Several gamers who play Riot Games’ League of Legends have noted the game has censored the cultural word “Uyghur.” The exposure of this censorship immediately culminated in gamers heading to social media to condemn Riot’s decision to censor the word.
UPDATE: ” Effective immediately this is fixed on live in all Riot Regions. We’ll be spending the next few weeks triaging with our global teams to review our “disallowed words/phrases” lists and update accordingly. ” – The_Cactopus
Over at the LoL subreddit on October 20, 2019, user ResplendentShade went on to write…
“Try changing your status message to Uyghur. You can’t. It’s a legitimate name of a legitimate ethnic group, but Tencent-owned League is so sensitive about covering up the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people that they won’t even let you use the word. I’ve enjoyed this game for almost 10 years, but garbage like this makes me want to never play again.
“Are there any good MOBAs that aren’t owned and operated by companies that bow down to genocidal regimes? Because I’m not sure if I can continue to support this company in good conscience.”
This post drew a response from moderator The_Cactopus a few hours later…
“Gonna go look into this right now. Sometimes our system bans really weird words for no good reason. That said it would be compete bullshit to intentionally ban the name of any ethnic group. Will update when I find out more.”
Considering the current events in China, the community was not extremely comfortable with the turn of events. Besides mainland China attempting to limit the freedoms of those in Hong Kong, they are also rounding up the Muslim Uyghurs and inserting them in concentration camps to “re-educate” them to accommodate the “socialist values” of China more effectively.
This has gained widespread exposure from most mainstream news outlets, with recent Human Events highlighting the gulags that religious people are put in China’s AI system has regarded as potential threats to their society.
Earlier in October, PBS News Hour additionally had a spotlight on the camps.
It comes as no surprise that Tencent owned Moba censors political sensitive words in the China region but what’s most surprising is the censoring of the game outside of China. We’ll keep a close eye on how Riot Games decides to handle the situation and whether Riot drops Uyghurs ‘ censorship or hope the issue silently blows over.