D&D 5E D&D Beyond Self-Censorship: Pride Month Digital Dice Blocked In Some Countries

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Ondath

Adventurer
I've been seeing the notification on my D&D Beyond account about the free pride-month dice that I could claim (there's a post about it on ENWorld here as well), but when I finally got around to clicking that link to claim my dice, I got this:

1654625074018.png

So I clicked on the link to see what was going on, and apparently they made this annoncement 4 days ago, alongside their Pride Dice announcement:
Regionally Blocked Content on D&D Beyond

Now, my country (Turkey) isn't doing too great on LGBT rights, I'll grant you that. Pride Walks are banned with little to no reason despite there being a constitutional right for free assembly, and without going too political, the current government is not pro-LGBT rights. That said, there is no law banning homosexual relations or their "propaganda" (as it is in some countries) that would require WotC to block access to some rainbow-coloured dice here. On the contrary, there is a vibrant LGBT community in big cities, and people's opinions are changing, albeit slowly. This kind of regressive attitude that puts pride flags in European or American accounts and not only ignores LGBT people in Turkey but actively blocks content that celebrates them seems inane to me. I doubt WotC was contacted by the government to do this, since D&D isn't that known outside the tight-knit TTRPG community, so it really looks like they decided to label Turkey as "one of the backwards ones" and blanket ban access to their own page.

I don't know what can be done about this, but I thought this kind of hypocritical behaviour should've been made known.
 
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That is really spectacularly crappy, and Hasbro should be ashamed, frankly, genuinely ashamed.
This kind of "progressivism for the Western countries and needlessly fervent compliance with what we deem to be backwards countries" is not helping anyone.
Really I think letting one of the major D&D-related Twitter accounts know about it might be the thing to do. I don't post on Twitter myself, but it seems like that might go viral pretty quickly if the right person from Critical Role or someone found out about it.
 

Ondath

Adventurer
That is really spectacularly crappy, and Hasbro should be ashamed, frankly, genuinely ashamed.

Really I think letting one of the major D&D-related Twitter accounts know about it might be the thing to do. I don't post on Twitter myself, but it seems like that might go viral pretty quickly if the right person from Critical Role or someone found out about it.
I tried tagging D&D Beyond's account and some Turkish TTRPG-scene folx, but you're right in that grabbing the attention of one of the bigger D&D figures would probably be helpful. Also, this is most likely a global phenomenon and not just limited to Turkey, and I'd wager their blanket ban applies to a lot of places without any restrictive laws as well.
 


darjr

I crit!
I tried tagging D&D Beyond's account and some Turkish TTRPG-scene folx, but you're right in that grabbing the attention of one of the bigger D&D figures would probably be helpful. Also, this is most likely a global phenomenon and not just limited to Turkey, and I'd wager their blanket ban applies to a lot of places without any restrictive laws as well.
Tag Greg or Shelly.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
It would be enlightening to see WotC's list of where the promo has and has not been limited. Knowing of Turkey's checkered history with internet censorship, I suspect that lawyers and execs at Hasbro weighed the risk of pushing the promo there versus having the entire D&D Beyond website blocked in that country.
Anyone interested really should take a few minutes to look into the internet censorship issue there. It's a fraught topic, indeed.
 

Ondath

Adventurer
It would be enlightening to see WotC's list of where the promo has and has not been limited. Knowing of Turkey's checkered history with internet censorship, I suspect that lawyers and execs at Hasbro weighed the risk of pushing the promo there versus having the entire D&D Beyond website blocked in that country.
Anyone interested really should take a few minutes to look into the internet censorship issue there. It's a fraught topic, indeed.
I'm certain this is what happened, and self-censorship is becoming more and more common sadly (just a few days ago, The Boys' latest season had some stuff first censored, then completely cut out. I don't watch the show so I don't know the context, but it did attract a lot of social media backlash). But even when self-censorship is applied, most companies find some way to make their stuff available. For instance, League of Legends' pride content is available in Turkey, just under the name "colour festival" (and even that gets people angry at Riot for applying self-censorship!). Netflix's wide array of LGBT-friendly content is also available in Turkey with little censorship (granted, only so far, as the government increasingly put Netflix under the media watchdog's control presumably to punish them if they add more "indecent" shows). I just find this kind of busybody heavy-handed approach to be unhelpful either to the company (who'll anger progressive users in Turkey, who are more likely to be their users) or the country.
Tag Greg or Shelly.
Would that be Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
On the one hand, it's pretty obvious why the self-censorship happens. On the other, I'm of the mind that making asshats double down on the public record is way more valuable in terms of not only just plain social responsibility, but good karma, PR and yes, eventual customer loyalty.

Even putting it aside, kneeling to chumps who discriminate like this is a long term mistake. Do you really thing they'll allow activities like D&D once they're done stomping out the minorities?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've been seeing the notification on my D&D Beyond account about the free pride-month dice that I could claim (there's a post about it on ENWorld here as well), but when I finally got around to clicking that link to claim my dice, I got this:

View attachment 250444
So I clicked on the link to see what was going on, and apparently they made this annoncement 4 days ago, alongside their Pride Dice announcement:
Regionally Blocked Content on D&D Beyond

Now, my country (Turkey) isn't doing too great on LGBT rights, I'll grant you that. Pride Walks are banned with little to no reason despite there being a constitutional right for free assembly, and without going too political, the current government is not pro-LGBT rights. That said, there is no law banning homosexual relations or their "propaganda" (as it is in some countries) that would require WotC to block access to some rainbow-coloured dice here. On the contrary, there is a vibrant LGBT community in big cities, and people's opinions are changing, albeit slowly. This kind of regressive attitude that puts pride flags in European or American accounts and not only ignores LGBT people in Turkey but actively blocks content that celebrates them seems inane to me. I hardly doubt WotC was contacted by the government to this, since D&D isn't that known outside the tight-knit TTRPG community, so it really looks like they decided to label Turkey as "one of the backwards ones" and blanket ban access to their own page.

I don't know what can be done about this, but I thought this kind of hypocritical behaviour should've been made known.
I can’t see it either here in the U.K.
 







I'm curious. Are there workarounds like there are for say streaming services?
It depends on how the content is structured at D&D Beyond. I mean, this is really a gross simplification, but basically there are two broad possibilities:

1) "You own what you own", i.e. it doesn't matter what region you're in now, just what region you were in when you bought it. So in that case, you can use a VPN to put yourself in a better jurisdiction, get to the thing, and then you have the thing, period.

2) "We check every time", i.e. the content availability is checked based on your location every time you attempt to access it. This is legally dicey in a lot of places. I suspect trying to pull it on anyone in the EU would not end well. But it is not uncommon.

There's more complexity to it of course. A VPN should be able to settle the issue. I don't have any installed atm or I'd use one to teleport to Turkey and see if my Pride dice still worked. They are kind of cool-looking.
 


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