Remove Pepe emote from default emotes

Some people find Pepe to be uncomfortable due to it’s association with bigoted groups such as the alt-right.

It’s true most of the usage of Pepes are not by the alt-right or people sympathetic to the alt-right. (Paco also explains their opinion in Discord too).

I would argue that people who would like to use Pepes can add them as custom emotes on their channel. Leaving potential/current users who find them uncomfortable not have them available.

You could imagine a situation where people who do use Pepes as a hate symbol to be able to use that against certain streamers maliciously and some streamers may want to avoid this.

Twitch currently don’t have Pepes as default emotes and have put effort into removing associations to the alt-right with their change of the Pogchamp emote when mobs attacked the US capitol, some of which were Proud Boys known associated with the alt-right movement.

I personally think that we are better off avoiding any potential appearance of evil. Whether the original intent of Pepe was not malicious I think there are many groups who connotate Pepe with the hate symbol version they may have seen.

As Zactopus has said we don’t need to ban Pepe from all chats as Pepe is not intended to be used as a hate symbol but having the monkas style emote as a global could lead to misunderstandings we don’t need to have. Same with the Gloggies emote on the Discord.

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Or maybe let’s each individual streamer decide if they want to use certain emotes or not?

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I don’t care at all for the emote based on it being ugly lol but for anyone wanting a little history behind the emote, here’s one video I’ve seen about it recently:

https://youtu.be/mxpbwpU9HAo

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I was not aware until now that some people found pepe to be offensive, but i don’t think any of the global glimesh emotes should be controversial in any way - if people find it offensive it should be removed. I don’t think the omission of an emote will be a dealbreaker for anyone joining the platform (if it is, they can create a custom emote for it), but it sounds like its prescence may rub some people the wrong way.

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The pepe emote was added just like any other emote was in our early stages. Of course, I agree that any global emotes we have should be emotes that will not be perceived as offensive to people.

I personally like the pepe emote, but I don’t use it as some sort of hate symbol or sympathetic to the alt right. I think it’s just a funny emote.

I think that the pepe emote should be a per channel basis to add, and not a global emote. Currently I think a lot of our “official” emotes are added because there wasn’t emotes available on the site itself. Now we’re barely adding emotes and they have to be SVGs and only 1 per channel. Once we start adding more emotes per channel I think this pepe problem won’t be an issue because it’ll be per channel and not global.

I think we should take it off our global emotes for now.

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I think this depends on the context of its usage. Personally, I don’t view it as a hate symbol but it seems that others do. I’m not against this emote being removed/not removed, but I do think a line needs to be drawn somewhere. We should decide when as a platform something needs to be done regarding public opinion of emotes.

How many people does it take for an emote to have a different meaning? This is a very unrealistic example, but what if a group of people view glimrops as offensive? Would we have to delete all of them, or leave them as is?

Just trying to show another viewpoint.

I mean regarding the line, its helpful to remember that these are the global/default emotes. They should have the broad appeal and not make people uncomfortable. It is the case that Pepe emotes are uncomfortable for some people, but as Zactopus says they could be used by individual streamers as uploaded emotes.

The discussion about how an emote is perceived gets more difficult there but in the case of global/default emotes it is a matter of less controversial and more comfortable the better.

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I wholeheartedly agree with @Mytho regarding the context of emotes. We can’t control public opinion and we shouldn’t be in the business of it. To a degree, adding or subtracting emotes would do that. Do I like the Pepe emote? Nope; I think it’s ugly and I don’t care about it. Do I have concerns over the context of it? Sure. But am I also worried that we’ll be seen as the arbiters of what the context is? Yup.

Let’s take another emote as an example: glimrainbow, aka the rainbow yawn. We know what it means. We also know that rainbow is, contextually, a symbol for LGBT Pride. What if someone, maliciously or genuinely, starts to petition Glimesh that glimrainbow needs to go away because it’s “an insult to LGBT”? Do we remove it because one person says so? Of course not. But what if they start a campaign to do so, and suddenly Glimesh is getting buried in dozens of requests to kill glimrainbow, when all it was originally meant (I presume) is a joking reference to puking.

