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

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Ondath

Adventurer
I'm from the South not the West. Australia to be precise. Turkey is closer to Western Europe than I am.
Geographically, sure. And we're also more within the European landmass than, say, Cyprus. That doesn't change the fact that your country is far closer economically, culturally and ideologically with the Global North than Turkey is.

More importantly, it's clear that you're basically citing the big and shocking cases that have also caused outrage within Turkey. I never denied that the political situation is rife with issues, and these are issues that need to be fixed. But the way you're painting the issue makes it look as if Turkey has absolutely no legal protections for LGBT people. I'm sure we can find similar or worse injustices against LGBT people in EU member states or even some states in the US. But for you, these do not put countries like Latvia or Poland or US states with strong anti-LGBT movements in the same bin as "backwards" countries, because you also hear about the legal protection offered to LGBT people there. In Turkey, the situation is not that different (barring a difference in degrees). Homosexuality was legalised a century before most Western countries in 1858 (while the Sultan also held the religious title of Caliph, mind you). Here are some examples where Turkish courts upheld LGBT people's rights against discrimination in two cases in 2019:

In January 2019, the 34th Labor Court in Istanbul issued the first verdict in a legal case surrounding three garbage men who were fired by a municipality for allegedly engaging in a homosexual relationship with one of their co-workers. The court ruled in favour of one of the plaintiffs, identified as R.S., concluding that his contract was unjustly terminated.

In 2013, a Turkish vendor was charged with selling "immoral" DVDs because the DVD movies featured gay sexually explicit content. Judge Mahmut Erdemli from the court in Istanbul overturned the criminal charges. He ruled that gay sex is natural, stated that an individual's sexual orientation should be respected, and cited examples of same-sex marriages in Europe and in the Americas.

In 2008, a court case was launched to close down Lambda Istanbul [a member of ILGA-Europe], and although a lower court initially decided in favour of closing down the association, the decision was overruled by the Turkish Constitutional Court and Lambda Istanbul remains open.


What I've been trying to say is that Turkey, despite its dodgy record in protecting the rights of LGBT people, is in a nuanced situation where LGBT people live openly and can get some legal protections. More importantly, there is no overt law that criminalises LGBT people or defending them. By pretending that Turkey is no different than Saudi Arabia or Egypt, you're overlooking this fact and reducing Turkey to just another Middle Eastern pile of dirt. Which is exactly what D&D Beyond has done by unnecessarily extending their content restriction, which is what makes me angry in the first place.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
What I've been trying to say is that Turkey, despite its dodgy record in protecting the rights of LGBT people, is in a nuanced situation where LGBT people live openly and can get some legal protections. More importantly, there is no overt law that criminalises LGBT people or defending them. By pretending that Turkey is no different than Saudi Arabia or Egypt, you're overlooking this fact and reducing Turkey to just another Middle Eastern pile of dirt. Which is exactly what D&D Beyond has done by unnecessarily extending their content restriction, which is what makes me angry in the first place.

While I appreciate that you want to explain the very real differences between Turkey and other places, it is also the case that (for example) companies have been more circumspect because of actual legal pressure.

As you correctly point out, Riot isn't offering Pride material to Turkey, they are instead offering "Color Festival" material. That's ... that's a big difference. And the reason for that difference is likely because the government of Turkey has specifically told online retailers to put 18+ age warnings on products, including rainbow-themed products, that promote LGBTQ+ issues.

We can both agree that the situation is more complex on the ground that most people that are outside of it would understand- people that are outside rarely understand how complex a situation within a given place is. And you have every right to feel angry. I would as well- I would feel angry at the situation in my country wherein there isn't the full support that people deserve (just as Americans are often angry at their government for anti-inclusive or transphobic policies), and I would feel angry at Hasbro for not offering the free dice, or at least, not offering "Color Festival" versions for Turkey (although ... as others have pointed out, if it became common knowledge that Hasbro was watering down their Pride dice for Turkey, that might cause them even larger problems in their markets like the United States and Europe).

