In my experience, Habitica forbids expressing a Christian worldview based on the Bible. Habitica is not welcoming or accepting of Christians who want to share their views respectfully. In fact, they outright persecute Christians and ultimately silence them on their platform. I want to strongly caution readers before investing their money in a platform hostile to Christian values.
This review is my personal story of the religious persecution I have suffered on this productivity app and platform.
Habitica is a gamified productivity app with a friendly community that promises a safe and positive atmosphere for everyone. However, this has not been my experience for the entire year and a half I have been there.
Despite its claims that they are welcoming and accepting, Christians are the one exception to this rule. Anyone who expresses a biblical worldview is either banned or told to never bring it up again.
For me, I was banned and rebuked, lost any progress made toward the contributor tiers I worked for months on, was told never to express my view again if I wanted to keep my chat privileges, and just this morning (after having done absolutely nothing against the rules on their platform), they removed my contributor tier entirely.
What prompted me to write this review was the extreme censorship and biased moderation toward my respectful discussion posts about gender pronouns and homosexuality in a Christian guild.
I asked what my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ thought about using gender neutral pronouns. I wanted to respect people who identify with them while still holding to our faith and personal convictions, since we believe there are only two genders.
This transitioned into a respectful discussion about homosexuality and what the Bible said. Everyone who took the biblical stance did so in an extremely respectful, non-hateful way. Not one negative word was said about anyone who was homosexual. We simply discussed what the Bible says about acting on these desires and why the actions were wrong.
I posted a passage of Scripture that mentioned the word “sodomites” and was immediately auto-banned. I had no idea what happened. Turns out, “sodomites” is considered hate speech by Habitica. However, nowhere in the Community Guidelines is this word ever mentioned as such. The Community Guidelines states that the mod team is alerted when someone is auto-banned in case they mentioned something innocent. That way the moderators can remove the auto-ban quickly when it is unjust. However, for two days, I did not hear a single word from the moderation team.
That’s the situation that led to this Habitica review.
I emailed about the problem. My email:
Hello! My chat privileges were just removed, but I wasn’t sent a message explaining why or for how long. If this is about my messages in the Disciples of Jesus guild, I was not hating on any individual or group, but was simply stating my opinions in a completely respectful, loving way. Could someone please get back to me on the matter and let me know how long my chatting is paused for? If you’d like me to refrain from discussing homosexuality, that’s absolutely fine.
I am respectfully asking the moderation team to please moderate my messages fairly and without bias, as I was not saying anything hateful, even if you do not agree with my opinion.
You were auto-muted by the slur blocker because your post used a word that we consider to be hate speech (“sodomites”). While we do not believe you directly intended to cause harm and hurt, your posts in Disciples of Jesus are hurtful and disrespectful to the LGBTQ+ members of our community and are not in keeping with the kind and welcoming values we uphold. Your posts roundly discounted their experiences and feelings and did in fact cause a lot of hurt to the folks who reported them to us. Moderator [name removed] was particularly disappointed as they saw the posts and felt targeted, although they were not one of the moderators who acted in this instance. The entire moderator team was displeased to see this behavior from a contributor, including your repeated requests that we handle in it the way you deemed appropriate.
While we do strive to be respectful of different faiths and belief systems, we consider posts disparaging LGBTQ+ folks or any group to be against our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We reserve the right to moderate all posts that can be reasonably read as insulting and hurtful even if that was not the intent of the person who posted them. What the Bible or texts from any religion condone or condemn is irrelevant to Habitica and the enforcement of the Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
I hope that clarifies our position and that you have a better understanding of how we’ve handled this situation. If you or other members of the Guild wish to debate topics in the Bible or in some Christian belief systems that are not allowed per our Community Guidelines and TOS, you are certainly welcome to invite folks from the Guild to talk about them in another forum outside Habitica that allows such discussion.
We will restore your chat privileges on the condition that you apologize to [name removed] for discounting their experiences and identity and using them as an example in a negative light in our own community where they have been nothing but helpful and kind to you. You must also never bring up this topic again in any of our chats, as you have already offered to do.
The Habitica Team
My “repeated requests” consisted of me politely asking twice that any moderator who came across my posts would moderate in a fair way.
