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Petition to EA Hacked: Suspicions Abound

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By: Stephen Crane (Photo: Unigamesity)

EA can't stop losing in the court of public opinion lately. It recently won (or really lost if you think about it) the title of The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America", and many gamers blame the company for Mass Effect 3 and BioWare's alleged decline in quality. The latest controversy pins blame on EA for creating false publicity surrounding an alleged boycott of its games due to some homosexual content in games like Star Wars: The Old Republic, then hacking a petition in support of the company to add a few thousand signatures.

In January EA came under fire from the Family Research Council for including gay relationships in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and most recently GamesIndustry International reported the company received "several thousand" letters and emails protesting the same thing in Mass Effect 3. Since then, the LGBT equality organization, All Out, created a petition against the boycott in order to show support for EA and BioWare's inclusion of these themes.

As of today, All Out temporarily disabled the petition "due to a cyber attack by hackers." The organization has confirmed that more than 60,000 members have actually signed the petition, but it is looking into where the hack originated from and what to do about it.

Gamers who caught onto the spam bots place the blame on EA for creating the bots. Fans with a good memory might remember another EA false flag controversy when the company hired fake protestors to draw attention to Dante's Inferno, and use that as a fair example of EA resorting to underhanded stunts in order to receive some extra public attention. This image captures much of the anger over the hacks as well as showing some of the rather hilarious "signatures".  Signature texts include Javascript runtime errors or poor Spanish translations as well as hilarious names like Chad from Chad.

As of the publication of this article, there is no proof linking spam bots to the protest. All Out issued a statement to the effect that they have had no contact with EA regarding the matter, so if this was a planned stunt they had no role in its organization.

Due to the lack of proof so far, anger at EA over the bots is futile. Vilifying the company without proof only strengthens the notion that even legitimate complaints against them are raised only because EA is a popular scapegoat. Instead of focusing on whether or not the company created the bots, focus should be on who did without bias. If the answer is Electronic Arts, then campaign and raise hell. Otherwise, don't bring the company into this. It makes the community look paranoid. There are other perfectly reasonable explanations we also need to consider.

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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