YouTuber TheFochYou had one of this videos threatened with a copyright strike over content he did criticizing Wargaming.net’s latest tank. The reason for the copyright threat? Because he used explosive language that Wargaming considered to be “toxic”. This was especially noteworthy because TheFochYou (also known as SirFoch) is apparently part of their community contributor program.
The video that he originally published was taken down, but he uploaded a second video still criticizing Wargaming because the latest tank they’re adding to the game – he feels – is designed to be pay-to-win. You can view the video below.
In a response to a request for comment from Kotaku, Wargaming.net had this to say in regards to threatening to issue the copyright strike to TheFochYou…
“We are more than willing to give members of our community second chances, but there is a level of toxicity and/or offensive language that is unacceptable. We regret having to go to such extreme measures in SirFoch’s case, but we also don’t consider those measures to be censorship because we weren’t trying to silence SirFoch’s opinion, we were simply seeking to curb the extremely profane language of a member of our contributor program. SirFoch’s latest claim that we’re somehow prohibiting him from making future videos involving our games is completely false – he’s more than welcome to make more Wargaming-related videos. If those videos continue to include hate speech and homophobic slurs, we’ll take the necessary and appropriate action.”
Essentially they’re saying that it’s not “censorship” because they weren’t trying to silence SirFoch’s video and opinion, but they wanted to “curb the extremely profane language”. Well, I don’t know if anyone ever gave Wargaming a dictionary, but “curbing”, suppressing, or removing content considered “profane”, “obscene” or unsuitable is the literal definition of censorship, which reads…
“[…] the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.”
It’s strange that they decided to not call censorship “censorship” because they were attempting to censor SirFoch for the language he used, but not his opinions about the latest tank being designed to be pay-to-win. Censorship is still censorship, no matter what the reasons are.
Some commenters tried putting the blame on SirFoch, saying that as a corporate ambassador he shouldn’t have had such vitriolic and inflammatory content on his channel when discussing World of Tanks.
In a Reddit post that Kotaku linked to, SirFoch explained that Wargaming knew what they were getting into because he’s always been that way, writing…
“All of you who are asking: “Why did I become CC?”, well they just made me one, I did not have to Sign anything and they did not pay me anything, and I told them right at the start that I wont change my style because of this and that they should not put their jobs on the line if people upstairs get upset. And being a CC does not mean I have to kiss WG ass with every video, I have like minded community behind me and they are the ones I represent on my channel.”
He also points to an imgur album showing discussions where Wargaming threatened to copyright strike his other videos if he continued on doing what he was doing.
It’s pretty obvious that Wargaming.net wanted the YouTube community to fall in line with the way most enthusiast gaming sites kiss-up and hype up products without questions. It’s how the NDAs work, it’s how embargoes work. SirFoch, however, makes it known that he’s not a corporate tool, and as we see in this particular situation, Wargaming was going to try to make things hard for him for not playing ball.