All that said, within the anger, I would also understand why Hasbro would follow the directive of the government. Saying that Hasbro shouldn't because the government probably won't notice ... is not something most companies with large international profiles are comfortable with in today's climate (plus the whole, "Just break the law, it's unlikely people will notice" isn't a great maxim). Or the idea that there are some attorneys that argue that the Minsitry of Trade's enforcement might not hold up in court ... well, unless the attorneys in Turkey are different than those in other countries, it is always possible to find people to argue anything; most companies tend to follow legal directives until someone else challenges them, and even moreso when there is a challenging legal climate.

Unfortunately, most companies are not profiles in courage, and are often lagging indicators of inclusivity. Most companies in the United States, for example, did not celebrate inclusivity when the communities here really needed it. Instead, they only did so when it was largely acceptable to do so.

I hope you get your dice. More importantly, I hope the situation in Turkey gets to the point where companies don't misconstrue what the government's official message to them might be, and where everyone in both urban and rural areas of Turkey are free to march in Pride parades and live the lives they want and deserve.
 

Geographically, sure. And we're also more within the European landmass than, say, Cyprus. That doesn't change the fact that your country is far closer economically, culturally and ideologically with the Global North than Turkey is.

So by that logic, I cant criticize or comment on Saudi Arabia who have the death penalty for Homosexualty?

One minute you're criticizing a foreign company for not speaking up and showing solidarity with LGBTI people in Turkey. Now you're criticizing me for speaking up in solidarity with LGBTI people in Turkey.

More importantly, it's clear that you're basically citing the big and shocking cases that have also caused outrage within Turkey.

Yeah. Using quotes from Turkish LGBTI people, facing increasing discrimination, from an increasingly hostile government, to support my position.

I never denied that the political situation is rife with issues, and these are issues that need to be fixed.

So it seems you're arguing with me for nothing, because even you agree the issues exist.

But the way you're painting the issue makes it look as if Turkey has absolutely no legal protections for LGBT people.

No, I never said that, or inferred that. Not once.

Im aware Turkey has protections for LGBTI people built into its Constitution. As we're seeing the USA with the leaked Supreme Courts decision re Roe v Wade, baked in Legal protections against discrimination, are not absolute, and can be torn down.

Your President Ergodan, has form on this doesnt he? He's been increasingly pandering to conservative Islamic base for support, banning LGBTI pride marches, disparaging LGBTI people and their 'morally repugnant agenda', and has come out publicly against LGBTI issues.

I'm sure we can find similar or worse injustices against LGBT people in EU member states or even some states in the US. But for you, these do not put countries like Latvia or Poland or US states with strong anti-LGBT movements in the same bin as "backwards" countries, because you also hear about the legal protection offered to LGBT people there. In Turkey, the situation is not that different (barring a difference in degrees). Homosexuality was legalised a century before most Western countries in 1858 (while the Sultan also held the religious title of Caliph, mind you). Here are some examples where Turkish courts upheld LGBT people's rights against discrimination in two cases in 2019:

What are you on about? I literally called out Russia and Hungary in earlier posts, and literally posted two separate Maps, showing EVERY jurisdiction in the world with repugnant legal prohibitions on LGBTI issues.

This isnt some ethnocentric or Islamophobic attack on Turkey from a 'Westerner' here mate. Im pointing out to you that your country is backsliding into bigotry, with LGBTI people under attack from your President, LGBTI parades being cancelled on 'morality and security' grounds, and LGBTI people facing increasing persecution, which is a position you agree with.

Im an ally of LGBTI people, and would like nothing more than for Turkeys laws to provide greater protection for the LGBTI people, banning the sorts of hate speech you see frequently on Turkish social media, and coming from the mouth of your own President.

The fact of the matter is though, that the President of your country has openly stated hostility towards LGBTI people, and has threatened (and used) 'moral offense' laws to prohibit or resstrict pro LGBTI messaging, and companies (Decathlon being one) have literally faced backlash for posting pro LGBTI messaging.

Instead, of directing your angst there where it belongs, you direct it at the subdivision of a private company, going out of its way to spread (as much as possible) a pro-LGBTI message, at a financial loss to the Company (which only exists to make money), and that is headed by Crawford, a Gay man.

