IGN website angers staff by removing post about helping civilians in Palestine

Editorial staff members have signed a letter addressed to upper management expressing their frustration at the story's deletion

A story about how to help Palestinian civilians has been deleted from the IGN website, causing uproar amongst staff. 
A story about how to help Palestinian civilians has been deleted from the IGN website, causing uproar amongst staff. 

IGN, a popular gaming and entertainment news website, has never shied away from raising awareness for humanitarian issues such as the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements.

Recently, it took on another cause by sharing a story focusing on how to help those in Palestine affected by ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.

On Friday, IGN shared a short post on its website titled "How to Help Palestinian Civilians". The article noted that "Palestinian civilians are currently suffering in great numbers in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, due to Israeli forces", listing five organisations that readers could donate to in order to help those displaced by the ongoing crisis.

The post also provided other resources for further reading about what is happening in the region. The website even changed its banner to include a Palestinian flag alongside the IGN logo.

However, just two days later, the story had been removed from the website and the accompanying tweet that promoted the story also vanished, without notice or announcement – even to IGN staff.

What IGN's publisher has said about the deleted story

An official response came about 12 hours after the story was first noted as missing, in an all-staff email from the site’s publisher, John Davison.

The statement was identical with the one shared a few hours later on the IGN Twitter account, although it's unknown if Davison authored the statement.

“In the instance of our recent post regarding how to help civilians in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, our philanthropic instincts to help those in need was not in line with our intent of trying to show support for all people impacted by the tragic events,” the statement read.

“By highlighting only one population, the post mistakenly left the impression that we were politically aligned with one side. That was not our intention and we sincerely regret the error.”

The statement added that IGN had donated $25,000 to Save the Children, "an organisation that works to support children everywhere and provides emergency aid in natural disasters, war and other conflicts".

How IGN staff have responded

In response to the removal of the story, 66 members of IGN staff have published a letter addressed to the publication’s corporate leadership and management at Ziff Davis and J2 Global, the site’s parent company and owner, criticising the conditions of the article’s removal.

We feel these efforts should not be controversial. All humans deserve access to these basic rights, and it is important for those with means to offer aid in times of humanitarian crisis

IGN's letter to corporate leadership and management

“In our original post, we offered our readers ways to support charities that help injured and sick children, supply educational resources and food assistance to victims, and provide emergency medical relief for those wounded or displaced by the conflict,” the letter states.

“We feel these efforts should not be controversial. All humans deserve access to these basic rights, and it is important for those with means to offer aid in times of humanitarian crisis.

"Our original post was shared by thousands of people and, because of IGN’s size and reach, we were able to serve as a leader for much of the rest of the industry to also help support those whose lives are torn apart by this conflict.”

The letter also demands the reinstatement of the article on IGN’s website, as well as transparency into the decision-making behind its original removal.

“Our post was not, it should not have been controversial. We were getting people resources and information on how to donate to support victims of war, like children and people who are being victimised by violence," one IGN employee told The Washington Post.

"We were asking people to take care of those whose homes have been lost, who are hungry and injured. That should not be controversial.”

___________________

Read more:

The stars speaking out in solidarity with Palestine: 'The world is watching'

Celebrities stand for Palestine

___________________

Updated: May 18, 2021 06:22 PM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one