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UPDATED: Gaming website Polygon silencing comments that don’t align with their agenda

by on April 27, 2017
 

UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM

### I never wanted to write something like this on our website, but you’ll see why I did when you’re finished reading this post. I know it’s long, but please read the whole thing. ###

If you’ve listened to the podcast (Go Frak Yourself) or been to our Facebook page, you’ve probably heard me talk about the “gaming” website, Polygon, which is owned by Vox Media (who also owns The Verge). Polygon was formed from previous employees of several gaming blogs like Joystiq and a few others. But like the Verge, Polygon has decided to really push a “heavy, liberal, social justice” angle into a lot of their posts. They purposely find angles about video games that they can distort and twist so that they can make a post claiming outrage. Why? Because it causes ire in people and that translates into clicks. That doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in what they are writing, but for them, it just works, so why stop?

Last night was the latest in this line of what I call bullshit SJW posts. That SJW, means “Social Justice Warrior.” Real quick, let me also clarify something, because you’ll see me later call them out ,as pushing a “liberal” agenda. I’m not a Republican pushing my agenda. In fact, I’m a register Independent, in the most recent election, I didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary, as I despise them both. Prior to that, I voted twice for Obama. I am very down the middle on a lot of issues and to be honest, when it comes to social issues, I’m very, very open. My wife, she is very liberal, as is her mother. I have two sister, whom I love and fight for and I have gay friends and family members, whom I love with all my heart. I’m all for equal rights. That being said, I believe, in my heart, that there is a specific time and place for those discussions, a video game website however, shouldn’t be one of them.

Back on topic. Yesterday afternoon, Sledgehammer Games and Activision took the wraps off their next Call of Duty game, WWII or World War II. The game seemed to be a hit, after last years Infinite Warfare, which took the crown for the most disliked video game trailer on YouTube. This year, they returned to form, their “roots” if you will. Fans on Twitter were finally back on their side and loving what they saw. SH Games was delivering, what appeared to be, a historically accurate WWII video game. I want you to remember that, historically accurate, because it’s important. While sites like Game Informer, IGN, and Gamespot all covered the game’s looks, feel and vibe, Polygon took a different approach. Their senior writer, Allegra Frank, wrote a post titled: Call of Duty: WWII’s ‘diversity’ is nothing more than marketing. If you care to read, click the title, it’s a hyperlink. In fact, I encourage you to read it, so you get the point I’m making here. Essentially, the post when broken down, says that Activision and Sledgehammer said they had diversity in their game (and they named a few) simply to fill the so-called “diversity checkboxes” and that their statement on such, was just a marketing ploy to say, look at us, we’re making strides. Frank goes on to say that if diversity was so important, why wasn’t a woman or a person of color on stage, instead of three white guys. I would like to point out that Frank is both a female and a person of color, so, there’s that too. But to answer her questions, we only need to reference the fact that Sledgehammer made a game that, here comes that part I told you to remember, is historically accurate. During WWII, there was still segregated, meaning that soldiers of color, were keep separate from white soldiers. Females, were also not allowed on the front lines of battle. When it comes to black soldiers and the invasion of France, not a lot is known. We know they were involved, in waves after the white soldiers had already hit, but according to Military.com, when Hollywood and others wanted info on people of color in the war, not even the government would be willing to help. It’s a sad fact, but it’s real. But if you’re Sledgehammer and you’re going to make a game about WWII and the 1st Infantry, you’re going to use the moments that have the most data in recorded history. Because more white males stormed the beaches of Normandy, not an assumption, but a fact, it made more sense to follow history and make a game based on that info, not based on racial tension and divides. So why did SHGames and Activision have three white males on stage, because they were the stars of the 1st Infantry and the people that your character will interact with the most. However, your character will still interact with African-Americans and women in the game, some in very tense ways, showing that segregation. Again, Frank would know this and could probably write a more in-depth and accurate post, had she actually played the game, but she hasn’t, NOBODY has played it. Which brings me to the point of this post. Allegra Frank, of Polygon, wrote a post dissing Sledgehammer for the way they handled diversity, without ever playing the game. She has NO CLUE how much diversity plays a part in COD: WWII, so she’s based this on what? Not seeing a woman or a person of color on stage in a 30 minute game reveal? She’s going to throw shade at Activision and Sledgehammer and say they are “cheapening” the idea of diversity based solely on that? That’s unreal.

