Cyperpunk twitter account makes a transphobic joke and apologizes



  • @bard91 I generally think it's best to ask why someone is upset with something rather than to just knee jerk that they are overreacting by being upset. Like, if your wife or gf is mad, and you don't know why, assuming she's overreacting is usually the wrong call.





  • @tokyoslim I understand the sentiment and the reason why someone could be upset, I still think there was overreaction and that the reaction I saw (which may well have been too focused on a few specific cases) was ridiculous based on what happened.



  • @bard91 Yes, I think you're probably right that a handful of people have reacted exceptionally strongly, but as far as I can see, it's not as sensational as the headlines for those videos posted above would lead you to believe. Plenty of people are upset. Most of them that were buying the game before are still planning on playing the game. I have seen no indication that anyone is trying to "destroy" CDPR over a tweet. (or if there is someone, I see no traction) They'd just prefer that CDPR/CDP/GOG stop tweeting out stuff like this and the GamerGate tweet from a month ago. I see no mass overreaction though.



  • @tokyoslim Not to make this whole thing go on even longer when I find this more politics than news, but I find it exceedingly silly people get this upset for a meme that is the equivalent of a rib jab poking fun at extremest behavior within a larger community. Calling this "transphobic" is like calling Jones saying "Hurt Me Daddy" on the podcast "kinkphobic". They're both joke memes stemmed from playfully poking fun at cultures people themselves do not share but may find themselves involved in, and while either could be potentially used as a slight with intent to harm someone, (as just about anything can be) the person who tweeted that clearly did not do so with such intent, as it was used more as an actually inclusive joke that in the Cyberpunk 2077 world people are so augmented that you might not be able to tell someone's sex or gender solely from their outward appearance as these things are more complexly blended together with a larger available spectrum due to all the future technology available to be whatever you identify with or want to be.

    If members of the LGBT community were offended by this despite good intentions behind it, then okay I can understand wanting an apology, but they've apologized now, so people should be willing to forgive and move on. Saying the person should be fired for a tweeting a meme clearly not meant to upset anyone, even after apologizing, is the kind of extremest attitude that will drive a further wedge of hatred between people within the LGBT community and those outside it as this makes people feel like the entire community is too sensitive to take playful joke ribbing that no other community gets to be above or immune from. We should be able to poke fun at the differences we share simply from a cultural exchange standpoint as long as we do so responsibly and are willing to apologize anytime someone's feelings get hurt in the process. If we can't use dumb memes (or comedy in general) to expose one another to finer happenings within communities and culture without getting ourselves in trouble, then we're only working to further segregate and separate people from another, which will only lead to more ignorance and hatred that could been prevented by letting our cultures blend naturally with time for people to adjust to concepts they're unfamiliar with. Comedians have done this with all kinds of different emerging cultures throughout time, and I don't believe any one community should be too sacred to get their jabs like everyone else.

    I'm guessing some people will hate me for this post and take it as some kind of attack or "this side versus that side" nonsense, but we can't more forward if people live in fear and have to internalize feelings and opinions rather than holding open discussions and attempting to understand where one another are coming from. On that note, I grew up heavily on comedians saying controversial things and pushing what was "acceptable to society" forward by making people comfortable to it through laughter. Many at some point have had to apologize for going too far, which is good that people are willing to own up to mistakes and let others know they didn't want to hurt their feelings, but I don't believe in burning people risking themselves at the stake for innocent attempts at making others smile.



  • @mbun said in That's News!:

    is the equivalent of a rib jab poking fun at extremest behavior

    This is where we disagree. It's a joke at the expense of and directly targeted at a group of people meant to minimize or mock them and make seem "extreme" or unreasonable when in fact, they are not.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    It's a joke at the expense of and directly targeted at a group of people

    I'm saying these jokes are all around us, and every community has jokes targeted specifically towards them, and that's okay as long as nobody ever goes too far like doing it in a way that spread hate and apologizes when feelings get unintentionally hurt.

    meant to minimize or mock them and make seem "extreme" or unreasonable when in fact, they are not

    That's generalizing a large group of people down to a couple of individuals nobody should have to take responsibility for. I wouldn't ever want to be held responsible for anything GamerGators say simply for being "A Gamer" myself. What's being jabbed by the joke is those individuals who seem unwilling to want to be civil to others, not the larger group they belong to, but this act also exposes people unfamiliar with the culture at large to it's existence and allows them to open conversations around it to develop a better understanding for existence of others some may be unfamiliar with as they lives normally never expose them to their existence beyond potentially inaccurate, harmful hearsay.

