Dev Diary: Black Lives Matter Beacon



  • edited July 2020

    I am all for rational discussion of topics and ideas which run counter to my own. I am not saying we should not as a society discuss controversial or uncomfortable topics - quite the opposite in fact - we should discuss them rigorously and that is the very purpose of the first amendment. This is why it is wrong when people trying to insinuate that saying All lives matter is ra-cist or that by not supporting a specific movement they must be against the fundamentals espoused by it. If someone disagrees with you you should ALWAYS be willing to understand their position, even if you disagree with it, otherwise we will only know of each other what divides us not unites us.

    My primary dissatisfaction with Niantics decisions on this and other movements they promote in the game is this. To me and many others - entertainment should fall along the lines of common family gathering etiquette: No Religion or Politics. Maybe you have a brother or an aunt who always has to bring up politics at family gatherings meant to celebrate an occasion and it ends up ruining the whole thing. To many of us this etiquette includes sports like Football, movies, shows and video games. People can of course discuss whatever they want when they want as long as others in the group are willing and happy to discuss it but that must be the choice of everyone involved at the time.

    What I (and I think many others) take issue with is Niantic is making it so that we are forced to take a position on things by virtue of proxy. Niantic is publicly supporting a movement that I and many others take issue with(And not because we're ra-cists or don't believe in equality) despite the fact we don't have to support it ourselves, the game we is forcing us to choose sides by either supporting them and the movements they are picking to support or to stop supporting them altogether which is the choice that I made.

    I disliked the immersion breaking experiences of b cancer awareness, g pride etc (Stupid that I can't say these words here?) but when Niantic starts supporting political movements they are forcing the hands of anyone who doesn't support that movement. They are in their rights to do so - but I want them to understand that I created this account after all these years of playing this game and was willing to throw away literally 10s of thousands of hours and dollars worth of game play away because I felt their decision was so wrong it required it. I know I am not alone in this, and I don't say this to be threatening or intimidating but with a sadness to see something which I loved for so long tarnished and ultimately destroyed. 

    I too have been crammed in cars, SUVs and vans and stranger places with people who are my polar opposite in every way and found common ground which was a great thing about Ingress to me. In those situations however we focused on our love of the game as you noted - not what separates us. When these groups within a faction broke the rules and started discussing what divides us the groups often fell apart, factions changed etc. By choosing one side of any topic or the other Niantic is marginalizing those who don't agree with their choices, even if they feel they have a good reason to.  

    For instance what if Niantic decided to support a Pro-Choice movement? I'm sure there are many players who fall on both sides of that argument as well and there would be rational reasons for choosing either side. People want to be free to make their own choices on controversial issues on their own time not have that issue thrust in their face. 

    In closing with respect to BLM ,unfortunately this account in unable to provide links, this is taken verbatim from the black lives matter site:

    "We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement in its entirety but I'm not going to digress here as refuting many of the fundamentals of this movement point by point is not my purpose.

    On the police I strongly disagree with defunding, abolishing or diminishing police departments anywhere. A lack of appropriate funding is half the problem with departments now, removing funds is only going to exasperate the issue by decreasing the quality and amount of police protecting communities and decreasing the amount of training they receive (Which is the entire problem IMO not "Systemic Ra-cism" which is a whole other subject). I can understand why some people think this is a good idea and they should be free to make that decision in their own community if they choose.

    Lastly the BLM movement has a history that is not all that innocent - there are many videos and instances available out there for those willing to look where people have done wrong under the banner of the BLM movement. A website may appear to be harmless to some but to me actions speak louder than words. I'm trying to avoid going down too many political rabbit holes here.

    Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with anything else I've said I hope we can at least agree that there is some grey area here with the BLM movement where I think you can now appreciate why some people such as myself are not willing to support any corporate entity which aligns itself with such a movement. If there is anything to be gained by my singular contribution to this community it is that Niantic in the future would chose who it supports, and thus by proxy forces its players to support, more carefully.

    Thank you for the rational discussion.

  • ... For holding you accountable to your own misguided opinion which reflects poorly on your acknowledgement of your privilege and the loss of black and brown lives? You're welcome.

  • RedSoloCupRedSoloCup ✭✭✭✭✭

    Would you feel comfortable contacting me on Telegram? I am intellectually curious about what part(s) of the statement about family you quoted you have issue with. My TG is the same as this account. I agree, this thread isn't the place for that discussion.

  • ItsutsumeItsutsume ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Just because LGBT month is over, doesn't mean all LGBT issues are suddenly solved. I don't like this "plastic Christmas tree" approach - LGBT month is over, so let's box all the rainbow XM until the next year. Such approach is just following the trend - "We're with you, so please buy our stuff!" As I mentioned before, XM at random dates and beacons would be better.

    There's another thing that got me wondering - for countries where homosexuality is banned or frowned upon, does Niantic still do rainbow XM, or is it just for US players?

