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Nexus Mods bans political content in the lead-up to the November election

‘Most of these mods are being uploaded by cowards with sock puppet accounts’

The front page of Nexus Mods shows it counts over 23 million users as members. Image: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

On Wednesday, the team behind Nexus Mods, the popular repository for all things related to modifying games on PC, took a stance against overly political content. It is issuing a blanket ban on all mods featuring “sociopolitical issues in the United States.” The ban is retroactive to Sept. 28.

Nexus counts some 23 million registered users and over 113,000 mod authors among its community, according to stats on its front page. Its most popular titles include The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Stardew Valley. Users can either download the mods directly from the site and install them on their own, or use its proprietary Vortex mod manager to mix and match. The site has been in operation since 2001.

Site owner Robin “Dark0ne” Scott says that they’ve pretty much hit their breaking point with political content.

“Recently we have seen a spate of provocative and troll mods being uploaded based around current sociopolitical issues in the United States,” wrote Scott. “Considering the low quality of the mods being uploaded, the polarising views they express and the fact that a small but vocal contingent of our users are seemingly not intelligent or grown up enough to be able to debate the issues without resorting to name calling and baseless accusations without proof (indicative of the wider issues plaguing our world at this time) we’ve decided to wipe our hands clean of this mess and invoke an outright ban on mods relating to sociopolitical issues in the United States.

“We have neither the time, the care or the wish to moderate such things,” they added.

Scott said that most of the mods causing people grief “are being uploaded by cowards with sock puppet account deliberately to try and cause a stir.” Anyone taking issue with this type of content on Nexus Mods is encouraged to report the mod through official channels — as indicated in the website’s terms of service — and move on.

“Your engagement will only fuel the idiots further,” Scott said.

What about ye olde freedom of speech? Nexus would ask you to interrogate that straw man in your own free time — perhaps on your own modding website.

“To be blunt,” Scott concluded, “we do not care how this looks nor do we care if you think the mods we do or don’t moderate reflect on us, our political beliefs or what we do and don’t want on our site. Say and do what you want on other sites and services, we care nothing for it here.”

Scott said that Nexus Mods would revisit the issue some time after the inauguration in 2021.

If you’re looking for an excellent mod to pass the time until Nov. 3 — when you should be taking time away from school or work to vote — try Tamriel Rebuilt, a massive overhaul for The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind that has been in development for over 18 years.

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