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A screenshot of the now-deleted post via the Wayback Machine.

A group of editorial employees at gaming outlet IGN is calling for corporate management to restore a deleted article that had urged support for the Palestinians.

Why it matters: The controversy over an unexpected public plea for Palestinian relief from the world's biggest video game media outlet has now become a dispute over the limits of editorial freedom.

  • The letter, signed by more than 60 current IGN staffers, was sent to upper management at IGN and parent companies J2 Global and Ziff Davis on Monday afternoon. It called for accountability regarding the post's deletion, which angered staff.

What they're saying: "[T]his was a clear instance of corporate overreach and demonstrated blatant disregard for the most basic standards of journalistic integrity and editorial independence," the letter states.

  • The letter also states that the article's removal on Saturday without public explanation was "against our usual policy."
  • The deletion of articles for any news organization is a fraught process, often testing the expected wall between editorial and business interests.
  • Representatives from IGN parent company Ziff Davis have not responded to Axios' requests for comment about this situation.

Between the lines: On Friday, IGN published an article headlined "How To Help Palestinian Civilians," which described suffering by Palestinians "due to Israeli forces" before listing charities to provide relief aid to Palestinians.

  • Initial response from readers on social media appeared to be positive, but, in a now-deleted post, licensed affiliate IGN Israel called the post "misleading."
  • The IGN article was first altered on Saturday to remove the image of a Palestinian flag, and it was deleted without comment early on Sunday.
  • At 2:21 am ET on Monday morning, IGN's twitter feed posted an unsigned statement that noted, in part, that "[b]y highlighting only one population, the post mistakenly left the impression that we were politically aligned with one side."

The staff letter calls for the deleted article to be restored, potentially incorporating feedback from management.

  • It also says the people who deleted the post should "accept that responsibility publicly."
  • The letter says the article had been pulled by "upper management," not by editorial staff.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

U.S. gaming outlets remove posts supporting Palestinians

A screenshot of the now-deleted post on IGN.com via The Wayback Machine.

IGN, the biggest video game media outlet in North America, this weekend published an article urging its more than 92 million readers to donate to charities to help Palestinians civilians. By Sunday afternoon, the article was deleted.

The big picture: Games media weighs in on politics more than outsiders might expect, but the mainstream and often more restrained IGN publishing the piece made this turn of events unusual even to gaming insiders.

May 16, 2021 - World

Most of Congress silent on Israeli-Palestinian fighting

A Palestinian boy mourns an airstrike victim on Sunday. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

The pitched criticism by conservatives over progressive outrage about the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians overshadows a larger silence by the vast majority of Congress.

Why it matters: In the largely permissive environment, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ratcheting up its military engagement in Gaza. The death toll is rising, and a spectacular weekend attack leveled a building housing the Associated Press and other outside media.

May 17, 2021 - World

AP calls for independent investigation into Israeli bombing of Gaza office

Al-Jalaa Tower, housing media outlets including AP and Al Jazeera, following an airstrike by Israeli forces in Gaza City on Saturday. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

AP's top editor on Sunday called for an independent investigation into an airstrike by Israeli forces that destroyed the 12-story building housing its local media office in Gaza.

Driving the news: Israel's government has said the building housed Hamas. But AP executive editor Sally Buzbee said the government has "yet to provide clear evidence" of this. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said Sunday it asked the International Criminal Court to investigate whether the bombing "constitutes a war crime."