Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-09-12 02:42am

Twitter judges, juries and prosecutors rolled up in one are like entrusting the matters into the hands of an anonymous crowd from the chans.

What does this have to do with feminism?

Also, how is Effie‘s vague threat even relevant to people who never womanized or otherwise sought to use their partners as expendable commodities, not once in their life, and are generally not abusive towards their significant others? (Actually, no matter if men or women, the majority of people are not inclined to abuse others, it is why relationships are functional normally and dysfunctional as an aberration). I presume my description would apply to many here.

Somehow alone by pointing out that Twitter courts are bullshit, you are already anti-feminist? How does this even compute?
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-09-12 03:46am

It comes from vendetta saying "So instead of fixing faulty systems that should work you should use one that's guaranteed not to because it's unfocused and terrible.
...
You don't fix systems by attacking individuals, especially individuals who you've misidentified as having any power at all in the system"

Effie's point is that the starting point for most feminist positions is that men do have quite a lot of power in the system. System here being Vendetta defines as "corporate hr, tribunal and then courts"
Not personal power, but the ability to walk into a sympathetic room, be judged by people who share your point of view, and be powerless in a system biased towards you. Effie then stated the most egregious examples of that bias.

So by claiming the "men are powerless in the system", while accepting the system is broken and needs reform, Vendetta is being disengeous.
Twitter didnt come into it.

---


Howolaka is the third suicide following publicity that comes to mind. Another was a welsh minister who killed himself after hus party started an investigation. The last was a teacher who killed herself after a paper bullied her out of her job. In non of those cases is "the death sentance" intentional.


The main pattern i am seeing there is this is not a new thing, and at most twitter has made it possible for people without institutional power to start a bullying/justice campaign.

Is being caught in a twitter storm worse then being locked in a house by a guy keen to explore your body?
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-09-12 04:15am

The accusation that by questioning the wisdom of Twitter courts we are making it worse for ourselves - with subtext as if we were ourselves abusive - came before that post you quote.

I don’t think it is new, either. I said that doing this was also possible before the rise of social media, just with greater effort: calls and mail to colleagues, for example. Etc.

What was harder to do is to point the online mob at someone, because there was no online mob as such.

Nowadays everyone is so fond of the online mob. Bullying online has become favorite pastime. You have the chans, the twitter-hungry idiots consuming 140-character wordspit, the brewing hate-filled dens of Breitbart crowds & the like.

If using the mob could bring positive change, then I am all for it. I just don’t think that online bullying campaigns are capable of sound judgement, source verification and separating bad and good actors.

You think otherwise? Twitter storms have changed the system? I fail to see that. The examples of known bad actors persevering short bouts of public attention were given before: Polanski and such. The system remains broken. Twitter does not replace a revolution.
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Vendetta » 2019-09-12 04:32am

Effie wrote:
2019-09-11 07:25pm
Of course, you reject the feminist structural analysis of power, by suggesting men don't have any power from their gender, so it is not surprising that you make a response like this. I'm just curious why you're so sloppy as to admit to being an anti-feminist while trying to lecture people on how to do feminism.
I don't reject it, I say It's A Bit More Complicated Than That.

Because the people who actually have power are predominantly men, but the people who actually have power are a tiny subgroup of men and their power is not systemically shared with other men on the basis of gender.

There's a great example in these very cases we're discussing.
Vice wrote:Lawhead wrote that they met Soule at a Christmas party in Vancouver in 2008, while contracting for an undisclosed studio early in their career. Lawhead said that they were “very clear” that they didn’t want a romantic relationship with Soule. But as the two grew closer, Lawhead wrote, Soule would frequently complain about women who “had wronged him” and “cheated on him.” He talked about how “men are helpless and they need sex, how he needs sex, and a relationship, so he can write his music,” Lawhead wrote. At the time, Lawhead worried about losing their job, one that they hoped would be their “big break.” Lawhead said that, eventually, Soule raped them.

In the aftermath of the alleged assault, Lawhead said they were fired by the Vancouver company’s CEO, who Lawhead said was a personal friend of Soule’s. Lawhead said they did not receive credit for two years of work on the project, and also alleged that the company never gave them their final paycheck and still owe them today.
It reveals where the power was in the situation and why. Jeremy Soule didn't have power because he was male but because he was in the orbit of someone who actually had power, the CEO. And the CEO didn't have power because he was male but because he had control of capital. (The answer is not "more equality in boardrooms and executives" either, it's "less power in boardrooms and executives and more in everyone else")

The structural analysis that men have most of the power is correct, but extending that to say that most of the men have power is incorrect because power is hyperconcentrated within a few, and it is exercised to the detriment of men without power as well as women. (For a nice extreme example look at the Fundamentalists Church of Latter Day Saints, which routinely drove out supernumerary young men from the town they controlled in order to preserve the power of the few at the top).
madd0ct0r wrote:Effie's point is that the starting point for most feminist positions is that men do have quite a lot of power in the system. System here being Vendetta defines as "corporate hr, tribunal and then courts"
Not personal power, but the ability to walk into a sympathetic room, be judged by people who share your point of view, and be powerless in a system biased towards you. Effie then stated the most egregious examples of that bias.
Which, again, is not a universal experience of men. Men cannot expect to walk into a sympathetic room if they are, for example, black. In fact they will find the room considerably less sympathetic than women would (including black women). All over society in predominantly white countries black men live with a constant experience of heightened suspicion from everyone they interact with and hostility from social institutions. Division of power along lines of gender is not, in fact, helping them. It's directly harming them because the people with actual power who are mostly male are also mostly white and it suits that few to have black men regarded as objects of suspicion.

It's not that patriarchy doesn't exist, it's that patriarchy is as bad for most of the men as it is for all of the women. And aiming social ire at individuals rather than systems, when those individuals are not the few who have actual power, reinforces the system because it divides groups who are both disadvantaged by the system and prevents them from uniting to change the system.
effie wrote:One way that one could fix a faulty system is to put pressure on it from the outside.
Yes. But the pressure needs to be put on the system not individuals. The system is the problem, the concentration of power in the hands of a few victimises everyone else in different ways.

And Twitter especially, of all platforms for outrage mobbing, is terrible at doing that because you can't do nuance or handle complex power structures 140 characters at a time.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2019-09-12 06:26am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-09-12 02:42am
Twitter judges, juries and prosecutors rolled up in one are like entrusting the matters into the hands of an anonymous crowd from the chans.

What does this have to do with feminism?
The idea is that the existing American judicial system does a horrible job of representing women's interests in cases of rape/sexual assault (e.g. long history of not taking claims seriously, or requiring high burdens of evidence, etc.). And what does a marginalized group naturally do when faced with an intractably antagonistic system? They look for alternatives. In this case, the court of public opinion. The hope being that since the system is failing them, the only way to fix the system is to mobilize mass public support for changing the system.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Vendetta » 2019-09-12 06:33am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2019-09-12 06:26am
K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-09-12 02:42am
Twitter judges, juries and prosecutors rolled up in one are like entrusting the matters into the hands of an anonymous crowd from the chans.

What does this have to do with feminism?
The idea is that the existing American judicial system does a horrible job of representing women's interests in cases of rape/sexual assault (e.g. long history of not taking claims seriously, or requiring high burdens of evidence, etc.). And what does a marginalized group naturally do when faced with an intractably antagonistic system? They look for alternatives. In this case, the court of public opinion. The hope being that since the system is failing them, the only way to fix the system is to mobilize mass public support for changing the system.
Again though, mobilising a mob against individuals doesn't change the system.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Ralin » 2019-09-12 08:12am

Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-12 06:33am

Again though, mobilising a mob against individuals doesn't change the system.
Making examples of enough bad individuals inspires others to do the same and eventually it can snowball to systematic changes.

