Animal Crossing: New Horizons marketplace Nookazon has apologized to its community for its attempt to censor Black Lives Matter (BLM) content from its official Discord. Nookazon is a fan-developed website designed as a reimg for players interested in selling and trading in-game goods. Since its release, Nookazon’s community has flourished, and its Discord server has garnered well over 4,000 members.
Amidst the chaos of racial injustice and the volatile political climate, there’s not a single industry immune from its effects. The BLM movement is rightfully gathering momentum, and supporters continue to fight for its cause. During this turbulent time, Nookazon Discord moderators attempted to suppress community member’s ability to address political issues openly. Mods were deleting member’s posts featuring popular rhetorical phrases. As a result, Nookazon staff received backlash from the community as members chose to leave the site.
According to Polygon, Nookazon released an official apology addressing the organization’s thought process and the situation’s mishandling. In the release, Nookazon shared, “our intention was not to remain complicit or silence views.” Furthermore, the organization acknowledges its team was not equipped to efficiently handle the influx of discourse. As a result, the lack of preparation led to “excessive moderation.” Nookazon expressed regret for deleting comments, “the removal of meaningful discourse,” and hampering the community’s sense of solidarity.
— winter name alex ❄️ (@alexkmz) May 31, 2020
As a means of showing support for BLM, Nookazon has chosen to create a safe space for members wishing to engage in conversation and educate others about political issues. They’ve created a Discord channel titled #current-events, where users can discuss all topics safely and constructively. Not only this, but Nookazon staff stated they’d gathered $500 to donate to fundraiser sites, which they linked at the end of the press release.
While the apology shows the site is taking proactive measures to support community members who felt slighted by its moderation, it may be too late. A large number of former Nookazon users are looking for other sites to trade and sell on instead. Long-time users are now making their way over to competing sites such as Nook.market, applauding the site for openly supporting BLM from the get-go. At this time, Nookazon can only move forward. The organization promises to continue to educate themselves and the community about social injustice and BLM. The staff says they hope to foster healthy communication for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons community via their Discord channel and continues to urge members to donate to related organizations.