    Twisting the meme to be about the whole community at large is harmful stereotyping that should be avoided, and honestly this isn't the first time "knowyourmeme" has done harm through improperly explaining things as the people who write those pages are almost never around for the actual conception of the memes and pull from second or third hand sources to try to piece together the meaning of growing memes as people already start to mold them into entirely different things. In general, the way memes are used these days. completely innocent ones like a certain frog from a comic can be darkly twisted by horrible groups into things they were never meant to be. You honestly see it all the time now, which is yet another reason I'm sad people can't just let memes expire after a couple weeks anymore like they were originally meant to as they "got stale".



  • @mbun said in That's News!:

    the way memes are used these days. completely innocent ones like a certain frog from a comic can be darkly twisted by horrible groups into things they were never meant to be

    Exactly why it was sloppy and unprofessional for the public facing officially verified twitter account of Cyberpunk to either A: use a meme they did not understand the full connotations of/how it's used or perceived.
    OR
    B: knows that it's potentially used in order to mock transpeople and doesn't care or didn't think it would be that big of a deal.

    The intent or reason behind the usage is immaterial. As the community manager or PR person of a major company, it's literally your job to not do exactly this and draw negative attention to the brand you're representing. And despite what some other people in this thread have stated - It's not impossible, tons of companies worldwide navigate twitter on a daily basis. Nobody ever said it was an easy job. And I know nobody's perfect, but this whole situation was handled poorly from the get go.

    If you don't want to be held accountable for things "Gamergators" say, it's generally a good idea to not say them yourself.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    A: use a meme they did not understand the full connotations of/how it's used or perceived.

    This is impossible today and should not matter as memes are twisted every which way in all kinds of communities you could have zero awareness exist. It should only matter how YOU are using it.

    B: knows that it's potentially used in order to mock transpeople and doesn't care or didn't think it would be that big of a deal.

    You can tell pretty much from the usage alone that this is not the case, and if it was then we wouldn't have gotten such a swift apology when people expressed offense towards it.

    The intent or reason behind the usage is immaterial.

    Disagree. There's a huge difference between someone intending harm to others and someone intending to make other smile with a joke that unintentionally causes grief.

    As the community manager or PR person of a major company, it's literally your job to not do exactly this and draw negative attention to the brand you're representing.

    Sure, but everyone is human, and part of the job is being trendy, and memes are a good way to attract positive publicity for your brand these days. Look at Arbys or Sonic the Hedgehog. They use memes all the time, and I don't think if they land on a meme some awful group misused some awful way, that they should have to take a complete fall like "getting fired" for it.

    And I know nobody's perfect, but this whole situation was handled poorly from the get go.

    They apologized not long after. I don't understand how you wanted them to handle it beyond that. Did you really need to see the person responsible fired?

    If you don't want to be held accountable for things "Gamergators" say, it's generally a good idea to not say them yourself.

    Not sure if you're referring to me or the tweet here, which is scary, but assuming you're talking about the tweet. That's like saying nobody can say "I want a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich" if GG expressed they love PB&Js. You've elevating a group that doesn't deserve the attention by saying they own things after misusing them.



  • @mbun Totally agree with you, "those people" focus on wording way more than intentions, it`s a witch hunt.



  • @mbun said in That's News!:

    This is impossible today

    There are thousands of other companies doing exactly that.

    You can tell pretty much from the usage alone that this is not the case, and if it was then we wouldn't have gotten such a swift apology when people expressed offense towards it.

    That's a matter of your own personal opinion. Some people don't think five hours is especially swift. And again, the language used in the apology was irresolute at best. Not something you'd imagine would take five hours to think up or type.

    You've elevating a group that doesn't deserve the attention by saying they own things after misusing them.

    That's not really how it works though. In the 90's you were careful what colors you wore out to certain parts of town so you wouldn't be mistaken for a gang member. You can't walk around with a swastika on your shirt or people might think you're a nazi. If gamer gate uses an image to mock marginalized people, and then you use the same image - you can be mistaken for a gamer gater. That's just how it works.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    There are thousands of other companies doing exactly that.

    I don't know. I imagine this isn't the first company to get in trouble for something of this sort, and who knows how big their Twitter team is. It could just be one of the devs handling the tweets themselves. The reason you haven't seen Sonic and Arbys slip up this bad yet is that they have big teams dedicated to the craft, and lots of people content check them before they fire tweets out. Not every company has this privilege.

    Some people don't think five hours is especially swift.

    Compared to a week or more that we've seen elsewhere when stuff happens, I think five hours is pretty damn good. That's just enough time to talk about it internally and consider their response, assuming five hours didn't pass simply because they didn't expect it to be a big deal, and were surprised to return to an outrage the next time they checked.



