I've always taken democracy for granted, never truly knowing how bad it feels to have your voice stripped from you - at least, not until this morning. And in the unlikeliest of places, too.
I've supported Polygon since before their launch in October of 2012. To me, it was a concoction of our industry's best and brightest journalists. And despite our falling out earlier today, they continue to be precisely that in my eyes. What Polygon is not, however, is a safe forum for PlayStation fans to voice their opinions or concerns.
My particular concern with Polygon isn't that they have a tendency to score PS3 exclusives significantly lower than the average (Ni no Kuni and now, The Last of Us). I would be the very definition of a hypocrite if I said otherwise. My problem is that they continually seek to silence those who have differing opinions from their own. You see, today I was banned from Polygon. Not only was I banned, but every single comment I made today was deleted. And because of this, I can't provide you with the exact quotes that got me banned from the site, but I can provide you with the gist of the content:
- I expressed my frustration with Polygon and their seemingly blatant bias when it comes to PS3 exclusives like Ni no Kuni, for which they gave a 6.5/10
- I asked if it was coincidental that Polygon receives money from Microsoft in the form of ad revenue, while scoring PS3 exclusives significantly lower than their average
- I then posted a comment in a Puppeteer article written by Tracy Lien that read something along the lines of "Oh cool! PS3 exclusive? Can't wait to read the sub-6/10 review!"
Admittedly, the last comment was rude. And it deviated too far from the subject of the article. But most of the aforementioned should not have been deleted, let alone been cause for a ban. I think it's legitimate for readers to ask if ad revenue influences product reviews. After all, Microsoft purportedly paid Polygon $750,000 to fund and sponsor their documentary, Press Reset. Skip to the 3:04 mark for the kicker:
And this isn't the first time I've had issues with thread and comment deletion on Polygon. Apparently I have a long list of censored or deleted content. Here's a discussion I had with Shaun McIlroy, Polygon's Community Manager regarding a deleted thread of mine:
As you can see, Shaun is a great guy. And as for me, well, it goes without saying that I've posted some pretty questionable stuff on Polygon. But interestingly enough, none of it was enough to get me banned. So what was the one thing that crossed a line, you ask? Well, according to Shaun, I "have a hard time understanding that one persons opinion about a game in a review doesn't constitute an automatic bias against Sony."
Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel obligated to question the validity of a review for a PS3 exclusive when the page is surrounded by Internet Explorer ads. I'm no conspiracy theorist, just someone who wants to instigate discussion about editorial integrity. After all, it wasn't that long ago when Jeff Gerstmann was fired from GameSpot for giving Kane and Lynch a poor score, much to the dismay of Eidos Interactive. Are we really certain that this industry has moved beyond such practices?
Either way, congratulations to Naughty Dog for another job well done!
UPDATE: I'm not the only one who was banned from Polygon...
UPDATE #2: There are others who seem to be doing some sleuthing as well. I haven't yet confirmed some of what's mentioned in the following video: