I wanted to personally give an update on our position in regards to recent events that have happened within the community.
(TL;DR version at the bottom of the article – yes, we’re tired of it too.)
Readers may be aware of a Reddit thread whereby this specific company threatened the moderators and admins with legal action. Sadly, the flight sim Sub Reddit wasn’t the only victim in an email such as this. On a recent article we had posted for this company, a comment from a community member was made with their personal opinion. We received an email with similar threats found in the Reddit thread in question. Further to that, when we challenged the removal of the comment, the developer suggested that if we were to pass along the details of users posting “libellous” comments, they would inform the commenter themselves of their (non-existent) legal liability.
When we created FSElite, we created it with the goal to be independent and not to be influenced by developers or publishers. We abide by our Community Charter to maintain a level of trust with you all. So, when we receive emails asking us to change this and to change that, for this reason and for that, red flags begin to go up. We have always valued our relationships with the development/publisher community. We make it our mission to work in a professional capacity whenever there’s debates or concerns over our content. However, we’re not here to be the marketer or PR firm for them.
We run our website together with integrity because of our collective interest and dedication to the flight simulation hobby and it’s community. We’re all simmers just like you.
If we update our articles, we make it clear. We have made mistakes, will probably continue to do so, but will always learn and listen to feedback. It’s important as a media outlet we maintain this healthy balance of supporting the developers as well as the consumer community.
With that being said, we’d like to make it crystal clear that FSElite will not tolerate baseless legal threats against our company and/or its team members. We will continue to operate independently the way we always have and will moderate comments on the articles we publish as WE deem appropriate.
Where do we go from here?
FSElite is first and foremost a media outlet. Designed to be a place where people can learn about new add-ons to enhance their simming experience. We take that responsibility very seriously. We also know that there’s a large group of simmers who will enjoy a product despite past experiences with a developer or how they conduct their business – and that’s fine. As such, we will still support those people.
We firmly believe it to be our duty to report on flight sim media without prejudice. We do our best to report facts during our written news articles, and let the community express their personal opinions via our Social Media outlets or our comment section. As a result, we feel the appropriate actions are deemed appropriate for the majority of our community.
- We’ll continue to report on factual articles regardless of developer. This includes any previews of new features or product announcements.
- Until such a time that is deemed appropriate, opinionated pieces regarding this particular developer’s product will not be published. This is not limited to reviews or editorials.
- We will monitor, but not censor, comments. Of course, if this breaks our terms and conditions, then we will act accordingly.
All-in-all, we feel this is almost business as usual.
I know this may not please everyone. We have, on average, 60,000 visitors every month, but want to do what we feel is right. We will always listen to feedback from both sides and take these matters very seriously.
Whilst I know this was a long post, I hope it helps document our thought process and current stance on the situations.
I am open to questions in the comments section below. I will ask you give me some time to formulate any responses. This could not have come at a worse time when we’re neck-deep in preparation for FSExpo next week.
Finally, a huge shout out to the community for their support to us recently.
- Like other websites, we were threatened with legal action for allowing (what was believed to be) libellous comments.
- We were then asked to ‘support’ the developer against Reddit, which we declined without hesitation.
- We value that these circumstances affect everyone differently and there’s people still interested in the products; not necessarily the developer. We will publish fact-based news articles only until it is felt the developer has earnt trust back from the community.