A Gamasutra news piece by Katherine Cross attempted to paint Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft in a negative light as inciting harassment against a woman, developer Jennifer Scheurle. They retell a tale about Scheurle apparently being “attacked” by Notch’s followers from a tweet he sent her, only the tweet they attribute to Notch wasn’t the tweet he sent to Scheurle.
The piece was published on November 14th, 2016. It was yet another article about harassment in the gaming industry. However, one of the examples that Cross uses in the article, is undermined by the fact that the facts don’t line up.
Cross wrote in the piece…
“Jennifer Schuerle’s remarks were, on the whole, more searing, as she had never spoken about her own experience of online harassment in public before a physical audience before.
[…] “She’d posted a funny image of a statue that she’d dubbed “Mansplaining: the statue.” As the tweet blew up, it caught the attention of Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft and, of late, Twitter edgelord. He attacked Scheurle to his 4 million followers and mocked her by saying she was “cuntsplaining.” This would sire a weeks-long flood of rape and death threats that left Scheurle frightened and adrift. She said she was continuing to “feel isolated and disconnected from the people I love.”
Kotaku in Action user B-Volleyball-Ready pointed out that Notch never said what the article claims he said.
It turns out that Markus “Notch” Persson never “attacked” Scheurle with the language that the article claims. In fact, you can see the response tweet he made to Scheurle back on May 21st, 2016.
The tweet has since been deleted.
Notch did, however, make a tweet using the epithet that was mentioned in the Gamasutra piece, but it wasn’t toward Scheurle, it was toward a completely different person.
A Twitter user named MancZombie posted the following tweet, and Notch responded to it — the tweets have since been deleted — on May 22nd, 2016.
So the Gamasutra piece is referencing deleted tweets made a day later to a different person.
Even more than that they’re attributing completely different tweets under different contextual purposes toward a completely different person.
It spread quickly around by normal people that the article was incorrect in its labeling of Markus “Notch” Persson for having attacked Scheurle, but at the time of publishing this article the Gamasutra article has not been updated to reflect the inaccuracy.
“Game journalists” like Andy chalk from PC Gamer were quick to condemn Notch based on the misinformation.
If your best defense when accused of saying “cuntsplaining” is that it was actually “cuntfusing,” maybe just take the rest of the day off.
— Andy Chalk (@AndyChalk) November 15, 2016
Notch has since shrugged off the attack on his character that turned out not to be true.
I was unable to reach out to Katherine Cross to suggest corrections because she has me blocked on Twitter.