A new post/thread like this comes up every year it seems, but as she wrote, nothing has really changed each time. The reason being that there are next to no consequences on the TF2 platforms for engaging in harassment or hateful behavior, particularly in places like TFTV and ETF2L. As one example: there are multiple people that have been banned for harassment on RGL that are some of the most active posters on TFTV forums/discord. That’s a bad sign, and only leads to the perpetuation of harassment culture. If you are a person that brings harm to the community, you should be removed from the community through bans across the board from forums, leagues, pugs, etc. Sure that will not stop all off-platform behavior but it’s at least some deterrent. Trust me when I say that a lot of these kids are quite attached to competitive TF2 and would feel these consequences.
That being said, I do think RGL has been one of the only organizations that has been willing to put their foot down on this. It could always be better, but I don’t think any other organization has even come close. Some try to perpetuate a narrative that RGL is harming the community through a more hands-on approach, but it just doesn’t prove true when you look at the statistics and feedback collected through surveys. Always remember that often the most vocal critics are the exact people that engage in harmful behavior, so their motives to resist are clear, and almost a sign that you’re on the right path. It is the mostly-silent majority that are the real community of RGL. In a large part, I hope that these forums may help to bring some of those people forward once they know that they can actually engage in welcoming and constructive discussions here. This is how the culture changes, by opening the door to drowning out the negativity.
Competitive TF2 is a small community, and needs to be moderated more along the lines of a private club than as a public utility. We should be willing to shed the worst parts of the community that are dragging us down so that we can thrive in an environment that is wholesome, constructive, welcoming, competitive/game-focused, etc. We should be willing to lose a corrupted veteran in order to make way for a positive newcomer. In the long run, this will bear the greatest change. We’ve already seen how efforts to make TF2 more accessible have led to the great growth of RGL over the past year. For the sake of the competitive TF2 community RGL must stay committed to this goal.