30 votes

Alec Holowka, one of the creators of Night in the Woods, has committed suicide after accusations of past abuse were made against him last week

This was posted on Twitter by Alec's sister. She's protected her account now (probably because of how disgusting the replies to it were), but I've re-typed the statement here:

Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning.

Those who know me will know that I believe survivors and I have always done everything I can to support survivors, those suffering from mental illnesses, and those with chronic illnesses. Alec was a victim of abuse and he also spent a lifetime battling mood and personality disorders. I will not pretend that he was not also responsible for causing harm, but deep down he was a person who wanted only to offer people care and kindness. It took him a while to figure out how.

Over the last few years, with therapy and medication, Alec became a new person—the same person he'd always been but without any of the darkness. He was calm and happy, positive and loving. Obviously, change is a slow process and it wasn't perfect, but he was working towards rehabilitation and a better life.

In the last few days, he was supported by many Manitoba crisis services, and I want to thank everyone there for their support. I want to thank Adam Saltsman for staying up late talking with us and reminding Alec that there was a future.

My family has and always will be the most important thing to me. Please give us time to heal. We tried our best to support Alec, but in the end he felt he had lost too much.

I currently do not see a place for myself in games or on Twitter. I will not be looking at the responses to this post. I appreciate everyone who has reached out to me over the last few days. For anyone who is in a time of darkness, I encourage you to reach out for support. There are always people who will be there for you.

As backstory, he was accused of abuse (and sexual abuse) last week by Zoe Quinn with several others corroborating past abusive behavior (a bit more detail in this article). As a result, the other Night in the Woods creators cut ties with him. I'm going to re-post their statements below inside a collapsed block since they're fairly long, but you can expand it if you want to read them:

Statements from Scott Benson

From Scott Benson's personal account:

Allegations of past abuse have come to light this week regarding Alec Holowka, who we have worked with in the past. We take such allegations seriously, and applaud those speaking out about their experiences with abuse in the industry and elsewhere.

As a result, we won't be working with Alec in the future. What this means for Night in the Woods going forward is something we will have to work out. These things take time, longer than a couple days at least.

Night in the Woods is a very personal game for Bethany and I. Our parts of the game - the writing, world, characters, art, etc - are pulled from our own lives, sometimes very directly.

We know it has connected with thousands of people in a very deep manner. And whatever your reaction is, that's valid. Know that we are just as heartbroken right now. We'll have more info in the future about how we're moving forward. Thanks.

On a more personal note, this has all been devastating. And people will ask for details that we as collaborators on a project simply do not have. They’ll want essays and interviews as if we have some secret info. But we don’t. We’re just very sad right now.

And on the Night in the Woods account

This week, allegations of past abuse have come to light regarding Alec Holowka, who was coder, composer, and co-designer on Night In The Woods. We take such allegations seriously as a team. As a result and after some agonizing consideration, we are cutting ties with Alec.

We are cancelling a current project and postponing the Limited Run physical release. The iOS port is being handled by an outside company and supervised by Finji and will remain in development.

We’ve received a lot of emails and messages in the past few days, often very hurt and angry. That’s also how we feel. This has been very, very tough.

I should say that I’m Scott. Hello. I run this account. I was the artist, lead animator, co-designer, co-writer, and the guy who wrote almost all of that dialogue in the game. Bethany’s here too, she was co-writer and researcher.

Much of Night In The Woods is pulled pretty directly from our lives. Bethany is from a tiny valley in central PA. I’ve lived out here in Western PA for about 20 years. The characters are us, and people we’ve known. The places are ones we know.

Thousands of people have connected with Night In The Woods in a very personal way. We can’t tell you how to feel about any of this. Whatever you’re feeling is valid. Your experience with art is yours. What it means to you is yours, regardless of anything else.

Going forward, Night In The Woods will be handled by Bethany and I. We’re not sure what that all means yet. This stuff takes time.

Thanks for your support over the years. We’re sorry to even have to say any of this. That’s all I can say at the moment. Thank you for your patience.

(Edit: since Zoe Quinn has deleted her Twitter account now, I'm going to re-type her statement as well)

Zoe Quinn's statement

I want to say upfront that I'm not saying this for anyone but me and the other people that I know have been hurt by him, and might in the future be hurt. I read Nathalie Lawhead's post about her rapist being an industry legend who took advantage of her and poisoned her career and it shook me to my core. Her waning health, her fear, the way she described all of it feeling like drowning... and my heart broke for her. Beyond that, I felt *ashamed*. So many of the little details, down to the timing, had been things I've gone through too, just a few months into my time as an indie game developer. And it's haunted me ever since. It's why I don't go to GDC anymore. I'm drowning too.

A few months into making games, I was sexually assaulted. My visa status was threatened if I told anyone, and he went out of his way to tell the community that I'd been falsely accusing him of rape when I hadn't said anything to anyone (but a third party who saw it happen firsthand confronted him about it the next day). This story isn't about him - after years of therapy and working on himself, he reached out and apologized for everything, and I've forgiven him. But that's the background to this story.

One month after the assault, I wanted to leave Toronto. I was scared, I couldn't sleep, and I almost killed myself over it. I had a suicide note and everything ready to go but I just didn't want to do that to my roommate.

Enter Alec Holowka. Yeah, the one from Aquaria and Night in the Woods. He was one person who I felt like, in my newly chosen field, had my back.

He talked about how great and cheap Winnipeg was and we flirted and talked on skype for hours. He knew I was in an incredibly vulnerable place and he asked me to come visit him in Winnipeg to see if I'd want to start an indie house there with the 3 friends I'd been talking about the idea with, and to see if the thing between us was as cool as it seemed at a distance. Two weeks. I'd buy the plane ticket there, he'd buy my plane ticket back. He knew i couldn't afford it otherwise so that was the deal.

I wouldn't get home for a month, and only then it was because my roommate used his miles to get me out of his apartment that he had physically confined me to.

While I was in Winnipeg he slowly isolated me from everyone else in my life while absolutely degrading me whenever we were alone. He convinced me to talk the 3 friends out of getting a shared place with me there. He convinced me to let him program my game instead of the friend I had been working with, despite many protests. He screamed at me for over an hour once because of the tone in my voice when I said hello. He wouldn't let me leave the apartment without him and refused to give me the code to get in.

About the sexual assault, he blamed me. He said he was jealous of me, to be wanted like that. He'd bring it up during sex, where he'd regularly be mean and violent. He told me he loved me, in a way no one else would, because he could see that I was terrible and he loved me anyway. And I bought it, because that's how you feel when you're recovering from being sexually assaulted.

I spent a lot of that month hiding from him in the bathroom. His moods would shift and he'd throw things and hurt himself seemingly at random and blame me. He'd jam his fingers inside me and walk me around the house by them when I told him it hurt.