I mean, what's the alternative? Vote for politicians to pass laws and change the system? And how do you plan to stop 'the mob' anyway? Punish people, mostly women, for speaking out against people who abuse them? People will continue to warn each other about creeps and predators in their workplaces and industries, and the only thing that forcing them to keep that on the down low will accomplish is increasing the number of potential victims who aren't in the loot.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Effie » 2019-09-12 08:33am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-09-12 02:42am
Twitter judges, juries and prosecutors rolled up in one are like entrusting the matters into the hands of an anonymous crowd from the chans.

What does this have to do with feminism?

Also, how is Effie‘s vague threat even relevant to people who never womanized or otherwise sought to use their partners as expendable commodities, not once in their life, and are generally not abusive towards their significant others? (Actually, no matter if men or women, the majority of people are not inclined to abuse others, it is why relationships are functional normally and dysfunctional as an aberration). I presume my description would apply to many here.

Somehow alone by pointing out that Twitter courts are bullshit, you are already anti-feminist? How does this even compute?
There's nothing that stops a whisper network from being precisely as unfair or abusive as a public callout. It could be directed against you just as easily as a callout could, and you have less ability to counter it than you do for a public callout. So people's objections on the grounds that callouts can be abused are asinine, because the alternative is not some system more free of potential for abuse.

But whisper networks are less able to be damaging to predators that they are aimed against. So you have a system that has the same potential for abuse with less potential to do any good at all. And thus wanting to revert to it is repulsive. Better than what it would actually take to produce a system that was "incapable" of abuse (and note how we are only talking about the potential abuse from people claiming to be victims and survivors- the potential for abusing a system by predators is entirely out of the bounds of the discussion!), which would necessarily involve brutally inquisitorial employer practices to suppress people's ability and willingness to operate whisper networks.

Fundamentally, though, someone who believes that you should go to the police or to HR for sexual harassment or sexual assault because that's naturally a workable solution in all cases must believe at some level that society is mostly equal on gender matters. So in this light, public callouts and sharing survivor stories and all that must necessarily be an unjust grasping for power by nonmen. Which certainly explains most of the posting on this subject.
Tiriol wrote:
2019-09-12 02:11am
Effie wrote:
2019-09-11 07:25pm
Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-11 04:21pm


So instead of fixing faulty systems that should work you should use one that's guaranteed not to because it's unfocused and terrible.

Also, the bit about rape kits is a red herring, because in none of these cases is there a question of whether sex happened and who was involved, but was there consent. Which is, frankly, far too complicated a question to be answered by a vast number of angry people on twitter.

You don't fix systems by attacking individuals, especially individuals who you've misidentified as having any power at all in the system.
One doesn't fix faulty systems by simply applying to them and doing nothing else. One way that one could fix a faulty system is to put pressure on it from the outside.

It's not a red herring because the point is that the police neglect cases of rape and sexual assault and so relying on them for justice is fundamentally a failure.

Of course, you reject the feminist structural analysis of power, by suggesting men don't have any power from their gender, so it is not surprising that you make a response like this. I'm just curious why you're so sloppy as to admit to being an anti-feminist while trying to lecture people on how to do feminism.
Where did Vendetta admit being anti-feminist and where did he lecture people on how to do feminism?

However, the court of public opinion is still a horrifying thing. It's also fickle: people like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski are still admired and find work, while someone who is not so adored could lose everything (including familial ties) because the public opinion has judged him or her to be at fault.
Okay. Here's the thing. If your family is abandoning you over a public accusation, that's probably because they find the accusation credible.

Vendetta is proferring a "feminism" wherein the vast majority of men are totally powerless and it's only literal patriarchs who have actual power. This is antifeminist because it ditches the vast majority of feminist analysis in favor of a sort of vulgar Marxism that masquerades as intersectionality but ultimately is its total inverse.

After all, Vendetta uses black men as an example. But if black men were in fact totally powerless, then misogynoir would be a meaningless concept because black men and black women would be oppressed in the exact same way, because of race, and the intersection of race and gender which Crenshaw identified as misogynoir would carry no additional weight of oppression.

This is some Christina Hoff Sommers level of fuckery!

More importantly, it's also racist if we take it seriously rather than as an ad hoc bit of antifeminist propaganda. Vendetta identifies only a few patriarchs as having actual power. So thus, the ability of white women to potentially aim police force and the legal system at black men, which is central to many critiques of white-centered feminism, does not count as an exertion of power! Because in Vendetta's vision it is only the patriarchs who have power and they have it as individuals.

But Vendetta also says that the issue is systemic so we shouldn't take aim at individuals. As such, either he believes that callouts are all done tactically for the purposes of mischief, or he believes that there should be no consequences for rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, etc because they're systemic phenomena. Because saying "you shouldn't punish individual people" only makes sense if you see callouts as automatically lies, or at least deceptive.

Given that, and assuming that Vendetta isn't utter trash as a human being, it does not seem that conversation with him on this topic is worthwhile, because if you aren't in favor of ending callouts, you must either be a hapless dupe of Big Callout, or you must be one of the cackling deceivers themselves, wringing your hands as you plot to have some mediocre white guy in independent video game development framed as being manipulative and controlling. So there's not really room for honest disagreement within the space that's laid out by the implications of his posts.

So with that unpleasant note aside, I am a bit bemused by "it's more complicated than that" being deployed in favor of an asininely vulgar pyramidal hierarchy wherein (presumably) class is predominant, then race, then gender, etc. finally getting down to things like ability once they've been rendered fundamentally irrelevant. Everything is ruled by a handful of patriarchs at the top. What a simplistic view.

More accurate would be to adopt a genuine understanding of things like patriarchy as structures with which people interact. In certain situations, patriarchy predominates, while in others, white supremacy predominates, in still others heterosexism predominates, etc. And then we can understand people as having differing ability to draw on the power of these structures- men who don't fit the cis straight white able-bodied ideal thus have less power to draw on patriarchy, but patriarchy still is about the subordination of nonmen to men rather than the subordination of all human beings to a handful of people.

But this in turn difficult to accept and then still be whiny about callouts, because if you accept it then you'd accept that demanding nonmen (and some men) police ourselves in order to silence callouts is fundamentally grotesque. In order to have those demands be credible, it is necessary to deny that patriarchy is about the rule of men.

It is kind of amusing to see people bring up Roman Polanski and Woody Allen. Wouldn't a boycott of their films be just as much "mob justice" as a Twitter callout?

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Vendetta » 2019-09-12 09:57am

Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
Given that, and assuming that Vendetta isn't utter trash as a human being, it does not seem that conversation with him on this topic is worthwhile
Says the person who persistently implies hostile motives in another just for disagreeing on the way to address a social problem....

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Effie » 2019-09-12 10:21am

Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-12 09:57am
Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
Given that, and assuming that Vendetta isn't utter trash as a human being, it does not seem that conversation with him on this topic is worthwhile
Says the person who persistently implies hostile motives in another just for disagreeing on the way to address a social problem....
Pardon me for being rude to someone who was, from my perspective, implying that I was part of a conspiracy to create false accusations of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, etc.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Vendetta » 2019-09-12 10:44am

I think the fact that your response to disagreement is that paranoid and reactionary makes my point about how inappropriate online mob justice is rather well.

At no point did I state or imply anything of the sort.

I have not at any point implied any false allegations, but that this is a bad way to respond to true ones anyway because it does not discriminate between systems and individuals.

And, as we’ve also seen, can produce disproportionate outcomes. Unless you think the death penalty should be levied against any and all instances of sexual assault.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Effie » 2019-09-12 11:30am

Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-12 10:44am
I think the fact that your response to disagreement is that paranoid and reactionary makes my point about how inappropriate online mob justice is rather well.

At no point did I state or imply anything of the sort.

I have not at any point implied any false allegations, but that this is a bad way to respond to true ones anyway because it does not discriminate between systems and individuals.

