A Flurry of Bans
June 19th is a very special day in the United States. The history of Juneteenth resonates with us this year especially with recent events of civil unrest, protesting police brutality and racism. In recognition of Juneteenth, Blizzard made a special announcement in support of Black communities. In this message, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack laid out a plan of action for the company. It includes actions they have taken, ongoing plans, and steps outside their digital platform to fight racism and support Black communities.
Brack began the announcement acknowledging Blizzard’s commitment made at the last BlizzCon to do better, though not mentioning the actual controversy with Blitzchung’s support of pro-democracy protesters in China. He then mentioned the efforts of Activision Blizzard to support Black communities through donations to the Equal Justice Initiative, the United Negro College Fund, and the Management Leaders of Tomorrow. Since the beginning of 2020, Blizzard has also banned upwards of 30,000 accounts for hate speech and toxicity through A.I. and machine learning. In the last two years, these methods have yielded promising results like “a 43% reduction in poor behavior reports, and a 59% reduction in the re-offense rate.”
Anyone committed to social change and betterment knows that fighting racism is an ongoing process and not a destination, so Brack said that Blizzard will be holding active employee education programs on allyship, advocacy, and racism. Though many publishers and developers nowadays are saying that equity training and action for change are their priority, only time will tell if they are doing enough.
Do you think these efforts by Blizzard are going to be impactful for their community? Let us know in the comments below.