  • edited July 2020

    Sure, I'd be happy to discuss the topic in private if you have an interest in doing so.

    I do not however have a TG account as some people in my circles have used it as a means of censorship and control which I oppose. I avoid most social media and communication platforms like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook precisely because of the toxic, rabid and unthinking dialogue that is on display by some others here.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
  • TRIBBLE2331TRIBBLE2331 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    It’s sad to see that there are r a c i s t people with this community. I hope that one day everyone is treated as equals. Until that day comes we’ll continue to fight against racism and I hope to see these beacons spread throughout the area that I live in. Let us show our support. Don’t listen to the haters @NianticBrian and make sure that our voices are head.


  • Not all people are aware of this issue. And yet, when things are forced on them in this way, a lot of people don't like it before they're even interested in it. I think. If you want people to agree with you, wouldn't this approach be counterproductive?

    There didn't seem to be a lot of support for this approach around me.

    We have to be careful about turning an indifferent person into an enemy in the wrong way.

    We must avoid making ourselves suffer by our actions.

    And unless we can do that, this problem will go on forever.

    At least until the sense of discrimination in those who claim to be anti-discrimination is gone...

  • ItsutsumeItsutsume ✭✭✭


  • RostwoldRostwold ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ezareth I would ask you to consider two things:

    Firstly: Is it reasonable to assume that making the three word statement that "Black Lives Matter" constitutes endorsement of every policy, statement and view expressed by a particular campaign group that bought one of many possible domain names containing that phrase, and only appears to operate in 6 countries?

    Secondly, there's a famous quote that says "I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the **** Your Right to Say It" (variously attributed to Voltaire or Evelyn Beatrice Hall but let's not get distracted here). Of course you have every right to disagree with the politics of, or family structures proposed by an organisation that runs a particular BLM website, but I have one simple question for you... do their lives still matter?

  • Is Niantic in support of this:

    Or does Niantic blindly follow something like the rest of the sheep following a movement they have no idea about?

  • edited July 2020

    Uh... Ingress is not the place where these issues will be solved. Ingress is recognizing these groups and their struggle...

    Saying Ingress should do more, is as bad as the people demanding that they should make a beacon for every single possible cause in existence, or none.

    Also, it's all countries, everywhere in the world.

  • If we are going to make any kind of appeal to this issue, it would be unfair if we did not also mention Hong Kong, where clear human rights violations are occurring.

    Are you going to add more beacons to the store every time these claims get louder?

    Even if we made it, it would solve nothing but more people getting wrongfully arrested.

    (I don't care what happens in Asia.

    You are a perfect r.a.c.i.s.t if you think that you are. Congratulations to you.)

    Human needs are infinite and never ending.

    It's impossible to meet them all.

    Then isn't it most equal not to respond to everything?

  • Is Niantic going to remove the portals of the statues that were takien down too

  • Then isn't it most equal not to respond to everything?

    Sure. Let's ignore all the successes, because we couldn't solve everything at once. If you can't create world peace, why not do nothing!

    Niantic is not only a company but a group of people. And those people can choose what to support, and what is beyond their ability to do.

  • To all those who believe "all lives matter", wishing you a Happy Saturday (all countries matter!)

  • ItsutsumeItsutsume ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Well, like I said, I don't like this approach. I don't like the idea that once LGBT month is done, rainbow XM is gone until next year, just like people take out and then pack back plastic Christmas trees once Christmas is over. I would rather have them note something on their website and keep things out of the game. Either they support multiple things at least, or none of them. There are a lot more issues than just BLM and LGBT, you know? And again, how hard is it for Niantic to turn on/off rainbow XM? Until they turn it on at random dates, all these things are a PR stunt, just like all other companies do nowadays (Niantic is neither better nor worse). Although, even if they start doing random rainbow XM, it's still consider it PR stunt cause, well, it was my idea, they should have thought of it first.

    But if Ingress is not the place where these issues will be solved, maybe keep them out if Ingress then?

  • TRIBBLE2331TRIBBLE2331 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    I used some of the BLM beacons today.

  • This is a very thoughtful and reasonable comment yet you get nothing but disagreement in this "community". It shows that the people who support this movement here actually don't care about what they say they do (equality). It is all about control, not about correcting any actual problem, perceived or otherwise.. They think they can bludgeon people into supporting what they support or silence them. Dialogue is not acceptable, the only option is conformity or else you need to be silent. This is why this sort of thing does not belong in what is supposed to be a fun family game. Pushing politics and political movements on their customer base is poor business and goes against the (original) purpose of the bring people together. It is just sad to see. 7 years of my life spent for it to come to this.

  • Black Lives Matter isn't a statement - it is a political movement and thus to align yourself with it you must accept everything that movement stands for. I'm sure I could find some terrible movements in history which did some good or even mostly good but could never support because of the things they did which were evil. I do not support black lives matter the movement. Their mission runs contrary to the western culture that founded this great nation which gave us the freedoms and liberties we all enjoy today. I'll do everything in my power to protect those freedoms and liberties for my family, my friends and the generation that comes after me.

