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Nexus Mods bans 'US political mods' until after the next president is inaugurated

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)
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Nexus Mods (opens in new tab) is a massive site with a simple motto: "If you can mod it, we'll host it." That works out to 276,000 files hosted for nearly 1,100 games, created by 113,000 authors for 23 million members, who have downloaded 4.2 billion files from the site. It's a significant presence in the mod scene, to say the least.

The downside to having such a large and accessible system is that it isn't easy to moderate, and because of what the Nexus Mod administrators call "a spate of provocative and troll mods being uploaded based around current sociopolitical issues in the United States," they have imposed a site-wide ban (opens in new tab) on all "US political mods," at least until after the election is settled and a new president has been inaugurated. 

"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," Nexus Mods founder Robin "Dark0ne" Scott wrote. "We have neither the time, the care or the wish to moderate such things."

The announcement doesn't mention any specific mods that spurred the imposition of the ban, but messages in the Fallout 4 forums on the site complain about the removal of mods with names like "Synth Lives Matter (opens in new tab)" and "Blue Lives Matter (opens in new tab)," as well as others that add the "thin blue line" flag to the game or replace raiders with Black Lives Matter or Antifa "rioters." 

Scott's view is that most of the affected mods were made by "cowards with sock puppet accounts," and he urged users to report them and move on, rather than engaging with them.

"Your engagement will only fuel the idiots further," wrote Scott. "Smile and be happy in the knowledge the time it took them to make an account on the site and upload their mod is a lot longer than it takes for us to ban the account and delete the mod."

The reaction to the ban on the PC Gaming (opens in new tab), Games (opens in new tab), and Fallout 4 (opens in new tab) subreddits is fairly positive: Not everyone is happy, but there seems to be an overall agreement that it was probably a good idea. "It's their site, and they're more than allowed to decide that they don't feel like dealing with people's bullshit," said one redditor.

Scott has similar feelings about potential requests to justify the policy. "We do not care how this looks," he wrote, "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 or services, we care nothing for it here." 

The ban on US political mods will be reviewed, but not necessarily lifted, after the next president is inaugurated. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.