Zwift and Ukraine

Moderator, please read before automatically deleting or flagging.

I understand the previous comments by Zwift not banning Russian users due to potential discrimination.

I understand there are other conflicts ongoing in the world.

However, frankly its a poor decision that comes across as an eye on profit/user numbers and the precedent it could set for future situations.

Yes individual Russian citizens may not support the war and it is not fair to impact them for the decisions of their leadership but this is the essence of what a boycott entails and utilizes as the pressure to make change.

Claiming that somehow the impact on them is equivalent to race/sexual/religious discrimination is tenuous in the extreme and grasping logic by the zwift leadership. I think moderators that are flagging and blocking comment on this should ask themselves what they are policing and contributing too.

Furthermore, I don’t think the insinuations that somehow keeping zwift access open because free press access is constrained in Russia and ‘it lets people understand what is going on’ or ‘it doesn’t really matter because almost no Russians can pay for zwift now visa/etc have blocked the country’ really stands up to much serious scrutiny.

You’ve got this wrong zwift, don’t run blinkered down the tunnel with your fingers in your ears and make the change.

how does this impact your riding on Zwift?

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I am kind of on the fence over this one.

Absolutely understand the importance of the boycott and instinctively would side with those saying that Russian use of Zwift should be blocked but two things hold me back.

First … anything that allow ordinary Russians access to points of view from other parts of the world can’t be a bad thing in the current context.

Second … is it actually something that could be enforced, given the massive growth in use of VPNs across Russia since the invasion? Yes, I am aware that “what’s the point because you can’t enforce it” is not a good argument by itself, but neither is “well it can’t be enforced, but it is the principle of the thing that’s important”.

And, yeah … there are other areas of the world where things just as bad are being done to the citizens of one nation by the government of another, but the rest of the world hasn’t reacted in the same way.

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Unfortunately Zwift continues to make bad PR decisions. There is no doubt that morally they should demonstrate much more support for the Ukraine and at least ban the Russian flag. Just look at the Strava’s actions.

It’s another poor decision in a series of recent image disasters. It’s becoming harder and harder to like this company. They present blatant disregard to their userbase… Shame there’s still no good alternative to Zwift and it’s community.

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There’s Russia and teams and organizations representing Russia, Russian organizations, associations, leagues, federations, etc.

Boycott/bar them sure, but when you get into targeting everyday average individuals like you and me simply because they’re Russian that’s veering into the same train of thought that led to the Japanese/German/Italian internments despite being American/Canadian citizens.

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This is stupid, this forum is obviously gonna get closed so why talk about it? It seems pointless.

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It’s the same as Germany still buying Russian gas. If you choke off the inflow, you kill your outflow. Zwift won’t remove potential revenue if they can help it.

Banning folks from Zwift based on nothing more than their ethnicity? Do the ends truly justify the means?

Zwift, please shut this down immediately.

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I think you missed the point, its not banning them based on “nothing more than their ethnicity”, its called using a country specific boycott as a tool to bring pressure to bear on its government who are carrying out genocide

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It’s still stupid

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You think banning Russians from Zwift is going to make any difference to Putin?

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Were Zwift to enact some sort of ban in relation to what’s going on in Ukraine, I’d say it should be of Russian sponsored teams or events, but not necessarily of individual users of Zwift.

Western media and government officials tell us the average Russian citizen has reduced access to outside coverage of what’s going on in Ukraine. Though Zwift is not a news media organization there is some limited exposure to Western influence via the limited relationships created within the Zwift environment.

Individual relationships add up and, though a very small player, relationships resulting from Zwift interactions could play a role in helping the greater world citizenry (including Russians) to have a wider view of the world, including what’s happening in Ukraine.

So don’t bother doing anything? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t eat at McDonalds or use Visa either.

My intention wasn’t really to try and argue the point with those who don’t agree, I myself didn’t at the start of this but to say this or (and I don’t accuse you of it) resort to tu quoque/whataboutism - pointing at other places with conflict: meh, we don’t do anything about that, why bother with this. I don’t think that is a good approach. If you cannot give to all deserving charities in the world, why even bother giving to one?

I am pretty sure both those companies have a larger audience and impact on the issue. Zwift is a social platform and could help Russians by keeping them on the platform. Isolating regular Russian Citizens from what is going on in the rest of the world is not going to help anything.

Remember, choice is always a good thing and we should not take it away lightly.

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Regular Russians, the everyday people, like you and me, are being subject to mass censorship, totalitarian rule, incarceration without process, detainment at the whim of the authorities, a government that is manipulating them with disinformation and lies.

If Zwift had a means of determining whether Russian Zwifters are members of the Russian military or secret police, sure ban them, but individual, regular Russian people??? Should Zwift then ban all individual, regular Chinese people because the Chinese government is helping prop-up Putin?

I despise what’s happening too, but banning ordinary Russians won’t help to stop this conflict. That is a different thing.

It might be more helpful they are on Zwift and maybe see alternative views to what the local media presents to them.

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I get the point, but the OP’s suggestion is still to ban people based solely on the fact that they belong to a specific ethnic group. Any argument in favor of such an action is ultimately based on the premise that the end justifies the means. In other words, an evil action (such a racial discrimination) is justified if the end result produces a worthy result that is perceived as “good”. Even if one’s opinion is that the end result justifies the discrimination, is does not in any way negate the fact that discrimination took place. Cheers.

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This is the recurring statement. Should also apply to Germans in World War II, right?

Sorry, guys, but I believe the most of you (whether for or against the ban) have no idea what you are talking about. I lived more than 30 years in former Czechoslovakia, can remember the Russians (and other nations…) invading on August 21st 1968. It was terrible, but it wasn’t a war like now in Ukraine.

Please, Zwift or whoever can, stop these discussions. It hurts to read some comments here.

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no, no its not. I don’t know why people leap to this conclusion? I think zwift should not provide its service IN Russia (Russian IP address)!

Lets be very clear, I don’t think its a great idea to ban some dude/dudette sat on their bike in singapore because they were born in Russia.

Follow the lead of strava, stop the ability of zwift to operate in Russia. Yes I know, its a virtual world and people can easily get around this by using a VPN - if your argument for not doing this is because zwift is somehow providing unfiltered newsflow via. groupchat during rides… surely making someone who wants to continue to play a cycling computer game get a VPN does a million times more for their ability to see varied and un-censored news sources than going from 0 to level 50 in zwift and relying on in game chat for your current global affairs updates?

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Thanks for all the inputs and votes.

This is turning into a political discussion. There is many other social platforms to discuss these things.

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