they didn’t offer any additional explanations as to why the content was removed. However, Robin does point to the user comments complaining about the article, where they flagged it for being inappropriate.
One user named mercysgaze wrote that Robin should have dropped a lot of the language that might put people on edge, writing…
“Tbh giving your article a title that begins with “The Whine About” isn’t going to help anyone be more open to your article. If you want actual open and serious discussion about this stuff, it’s probably a good idea to drop a lot of the language that’s bound to set people’s teeth on edge before they even get to the actual article.”
Others agreed, upvoting mercy’s comment, with others like LinLeigh weighing with added criticism of the article, writing…
“I’m definitely going to keep wining about “sexy” characters. One of the reasons is because sexy has become code for half naked characters with little to do in terms of plot or gameplay.
“This annoys me especially in a game like FFXV where female representation is already very poor.”
It’s no surprise that the media complaining about Cindy completely ignored other prominent females in Final fantasy XV such as state secretary of Altissia. Camelia, or Gladiolus’ sister, Iris. What’s more is that Iris gets more screen time than Cindy, but she isn’t brought up by the critics.
A lot of the criticisms of Cindy basically boils down to: females shouldn’t be portrayed sexily in games, even if there are other non-sexy females in the game.
What’s more is that in the IMZY community they feel that they can criticize characters like Cindy and berate the designer’s character portrayals and art-direction in Final Fantasy XV but they don’t feel others should be able to criticize them for having those opinions.
For instance, users like cavitycreep had no problems with reporting the article to the moderators due to disagreeing with its content, as well as feeling as if their ideals and sociopolitical stance shouldn’t be criticized, writing…
“It’s frustrating that an article like this is posted, and then we’re told that we’re the ones who need to be respectful.
“The link itself is completely disrespectful in and of itself, so why should I show civility and decency to someone who has shown such contempt for me and my ideals?
“I’ll give my respect and courtesy to people who give me the same benefit, and the title of the post outright tells me I’m a “whiner”.”
One of the moderators tried warning the community that the article wouldn’t be removed unless it clearly violated the rules, with moderator MisterWoodhouse explaining…
“Folks, please remember to be respectful. If you believe certain users are violating the rules of this community and/or Imzy’s Community Policy with their comments, please report the comments in question, not the post itself.”
Most of the commenters ignored the warning about reporting the post, because apparently after enough reports, the moderators removed the post from TheGG.
This isn’t the first time that IMZY has laid down the heavy hand of censorship against content creators sharing #GamerGate and identity politics related material. Previously, the site banned the #GamerGate community and removed posts relating to the Crash Override Network leaks. They claimed that informing people about Crash Override Network’s attempt to harass and dox people was “harassment”.
Sadly, the marketplace of exchanging ideas has dwindled down greatly as many major social media networks such as Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and IMZY are quick to censor content that doesn’t quite align with their political leaning ideology.
[Update 12/7/2016:] Moderator MisterWoodhouse posted an update to his comment explaining why TheGG article was removed, writing…
“It has been brought to my attention that there are some unanswered questions regarding the conversation here and the post’s removal. This post was removed for violation of /gaming’s Rule 1: Keep it civil. We want this community to be respectful. If you take issue with somebody’s argument, attack their argument. Do not attack their person. Say that an argument isn’t based in reality, rather than calling the person who made it delusional. This applies to articles posted as well as original posts and comments made here.
“We’re more than happy to have this community be host to debates on tropes, appearances, localization changes, etc. in the industry, but we require that such debates remain civil and do not descend into personal attacks.
“The /gaming community leadership team takes no sides when it comes to GamerGate, anti-GamerGate, etc. We expect that all sides keep things civil and will take action on any post or comment that crosses the line, regardless of the ideologies involved. An attack is an attack is an attack. We cannot see everything, so having things reported to us helps. Hopefully, that clears things up for folks.