One of the world’s biggest gaming forums has temporarily closed in order to raise awareness of hate speech within debate around videogames. Reddit’s r/Games subreddit is closed for April Fools, and its mod team has put out a lengthy statement explaining the reason for its decision.
In their announcement, the mods say their decision is part of an attempt to “shed some light” on “combative and derogatory schools of thought” that are “deeply embedded in the ranging depths of the internet, frequently in communities that center around the discussion of games.” The post features nearly an album containing more than 70 screenshots of racist, sexist, homophobic, and pro-pedophilia and pro-rape comments that the mod team has come across, which the team says “merely scratches the surface of the magnitude of the problem.”
The statement goes on to say that “preventing the cultivation of bigotry means giving it no ground to go to, and as a whole leave only space for those who would respectfully participate. We must closely examine our own communities, in an effort to encourage acceptance and inclusion, to foster a healthy community in which we value empathy and respect.”
The post closes with a list of organisations focused on assisting LGBT+ and POC communities, as well as Women’s Health charities and a list of additional relevant causes. The mod team has asked the community “to take into consideration the idea of helping these organisations out.”
Comments on the post are locked and the entire subreddit is currently ‘restricted’, meaning only posters approved by the mods are able to make new submissions (although presumably today there are no approved posters). The team says that a dedicated discussion thread regarding its decision will be posted tomorrow.