Blizzard’s censorship and sanctioning of a Hearthstone player who expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters is a human rights issue that demonstrates the video game company doesn’t respect the humanity and basic rights of its customers, a prominent international human rights organization said Friday.
“As a major online gaming and user communications platform, Blizzard has a duty to respect human rights in its operations,” Peter Micek, a lawyer for Access Now, wrote in an open letter to Kotick.
“Blizzard’s recent actions indicate inadequate policies and practices in this area, showing a lack of respect for freedom of expression.”.
“By penalizing a player for speaking up in support of protesters exercising their right to freedom of expression as well as assembly and association, Blizzard demonstrates a lack of respect for the human rights of its users,” he added.
It is hard to overstate how quickly this has gone off the rails for Blizzard.
Access Now is a major human rights organization that regularly works with the United Nations, pushes back against authoritarian governments, and protects activists all over the world.
It is, simply put, a hugely influential force for good in the battle to protect the human rights of people all over the world. »