Video game cats co-opted by extremists to spread hate

Popular video games like Minecraft, Call of Duty and many more are taken over by extremists to spread hate messages.

A recent study has shown that video games such as Call of Duty, Minecraft and many others, have been co-opted by groups sharing an extremist ideology.

According to the BBC, researchers have discovered anti-Semitism, racism and homophobia on streaming sites such as DLive and Odysee, where users have streamed and discussed video games such as Call of Duty and Minecraft. This despite the fact that each service has zero tolerance policies against hate and violent extremism, both claiming to be proactive in removing any content that violates the guidelines. The study found that these discussions often moved from sites to secure messaging services such as Telegram.

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Researchers have also uncovered extremist “role-playing” scenarios in games that allow players to create and share personalized maps. For example, scenarios of Nazi concentration camps and Uyghur detention camps were found in video games such as Roblox and Minecraft. Researchers have suggested that the increase in extremist activity in video games may be a response to increased enforcement of certain rules on major social media platforms.

Jacob Davey, head of research and policy on far-right and hate movements at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, said: “These are small and not played by a lot of people, but what they do is allow extremists to create role-playing experiences. … to live out radicalized fantasies online. “He added:” The far right has potentially found havens to spread its ideology or engage in more traditional propaganda – the sort of thing it would have done a few years ago on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. He then warned, “It’s a way for them to connect with like-minded people, to socialize and ultimately to form stronger social bonds, which can be very important in advancing and promoting extremist movements globally. “

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Joe Mulhall, of the anti-fascist organization Hope Not Hate, explained the dangers of letting extremist ideology and behavior fester in these video games. “Once you’re in this world, radicalization starts to happen… that’s when you start going to other meetings, to smaller groups that don’t necessarily play games, to talk about politics more explicitly. “

Although the study was conducted over a three month period, this is by no means a new issue. In 2019, Roblox came under criticism after it was discovered he had allowed more than 100 accounts linked to far-right profiles to remain. While the accounts were deleted shortly after the reports were released, Professor Jason Blazakis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies said at the time: gamers to report problematic material, users and groups. “

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Source: BBC

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