I was scared to leave. I was scared to tell anyone. He'd act normal when other people were around and lay into me as soon as we were alone, then apologize and say how much he needed and loved me. I got even more scared when the two weeks had passed and he kept putting off the agreed plane ticket home. I spent a lot of that time hiding in the bathroom from him. My roommate started to get scared and asked me if I needed help getting out. I said yes, and Alec barely looked at me as I left.

When I got home, I sent a cordial and friendly break up email. He lashed out and banned me from an indie games community he ran, banned himself, then went to other industry legends asking them to help him kill himself because I was such a bitch. He made sure to blacklist me at important industry events. He tried to ruin the career I'd barely started. To a degree it worked.

The night GG started I vaguebooked about it without specifying which ex and two other women in games immediately messaged me to ask if it was Alec. He'd done similar things to them. They knew he'd been fixated on me and were also too afraid to speak up about an industry legend.

It's been the better part of a decade and I'm still afraid of him. Too afraid to speak out, especially because I've gone through so much publicly, like people will just roll their eyes and ignore me as if there's some karmic limit on how much bad shit can happen to someone before people stop listening. I'm afraid that people will care more about their love of Night in the Woods than they will about the safety and truths of women and non-binary people in games.

I'm still afraid of him. I'm afraid of telling anyone about him. I'm afraid of how many indies have seen this behavior and given him a pass. I'm afraid of being in the same room as him because I'm afraid he'll hurt me again. I'm afraid of all the developers who watched this happen, and watched him scream abuse at another woman out front of Moscone during GDC.

But being silent for years has been worse than the fear. I skipped the last 2 GDCs because I couldn't risk being around him or seeing everyone clap for him on stage. Especially not people who know.

I don't wish any ill will on anyone. I know Alec is likely not well and I will always believe in rehabilitation over punishment. I don't want anything bad to come of this to his collaborators who may not know any of this. But I've watched enough of the big names in the indie community know about him - so much so that the reaction to his first meltdown about me was "oh well that's Alec what can you do" - and I've seen enough to know nothings going to happen about this particular broken stair unless someone says something. But we're all scared. I'm scared. A big childish part of me has been hoping people would somehow start caring or figure it out on their own.

But feeling like a coward in the face of Nathalie's strength, feeling like I have to hide from my own life because it's not safe and I can't tell anyone *why* I'm hiding, of knowing I wasn't the first or last, of drowning, that's too much for me to keep carrying with me. I just want the other boot to drop so I can breathe again. I don't want another new dev to get hurt and hear the same "oh that's just how he is" after the fact that I did. I want to breathe again.

65 comments

  1. [17]
    imperialismus
    Link
    Such a sad story for everyone involved. I guess this is the problem with this kind of thing - how are you and I supposed to determine what’s the truth in a case like this? Someone makes an...

    Such a sad story for everyone involved. I guess this is the problem with this kind of thing - how are you and I supposed to determine what’s the truth in a case like this? Someone makes an accusation (as far as I can tell one named person made the accusation claiming several anonymous people had similar experiences), but there is no actual trial. The accused gets tried and convicted in the court of public opinion immediately and then... Commits suicide.

    You and I don’t really have any way of telling what really transpired. The statement from Holowka’s sister acknowledges a dark side but doesn’t go into any details. The other supporting statements are basically ‘a person who knew the accused believes the account even though they didn’t personally witness the events’ and ‘anonymous people who allegedly knew the accused were also abused.’

    I feel like I have no right to actually make a judgment on what was actually happened. And I don’t want to seem like I don’t think that victims of abuse should be able to speak out about it. But on the other hand, this climate where a public accusation has the same social (if not legal) effects as a conviction at court seems... Not ideal.

    So. I don’t have a conclusion, I just want to say this whole thing feels bad for everyone involved.

    20 votes
    1. [16]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      Yeah, and social media has certainly increased the speed of it recently as well as how much of it happens in public view, but overall I don't know if much about the process and effects has changed...

      Yeah, and social media has certainly increased the speed of it recently as well as how much of it happens in public view, but overall I don't know if much about the process and effects has changed in a lot of cases. Previously, the accusations often would have gone through the press (which, you'd hope, would verify them as much as possible), but would often still end up with companies cutting ties with the accused in a very public way without a real court process or anything similar being involved.

      In this case, some of the corroborators were other well-known indie developers such as Matt Thorson, who made Celeste and Towerfall. Some of their statements were quite vague, but I believe that corroborations like that probably would have been enough for press to trust a story like this as well if they had contacted those past collaborators during fact-checking.

      I shouldn't speculate much, but from his sister saying, "he felt he had lost too much," I suspect what really drove Alec to despair was that he had been completely cut off from some of his biggest achievements with Night of the Woods, removed from a future project associated with it, and that his reputation would be ruined forever. It wasn't the publicness of the accusation that caused that to happen.

      I think in general, we also put a little too much reverence on the legal process. Despite it being rigorous, we still know very well that mistakes are made quite often, in both directions. People are convicted falsely, and others are exonerated for crimes they obviously committed. There are also tons of awful acts that people can commit that could never be proven to the legal process's standards, or that aren't even legally considered crimes despite being morally wrong. As an easy example, I think it's valuable for the public to know if someone is a virulent racist, even if (at least in the USA) that's not considered a crime.

      I don't know, I don't have a conclusion either. It's a horrible situation all around, but these kind of accusations are always going to be messy and awful no matter how it happens.

      22 votes
      1. [15]
        imperialismus
        Link Parent
        You can’t really separate the two when one directly led to the other. Also, the corroborating statement you mention amounts to, as far as I can tell, ‘I knew the accused and I believe the accuser,...

        I shouldn't speculate much, but from his sister saying, "he felt he had lost too much," I suspect what really drove Alec to despair was that he had been completely cut off from some of his biggest achievements with Night of the Woods, removed from a future project associated with it, and that his reputation would be ruined forever. It wasn't the publicness of the accusation that caused that to happen.

        You can’t really separate the two when one directly led to the other.

        Also, the corroborating statement you mention amounts to, as far as I can tell, ‘I knew the accused and I believe the accuser, but I am unwilling to offer any concrete details that corroborate the accuser’s narrative.’ I know courts aren’t perfect but that wouldn’t fly in a court. And I also recognize that just because something happened doesn’t necessarily mean you can produce evidence that would stand up in court after the fact... But neither does that fact mean that nonexistent evidence proves wrongdoing. Rather, it just leaves everything... Unclear.

        10 votes
        1. [14]
          mike10010100
          Link Parent
          IMO, if I'd been falsely accused of something, I would stick it out to clear my name, even if it cost me my livelihood in the short-term. I'd be up-front, public, and actively call for an...

          IMO, if I'd been falsely accused of something, I would stick it out to clear my name, even if it cost me my livelihood in the short-term. I'd be up-front, public, and actively call for an investigation into my behavior, apologizing for any pain I may have caused people.

