Giant Bomb News

1552 Comments

Letter from the Editor - 07/02/2014

Hey, hi. Let's talk for a sec, OK?

In the last few days there's been a lot of talk about what Giant Bomb is and isn't. What it stands for and what it won't stand for. A lot of people have made a lot of assumptions about what we do and how we act, and what we tolerate or even condone on our message boards and live chats. Most of this isn't new, but it's well past time to come out and say what this staff and this site stands for.

Giant Bomb is, by design, an inclusionary place. When we originally built the site back in 2008, it was originally thought of as a place where our audience could contribute in meaningful ways. Or, if they like, they can just sit back and enjoy our various productions. When I say "inclusionary," I mean exactly that. No person should be excluded from our site. The fact that some people have been resistant to people based on their gender, religion, race, creed, or anything else like that is not acceptable. Even less acceptable are people who make their exclusionary beliefs known (repeatedly and often aggressively) and then attempt to say that those viewpoints are valid and, thus, must be allowed for us to remain inclusionary. That is bad logic. That is a bullying tactic, and that style of intimidation will not be tolerated.

We moderate our live chats, message boards, and comment threads. And we do it rather viciously. Some things certainly do slip through the cracks and you may see some garbage on our site before we get to it. To those of you who help by reporting things to our moderation team, you have my thanks. We're certainly not perfect. When we launched the site, we launched it with one simple rule: "don't be a dick." This may have gotten by in an age when we were a fraction of our current size. These days, we've grown to a point where small community rules aren't enough. We'll be implementing new moderation policies and adjusting a few things behind-the-scenes to enhance our ability to moderate the boards. We'll have more to say about those policy changes as they come.

We felt the need to come forward and state our position after some individuals decided to speak out about how we're conducting business and were promptly attacked and abused on Twitter and other social media platforms. Whether one agrees with our critics or not, it certainly doesn't warrant the response they've received.

I feel absolutely horrible that people have been harassed for simply expressing their views about what we do.

The people attacking our critics do not represent our views and they never have, whether they're doing it in our name or not. I appreciate that people enjoy our work and that they often care enough about it to criticize it.

I would like to apologize to everyone that has seen any bit of unpleasantness this week, whether it is directly associated with our message boards or not. We will continue to work to make the site a better place for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks for using our site. It's been a very bumpy ride over these last couple of years and it just now feels like we're getting our feet underneath us and getting to a point where we can move forward. There's still a very active, wonderful, and beloved community at the core of this site, and their reputation has been tarnished alongside ours. We simply cannot and will not allow negative elements to ruin what we've built together.

-Jeff

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
1643 Comments
Posted by AleeN634

Well put Jeff.

Edited by SethPhotopoulos

Let's be happy

Online
Posted by thewonderwaffle

Much respect. <>

Posted by joshth

Well said, thank you Jeff and thank you GB for being an awesome place when people aren't being dicks to each other.

Posted by Drale

Thanks, Jeff. It's sometimes hard when being attacked not to dig in and lash out, and you deserve a great deal of credit for responding in a mature, clearheaded manner instead. I do hope you will continue to self-analyze and take to heart some of the criticism as I do believe that as you say much of it comes from a place of love and respect for the importance of what you've built here.

Something you said about being, from the beginning, an inclusionary place (a statement, I agree with, for the record) reminded me of an article on Medium by Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci I read a while back. It was addressed to Nate Silver, regarding the diversity of his new staff and his reaction to criticism and examined how many of us who see ourselves as being outsiders can unwittingly be exclusionary even while trying to be open. I encourage you to read it. It's a useful point of view.

I love you guys and what you do. I'm glad you are starting to get some support and feel like you've got your feet under you. I can only hope for bigger and better things including more voices from more backgrounds in the future.

Thank you!

Edited by Oldirtybearon

I'm still not sure why we're going to the feel the pinch of "tighter" moderation when the fucktards who made this mess did so on other sites and social media services.

This whole thing seems like a few shitheads fucking a good thing up for everybody. I suppose if this means that people who are assholes in the chats get slapped around sooner and harder than normal, that might be a good thing.

What I'm worried about are the heated debates evaporating because only one viewpoint, one opinion, and one set of ideals/beliefs will be tolerated on the forums. I've seen it happen before and I am really, really hoping it won't happen here.

Posted by Demoskinos

Thanks Jeff.

Posted by NickNotch

USA! USA! USA! USA!