Don’t think it’ll happen? It happened to the US Navy and the logo for VFA-143 (the “Pukin’ Dogs”) in the wake of Tailhook. Is this an extreme example? Probably. But it also shows that context is key. The flame spewing griffin of the logo was never intended to be offensive, and someone went overboard on it, even with best intentions and as a result at best it got ignored and at worst, ultimately tossed. I would prefer that Glimesh not end up in such a situation.

Ultimately we’re going to (try) to do what’s best for people, but we should also look at context and intent. As difficult as it is at times, we should try to assume that the community isn’t trying to match other online services in toxicity and that we’re all adults (or at least mature).

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This argument has come up multiple times now and I want to make it clear how this problem would be solved.

If another emote was found to be problematic, someone would raise it as a suggestion like we are doing here.

Please could we leave the concern trolling and focus on a decision about this one emote.

It’s very disingenuous to say that someone could petition to have a emote removed when, with a lot of support and evidence of its problems, there still hasn’t been a decision for this thread.

This amounts to a slippery slope argument and tells me you’re not really in support of removing this emote, which is fine.

I just want to know the decision so I can get on with my life and not respond to posts like these.

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Sorry for not updating you, the GCT is working on a more general process on removing emotes and I asked them to use this Pepe emote as the first test of that process. We also have to figure out on a technical end what we do with the broken images. This is a priority, but we’re all squeezed for time at the moment.

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Thank you for the update

I am concerned that, due to pepe’s popularity in emotes on Twitch and in the gaming space in general, any system that considers users opinions (like a poll) would end up with the majority wanting pepe to stay despite it being a known alt-right dogwhistle and symbol. Glimesh should do the right thing and ban its usage now before marketing starts so there’s not a shitshow and exodus from the platform later if they wait until later to make the choice to remove it.

We absolutely consider user opinions in a variety of ways, and will always do that. But please be aware that there is a huge difference between considering people’s opinions, and doing whatever the community says. We always want input and feedback, and we use that to consider our moves. It isn’t a straight majority vote or anything like that. We take the opinions, input, and feedback given to us and apply them to the situation, while still viewing everything through the lens of Glimesh. At the end of the day, we of course are the ones that make the final decision but we arrive to that conclusion by listening to what you have to say.

As for banning it’s usage, I’m not convinced that is the right move either. Pepe is a complex situation that was it’s own perfectly good innocent little thing, and then was co-opted by the alt-right. So the issue is not inherently with Pepe, but with the context in which it is used. It’s possible that we will remove it from the list of Global emotes, but allow him as a channel emote. As with all moderation, context plays a heavy role here. I’m not omnipotent by any means, but I have yet to see one instance of it being used in a hateful or derogatory manner. It’s a well known piece of pop culture that many, many people use with absolutely no associations to any of the negativity, hatefulness, or other bad things attached to some sections of it’s usage. Anything like that will always be stamped out on Glimesh whether it’s with an emote, words, pictures, video, or anything else. We need to ensure that the punishment fits the crime, and is applied to the right place and not simply banning something immediately and with no thought or discussion. I’m not sure if this matters to you or not, but I personally can not stand Pepe. Obviously, my personal feelings aren’t factored in to any decision about this lol.

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I found the wikipedia article to be enlightening actually:

The Anti-Defamation League included Pepe in its hate symbol database in 2016, but said most instances of Pepe were not used in a hate-related context. Since then, Furie has expressed his dismay at Pepe being used as a hate symbol and has sued organizations for doing so

and

Hong Kong protestors began to use depictions of Pepe the Frog as a symbol of liberty and resistance against the extradition bill and police brutality in the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests…In the Hong Kong context, Pepe the Frog is not perceived as being connected with far-right ideology.

Pepe the frog is an internet meme that can be used for good or evil. It has been used as a hate symbol by the alt-right, but has also been used a symbol of liberty and resistance against police brutality

Following the Hong Kong protests, the Anti Defemation League qualified its entry on Pepe to include:

“because so many Pepe the Frog memes are not bigoted in nature, it is important to examine use of the meme only in context. The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist.”

