EA deletes controversial Battlefield 1 memes
Over the weekend, Electronic Arts, publisher of the widely successful Battlefield 1, came under fire when it’s social media team decided to promote the game by inventing the #justWW1things hashtag. And the internet, as it is prone to do, exploded.
EA’s social media team was called out for being tasteless in glorifying the violence of World War 1. One of the memes that caught the most attention featured an animated GIF of a soldier being burned to death with a flamethrower. The accompanying text, “When you’re too hot for the club.”
The other main target of Twitter’s collective disgust was a tweet asking “Your squad got big plans for the weekend?” followed by an image of a burning zeppelin crashing to the ground with the overlaying text “When your squad is looking on point.”
— BEWARE: Ed Zitron (@edzitron) October 31, 2016
An as of yet unending torrent of disapproval has been directed at the marketing team for its levity regarding such a horrific event in human history.
— Gareth Brading (@gbrading) October 31, 2016
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields#justWWIthings
— Eben Marks (@EbenMarks) October 31, 2016
In a well lit room, 10 social media experts gather around a whiteboard. Smiling. High fiving. Written on the whiteboard:#justWWIthings
— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) October 31, 2016
The Battlefield account has since deleted all of their posts featuring #justWWIthings. An EA spokesperson told GameSpot
“We would like to apologize for any offense caused by content in the last 24 hours posted on the Battlefield Twitter account. It did not treat the World War I era with the respect and sensitivity that we have strived to maintain with the game and our communications.”
Some have argued that the game Battlefield 1 is doing the same as the tweets, leveraging the violence of World War 1 in order to promote sales, however the game does take some effort to treat the seriousness of the event with respect and genuine sorrow.
World War 1 began in 1914 and lasted until 1918. It involved nearly two dozen nations and was responsible for an estimated 38 million casualties, including over 7 million civilian deaths.