Digital Extremes can’t seem to get away from chat controversies. This time around there have been issues surrounding the community reportedly being banned for saying “Nice” in the server channel known for memes called Fortuna 69, even though some of the developers joined in on the meme-filled channel to say “Nice“. The phrase seemed innocuous enough, but then so did the word “trap”, and we all know how that turned out.
After a giant kerfuffle, the Warframe community was eventually told that saying the word “Nice” in chat wouldn’t get them banned. The community, however, decided it was high time to get in chat moderators who wouldn’t keep abusing their powers over trivial gestures.
User Breadloaf134 wrote an impassioned post about how Digital Extremes keeps putting authoritarian “Lefties” in positions of power (also known within most common circles as Social Justice Warriors), which ruins the fun for normal people.
“How they got these positions is beyond me, they dug out the dirtiest people from the stupidest parts of tumblr and chose them to moderate chat, these are the people that implemented the no no words into Automod AND would go into a different region just to have a power trip, fortuna 69, which its entire reason for still being active (the reason being, memes), has been squandered by a power tripping mod who shut down all jokes for spam. Even the devs participated in it and they’re an EU mod, they shouldn’t have power in NA.”
The chat mod consternation that turned into community conflagration, like a fireworks display on the 4th of July within the Warframe universe, finally managed to get the attention of one of the head mods, Danielle, who mentioned back on December 3rd, 2018 that they would be addressing the chat moderator issue.
Some community members expressed doubt and exasperation culminating from the overbearing and supercilious moderators, while others lamented the surreptitious means in which the chat moderators were being hired in to police the community. However, before any moderators could be thrown to the wolves, Digital Extremes kept trying to calm down the community and warn people not to witch-hunt the moderators.
Much of the controversy was also covered by YouTuber PsyCoCinematics.
Eventually this all culminated in the very beloved community manager, Rebecca, finally addressing the situation in a Reddit post on December 5th, 2018.
Rebecca noted that a new mod was brought in to oversee the few moderators who were stepping out of line and attempt to keep things in check. She also informed the community that new well-defined and fair guidelines would be set into place to ensure that moderators behave as intended, and that improvement with communicating with the community would take place. This also resulted in a fellow named Bear Winters being brought in to work with the chat team, and quell some of the anguish with the community.
The new moderation manager seemed like the kind of guy who anti-SJWs would easily fall in love with: He appears like a straight, white male with a cool haircut; a strong jaw line indicating a healthy dose of testosterone; decisive blue eyes with a steely gaze; and facial hair that hearkens back to a time when men didn’t allow their beards to become stained with the coagulated remnants of expired soy lattes.
His message to the community seemed forthright and admirable, as if he would be the stern to keep the ship of interaction steering on the right course of enjoyment and amicability, writing…
“I am part of a team that is here with the purpose of interfacing the community and our volunteer groups. It’s involved, it has a lot of moving parts, and under no circumstances am I the be-all-and-end-all of this process. It is one of my major responsibilities, however, and I take it seriously. Don’t worry, the folks here will keep me upright.”
But alas, the vindication for balanced moderation was short lived, as Bear had gender pronouns in his Twitter profile.
After the community began digging around in Bear’s past circle of friends, it was discovered that he was actually friends with the few moderators that caused all the massive controversy earlier in the year regarding the word “trap” being banned, which included the mods Misan, Telluric, and Server.
These accusations weren’t thrown out lightly. Old archives of tweets showing Bear being friends with the exact same moderators that have been giving the Warframe community hell over the past year revealed that he wasn’t just some random choice to manage the mods, he had been friends with them for months.
When this was discovered, the community instantly reacted by doing the most logical thing possible: posting the evidence and exclaiming that Bear Winters’ hiring was a conflict of interest, as noted by Quamol, who wrote…
“This is very concerning to me, as it brings up the issue of conflict of interest towards a position that requires judgment calls/decision-making based on impartiality/objectivity. I hold no ill-will or question the character of DE Bear, but such a conflict is very concerning for such a position regardless of character.”
Others felt as if Digital Extremes needed to excise the infected parts of the community to save face and eventually save the community the long run. This included suggesting to get rid of Server, Misan, Telluric, and Shadow, since the moderators have been creating strife and a hellscape of discomfort for players of Warframe. Heck, an archive of Telluric’s profile bio showed just how much disdain he has for the Warframe community.
It seems as if there’s been an unnecessary roller coaster ride of cacophony and chaos surrounding these moderators, which seems counterproductive to building a sustainable, welcoming community.
Now we’ve seen in the past how moderators attempting to target the illustrious “Phantom Audience” has actually resulted in game communities completely dying out, with Hyper Universe being a prime example of that, eventually netting it a spot on the Get Woke, Go Broke Master List.
Hopefully Digital Extremes takes the community concerns to heart and works hard on repairing the trust and wounds that have created all of this unnecessary strife spawned from moderators who are operating on a power trip.
(Thanks for the news tip Bravo Tenno)