You'd expect to see videos showcasing epic killstreaks and particularly inventive death-dealing chosen to be highlighted as staff picks on Call of Duty Elite's Theater pages. You might not expect to find Adolf Hitler there, though. And yet, there he is.
Alongside how-to videos where players show other players how best to wield certain weapons, one of history's most reviled leaders pops up twice as a Call of Duty Elite Theater staff pick on the internet hub of the social network centered around Activision's hit FPS series. COD Elite user GhostOfTheReich links to a YouTube video with archival World War II footage where Adolf Hitler appears and another clip linked by user laliludo is for a music video by Aryan rock group Final War.
According to e-mails sent to Kotaku, complaints about the video have gone unanswered and comment threads beneath one of the video indicate that there's been outrage for atl least a week about the staff pick.
The problem here is that there's not much transparency as to how this staff picks are selected. The most likely explanation is that there's some sort of algorithm at work but it's unclear if there is an actual human vetting the content that gets categorized as a staff pick on the COD Elite Theater channel.
Ironically, for at least one video, you can't click through to YouTube without getting a warning about potentially offensive content. We've reached out to Activision for comment on this story and will update if we hear back.
Activision has replied with the following statement:
"We're aware of a user linking questionable materials to Call of Duty Elite. This video was in no way an Elite staff pick, but rather a linking issue that has since been remedied by the Elite Live Operations and Beachhead team. Material of this nature does not belong on Elite and we are working to prevent these types of issues from happening in the future. The content originated on a third-party video hosting site, a fix has since been pushed and we expect to see a solution this morning. Elite reserves the right to ban users who violate the Call of Duty Elite terms of service and code of conduct."