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EDIT: ANET staff publicly representing company should be held to their own standards


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EDIT:@Mike O Brien.4613 said:Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. Their attacks on the community were unacceptable. As a result, they’re no longer with the company.

I want to be clear that the statements they made do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all. As a company we always strive to have a collaborative relationship with the Guild Wars community. We value your input. We make this game for you.

Mo

My new addition/update: Mike O Brien posted this in another thread. I am grateful for ANET doing the right thing here, and doing it promptly. Thank you to everyone who expressed constructive opinions in this thread. While we might not all agree about the outcome, I think many of us can agree that prompt action and a clear statement from ANET on such a controversy so quickly is a good thing.

Thank you for appreciating your customers ANET <3.

ORIGINAL POST:I will start by saying sorry for the text wall but I felt it was necessary for the issue at hand.

Like many other players, I have seen the Twitter remarks of a certain ANET Dev who not only could not take constructive criticism from a Guild Wars 2 player, and instead went so far as to accuse that player of sexism. I would like to see a constructive dialogue about this between ANET and we (the customers) about this issue. Below is my opinion, and I'd love to hear what other people think. NOTE: PLEASE do not personally attack anyone in this thread. While this is about actions of a dev that many consider to be reprehensible, it would accomplish nothing to attack anyone and would only likely exacerbate the victim mentality that some people seem to have about this topic. We also do not need this thread shut down which will likely happen if people can't be constructive.

My opinion: It is one thing to express private opinions, in private time, and on an account not affiliated with the company. It is another thing to accuse a customer of sexism who was giving feedback that was in no way sexist on a thread that someone (who publicly and prominently displays their relationship to ArenaNet) posted on a public twitter thread about Guild Wars 2. The person who offered constructive criticism was merely offering a possible solution of a branching story line to the problem of developing the character of the player character expressed by the dev. The person who offered constructive criticism did not even disagree fully with the dev's opinion, but rather was discussing potential options.

The response the dev gave was to say, "Today in being a female game dev: "Allow me -- a person who does not work with you -- explain to you how you do your job"". The person who had offered constructive criticism, both before and even after this accusation of sexism was not confrontational at all and did nothing to suggest they were trying to offend the dev. They even apologized for any perceived offense. However, the dev continued to complain about men giving her any sort of constructive criticism or even defending against her vitriol. Just a few of her tweets after this event will give any reader a good idea of the sexism against males this dev, who might I remind everyone is publicly representing the fact that she is an ANET employee on her profile, seems to hold (note: ANET will change any swear words to kitten):

"like, the next rando asshat who attempts to explain the concept of a branching dialogue to me -- as if, you know, having worked in game narrative for a fucking DECADE, I never heard of it -- is getting instablocked. PSA."

"Since we've got a lot of hurt manfeels today, lemme make something clear: this is my feed. I'm not on the clock here. I'm not your emotional courtesan just because I'm a dev. Don't expect me to pretend to like you here."

After reading those quotes, what do you feel about this person publicly representing ANET? How would you feel if, hypothetically, a male dev complained about the "womanfeels" of women who were calling them out for being rude to a gamer over that person's constructive feedback. I personally believe that this dev should be held culpable for their actions. As someone who has devoted a lot of time and money to the game, it bothers me that my hard-earned money has gone towards paying the salary of someone who insults players, lets their radical politics and anti-male attitudes influence their perception of constructive criticism, and does so all with seeming impunity from ANET and with the seeming approbation of at least one of the other devs.

I feel it should be necessary for ANET to take some action on this: at the very least publicly denouncing the employee's opinions as being her own and stating that ANET does not condone them, up to and including termination of employment.

Also, not that I should have to mention it because I don't believe in discounting opinions because of gender unlike certain radical feminists, but I am female, and obviously not being a sexist against my own gender. Furthermore, I have seen a lot of people of conservative political ideologies who haven't said half of the politically charged stuff on Twitter, and who aren't even affiliated publicly with companies, fired from companies over stuff MUCH more tame then the stuff this dev posts; her twitter includes posts in favor of and retweets of the ANTIFA terrorist organization, vitriol towards white people, Christians, and white males, and even a dismissal of the principle of peaceful political protests: she even criticised the humanitarian Ghandi for being too peaceful and posted "Fuck. Ghandi" - f-word for when it is changed to kitten.

This kind of hate-filled person should not be representing your company, let alone interacting with players and speaking publicly about the game.

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Feigned outrage is so much better on twitter, where it's limited to 250 characters.

It's her personal twitter feed. Not only do forum-goers not need to know this, but we definitely don't need to have a discussion with ANet about it.

My favorite is the part where you pretend such a discussion would somehow be constructive when this is obviously just a weak attempt to ensure professional consequences for someone who said something that offended your sensibilities.

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inb4 Thread's closed:

Pulling the "you must be sexist to criticise me"-card is weak. She could have totally settled for the "I've been in the business long enough"-card but that wasn't enough. Of course, every critique from a male person to a female person is founded in sexism, sure...sad times on the interwebs.

