Bear Winters was originally supposed to be the savior of the fractured landscape that is Warframe’s regional chat. The battleground over moderation has raged for many years, but it culminated in an explosive showdown where authoritarian moderators battled relentless against the community during an all-out brawl in May of 2018.
A stalemate was drawn after both sides, exasperated and worn out, decided to let things be. However, the bad blood between the moderators – one of whom openly expressed his hatred towards the community – and the gamers was not over. Things boiled over once more, but before an all-out war took place, head community manager, Rebecca, stepped in to appoint a new arbitrator over the moderators as well as set new rules of transparency in place. The arbitrator was Bear Winters.
This pleased the community…
…Just until they found out that Bear was actually friends with the moderators who waged war against the Warframe community.
Charges of cronyism and conflicts of interests were raised. However, Bear managed to bear through the onslaught of criticism, and issued a statement on the matter on December 7th, 2018. In the somewhat lengthy comment, Bear wrote…
“[…] I was hired to the job because of my position in the community and how connected I was to everyone. Some people on here questioning my capability to be fair and even-handed, KNOW me better than that, which is quite shocking to see this kind of rapport. When I interviewed for this position, I was asked if I would be able to make hard decisions because of my connections to so many people in the community and volunteer programs. My answer was an emphatic “Yes.”
“I have no doubt that follow-up questions will come, but I’ll be straight up with you now; doing my job does not mean that I will endorse baying for blood for people that I am now responsible for. Will I review past, present, and future to make Warframe better for everyone? Yes. If you can constructively contribute to that, it’s what I’m here for. I will approach my job with the same even-handedness that I would any other job, on that I assure you, but part of that is admitting where we have been at fault with the program as a whole and fixing it. I am here to do a job. I am an employee, not some community stooge.
“And I want to get to know you guys better. Please give me that opportunity.”
Some people accepted his invitation for cordiality, others were a little less trusting given the history of moderator abuse that they had endured over the years.
To help make matters more palatable for the community, there was a dev stream hosted by Digital Extremes, which outlined that they would be bringing someone in to help with rewriting the chat moderation rules to better serve the community. You can check it out in the stream below.
Now we just have to wait and see if anything actually changes, or if Digital Extremes’ unwillingness to get rid of the original mods who caused all of this consternation will continue to bite them on the butt.
(Thanks for the news tip Salt Sipper)