Inside the Sexual Misconduct Allegations Rocking NeoGAF's Last 48 Hours


#1

Over the weekend, one of the most popular video game forums, NeoGAF, suddenly went offline. Following allegations of sexual misconduct by the site's owner, Tyler Malka, many of the message board's moderators quit in protest, threads referencing the allegations were deleted, and NeoGAF's users began revolting in protest. NeoGAF is back online, as of this writing, but remains "down for maintenance."


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/qv384d/inside-the-sexual-misconduct-allegations-rocking-neogafs-last-48-hoursd

We Discuss the Ongoing Fallout at NeoGAF on Waypoint Radio
#2

Getting in early on this to say we will be monitoring this thread closely and expect everyone to respectful to the victims and to follow our code of conduct.



#3

Okay, fill me in here. What sort of role did NeoGAF fill in the community? I only heard vague snippets here and there, but I never really knew why it was held up more than just any other regular gaming forum.


#4

At one time, NeoGAF was home to a lot of breaking news and leaks in the industry due to a lot of developers and insiders posting there. It was also the only forum that had sales numbers posted with any regularity; something that in important in an industry that goes do lengths to hide such things.

Great job by Scoops on this. He is the first person to get anything out of Tyler over all of this. The words that Malka used is very disheartening to hear, and just piles on top of the allegations that have been against him over the years.


#5

It was enormous, broke lots of stories over the years, and lot of insiders and personalities posted there on a regular to semi-regular basis. It was for a long time one of the only video game forums to take a hard line on hate speech and open bigotry.


#6

Just moments ago, Malka told me NeoGAF should be fully operational later this evening, and in the near future, will be restructured to more exclusively focus on video games. NeoGAF will apparently move “away from the increasingly untenable off-topic discussions that made 2017 such a stressful year for everyone.”

That’s…concerning. From my experiences browsing the forums, the Off Topic subforums tend to skew far more heavily leftist and progressive, whereas the main Games community is decidedly very centrist and fairly hostile to strong progressive views.

It’s hard not to see that as this dude deliberately cutting off a portion of the site that he sees as responsible for putting his awful behavior in the spotlight.

(also whew, this dude just cannot seem to say the words “I screwed up and I’m sorry”)


#7

It’s first world problems in contrast to the victims of the abuse at the hands of the sites owner, but all this news about neogaf going down bums me out

For the better part of the last 8 years I’ve posted and lurked on that site. I learned more about the games industry, genres and indie games via OT’s, news topics , etc than I likely ever would have

It led me to giant bomb who I spend more hours watching quick looks and listening to podcasts than I can count

It’s not an exaggeration to state I probably refreshed that page daily 30-40 times a day. It was my go to site first thing in the morning and my last website to check before I fell asleep. A legit part of my routine and daily life

I hope justice is found for the victims, and everyone can find peace. I’ll just miss all the people that had nothing to do with this mess.

Signed up here this morning in hopes it can become my new home


#8

Also, that sounds about like what I expected. Unwillingness to acknowledge or own up to behavior and insinuations that the person in question had mental issues. Extremely gross.

I’m done with NEOGAF, whether or not it comes back.


#9

Scoops, you did a really great job with this article. I really don’t think that Malka’s approach of “just going to let it blow over” will actually blow over. Also, addressing a journalist first and not his community is a really BAD sign. I wonder how the rest of this will play out for him and NeoGAF because it feels like we are at the tip of the iceberg.


#10

I remember using that hashtag too, and I am also always afraid to out people who have sexually assaulted me. I can easily see how she would want to be left alone and hope things calm down ASAP for her. It is disturbing how Malka talks about sexual assault, to me at least. Honestly I do think more highly of the mods of NEOGaf for responding as they have to him.


#11

It’s unfortunate that this is the way EvilLore is going to attempt to continue forward. The damage is done and the shadow of these allegations is going to hang over the head of the community until he releases control over the site.

That being said, how will the site be moderated? Everybody has stepped down. I believe that the best of them have enough integrity to walk away from it entirely.


#12

Get fucked Malka. I’m never going back

Every mod I’m friends with made it clear, they’re fucking done


#13

I’m sure he can find some people to do it. With OT closed, the much more conservative and issue-averse Gaming side will probably contribute some people to modding.


#14

This is what really scares me. Now people know her name, and there’s a good chance some fucksticks will decide it’d be a good idea to take it out on her :frowning:


#15

As someone who’s been very active on GAF in the past few months (I’ve had an account for the past 4 or so years but this is by far the longest + most consistent period of activity I’ve had during that time), his response is terrible but not surprising. A lot of the reason people value GAF isn’t just the news but also the communities, both in the gaming side
(I mostly posted just in the Giant Bomb thread) and in the off topic side (where there were community threads ranging from music, to BBQ, to cities, to different cultures, and more).

His solution being “we’ll just kill off topic!” is a blatant attempt to avoid any possible snafus on his part. Within the past few weeks there was already an incident (I believe Kotaku’s story mentions it? at least one other’s does) where he went on a ban spree when some people leaned a little too strong on the side of immediately believing victims of sexual harassment (and apparently killed the community that discusses movie box office rankings in the process). It was a very weird moment, given that he otherwise seemed to agree with supporting victims/survivors in that thread till some arbitrary line was crossed.

This seems to just be a very obvious attempt to keep himself in line instead of giving up the reigns, and that’s more than a little pathetic.


#16

“2017 has been depressing and toxic for moderation of social and political issues on a message board that’s supposed to be primarily about video games. I totally understand, and I don’t blame any of them for parting ways.”

The issue is that the moderation team on Neogaf also has to also point the finger at themselves for fostering this toxic environment as they very clearly played favorites when it came to moderating users for their political opinions and what topics were kept open.

I’ve seen several users make arguable death threats to other users for their opinions and receive only short bans, while other users who posted political opinions which would be considered left of center received permanent bans. Neogaf was great for sales figures and general gaming discussion, but any political topic was horrible to be in. I’ve never seen such viciousness expressed from users (and tolerated!) on a site that portrayed itself to be welcoming to discussion.


#18

Thank you Scoops for the excellent piece. This is easily the most in-depth article I’ve read on the situation so far.

If I go back, it’ll be to try to pull folks away to safety.


#19

I’ve been a member of NeoGAF for several years but was a very infrequent poster. I loved the organized OTs for games and other media and how the forum mostly leaned to the left, and I appreciated the lack of hate speech and the strong anti-GG stance. Hell, there was a great thread about autism that has been very beneficial to me on account of my son being on the spectrum, and people have offered me advice on a few occasions.

Knowing all this about Malka now, I would never use or read a forum with any ties to him.


#20

I’m going to give the replacement forum some people are working on a chance, because I do still really value that form of forum structure and I’d like to salvage good parts of the community if possible. But I don’t have high hopes


#21

As much as there are people who think a game devs “politics” doesn’t take away from their enjoyment of a game, there are people that will be ok with using (and moderating) a site, due to the owners “politics”.

And I feel sick writing that, comparing sexual harassment and abuse to “politics” but unfortunately that is the way some, or even many people will view it, and continue using the site when it comes back. It’ll surely take a dip in users, but I’m sure they’ll eventually get enough new juniors to fill in the gaps.

I wont be returning that’s for sure. Man those so called answers and statements Malka gave were fucking gross.