And, as we’ve also seen, can produce disproportionate outcomes. Unless you think the death penalty should be levied against any and all instances of sexual assault.
So is your take that individuals should suffer no consequences for sexual assault? Because you are saying this is a bad way to handle sexual assault because it focuses on individuals, not systems, which implies that a good way focuses on systems, not individuals. I think I'm actually being extremely gentle, if that's your genuine take.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-09-12 02:57pm

Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
There's nothing that stops a whisper network from being precisely as unfair or abusive as a public callout. It could be directed against you just as easily as a callout could, and you have less ability to counter it than you do for a public callout. So people's objections on the grounds that callouts can be abused are asinine, because the alternative is not some system more free of potential for abuse.
Rumor existed since the dawn of time. And yes, rumor can be used both defensively and for good (to warn and protect) and for slander - to attack someone you dislike, ruin their reputation. The difference between this and modern technology is in the fact rumors do not normally spread with the speed of light and start involving totally random people, who have no clue about what is going on. And who don't give a damn about facts and won't hold back because they're sure they are right.

Remember Pizzagate? And that was just one person. You're talking about online attacks using a mob of hundreds or thousands. Not anything resembling any sort of organized support, not a union, not an NGO or community organization, but a mob.
Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
But whisper networks are less able to be damaging to predators that they are aimed against.
The online mob - as I fully grant it above - is more powerful weapon, because it is much larger than any circle of rumor, than any personal connections or even the unions, clubs and other organizations. It can have global reach (easy to fire at someone far away), it is easier to manipulate, as people have already noticed. Even politicians like Trump use twitter barrages to attack the Fed. What I am saying is that great power, great responsibility, tired Spiderman.
Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
Better than what it would actually take to produce a system that was "incapable" of abuse (and note how we are only talking about the potential abuse from people claiming to be victims and survivors- the potential for abusing a system by predators is entirely out of the bounds of the discussion!), which would necessarily involve brutally inquisitorial employer practices to suppress people's ability and willingness to operate whisper networks.
What is this supposed to mean? Every system has a potential for abuse. Recognizing the limits of the system and its negative sides is the key to improving it.
Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
It is kind of amusing to see people bring up Roman Polanski and Woody Allen. Wouldn't a boycott of their films be just as much "mob justice" as a Twitter callout?
I think that Polanski is a convicted criminal. But what is more interesting is that you are saying there is no solution, except elevating rumours to a world scale. I'm not against callouts, by the way. But how is this mega-rumour mill going to help fix the systemic issues?
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Vendetta » 2019-09-12 03:36pm

Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 11:30am
Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-12 10:44am
I think the fact that your response to disagreement is that paranoid and reactionary makes my point about how inappropriate online mob justice is rather well.

At no point did I state or imply anything of the sort.

I have not at any point implied any false allegations, but that this is a bad way to respond to true ones anyway because it does not discriminate between systems and individuals.

And, as we’ve also seen, can produce disproportionate outcomes. Unless you think the death penalty should be levied against any and all instances of sexual assault.
So is your take that individuals should suffer no consequences for sexual assault? Because you are saying this is a bad way to handle sexual assault because it focuses on individuals, not systems, which implies that a good way focuses on systems, not individuals. I think I'm actually being extremely gentle, if that's your genuine take.
Of course it isn't, and if you stopped being an automatically hostile gobshite for a few seconds you wouldn't even have suggested it!

I'm saying this is a bad way to handle sexual assault because it focuses mobs on individuals.

Sexual assault and harrassment at work should be handled through the existing legal and disciplinary processes, and if those don't work then engage in activism against the systems that failed to operate. Legislatures and courts if it's the law, companies if it's an internal disciplinary non-legal process

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2019-09-12 10:59pm

Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-12 06:33am
Again though, mobilising a mob against individuals doesn't change the system.
I'm not really trying to make any statement one way or the other about whether or not it's the best extra-judicial alternative to our broken legal system, simply pointing out the logic behind it and the importance of considering the broader context beyond what's going on in one particular case or another. Even if you don't think that their specific actions are the right course of action, it's difficult to ignore the context that's informing those actions. I was simply explaining because KA Pital seemed confused about how the case related to feminism at all.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-09-13 04:53am

Effie wrote:
2019-09-12 08:33am
There's nothing that stops a whisper network from being precisely as unfair or abusive as a public callout. It could be directed against you just as easily as a callout could, and you have less ability to counter it than you do for a public callout. So people's objections on the grounds that callouts can be abused are asinine, because the alternative is not some system more free of potential for abuse.
I would like to go back to this point since having some time to mull over it. You do realize that rumor can be also used by women against other women, right? (And that it routinely is; I will not go into much detail, because it is painful to even remember how a person got excruciated for absolutely harmless actions at an all-female working environment at university, like letting good students participate in leading classes). The swirling of whispers „whore“, „incompetent“, „vampire woman“ and such were absolutely despicable, and the aim was not power as such - there was literally no power to be gained by ruining that person, who was a good teacher and nothing more.

So before you seriously claim all instances of hostile rumors are seen as „power grabs“ by „nonmen“, you have to remember that casual sadism is not about gaining power within hierarchy, sometimes it is just about getting a kick from denigrating others. Who could be both of your own gender or of a different one.

Once again I stress that this is an aberration. Normal relationships are not abusive.

But far from seeing every instance of attacks as a power grab, I see the deeper problems: people are suffering, many are mentally unhealthy. Satisfying own desires by harming others is not always about power as such, sometimes it is about the feeling of power. This is why experienced workers can bully newcomers and such. They do not improve their positions or get more wages or negotiation power thereby.

Saying everything revolves around power itself seems to be no less reductionist than our Marxist view of class and division of labor as the originating point of most disparities. This devotion to structuralism is interesting, sure, but IMO it is not the whole picture.
I am a bit bemused by "it's more complicated than that" being deployed in favor of an asininely vulgar pyramidal hierarchy wherein (presumably) class is predominant, then race, then gender, etc. finally getting down to things like ability once they've been rendered fundamentally irrelevant. Everything is ruled by a handful of patriarchs at the top. What a simplistic view.
It is interesting how you called this vulgar Marxism. You disagree with predominant role of class, but praytell, if division of labor and material production relations do not define a whole host of other relations, this is ahistorical and against all empirical evidence we have. Functional matriachy - to the extent we could still study it before it was wiped out, or its surviving remnants - is based on inverted divisions of labor and property and inheritance relations, not on thin air.

It is easy to demonstrate that class indeed dominates gender in the vast majority of situations and especially when it comes to power challenges, because members of the elite - call them 1%, oligarchy, large capital, “businessmen”, as you wish - have more in common with each other than with the members of own gender of any subordinate class, or race for that matter. They will be happy to quash those below them, completely disregarding their common gender, paying little or no attention to it. Female capitalists fire workers and break unions. Even if unions are spearheaded by another woman, they will not act against class interests for the sake of gender solidarity. White women of the South stood behind their slaveowner partners. And, well, Ghislaine Maxwell - the most recent case which has clearly shown that indeed when we’re talking about the “handful” of patriarchs, money overrode every bit of compassion, every shred of common ground between Epstein & her vs the victims. Do I need to go on?

More importantly, how can power disparity not fundamentally originate from material conditions and the property and production relations? You see this attitude in Sarah Silverman, who was OK because she felt she had no “power disparity” with Lewis CK. Both bourgeois servants from the intelligentsia, part of the highest-paid scene, different genders but same shit.

There are other objective, material foundations of power disparities as well. But to say they can override class rule is to be untrue for 99% of what actually happens, IMO.
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by tezunegari » 2019-09-13 12:58pm

Two interesting articles on the matter of Alec Holowka: (there are a lot of screen captures of Tweets, so reading the source gives a better understanding than my quotes here)

https://www.thepostmillennial.com/exclu ... ing-apart/
Zoe Quinn’s allegations are falling apart

Note: Zoe Quinn’s full statement on Alec Holowka appears at the bottom of this article.

