Australia on fire. Global pandemic. Presidents urging people to inject bleach. Nothing should really surprise me anymore but virtual penguins copulating and asking for their ass to be licked has certainly raised an eyebrow.
You may recall that Disney used to run a very popular game called Club Penguin which began life way back in the year 2000 before Disney purchased it in 2007 and it became a huge hit. The game eventually ran out steam and was shut down in 2017 but a number of copies have sprung up, one of which was Club Penguin Online. Visitors to the game surged during the coronavirus outbreak but many were shocked by what they found as the new copy of the game had disabled the content filters so homophobia, racism, and sexual content were rife.
The BBC investigated the copy and reported the following.
The BBC set up an account on the English, Spanish and Portuguese versions of Club Penguin Online.
- content filters designed to remove offensive language had been disabled on several servers, allowing swear words, homophobic slurs, anti-Semitism and racist messages to be posted publicly
- moderators were no longer removing racist content. One player invited the BBC to their igloo, which was decorated to spell out the n-word
- players were engaging in “penguin e-sex”, sending and receiving explicit messages
Disney’s original game banned the sharing of personal details, but players on this cloned site are openly sharing Snapchat, Instagram and Discord account details.
A Zoom “meet-up” was also advertised and codes and passwords shared openly
Club Penguin Online was shut down on Friday and Disney have issued copyright notices to all other version of the game they can find.
“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,” said Disney in a statement. “We continue to enforce our rights against this, and other, unauthorised uses of the Club Penguin game.”