Giant Bomb News

1553 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+
1644 Comments
Posted by Milkman

This is exactly what needed to be said. Thanks, Jeff.

Edited by danlongman

Well said Jeff. I love this site and it's community. The recent abuse thrown around is unacceptable. Let's go forward and leave the shit and people responsible behind.

Posted by Aviar

Nicely said!

Posted by Marokai

@oldirtybearon said:

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.

From what I can tell it seems like most of the issues are from drive-by account creation and the abominable state of many of the live-show chats. As long as most of the new moderation efforts are focused there, along with streamlining things behind the scenes so things don't require as much constant focus from the individual mods themselves, I don't think it will be all that bad and things should largely improve.

I share your cautiousness about general "moderation will improve" promises, particularly since it does seem like most of the problems of the last few days have mostly had to do with people getting obscene off-site (and a lot of people seem to have bizarre censorship fantasies), but I think we should at least participate in the conversation about moderation in good faith than just declaring it all bad from the get-go.

Posted by anbilow

Amen, Jeff. Amen.

Posted by Jackhole

It's a bummer that things got to this point. Very well said, Jeff.

Posted by BlackSymbiote

Thanks Jeff! Time to take out the garbage and clean up the community!

Edited by Rorie

@soapy86 said:

@dexterkid said:

Seriously, did someone actually delete my post just now? Just because I didn't say something like: ''Right on Jeff, keep up the good work duder, I love this site more than life itself!!!!!''

What the fuck is going on here? We literally can't say anything on this site anymore that isn't just ass kissing the staff with high fives and back slaps all around? Absolutely ridiculous. This is turning into more of a cult than a community at this point.

A very tame comment of mine got deleted as well. I guess we've somehow made it on Rorie's shit list.

I haven't deleted anything from this thread. I looked at your comment and probably wouldn't have deleted it, personally. But I have instructed the mods to be extra vigilant here, as this is precisely the kind of thread that is going to attract people who want to make trouble. (And this is precisely the last place I want that to happen.) There'll be time to agree/disagree with whatever new moderation policies we enact when we announce them; all I can ask is that you don't take a pre-emptive "sky is falling" attitude about them.

Staff
Posted by Oldirtybearon

@octaslash: I've very rarely participated in the chats during live streams. I can only usually catch one comment out of a hundred because it literally moves too fast for me to see more of it. That's why I take everyone at their word that the chats are/can be as shitty as claimed.

As for the forums though, I'd have a hard time picking out what kind of material you're referring to. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I haven't really seen it barring the odd occasion.

Posted by Error1355

Hopefully now we can move past this nonsense. Keep up the great work guys.

Posted by UberExplodey

thanks boss

Edited by coribald

It's sad something like this has to be written but I appreciate it. The growth is exciting for everyone but I can't help but feel a little conflicted about it. The noise increases, the bullshit voices get louder, and the close-knit feeling of a small community starts to disappear. Hope we can hold onto it.

Posted by jimmyfenix

@nicknotch: Tim howard da gawd.

Love this community & site. Ten years i have been following your work duders keep up the good work!

Edited by Video_Game_King

Jeff 3:16

It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining duder.

Posted by animathias

Seriously, did someone actually delete my post just now? Just because I didn't say something like: ''Right on Jeff, keep up the good work duder, I love this site more than life itself!!!!!''

What the fuck is going on here? We literally can't say anything on this site anymore that isn't just ass kissing the staff with high fives and back slaps all around? Absolutely ridiculous. This is turning into more of a cult than a community at this point.

I have no idea what you said, but I feel you should take a deep breath and realize that the mods are probably really strung out and on edge right now. After the shit I've seen on this website in the past two days, I'm honestly surprised this article has a comment section.

Maybe they did it because similar posts caused a storm of replies, maybe they did it because it was on the fringe of attacking someone.

Maybe it was a mistake. Please don't jump to conclusions and let anger take over, because that's one of the main problems we've seen from all of this.

Posted by Darek006

Thanks for all you guys do.

Posted by DexterKid
@rorie said:

@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.

So all the people just saying that they love GB is really contributing to the conversation in a constructive way? Why don't you delete all those posts too? Or is it just that you delete anything you don't like the sound of?

Edited by Duffyside

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.

Somehow I don't think this line applies to the people who were resistant to Dan and Jason based on their sex and race, but it should. Other than that, excellently-said. Continually impressed with how succinctly Jeff can make his point.