On August 28, 2019, game developer and activist Zoe Quinn issued a multi-post Twitter statement detailing abuse allegedly suffered at the hands of former partner and fellow indie developer Alec Holowka. On August 29, the Night in the Woods development team cut ties with Holowka, and within 48 hours, he had committed suicide. The same day as Holowka’s suicide, Zoe Quinn’s Twitter account was deleted, returning shortly thereafter under a protected lock which enabled only a few select people to access the tweets.

A source with access to Quinn’s locked Twitter account has provided The Post Millennial with important history which sheds light on the developer’s time with the now-deceased Alec Holowka.

While, in Quinn’s August 28th public statement, Quinn did not specify when the alleged abuses took place, it was stated it was while living in Winnipeg at Holowka’s apartment. A cursory scan of their Twitter reveals Quinn was preparing to leave for Winnipeg at the end of March 2012 for an unspecified period of time and had arrived at the end of March or beginning of April 2012. While those tweets appear to have been deleted and were inaccessible even by The Post Millennial’s source, they had already been screen-captured and archived in a YouTube video prior to the deletion of Quinn’s Twitter account.

[image of YT video showing a tweet]

In an August 28th statement, Quinn claims to have been “physically confined” to Holowka’s unit, as well as “isolated” from the outside world. Tweets reveal a different story, with Quinn tweeting regularly throughout the time period in Winnipeg with Holowka, sometimes dozens of times per day, communicating with many others and describing Quinn’s time in the city, and documenting many excursions.

[three images of a number of tweets detailing ZQ's time in Winnipeg disproving (or at least casting doubt on) her claims of confinement]

Quinn and Holowka also arranged multiple indie game meetups appropriately named Windiepeg in mid-April and early May at Urban Forest where up to 38 other developers were present, many of which had been those Quinn had been interacting with through Twitter.

[two images of tweets]

The couple also appeared as guests on a podcast on April 14th called Indie Function, where they both discussed their projects, and the subject shifted into more personal topics such as how the two met, and their daily lives.

[one image of a tweet]

Thirty minutes into the podcast, Quinn discusses having met Holowka on Twitter, direct messaging him first after he interacted with Quinn’s tweets and expressed interest in Quinn’s projects. Specifically, Quinn notes how Holowka supported the mission of having “more than five percent of the industry” be women. Quinn calls their relationship “adorkable,” while being encouraged by Holowka to talk about their project.

[5-minute long audio sample of the podcast]

Later in the podcast, Quinn excitedly describes day-to-day life: “My life right now is—I wake up, I bullet on a game I care about very passionately, and I pass out from exhaustion.”

[1-minute long audio sample of the podcast]

While discussing indie game developer Phil Fish, a conversation that eerily relates to the present takes place.

“And that’s one of the reasons you don’t really want to be famous … Because that’s what happens. People basically turn you into a cartoon character.”

“You don’t get to be a person anymore. You are a concept.” Quinn adds.

“I’m pretty sure I’m not that well known yet because that hasn’t happened to me. And I don’t think I am that way where I would be characterized as one thing or another.” Holowka says, to Quinn’s agreement, “Everyone is going to get mad and yell about something eventually and then get characterized that way…”

[3-minute long sample of the podcast]

Quinn’s bombshell public statement also claimed that Holowka had “taken control” of Quinn’s then-project It’s Not Okay, Cupid. The podcast, as well as Quinn’s regular tweets while in Winnipeg and after the departure, challenge that assertion.

[two images of tweets]

Dozens of tweets in The Post Millennial’s possession demonstrate Quinn was routinely editing, contributing, and designing the planned game, sometimes with the suggestion Holowka provided inspiration or even encouragement.

[one image of a tweet]

According to Quinn’s statement, Holowka also delayed purchasing Quinn’s ticket home as per their arrangement, effectively trapping Quinn in Winnipeg with no funds to return. Quinn states that a roommate, who was frightened, asked if Quinn “needed help getting out,” and help was accepted to flee. However, three tweets sent out between April 24th and April 30th demonstrate Quinn is being dishonest about the circumstances surrounding the return to Toronto. In fact, they prove Quinn was aware of the plan to leave at least 10 days prior to the actual departure. In the tweets, Quinn is discussing an hours-long layover in Montreal, asking if any friends wanted to meet up, and announcing a return to Toronto.

[three images of tweets]

In the August 28th statement, Quinn also says that upon the rapid, anxious escape from the abusive circumstances with Holowka with the help of a roommate, the man did not do so much as acknowledge the departure. But a May 4th, 2012 tweet states that Quinn and Holowka were working hard to “crunch on #itsnotokaycupid” just hours before the flight, entirely disproving the claim.

[images of tweets]

Interestingly, after Quinn’s return to Toronto, Holowka and Quinn exchanged several, lighthearted public tweets into the month of May, as their work on It’s Not Okay, Cupid continued.

[three images of tweets]

The last tweet shared between Holowka and Quinn was sent on May 10th, and was a single “Hi” from Quinn. Whether or not Holowka responded is unknown due to the locked status of his account.

Statements issued after Holowka’s death demonstrate that it was well-known that there were concerns about his mental health, concerns stemming from long before Quinn’s public accusation surfaced. Scott Benson, Holowka’s development teammate, issued a statement on Kickstarter after the decision to cut ties with Holowka was made, emphasizing that he had a continual history of emotional instability and behavioural problems that he had sought assistance for at different points in time. In the Kickstarter statement, Benson also noted that the termination was not a result of “mobbing” or other social pressures, but the fact of the matter remains that a working relationship of over 6 years ceased only after a very public figure with a very large audience called Holowka out.

Presently, Benson’s allegations both on Kickstarter and his later write-up on Medium have been cited as evidence of Holowka’s abusive disposition on his posthumously updated Wikipedia page.

[image of a excerpt from the wikipedia page in question]

Alec Holowka’s sister Eileen, in her Twitter announcement of her brother’s death, also noted that her brother struggled with mental health issues, something also reiterated by Quinn in the August 28th statement.

While it is indisputably true, as Quinn asserts in the statement, that there is no “karmic limit” on abuse or victimization, it is also true that all allegations must be given the respect they deserve and thoroughly investigated. In Quinn’s case, there are undoubtedly significant discrepancies in the statement that was made public on August 28th, and the history that was made available to The Post Millennial for review.

Further, Quinn’s history cannot be neglected when considering the context of the accusations. Quinn’s ex-partner, Eron Gjoni, recently brought attention to extensive discussions had between himself and Quinn on Facebook (Quinn’s has since been deactivated). In these discussions, Quinn mentions being raised by a “pathological liar,” having “brain damage,” and seeking “vengeance” against a man, a game developer Quinn once loved, (allegedly Alec Holowka) with the intention of furthering a career in games.

[embedded YT video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... jMuI0r6bT8]

The new evidence uncovered is not exculpatory. However, it does reveal that Zoe Quinn is no way credible. While all allegations are worthy of investigation and all victims deserving of respect, Zoe Quinn should know better than anyone else that there is an appropriate way to carry out the commission of an accusation and a decidedly inappropriate way. After all, Quinn’s ordeal—GamerGate—began when a public accusation was launched with little means for Quinn to respond, and a retaliation of epic proportions followed. Trial by mob never ends well.

In the statement, Quinn acknowledged knowing that Holowka was prone to self-harm and self-abuse, and based on the statements of others who knew Holowka, it seemed to have been common knowledge that he was suicidal. Understandably, it has left many with the question of why Quinn chose to air the 7-year-old grievances in this way.

Dead men can’t tweet back.

The Post Millennial reached out to Zoe Quinn to explain the apparent inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the public statement but was unable to reach Quinn for comment at this time.

[six images of the response]
https://www.thepostmillennial.com/exclu ... nns-abuse/
Alec Holowka’s private messages reveal Zoe Quinn’s abuse

On August 31st, 2019, game developer Alec Holowka committed suicide following abuse accusations by fellow indie developer Zoe Quinn, and his subsequent removal from the Night in the Woods development team.

