We Discuss Nick Robinson, Harassment, and Power Dynamics on Waypoint Radio


It’s hard to justify letting someone back into a community who has hidden in plain sight with an adopted persona and has also been abusive in that same community.

The other factor is simple, let’s say there was a genuine appetite to have him continue to contribute to the community after some sort of personal rehabilitation - why would anyone believe him when he has not only previously abused trust, but explicitly exploited a persona built around the idea of trust?

Edit: also super bummed at the idea we have to let people come back to the community to stop them becoming worse, I realise there are people preying on people at the fringes too.


re: redemption

The priority should always surely be protecting victims/potential targets of abuse over providing some sort of path to redemption.

Sure, it sucks for someone if they genuinely have had some kind of epiphany and deep personal change if nobody is willing to trust them with that. But surely, as someone who has changed they would also understand that, and be able to accept that consequence.


As a longtime GB fan it’s getting tougher to be ok with their apolitical stance on a lot of things. I’ve posted less in their forums in recent months as I realized that the community tolerates right wing shitheads spreading misinformation and hate, but of course we have to hear “both sides”.

Kudos to Abby for speaking up though. Here’s hoping it brings about a change in how GB does things.


Exactly my feeling. He shouldn’t be using Twitter with all of his ‘power’ to ‘flirt’. Whatever the hell that means. If he wanted to ‘flirt’. He should go on tinder and see how far that shit gets him.

Honestly, what is wrong with internet celebrities just fucking apologising for doing wrong rather than back pedaling ‘well, if I wasn’t so gosh darned internet famous’. If you are fortunate enough to have such a large following, you should at least be responsible with how you conduct yourself. It can never always be easy, sure, but with great power and all that.

What a dink.


There isn’t really a need to try and coddle this guy by letting him ‘back into the community’ unless his victims are unanimously okay with it. The priority should be on them and them alone. If this guy really meant to change for the better, he wouldn’t leap into the arms of the “fringes” anyway. It’s sort of sad that we are asked to worry about his individual well-being when there are untold amounts of women who have been so damaged by him they can’t even speak about it in public forums without the fear of further harassment for their troubles.

He made this bed, he can lie in it until he realizes what he actually did wrong here. And if he issues a real apology on that front, and specifically to his victims, then maybe that change is something that he’s actually trying to make good on. But he shouldn’t be allowed a place of power again, and we don’t have to let him have a soapbox back to just do games as a hobby, either.


Just to clarify, I in now way am prioritizing Nick’s well being over the victims. He of course does not just come straight back into the community without resistance and real contrition, which he hasn’t done yet.

My point is that be completely isolating him he could become another martyr for the alt-right. Another reason for them to hound the unfortunate victims. If, instead, he learns, grows and develops and is welcomed back to the community, in some way, with caveats, then that’s one less angry voice on twitter.

Instead we have an example to other people who may be about to tip into harassment or general misogyny, that there is a way back. There is a way to climb out of any hole you may have dug by apologising, learning and growing.

A lot of this is speculative but it feels like there may be some attempt to apologise, even if it is mishandled. Compare this to almost another internet celebrity meltdown in recent years. They barely even attempted to apologise and then jump straight into the arms of the alt- right. That guy from google being a prime recent example.

Anyway, I’m just thinking out loud here. I’m not a victim and they may never be comfortable with this. I just can foresee excorcism leading to blowback later down the line. A person’s concept of right/ wrong isn’t an off switch it grows, evolves and can accelerate and decelerate. Resentment felt now could grow into a need for validation from the wrong people later.

Sorry to bang on about it, I kind of feel it’s important but don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

Edit- Once again, absolutely no defence here. He did wrong, he reaps the consequences. I don’t know the specifics but it has obviously upset many people. They are the priority now. This is all well into the future. Just wanted to clarify as I re-read and thought maybe that wasn’t clear.


If he ends up as an alt-right martyr it’ll be because he didn’t do enough to distance himself from them. It wont be anything to do with the community ousting him. If he wants to fall into the arms of gamergaters then it just further proves the level of scumbag he is.


The fear is that when it comes down to it, throwing one man a lifesaver in the off-chance he decides “nah, I’m good with these guys who want to make me popular instead,” is likely not worth the risk of putting him in a position where people trust him and he can manipulate that trust. We already have proof that the guy is willing to manipulate people using his online persona to hurt vulnerable women. We can’t, and shouldn’t, trust an apology to the point where he is able to have enough power to do so again, because what if that enables him to hurt more victims if the change was not sincere?

If there’s some part of him that’s decent, then he isn’t going to just throw himself to the alt-right, either. It’s not an either-or scenario. He doesn’t need to be a huge online persona to enjoy or participate in conversation about games.


I get your point but personally, I wonder how many of those people who jump to the arms of the ‘alt-right’ were already there privately.

Also they are basically making up martyrs at this point to justify their behaviour.

Where I come at it from: why alienate the people who had the bravery to speak up? The focus should be on them, because that change is more valuable than making sure another sleazy dude has a soft landing to make sure another bunch of sleazy dudes don’t get another pawn in their game. Personally I think we are better if we recognise the value of those who spoke up first and those spoken about a distant second.


i’ll be honest i don’t really understand the need to talk about long-term hypothetical redemption roadmaps while it’s really clear that nick either doesn’t understand why this happened or is trying to damage control his image. the people who immediately jump ship to the alt-right scene do so not just because they don’t have a way back, but because they were asshole s in the first place and now that their cover is blown is out they might as well. the google dude was always a shithead, he didn’t suddenly turn into one because people criticized his opinions. there are plenty of examples of people working their asses off for a second chance. it has to be difficult, because how else do you learn anything?