Posted by Nasar7

It really is a shame to think our reputation has been tarnished because of a few bad apples. I still believe GB generally has the best community around.

Posted by MasterRain

I think this post is important, as people may have thought they were defending Giantbomb's honour or something. Don't be a dick and long live Giantbomb! ;D

Posted by CabbageSensei

Thanks for the words Jeff. I love Giant Bomb too, and I hope it gets bigger and better.

I also hope that the crew examines the criticism from these past few days. It's not enough to talk about being inclusionary; it takes inclusionary actions too.

Posted by Icicle7x3

Thank you Jeff and everyone at Giant Bomb, including the moderators. Your continuing efforts to make this website a better place is greatly appreciated.

Posted by jimmyfenix

@rorie said:

@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.

So all the people just saying that they love GB is really contributing to the conversation in a constructive way? Why don't you delete all those posts too? Or is it just that you delete anything you don't like the sound of?

Rorie did not delete anything. Calm down

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@marokai said:

@oldirtybearon said:

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.

From what I can tell it seems like most of the issues are from drive-by account creation and the abominable state of many of the live-show chats. As long as most of the new moderation efforts are focused there, along with streamlining things behind the scenes so things don't require as much constant focus from the individual mods themselves, I don't think it will be all that bad and things should largely improve.

I share your cautiousness about general "moderation will improve" promises, particularly since it does seem like most of the problems of the last few days have mostly had to do with people getting obscene off-site (and a lot of people seem to have bizarre censorship fantasies), but I think we should at least participate in the conversation about moderation in good faith than just declaring it all bad from the get-go.

I agree with you. I'm cautious because I've seen promises of beefy moderation and it's led to bad things happening to communities. Granted those were a lot smaller and the moderators on those boards were nowhere near as fair as the ones here.

I'm choosing to believe right now that all of this will work out for the best. I'm hesitant, but I don't think the sky is falling. Past experiences are making me wary, that's all.

Posted by Rorie

@rorie said:

@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.

So all the people just saying that they love GB is really contributing to the conversation in a constructive way? Why don't you delete all those posts too? Or is it just that you delete anything you don't like the sound of?

None of them are saying that sarcastically, are they? They're offering feedback about the announcement. Like I just said, we welcome criticism, but this isn't the place for sarcasm.

Staff
Edited by Fonzinator

A lot of common sense there Jeff. While this does nothing to deter those who say terrible things on Twitter, Reddit, or 4chan, I know you had to make a strong statement. This is a good statement, and I am glad you focus on the bully aspect of the last couple of days. That is the true issue here, and anyone who even had even the smallest thought that GB supports that kind of garbage should be ashamed. Internet bullies suck and we need to help in not letting things go their loud-mouthed way in the future.

GB strong, GB strong.

Posted by SpaceCouncil

I still have no idea what happened and I don't really care. It seems the internet despite a few generations past have not had a paradigm shift into realizing its a real place where people can be affected in real ways.

Love you Jeff

Edited by Zornack

Thanks for the words, Jeff and co. You guys are doing a great job.

@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.

That's fantastic. As the site grows the sort of vile, hateful speech that is being referenced will sadly increase due to the nature of the internet. Anything that makes you mods' job easier! Keep up the great work, duder.

Posted by SharkMan

i had a shit week, and haven't been on here, what the fuck did i miss?

Posted by nick_verissimo
Posted by UltimAXE

Fuck yeah, son! Video games!

Sad that this kind of editorial is even necessary, but, hey, the Internet, right?

Posted by James_Hayward

well said Jeff.

Posted by Hailinel

@rorie said:

@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.

You have the patience of a saint and are a better man than I. Thank you again for your efforts over the past couple of days. You inspire me to do better and I hope others take similar notice of what you've done. I doubt that this needs to be said, but I hope that as you roll out the changes that you and Jeff have alluded to that you'll keep the community well-informed and continue to listen to its concerns. In the past, I've sometimes wondered if the staff was tone deaf to the needs of the community, but the response I've seen in the past twenty-four hours and change has shown that isn't the case.

Posted by DawnShinto

It's funny, the way I digest this site I wouldn't have known that there's a asshole problem...

Posted by ZombieFDR

Those assholes will never bring Giant Bomb down. Jeff, you and your group of duders are the best around, no doubt.

Edited by Mister_Snig

@sharkman said:

i had a shit week, and haven't been on here, what the fuck did i miss?

