E3 to censor messaging center; will ban words including “Canada,” “Canadian”

E3 official homepage screenshot

As this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is headed for a full-digital event, a plan is in place to keep it tame. It will come in a form of censorship in its messaging center which will see disparaging words out of use.

Not in an official manner, however, word about said censorship came to consciousness from a leaked information. In it reveals a list of words that are meant to be impermissible during the event. Terms that can upset people, generally by being offensive or sexual in nature. Although, some terminologies that are not fitting in either classification can make their inclusions as well. In particular, and to the amazement of many, the words “Canada” and “Canadian”.

From a leak

As extracted from a JavaScript file, the leak was subsequently spread in Resetera, which shed light into it. As it appears, each word that made the list is categorized into a specific criterion, such as “Religion,” “Political,” Geography,” and “???”. The latter, as vague as it comes, seemingly identifies words with ambiguous connotations.

For instance, words like “christ” are “OMG” are to be left out in any conversation due to their religious nature. On the other hand, terms like “trump train” and “democratic socialism” are also seeing prohibition due to their political undertones. Meanwhile, phrases like “women rapping” and “toe jam” under “???,” despite their esoteric meaning, are also getting the ban as well.

But the most controversial of which, undoubtedly, has to do with the addition of words, “Canada” and “Canadian”. Which, indeed, could come off as extremely perplexing to those from outside the North American border. Especially true considering the eponymous country’s generally good reputation in the international stage.

Color me intrigued

With the intrigue it has built, many are left wondering how Canada and its inhabitants have made their way into the list. However, a closer look into the nation’s geography and one could tell where the notion could be coming from. It appears that the allusion has become a disparaging association to “black people” among white racists in the south. Seemingly, it is an all-new and subtle approach at being derogatory while not offending those targets of the insult.

The upcoming E3 event is indeed one joined by people of diversity. And it only makes sense that a measure to offset any potential issue be in place. More than anything, it displays the organizer’s commitment to maintain a positive environment to will-be partakers in the occasion.

Update:

A representative for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), organizer behind E3, has reached and clarified on the topic with the following statement:

“The team, working on E3 portal and app used a sampling of words that came from a third-party software company only for the purpose of functionality testing on the portal. This is not the final list, only a test list. The primary goal of curating this final list is to ensure the moderation functionality is being properly implemented to create a safe environment for all users.”

Image used courtesy of Electronic Entertainment Expo

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