Utilizing resurfaced tweets and audio, The Post Millennial released a comprehensive rebuttal of Quinn’s statement detailing the abuse Quinn alleged suffering while living with Holowka in 2012. The article, released on September 8th, outlined a number of discrepancies and outright fabrications present in Quinn’s August 28thstatement. Likely as a result, The Post Millennial was subjected to a DDoS attack which attempted to shut down access to our site.

Since the publication of the article, more information has surfaced to contradict the statement many speculate may have led Holowka to take his life.

Speaking to The Post Millennial anonymously due to fears of backlash, a fellow developer of Holowka’s has provided dozens of messages exchanged in 2014, with Holowka speaking about his experience with Quinn. The authenticity of these messages have been verified.

Holowka had reached out to express fear about telling his story, saying “I’ve been trying to talk to friends about it for a couple of years.” He wrote, “I thought about sharing my story with her a few times but was always scared to.”

[one image of a screen capture of a chat]

In the chat, Holowka also said he was wary of making Quinn angry and often had to look for solutions that wouldn’t upset his former partner.

[two images of a screen capture of a chat]

In direct contrast to Quinn’s statement, Holowka paints a very different picture of their time together in Winnipeg, suggesting that despite problems present in the relationship, he had been so infatuated with her that he had offered to pay for couple’s counselling to keep their relationship healthy.

[one image of a screen capture of a chat]

Holowka also expressed that he felt those viewing what would have been the GamerGate controversy as an issue of simple sexism were mistaken, having first-hand experience with Quinn that contradicted the very public narrative.

[one image of a screen capture of a chat]

However, Holowka’s expressions of dissatisfaction with his past relationship predate Quinn’s 2014 controversies, eliminating the possibility that the conversations stemmed from a bitterness towards Quinn’s public stance or a need to sneakily cover his own abusive past. In simpler terms: Holowka has no motive to mischaracterize the relationship he had with Quinn. His claims in 2013 are consistent with these newly uncovered claims.

[one image of tweets]

Most tellingly, Holowka is continuously apologetic towards the feminist cause, at multiple points pointing out that he himself is a feminist, decrying sexism, and lamenting the way the 2014 controversy was polarized by ideological interest groups.

[one image of a screen capture of a chat]

These messages corroborate Quinn’s own assertion that Holowka was concerned about the challenges facing women in the gaming industry, and it was his primary motivation for interacting with Quinn’s tweets prior to their connecting through Twitter direct messages in 2012.

As stated in our September 8th exclusive, this new evidence is not completely exculpatory. It does not provide a complete picture of what happened between Zoe Quinn and Alec Holowka during the time they were living together in Winnipeg in 2012. It does, however, continue to call into question the credibility of the allegations made by Quinn against Holowka, and, more importantly, demonstrates the tragic logic of guilty before proven innocent.

The Post Millennial reached out to Zoe Quinn but was unable to contact Quinn for comment at this time.
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Vendetta » 2019-09-13 03:05pm

I’m sceptical about what an un-vetted source has to say about Zoe Quinn given that she’s about as contentious as lootboxes.

There are a lot of people with axes to grind where she’s concerned so wait for corroboration.

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-09-14 03:23am

Vendetta wrote:
2019-09-13 03:05pm
I’m sceptical about what an un-vetted source has to say about Zoe Quinn given that she’s about as contentious as lootboxes.

There are a lot of people with axes to grind where she’s concerned so wait for corroboration.
The mention of her name causes incels to shit themselves, so I'd take any blog posts about her with a few truckloads of salt.
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-09-14 03:55am

I Googled tezunegari's source, and found this:

https://cbc.ca/news/politics/the-post-m ... -1.5191593
The founders of The Post Millennial have big plans. In the next two years, they want to turn the once-obscure website they describe as a "centre-right" outlet into a news powerhouse that competes with legacy media across Canada and the United States.

On its About page, the site dubs itself "your reasonable alternative," with a mission to "accurately and adequately report Canadian news events as they unfold and progress."

But a CBC/Radio-Canada investigation found poor transparency around its political ties — for one thing, many of its writers have openly campaigned for conservative politicians — and unanswered questions about its journalistic standards and funding model.

The site covers national and regional news, as well as some sports and culture stories, and has a robust opinion section that features major conservative voices including Barbara Kay and Spencer Fernando.

The site has been around since 2017, but its journey from obscurity began in June 2018. Over the next year, its Facebook page went from 36,000 monthly interactions to over 194,000 in May 2019, according to social media tool BuzzSumo. The amount of content posted on Facebook also jumped, from 198 posts in June 2018 to 428 in May 2019.

This screengrab from social media tool BuzzSumo shows the most popular stories posted on The Post Millennial over the last 12 months.
Even though its Facebook page has relatively few subscribers — around 26,000 — The Post Millennial's engagement there has surpassed other right-leaning media sites, like The Rebel, which boasts more than 182,000 subscribers on Facebook.

Recently, The Post Millennial has been angling for more recognition and legitimacy. The site adopted a statement of journalistic principles late last year, formalized a masthead and applied to have one of its reporters become a member of the Parliamentary press gallery.

The outlet is also expanding, with a new office in Montreal, another planned in Toronto and a six-figure broadcast studio in the works.

The Post Millennial's audience is growing, but the site's success is increasing scrutiny of its practices, and the political ties of its staff. Seyed Ali Taghva, editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Post Millennial, said the site is unabashedly a "centre-right news organization, the same way the Toronto Star is a liberal news organization."

But Alan Conter, a professor of journalism at Concordia University in Montreal, said the content skews more pro-conservative than centre-right.

"They're upfront about their politics, in a way. You'd have to be living under a rock to think that they were aiming to be somewhere in the centre," Conter said.

But he said that transparency is key. "There would be an issue if a reporter is not transparent about his previous political roles or if those roles are ongoing. If he's continuing to be active in political circles, that should be explicit."

Ties to conservative politicians
Since its inception, the Post Millennial has consistently published coverage critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Headlines appearing in the news section include: "Trudeau's economy is a total failure," "Trudeau Liberals threaten free speech with hints of reviving Section 13" and "The 'blame Stephen Harper' game won't fool Canadians on Trudeau's immigration and asylum failure."

The site has published op-eds from eight Members of Parliament, all of whom are members of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). The columns cover topics ranging from religious freedom to data privacy.

Taghva said the site doesn't solicit columns from specific MPs, and would welcome submissions from politicians of any stripe.

Several contributors who write under the "Canadian News" banner — not the opinion section — have been involved with the federal Conservative Party or with provincial counterparts.

One example: Yaakov "Yanky" Pollak, who ran the Facebook page for the CPC's Outremont riding and campaigned for Jasmine Louras, the riding's CPC candidate, in January of this year. Pollak also runs a Facebook page and website called Elect Conservatives, which claims to have no ties to the CPC.

This February 2019 tweet from Yaakov Pollak references his efforts door-knocking for Conservative candidate Jasmine Louras. Pollak was writing for The Post Millennial at the time. (Yanky_Pollak/Twitter)

On social media, Pollak has regularly appeared in pictures with Conservative MPs and was invited to celebrate Hannukah with Andrew Scheer at his official residence in December 2018.

Pollak told CBC-Radio Canada he is a member of the CPC, but didn't see it as a conflict of interest.

"Many journalists and photographers hold memberships to political parties," Pollak wrote in an email. "It doesn't mean that they can't objectively assess and report facts, or hold opinions on issues."

Conter disagreed with Pollak's explanation. "Generally speaking, reporters are not active members of a political party."

Taghva brushed off the notion that there is a conflict of interest, because he said Pollak is not a full-time staffer and mostly rewrites stories published by other sites.

Another reporter, Alex Singh Dhaliwal, wrote an article about Alberta Premier Jason Kenney entitled, "Kenney pledges to bring 'good jobs' back to Alberta." The piece was labelled "Alberta News" and written like a regular news article, even though Dhaliwal's bio on the site indicates he was involved in campaigning for the United Conservative Party, Kenney's party, in the recent provincial election.

