NexusMods and ModDB, two of the biggest online sites for PC game mods, have removed a project that cut pride flags in the game from the recently released PC port of marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. As NexusMods explained in a blog post, the mod was uploaded to their site by a brand new account with no modding history, which site administrators suspect is a secondary account for one of the site’s users. – a “sock puppet” account.
“It was very clearly deliberately made to be a troll mod,” writes NexusMods. “The fact that the user needed to make a sock puppet like a coward to download the mod showed their intent to troll and they knew it wouldn’t be allowed. If they hadn’t been cowards and if they had used their main account instead, we would have simply deleted the mod and told them we didn’t want to host it, only banning them if they re-uploaded it after being warned. sock puppet removed all doubt and made the decision easier for us.
In addition to removing the mod, NexusMods says it’s banning both “the sock puppet account and the user’s primary account.” The mod replaced the pride flags found around New York with the United States flag, which is frequently seen in the original game.
Hi! We have removed the content and banned the users. ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not allow targeting of marginalized groups. Our content moderation is largely automated but where identified we have a zero tolerance policy for this type of content. https://t.co/0leqjUxqJD
— ModDB (@ModDB) August 17, 2022
ModDB, another popular source of mods for PC games, too confirmed in a tweet that he deleted the mod. “ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not allow targeting of marginalized groups,” the tweet read. “Our content moderation is largely automated but where identified we have a zero tolerance policy for this type of content.”
“Our policy is: we are for inclusivity, we are for diversity,” NexusMods states in their post. “If we believe someone is uploading a mod to our site with the intention of deliberately being against inclusivity and/or diversity, we will take action against it.” A NexusMods help page notes that “Content that may be generally construed as inflammatory, divisive, objectionable, discriminatory, or abusive toward any real-world individual or group, may be subject to moderation.”
“If you mind this policy, if we have violated a moral code of conduct as a business that you cannot accept, then please delete your account,” writes NexusMods.
It’s a shame, because the PC modding community has otherwise been in excellent shape with the mods they’ve created for Insomniac’s Spider-Man title, allowing players to move around the city like everything from antagonist from Spider-Man Kingpin to Black Cat, and there have been plenty of mods to tweak the look and colors of Spider-Man’s iconic suit.