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The fallout over the new video game Hogwarts Legacy has continued this weekend, as now a server or “instance” on the decentralised social media platform Mastodon housing thousands of users is being shut down after its host complained about spoilers for the Harry Potter game.
Hogwarts Legacy has been shunned by many individuals online based on Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s stance on trans rights, comments which have seen the writer – who also pens the Strike novels – accused of “transphobia”.
As a result, the game has reportedly been given the custom tag “genocide simulator” on the online game store Steam, resulted in Twitch streamers being pushed to “tears” for playing the game, and sparked a campaign by protestors to spoil the story for those considering playing.
Considering Rowling’s previous remarks on trans people – including mocking the inclusive phrase “people who menstruate” and claiming “the theory of gender identity” makes her “remember how mentally sexless I felt in youth” – the game has also been blasted for introducing a transgender character to the wizarding world.
Though it’s the push to share spoilers in a bid to deter individuals from buying and playing Hogwarts Legacy which the aforementioned Mastadon user – known only as Nathan – took issue with.
In a post to the Mastodon.lol instance on Thursday – reportedly in response to requests to ban supporters of the game - they wrote: “We’re not banning people for buying a video game. Express your displeasure to them if you so wish, but that alone doesn’t require our attention.
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“Related, please don’t post spoilers just to spite people. You can justify it to yourself however you like, but you’re shouting into a crowd here. Not every HP fan knows JK Rowling is a piece of s***, and ruining the days of random bystanders ain’t the way to go.
“It *will* cause problems for myself and .lol in general if it continues.”
And it did, with the admin of the instance later claiming they had been called an “antisemite” and a “transphobe” over their stance on sharing Hogwarts Legacy spoilers, and screenshots surfacing of Nathan telling other users to “kill yourself”.
In a follow-up post, Nathan announced the instance would shut down on 9 May and wrote: “I’m not doing this anymore. It’s not worth it. Personal attacks calling me of all people a Nazi, a TERF [Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist], an antisemite…
“Congrats on destroying something I cared so deeply about. I hope you’re happy.
“One last message before anyone tries to further assassinate my character: f*** Nazis, f*** TERFs, JK Rowling can die in a fire for all I care.”
The decision by the admin means anyone who signed up to be part of the instance – and have @mastodon.lol as the second part of their username – will have to move to a different server to continue using the social media platform.
As is to be expected, Nathan’s decision to shut down the large Mastodon instance has left social media users divided:
\u201cCis people I beg you.\n\nStop abandoning your allyship over spoilers for a shit video game lmao.\u201d— a member (penis) of the media (@a member (penis) of the media) 1676196348
\u201cThis is a dumb conclusion to draw, but I'm fucking laughing that the dude was just like "I'm okay with telling people to kill themselves, but I draw the line at spoilers". No self awareness. Absolute buffoonery.\u201d— Mx. Dizzy: Werewolf Arc (@Mx. Dizzy: Werewolf Arc) 1676187873
\u201cSo far the success track record of 'wizard game boycott' has been to harass and character assassinate a queer mastodon admin into quitting & yoinking their entire server because they thought going 'dumbledore dies 2023' at normies was counterproductive.\n\nhttps://t.co/JEWEykQgAE\u201d— \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08Spacedad - Sakuga Salaryman (@\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08Spacedad - Sakuga Salaryman) 1676172631
\u201cI hate it when an entire social network goes down because of one person having a weird meltdown\u201d— Dan Nguyen (@Dan Nguyen) 1676168744
\u201cNathan was being told to kill himself, called a TERF, a Nazi and that's just a bit of the stuff I saw. The guy put so much of his own time, for free, when everyone was piling on.\n\nGwen here apparently thinks its more important that you stay on this Nazi infested cesspit than\u201d— Evil Bee (@Evil Bee) 1676169678
Mastodon.lol was set up as an instance which was “friendly towards anti-fascists, members of the LGBTQ+ community, activist movements, hackers and anyone who doesn’t think ‘free speech’ is the only important human right”, with anyone welcome “so long as they abide by the rules”.
Mastodon as a whole saw a surge in new users late last year, after it was considered by many as an alternative to Twitter, which had been bought by controversial Tesla founder Elon Musk.
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