EA Told Star Wars Battlefront Reddit Mods to Remove Negative Posts in Exchange for Early Alpha Access
EA reportedly bribed moderators of the Star Wars Battlefront subreddit by requesting that they remove negative posts in exchange for access to the closed alpha of the game made available a few months ago, along with tickets to the Star Wars festival and paraphernalia related to the film franchise.
In a post made by Reddit admin Sporkicide, it was revealed that moderators of the Battlefront subreddit had violated the Reddit user agreement, and that the site was now looking for new mods. When asked how the old mods had violated Reddit’s rules, Sporkicide explained: “There was a representative from EA directing moderators to remove posts and prevent certain links from being posted. In exchange, moderators were given perks including alpha access. This had been going on for a while and is completely unacceptable, whether you were personally the moderator to yank the post or not. It appears to have been clear to all moderators what was being asked and what was being provided in return.”
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According to Unwanted_Commentary, an ex-moderator of the subreddit who claimed to be the individual who reported them, the mods had accepted a variety of bribes over the course of the past year, with them receiving “tickets to the Star Wars festival, alpha access, free lunches and cheap Star Wars paraphernalia” from EA in exchange for them removing negative posts and links relating to the upcoming game. The user added that the mods had “tried to cover up the bribery by banning users who tried to expose them,” and that “they willingly suppressed criticism of the game through moderator action.”
While it hasn’t been confirmed which EA representative solicited the bribes, many are pointing to EA community manager Matt Everett, known as Sledgehammer70 on the site, who is a prominent figure on the subreddit and who has made several announcements about the game in the past. Unwanted_Commentary now reports that Everett has been banned from the subreddit which, if true, suggests that he was the one who was bribing the mods.
Sporkicide added that the following message sent from Everett to a moderator was indicative of “something seriously inappropriate”, adding “there was also additional evidence of EA contacting moderators (and not just of this subreddit) and asking for specific removals and NDA enforcement.”
EA have yet to release a statement regarding these claims at the time of this writing.