Riot Games' Ban On Chinese Ethnic Minority Name Deemed Unintentional

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The studio's ban on 'Uyghur' was reportedly activated by an automated chat filter and was never intended.
The studio's ban on 'Uyghur' was reportedly activated by an automated chat filter and was never intended. Riot

League of Legends developer Riot Games explained that the ban it implemented on the term "Uyghur" was unintentional and triggered by the game’s automated chat system. According to the company, it happened simply because of a glitch that has since been fixed.

Riot’s very own communications lead Ryan Rigney said that the studio will be spending the next few weeks reviewing all of the disallowed words and/or phrases in League of Legends’ automated system. The goal is to make sure that the aforementioned issue does not happen again in the future.

The Uyghurs refer to a Muslim ethnic minority living in China. They are widely reported by the US media as people who are suffering from widespread abuses, with arbitrary detention and torture being the infamous ones.

Considering the fact that a Chinese conglomerate called Tencent owns Riot Games, and the recent PR disaster Blizzard is facing after banning a player who supports pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, speculations rose that the ban was rather intentional. According to some, Riot banned the word in an effort to immediately shut down all conversations relating to the topic. It is worth noting that the company already warned its League of League players to avoid talking about "sensitive topics," especially when live or on the air.

Rigney, however, was quite emphatic in the sense that he does not believe that the studio did it intentionally.

"Gonna go look into this right now. Sometimes our system bans really weird words for no good reason," he wrote. "That said it would be complete bullsh*t to intentionally ban the name of any ethnic group."

Later on, Rigney updated his reply to mention that the ban Riot had was merely a result of an automated trigger and that the studio fixed it already. "We'll be spending the next few weeks triaging with our global teams to review our 'disallowed words/phrases' lists and update accordingly," he further added.

Ironically, the very first post in the Reddit thread titled "'Uyghur' is literally a banned word in the League client" has been removed because it reportedly violated the subreddit rule that says, "Claims about or against distinct entities must have sources or proof supporting them and present them in an unbiased manner."

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