    As I've said throughout - of course their lives matter. It is rather insulting for a decent person to have to utter something so nonsensical when it should be obvious. EVERY life is precious, even those of my enemies, even those of people I despise. My opposition to BLM has absolutely NOTHING to do with **** or equality. Like I said - I am color blind. I have people of all races, orientation, political party and gender that I call friend, I have likes and dislikes about each of their but the color of their skin or their genetic makeup has zero bearing on what I feel about them or how I treat them. The integrity of the character of the INDIVIDUAL is all I judge.

    The sad part is that I agree with the words of Martin Luther King Jr. far more than the people supporting this movement yet somehow I am forced to defend myself against a group is antithetical to everything he stood for.

  • The people who destroyed the historical objects must want to erase that history itself. For their sake, the portal must be removed.

    If they find that it remains in virtual space (with a detailed explanation), they might throw a Molotov cocktail into the server room.😱

    NIA employees and assets are at stake.

    Please log in now and request removal.

  • If the statues were taken down, it is no longer a portal and should be removed. Why is this even a question?

  • RostwoldRostwold ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    @ezareth You state that: " is a political movement and thus to align yourself with it you must accept everything that movement stands for"

    Do you honestly believe that if a voter in the UK (where I live) puts a sign in their window supporting a particular candidate that means they have read that party's entire manifesto (either 108 or 62 pages, for the 2 major parties here) and not found one single policy, aspiration or statement to disagree with? Isn't it the case that by aligning themselves with that candidate's political movement they are only stating that they broadly approve of the party's direction, or perhaps simply that they find that party's candidate and policies less offensive than the other alternatives?

    It seems to me that you are performing some highly complex mental gymnastics to avoid saying 3 words. I find your inability to distinguish between a three word statement and a particular organisation that uses that statement particularly odd. If Niantic were to create a "Tell the truth" beacon, would you seriously believe they were making an endorsement of Grover Cleveland's 1884 election campaign, which used that slogan, or would you agree that those three words are capable of being understood independently of one particular political movement that used them?

  • ItsutsumeItsutsume ✭✭✭

    If they really support BLM and follow the news, they should remove such portals themselves, maybe even along with other statues of controversial figures whose statues already have been officially removed (and not taken down by rioters). But I am pretty sure it will be up to players to submit removal requests, then submit appeals and provide all the proofs that the statues were indeed removed.

  • edited July 2020

    That's just it - this isn't a candidate this is a movement which has what it supports clearly defined on it's website and organizes itself into chapters which and affiliated companies all which have their own mission statements.

    For instance the Republican Party in the US clearly states they are pro-life on their website, the Democratic Party is pro-choice. If Niantic were to align themselves and support one party then they would be in essence be marginalizing their players/customers who took the opposite stance on that issue. This is so few corporations will publicly support one party or any political movement. Your first question was exactly correct - you CAN support an individual that belongs to a party and not support everything that party stands for. People do it all the time, you pretty much have to do it as I have never found a person on this Earth whom I 100% agree with.

    Black Lives Matter the MOVEMENT is not just about seeking equality under the law for black people. It is about transforming American (Western) culture into something which I and the majority of the citizens in this country do not agree with.

    The great evil that Niantic is embracing by taking this stance publicly as a company is in promoting this cultural change, either knowingly or unknowingly under the guise of "Equality". I reject totalitarianism anywhere I see it and the BLM movement is utterly totalitarian and those who embrace it embrace totalitarian ideals.

    I'm not doing any sort of mental gymnastics. I've said all life is precious. Black lives matter. White lives matter. Yellow lives matter. Brown lives matter. That you somehow think saying these words bothers me in someway shows just how far you're willing to have your mind corrupted by the people espousing the virtues of this movement. If they can't convince you of the myth of "Systemic Ra-cism" then they can't control you, manipulate you, and enslave you to their cause. That may seem over the top to you but that is how every totalitarian system functions. Class warfare, identity politics - this is what you and thus Niantic is supporting by supporting this movement.

    I totally get why a company would want to help people. There are a LEGION of organizations out there that help people every day who have no political affinity where Niantic and their employees could help contribute in a meaningful way to the betterment of society.. I can think of few better organizations than St. Judes for example - I can't imagine a single player having an issue with them raising money for the cause of helping poor kids with cancer. Hell, considering they are based in San Francisco with some of the greatest issues facing their local community there like homelessness, drug abuse, crime, and skyrocketing cost of living they could focus on their local community to much greater effect if they really wanted to make a positive impact in people's lives.

    Instead Niantic chose a divisive and destructive organization with values that do not align with a large portion of their playerbase (some of whom remain ignorant to the true nature of the organization). Not only is this a poor business decision on their part - it runs contrary to what once was the greatest thing about their organization - bringing people together.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
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