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@AliamRationem.5172 said:Feigned outrage is so much better on twitter, where it's limited to 250 characters.

It's her personal twitter feed. Not only do forum-goers not need to know this, but we definitely don't need to have a discussion with ANet about it.

My favorite is the part where you pretend such a discussion would somehow be constructive when this is obviously just a weak attempt to ensure professional consequences for someone who said something that offended your sensibilities.

If it isn't constructive, that won't be my doing. Sexism against ANYONE is offensive, male or female. To discount the opinions of someone offering constructive criticism based on their gender is offensive. So yes, in that sense, I am offended. My outrage is certainly not feigned, or I would not have gone through all the trouble of looking into all of the Twitter posts I did and doing fact-checking to ensure I was accurately representing the situation, let alone writing that long of a post.

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@"AliamRationem.5172" said:Feigned outrage is so much better on twitter, where it's limited to 250 characters.

It's her personal twitter feed. Not only do forum-goers not need to know this, but we definitely don't need to have a discussion with ANet about it.

My favorite is the part where you pretend such a discussion would somehow be constructive when this is obviously just a weak attempt to ensure professional consequences for someone who said something that offended your sensibilities.

this has been discussed many time already. When your profile states where you work, talk about your work in that company and is public you are accountable of your public opinions. Any big company enforce this rule. Even companies like mc donalds enforce this rules even with their low level employees.

Being "personal" does not avoid people which reads those associate you with the company you work for and see you as an extension of the PR department. Not that is needed anyway, reddit thread is already the 3 most upvoted for all time in gw2 reddit.

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idk if this will get closed........but i am legit crying, a dev who I liked and wrote one of my fav characters ever posted the most uncaring response to the whole debacle and I am sorry if I am stepping out of line but I think that means the he doesnt care about feedback? Why have a feedback thread then? I am sad and confused.

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@eduardo.1436 said:idk if this will get closed........but i am legit crying, a dev who I liked and wrote one of my fav characters ever posted the most uncaring response to the whole debacle and I am sorry if I am stepping out of line but I think that means the he doesnt care about feedback? Why have a feedback thread then? I am sad and confused.

Don't be sad :(. The dev might have been trying to do damage control and defend his colleague. Anyway, even if they were uncaring, that doesn't mean their character they created is somehow more faulty for it. You can love a beautiful creation while not being happy with the creator. Like I love Guild Wars 2 as a game still, I just won't be giving any more money to it until they take some sort of action with this.

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My opinion about this fiasco has been, and read this carefully, on her own Twitter where she can indeed say what she likes still, she called someone out for mansplaining. This person was trying to open a dialogue on this devs public post, and was blasted at with the sexist card, when it wasn’t actually a sexist comment at all. Said content creator apologises and backs out of the thread, because his head was very close to being bitten off. It could have been left here, and JP would still have a job.This dev retweeted (after the content creator had apologised and backed out!) the discussion to her 10k followers with a caption of “today in being a female game dev”, this is exacerbation of the incident. This bull she pulled, IS sexist, and starts a witch hunt. This dev pulled the gender card because she couldn’t be bothered to either discuss something that she brought up publicly, ergo inviting anyone that can view said post to discuss it, or politely tell this content creator to create a thread on a more appropriate platform (such as this official forum), to professionally discuss the topic.

Now, it’s one thing using a personal Twitter for your own opinions blah blah, yes anyone can act how they like on the internet, and that's absolutely fine. I've seen worse people on Twitter that share similar views to JP. However, as soon as your personal feed, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, ANY Social Media, connects you to the company you work for, you then have a standard to uphold when you are posting on that platform. You can still act how you like, but you will be held accountable by the company you are openly saying you work for, and are openly talking about work you do for said company, for what you are publishing. This is why people are getting fired from things they post on Social Media, no matter what industry you work for, because it hurts the company's bottom line. This is the basics of how business and public interaction works if you are associated to your employer on your Public online life. Personal account or not.

Companies have started to include a Social Media Clause in their employee contracts for this very reason, and this dev needs disciplinary action, including to make a public apology towards Deroir. She was completely out of line with how she responded, and the following witch hunt retweet she posted was the icing on the cake.

Sexism goes both ways, she demonised Deroir because he was a bloke who, albeit respectfully, tried to open a dialogue by posting a different point of view. Would she have reacted this way had Peachy or Ayin Maiden posted the same thing Deroir did? Something tells me they’d have a normal conversation.

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@Vash.2386 said:People keep mentioning that it was her personal twitter feed as if it was a private feed.

It was not her private feed. There is a big difference personal and private.

You can have a personal public twitter. Her Twitter account is not provided by Anet, which makes it her personal account. If it’s public, which it is, is also fine she can still say what she likes. It’s the fact her personal account is affiliated with working at Anet that’s the problem, and means she needs to hold herself to higher standards when using her personal public account. You can’t post about where you work and what you do, then basically trash talk others who want to have a constructive conversation with you because “it’s my personal account”. No honey. You’ve got a company to represent at that point.