Taghva said he's largely unconcerned with perceived bias of his writers, again citing the Toronto Star.

"Have you checked out the Toronto Star's Wikipedia page? Right underneath [the name] it says their value is liberalism," he said. "The paper has a worldview like every single paper in this country. I dare you to find one that doesn't have a worldview. But we're very open about it, and we're hiring people from across the aisle."

Tim Groeling, a communications professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who researches political bias in media, said the site's partisanship is evident from its story selection, so the fact that many of its writers have been involved in campaigns shouldn't be surprising.

"When I looked at the site, I could tell within five seconds that it leaned right," Groeling said. "Once you already have [writers] established as partisan, then donations or voluntary activity where they're supporting a candidate, I think, are probably a grey area."

Separating fact from feeling
Other sites with partisan sympathies have cropped up in the last few years, like the more left-leaning North99 or PressProgress, but the Post Millennial stands apart for its size and ambition. Taghva, and co-founder Matthew Azrieli, also previously ran a sister site, The Nectarine, with a similar conservative lean, though they shut it down this year to focus on growing the Post Millennial.

Much of the content on The Post Millennial blurs the line between opinion and news, something Taghva chalked up to the growing pains of being a small, young site. He encouraged readers to flag anything they think is mislabelled, and said they will work to correct it.

Last fall, the site adopted a journalism ethics policy that states "the separation of news columns from editorial pages is essential." This policy also claims that "its staff are pledged to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest wherever and whenever possible."

Both of those lines appear to have been copied from The Washington Post's Policies and Standards. In fact, The Post Millennial's ethics policy appears to have been largely plagiarized from other media sources. Approximately 75 per cent of the language in the policy is identical to declarations of principles from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail and Torstar publications.

The language used in The Post Millennial's ethical standards, left, is identical to passages in others publications' guidelines, such as this section from The New York Times, right. (Philippe Tardif/Radio-Canada)
"I mean, it can be identical, but is the point correct?" Taghva said in response. "I don't think anyone cares as long as the actual rules make sense. The ethical journalism standards are meant to be the rules we follow. I would imagine that people would be happier that they're very, very similar to the mainstream media's."

In May 2019, the site brought on a new executive: Jeff Ballingall. A former political staffer, Ballingall has been credited with helping Ontario Premier Doug Ford win the 2018 election, thanks to his third-party advertising group, Ontario Proud.

Ballingall runs a network of Proud pages (including a national version called Canada Proud), all of which are registered as third-party advertisers. Post Millennial stories are frequently shared on the Proud network of Facebook pages.

Ballingall is listed as The Post Millennial's chief marketing officer. When contacted by CBC-Radio Canada, Ballingall said he did not speak publicly for the company and directed questions to Taghva, who said that Ballingall has no control over editorial content and is strictly involved in branding and marketing for the site.

'They claim to be journalists'
The statement announcing Ballingall's hire also revealed that The Post Millennial received funding from "private investors." Taghva would not reveal who the investors were or how much funding the site received.

Aside from the private investment, it's unclear how The Post Millennial makes money to fund the operation. Taghva said the site generates revenue through subscriptions and advertisements, but would not say how many paying subscribers the site has.

The website also does not display any ads. When asked about this, Taghva said they had recently removed the ads in anticipation of a paywall they're planning to put in place.

Although the site's founders bill it as an alternative to Canada's legacy newsrooms, much of the site's content relies on the very media outlets they claim to be countering.

For example, a recent story about China suspending the import of Canadian beef relied on a story from CBC News (which The Post Millennial misidentified as the Canadian Press), and does not include any original reporting.

"They claim to be journalists, but they mostly aggregate stuff from other sources and then do op-eds on it," said Conter. "They're perfectly within their rights to be publishing what they're doing, of course. But I would say it's less journalism and more pamphleteering."
And this:

https://nationalobserver.com/2019/08/22 ... ews-outlet
Cosmin Dzsurdzsa is an editor at what has quickly become one of the most widely shared right-wing news websites in Canada.

According to the About Us page on The Post Millennial’s website, the University of Waterloo graduate used to be a “researcher on The Oxford English Dictionary.” The dictionary’s publisher, Oxford University Press, said in an email that it has “no record” of Dzsurdzsa working for the company, but that he appears to have worked on an unaffiliated research project examining the text.

But that short biography leaves out a few steps. Before Dzsurdzsa was hired at the Post Millennial, he also worked for websites that promoted racism and peddled pro-Kremlin content.

While he was a creative director and correspondent at Free Bird Media, the blog promoted Richard Spencer, who has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center in the U.S. as a “professional racist” and white supremacist. It did the same for Faith Goldy, who praised white nationalists at the deadly Charlottesville neo-Nazi protest, said a neo-Nazi slogan on a podcast for the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer and added that she "doesn't see that as controversial," advocated to “return” Canada to a population that is “96 per cent Euro Canadian” and said she wants "launch the next Crusade" to "reclaim Bethlehem." (Neo-Nazi ideology is driven by a hatred of Jewish people, along with other minority groups and the LGBTQ community, says the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

Free Bird Media also gave a friendly platform to Kevin J. Johnston, who has advocated for physical violence against Muslims and lost a major defamation case for online hate speech directed at a Mississauga restaurateur. The judge in that case said Johnston's words were a "loathsome example of hate speech at its worst."

And for Russia Insider, a pro-Kremlin site that BBC and Newsweek have called "propaganda" — "Russia's Arctic Military Drills Are Truly Massive," reads one 2015 headline from the site — Dzsurdzsa once advocated for Canada to drop trade sanctions against Russia.

This editor used to work for a site that promoted racists and a Russian propaganda site. Now he works for The Post Millennial, a rising star in Canada's conservative media scene.

The Post Millennial is seeking a larger presence in Canada’s media ecosystem ahead of the October federal election, planning to build a six-figure video studio and conduct its own polls. Its online following has grown quickly since it was founded in 2017.

But the outlet’s willingness to hire someone with a background working for sites that promoted hate is “disturbing,” said Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University.

“Editors shape the climate and culture of the newsroom,” Perry said. “What does that say in terms of the kinds of stories (Dzsurdzsa is) assigning to whom, or not assigning?”


Richard Spencer, who's been identified as a white supremacist by the Southern Poverty Law Center in the U.S., sat for a long, uncritical interview with Free Bird Media while Cosmin Dzsurdzsa was creative director of the blog. Screenshot from YouTube
In an emailed statement, Post Millennial co-founder Matthew Azrieli didn’t answer specific questions about whether his news outlet supports the views espoused by the Dszurdzsa’s past employers, or how the decision to hire Dzsurdzsa was made. It also didn’t answer questions about Dzsurdzsa’s current beliefs.

Azrieli instead emphasized his Jewish roots and co-founder Ali Taghva’s Iranian heritage, adding that the Post Millennial “celebrates the success of Canada's diversity.”

“I'm not going to be bullied into firing a new father on the basis of claims of guilt by association that are spurious at best and defamatory at worst,” said Azrieli, who didn’t respond when asked to elaborate on what was libellous about National Observer’s communications.

“Shame on you for trying.”

(In April, Dzsurdzsa had a baby with his fiancée, Lindsay Shepherd, who is a self-styled “free-speech activist” who has criticized left-leaning activists for suggesting there's no difference between white nationalists and white supremacists. Shepherd, who also writes columns for the Post Millennial, has expressed concerns about how white people will be treated "when we are the minority.")

National Observer attempted to reach Dzsurdzsa both through social media and his employer but, as of Aug. 19, had not received a response.

A request on Twitter on Aug. 13 went unanswered. And in an email to the Post Millennial on Aug. 13, National Observer asked to speak to Dzsurdzsa directly. Although Azrieli did answer, he didn’t respond to the request to talk to Dzsurdzsa.

The Post Millennial didn’t answer questions about how much influence Dzsurdzsa has over its content.

