Several prominent and long-standing members of the TF2 Workshop and competitive community have begun to come forward detailing alleged toxicity within their circles. Within the past 24 hours, Workshop members have released a disturbing amount of personal anecdotes, some coming with announcements of severing ties with the community in order to better protect their well-being.
Amongst reports of systemic sexism, transphobia, and racism leveled at community members, many of the individuals coming forward claim that the Team Fortress 2 fandom not only has a problem with how it treats its fellows but also with how it allows its fellows to be treated. Many minority members of the community such as Twitch streamer Tagg report that those coming forward about their experiences are being silenced and those experiences downplayed.
Juniper, a user who claims to have been active in the community for over five years, expressed the extreme prejudice they experienced to their gender identity, their validity and experience as a content creator, and multiple other vital interpersonal issues. A strictly personal piece written by the user, who declines to name specific perpetrators, tells of years of experiencing what they believed to be isolated incidents of abuse and harassment until others began coming forward.
“Along with rampant transphobia and sexism in the TF2 Workshop community, comes greed, racism, and egos,” Juniper wrote. “All of which feed into one another, creating monstrous beings of people who think they own this platform, at the cost of other people’s livelihood and spirits.”
Juniper continued with more allegations.
“These people — and I’m talking about a very specific handful of people — have doxxed, stalked, and harassed many innocents who only want to create and have fun in this space to terrifyingly uncomfortable degrees,” they said.
Juniper reports that those that have perpetrated and allowed abuse to take place “continue to receive indirect validation in the form of accepted TF2 items in-game, receiving big Valve paychecks for the next year at the very least, since these last handfuls of updates have included many items created by them.” This implies a worrying saturation of problematic instances in the very heart of content production within the community.
Because of the prominent statuses of some of the alleged perpetrators, artists and creators like Juniper are being forced to close off future interaction with the community, therefore severing access to that specific source of support, capital, and exposure. Some organizations with their ear close to the community ground have spoken up reinstating prior guidelines that no harassment or abusive behavior will be tolerated within their team or by their team members.
Harassment and abuse are significant problems within the community that must be addressed.
— ChampGG (@ChampGG_) August 7, 2018
TFLIVE would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that which unfortunately needs repeating; will not tolerate any forms of discriminatory behaviour.
We have excluded people who engage in this behaviour from our platform before and we will continue to do so in the future.
— TFLIVE (@TFLIVETV) August 7, 2018