The digital retail gaming platform Steam has been forced to take down over 100 profiles celebrating last week’s tragic New Zealand terrorist attack.
In the days following the mass shooting which killed 50 people and injured dozens more, thought to be the worst shooting in the country’s history, more than 100 users on Steam offered tribute to the alleged killer.
According to Kotaku, users changed their name and profile picture to that of the alleged killer, with many using a screenshot of the Facebook live-stream of the attack, and others even posting GIFs of the video.
Others also posted praise of the alleged attacker, calling him a “hero”, “saint” and “kebab remover”.
Though the gaming marketplace keeps its sales figures very close to its chest, it boasts 90 million monthly users and represents a significant portion of all global PC game sales.
Steam, which is owned by developer Valve, did not respond to requests for comment when approached by Kotaku regarding these profiles, but has since removed those which appear to celebrate the attack or promote its ideology.
This is not the first time Steam, which has historically taken a hand-off approach to moderating profiles, has come under fire for harbouring hate groups.
In 2018 the Centre for Investigative Reporting found that Steam was home to over 173 hate groups celebrating previous school shootings and massacres, including one called “School Shooters are Heroes”.
Its moderation document currently says that “various parts of the Steam Community are moderated by a combination of official Valve staff, community moderators, and representatives of the game developers and publishers.”