Taking Action on Harassment and Bullying

Posted in News on November 28, 2017

By Elaine Chase

Elaine Chase is the vice president, global brand strategy and marketing for Wizards of the Coast.

We are incredibly proud of the Magic community and the tremendous good it does in people's lives. Magic is a game meant to bring people together—it's right there in the name "The Gathering." Our community is filled with stories of lifelong friendships and bonds forged through tapping lands, casting spells, and swinging in with everything for the win.

Sadly, that sense of community can be spoiled by the behavior of a few individuals. We at Wizards of the Coast are disheartened about bullying and harassment in the gaming community; unfortunately, the Magic community is not immune. No one should be subjected to threats and intimidation. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome while enjoying something they love. All people should be able to express their joy for the game without being attacked, whether that's in a local game store, online, or somewhere in between.

We diligently promote inclusivity and openness within our community. We're listening to your feedback and working to ensure everyone who plays Magic feels welcomed and accepted.

What We're Doing Right Now

We are investigating reports we've received as quickly as possible. We know you'd like us to act faster and to share more information with you about this process, but we simply can't. What we can tell you is that we take violations of our Code of Conduct very seriously, and violations can result in removal from organized play, the Wizards Play Network, and all Wizards accounts.

We are reviewing and updating our policies and reporting processes for Code of Conduct violations. We recognize that it is time to carefully reconsider how we work with retailers, tournament organizers, players, and community members to deal with harassment and bullying—online and offline. We have been working on this, but we will work faster. Expect announcements and explanations over the next few months about policies that we hope are clearer and processes that are easier to access and resolve issues more quickly.

We are going to be more proactive about setting expectations for behavior at Magic events and in all Magic spaces. Some of you may have taken a survey recently about what makes you feel comfortable and included at Magic events and what doesn't. That is part of a project we've been working on that will clearly express how players, retailers, tournament organizers, and us here at Wizards expect each other to behave anywhere people are enjoying Magic. Think language and visuals at premier events, stores, and wherever you play Magic that are clear reminders of the respect we expect all players to be treated with. We're shooting to get that out there by the time you're playing Rivals of Ixalan.

These are first steps. We want to be leaders in the gaming community on this issue and will continue to figure out ways we can help tackle the problem.

What We Can All Do

We all have a hand in maintaining our community, and it's going to take a concerted effort from everyone to ensure ours is a community we can continue to be proud of. Here are some things we can all be doing when we encounter abusive behaviors online or in person:

Report harassment and abuse to the channels you see it on. YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook all have pages detailing how you can make their environments safer by reporting abusive behavior directly to their administrators.

If you experience or witness harassment or bullying within the Magic community online or at an event, report it to Wizards of the Coast. Many of these kinds of behaviors violate Wizards' Code of Conduct, and could merit suspension, account termination, or other disciplinary actions. Depending on the venue, there are several ways you should go about reporting any harassment or abusive behavior.

  • If you witness harassment or bullying at a Magic tournament, report that behavior to the tournament organizer. If you're uncomfortable reporting it to a tournament organizer, you can always contact Wizards.
  • If you witness harassment or bullying on Magic Online, or otherwise observe a violation of the Magic Online Code of Conduct, you can right-click on the player's username and select Block. Doing so will prevent that player from talking to you, but will also prompt you to leave a report within the Magic Online client for our conduct team to review. If you forget or want to leave a report after the fact, you can do so by contacting Customer Support.
  • And of course, you can always email investigations@wizards.com or contact Customer Support directly to report any violations of our Code of Conduct.

Sometimes, insults and abusive speech can escalate into more serious forms of harassment and bullying. If you receive threats or feel unsafe in any situation, report it to your local enforcement agency.

People who have audiences of thousands or hundreds of thousands of fans have a responsibility for the content they create. Words matter, and audiences matter. Going forward, we're going to pay special consideration to those who use their platforms in ways that make a positive impact.

The culture of harassment and bullying in the gaming world has to end. We are all in this together, and everyone here at Wizards of the Coast wants gaming to be a welcoming, inclusive, fun space for people to explore, make new friends, and, yes, gather. Look for more from us on this topic in the coming months. If you have ideas on how we can better make that a reality, let us know. You know where to find us on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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