N4G has been in the news multiple times in the past for the administrator and moderators exercising biases in censoring stories, users, and content on the gaming news aggregator. This time around a user exposed N4G’s administrator and community manager, Christopher, for censoring content that went against his Social Justice Warrior agenda.
The opinion piece from Sono421 starts by stating…
“Lately on N4G the mods have been showing a bias to certain views and this is a problem, they are selectively enforcing community guidelines mainly against those they disagree with, which is not how it should be done.”
The piece includes examples of Christopher censoring multiple comments from users because he disagreed with their view on race relations in America. Sono421 reached out to Christopher through the moderation ticket system to find out why he and some others had been moderated for their comments, and Christopher responded by saying…
“Because you, and others who were also marked, went horridly off topic. And, honestly, a few of your statements were pretty freaking racist. Equating movies with blacks in them as a sign that racism isn’t an issue? Woof. That’s just not how racism works otherwise we didn’t have racism back when Cab Calloway was having cartoons made to his music.
“Now, you may want to argue this with me, but I have no intention to argue racism with you. There’s just nothing in it as you’re not one to listen really, only explain.
“So, that’s why. You guys just went crazy off topic.”
Sono421 goes on to ask what specific remarks he made were “racist” and also explains how the original posters kept the discussion on-topic, but Christopher states that he doesn’t want to have the debate with him, writing…
“I didn’t call you a racist, I said some of what you said is racist.
“This is why I’m not going to have a debate with you.”
Sono421 asks again for context on what he said that was racist in Christopher’s eyes, and continues to call out Christopher for the censorship. He also retorts that their discussion isn’t a debate but rather asking for Christopher to justify his actions because he felt the reason for the censorship held no water.
Christopher dodges once more, replying…
“I’ve explained why your comments were marked. That’s all I need to do.
“You can disagree all you want. It won’t change the actions.”
Sono421 also pulled up another example of Christopher shutting down discussion when it veered into anti-SJW territory after someone submitted an article from the BBC titled “Where Are All The Women In Gaming?”
There’s a link to the article on N4G, but Christopher failed it after the comment section began railing on the BBC, feminists, and Social Justice Warriors. You can see a screencap of the article here and Christopher’s reasons for shutting down the article six hours after it was submitted.
Sono421 rounded out the blog piece by stating…
“The bias is so blatantly apparent it’s not even funny. Then of course the article was shut down yet again. Seems like articles like these only get shut down once the conversation really starts going.
“My point is, the mods should be there simply to stop people from saying racist/sexist/hateful things and not be picking and choosing when to enforce these rules or shutting down articles because they don’t like what they see in the comments. Show some tolerance would you?”
Christopher and a couple of the other mods were quick to come in and shut down the blog. The only way to see the blog piece now is if you log in, because the story was failed. However, a photo archive of the entire blog and the comments was saved, so it’s still possible to see what the reactions were like, including Christopher’s reason for nuking the post.
If you’re unable to read the message, he states…
“Sorry, but the blogs aren’t for attacks on people, even me. I’m sure this is an abuse of my power to you, but it’s just how it is as I’d do the same if someone wrote a blog about you. As far as a reply to this, we don’t discuss moderation outside of the people involved. So, sorry, can’t add to the drama here.”
The funny thing is, Christopher doesn’t even take the opportunity to finally explain to Sono421 what part of his comments were actually racist or even defend his reasoning for the censorship. Instead he just shuts down the post.
Keep in mind that Christopher already told Sono421 that he wasn’t going to “debate” him or discuss the issue further via the moderation ticket system. So not only could Sono421 not get any reasonable answers from speaking with Christopher directly, but he also couldn’t discuss the matter publicly with the community either.
It’s essentially doublespeak where no matter what someone like Sono421 says or does all of their attempts at getting resolution are shut down.
This has been a common tactic by Christopher since he joined N4G back in April of 2011.
Christopher’s antics were at least partially kept in check when the former administrator, Cat, was in charge.
Cat was a lot more neutral about matters, but after the #GamerGate controversy, she departed on April 3rd, 2015.
A lot of gamers had issues with the way the moderation staff had handled the topic of #GamerGate, where plenty of entries surrounding the blowup were also censored or moderated. We discussed N4G’s censorship of #GamerGate topics in an article published on January 15th, 2015.
It highlighted a lot of the double-standards and prevarications that the moderators used to shut down discussion or articles that didn’t align with their worldviews.
After an e-mail campaign to the parent company HAVA Media, who acknowledged the users’ worries over censorship, N4G’s administrators responded by creating some makeshift rules in amendment to the rules that currently existed on the site with a blog post stating that any “Social Issue” involving #GamerGate, SJWs, racism, sexism, or similar issues that didn’t directly involve a developer, publisher, or similar individual would not be allowed.
However, these rules were not followed by N4G’s own staff.
Additional users began reaching out to One Angry Gamer with more examples of double-standards and unfair moderation, which only escalated after Cat departed in early 2015. It was also revealed that sites and users could be banned from N4G based on off-site behavior.
Just two months later in December of 2015, N4G’s rules were further called into question when an interview with game developer Mark Kern was banned from N4G because during the interview Kern criticized Social Justice Warriors. The owner of the website TheGG was also temporarily suspended for submitting the interview with Mark Kern. This was covered in a lengthy editorial that was published on TheGG back on December 12th, 2015.
After a massive backlash that took place across social media, Christopher once again updated the makeshift rules and reinstated the interview, claiming that they only allow interviews on the site when the developer is working on a game. However, throughout 2016 more users began reporting unfair bans, censorship, and SJW-style double-standards being rampant throughout N4G. For instance, the moderators at N4G went out of their way to ban any articles or videos discussing Naughty Dog’s SJW agenda after it was initially put forward by YouTuber Robin.
It was the same story over and over again.
So when Sono421 posted the blog post, many users were quick to agree that N4G’s administrator and moderators were biased. They also pointed to previous comments made by Christopher who criticized whites for being “privileged”.
Anthotis linked to a failed story where Christopher responded to another user, stating…
“[…] You obviously don’t understand how many people have to live day by day, what they have to put up with, and how good the white man has it and will have it for centuries to come.”
You can read the full exchange of the conversation here. Just scroll down into the comment section.
Ironically enough, the people who were complaining in Sono421’s blog post about the mods marking any comments as “Inappropriate” that criticized the Regressive Left had their comments marked as “Inappropriate”.
Before the post was nuked by Christopher, some of the commenters suggested that complaining about N4G’s censorship on N4G was fruitless. They suggested that if users were truly tired of the sociopolitical bent that governs the submissions and censorship of N4G, they would have to go above Christopher’s head and contact the parent company, HAVA Media.
One user suggested using the HAVA Media contact form to raise the issue with the actual owners of N4G.
(Thanks for the news tip Robin)