The r/NintendoSwitch subreddit was known for being a place of lighthearted discussion about the games and hardware of Nintendo's newest console. But a simple post announcing an event cancellation has turned user and moderator against one another. Now, moderators are faced with removing one of their own or losing their users. All because, as seems to be a running theme recently, of Blizzard.
The madness began when someone shared a tweet from the official Nintendo NY store. The content simply says "Please be aware that the previously announced Overwatch launch event scheduled for Wednesday, 10/16 at NintendoNYC has been cancelled by Blizzard. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."
The post definitely fit within the subreddit's subject matter. It's about a launch event for a major game coming to Nintendo Switch. It also just happened to relate to Blizzard, a company that's under fire right now after punishing a pro Hearthstone player for making a pro-Hong Kong statement. Many gamers on the western side of the world disagree with Blizzard's actions, taking them as prioritizing Chinese interests over the ideal of free speech. Many users expressed such opinions on the NintendoSwitch subreddit post. That's when moderators decided to crack down.
It was one moderator in particular, MegaMagnezone, that spearheaded action against the topic. They locked the post, meaning no one could comment, and even started deleting existing comments. This proved to be too much for users. While one could have agreed with MegaMagnezone's intentions, some of the comments got very harsh and strayed from the original event cancellation, they took their power too far. Users pushed back, and MegaMagnezome defended their actions by saying talking about a Nintendo Switch game launch event is off topic in the Nintendo Switch subreddit.
It all came to a head when the moderator team silently switched an existing rule to include "no politics" in its terms. Most subreddits take the changing or adding of rules very seriously, and will take feedback from their users, or at least inform them, before making such alterations. The sudden change to the r/NintendoSwitch rules only further heated the boiling pot. Eventually the moderator team found themselves in the position of making an apology post.
"We acknowledge that we were poor in how we handled this situation, both in the lead up, the execution of the rule change, and what immediately followed. We apologize for the handling of this situation," it reads. Afterwards, they announced that they were revoking the "no politics" rule and re-allowing open discussion on the Overwatch launch topic. They are not, however, removing any moderators. Even MegaMagnezone, the center of all the contention, is staying on. Users are not happy about that.
Some former users have formed their own new subreddit, r/SwitchPlayers, out of protest. It has 355 members, as opposed to r/NintendoSwitch's 1.4 million. So the revolution is slow going. But it serves as a reminder that, when it comes to Blizzard, censoring criticism is probably not the answer.
Source: Subreddit Drama