          It's why I think Al Franken absolutely committed offenses against those women. He didn't stick it out for an actual investigation. He resigned before one could take place.

          At the end of the day, I live my life up front and out in the open. If someone were to falsely accused me of something I didn't do, I would trust that the people I know and who know me would demand the same investigation. No matter what, both I and they would want the truth to shine though.

          1 vote
          1. [13]
            imperialismus
            Link Parent
            Ok, but that’s you. You can’t use your hypothetical reaction to a hypothetical scenario to judge a person innocent or guilty of an actual accusation.

            Ok, but that’s you. You can’t use your hypothetical reaction to a hypothetical scenario to judge a person innocent or guilty of an actual accusation.

            26 votes
            1. [12]
              mike10010100
              Link Parent
              I'm not. Nor am I claiming that I did so in this case. This case is far different from the Al Franken case, or the Weinstein case, or the Epstein case. The point though is that it's one more data...

              I'm not. Nor am I claiming that I did so in this case. This case is far different from the Al Franken case, or the Weinstein case, or the Epstein case. The point though is that it's one more data point to put into the constellation of accusations, and should not be disregarded.

              2 votes
              1. [11]
                imperialismus
                Link Parent
                I don’t think ‘I believe I would have reacted differently in a hypothetical scenario which I have not experienced’ is a valid data point. It’s entirely hypothetical, and even if it were not,...

                I don’t think ‘I believe I would have reacted differently in a hypothetical scenario which I have not experienced’ is a valid data point. It’s entirely hypothetical, and even if it were not, people react in different ways to the same circumstances.

                14 votes
                1. [10]
                  mike10010100
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  That's fair. But I have seen people react to real and false claims against them in the public light, and more often than not, the false claims are followed by what is essentially "I'm sorry for...

                  That's fair. But I have seen people react to real and false claims against them in the public light, and more often than not, the false claims are followed by what is essentially "I'm sorry for the pain and want to get to the bottom of this" while the true claims are followed by either silence, bombastic outrage, or denials.

                  Kavanaugh lied through his teeth about common slang terms, broke into tears and claimed his accuser was simply a Clinton puppet, for example.

                  In the opposite manner, the person who was trying to accuse public figures of sexual assault (I'm blanking on his name, he was a right-wingers who claimed he had been in contact with an accuser) was almost immediately debunked and laughed at, while the accuser rightfully asked for an investigation.

                  The fact is that very few people would put themselves into a situation where they were open to receiving many death threats for absolutely nothing.

                  1. [9]
                    vakieh
                    Link Parent
                    How do you know what is a real and false claim to judge the reaction to those claims?

                    How do you know what is a real and false claim to judge the reaction to those claims?

                    11 votes
                    1. [8]
                      mike10010100
                      Link Parent
                      I have only my senses. If those are lying to me, then I have the senses of others. If those are lying to everyone, then there is functionally no difference, and the point is moot.

                      I have only my senses. If those are lying to me, then I have the senses of others. If those are lying to everyone, then there is functionally no difference, and the point is moot.

                      1. [7]
                        vakieh
                        Link Parent
                        ? Your senses don't lie to you, but last I checked you don't have truthsense. You have sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. What you're actually using is interpretation, and that is far more...

                        ?

                        Your senses don't lie to you, but last I checked you don't have truthsense. You have sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

                        What you're actually using is interpretation, and that is far more fallible. Failing to acknowledge that fallibility is dangerous.

                        9 votes
                        1. [6]
                          mike10010100
                          Link Parent
                          Truthsense comes from the ability of others to repeat, compare, and validate my senses. Truth is nothing but a consensus.

                          Truthsense comes from the ability of others to repeat, compare, and validate my senses. Truth is nothing but a consensus.

                          1. [5]
                            vakieh
                            Link Parent
                            No, truth is what happened. You don't know what happened, and to make out as if you do based on reading a twitter feed and making assumptions is just weird.

                            Truth is nothing but a consensus.

                            No, truth is what happened. You don't know what happened, and to make out as if you do based on reading a twitter feed and making assumptions is just weird.

                            8 votes
                            1. [4]
                              mike10010100
                              Link Parent
                              My apologies, I got confused and thought this was a discussion about naturalism and positivism that I was having in another thread. But in a very real sense, it also kind of applies here. I know...

                              My apologies, I got confused and thought this was a discussion about naturalism and positivism that I was having in another thread. But in a very real sense, it also kind of applies here.

                              I know what is real and false because of the eventual outcomes of their respective trials. Weinstein? Guilty. Epstein? Guilty. Kavanaugh? Guilty, if not of the rape he was accused of, then absolutely of lying through his teeth to cover it up and prevent the truth from coming to light.

                              1 vote
                              1. [3]
                                vakieh
                                Link Parent
                                Sounds like you're basing your truth on the outcome of a trial. Why not just let trials sort out these cases then?

                                Sounds like you're basing your truth on the outcome of a trial. Why not just let trials sort out these cases then?

                                7 votes
                                1. [2]
                                  mike10010100
                                  Link Parent
                                  I'm basing my truth on the body of public evidence.

                                  I'm basing my truth on the body of public evidence.

                                  1. vakieh
                                    Link Parent
                                    You're making assumptions that said body of public evidence is correct, when a cursory observation of history says it often isn't.

                                    You're making assumptions that said body of public evidence is correct, when a cursory observation of history says it often isn't.

                                    9 votes
  2. [5]
    Octofox
    Link
    This is why I don't engage in social media drama. We only get to see a tiny part of the story which is not enough to make a proper judgement. Really the original story should have never been...

    This is why I don't engage in social media drama. We only get to see a tiny part of the story which is not enough to make a proper judgement. Really the original story should have never been posted around until the courts had made their judgement.

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      Did your comment get marked as noise? It appeared collapsed to me by default despite my never having seen it before, yet it doesn't come off as deserving a noise label to me.

      Did your comment get marked as noise? It appeared collapsed to me by default despite my never having seen it before, yet it doesn't come off as deserving a noise label to me.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'll volunteer that I was one of the people that Noise-labeled it. The most charitable way I could interpret someone talking about "until the courts had made their judgement" was that they were...

        I'll volunteer that I was one of the people that Noise-labeled it. The most charitable way I could interpret someone talking about "until the courts had made their judgement" was that they were commenting about a situation they were completely ignorant about. The accusations include situations that happened almost 10 years ago in private, in a different country. There's no court case coming out of this, so they were talking about something completely irrelevant, and not contributing anything of value to the discussion.

        Scott Benson's Kickstarter update that I posted below does a good job of explaining why those kind of expectations don't make much sense in reality.

        9 votes
        1. LukeZaz
          Link Parent
          This makes sense, yeah. I do think the rest of the comment in question did provide some value though; if started, I think a good discussion could be had about where, when and what judgement is...

          This makes sense, yeah. I do think the rest of the comment in question did provide some value though; if started, I think a good discussion could be had about where, when and what judgement is appropriate when stories like those come up.

