World of Tanks demonstrates how to chill games criticism on YouTube in three easy steps

    
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The World of Tanks community is in uproar this week over the removal of a prominent YouTuber from the game’s developer-backed promotional program and the deletion of a critical video in a move that smacks of censorship.

YouTuber SirFoch’s latest WoT video [NSFW] aggressively berates Wargaming for overt pay-to-win tactics with its $80 Chrysler K Grand Finals premium tank in what is legitimate but profanity-laced criticism. But after its publication, Wargaming demanded he remove the video, expelled him from its program, accused him of “slandering [the] brand,” and apparently then threatened to abuse YouTube’s copyright claim tool to kill the video and cause him lost revenue on future videos – at least according to the chat logs provided by SirFoch.

“We asked him to remove the video because he abused his status as a contributor and the content he received from us to create a video that defamed our company image with the tone and language he used,” Wargaming rep Ph3lan told Kotaku. A second statement from the company insists it’s not censoring the YouTuber and effectively accuses him of lying about threatening to censor his future videos. (In fact, it appears Wargaming didn’t directly threaten to censor future videos but rather threatened to lodge copyright claims in perpetuity to deny him monetization, having the same effect. There’s also a forum Q&A where Wargaming repeats that refusal to remove videos would cause the studio to “go through YouTube” to achieve its ends.)

And just to be clear, the video in question is crass and loaded with directed f-bombs, but there’s nothing personal or hate-speech-tinged in the diatribe, nor is there any slander, nor are there any grounds we can see to invoke YouTube’s copyright claim process. This is exactly the kind of studio abuse that’s plagued games journalists and enthusiasts on the platform and beyond for the last few years, and it’s something Google has done very little to address, arguably preferring to side with accusers by default to absolve its own legal responsibilities.

We’ve included the video below for you to judge for yourself as it’s been rehomed on another channel, but please keep in mind, it’s not safe for work.

Here’s the second video explaining the disappearance of the first one and expanding his criticism:

And here are the Discord logs.

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Jeremy Barnes

“How not to respond to criticism in three easy steps”

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Sally Bowls

I certainly don’t see WG as a good guy. OTOH, if it comes down to them vs a youtuber of this ilk, I certainly would not side with the youtuber.

Companies getting promotion without buying advertising; youtubers earning money from their “content”; lack of clarity as to who is benefitting from what… I miss the Good Old Days.

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Megalus Doomslayer

It’s not Soviet Russia anymore? Has anyone told the Kremlin that?

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Melissa McDonald

The Kremlin has decided you need “political re-education”.

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Tobasco da Gama

In which yet another unethical game company rediscovers the Streisand Effect.

(Obligatory Jim Sterling video. CW: Jim Sterling’s foul mouth, and I think there’s a floppy dildo in there somewhere. But there’s really nobody on YouTube who has more experience dealing with spurious copyright and defamation claims than Jim.)

miol
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miol

;P

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McGuffn

You could tell this studio would engage in heavy handed abuses of peoples rights from the time they partnered with Steven Seagal.

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Melissa McDonald

he might be a cartoon character in many people’s eyes, but the dude is a totally legit martial artist.

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McGuffn

He was also sued for killing a dog with a tank.

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Panzerbjorne

There was also the twitch steamer and cc member Circon who also got hit by the WG hammer as well for criticizing one of their less enjoyable maps in one of his streams recently. They threatened him same as Foch though unlike Foch he complied with their removal demands and he got to keep his CC status.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

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odin valhalla

Ugh, one of your better ones. LOL

ceder
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ceder

Wargaming is blight.

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Melissa McDonald

I have played WoT for years now and have only spent a few bucks on cosmetics. I happily compete with a free account in every other way. My Tiger 2 is my prize, I don’t get one-shotted, my personal opinion is that whines about “pay to win” are overblown or exaggerated. I’ve played countless games for free and enjoyed every one of them. Form your own conclusions, try it, it’s a great game and a lot of fun.

Now, historically ? Damn straight tanks got one-shot-killed. An M4 Sherman with a 75mm was going to get bullied by a Tiger 1 with an 88mm cannon. So tactics matter a lot. People seem to want it all ways, every way, their way. Don’t stick your head out of the rabbit hole if you don’t want it shot off. Use your team. Use tactics.

That’s tank warfare!