Epic Games to remove racist AI-generated images on Fortnite


  • Epic Games has announced that it will purge its Fortnite platform of racist AI-generated images uploaded by users.
  • Commitment to moderation and future improvements.

Epic Games has taken decisive action in response to player outcry, purging racist AI-generated images uploaded by users in Fortnite, according to a report by Kotaku. Fortnite’s popularity is in part due to its unique feature that allows users to create and share their maps, fostering a sense of creativity within the gaming community. However, this creative outlet has led to the uploading of problematic content, prompting the need for intervention.

Epic Games makes decisive steps against AI-generated racist images

Players recently discovered island maps within Fortnite featuring crude AI-generated images that perpetuated racist stereotypes. Examples included maps named “Arab Zonewars,” “Nigerian Zonewars,” and “China Zonewars,” with accompanying images reinforcing offensive stereotypes, such as Middle Eastern men holding bombs and Black men eating fried chicken.

Although most of these maps had relatively small server populations, one map, “Jamaica Zonewars,” boasted over 35,000 active players earlier this month. Epic Games responded promptly, removing many of these offensive islands and taking action against the creators involved.

The company stated, “We’ve already addressed more than 100 islands with content violations that use this similar thumbnail format and will continue to do so.” Epic Games stressed that discriminatory content has no place in Fortnite, violating the company’s island creator rules.

Users found in violation of these guidelines risk facing permanent bans on their accounts. Human moderation is a crucial aspect of content control in Fortnite, with a team reviewing all user-created content before it’s published. Epic Games is actively working to update its island creator rules and moderation training programs to minimize the occurrence of violating maps reaching players.

Commitment to moderation and future improvements

Despite the pre-publication review, the moderation team adopts a measured approach, encouraging moderators to assume good intent on the part of the creators. Epic Games explained, “We ask 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.”

However, this approach does lead to instances where inappropriate content gets published. In such cases, the company acts swiftly to take down the offending material and provides additional training materials for moderators. Creators found in violation of the rules face a range of enforcement actions, including permanent publishing and monetization bans.

The publisher is actively addressing the issue by working on updating its island creator rules and moderation training programs. Notably, the Epic Games Store embraced the generative AI trend in September, allowing games and submissions featuring AI art and elements. This shift followed a change in stance by rival PC gaming marketplace Steam, which initially opposed AI content but later softened its rules amid an increase in such submissions.

Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney emphasized on Twitter that the company doesn’t ban games for using new technologies. This statement coincided with the opening up of full self-publishing earlier in the same year. Despite ongoing efforts by AI developers to eliminate offensive images from their models, users have found ways to “jailbreak” the models using specialized prompts.

Notably, in October, AI-generated images featuring characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Nintendo’s Kirby engaging in inappropriate actions gained viral attention. Epic Games is proactively addressing the issue of racist AI-generated images in Fortnite, taking steps to remove offending content and applying consequences for rule violations.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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