That being said, I don’t see it as being a key part of glimesh culture, where it can’t be removed as a default emote if its presence makes people uncomfortable. I don’t believe it should be banned as a custom emote

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This is exactly my takeaway from it. I think it should be removed as a default global emote, but not from channel specific emotes.

I think it’s also important that we look ahead to our full-fledged emote system, as we have a plan to allow creators to choose where their emotes are used. As it stands, and is subject to change when the time comes to get down to business, we plan to give the option of if custom emotes will be allowed to be used only in your channel or globally, as well as if they are available to all users, followers, or subs. This could be a case of something as simple as when you submit an emote for approval, it lists where you are submitting them to be used and we just do not approve pepe emotes for global use (while informing the creator of the reason for rejection).

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I think if we’re wasting our time on non-issues like this and a pronoun tab on our profiles (even though you can just, y’know, type it in your profile) We’ll never have time to add real features in.

The focus right now should be core features like Clips, Raiding, Mobile App, Upload Streams to YT, Referral systems to get more viewers. These are the things we should be worried about.

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I wouldn’t consider the pronoun button a non-issue, it’s had impact to a lot of users helping them feel more welcome here. Also to that point I did the dev work for the pronoun and I am not part of the dev team. I have been teaching myself how to write elixir and volunteered my time to it. In the smaller things time is not taken away from the core dev team working on the bigger features.

I get it, I’m just saying there was nothing stopping me from writing my pronouns in my profile already if it was something that I really needed to do.

But, before this spins out of control, all I’m saying is these aren’t really “problems” that need solving. A little bit of personal responsibility goes a long way. Removing things that some people feel are fun, because others find it not fun.

It may seem like it’s making the glimesh more welcoming, but it’s just two sides of a coin. When you take something away, there’s going to be just as many people upset about it being removed as there will be about it being there in the first place.

At the end of the day, we’re all adults and we have the power to decide for ourselves what we do/don’t allow on our streams and I don’t think it’s Glimesh’s job to control that, so long as it’s within Glimesh’s community guidelines of course.

This is a slippery slope that quickly leads to twitch levels of censorship. This is partly the entire reason the majority of Glimesh’s users are here in the first place, and I’d like to continue to see Glimesh be fun, free, and open.

On top of that, time spent debating these things is time that could be spent actually improving Glimesh and adding useful features which could actually contribute to Glimesh growing which is what we all want.

I think its important to note that the community are always going to be free to suggest and discuss topics/issues which are important to them no matter how precievably big or small.

As GCT part of our role is to look at what the community is saying and feeling and collect that feedback in and consider it as part of our processes to help guide and form Glimesh as we grow and into the future.

This particular topic has had a lot of community engagement and opinion on both sides and we would be remice to ignore that. It isn’t about being totalitarian in censorship, merely about listening to what the community has to say, how important they feel it is and what the consensus may be. Its every bit as important that the community are given a voice, but that doesn’t always mean the community decide. But what it does is allow the GCT to help make better informed decisions for our community. It doesn’t take time away from core divisions of the site because this is precisely what the GCT is here for to Bridge and consider the community point of view.

It may seem we (the GCT) are marketers, devs, designers etc but this sites firmly outside the role of GCT, discussions such as the above are actually far more why we exist and what we are here to facilitate, and are important aspects of building Glimesh. (If you wish to discuss this further however I suggest a new thread or reaching out to support@glimesh.tv, or via discord whatever you prefer as this is less related to the topic at hand)

So to bring it back to topic:

For what it’s worth with this emote, I see both sides of the argument. I can understand why people find pepe offensive and why others dont. But I always see that for some people they were unaware of the past of pepe and have now learned more through that, which I do feel education is important. Whatever the outcome regarding this may be, it’s been an interesting read listening to everyone’s opinions. Pepe I feel will always been seen as a pretty love/hate character, it’s definitely possible in the near term future that the wide spread use leads to people basically forgetting what he was used for.(I think this is actually already happening in reality), that doesn’t meant we should forget that past its had though and I think this discussion has helped to educate people more in that respect, which in turn may help people be more informed when given the choice over use of such emotes in the future, whether here, or anywhere else.

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