Riddle me this. Why can I see the website in Australia, and you cant in Turkey?

Before you answer, here is a Tweet from our Prime Minister, when he was marching at our LGBTI parade in Sydney, in support of Same sex marriage in 2014:

1654886070635.png


Here is what your politicians have to say:

1654886154577.png


But yeah OK, blame Hasbro and not Turkey. Whatever floats your boat.
 
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We know with certainty that rainbow iconography that doesn't include religious iconography is permitted. There's a list of companies that have done so.
Bringing up religious iconography is not honest debate. It is a false pretense.

Decathalon (an athletic goods superstore chain) did this:

1654884447109.png

With a post that said: "There is room for every color in Decathlon! Regardless of sexual identity and orientation, we support diversity and inclusiveness in an equal working environment for everyone".

This was met with backlash in Turkey, and calls to Boycott the company from pro-government sources:

Decathlon Turkey Faces Social Media Backlash Over Gay Pride Post
 

Decathalon (an athletic goods superstore chain) did this:

View attachment 250711
With a post that said: "There is room for every color in Decathlon! Regardless of sexual identity and orientation, we support diversity and inclusiveness in an equal working environment for everyone".

This was met with backlash in Turkey, and calls to Boycott the company from pro-government sources:

Decathlon Turkey Faces Social Media Backlash Over Gay Pride Post
Is social media backlash on par with DnDBeyond's claim of legal restrictions?
Of note, there's US social media backlash towards Wizards everytime they encourage diversity. If they were looking to avoid social backlash they never would have done rainbow anything, anywhere
 

Ondath

Adventurer
But yeah OK, blame Hasbro and not Turkey. Whatever floats your boat.
What you fail to understand is that I am blaming Hasbro and our current government. As @Vaalingrade said above, I've got more than one finger, and responsibility for injustices can involve more than one group at a time to varying degrees.

I don't think our conversation is going anywhere, so I really don't want to reiterate the same things to you that I've said to everyone elsewhere. Let's stop here.
 

The Director of the company has fiduciary obligations to the shareholders. He cant take any course of action that breaches that obligation.

That director needs to cover his or her own backside (plus act in the best interests of the shareholders and the company). That's what he or she gets paid to do.

He or she simply is not allowed (legally) to promote a social agenda (or take any actions) that are against the interests of the company or its shareholders.

Corporate Social Responsibility promoting inclusiveness etc is great and I'm all for it (and I support LGBTI inclusiveness fully). You've just got to be careful who you promote it to, and what you direct the Company to do, because if that call gets the Company in hot water legally (or economically effects its bottom line) you're in hot water (and are facing angry shareholders and an unhappy board).

I certainly wouldn't want to be fronting the Board, explaining why we can no longer market toys to Turkey (and possibly other conservative markets) costing the company (and the shareholders) lots of money and driving our share price down.

You're likely out of a job, and facing legal action for breach of your fiduciary duty to the shareholders.

I have zero doubt that Hasbros position re Turkey would be different if Turkey wasnt to hostile towards LGBTI people. The only legal jurisdictions they seem to be hesitant about promoting these virtual dice, seem to be those with laws (and governments) in place that are anti-LGBTI.

Im with the OP in that it sucks, and I wish it was different. I just cant really point the finger at Hasbro, when the real culprit for mine looks to be Turkey.

Right - Hasbro's first order of business is making their shareholders happy and turning a profit. Any "social responsibility" is secondary to that, and only happens when they have ascertained that said social responsibility will either help or won't hurt their profitability. So I can't blame Hasbro too much for acting like a corporation, but neither do I give them a lot of credit for their "social responsibility" in the US, where being gay-friendly helps, rather than hurts, their profitability.

Now, is it possible that Hasbro's evaluation of the situation is affected by racism, in which all muslim countries are sort of lumped together in the "backwards" category together. Yes, yes it is! And they don't lose a lot by customers like @Ondath being unhappy with the situation.
 


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