In tweets posted after National Observer first published this story, Dzsurdzsa said he wasn’t involved in the interviews with racist figures and hasn’t written anything advocating for hatred or extremism. He also said he wrote for Russia Insider before it took on a more “conspiratorial” direction, and said that he’s been “very forthcoming” about his past employers.

“With regards to all the other nothing burgers in this article, I'm sorry to the author who had to waste their time writing about little old me,” Dzsurdzsa wrote in one tweet.

“As to my political beliefs, feel free to follow me here or read my columns at The Post Millennial.”

The Post Millennial also posted an article in response to National Observer’s reporting. In it, editor-in-chief Ali Taghva, said this story is a “lazy, disingenuous guilt-by-association smear” and that “none of (National Observer’s) questions were worthy of response.”

“This hit piece is gross and unworthy of publication,” Taghva wrote. “It focuses on things that Cosmin’s former employer, Free Bird Media, did at the time that he was working there but had no involvement with. The implication is that Cosmin somehow is responsible for everything that Free Bird Media has ever done.”

What is the Post Millennial?

Cosmin Dzsurdzsa appears in a video for Free Bird Media, a blog that also platformed white supremacists. Screenshot from YouTube
The Post Millennial boasts more than 28,000 likes on Facebook. Its stories are among the most widely shared online, according to a recent survey by the Digital Democracy Project, though it didn’t break the top 20 most-read news outlets in the country.

Most of the Post Millennial’s stories are aggregated from other media outlets, but the site also does some original reporting and runs a mix of opinion pieces, including some from high-profile conservative voices like Barbara Kay, who’s also published in the National Post.

On its website, the Post Millennial calls itself “your reasonable alternative,” and emphasizes its co-founders’ multicultural roots.

Taghva emigrated to Canada from Iran when he was six years old, Azrieli said in his email to National Observer. Azrieli himself has “strong ties” to Israel and the Jewish community, he said, adding that members of his family died in Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination and slave-labour camp.

“We love Canada because neither of us would be viewed as native sons in any other country,” Azrieli’s statement said. “Our love for Canada is the same love that all immigrants in this country have. We were accepted and given the opportunity to succeed in a way unlike anywhere else.”

Though the Post Millennial identifies itself as centre-right and has published pieces with a left-wing bent at times, Mediabiasfactcheck.com, which rates the bias and accuracy of media outlets, categorized the Post-Millennial as “strongly biased” toward the right.

“For the most part, news articles are sourced properly and factually based, though there is a strong right-leaning bias in story selection that denigrates the left and in particular (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau,” the rating reads. “The opinion/editorial pages provide little balance and primarily support Conservative and Libertarian positions.”

A CBC investigation in June found the Post Millennial’s journalistic ethics policy was mostly plagiarized from other news outlets.

Earlier this year, the site ran two pieces defending Caylan Ford, a Calgary candidate for Alberta’s United Conservative Party during the recent provincial election, who resigned in March after the left-wing PressProgress published leaked messages in which Ford said she was “saddened by the demographic replacement of white peoples in their homelands.”

Perry, from the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism, said such coverage is “exactly the risk” she would worry about.

“Even in the era of fake news, many readers tend to take what they read at face value and not read beyond the headlines,” she said.

The Post Millennial also has close ties to Ontario Proud, a right-wing third-party political group that has been widely credited with using its massive social media following to help Ontario Premier Doug Ford win the 2018 provincial election. An offshoot called Canada Proud is currently attempting to do the same with Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer for the October federal election.

Jeff Ballingall, the founder of the Prouds, is the chief marketing officer for the Post Millennial. The social media pages for the Prouds frequently share the Post Millennial’s articles.

Ballingall told National Observer that he wasn’t involved in hiring Dzsurdzsa, and the editor doesn’t report to him. “I don’t think there’s anything to say,” Ballingall said.

In his email to National Observer, Azrieli said Canada needs a “moderate outlet” that “supports diversity, free markets and families.”

“We are immigrants who want a bright economic future for our children, leaders who will uplift Indigenous Canadians economically and a media platform that celebrates the success of Canada's diversity,” the statement read.

Platforming white supremacists and pro-Kremlin propaganda
Dzurdzsa’s first articles for the Post Millennial, where he writes columns and manages content, were posted to the site 10 months ago.

After a stint in student media, however, his journalistic career began at Russia Insider. The Daily Beast has reported that Russia Insider publishes “far-right, ultra-nationalist talking points and anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracies, along with anti-Semitic content — including a piece that claimed, without evidence, that “the whole ‘Fake News’ phenomenon is fundamentally Jewish.”

Dzsurdzsa has said he was a deputy editor and contributor for the site.

He wrote six articles there in 2015, including one where he advocated for Canada to drop trade sanctions against Russia. “Canada’s government ought to think clearly about whether it wants to open doors for trade or to close them,” he wrote.

The sanctions were put in place in response to Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine.

​​​​​​Next, Dzsurdzsa started working for Free Bird Media, a blog that platforms white nationalists and conspiracy theories. Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told National Observer he’s tracked the site’s activities for years, but rarely focused on it because the blog has never attracted a large following.

“Free Bird Media had neo-Nazis on all the time, and Cosmin (Dzsurdzsa) was there,” Balgord said.

Before Dzsurdzsa was hired in December 2017, Free Bird Media promoted James Sears, who has been convicted of hate crimes for his publication of a misogynistic, anti-Semitic paper called Your Ward News (the trial could be re-opened, media reports said in July).

And during Dzsurdzsa’s time there, Free Bird Media gave Goldy, Spencer and Johnston long, friendly interviews that amounted to an unfettered platform for their views.

In one interview, after Spencer spent a few minutes explaining the roots of his race-related beliefs and why “alt-right” was a “more fun” term for them, the host responded: "Interesting. I understand exactly what you mean."

In a biography that has since been scrubbed, Dzsurdzsa was described as Free Bird Media’s “creative director” and “Kitchener-Waterloo correspondent.” The site announced the hire on Facebook in December 2017.

The Post Millennial didn’t answer questions about when Dzsurdzsa stopped working for Free Bird Media, but Dzsurdzsa hasn’t appeared in a video for the blog since 2018.

Dzsurdzsa’s work with both Russia Insider and Free Bird Media was detailed in a PressProgress article in May 2018.

In a tweet, Cosmin Dzsurdzsa responded to a PressProgress article outlining his ties to Russia Insider and Free Bird Media.
The Post Millennial didn’t answer questions about whether it conducted a background check on Dszurdzsa before hiring him and whether it knew about his past work. It also didn’t answer when asked about Dzsurdzsa’s current beliefs.

“You’d think you'd want to distance yourself” from that vein of extremist beliefs, Perry said. The lack of clarity from the Post Millennial, she added, is “disconcerting.”

"It really is concerning that something that's a little bit more mainstream would not have a problem hiring someone with that history."

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 4:06 p.m. to include comments made post-publication by Dzsurdzsa and the Post Millennial.
In short, its an overtly Right-wing source with a history of journalism ethics issues including plagiarism (in their fucking statement of ethical standards, no less), blurring the boundary between news and opinion pieces, and undisclosed partisan ties to Conservative political campaigns.

Moreover, one of their editors' prior experience included working for Neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and pro-Kremlin far Right outlets friendly to the likes of Richard Spencer, an avowed white nationalist (and accused wife-beater), perhaps the most famous Neo-Nazi alive, and the man who literally invented the term "alt right", by his own admission, as a way to re-brand white nationalism into something more acceptable to the mainstream.

As I predicted, the Alt. Reich and the Incels are trying to make a martyr of Holowka, and to once again subject Zoe Quinn to a torrent of abuse and vilification for speaking up and not knowing her place. That's all she did: spoke publicly about being abused. And for that she is being vilified, with the articles even going so far as to blatantly insinuate that her choosing to exercise her right to freedom of expression to speak about her experiences publicly was a deliberate ploy to drive Holowka to suicide. Because apparently men are so fragile that a woman speaking about her experiences represents an unacceptable threat to their safety.