Speculation about jumping into alt right is weird to me because it once again absolves men who generally believe in progressive politics somehow aren’t materially harming women, despite Nick harming women. That’s sexism. Harassing women with gentle blowjob requests is from the same structure as calling women c*nts on Twitter. It’s dehumanizing. Nick’s already there. Sexism sometimes looks nice, is your friend and still tries to fuck you.

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It absolutely makes me queasy that the second this creep has been outed, a lot of people on twitter and other media jumped to reassure that it’s not the fault of anyone but him, that the people who consumed his content should not feel bad in any way.

If power dynamics are not understood thoroughly, these people are setting the stage for another person to take his place and use his platform as a way to hold power onto other. He was an asshole even before that and he was liked for it, his behaviour today with his incredibly bad apology is absolutely in line with the way he always acted on twitter.

No one consumed his content the same way and I don’t think anyone deserves sanction, but it’s not in the power of anyone to suddenly call for absolution. Let people who feels bad feel bad, let them understand what is going on, let them understand that any kind of interaction can help people wield a power they shouldn’t have, let people think in retrospect of his behaviour, let people understand that gaming personalities are not your friends. Guide them, don’t absolve them.

Living in this world is also about understanding that you have to take some guilt even in things that you’re not intimately connected with. Make it at least a learning experience instead of sending a waiver to search gleefully for the next big guy like bobinson.


uuh, fans of someone aren’t responsible for their actions, his platform is part of the problem but it is not individual fan’s responsibility to “take some guilt”


Is it possible that Vox has legally required Nick to not admit culpability in a public manner? It seems likely that while Nick would certainly be legally liable if that happened Vox may be as well. I’m reminded of the gag order Gerstman got from Gamestop over something as ridiculous as bad review scores. This is a lot more serious and Vox has a lot of money to lose.

Not that this absolves Nick’s weak-ass apology. There at the very least should have been more concession and direction to not harass the victims, even if legally he might not be able to call them “victims.”


Lots of people are in the same position as he was and are not abusing their platform with predatory behaviour.

He is the one at fault. assigning culpability to fans is something you can certainly do via “without fans he never had power” route but why would you bother because his behaviour is solely his responsibility.


Letting a fan acknowledge what they feel on this and how they can give power to some people is important in order to make them more understanding of the issues victims can face and how much leeway they themselves allows some individuals to come forth with a toxic behaviour. It’s not about being responsible of someone’s actions, it’s about guiding fans to understand how this is all working out and some feeling bad about it can be a good starting point.

I felt bad about sharing his content, now I understand the dynamics in this industry and it gave me some insight to see how I approach my proximity with content creators that are increasingly close to me with social media. Saying it’s not my fault wouldn’t have helped me in this way.


But its… not your fault? You as an individual can’t give someone the power to prey on vulnerable others.

I feel bad about sharing his content but I literally couldn’t have known better bc no one I knew was talking about it/was involved! Feeling bad because you’ve been disappointed by someone’s behaviour that you had absolutely no control over is not helpful imo. Whether or not you interacted with him/shared his content, he would have had the power he had to hurt people, because he was a gross scumbag and he would have done it anyway.

If you’re talking about stepping back from creators as a personal choice because you don’t want to be hurt/disappointed/upset then that is absolutely fair and a completely different issue but none of his ex-fans have to feel bad or guilty for providing him with a platform that he then abused. Like @TuffWizard said, plenty of others have a platform as big/bigger and don’t abuse it. It’s no one’s fault but his own.


Yeah like

These power structures form naturally as a reaction to people becoming fans of someone’s work

Telling people not to be fans of anything or promote them to prevent this from happening again seems very much like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, because that just isn’t something that is possible with social media as it is. You can maybe say “if you feel guilty, in the future try to be conscientious of how a persona and a person are separate things,” but saying people should feel guilty isn’t really fair

You can maybe ascribe that guilt to people who are forgiving him immediately after this half-assed apology (if they weren’t victims, that is), but like, not every person given this responsibility is using the platform for the same creepy thing, and that power system is still going to exist until the internet doesn’t.


We’re jumping the line between “be more understanding of your proximity with content creators” and “you should not like anything from someone, ever” here. It’s a dangerous claim since it’s not a case of poisoning the well that happened here but a case of how power that is held on the internet can be far more powerful than we can be led to believe behind innocuous twitter personas.


I’m only going to mention this one last time or I run the risk of becoming an irritant.

Perhaps I haven’t explained it well but my point is that, individually, and it really is a personal decision, we shouldn’t forever write Nick off.

If he comes back and is willing to learn and shows contrition, I think that could be an excellent example.

My earlier example of the Google guy probably wasn’t very good, as mentioned, it seemed he was already far gone.

My point is that people are rarely asshole or great. It’s not a binary thing. You can have positive views on one topic but then you may let yourself down in other ways.

I’m assuming that there is some good in Nick and if possible I’d like that to be retrieved. Not just for his sake but for those who still follow him. What am I basing that on? Blind optimism probably but I’d like to hope that he could become a better person. As opposed to becoming carrying on being a terrible person in the open.

My point is, maybe we shouldn’t write him off forever. Maybe. If you chose to, then I totally support that choice and potentially he has hurt too many people in this industry to return.

I would like to think that this is the first step in a journey of realisation. He has not fully admitted to everything he did wrong but hopefully the strong reaction of the internet would mean he can do.

Anyway, I’m taking too much attention away from the victims. I’m probably being way to optimistic but that’s my way of attempting to see the world.