From a post I made earlier:

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.

Posted by NTM

Wow, things got bad enough here for this to come up huh? I missed it all aside from seeing some of Rorie's thread posts. Anyways, cool. I would ask what the problem was, but then that'd probably be asking for too much and people would rather put behind.

Posted by suikoden352

Been here since beta days when they were just vaguely talking about this site's start over on arrow pointing down. Not going to let this bump deter me from here. There are plenty of good people here and we've all come a long way through both the good and the bad. I'll always stand with giant bomb.

Posted by Skywarpgold

Thanks Jeff! You rock.

Posted by russman588

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.

Well, ultimately some of the accounts between Twitter and Reddit and Neogaf and Giant Bomb will overlap, some even have the same usernames. If people are being shits on those sites (like in that one Reddit post that seemed to draw a lot of people towards Samantha Allen's Twitter account), I don't see why they should be allowed to stay here. That's one aspect of "tighter" moderation I could see happening and support.

As for the debate/discussion thing, I feel like that's a privilege and not a right. If people can't handle having that kind of debate/discussion on these forums without going onto other sites and throwing nasty words at completely innocent people, then maybe certain types of posts shouldn't be allowed and moderation should be more strict.

Posted by Itwongo

Well put. We'll pull through this.

Edited by TruthTellah

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'll be implementing new moderation policies and adjusting a few things behind-the-scenes to enhance our ability to moderate the boards.

Thank you, Jeff. This has been a long time coming.

Online
Edited by terror_shart

@dexterkid said:

So all the people just saying that they love GB is really contributing to the conversation in a constructive way? Why don't you delete all those posts too? Or is it just that you delete anything you don't like the sound of?

I think these comments are more of a sign of support for Jeff and the crew, not really cultist behavior. In the end, this site is the staff's vision, and we are simply over support and agreement in the direction they want to go

Posted by yodasears

@oldirtybearon: That's nice. I'm happy for you. I've been a subscriber for a few years and won't go near the forums because of how I've been treated. I love the site and the core duders, but my experience of the community has been that for every awesome and amazing contributor, there's an equally vocal absolute c*nt.

Posted by jgf

It's no longer enough to ignore the hatred that so many people spew. We have to fight them. They're wrong, and they don't get to win just because they shout the loudest.

Of course everybody should make it clear that any kind of harassement is not acceptable, but to put it with a sightly modified saying: "Fighting against harassement is like screwing for virginity."

We don't have to fight, we just have to keep calm and make point clear.

Posted by BaD_KarAte

Giant Bomb is an awesome website that is run by awesome people. The community has been tremendously generous and loyal at times. Our high mark should be our constant.

Online
Posted by DexterKid
@rorie said:

@dexterkid said:
@rorie said:

@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.

So all the people just saying that they love GB is really contributing to the conversation in a constructive way? Why don't you delete all those posts too? Or is it just that you delete anything you don't like the sound of?

None of them are saying that sarcastically, are they? They're offering feedback about the announcement. Like I just said, we welcome criticism, but this isn't the place for sarcasm.

Right...

You guys keep your super duper happy 'inclusive' community here, and I'll take my horrible sarcasm elsewhere, shall I?

Have fun.

Posted by Clarity

Thanks for saying this Jeff. It's awesome that the Giant Bomb folks are willing to put shitty opinions on blast and foster an inclusionary (that's not a word I guess) community. I know it can't be easy dealing with all the terrible stuff on the internet but you're trying and that's rad.

Online
Posted by HelloDanni

You guys do such a good job of creating an atmosphere of fun and inclusion with your content that I sometimes forget our gaming community at large can be pretty junk sometimes. And I guess now is as good a time as any to make my first post on Giant Bomb after being a member for two years as well as a premium subscriber. Thanks for all you do, guys! Truly appreciated.

Posted by Clonedzero

I just hope these rules dont screw over the community with overly strict rules and policies. I've seen many a forum and internet community forum because of over zealous moderation. So this sort of reaction has me a bit concerned, but if it becomes a problem, then well, hopefully people will speak up.

Making harsher and stricter rules for everyone to punish a few assholes just seems to be wasted energy with good intentions. Doesn't make it the right thing to do.

I mean you can already have your thread locked because a vaguely similar 3 year old dead thread exists, which you cant even find with the forums awful search functions. So yeah...

Bit concerned about this honestly.