Edited by Lone_Villain

Its sad that this even needed to be said in the first place. Thank you, Jeff.

Edited by stenchlord
@mister_snig said:

@stenchlord said:

What brought this about? I don't regularly post or view the forums so have no idea about what goes on there.

A few people have expressed disappointment and concerns regarding the new hires (ie they hired known quantities who were straight white males), and other people began harassing and attacking those people. Yesterday, a lot of the staff noted that the criticism was a valid discussion and spoke out against the attackers.

Anyway, props to Jeff, Rorie, and the rest of the staff and moderators for handling this as awesomely as possible. Sure there are a few bad apples in the bunch that is the GB community, but they won't stop me from visiting the site and engaging with other users. GLHB.

Thank you for letting me know.

It's really sad it got to a point where something like this needed to be posted but this is the internet and there are always going to be some self-entitled toxic people on it.

Posted by Ozzie

@choffy said:

My heart belongs to Giant Bomb.

cheers

Edited by Barrabas

Honestly, I feel like this should have been up yesterday. Better late than never I suppose. Here's to moving forward.

Posted by warxsnake

<3 GB what a great message.

Posted by mracoon

Thanks for writing this, Jeff. I'd also like to apologise to all those people who were harassed in the name of Giant Bomb. We try to keep this a positive a friendly place but sometimes things slip through. Hopefully we can do better in the future.

The best days of GB and its community are still ahead of us.

I'll second that. Let's keep GB awesome, duders.

Moderator
Posted by Thurbleton

Agreed. To our awesome moderators you guys to great work, thanks!

Posted by xXCrazyCostaXx

Classy words from a classy man. Thanks for all you do jeff. The new hires couldn't be any better!! Love all of you to death for your dedication to this site, it's members, and putting on the best shows the video game world has ever seen!!

Posted by mus209

Wow , never even knew anything was going on. I mean I've seen the odd comment in live chat the odd time but nothing major.

I'm glad you guys have a No Asshole Policy and I'm also not surprised, you all seem like honest, nice guys willing to be there for the underdogs and even the lonely ones, giving them a place to be.

I'm glad I discovered this site a year ago. It's kept me sane during some bad times.

Keep up the good work.

All of you.

Posted by Hailinel

Thanks, Jeff.

And you're right. While "Don't be a dick" may have been enough of a rule in 2008, the site and community are just too large to use it as the sole guiding principle (though it is still very much valid). I look forward to seeing and hearing more about the changes to come and the work that will go into ensuring that this site and community are made, and kept, a respectful place for everyone.

Posted by TDot

While I didn't personally see any of the garbage I can only imagine what horrid things people did and said. Unfortunately the internet makes people even with the most deplorable viewpoints feel validated.

Posted by Clockwork_saint

Thanks, Giantbomb, for everything you have done and will ever do! I trust in you

Posted by Hobbaswaggle

Thank you Jeff! I <3 GB!

Posted by Rotnac

Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!

Posted by Aistan

Thanks Jeff, and all you guys.

Posted by Sparklykiss

@forteexe21 said:

What about the people who put stuff other than cheese and pepperoni in their pizza? Can i still call them insane?

There is nothin' wrong with a little mushroom on a pizza pie, good sir.

(Right on, thanks for this, Jeff!)

Moderator
Posted by MooseyMcMan

I'm quite pleased at this!

Thanks Jeff.

Moderator
Posted by Voxus

To the GB Staff and the real GB community, keep being awesome.

Edited by therealnelsk

Well said Jeff. We're all in this together, and those of us in the community also have a responsibility to reject this type of behavior. I know I'll be making more of an effort moving forwards. Thanks for all that you do, and thanks to the community for being so rad. Tomorrow will be better.

Posted by tuesdaythe5th

<>

Posted by ZombiePie

What I'm worried about are the heated debates evaporating because only one viewpoint, one opinion, and one set of ideals/beliefs will be tolerated on the forums. I've seen it happen before and I am really, really hoping it won't happen here.

Civil and productive debates and criticism will always have a place on Giant Bomb, as they have, so long as they are just that. When Jeff talked about re-hauling the way we handle moderation he's more or less talking about making the moderation process on Giant Bomb more effective and efficient. This means that we will be able to process rule breaking behavior in an expedited fashion to prevent things from getting out of hand.

Moderator
Posted by csl316

Thanks, Jeff.

I know the site has always been responsive to feedback, and I'm sure this week is no different. I just hope that people understand that critiquing a group is ok. But if the group listens and doesn't do everything you want them to do, they're well within their right to do so.

