NexusMods and ModDB, two of the largest online PC game mods sites, have removed a project that removes the in-game pride flags from the recently released PC port of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. As NexusMods explained in a blog post, the mod was uploaded to its site by a brand new account with no modding history, which the site’s administrators suspect is a secondary account for one of the site’s users – a “sock puppet” account.
“It was very clearly done intentionally to be a troll mod,” NexusMods writes. “The fact that the user had to create a sock puppet like a coward to upload the mod showed that he intended to troll and knew it wouldn’t be allowed. If they hadn’t been a coward and used their main account instead, we would have simply deleted the mod and told them we didn’t want to host it, and only banned them if they re-uploaded it after being properly warned. The creation of the sock puppet removed any doubt and made it a very easy decision for us.”
In addition to removing the mod, NexusMods says it has banned both “the sock puppet account and the main user account”. The mod replaced the pride flags found around New York City with the United States flag, which is often seen in the original game.
ModDB, another popular source of mods for PC games, too confirmed in a tweet that it removed the mod. “ModDB is an inclusive environment for everyone and we do not allow targeting marginalized groups,” the tweet reads. “Our content moderation is largely automated, but when identified, we have a zero-tolerance policy for this type of content.”
“So our policy is: we’re for inclusivity, we’re for diversity,” NexusMods says in his post. “If we believe that someone is uploading a mod to our site with the intent to intentionally oppose inclusivity and/or diversity, we will act against it.” A NexusMods help page notes that “Content that could generally be perceived as provocative, divisive, offensive, discriminatory, or abusive toward any person or group in the real world may be moderated.”
“If this policy upsets you, if as a company we have violated a code of moral conduct that you cannot accept, please delete your account,” NexusMods writes.
It’s a shame because the PC modding community is otherwise in great shape with the mods they’ve created for Insomniac’s Spider-Man title, allowing players to meander around town as everything from Spider-Man antagonist Kingpin to Black Cat, and there have been plenty of mods to customize the look and colors of Spider-Man’s iconic suit.