Bungie employees were the victims of harassment after celebrating a collaboration with an African-American streamer.
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Some employees at Bungie were the victims of extreme harassment. The harassment, which mainly took place this past June, included those employees being doxxed and hit with numerous racial slurs, phone calls, text messages, and death threats.

This all began after the employees celebrated a collaboration announcement that the studio was working with African-American Destiny 2 streamer, Uhmaayyze. This is just the latest round of threats and harassment that Bungie employees have had to deal with. The Record has the full report on this latest bout of harassment.

A bulk of the harassment was focused on two unnamed employees. Bungie, in response, now has a court order to force the Waterloo-based TextNow Inc. to name the customers that made "racist and serious physical threats" against their employees. TextNow is a service that offers users access to anonymous phone services.

“Uhmaayyze is African-American,” Superior Court Justice Fred Myers said in his recent ruling. “He is well known among those who play and watch Destiny 2 because he performs freestyle rap on livestreaming platforms while he plays the game.”

On the day of the tweet, a campaign of doxxing — using the internet to reveal private information about a person — and threats began.

An anonymous person tweeted to Bungie accounts a threat to kill employees on June 14.

“Shortly after, several employees of Bungie began receiving voice mails and text messages on personal, unpublished telephone numbers repeatedly using the racial slur referred to colloquially as the ‘N-word,’ ” the judge said.

“That night a person who called himself ‘Brian’ left a voice mail on the personal telephone line of the employee who posted the ads. Brian referred to the employee by name and requested that Destiny 2 provide a scene or a downloadable piece of the game (DLC) for ‘N-word killing,’ ” Myers said.

“A few minutes later he called back and identified himself as a member of a far-right-wing social network known to publish material that is censored from mainstream social media. He repeated the request for an ‘N-word killing’ DLC to be added to Destiny 2.”
The spouse of the employee mentioned in the quote above also works for Bungie. They also received a request for that "N-word killing" DLC to be added to the game. Shortly thereafter, a voicemail from the same number as earlier told them, "Enjoy your pizza."

“Around the same time, a person using the same telephone number as the anonymous caller ordered a pizza to the employees’ home address,” Myers said. “Not surprisingly, the use of the employees’ home address frightened them. They called the local police and made a report.”
Related, a Twitter user going by the name of Inkcel, was also making threats towards Bungie employees. Inkcel tweeted out a picture of a Bungie employee staff ID card belonging to Bungie community manager Dylan "dmg04" Gafner. He then said that he had moved to live within 30 minutes of dmg04. He also tweeted out the employee "is not safe." Inkcel also reportedly threatened to burn down Bungie's offices. Though minor in comparison, Inkcel also reportedly used cheats in Crucible, Destiny 2's competitive PvP mode.

“The similarity of the name ‘Inkcel’ to the term ‘incel’ makes the threats more frightening to the (employees) as well,” the judge said. “The term ‘incel’ stands for ‘involuntary celibate’ and refers to a violent misogynist ideology espoused by some who identify themselves with that term.”
The two employees on the receiving end of this most recent harassment requested an "urgent and confidential" court order for TextNow to name the customers that issued the threats. The judge agreed on June 15 but waited a full month before releasing this ruling to the public due to the "serious nature of the allegations of danger."

To their credit, TextNow says that they "comply with all valid requests as required by law." The company collects information from users such as email addresses, phone number, IP address, credit card information, and logs of calls and texts.

Recently, Bungie said that they have reduced how much they communicate with the Destiny player base due to harassment and threats. A comment was posted to Reddit about a week back from Bungie community manager dmg04. The thread said that they miss seeing Bungie replies on Reddit, with another user saying "that's what happens when developers receive harassment and death threats over a video game."

A reply suggested that it was only a "rude minority," and that Bungie's move was just "a deliberate PR-driven attempt to reduce communication without backlash." It was that user's response which prompted dmg's reply.

Here's the thing, the harassment we've spoken to isn't just rude replies on twitter or vague comments. There have been real threats towards our people and our studio. We're taking them seriously, which is leading to an amount of reduced communications as the team plans future protections / strategies to help avoid these sorts of things.

I will be very clear in saying that I appreciate the studio in the amount that's it's helped me personally after some serious harassment towards me and my family. I'm taking time off in part because of this. Just because you can't see it directly in a given tweet or forum reply doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

None of it is meant to be a punishment to the people who can leave clear and respectful feedback for our developers, mind you. There are no instances at Bungie where people actively look at a conversation and plan retaliatory actions towards our playerbase via hotfixes, updates, or comms strategies. Sometimes, we just need to take some time to get things straightened out. Can take weeks, can take months - just like any given development pipeline, as we want what's best for our players AND our employees. That said, we can't just move about "business as usual" until things are resolved. It sucks, but we want to be sure that folks are safe and taken care of.
With these added details provided this week by The Record, it should be made plenty clear that Bungie has very good reason for reducing their social media presence.

As a company, Bungie has not been shy about going after individuals that threaten employees or their business, even prior to this In Summer 2021, Bungie filed five lawsuits against the makers and sellers of cheat programs. In Spring 2022, Bungie sued a player that filed numerous fake copyright claims on YouTube. More recently, Bungie is suing Inkcel for $150,000 (USD).