EXCLUSIVE: ‘Animal Crossing’ Marketplace Nookazon Responds After Censoring Black Lives Matter Political Content

'Animal Crossings: New Horizons' (Image: Nintendo)

'Animal Crossings: New Horizons' (Image: Nintendo)

Nookazon, an online marketplace for trading Animal Crossing: New Horizons in-game items, has released an official statement on the Black Lives Matter movement after the gaming community criticized the forum’s moderation of political discussions following the protests against police violence on its Discord forum.

On Saturday, as the protests following George Floyd’s death sparked across the United States, Nookazon users took the discussion to its Discord forums, posting abbreviations like “ACAB” or “1312,” which both spell out as “All Cops Are Bastards.”

According to a Twitter thread, posted by @daisycorpse, Nookazon’s moderator-banned the phrases as soon as they were posted in the chat. The thread urges Animal Crossing users to boycott the marketplace, claiming they supported “the side of the oppressors.”

One of the screenshots in the thread shows the Lead Moderator asking the user to remove “ACAB” from their username, saying the forum was not a place to express any political concerns. “The purpose of the server is to trade ACNH items and not to spread any message of any movement,” the message read.
Some Twitter users then agitated to boycott Nookazon and move to alternative Animal Crossing markets, interpreting the forum’s moderation policies non-supportive of the protests and anti-racism movement:

Other Nookazon users agreed with the forum’s policy to stay apolitical:

The same day, Nookazon released a public statement, assuring the marketplace users that they supported the Black Lives Matter movement and apologized for deleting posts and comments connected to the protests. The statement claimed their team was “unprepared for a response to current events of this magnitude, which led to excessive moderation.”

In response to the criticism, the Nookazon team has also launched a separate Discord “current events” channel that allows political discussions. One of the moderators, Retrobane, has also urged the Black Lives Matter discussions to be moved to the new channel, posting the information on the “help” channel.

In addition to the announcement, a second page showed resources for donations for those who wanted to support funds, such as George Floyd Memorial Fund or Community Bail Fund.

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