Anyway, adding Jason and Dan has made this a better site than it was last week. Very excited about the future of Giant Bomb.

Edited by Octaslash

I'm still not sure why we're going to the feel the pinch of "tighter" moderation when the fucktards who made this mess did so on other sites and social media services.

This whole thing seems like a few shitheads fucking a good thing up for everybody. I suppose if this means that people who are assholes in the chats get slapped around sooner and harder than normal, that might be a good thing.

What I'm worried about are the heated debates evaporating because only one viewpoint, one opinion, and one set of ideals/beliefs will be tolerated on the forums. I've seen it happen before and I am really, really hoping it won't happen here.

Have you read the Giant Bomb forums or chat? That shit exists on here too.

Even less acceptable are people who make their exclusionary beliefs known (repeatedly and often aggressively) and then attempt to say that those viewpoints are valid and, thus, must be allowed for us to remain inclusionary. That is bad logic. That is a bullying tactic, and that style of intimidation will not be tolerated.

This makes me very happy.

Posted by Noval

It will never cease to amaze me what the internet will get unreasonably angry about.
Still, it's the right thing to put out a statement like this, just a shame that this overshadows what seem to be two great additions to the GBTeam.

Posted by ronindrummer200

Thanks Jeff!

Posted by marc

Well said, Jeff. You guys rock

Posted by GuardianKnux

I'm glad to be included in the Giant Bomb community.

Posted by Link43130

Those jerks sure are Something Awful.

Edited by Marino

Seriously though, well said. It's sad that the worst of the bunch are often the loudest. We've got a good thing going here, so let's not let a handful of assholes ruin it for everyone.

Staff
Posted by Fluttercry

Jeff laying down the pipebomb. I'm with ya duder

Posted by Jellybones

Even when things seem a bit dodgy (see: Ryan apologizing for an epithet and people being really gross in trying to suggest he backtrack on being "PC" or a SJW or whatever), nothing on the forums has seemed vitriolic like yesterday's twitter harassment was. Misguided and naive at most, but not mean-spirited. I do wonder how much of what went on was even in the name of GiantBomb and not reddit/4chan/neogaf teenagers getting worked in to a defensive huff.

Big Jeffrey <3

Posted by ZombiePie

@forteexe21 said:

What about the people who put stuff other than cheese and pepperoni in their pizza? Can i still call them insane?

There is nothin' wrong with a little mushroom on a pizza pie, good sir.

(Right on, thanks for this, Jeff!)

I'm going to come out and say this...I like anchovy on my pizza. I also enjoy clams on a nice New Haven style pizza.

Moderator
Posted by Rorie

@hailinel said:

@soapy86 said:

WOW. I can't believe my comment got deleted. I didn't even say anything mean. I guess let the echo-chambering commence!

The moderators are on high alert in threads on this topic. Rule of thumb: If you have nothing constructive to say here regarding what Jeff has said, or the events that led to this statement, please don't say it.

To clarify, I've seen enough eye-rolling "this really isn't a big deal" sarcastic responses over the last couple of days. They don't really contribute to the conversation that we're having here. We welcome criticism (as I think the article explicitly says) but try to be constructive.

Staff
Posted by Mortuss_Zero

@robin_smith: Booooooo, I won't be stuck as the elf though. I'll just bring a Hand Grenade.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@zombiepie said:

@oldirtybearon said:

What I'm worried about are the heated debates evaporating because only one viewpoint, one opinion, and one set of ideals/beliefs will be tolerated on the forums. I've seen it happen before and I am really, really hoping it won't happen here.

Civil and productive debates and criticism will always have a place on Giant Bomb, as they have, so long as they are just that. When Jeff talked about re-hauling the way we handle moderation he's more or less talking about making the moderation process on Giant Bomb more effective and efficient. This means that we will be able to process rule breaking behavior in an expedited fashion to prevent things from getting out of hand.

Thanks for the speedy reply. That definitely eases my concerns. I suppose at this point all I can do is to wait and see just what happens going forward.

Edited by IcyEyes

You have my sword.

and my axe!

And my credit card number.... wait a sec!

It's sad to see Jeff having to make a post like this. Anyone that goes around attacking people in the name of Giantbomb is no Duder of mine.

Edited by bigwinnerx

Good job Jeff and thanks to Rorie and others for all their hard work over the past few days dealing with these folks.