Disney Shuts Down Club Penguin Private Servers Due To Hate Speech, Sexual Content

Image: Club Penguin Online

Disney is going after unauthorised Club Penguin private servers, as a BBC investigation found one of the most popular fan-run versions of the kid-friendly social game was filled with racist, homophobic, anti-semetic, and sexual messages.

From its launch in October of 2005 to its closure in March of 2017, Disney’s Club Penguin was an online haven for kids and teens. Its notoriously strict filters kept fans from being exposed to foul language, made sure they could not share personal information, and moderated conversations to keep them hate-speech free.

Those filters and moderation were not present in Club Penguin Online, one of the many fan-run private servers that sprung up after Disney shut the official game down. Investigating claims of hate-speech and sexual content running rampant in the unauthorised game, which had more than eight million users, the BBC created multiple accounts and explored Club Penguin Online in several languages. It discovered that many servers had content filters disabled, allowing swear words and slurs in the game’s chat. In-game, the BBC found unmoderated racists content, including a player-created igloo decorated to spell out the n-word.

Screenshot: Club Penguin Online, BBC

The BBC also found multiple players engaged in “penguin e-sex”, sending sexual messages back and forth. While Disney’s official version of the game kept players from sharing personal information, players in Club Penguin Online were able to share Snapchat, Instagram, and Discord info.

The keyword there is “were.” On May 13, Disney filed a DMCA complaint against Club Penguin Online. The game was shut down on Friday, May 15, and its website no longer exists. Club Penguin Online’s largest competitor, Club Penguin Rewritten, was also named in the DMCA complaint, though as of this writing it is still operational.

According to the BBC report, Disney has issued copyright claims to all private server games, giving them a deadline to close or face legal action. Disney also issued the following statement to the BBC:

“Child safety is a top priority for the Walt Disney Company and we are appalled by the allegations of criminal activity and abhorrent behaviour on this unauthorised website that is illegally using the Club Penguin brand and characters for its own purposes.

“We continue to enforce our rights against this, and other, unauthorised uses of the Club Penguin game.”


Comments

    gotta love how they shut down a service and then get pissy that someone else runs there own. I mean I understand they probably have to in order to retain trademarks and copyrights but, that doesn't make this less funny.

      Given what was occurring on these private servers, I think they have a right to be pissy.

      This article and the BBC article is only a small sample of what was happening on certain servers.

    I get why disney wants all this shut down. but
    a player-created igloo decorated to spell out the n-word.
    can we stop creating false stigma over this word? i obviously cant say it here or ill be banned (part of the problem) but its a word in common use amongst those that dont use it say will be affected by it.

      Jfc. Like I knew kotaku commenters are fucked but this is unbelievable

      I cannot parse that last sentence. Is it missing a word or just punctuation?

        I think he's saying that he should be able to use that racial slur to refer to black people because some black people use that slur to refer to each other.

      I do love how it's always a coincidence that stories like this get posted, and lawlorz is always straight out of the gate defending the shitty behaviour of racist clowns. No matter how bad their behaviour, he'll defend them tirelessly, ad bloody nauseam.

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