The fact that tezunegari used such a source to attack Quinn speaks volumes about his ideology, his political allegiances, and his moral character. Unless we presume that he simply knew nothing about the source he was citing, in which case he's a fucking idiot.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Aether
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Aether » 2019-09-14 05:41pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-09-14 03:55am


As I predicted, the Alt. Reich and the Incels are trying to make a martyr of Holowka, and to once again subject Zoe Quinn to a torrent of abuse and vilification for speaking up and not knowing her place. That's all she did: spoke publicly about being abused. And for that she is being vilified, with the articles even going so far as to blatantly insinuate that her choosing to exercise her right to freedom of expression to speak about her experiences publicly was a deliberate ploy to drive Holowka to suicide. Because apparently men are so fragile that a woman speaking about her experiences represents an unacceptable threat to their safety.
Right on cue. You'll accept one set of rumors, but not another. What's funnier is you are not dismantling the alleged discrepancies in Zoe's "allegations"; instead, ad-homineming The Post Millennial.

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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-09-14 11:15pm

Aether wrote:
2019-09-14 05:41pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-09-14 03:55am


As I predicted, the Alt. Reich and the Incels are trying to make a martyr of Holowka, and to once again subject Zoe Quinn to a torrent of abuse and vilification for speaking up and not knowing her place. That's all she did: spoke publicly about being abused. And for that she is being vilified, with the articles even going so far as to blatantly insinuate that her choosing to exercise her right to freedom of expression to speak about her experiences publicly was a deliberate ploy to drive Holowka to suicide. Because apparently men are so fragile that a woman speaking about her experiences represents an unacceptable threat to their safety.
Right on cue. You'll accept one set of rumors, but not another.
Despite your attempt to invoke the old cliche of "he said/she said" (which tends to actually mean "we should believe he and not she"), its not really that simple.

I am more inclined to believe Zoe Quinn because statistically, the vastly-inflated bogey man of false rape allegations by scheming women out to get innocent men is much, much less of a problem than ignored rape allegations and unsolved rape cases. And it makes sense that false rape allegations aren't as big a thing, because there is much, much less incentive for someone like Zoe Quinn to lie than for the men attacking her to lie (she has literally been threatened with rape and murder for expressing her views, was previously forced to flee her home, and her fellow feminist gaming activist Anita Sarkeesian was once forced to cancel a speaking event at Utah State University because someone threatened a mass shooting if the university allowed her to speak: https://theverge.com/2014/10/14/6978809 ... sian-visit). So people like Zoe Quinn are literally risking their lives by coming forward, and they know it. And because the arguments made against her by the source in question include such reasoned and credible positions as insinuating that she deliberately manipulated a man to suicide, simply because she spoke up publicly about her experiences. Let that sink in: they are literally suggesting that she is guilty of killing a man for publicly exercising her right to freedom of expression.

And finally because when in doubt, I pick the side that Incels and literal Neo-Nazis are not on.

Would all that have been enough to convict Holowka in a court of law? No, and nor should it have been. Is it enough for me as a private individual to judge who's story I give greater weight to, and for me as a private individual to act accordingly? Yes.
What's funnier is you are not dismantling the alleged discrepancies in Zoe's "allegations"; instead, ad-homineming The Post Millennial.
There are likely inconsistencies in any story, because human memory is imperfect, especially when it comes to traumatic experiences.

This argument is literally straight out of textbook Rape Apologism- attack the victim's credibility by nitpicking normal human inconsistencies as "proof" that they are lying.

Also, it is not an "ad-hominem" to criticize the credibility of a site with a substantial history of overt political bias, breaches of journalistic integrity, and ties to literal Neo-Nazis. If someone cited the work of Joseph Goebbels, and I responded by saying "But you're citing Joseph fucking Goebbels", would you accuse me of "ad-hominem"? Because tezunegari's source is basically just one step removed from literal Neo-Nazis.

(The Post Millennial also clearly make a habit of playing the victim card when their political positions are criticized- note how one of my articles describes them using "the nasty liberals are trying to make us fire a new father" to deflect criticism of the fact that they hired a probable Nazi sympathizer as an editor. This fits right in with usual Alt. Reich tactics of screaming persecution whenever anyone tries to call them on their bullshit (much like insinuating murderous intent when a woman speaks up). The real reason is that they view society as a zero-sum game played along demographic lines, where any success by another group, even if its simply surviving, must come at the expense of their group. Thus, they view the very existence of different kinds of people and different forms of thought as "persecution", and themselves as perpetual victims.)

Interesting fact: When I search "zoe quinn", the top two results I get on Google are New Millennium articles smearing her, and
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Elfdart
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-09-16 02:23pm

Effie wrote:
2019-09-11 02:15pm
Do you guys know that the alternative to #MeToo isn't women remaining silent and relying entirely on the ever-feminist corporate HR systems and the police, who certainly don't have a massive backlog of untested rape kits, for justice, right? It's whisper networks and warnings. These are actually even worse for you all, with your fear of "wokescolds", because you don't even know that it's happening. They're also worse because predators can shift targets to people who aren't plugged into the whisper network and they don't actually face any consequences for their actions. But if you really want to end "slander", you would need to institute inquisitorial practices against women in the workforce.
Who is this "you all" you speak of?

As for whispering campaigns, they only work if there's some kind of evidence to back them up, or if they agree with one's own experience. If Jim is a nice, polite coworker who treats female employees the same way he treats males, good luck with spreading gossip that Jim is a pervert who grabs women's asses in the office. Especially after the dudes take him to a sports breastaurant and find out Jim is gay and has no interest in the female gluteus maximus whatsoever.

People gossip at work. Anyone who gets a promotion is rumored to have gotten it by brown-nosing the boss (if a man) or blowing the boss (if a woman). Having women supervisors doesn't really change this much, it just flips the roles. If your plan to smash the patriarchy relies on gossip, then my money is on the patriarchy, no matter the point spread.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Ralin » 2019-09-16 03:35pm

Elfdart wrote:
2019-09-16 02:23pm

As for whispering campaigns, they only work if there's some kind of evidence to back them up, or if they agree with one's own experience. If Jim is a nice, polite coworker who treats female employees the same way he treats males, good luck with spreading gossip that Jim is a pervert who grabs women's asses in the office. Especially after the dudes take him to a sports breastaurant and find out Jim is gay and has no interest in the female gluteus maximus whatsoever.
If someone tells me that someone raped them I believe them until I learn evidence specifically proving otherwise. How nice or polite they seem means absolutely fuck all. Hell, doesn't really even matter if the guy being accused is gay, since it's not like gay men never sexually assault women for whatever fucked up reason.

If you're in the habit of dismissing that sort of claim as gossip that's a commentary on you, not whether word of mouth and back channels work to warn people about creeps.

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Elfdart
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Re: Three video game developers independently accused of sexual assault in one day.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-09-16 11:40pm

Ralin wrote:
2019-09-16 03:35pm
Elfdart wrote:
2019-09-16 02:23pm

As for whispering campaigns, they only work if there's some kind of evidence to back them up, or if they agree with one's own experience. If Jim is a nice, polite coworker who treats female employees the same way he treats males, good luck with spreading gossip that Jim is a pervert who grabs women's asses in the office. Especially after the dudes take him to a sports breastaurant and find out Jim is gay and has no interest in the female gluteus maximus whatsoever.
If someone tells me that someone raped them I believe them until I learn evidence specifically proving otherwise. How nice or polite they seem means absolutely fuck all. Hell, doesn't really even matter if the guy being accused is gay, since it's not like gay men never sexually assault women for whatever fucked up reason.

If you're in the habit of dismissing that sort of claim as gossip that's a commentary on you, not whether word of mouth and back channels work to warn people about creeps.
I didn't mention rape, retard.

But now that you mention it, if your reaction to someone telling you that a coworker has raped them is to pass it along with other gossip rather than at minimum going to HR or the possibly the police, then it tells me you don't take the accusation seriously at all.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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