          ...that said, other comments are doing much better jobs of spurring that discussion, so I'm not really sure.

          1 vote
        2. CrazyOtter
          Link Parent
          I'll volunteer that I was the one who gave it an exemplary tag. Your response is good, but the noise tag was unneeded.

          I'll volunteer that I was the one who gave it an exemplary tag. Your response is good, but the noise tag was unneeded.

  3. [3]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    I missed this statement at the time, but before Alec's death was announced, Scott Benson had made a large backers-only update on the Night in the Woods Kickstarter with a lot more information...

    I missed this statement at the time, but before Alec's death was announced, Scott Benson had made a large backers-only update on the Night in the Woods Kickstarter with a lot more information about the whole situation and some good insight about the nature of accusations and abuse like this. It's long, but I highly recommended reading it:

    Hey all. This update is going to be very difficult. Thanks for your understanding in advance. If you're in need of content warnings- there's going to be mentions of sexual abuse, abuse in general, suicide, etc

    This week allegations of abuse came to light against Alec Holowka, coder/composer/co-designer of NITW. Since then several other people have stepped forward, detailing issues of varying levels of severity that stretch right up to today. As a result, we won't be working with Alec anymore. Let's talk about that. And please do read through all the way before commenting.

    There's a decent amount about every life, relationship, and project that anyone who isn't involved directly will never know about. As you can imagine there's tons of things about NITW development that never made it to the internet in a post somewhere. Just like your life, or job, or family, or the things you work on. We've had a complicated relationship with Alec, one that was at times extremely difficult, but we have always cared about him, and we did some pretty great work together if I do say so myself. Sometime in the future we'll probably have to go into detail about that difficult history. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it now. But I'll just ask you to keep that in mind. 

    I'll keep this all brief (edit- i just finished writing and i did not keep it brief but it could have easily been 3 times as long). It will surely fail to answer every question you might have. Bear with me.

    When we met Alec in 2013 he was a different guy than he is now. We jumped into this kickstarter only knowing each other for a couple brief months. We didn't expect it to change our lives and bind us into a team for half a decade. Despite us being very different people, Alec and I have always gotten along. And I really respect his work and his can-do spirit. He's just up for making things, figuring out problems, suggesting cool ways to accomplish something. And his music is great too, which is something a whole lot of people would agree on. And beyond that he was very open to Bethany and I taking lead on narrative, characters, world, art, writing, etc.  For that we're grateful and we have some really fond memories of working with him.

    But about a year or so into the project we began realizing that Alec was a bit unstable, often lashing out at people he lived with. We heard through him and some others that he had some pretty volatile dating relationships. Nothing that said /abuse/, just hey there's a lot of drama here. During the next couple of years Alec's instability would lead to his leaving the indie house space in Vancouver he'd been a part of for years and heading to Winnipeg. We took the brunt of this as well. Things got very bad with both him and NITW development and we were honestly making worst case scenario plans by the end of 2015. The story of how NITW was saved late that year gets very personal for me and is all too close still. I'll tell it someday, maybe soon. I don't tend to talk about my own trauma shit often. But it was then I started having very bad no-joke-actual-medical-issue panic attacks daily, which happened on and off until mid 2017, and with one exception haven't returned. Until the past week.

    But beginning in this bad time for Alec in 2015 (and he's publicly talked about this, we're not dropping confidential info) he went through a good month or so of intense therapy and diagnosis. He emerged from that, honestly putting in the work, putting a lot of that past self behind him, staying up on therapy and meds. We were so proud of him. And relieved. By 2016 he was basically a new person, and we really got to be friends then I think, and we finished up NITW. Since then we've kept in touch, saying hey when we're in the same place once a year or so, and recently we've been working weekly on that backer game, which we were all very excited about (more on that later). We were just relieved what with how rocky things had started that we'd all made it out of this with a game we could be proud of, and also that Alec was doing well.

    In the past couple of years he got his own game studio thing going with various great people, making games that from what I've seen look very cool. He's been really interested in making good shit with good people. I was honestly just so happy and proud of the guy. I still am, for the ways in which he actually did change, and for the work he's made.

    This all came crashing down recently, culminating in this week.

    I'm not going to root through everything in there and give a line by line analysis, but I'll say that enough of the allegations are extremely plausible and just about all of it we've corroborated with other sources. I'm not going to list those out here, this isn't a trial, and we don't /owe/ the internet a comprehensive accounting of why so many people who have known Alec for years have looked at the accusations and believed them.

    Seriously, what you see on twitter isn't representative of real life. It's just what makes it into posts. When people who have years-long real life experience with the guy, people who knew him in different situations, locations, ages, and contexts, all say the same thing, you can assume there's more to this than you'd know from outside the situation, taking it in 280 characters at a time.

    Whatever happened years ago, this week a contractor working for Alec, whom we know and trust, has come forward with her own experiences with Alec. [Deimos: archived images - one / two] Others have talked about how Alec's conduct towards women was something whispered around at game events. A woman I've known for a while got in touch with us this week talking about how she's been told many times not to be alone in a room with him. Men have gotten in touch about working with Alec and the things that happened to them there. There are other things, things from people we trust, things you'll probably never hear about. But honestly just being a really shitty boss, as detailed by Albertine, is probably enough for us to separate from him alone. To say nothing of the far more serious allegations out there. Multiple people are afraid to run into the guy at different conferences. We were with him at some of those conferences. Now knowing that people were afraid to approach us and say hello eats at me.

    The things that Alec did during the bad times were worse than we knew, and he's still being abusive in other ways to those around him. We didn't know. We feel like idiots. We feel betrayed. We're sad and angry. We put in the work with him during those really bad times. It's hard to talk about, and everyone really wants us to talk about it. They want detailed accountings of every aspect. Some people want to know exactly what we knew and when so they can figure out who around him is most complicit. Some people want us to give them hard evidence, as if such a thing was even possible, or as if it would appropriate to give them in the first place. Some people randomly doubt all of this because nobody had Alec arrested, which shows a weird understanding of the reality of human relationships and abuse that I can only assume comes from experience of the world via online chatter and a list of how things should work. The idea that there's a foolproof system in place that can stop this, can riddle it out, can tell us exactly who is and isn't guilty, a system which can set all this right. But it doesn't work like that in real life. Some of the demand for more info stems from the idea that if something is put out in public then any interested party is owed as much information as they want to work out their own stance and to judge ours. But at least for us the only reason we're working this out in public is because we have to. It was out there, and we've had to respond to it. Like we have to tell you now. And it's been like stabbing myself in the stomach every day to have to type words like this. To sum up- this isn't some "guilty til proven innocent" or "social media mob" thing for us. There's years of real life context to this, involving lots of people who aren't even online or public about this, and the fact that some folks just found out about it this week doesn't mean it began there. It's just when it became public.

