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Riot Games Reportedly Disapproves Staff Posting Bikini Pics To Socials

Riot Games are under fire after a Valorant dev revealed that staff members aren't allowed to post bikini pics on their social media; the company later confirmed this was false.
Riot Games Reportedly Disapproves Staff Posting Bikini Pics To Socials

Update on 24th July 2022 at 17:44 GMT: A Riot Games official has confirmed that the referenced Tweet included incorrect information about Riot's internal policies. The official response has been included in the article below.

Original story continues: It's no secret that Riot Games has faced its fair share of gender discrimination allegations. The company was recently given the green light by the court to settle a $100 million agreement after being sued by current and former female employees alleging widespread sexism and harassment.

However, the company recently trended again over unfair policies. In a Twitter post on 23rd July 2022, a Valorant software engineer who goes by the name "Riot Lydia" revealed how female employees couldn't publicly post bikini pictures on their personal social media accounts; otherwise, they'd get in trouble with the company's HR department.

Riot Policy Prohibits Staff From Posting Swimsuit Pics To Socials

Riot Games under fire policy ruling prevents employees posting bikini pics to social media
Riot Games is under fire over an unfair policy prohibiting female employees posting bikini photos on social media. (Picture: Riot Games)

In their Twitter post, Riot Lydia said, “if you’re a woman at Riot Games and you post a swimsuit picture, you can get in trouble with HR and have to delete [it]. Riot Lydia added, “But then you go to the office, and guys are walking in t-shirts emblazoned with bikini models, and there’s a policy forbidding you from complaining about specifically this.”

Following the Tweet, comments by users requested Riot Lydia clarify whether employees couldn’t send these swimsuit pictures across company-owned channels like Slack, Discord, or general accounts. However, game producer at Riot Games, Sara Dadafshar, replied to the Tweet, confirming that female employees couldn’t post bikini pics on their personal social media accounts.

Twitter community members later lambasted the company, expressing how unfair and unprecedented it was for female employees to have to agree to such a strict ruling. This was especially considering that male employees could walk around in t-shirts with bikini models printed on them carefree. This prompted some users to speculate whether the policy was gender-bias.

riot games swimsuit bikini policy gender based harassment
Twitter users argue whether Riot's bikini policy could be considered gender-based harassment. (Picture: Twitter)

In response to the uproar, a partner from Riot Games' HR reportedly reached out to Riot Lydia and confirmed the department would investigate the issue. Proceeding the outrageous incident, Sara Dadafshar later posted a tongue-in-cheek swimsuit picture of them in Thailand at an animal sanctuary. "Today feels like a good day to post a photo of myself in a bikini," Sara wrote.

At the time of writing, Riot Games haven’t released a public statement regarding this seemingly backward company ruling. Indeed, this latest incident signals that additional work is necessary for Riot Games to improve its company policy structuring following its recent gender discrimination settlement.

Update on 24th July 2022 at 17:44 GMT: Riot Games has confirmed via an official response to GINX Esports TV that the referenced Tweet included incorrect information about Riot's internal policies.

"Unfortunately, the referenced tweet included some incorrect information about Riot's internal policies. There is absolutely nothing that prohibits any Rioter from raising concerns if they find certain attire offensive. In fact, we want and encourage Rioters to bring any concerns they may have about their workplace environment to the attention of our HR team so that they can be explored as quickly as possible. 

Similarly, when it comes to social media content of any type, we encourage Rioters to raise content that may be concerning. In those instances we may take action if the content is in violation of our policies or against our company values in order to keep Riot’s workplace safe and inclusive.

It's difficult to create a blanket rule about what is and isn't allowed on social media -- there is a lot of context and nuance we must consider with any individual case -- but I can assure you that there is no explicit policy against posting bikini photos or swimsuit photos in general. We simply expect all Rioters to use good judgment and consider the context when posting, and we hold accounts that include "Riot" in the username, are regularly used for Riot-related communication, or are used for communication with Riot colleagues to a higher standard than strictly personal accounts."

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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.