  • @mbun If they took five hours and came up with THAT response, they need to hire better people. I didn't know CDPR is some poor dev that can't afford to hire a PR team. lol Last I checked there's like 300-500 people working on Cyberpunk and The Witcher III sold pretty well.



  • @tokyoslim Come on, you can't expect them to be constantly refreshing every single forum to check if there's an ongoing controversy in order to immediately address it.

    5 hours is the time the whole story took to develop, blow up, eventually reach their ears, decide how to handle it, and issue their apology. Considering this, it is pretty damn swift.

    All in all, it was a PR faux-pas, which they apologized for. End of story.

    If some people feel like that's not good enough and want to hold a grudge against the company because of that, whatever, it's their call.

    But doxing and campaigning for anyone to be fired over this IS extreme, absurd and unacceptable (ironically, these are gamergaters tactics).

    And the problem with internet is that this one person who did this, even though as you explained they were pretty much universally condemned, will still contribute to giving a bad name to the very community that was a victim in the first place.

    And thus the cycle of hate and finger-pointing continues.



  • @axel said in That's News!:

    Come on, you can't expect them to be constantly refreshing every single forum to check if there's an ongoing controversy in order to immediately address it.

    They were being retweeted directly and immediately.

    Some people think the apology is good enough. Some don't. I happen to think that it's fine (as in bare minimum fine) again, though, it was written so poorly that they did this to themselves. Like take this into any collegiate communications course and they'd rip this apart.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    You can't walk around with a swastika on your shirt or people might think you're a nazi.

    That's not exactly an easy mistake, although I think there is some kinda (forgive me for some ignorance here) Buddhist? symbol that resembles and is sometimes mistaken for a swastika.

    If gamer gate uses an image to mock marginalized people, and then you use the same image - you can be mistaken for a gamer gater. That's just how it works.

    So going back to that "frog comic" I brought up earlier, then just because the KKK or w/e twisted the meme spawning from that into a way to spread their hate then we now retroactively need to blame the comic creator who has already apologized and expressed frustration at their original content being misused this way? That's what you're implying, and that's ridiculous in my opinion.

    If they took five hours and came up with THAT response, they need to hire better people.

    I'd personally rather them focus on their actual games and surrounding sphere than their Twitter game, much like I'd rather be discussing news in this topic right now over politics.



  • @tokyoslim Companies aren't people and I imagine there's a process on how to handle this sort of controversy that requires multiple employees / managers to give their input and approval on how to handle them. It didn't literally take them 5 hours to decide the wording of their apology but there's nothing shocking there.

    And if we're down to arguing about such little details I think it's best to drop the topic entirely or move all these messages to their own thread.



  • @mbun said in That's News!:

    That's not exactly an easy mistake, although I think there is some kinda (forgive me for some ignorance here) Buddhist? symbol that resembles and is sometimes mistaken for a swastika.

    Exactly my point.

    So going back to that "frog comic" I brought up earlier, then just because the KKK or w/e twisted the meme spawning from that into a way to spread their hate then we now retroactively need to blame the comic creator who has already apologized and expressed frustration at their original content being misused this way? That's what you're implying, and that's ridiculous in my opinion.

    No, I'm not implying any such thing. I'm flat out stating that you should not use that image unless you're ok with potentially being confused with a "KKK or w/e" because they've co-opted the meaning of that symbology and now it is associated strongly with them.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    Exactly my point.

    But my point is that you shouldn't condemn Buddhists or whoever for wearing a similar symbol that people mistake for a hate-centric one, which is pretty close to what's happened here imo. Obviously apologize to the people affected by the mistake, but doesn't need to be anymore than that.

    I'm flat out stating that you should not use that image unless you're ok with potentially being confused with a "KKK or w/e" because they've co-opted the meaning of that symbology and now it is associated strongly with them.

    So the person responsible for it's creation needs to bow to some assholes who have twisted their art into something horrible? As someone with many artist friends who have had their works stolen, twisted, etc. I strongly disagree with what you're saying. It belongs to the artist, not some extremest group misusing it. You're over-inflating and empowering groups that should be treated as the laughing stocks they've built themselves up to be.



  • @mbun I am not condemning anyone. I am stating how things work.

    So the person responsible for it's creation needs to bow to some assholes who have twisted their art into something horrible?

    You are the only person who is talking about this person. I have never mentioned them or said anything about them. So your argument is a straw man.

    The entire point of this discussion is about what is appropriate and professional for a PR person to do or say while representing a company.