Cyperpunk twitter account makes a transphobic joke and apologizes



  • @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.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    So your argument is a straw man.

    How is it a straw man to relate this incident to something similar that has happened with a different meme elsewhere? I am trying to relate this to another example for you.

    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.

    It sounds like you think memes in general should be banned, because any person could have twisted any meme into something horrible, so don't even take the risk. Is that what you're stating is "how things work"?



  • You seem to have no actual refutation or anything to add to the actual topic of discussion, and are continuing to try and sidetrack this into some conversation about society as a whole. I'm not going to engage you in that.

    You continue to propose that I'm insinuating things about the creators of memes or their original intentions or alternate applications of them. None of that is remotely relevant as you've presented them to whether or not a person who's job it is to write official Cyberpunk tweets handled something poorly on a professional level or not. So, good talk?

    I'd rather be discussing news in this topic right now over politics.

    See, this is a BUSINESS discussion. That's where you're going wrong. :)



  • @tokyoslim said:

    You seem to have no actual refutation or anything to add to the actual topic of discussion, and are continuing to try and sidetrack this into some conversation about society as a whole. I'm not going to engage you in that.

    You continue to propose that I'm insinuating things about the creators of memes or their original intentions or alternate applications of them. None of that is remotely relevant as you've presented them

    I'm trying to show you that memes, like books, film, music, etc. often have their original meanings twisted after they come into existence, and express my opinion that just because some find ways to misuse them, that society as a whole shouldn't look at them simply for those darker connotations that become attached along the way, which I find directly relevant to this conversation as a whole. If you don't and don't want to discuss this, I won't force you, but it is rude for you to accuse me of straw manning when I think this is part of the discussion at hand.

    whether or not a person who's job it is to write official Cyberpunk tweets handled something poorly on a professional level or not

    That's also part of the conversation, but we seem to disagree on that front, which is why I'm relating this outside incident to this one to show you how an innocent meme can become a harmful one to cause an incident such as this, and how this could occur completely outside the view of the person using the meme in a way that intended no harm from the beginning. If you reject that stance, that's at least a take, but acting like I'm spitting nonsense to derail the convo is disheartening when I'm trying to find ways to relate my stance on the incident to you.

    See, this is a BUSINESS discussion. That's where you're going wrong. :)

    Feels more like an excuse to shove politics here, not that this case in particular was that, just classifying it that way. I do think this was worth discussing, but I think more for the fact that someone on ResetEra dox'd the dude to shame them publically and whether or not people should associate with places that allow and sometimes encourage such extreme practices to take place. Hopefully this proves to be an outlier case as that forum is still young, and hopefully that poster is banned.



  • In the context of a PR person representing a company, none of any of what you said matters. I am not arguing that innocent memes, language, and iconography don't get twisted or corrupted. I have pointed out repeatedly that it's quite literally the job of the person tweeting the official tweets of Cyberpunk to know and avoid using any of them, as it could potentially lead to bad press and a backlash (as it did). The person who wrote that apology could have done that better too.

    I am not arguing that creators should be held responsible for people misusing their art. I am arguing that CDPR should get better PR people. I am I am explaining very patiently to everyone who thinks this job is "impossible" that thousands and thousands of companies do this every second of every day. That's it. It's a literal thing that people go to school for and do for work.

    It's a hard job. My company has a PR person and we don't make as much money or have as many people looking at us as CDPR.

    If CDPR has an unqualified programmer or intern or something doing their official tweets, this is the reason you DON'T do that.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    I am arguing that CDPR should get better PR people.

    Real talk, I feel like this is just a more polite way to ask the person be fired.

    It's a hard job. My company has a PR person and we don't make as much money

    That's why we should sympathize when mistakes happen as long as they own up to them, as they have.



  • @mbun said in That's News!:

    I feel like this is just a more polite way to ask the person be fired.

    I'm not asking anything. CDPR can hire whomever they want. If they hire Peter Molyneux to direct their next game, I'd probably say "You should get someone better".

    I don't think they are particularly focused on PR, and I think they are a big enough company now that they should be.



  • @axel said in That's News!:

    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.

    I agree with all of this.