Metro Weekly

“Spider-Man Remastered” Users Banned for Erasing Pride Flags

Following homophobic edits on "Spider-Man Remastered," some users are being banned for promoting LGBTQ erasure. 

Screenshot of “Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered” – Photo: PlayStation

Major video game modding websites Nexus Mods and ModDB have banned multiple users for uploading homophobic content into Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, a video game now available on PlayStation.

The ban directly targets people who changed Pride flags to American flags. 

Spider-Man Remastered was released on August 12 following the smash success of the first Spider-Man franchise game, released in mid-2018. In the game, users play as Spider-Man, swinging across Manhattan to save the city from the ubiquitous supervillains.

Some users, however, took umbrage at the presence of Pride flags in the background of the game, taking it upon themselves to install a modification that changed the rainbow-colored flags into American ones.

Nexus Mods, a website that allows users to make custom changes to PC video games, released a blog post last Wednesday noting they had banned an account for replacing the flags.

The account that uploaded the modified game to the website went by the name “Mike Hawk,” which the site explained was a puppet account — an alternative account controlled by another person. 

According to the website Bounding Into Comics, the user uploaded the Non-Newtonian New York mod for the game — a reference to Sir Issac Newton’s experiments with light refraction and the spectrum — to Nexus Mods on August 15, in order to erase references to or symbols of the LGBTQ community.

Less than 24 hours later, Nexus Mods took action to punish the user.

In its write-up of the situation, Nexus Mods called the owner of the account a  “coward” for using an alternative profile to promote their anti-LGBTQ content, which is clearly outlined as a violation of the site’s values.

This made it “a very easy decision” for Nexus Mods to ban the account that posted the modified game, as well as the owner’s original account.

“As a private business, we have a right to choose what content we do and do not want to host on our platform,” the post read. “Respect this right the same way you want respect for your rights. If this policy upsets you, if we’ve broken some moral code of conduct as a business that you can’t accept, then please, delete your account and move on, as we will.”

A few hours later, ModDB, another game modifying website followed in Nexus Mods’ footsteps.

ModDB banned the same modifications in their versions of the game and released a tweet coinciding with Nexus Mods.

“ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not permit targeting marginalized groups. Our content moderation is largely automated, but when identified, we have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of content.”

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