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Bungie perma-bans Destiny 2 players who sent racist abuse to one of its developers during a livestream this week

 Destiny 2 Into the Light livestream still capture.
Destiny 2 Into the Light livestream still capture.

In the wake of a depressing burst of toxic abuse aimed at one of its developers during a Destiny 2 livestream, Bungie says it has issued permanent bans against several of the people involved, and is taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

The trouble began during a Destiny 2: Into the Light livestream, when developer associate activity designer Noah Lee was demoing gameplay from the Onslaught horde mode which is being added as part of the April 9 update. During the stream, the game screen minimized, exposing the Steam menu—very briefly, but long enough for viewers to see the profile name being used.

It didn't take long for hateful, racist messages to start coming in, in the form of Steam friend requests from accounts whose names had been changed to abusive messages. But what the people involved apparently didn't take into consideration is that those friend requests provided their Steam IDs to Bungie—and that Bungie might take action. Which it did.

"It was disappointing to see those notifications, but we know they were from a few awful individuals and not reflective of the community at large," Bungie wrote via its social team account on Reddit following the incident. "We were able to track down the accounts of several individuals who sent the harmful notifications and we have banned them from Destiny 2.

"We are taking extra measures to make sure this doesn't happen again and look forward to sharing more info with you all in next week's stream."

In a separate post, Lee thanked fans for their support and clarified that his account information was exposed by a bug in Windows 11. He also said he didn't see any of the incoming friend requests during the stream: "There was so much going on that I wasn't paying attention."

He also said that despite the abuse, he's eager to do it again. "I wanted to be up there! I wanted to talk to y’all!" he wrote. "I’ve been seeing dev livestreams for Destiny since I was 13 so I wasn’t gonna just not do it because of some trolls. And I hope I can do more in the future! Have a great week guys."

I’m telling you, I was hyped to be up there. Trying to play, talk, and listen at the same time in front of that many people was stressful
I’m telling you, I was hyped to be up there. Trying to play, talk, and listen at the same time in front of that many people was stressful

(Image credit: Noah Lee (Twitter))

It's a remarkably positive response to a genuinely awful situation, and Lee deserves credit for handling it so well—and his post was met with an outpouring of support from Destiny 2 players on Reddit, who are praising his skills during the Onslaught demo, a funny "Yeah, great" line that has already become its own meme, and his overall grace in handling such an ugly situation. And for all the troubles it's been going through lately, I think Bungie deserves credit as well: Dropping the hammer on racist abusers is never the wrong call, but it doesn't happen as often as it should.