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


i get that you’re speaking extremely rhetorically but how about we have a solid one-week moratorium before we even entertain the thought of letting someone so vile and unrepentant back in to these safe spaces. like let’s just take a minute first


Yeah sure, although I’m not making a good fist of it, I honestly have no stake in this. I was just reacting to some of the comments on here.

You will hear no more about it from me.


Everyone COULD be an excellent example. Nick isn’t yet. It’s been like less than a week. Let people be pissed about this.


Besides the women who were harassed getting some sort of justice out of this, another good thing to come from this is some space created at Polygon. Being around abusive people not only damages your dignity, but can make you uncomfortable to be at your place of work. Together these things can really affect the quality of the work you produce. Hopefully this wasn’t the case.

And hopefully Polygon replaces him with someone who isn’t just another “soft boy”. As a former religious reader of their shit, lord knows they could use some fresh perspectives.


To the women in this topic, if you’re comfortable doing so, could you please tell me how as a male I can respond to women who have confided in me about previous sexual assaults and even a rape.

This has happened a handful of times, and each time I just resorted to silence or just saying “that’s messed up”, cause I really do not know what an adequate response would be. So could you inform me on what such a response could look like.



I just want to address this notion in particular. When a community chastises - or even ostracizes - a community member for harmful behavior, the way that person responds to these repercussions is a testament to their character.

To reenter that community, they will need to put in a shitload of effort to prove themselves worthy of being trusted again. They will need to contact those they’ve hurt and apologize personally and sincerely. They will need to hear how what they’ve done has harmed others. They’ll need to just accept it, and stop trying to explain why they thought it was okay, thereby validating their behavior. They’ll need to change their behavior and their words to show that they themselves have changed. It’s a lot of hard work, with no guaranteed result, but by putting in this work, they will be proving how interested they are in becoming a better person.

If, however, this person mutters, “Fuck it,” and, licking their wounds, they seek the shelter of other shitheads who wipe their tears and promise them vengeance, then good fucking riddance dude. It’s not a community’s responsibility to preemptively coddle shitheads for fear that they might become bigger shitheads when punished. Moriarty, the Google dude, and so on didn’t ‘turn’, they just figured out they didn’t have to wear the mask of kindness any longer. They never belonged in the first place. They were just pretending.

All I’ll say about Nick is that no one wants shitty people to remain shitty. No one has to accept his apology, or let him back in to their community, but surely everyone would like for him to stop being shitty. That’s entirely, completely on him now.


in total honesty, i don’t know what advice a stranger could give you on dealing with these sorts of situations that you couldn’t get from just asking the woman herself. this is a incredibly complex topic and often each individual case is extremely unique and no one can tell you how to deal with it except those to whom it actually matters


Yeah… the actual amount of things you can do to help in that situation are gonna vary person to person

Start off by saying you’re so sorry for what happened to them, and ask if there is anything you can do to help them, and to help them feel safe, and then respect their wishes

Be emphatic by how much you care and that you believe them

Mostly just have empathy and be the support they need to the extent you are able


His response was not only off-point, it was way too long and self-centered. What I’ve observed in harassers and abusers is that when confronted for an unacceptable behavior that hurt someone else, they go on about themselves. The harassment and the apology are both for and about themselves.

The “apology” often avoids the issue or goes on about their own narcissistic justifications. It’s often “woe is me,” which is definitely a thread in his response.

Regardless of how you feel about him returning to the community, the unfortunate reality is that white men in power often get away with harassment with little repercussions. Vox’s response is significant and powerful, but I think the situation is worth continued observation.


To hinge on what dante said: it is nice to believe that Nick could get better. Problem is I literally don’t care. He can go to therapy or go with God or whatever. He doesn’t need any attention for it and I don’t spend time thinking on if anyone who’s hurt me improves over time or learns their lesson. Not my job. I don’t have that kind of optimism in my heart at this point in my life.

It’s weird to want to hope for that, but that’s me, the person who’s been on the victim end of this too often. I hope for all the people who had to deal with this shit get to be able to get on with their lives, eventually.


I don’t care if he thinks he can turn himself around or whatever lies he wants to feed fans there’s plenty of established entertaining talent and up and coming talent that replacing him with someone new to watch won’t be a problem.


Asking things like “how can I help” “is there anything I can do” “what do you need” are probably good places to start at, but as others said, this is an incredibly complex issue and there’s no one size fits all answer. Don’t try to solve the problem, just be there for them in whatever capacity they need.


