HAVAmedia, the parent company of the video game aggregation news site N4G, has responded to the situation regarding censorship, submissions and #GamerGate. Recently there were complaints from the community about a rule that was passed about what type of #GamerGate submissions would be allowed on the site, and it caused an uproar in the community that echoed outside of N4G and into other sub-communities across the internet. Well, the CEO of HAVAmedia finally addressed those concerns after some changes were made at N4G.
Originally, a rule was passed down at N4G that would prevent any news about #GamerGate that wasn’t directly tied to a game from being allowed on the site. This caused a ruckus because #GamerGate is a cultural phenomenon that deals with the corruption in games media and not an actual game. Hence, it would mean that most of the important news about #GamerGate would not be allowed on N4G at all. Gamers considered this as N4G’s way of enacting censorship. The administrator and some of the mod staff saw it as enforcing site policy.
Users rallied together and compiled evidence and information that showed that there were some contradictory policies in play at N4G. The article that contained this information had one of the N4G administrators, Christopher, come in to run damage control and explain why the new policy was put into place. Gamers were unsatisfied with some of his responses.
Eventually a campaign was put together to e-mail and reach out to the HAVAmedia team and request better site-wide policies for submissions and clearer guidelines to prevent some articles from going through while other articles get banned. This rang especially true when some non-game related articles were allowed on N4G but some #GamerGate articles were not.
After the original article went up and a few posts on Reddit were made, as well as spreading the information to Twitter, N4G’s administrator, Christopher, updated the site’s rules on #GamerGate and made some modifications in a blog post.
Following the administrator’s altered stance on allowing certain #GamerGate articles back onto N4G, the HAVAmedia CEO, Vegard Aure, responded to the e-mail campaign from the community standing behind the GamerGate hashtag, saying…
“We have a team in place for operating N4G and we do put our full trust in their ability to make the right dissensions on matters like these. Our team is daily faced with many decisions that will no matter what they choose to do get negative reaction from some members of the community.”
This was also mentioned by the N4G administrator – that some decisions will always carry negative feedback with the community. However, many gamers would agree that educating and informing gamers about corruption happening in the games media ring is a very important topic, especially since it’s been censored at so many other gaming-centric websites around the web, including the main gaming hubs at Reddit.
According to Aure…
“I have not personally been able to follow all the discussion surrounding the problem you are referring to but I understand that there has now been made some changes that seems to address some your concerns so hopefully that will improve the situation surrounding these type of submissions.”
It’s not a perfect situation, and the blog post from the N4G administrator isn’t really a hardline policy stance that can be enforced, but it is an improvement over the loose rules that previously governed submissions related to #GamerGate.