    If I sound grouchy about that aspect of things, it's because all week I've felt awful about this and I've had more than enough people yelling at me that we've flippantly decided to ditch Alec, simply because they're clueless about the larger situation here and unable to accept that their vantage point on the thing is extremely limited. It wasn't just a callout post that made this happen. More people than us are destroyed about this situation this week. It isn't some "sjws vs gamers" war thing for us, no matter how many people online might make it that for themselves. We weren't duped by some grifter and then went on to suddenly dump a long-time collaborator. We aren't trying to prove a point or appease a mob or show we're great. Whenever someone has praised me for Taking A Stand or whatever this week I just feel gross. None of this feels good. There isn't one good thing about this. I don't feel brave or honest. I just feel horrible. A real life friend and coworker did some really bad shit, years ago and now, and all of us in the blast radius are just heartbroken. We've got a right to be angry, to make decisions, and to grieve.

    But that's the rest of the internet. Just about all of you we've been in touch with this week have been wonderful. And for that I can only say I'm beyond grateful. We've needed it.

    So here are some questions and answers:

    Did you fire Alec?

    No. Infinite Fall isn't a company, it's a name we adopted for our team. There's no salary to cut. There's no Infinite Fall bank account, not Infinite Fall HQ. Our merch operation is already something that just Bethany and myself do, aside from sales of the soundtrack digitally and on vinyl. It's more like a band broke up or something.

    Did you not-fire him over baseless allegations?

    No, it was a combination of a lot of things from several parties and our experiences going back years. It sucked. You just saw some of it on twitter, or on here. I hope I've been clear enough about that.

    Don't you know (whichever accuser) is a LIAR?

    Well I guess you'll be happy to know this is more complex than any one person's accusation. At this point it's a much larger thing. It sucks. I hate this.

    Does Alec get money from the game?

    Yes, from game sales and soundtrack sales. That's all we can say for now. We'll update you when and if thing change. But we're not like unilaterally cutting off Alec's revenue share or something.

    How can you work on NITW things just by yourselves?

    If you want to get all legalese about it, I have since the start owned the NITW IP. Our work with Alec was for the game. When people email us wanting to buy the rights to a movie or tv show (which has happened!) it's Bethany and I that say no. When Tom Delonge's business partner gets in touch wanting to make NITW merch for Hot Topic (which totally happened!) it's Bethany and I who say no but still tell the story whenever we get a chance.

    What did you each do on the game?

    We've gotten this question a lot this week, which I understand. Alec was coder, composer, and co-designer. I co-wrote the story with Bethany, who was also our researcher. Her hometown experiences in rural Central PA were a big part of the story, along with mine in the 20 years I've lived in Western PA along the Rt 22 corridor from Altoona right on to Pittsburgh. From that stuff sprung a lot of the world of Possum Springs. Additionally, I did art, character design, area design, wrote just about all of the dialogue, and co-designed the game with Alec. I can't code though so all credit Alec for making this monster of a thing work. Em Halberstadt was sound designer. Jon Manning worked on our dialogue tool Yarn Spinner and did some other crucial work since. I am probably forgetting some people. It's been a long day.

    Can you remove Alec's work from the game?

    No! And we wouldn't if we could. Alec did amazing work, and we made something cool together. Whatever he did outside of the game, his work is his. We feel pretty strongly about that.

    Can I get a refund due to all of this shit?

    No, it's been 6 years, game's been out for 2.5 of those years.

    What about the last backer rewards??

    I'm finishing the book, it's cool. It's square! There's talk of a print version later? Really thinking about doing that, which would be exciting during any other week. Because of cutting ties with Alec we can't deliver the short backer game we were working on. This kills me. We were actually working with Albertine on that one too. Wren from our new studio as well, we were scheduled to get into concept work this week. Everyone is pretty depressed about that. That being said, we do have an epilogue in us, which is what the game was turning out to be. There's an excellent chance that will see the light of day in a different form.

    Why can't you just get someone else to do Alec's part on the backer game?

    Because it's Alec's too. Our design work together is basic to what these games are. And his music. We can't just hire some random person to fill that role. Nor do we want to.

    What form will the epilogue take instead?

    I don't know. We have some rad ideas. Like the book, they'd probably be exciting to me right now if not for this week. It'll be exciting again. Soon.

    Are updates still going to happen?

    Sure! At least until a lot of what's going on gets figured out and put to bed. What with that book and epilogue... thing... there's more to talk about.

    How should I feel about Night In The Woods?

    We can't tell you how to feel about it. Or about any of this. Night In The Woods's story, characters, ideas, and world came from a very personal place for Bethany and I, and a lot of what's in the game is pulled pretty directly from our lives, from ourselves, and from the people we know. And this has connected with thousands and thousands of people. That's a good thing. That's one of the best things, to be honest. And you helped that happen. You can be happy about that. I'm happy about that. What you experience when you experience art is yours. Nothing can take that away. It's not owned by us. You may not care about any of this, and that's fine. This may have ruined the whole thing for you. You may be able to separate out the elements that other people worked on and still feel a connection to those. Whatever it is, that's valid. The game still means the world to us. It was a personal thing we never thought anyone would care about, and yet they did. I'm sad that one of our collaborators turned out to be so abusive, but life isn't always what you want it to be. I'm still very proud of what we made, and I hope it continues to connect with people for a long time to come.

    How did Alec do all of these things to multiple people over several years and it never went public?

    Well, most things that happen in the world don't get written about on the internet. So there's that. But also the nature of abuse is often such that each person feels like they're the only ones receiving the abuse at any given time, and when the abuse stops happening to them they can easily believe it stopped altogether, because most people aren't sitting around comparing abuse notes. And often when multiple people ARE being abused in some fashion, there are extenuating circumstances keeping the abuser from being held accountable- finances, a job, a living situation, fear of retaliation or personal loss, etc. And abuse can often just catch people off guard or wear people down to the point where they don't fight back in the ways that a Logical Outside Party might see as common sense. This is why there are abuse counselors and people who specialize in this, because this shit is complicated in 1000 terrible ways and most abuse never gets made public in any setting. Often the abused will just feel ashamed. Or alone. Or helpless. Or straight up terrified and at risk. And a lot of times the abused will still really care about the abuser. Another thing that happens with a lot of abusers is they, consciously or not, farm out responsibility for their actions to someone else. So for example if an abuser threatens to kill themselves and places the responsibility for stopping that on someone else, a lot of people will do anything to help the abuser. It becomes your responsibility to fix the situation, your fault if it all goes wrong.

    I have spent much of the past week fighting the urge that I am somehow, somehow, responsible for all of this.

    Beyond that, often people will know about the abuse and cover for the abuser, for a variety of reasons both understandable and downright evil. Whole networks of abusers cover each other's asses. Sometimes people profit off of the abuse of others. There are any number of reasons why so much awful shit that people do to other people isn't visible until maybe someday it boils over and you suddenly find out that you and a dozen other people talk about the same person at therapy.

