Pokemon Go outrage over Remote Raids devolves into death threats and hate speech
While a large number of players plan to boycott Pokemon Go or have signed petitions in support of reverting Remote Raid pass changes, others have devolved to using transphobic hate speech and sending Niantic employees death threats to show their opposition.
Pokemon Go players have rallied together to express a portion of the community’s disappointment in Niantic. On March 30, the creators of Pokemon Go announced two massive nerfs to Remote Raiding.
As a response, PoGo trainers plan to boycott the game for a week starting on April 6, while close to 50k players have signed a petition to “Save Remote Raiding.” The discontent has reached across online forums such as Twitter and Reddit, but Niantic has yet to acknowledge the deafening outcry.
Despite the majority of the conversation remaining civil – outside of namecalling – some players have used the discussion to spread transphobic hate speech and even threaten the lives of Niantic employees.
Remote Raid backlash becoming hateful and dangerous
On March 31, the day after Pokemon Go dropped the bombshell blog post, Niantic tweeted in recognition of International Transgender Day of Visibility. Players took to the comments to post #HearUsNiantic and to criticize the company for the announcement from the day before.
However, users noticed Niantic had hidden some of the replies. And while some of the hidden tweets were simply the hashtag or a screenshot of the boycott plan, others included more visceral language against the trans community. These seemingly transphobic were joined with complaints toward the Remote Raid nerf.
But the outrage reached a new low when players found a personal Twitter account belonging to a Niantic employee. Tyler, the Global Community Manager for Pokemon Go, reported receiving his first death threat four days after the announcement.
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“Got my first death threat,” Tyler wrote. “I mean this sincerely. This is my personal account. I look at what people say (regarding my line of work), but this is not an official line of communication for Niantic. If you want me to see your feedback, please be constructive. Threats are not.”
Many players who feel unheard by Niantic were appalled by the actions of their fellow trainers. They claimed that players had the right to be upset with the nerfs but had no right to attack and threaten an employee.
As April 6 approaches, players grow more impatient waiting to see if Niantic will actually follow through with its plan or if they will listen to the masses of disgruntled players.