NexusMods’ director responded to the matter in a lengthy statement.
Last week, a mod surfaced, uploaded by a throwaway NexusMods account. It replaced “Newton’s Prism’s artefacts with the stars and stripes “, which, in layman’s terms, means that the rainbow (Pride) flags have been replaced by the flags of the United States in Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, ported to PC courtesy of Nixxes Software. The mod became widespread and resulted in many homophobic comments, which led to NexusMod banning the person, and ModDB did the same.
ModDB posted on Twitter: “We’ve removed the content and banned the users. ModDB is an inclusive environment for all, and we do not permit targeting marginalised groups. Our content moderation is largely automated, but we have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of content when identified.” Robin “Dark0ne” Scott, director of NexusMods, has posted a longer statement on the site:
“Recently, there’s been some silly drama on our site that was sparked by someone uploading a mod for Spider-Man Remastered. The mod replaced the very few Pride flags the game has with the already prevalent USA flag texture from the game. The mod was removed from Nexus Mods, and the author was banned.
To address the banning (which is what many people want to focus on), the mod was uploaded by a sock puppet account (i.e. a newly made account by someone who already has an account on the site) and uploaded under the name “Mike Hawk”. It was very clearly done deliberately to be a troll mod. The fact the user needed to make a sock puppet like a coward to upload the mod showed their intent to troll and that they knew it would not be allowed. Had they not been a coward and used their main account instead, we would have removed the mod and told them that we did not want to host it, only banning them if they re-uploaded it after being fairly warned. Creating the sock puppet removed doubt and made it a straightforward decision for us. The sock puppet account and the user’s main account have been banned.
Regarding the replacement of Pride flags in this game or any game, our policy is thus: we are for inclusivity and diversity. If we think someone is uploading a mod on our site intending to be against inclusivity and/or diversity, we will take action against it. The same goes for people attempting to troll other users with mods to cause a rise deliberately. We will do a better job moderating our website to this ethos ourselves.
We aren’t the authority on what users can and cannot mod. Us removing a mod only means it cannot be found at Nexus Mods, nothing more, nothing less. We also note that we are not the only site that has removed this mod from their platform. As a private business, we have a right to choose what content we do and do not want to host on our platform. Respect this right the same way you want respect for your rights.
If you feel something goes against our policy, then please report it. However, we will adjudicate what we do or do not think is appropriate for Nexus Mods. And that goes for everyone no matter where they stand; left, right, or down. We don’t want to and won’t argue this with you. We’ve now explained our stance, and we won’t be providing a platform for you to distort our position to feed an irrational and paranoid narrative. You can do that elsewhere, where we won’t care enough to read it. If this policy upsets you if we’ve broken some moral code of conduct as a business that you can’t accept, please delete your account (bottom option) and move on, as we will.”
But why is a flag in the game that has no effect on the gameplay bothersome at all…? Insomniac, Nixxes and Sony have not reacted to the matter.
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