    Are you depressed?

    I am very depressed right now.

    What happens now?

    Things are still happening with this whole godawful situation. Regardless, Bethany and I will continue working on our NITW things. I'll be back here with updates as things happen. Mostly right now we're just really torn up. We're angry, we're sad, we're worried about basically all parties involved, we mostly just need a nap.

    I'll be checking the comments here for the next few days but try to remember we're pretty rattled and raw right now.

    Thank you for understanding, and for your support over the years. I'm going to be a dork and ask for your support now.

    thanks.

    <3

    -scott

    14 votes
    1. [2]
      no_exit
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Scott posted a longer piece on Medium yesterday that fully details his experience working with Holowka on NITW. Hopefully, some people will read it and reconsider their complaints about publicly...

      Scott posted a longer piece on Medium yesterday that fully details his experience working with Holowka on NITW. Hopefully, some people will read it and reconsider their complaints about publicly airing behavior that affected so many people. Maybe they'll even stop concern trolling about 'actual victims.'

      4 votes
      1. Deimos
        Link Parent
        Thanks, that's a really great writeup too. I can't imagine how difficult this whole situation has been for Scott (not even just the last week, but going on for years), and it's incredibly...

        Thanks, that's a really great writeup too. I can't imagine how difficult this whole situation has been for Scott (not even just the last week, but going on for years), and it's incredibly admirable that he's been willing to go through the additional pain and risk of doing so much writing about it to try to make it more understandable for people on the outside.

        2 votes
  4. [13]
    markh
    Link
    I don’t know if I can articulate my thoughts correctly, but I’m going to try my best. I think people have a hard time finding perspective. From the outside, situations like gamergate seem so odd....

    I don’t know if I can articulate my thoughts correctly, but I’m going to try my best.

    I think people have a hard time finding perspective. From the outside, situations like gamergate seem so odd. But when you’re attached to and invested in some drama - I guess specifically Zoe Quinn’s allegation - you can sometimes feel like it is your duty as an individual to seek some kind of truth. And the more you invest your time into reading about and participating in the discussion, the more real it feels.

    But imagine a scenario in which you couldn’t immediately reach a thousand people who are all saying, “You’re right! Zoe Quinn is a fucking liar!” or “Exactly! Alec Holowka is a rapist!”. That echo chamber and that “us vs. them” mentality is toxic. By disengaging from participating in those, your role in the situation becomes passive instead of active. That changes things, because for most people, you were never actively involved. What if some event from your past was made public? Is there any scenario in which thousands of screaming voices could help the situation?

    I don’t think so. There’s no good to be had here. Not for Ms. Quinn, certainly not for Mr. Holowka, and not for anyone else invested in this situation either.

    Is there a solution? I honestly don’t know. Sexual harassment is a traumatic experience. It’s complicated and it’s not the same for everyone. It’s easy to say, “Make it easier for people to come forward”, but it’s also very difficult to come forward, and a lot of times coming forward results in no result at all.

    I don’t have a solution. But I think there is a question that people aren’t asking often enough: Why do I have to take a stance on this? Is it okay to say, “I don’t know.”?

    13 votes
    1. [9]
      tesseractcat
      Link Parent
      I think a lot of people believe saying "I don't know" is a stance.

      Is it okay to say, “I don’t know.”?

      I think a lot of people believe saying "I don't know" is a stance.

      9 votes
      1. [8]
        Wes
        Link Parent
        Maybe, but I believe a lot of those comments are really saying "We can't know, so let's not even entertain the notion". And that's something that sounds like "I don't know", but is really "I don't...

        Maybe, but I believe a lot of those comments are really saying "We can't know, so let's not even entertain the notion". And that's something that sounds like "I don't know", but is really "I don't believe you".

        12 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          As I see it, there are a couple of easy cases: You don't have to pass judgement on everything you read about on the Internet. This is important because it's impossible to keep up with everything,...

          As I see it, there are a couple of easy cases:

          • You don't have to pass judgement on everything you read about on the Internet. This is important because it's impossible to keep up with everything, or learn enough about specific cases to make an informed decision.

          • When interacting with people it's polite to assume they are sincere. You can still privately withhold judgement.

          After that comes the hard cases where you actually are involved, or feel like you should step in, and you do have to make a decision based on sketchy data. But the easy cases are often enough when discussing distant events.

          3 votes
        2. [6]
          mike10010100
          Link Parent
          This, exactly. That's why you can say "I don't know" while still believing victims.

          This, exactly. That's why you can say "I don't know" while still believing victims.

          1 vote
          1. [5]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            I'm not sure what you mean? It seems like reserving judgement isn't believing?

            I'm not sure what you mean? It seems like reserving judgement isn't believing?

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              mike10010100
              Link Parent
              Judgement and its reservation is regarding the accused. Believing is regarding the accuser. Both can exist simultaneously.

              Judgement and its reservation is regarding the accused. Believing is regarding the accuser. Both can exist simultaneously.

              1. [3]
                vivaria
                Link Parent
                I feel like we've gotten off-track here. I thought the OP was saying "I don't know" as in "I personally don't know what a good solution to this problem is" rather than "I don't know what really...

                I feel like we've gotten off-track here. I thought the OP was saying "I don't know" as in "I personally don't know what a good solution to this problem is" rather than "I don't know what really happened here between the accuser and the accused."

                6 votes
                1. [2]
                  mike10010100
                  Link Parent
                  Ah, got it. My bad. 🙃

                  Ah, got it. My bad. 🙃

                  1 vote
                  1. vivaria
                    Link Parent
                    All good! Happens with these deep threads. It's like a game of internet forum telephone. :)

                    All good! Happens with these deep threads. It's like a game of internet forum telephone. :)

                    1 vote
    2. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Of course it’s okay. But nobody retweets “okay” and there’s the problem.

      Of course it’s okay. But nobody retweets “okay” and there’s the problem.

      3 votes
    3. [2]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      The more I’m thinking about this, the more an absolute stance like “social media itself is the problem” becomes reasonable. Basically just contacting - even indirectly - millions of people over...

      The more I’m thinking about this, the more an absolute stance like “social media itself is the problem” becomes reasonable. Basically just contacting - even indirectly - millions of people over night is a very powerful force. No doubt a force that can be used for good, but we probably need some standards and a way to enforce them. I also think that, if social media companies don’t figure this out for themselves, government regulation will jump in. It’s urgent and inevitable.

      3 votes
      1. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Social media has always been a problem. People need a community, they need a place where they belong. This is then often centered around people who are beacons in that community, so people rally...

        Social media has always been a problem. People need a community, they need a place where they belong. This is then often centered around people who are beacons in that community, so people rally around them. Before social media this wasn't such a big problem, because communities were local and you usually had a good mix of opinions everywhere. With social media echo chambers have become more common across all spectrums of internet communities, and therefore more radicalized because people constantly agree with each other.