My posts “disparaging” to LGBTQ+ folks were extremely kind, respectful, and sweet. I mentioned multiple times that I was not hating on anyone or any group, but that I simply held to personal convictions about what the Bible says concerning certain actions that are wrong.
My post “roundly discounting their experiences” did not mention anyone at all. In fact, I wanted to know how to be respectful to people who identify as they/them. I wanted to know what Christians thought about using gender-neutral pronouns while still holding to faith.
Hi Habitica Team!
Thank you for the response! I’d like to clarify that I definitely wasn’t targeting [name removed] at all, and would never, ever do that to them. I’m actually very fond of [name removed] as we do poms together sometimes on a Discord server.
I can definitely understand your decisions. So, just to be clear: any opinion that disagrees with the lifestyle choices of the LGBTQ+ community, even in a very respectful way, isn’t allowed? Just so I know for the future.
I would be more than happy to apologize to [name removed] if they felt hurt. I’m fine with refraining from mentioning the topic as well (although I am sad to see that a differing opinion discussed in a very respectful way isn’t allowed, as I was learning a lot about other views through the discussion!).
Is my progress through the tiers paused in any way? I’ve had a great time giving back to the Habitica community and continuing to make progress in that regards is one of my goals.
We appreciate your clarification, but would like to note that your specific post about pronouns was stressful and felt pointed at [name removed] and other folks in the community that use nonbinary pronouns. We think it’s understandable that they felt targeted.
We want to make you aware that the LGBTQ+ community, and their allies, find the term ‘lifestyle choice’ to be extremely offensive. It is disrespectful of the struggles, intolerance, and hostility faced by many LGBTQ+ people to suggest that the difficulties are because of a choice they made.
If by “any opinion that disagrees” you mean an opinion or belief that it is somehow sinful, misguided, or otherwise wrong for an LGBTQ+ person to live as an LGBTQ+ person, then it is correct that those opinions are not welcome to be expressed in Habitica.
At this time, we do not believe that it is in the best interest of the community to grant you further contributor tiers. Folks with tiers and colored name tags are representatives of our community, and for socialites in particular it’s important to us that they share our values of welcoming and respect. We do appreciate all of the effort you’ve put in so far, and your attempts to respond to us in a civil way, but we have a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes a ‘very respectful’ discussion.
[Name removed] has received your apology. They will decide whether to respond in their own time. In light of your apology and agreement to not further discuss the topic, we have restored your chat privileges. Take care.
The Habitica Team
To clarify, I never once said that it is wrong for an LGBTQ+ person to “live as an LGBTQ+ person”. It is wrong only to act on certain feelings, which would be an action that the Bible says is wrong. We cannot help what feelings we have, but we 100% control our actions and our response to them.
Despite saying that I did not target [name removed] at all, the moderation team insisted I apologize to someone who chose to be offended at a post that wasn’t targeted at anyone.
They wanted to punish me all they could. Despite my four months of consistent contribution toward the community, they refused to give me any more contributor tiers.
Just this morning—two weeks after this issue with them—they removed my contributor tier entirely with no notice. I had worked hard on contributing for months while I was very sick and had gained this tier a year before any of this happened. I left a short, negative App Store review two days ago, which was not on their platform, so they had no right to punish me further but did anyway.
(On a personal note, I want to say that the experience hurt me very much. I loved Habitica. I loved the people there. I had nothing against anyone. I used Habitica every day. I was a contributor to the platform and leader of The Health Nuts guild with over 2,400+ members. I loved this platform, and to have them turn around and persecute me for my respectful faith still hurts me to this day.)
“… you mean an opinion or belief that it is somehow sinful, misguided, or otherwise wrong for an LGBTQ+ person to live as an LGBTQ+ person, then it is correct that those opinions are not welcome to be expressed in Habitica.”
This is religious persecution.
My final Habitica review: In my experience, Habitica forbids expressing a Christian worldview based on the Bible. Habitica is not welcoming or accepting of Christians who want to share their views respectfully. In fact, they outright persecute Christians and ultimately silence them on their platform. I want to strongly caution readers before investing their money in a platform hostile to Christian values.
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