Update (11:30am GMT+8 on 18 May 2021):
Earlier today, a joint collective of IGN employees have released a statement aimed at “management of J2 global and Ziff Davis, and the corporate leadership of IGN”. This lengthy statement was then shared on social media by dozens of IGN employees.
The newly-released statement calls out management and corporate for removing the post directing aid to Palestinians without issuing an “explanatory statement” of why the original article was removed, which goes against company policy the basic standards of journalistic integrity.
Most notably, the employees who signed the statement are calling for a meeting with management and corporate “by the end of the week” to request “full transparency about the reasoning and process behind the post’s removal”.
They are also requesting to re-publish the original article. You can check out the full statement and open letter in the link here.
I have to say I love the thumbnail image Reddit picked up for this, which is from another Medium article entitled "Why is Finding a Good Man so Hard for Single Women Over 35?" pic.twitter.com/OxhB9wuZaM
— Dan Stapleton (@DanStapleton) May 18, 2021
Update (2:45pm GMT+8 on 17 May 2021): IGN just recently released the following statement via their official Twitter account:
— IGN (@IGN) May 17, 2021
Essentially backtracking from “picking sides” in the conflict, IGN’s official reply felt very corporate-driven. Its aim was to quell the anger generated from its earlier move of taking down the original piece, which showed solidarity with the Palestinians. Alas, the damage has been done.
It would be interesting to see how other regional license holders would react to this – especially the ones headquartered in majority-Muslim countries such as IGN Middle East and IGN Southeast Asia which is based in Malaysia.
Original news report below:
Israel’s continuing illegal occupation and oppression of Palestine have escalated in recent weeks, causing many around the world to rise up in support of either side. Several major gaming websites and publications have since posted their support of the Palestinians by providing links to related charities and humanitarian aid groups. These include IGN, Game Informer, GameSpot, Kotaku, and others.
However, IGN’s original post has since been removed and taken down; the link now leads to an error page. This happened only after IGN Israel posted a statement where they condemned the actions of the IGN US’ pro-Palestine article.
At the time of writing, it’s currently unclear if IGN parent company Ziff Davis intervened and forced them to remove the pro-Palestine posts. So far, that looks to be the most probable reason.
Update: (12:25pm GMT+8 on 17 May 2021):
Former IGN staff member Alanah Pearce clarified this notion via a tweet, saying that parent companies of IGN were the ones responsible for the removal of the piece. In her subsequent tweets, she voiced her disapproval of the top brass stymieing editorial freedom and called the move a ‘literal censorship’ from the parent company.
Just this one. https://t.co/Cuv24MrLT5
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) May 16, 2021
It’s not at all splitting hairs. It means the IGN employees, who are front-facing and are being shat on for this, do not agree with it/had their editorial freedom taken away. It’s literal censorship from a parent company.
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) May 17, 2021
Original report as follows:
Another major site, Game Informer, has also removed and taken down their pro-Palestine article. Just like IGN’s, the Game Informer link now leads to an error page. It’s also currently unclear if Game Informer parent company GameStop had any involvement.
Several figures and journalists in the games industry have pointed this out and voiced out their opinions on social media:
Here are details for IGN and Game Informer's corporate. Do send your objections.
— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) May 16, 2021
Thank you to every member of the IGN and Game Informer teams that took the incredibly brave step of voicing their support for people that needed. Regardless of what happened, you did the right thing and you should be proud of that. You truly have made a difference.
— Tamoor Hussain (@tamoorh) May 16, 2021
The ongoing crisis in the West Bank and Gaza is a humanitarian crisis which we should not turn a blind eye to. It’s about humanity and us standing up for the oppressed, rather than pitting one religion against another. We also encourage our readers NOT to take their frustrations and grievances to the editorial staff of said publications above, as it is not their fault. Decisions such as these, in most cases, come from above – between licensees and franchise owners.
Disclaimer: The founders of Kakuchopurei.com, Kenn Leandre and Jonathan Leo, are former editors at IGN Asia and Gamespot Asia respectively. Both individuals have left their editorial posts a long time ago, hence they do not speak on behalf of any members currently employed full-time by the respective regional license operators.