        I think it was the late Totalbiscuit who once said that you had to watch yourself like a hawk with your public statements, because he had a couple million followers, and if you said something negative, there was a good chance you sent your own rabid followers on someone without actually wanting to do so.

        I don't think the companies behind these platforms are going to do much fixing, because this kind of drama is exactly what drives engagement. How big do you think was the surge in activity after Lawhead released her blog post? How big was the second spike after Quinn made her tweet and Holowka was subsequently cut off from Night In The Woods? How many articles were written about this? Everyone participating is picking sides, those watching can't look away because it's raging dumpster fire, and everyone feels like they need to have an opinion.

        @markh said it pretty well that he wasn't sure if it was even okay to say "I don't know." We've gotten to a point that we question if it's okay to say "I don't know." and that's pretty bad.

        2 votes
    4. Removed by admin: 2 comments by 2 users
      Link Parent
  5. [3]
    Wes
    Link
    It looks like Zoe just deleted her Twitter account. I'm guessing due to some of the aforementioned disgusting responses to this news.

    It looks like Zoe just deleted her Twitter account. I'm guessing due to some of the aforementioned disgusting responses to this news.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's probably for the best, really. I re-typed Zoe Quinn's accusation into the bottom of the topic, since it's no longer accessible. Both other Night in the Woods creators seem to have deleted...

      That's probably for the best, really. I re-typed Zoe Quinn's accusation into the bottom of the topic, since it's no longer accessible.

      Both other Night in the Woods creators seem to have deleted their personal accounts as well - Scott Benson (@bombsfall) and Bethany Hockenberry (@cleodee).

      Alec Holowka's sister has also protected her account, so the original tweet isn't accessible any more either.

      9 votes
      1. WinterCharm
        Link Parent
        Probably for the best. Knowing the internet and how these things go, it will bring out all the angry people, the trolls, the instigators, the people who believe that attacking others only...

        Probably for the best. Knowing the internet and how these things go, it will bring out all the angry people, the trolls, the instigators, the people who believe that attacking others only tangentially related to this is justified... etc

        It's a horrible situation all around. I believe the victims and their accusations, but I also don't think that the accused's family deserves to be bullied or pestered by internet trolls while they are grieving. And I certainly don't think that victims deserve to be harassed or yelled at by trolls who will insist that they somehow caused this.

        4 votes
  6. [20]
    Heichou
    Link
    Christ. What drives people to oust these kinds of things on a public forum like this? Fucking ProJared came out the other day after months of silence and swiftly and respectfully cut down all the...

    Christ. What drives people to oust these kinds of things on a public forum like this? Fucking ProJared came out the other day after months of silence and swiftly and respectfully cut down all the dissent laid bare before him. But it was far too late. He lost friends, business ventures, and years off his fuckin' life from this extended virtual lynching. I know this subject matter is very tumultuous, as it's very much one's word against another's, but do people really have to take to Twitter? So many people will so easily and readily take up arms if it means they can virtue signal or be seen as the "good guy" regardless of the validity of any claims made. Such an easy and consequence-free method of completely fucking up somebody's life or career. I'd bet money on Alec having seen all of this he-said-she-said witch-hunting throughout this past year and being completely overwhelmed and dismayed at the utter shitstorm that would follow. It disgusts me how quickly people online will turn on one another if it means they can remain in favor of the amorphous, unflinching internet hivemind.

    6 votes
    1. [16]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      At the same time, do you not thing that's somewhat ridiculous from the other side? If someone rapes, or otherwise sexually harasses you, and then someone tells you "Hey, keep it on the down low,...

      At the same time, do you not thing that's somewhat ridiculous from the other side? If someone rapes, or otherwise sexually harasses you, and then someone tells you

      "Hey, keep it on the down low, okay? You might damage the reputation of your rapist"

      Victims should have the right, and the safety, to speak out against abuse they had.

      Of course, not all allegations are true, but we don't have a magic ball to tell us whose is lying and who isn't. And if you can prove they are lying, there are slander laws.

      13 votes
      1. [15]
        Heichou
        Link Parent
        There's got to be another way. The spectrum doesn't have to be "completely fucking over one side" or "completely ignoring the other side". I'm not trying to place blame on victims, but when false...

        There's got to be another way. The spectrum doesn't have to be "completely fucking over one side" or "completely ignoring the other side". I'm not trying to place blame on victims, but when false accusations are made, they can be extremely destructive. There has to be a better medium for this than Twitter.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          I certainly don't think Twitter is an optimal place to discuss anything, but what is "another way"? This is a complicated issue deeply rooted in human behavior. I really doubt there's any clear...

          I certainly don't think Twitter is an optimal place to discuss anything, but what is "another way"? This is a complicated issue deeply rooted in human behavior. I really doubt there's any clear cut magical solutions.

          Mainly I took issue with

          What drives people to oust these kinds of things on a public forum like this?

          Justice, warning, and a general right to tell your story? As we've seen with Epstein, sometimes you can be actually be convicted of statutory rape then serve 18 months of jail with permission to commute to an office during the week.

          The public outcry, and increased public support, also played a big part in why Weinstein faced the book.

          There are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone would want to post publically about their experiences.

          12 votes
          1. [2]
            Heichou
            Link Parent
            I understand what you mean. I really do. With the Epstein case, though, it was literally just money keeping him safe. I wouldn't put him on the level of people who can be held accountable on...

            I understand what you mean. I really do. With the Epstein case, though, it was literally just money keeping him safe. I wouldn't put him on the level of people who can be held accountable on Twitter. The world knew he was a criminal but nothing could be done because shit's fucked.

            I guess what I wish would be implemented, then, is real consequence for demonstrably false claims. I know ProJared is actually looking into a lawsuit for defamation, among other things. It sucks that these are essentially online hit & runs that can uproot someone's livelihood with so little as one poorly backed up claim

            2 votes
            1. mike10010100
              Link Parent
              Like, for example, getting so many threatening and disgusting tweets that you deactivate your social media accounts and essentially go offline? The fact is that the rate of false accusations is so...

              I guess what I wish would be implemented, then, is real consequence for demonstrably false claims.

              Like, for example, getting so many threatening and disgusting tweets that you deactivate your social media accounts and essentially go offline?

              The fact is that the rate of false accusations is so low as to be insignificant. Focusing on the handful that are false and demanding something be done about it really only hurts the victims.

              5 votes
        2. [7]
          no_exit
          Link Parent
          Given that false accusations are significantly more rare than unpunished sexual assault, the focus on them instead of the total failure of the legal system to handle these cases appropriately...

          I'm not trying to place blame on victims, but when false accusations are made

          Given that false accusations are significantly more rare than unpunished sexual assault, the focus on them instead of the total failure of the legal system to handle these cases appropriately reads as suspect, at best.