So, as I said, I read her whole (long) post on all this and then I read the comments, some really good ones are gone, which I’ll get to in a second. But quite a few people, I’d say the majority of them, were not shocked at this post. Some said, more of the same from Allegra and Polygon, another said here we go again. While some of the better ones were removed, I did snag these before they were taken off.

Last night, I posted my own comment. Something more tame than those. I basically said, I remember a time when video game websites talked about rumors, previews, cheat codes and the like, but now we’re subjected to this type of video game articles. I said as gamers, we wanted fun and entertainment, to leave this type of stuff to CNN and Fox News. However, my comment was removed and I was issued a warning. Here’s a screen grab of my warning, with my comment in full on the top. Please read it.

They don’t want you to talk about whether or not those types of posts should be there, you just need to accept it. So it’s okay for Polygon to post articles that are controversial, but you’re not allowed to reply with your own beliefs. Now I fully understand that sometimes things can get out of hand, with people being vulgar, using hate speech and so forth, I totally get that. But you can see my comment. That was merely my opinion, I did ask why this [post] is this here and said, let’s have fun, etc. My voice was silenced. My post removed and I was issued a warning for that comment. However, I wasn’t alone. Here is a comment by another user who posted about his comment being removed.

I saw Tikthra’s comment and realized I wasn’t alone. That’s when I realized a lot of the other comments were gone too. Basically anyone who thought this post was off-topic, made no sense or was uncalled for, had their post removed. So I followed up with this comment, which I screen shotted before it is taken down.

I fully expect to have this comment removed and my account banned. But I want answers. I’ll also update this post if that does happen.

So what is the point of this post? Basically, I just want to bring this type of censorship to the attention other gamers out there. We go to sites like Polygon, IGN, GameSpot, Giant Bomb and Gamer Informer and to a degree, here, for our news on gaming. We don’t go there to read articles written by people that are looking for a fight, picking apart our games and developers and looking for something that can be lit into controversy for “clicks and revenue.” VOX, Polygon and The Verge are the biggest offenders in this category. I’ll finish with this, and I’d like to give credit to the guy who said it on the same comment thread as me, but I assume he was silenced and warned too, so I don’t have his name or the figures he referenced. He basically said and I paraphrase here, “I find it interesting that Allegra and Polygon are calling out Activision and Sledgehammer for not showing enough diversity, for just doing enough to ‘check the boxes’ and yet, Polygon employes over 20-30 people, how many of which are female or people of color? How many females are represented by this staff? 4-5? How many people of color do you employ? If you’re going to call out Sledgehammer on their diversity, you may want to fix your own company first. Hey pot, meet Kettle.”

Oh, one more thing for Ms. Allegra Frank. While he wasn’t on stage, I’d like to show off this picture:

He may not have been on stage, but he spoke about the game, how proud of it he was. Also, look at that title, Development Director! Meaning this guy has a LOT to do with the direction of this game. Apparently a person of color, such as himself, doesn’t feel that his game is detrimental to other people of color, but fairly reflects the time period in which this game is trying to bring to life.

In the end, I hope this article just shows off how classless Polygon is, how they silence the voice of people trying to have a sound conversation and just like to post articles that stir the pot, but don’t you dare stir your own on their website. When they are trying to push their social agenda, they’ll silence anyone who disagrees, regardless of where you stand.

Polygon is nothing more than an ambulance chaser in the gaming industry. They do employ some talented writers, it’s just a shame this is how they think and treat their readers.

UPDATE:

As expected, I simply wanted answers from Polygon, I wanted to know why other comments that were worse and more hate filled than mine were left up (maybe they didn’t see them) and mine was removed, ended in exactly where I thought it would, I was banned. Yes folks, after a warning, simply asking why this type of post was relevant, I was warned, but after asking why I was censored, I was banned. You can see the ban message below, you can see my original post (the response to being censored) and their reply to my banning. See if you think this is justified, because I certainly don’t.

Keep in mind, these are the same people you’re putting faith into, to give you an honest and trustworthy review of a game before you spend $60. Do feel you can trust them now? I don’t.

  • Joseph Fanning

    Hey, at least they’ll still let you contribute to their ad revenue, and that’s what really matters, right?