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Dave
Neopets (Finally) Responds to Anti-Gay NFT Controversy
  • Posted by Dave
  • Posted on October 4, 2021, 1:39 pm NST

UPDATE, 6:45 PM NST: TNT has removed their original message and replaced it with a slightly edited version. See both below.




Today, The Neopets Team has responded to a controversy that erupted 6 days ago within the Neopets Metaverse project's Discord server.

For those out of the loop, on September 28th, an anti-gay slur (that we will not repost here) was left unremoved on the Neopets NFT project's Discord server. When confronted by various Neopets community members, the moderator at the center of this controversy, NinjaPengu, failed to remove the slur for several hours, claimed that they needed a "phd in AI" to anticipate adding such slurs to their automated mod tools, and said those who were complaining about the lack of moderation was spreading "FUD" (stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt—used frequently in the NFT community to discredit the opinions of others).

You can view screenshots of the aftermath on our Twitter feed, @jellyneo.

We at Jellyneo have confirmed that moderator NinjaPengu was only removed today, October 4th around 11:30 AM NST, and was even being called a manager of the project as late as this morning at 8:35 AM NST.



UPDATE, 6:45 PM NST: It looks like the original post from TNT on the Neoboards was removed and replaced with an updated version. Notably, the updated version strikes out a sentence saying their NFT partners are having "communication issues." Below is the updated version:

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. The Neopets Team stands with and supports the LGBTQIA+ community; as such, we've taken note of your concerns internally and we sincerely apologize for any frustration this situation may have caused. We will be sure to pass your thoughts along to the appropriate / responsible parties and want to let you know that the moderator at the center of the controversy has been removed from their position. We also wish to clarify that the "Neopets Metaverse Discord" is managed by a third party.

Additionally, we appreciate the time taken to share your concerns with us regarding NFTs.

We'd like to reiterate that our involvement in the NFT project alongside our partner advisors (Moonvault and Cherrypicks) is happening independent of the support we provide to the Neopets site and will not interfere with our development plans for the site. Please know we remain dedicated to improving the Neopets site and will have more site conversions, updates, and new features for you in the near future.

Thanks everyone,
Petra, Gutterfoot, Scrappy & The Neopets Team



Below is the original response that TNT posted on the Neoboards (link now broken):

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We are aware of the communication issues with our NFT partner companies and are working to address them as soon as possible. The Neopets Team stands with and supports the LGBTQIA+ community; as such, we've taken note of your concerns internally and we sincerely apologize for any frustration this situation may have caused. We will be sure to pass your thoughts along to the appropriate/responsible parties and want to let you know that the moderator at the center of the controversy has been removed from their position. We also wish to clarify that the "Neopets Metaverse Discord" is not owned nor managed by the Neopets Team or JumpStart Games.

Additionally, we appreciate the time taken to share your concerns with us regarding NFTs.

We'd like to reiterate that the NFT's in question are being created by a partner company, and not by the Neopets team directly, allowing our development plans to remain uninterrupted. Please know we remain dedicated to improving the Neopets site and will have more site conversions, updates, and new features for you in the near future.

Thanks everyone,
Petra, Gutterfoot, Scrappy & The Neopets Team



Also important to note is this line, confirming that TNT is not directly involved with the Neopets Metaverse:

We also wish to clarify that the "Neopets Metaverse Discord" is not owned nor managed by the Neopets Team or JumpStart Games.

Which was updated at 6:43 PM NST (Oct 4th) to say:

We also wish to clarify that the "Neopets Metaverse Discord" is managed by a third party.

Up until now, the Neopets Metaverse team has been falsely claiming that the project and its Discord server is directly owned, run by, and part of The Neopets Team directly. It is unclear if the Metaverse team was intentionally spreading misinformation, or if they are unclear on who "The Neopets Team" is.

In addition, community manager Petra was in the /r/Neopets Discord server today and is quoted as saying TNT is limited in terms of what they can say and do:

I actually want to thank you all for the ping. We have been limited on what we are allowed to say, but we've been reading everything and sharing your thoughts with the appropriate people.

The Neopets Metaverse hasn't even gotten off the ground yet in selling NFTs, yet this is the third controversy that has erupted from the much maligned project. As a reminder, the first was @neopets calling this project an unaffiliated scam on Twitter due to no one from TNT being made aware of the project; and the second was the Neopets Metaverse team posting links to R-rated content alongside the Neopets name on Twitter, apparently not being briefed that Neopets is a family-friendly environment.

Stay tuned to Jellyneo, we'll be keeping you up to date on the controversial Metaverse project as more unfolds.
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