Nexus Mods is a one stop shop for modifying video games. If you want to increase the texture resolution of trees in Skyrim or add Iron Man to Grand Theft Auto, Nexus Mods is the place to go. But the site has newly banned mods themed on U.S. politics in the lead-up to the election.
“Recently we have seen a spate of provocative and troll mods being uploaded based around current sociopolitical issues in the United States,” Nexus Mods said in a blog. “As we get closer to the US election in November we expect this trend to increase as it did this time 4 years ago.”
According to the blog post, Nexus Mods experienced a flood of low quality mods expressing polarizing political views four years ago. “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 said. “We have neither the time, the care or the wish to moderate such things. This ban will apply to all mods uploaded from the 28th of September onwards. We will review this restriction sometime after the next President of the United States has been inaugurated.”
Politically themed mods aren’t anything new. You can change the textures of semi truck trailers in Grand Theft Auto V to display pro Ben Shapiro and Trump messages, turn Skyrim’s Ulfric Stormcloak into Donald Trump, or play total conversion mods of strategy games that let you simulate ruling America as Trump.
According to Nexus Mods, it’s no longer interested in being another battlefield in America’s ongoing political crackup. “Most of these mods are being uploaded by cowards with sock puppet accounts deliberately to try and cause a stir,” it said in a blog post. “If you see one of these mods I suggest you do as our Terms of Service say and report the mod and move on without engaging with the content. Your engagement will only fuel the idiots further. 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.”
Of course, banning “politics” is a form of politics in and of itself, and it’s a move most often taken by companies and platforms that believe the status quo is good enough, or who are privileged enough to be able to “ignore” politics in a world that is currently undergoing both a global pandemic and widespread racial justice protests.
“To be blunt, 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,” Nexus Mods said on its site. “Say and do what you want on other sites or services, we care nothing for it here. Have a great day.”