Epic Games vows to tackle racist and homophobic Fortnite maps

Epic Games vows to tackle racist and homophobic Fortnite maps
Image via Epic Games

Written by 

Joseph Kime


1st Feb 2024 16:50

Even though Fortnite seems to be getting more ambitious by the day, it also seems that a lot of this creativity has stemmed from the maps that players have been creating.

The game has clearly established itself as a platform for more content, which Epic Games has fostered by introducing new creation tools with its Unreal Engine 5 upgrade and the introduction of new games to the launcher, like LEGO Fortnite and Fortnite Festival.

Unfortunately, with this good comes a lot of bad. We previously covered a concerning amount of racist maps in Creative, and promising to do better, Fortnite is committing to wiping the platform clean of hurtful content.

Fortnite is zeroing in on homophobic and racist maps

As reported by Fortnite leaker Shiina, Epic Games has issued a statement regarding the influx of deeply hateful, racist, and homophobic content that has crawled out of the woodwork and made a home on the game's community maps page.

Epic Games claims that there is a swathe of new options for players and developers to take in order to quash the hateful maps, and it's dedicated to bringing this era of hateful maps to an end. Fortnite's dev team voes to keep rewriting the moderator guidelines in Discovery and Creative modes.

The statement reads: "We tell our moderation team to assume good intent on behalf of the creator if they’re unsure about a content violation so we don’t over censor. This fails from time to time and things can get published that shouldn’t.

“When we see reports (pls keep reporting), offending Islands are re-moderated, actioned or removed and we write new training materials for our moderators. We’ll also have additional in-game reporting options coming soon."

Fortnite’s community's racism is fanned by AI

The Fortnite.GG page for Jamaica Zonewars, an example of Fortnite maps using racist AI art.
Click to enlarge
Image via Fortnite.GG

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Taking a look at the poster images for many of these offensive maps reveals that AI plays a pretty huge role in their promotion. As highlighted by Kotaku, it exemplifies some pretty harmful racial stereotypes, including Mexican men eating tacos and Middle Eastern men holding bombs.

It's all pretty nasty, and AI plays a central role in illustrating the maps. It seems from the outside that this would make it pretty easy to police the maps themselves, but we'll have to wait and see what these new moderation tactics from Epic Games amount to. One thing's for certain, though - something needs to be done.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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