          12 votes
          1. [5]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            I would rather x amount of criminals go free than one innocent person to lose their life/freedom unjustly and that is how our justice system is supposed to work. Social media lynch mobs are not...

            I would rather x amount of criminals go free than one innocent person to lose their life/freedom unjustly and that is how our justice system is supposed to work.

            Social media lynch mobs are not the solution to the legal failures concerning sexual assault. It's not suspect for someone to be able to see that.

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              rkcr
              Link Parent
              That's a pretty extreme position to take. It's a fact that people are unjustly sentenced all the time, would that mean you would abolish the entire justice system?

              I would rather x amount of criminals go free than one innocent person to lose their life/freedom unjustly and that is how our justice system is supposed to work.

              That's a pretty extreme position to take. It's a fact that people are unjustly sentenced all the time, would that mean you would abolish the entire justice system?

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                Loire
                Link Parent
                It would mean that, had I the power and knowledge, yes, I would tear it down and begin anew.

                It would mean that, had I the power and knowledge, yes, I would tear it down and begin anew.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  rkcr
                  Link Parent
                  There's a lot I'd do differently if I were omnipotent but that's an unrealistic fantasy from which to form opinions about the real world.

                  There's a lot I'd do differently if I were omnipotent but that's an unrealistic fantasy from which to form opinions about the real world.

                  3 votes
                  1. Loire
                    Link Parent
                    You don't need to be omnipotent to create a better justice system than that currently.present in the United States. Some countries have done better.

                    You don't need to be omnipotent to create a better justice system than that currently.present in the United States. Some countries have done better.

                    1 vote
          2. Heichou
            Link Parent
            Fine. Rather than try to supplement a solution, I just want to express my sympathy for the few unfortunate victims who are suffering from people who abuse such serious issues as this to garner...

            Fine. Rather than try to supplement a solution, I just want to express my sympathy for the few unfortunate victims who are suffering from people who abuse such serious issues as this to garner attention or to feed hatred. It's disheartening to watch it unfold and to see the destruction it wreaks, and further places strain on actual victims

            3 votes
        3. [3]
          WinterCharm
          Link Parent
          In an ideal world, there would be. But often times, there really isn't. Often because reporting these things officially / through proper channels goes NOWHERE, or there is blackmail involved. This...

          There's got to be another way.

          In an ideal world, there would be. But often times, there really isn't. Often because reporting these things officially / through proper channels goes NOWHERE, or there is blackmail involved.

          This is why people advocate for better protection for victims, and people believing these accusations without needing 4 people to say "yeah, he did this to me, too" as a minimum/baseline. Then, when someone makes a report, we won't just ignore them, or tell them they imagined it.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            Heichou
            Link Parent
            My issue then, I suppose, is the unshakable ire of Twitter, and other open forums at large. If too many false accusations are put through, it may damage the reputation of an otherwise helpful tool...

            My issue then, I suppose, is the unshakable ire of Twitter, and other open forums at large. If too many false accusations are put through, it may damage the reputation of an otherwise helpful tool for those who need it. It's unfortunate to see people's lives being thrown away and having people quoting numbers or statistics to seemingly belittle or devalue a loss.

            2 votes
            1. WinterCharm
              Link Parent
              Absolutely. And ultimately that's what these platforms are risking with their policy of policing everything and policing nothing. I like that Tildes has taken the UI / UX approach to this problem....

              If too many false accusations are put through, it may damage the reputation of an otherwise helpful tool for those who need it.

              Absolutely. And ultimately that's what these platforms are risking with their policy of policing everything and policing nothing.

              I like that Tildes has taken the UI / UX approach to this problem. You cannot police everyone, but you can design a system that doesn't outright encourage brigading, groupthink, and mobs of angry people.

              1 vote
        4. Eva
          Link Parent
          I'm kinda doubtful of Quinn's accusation, personally, but... ...if someone is a rapist, they should have their 'side' completely fucked over. The ideal is jail, the minimum is never being able to...

          I'm kinda doubtful of Quinn's accusation, personally, but...

          ...if someone is a rapist, they should have their 'side' completely fucked over. The ideal is jail, the minimum is never being able to make minimum wage again off of selling things.

    2. [3]
      mike10010100
      Link Parent
      Desperation? Anger? Rage? Frustration? Hearing other people say "yeah, it happened to me too, but I don't want to cause a scene"? Thinking "this person has been doing this for some time to many...

      What drives people to oust these kinds of things on a public forum like this?

      Desperation? Anger? Rage? Frustration? Hearing other people say "yeah, it happened to me too, but I don't want to cause a scene"?

      Thinking "this person has been doing this for some time to many people and will probably do so again with absolutely no consequences"?

      If you had a chance to stop a serial sexual assaulter, would you not make it public?

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        Heichou
        Link Parent
        I'm not disregarding the utility of the method for those who genuinely need it. It's just shitty standing by and watching these lynch mobs erupt so readily and easily out of the woodworks and...

        I'm not disregarding the utility of the method for those who genuinely need it. It's just shitty standing by and watching these lynch mobs erupt so readily and easily out of the woodworks and adhering themselves to a position without doing any kind of research. It's worrying in that it might give other people who want to start shit like this an easy pass to defamation/libel/what-have-you. Further abuse of a method like this seems like it would reach a point where nobody would believe anything that anybody says, and there would still be no justice at all. rendering it useless for those who truly do need it. It is a very multi-faceted issue, and I won't act like I have a solution for it (and sorry if I initially came off that way), but it's just unsettling how much Twitter seems like an angry mob gnashing their teeth and biding their time until they get to be mad at the next big bad.

        3 votes
        1. mike10010100
          Link Parent
          How do you tell the difference between those who genuinely need it and those who do not? The option to respond with a libel/defamation always exists, and if someone feels wrongly accused, that is...

          How do you tell the difference between those who genuinely need it and those who do not?

          The option to respond with a libel/defamation always exists, and if someone feels wrongly accused, that is a perfectly valid response.

          Twitter, and the general public, will always be an angry mob. But we as a society are getting better and better about finding public figures who are trustworthy and are able to independently analyze the situation.

          6 votes
  7. Ripsta
    Link
    This is a sad situation. I really enjoy this song from Alex. I'd listen to it a lot when I was down.

    This is a sad situation. I really enjoy this song from Alex. I'd listen to it a lot when I was down.

    4 votes
  8. [3]
    no_exit
    Link
    Real excited ( /s ) for GamerGate 2.0 to kick off with Holowka as its martyred patron saint, all in time for the 2020 election.

    Real excited ( /s ) for GamerGate 2.0 to kick off with Holowka as its martyred patron saint, all in time for the 2020 election.

    5 votes
    1. Octofox
      Link Parent
      I checked 4chan and it is currently being branded as GG 2. Not sure if that will actually stick around though.

      I checked 4chan and it is currently being branded as GG 2. Not sure if that will actually stick around though.