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@alaskasnowgirl.6047 said:

@"eduardo.1436" said:idk if this will get closed........but i am legit crying, a dev who I liked and wrote one of my fav characters ever posted the most uncaring response to the whole debacle and I am sorry if I am stepping out of line but I think that means the he doesnt care about feedback? Why have a feedback thread then? I am sad and confused.

Don't be sad :(. The dev might have been trying to do damage control and defend his colleague. Anyway, even if they were uncaring, that doesn't mean their character they created is somehow more faulty for it. You can love a beautiful creation while not being happy with the creator. Like I love Guild Wars 2 as a game still, I just won't be giving any more money to it until they take some sort of action with this.

To be honest I really don't think so, when people called him out on it he basically said "If I’m being unprofessional, it’s because I’m enjoying a drink on my day off". I know it's dumb of me to think this, but does that mean that some devs see our feedback as nuisance? It just hurts me so much because it was a dev that I enjoyed his stories and characters..........and now i don't know what will happen. Thank you for trying to cheer me up by the way, appreciate it.

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Sorry, but the "it's her private Twitter" thing doesn't fly. Every single company I've worked for has had a social media clause in the contract, which made me agree not to do anything on social media that would bring the company into disrepute.If she was posting on a social media account that made no mention or didn't have any indication of her ties to Arenanet or Guild Wars 2, we could maybe discuss this as a private issue. But her Twitter account makes it clear what her professional affiliations are and this was a discussion about her work on Guild Wars 2. There's no separation of interests here.

The idea that you stop representing your company when you walk out their doors no longer flies in the modern world, and it hasn't been a valid excuse for almost the last decade. Would we even be having this discussion if Peter Fries was responding the way she did?

And please don't give me the "only female devs get these questions" shtick. Go on any forum where developers interact with customers and these kinds of questions and discussions are rife. Gender was not why this question was asked.

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To be honest, from the sounds of it, the dev was being inappropriate with their responses. It kinda triggers me a bit when people play racism/sexism cards completely out of context in an effort to defame others, because to me it undermines and cheapens real causes against discrimination and turns the subject matter into a joke that no-one takes seriously anymore. It's simply a case where if you keep crying wolf when the wolf isn't there, eventually people will stop believing you and when the wolf does raise its ugly head, you won't have anyone to back you up anymore.

I also find it somewhat ironic that the employee of a company that strictly adheres to a "don't name and shame" policy would somehow find it appropriate to do just that to someone simply trying to give constructive feedback. I'd find it even stranger if ANet defended such practices in any way, shape or form.

In the end though, I'm just curious as to why the response was so aggressive. I mean, I know sometimes people have their bad days and all, or maybe past experience has created a bit of a thorny exterior for this person in question, but this still seems like an overly extreme reaction given the circumstances, and there's no way I can really see it being justified. I also see the argument come up often that it was their personal twitter feed, etc, but in all honesty, that's irrelevant, because if people are offended, and they want others to know about it, then whether it is justified or not, they will spread the word and it WILL reflect on the company that individual is representing. While I'm personally not interested in any sort of witch hunt to bring some employee to justice, I think people need to be aware of the fact that there's an appropriate time and place for every discussion, debate or fight, and that is not always on a publicly visible twitter feed.

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@Haleydawn.3764 said:

@"Vash.2386" said:People keep mentioning that it was her personal twitter feed as if it was a private feed.

It was not her private feed. There is a big difference personal and private.

You can have a personal public twitter. Her Twitter account is not provided by Anet, which makes it her personal account. If it’s public, which it is, is also fine she can still say what she likes. It’s the fact her personal account is affiliated with working at Anet that’s the problem, and means she needs to hold herself to higher standards when using her personal public account. You can’t post about where you work and what you do, then basically trash talk others who want to have a constructive conversation with you because “it’s my personal account”. No honey. You’ve got a company to represent at that point.

The problem with the idea of "personal twitter account" is also that it causes further problem since then anet would then not be able to ban or strike players who goes on twitter and harass developers, as then that would be that players personal twitter account. When a developer and player meets, through any medium, it carries with it the standards that we all agree should exist between player and developer.

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@"Belorn.2659" said:

The problem with the idea of "personal twitter account" is also that it causes further problem since then anet would then not be able to ban or strike players who goes on twitter and harass developers, as then that would be that players personal twitter account. When a developer and player meets, through any medium, it carries with it the standards that we all agree should exist between player and developer.

Does Arenanet actually do that, though? I've never heard of players being banned for what they do on Twitter. I'm assuming it's mostly because it would be very hard to match Twitter users with their game accounts.

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He didn't even criticized, he just expressed his opinion on the matter.

Her twit was not private, meaning she was reasonably expecting people to comment on it, people who don't know her. But oh look, someone has a different opinion than me, the almighty dev with 10 years of experience! SEXISM!

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