Even before the apology, I said that I was interested in how his life is going to continue. I strongly believe in reform, on an individual basis. But that reform doesn’t have to include those that were wronged. As @Stargrave said, he’ll probably move into consulting, public speaking, anything else. I believe that people can change and redeem themselves, but I don’t think they must be forgiven or welcomed back into a community for doing so.


The last thing on my mind when i find out a content creator i liked is a sexual predator is whether or not they’ll get better as a person and bounce back from being outed.

I’d like the sum total of bad people in the world to go down. But I could care less about nick robinson’s future outside of hoping wherever he goes next that he can’t cause as much harm as he did.

The focus shouldn’t be on his personal feelings and well being because he’s not the one who was hurt.


God, I really think I’ve framed my points badly.

I totally agree that his victims have no need to forgive him, if they don’t want to. Nor does anyone else for that matter.

I was more thinking about the wider community. Those who haven’t been directly affected. Should we (as I include myself in this group) forever ignore future endeavors or at least offer the possibility of redemption? Only the possibility in the future. Just that we should not write him off for the rest of time from the outset, otherwise it offers no redemptive path.

Trust me, I don’t worry about his future earning potential, all of this is on him. He created these problems with his actions and has to pay the consequences.

As people have pointed out though, now is probably not the best time to be having this discussion, so I apologise if I have irritated anyone. Like @bronson, I really believe in the power of redemption and need to hold some optimism for humans at large but also individuals if it seems there is a way back for them.


Redemption stories are universal and told to us from childhood, but after living the life I’ve had where I see that a lot of the world is unfair and cruel and has no actual justice attached, redemption stories ring extremely hollow. Bad people very rarely feel enough pressure to turn from the power dynamics they’ve enjoyed most of their lives. We don’t live in a world where the consequences and benefits of changing towards the better are valued, yet we still tell that it’s good to forgive those people, to give them room to become better. They rarely often do. I don’t see the purpose in concerning myself with it at this point, unless they make that change first. That energy is better spent on rehabilitating people, to raise up people who have been working (or even struggling) at serving others and doing good from the outset. But there’s definitely some bad things I cannot forgive and this is one of them.

I feel like redemption stories get so ideal because we generally want to believe that if we “went bad” in this way, it would be available for us. But on the other hand, it’s pretty easy to not take advantage of others in this way.


I couldn’t agree more with @AppleCider. I’m at a point where most redemption stories actually make my stomach turn, since they’re basically just an easy way out to absolve us of our complicity. N.K. Jemisin has a great tumblr-post on bad redemption arcs and uses the speculation around the new star wars trilogy as way to point that out:

Becoming aware of how systemic oppression not only operates but also sustains itself, is to invite the chance of daily heartbreak into your life. When you also happen to belong to said oppressed gruop there is no chance to look away, when you see this patterns emerge, as much as you might want to. Whilst the oppressor has the luxury of tuning entire parts of your identity and it’s assciated struggle out, as soon as it inconvenients them, at the drop of a hat.

I get the impulse of wanting to get past all of this as soon as possible, but in doing so we end up drowning out the same voices, who now finally have the courage and chance to speak up. These monsterous impulses exist within all of us to some degree, but refusing to face them is exaclty what got us here in the first place.


You guys have certainly given me a lot to think about, and I certainly agree that it is incredibly disheartening to see the bad people never have to face up to their actions.

I can see now I tried to highlight this all too early in the unfolding of events. It does take focus away from those who were the targets of the harassment.

Putting this case aside and looking at the wider points about redemption, there is certainly “bad” ways to do redemption, i.e. no learning just return into the fold. That certainly seems to be the dominant form at the moment in tech spaces.

I still argue that looking to only punish and nothing beyond does nothing to improve the wider situation. This also punishes the disadvantaged, usually economically disadvantaged. A rich person always has a ways and means to set themselves up again, having not changed at all. Poor people only need to be bad person once and their whole lives are ruined.

This becomes incredibly difficult when the people in power power allow the transgresser back, into whatever for is the form of wider population, are not the victims but old colleagues or associates.

This discussion has made me realise how the victims almost get their pain doubled as the person in power in likely to remain around in some capacity, making their lives uncomfortable. An element of victimization, I’d not really considered.

I have other thoughts but I don’t think this is the time or place to discuss them.


Does anyone know if the Vox investigation has been concluded?

Will waypoint be publishing that article?


He was fired, so it’s probably over. To the second question, no idea.