Riot corrects message filtering issue that banned name of Muslim group

Riot corrects message filtering issue that banned name of Muslim group

The developer of League of Legends Riot Games has apparently fixed a problem with its automated messaging system that blocked the name of a Muslim group.

In a now-deleted post on Reddit, user ResplendentShade said that "Uyghur" was a banned word on the hit MOBA's client. This is the name of a Muslim ethnic group initially from Turkey, with a population in regions including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. The largest concentration of Uyghur Muslims is in China, which is reported to be in the region of 11m people.

China, of course, has some, erm, 'issues' with this group, with a United Nations human rights panel saying in 2018 that one million Uyghur Muslims are being held in "re-education" camps which were introduced by president Xi Jinping in the region in 2014.

Riot's communications lead Ryan "Cactopus" Rigney (pictured) responded to the post saying that sometimes its League of Legends system can have problems with words for "no good reason," but that it is fixed now.

"Sometimes our system bans really weird words for no good reason. That said it would be compete bullshit to intentionally ban the name of any ethnic group. Will update when I find out more," Rigney wrote.

"UPDATE: Effective immediately this is fixed on live in all Riot Regions. We'll be spending the next few weeks triaging with our global teams to review our 'disallowed words/phrases' lists and update accordingly."

Though Riot has said that this is simply an error with its system, in the current political climate, there are likely concerns about Riot Games - a company owned by Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent - censoring speech, especially about a minority group that China had denied were being detained, until October 2018 when the camps were officially legalised.

Blizzard's ties to China via stakeholder Tencent and regional publisher NetEase were suspected to be partly behind the company's decision to ban Hearthstone pro Blitzchung for being openly for Hong Kong's independence in a tournament stream earlier this month. The company has denied this was a factor in a statement

US politicians have condemned the games firm's decision to ban Blitzchung and "stifling" freedom of speech

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.


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