Kotaku Apologizes For Publishing Fake News About Trans Troll Hoax
Vivian James Pissed Off
(Last Updated On: May 10, 2017)

Activism in place of journalism has been a cornerstone in the continuing decline of news media over the past years. This was recently made abundantly clear when Buzzfeed was tricked into publishing a fake news story about transgenders being denied entry into an ESL tournament for women only.

Infowars recounts how a group of trolls known as the “Rigatoni Family” took bad photos of themselves in wigs and tried to get into the ESL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament for women. The ESL denied them entry, and they expected as much, so they took their story to Buzzfeed in hopes of tricking them into publishing the fake news about the incident. They did.

As noted in the Infowars piece, Buzzfeed later updated the story saying they were tricked by trolls.

According to Sly Buehl Rigilio, he told Infowars…

“ We knew we were going to get declined into joining the tournament, so once we did get turned down, I then sent an email to a Buzzfeed “journalist” by the name of Lane Sainty to try and bait them into making a story out of it,”


[…] “We did nothing to hide our team name, which was “Rigatoni Family” and if you were to search that name into Google, you’d find our channel and website where we clearly are shit disturbers. It’s blatant negligence on the behalf of Buzzfeed and other news orgs that have since picked up the story, aka Fake News,”

In this case, a five second Google search could have helped Buzzfeed vet the story, but fact checking isn’t part of the news media agenda these days.

Had they fact-checked the Rigatoni family they would have discovered the YouTube channel called the “Rigatoni Family”, and this is the video on the main page.

However, the news on Buzzfeed was too good to pass up, even though it was clearly fake.

Kotaku, ever the defender of Social Justice Warrior rights, hopped right to it and Nathan Grayson – one of #GamerGate’s biggest targets and one of DeepFreeze’s biggest offenders of unethical journalism – quickly penned a piece to white knight for the supposed transgenders who were denied entry into an all-female ESL tournament.

The lack of fact-checking and the insistence of imbuing sociopolitical commentary and identity politics in the gaming industry came back to bite Kotaku hard. After Infowars published the piece notifying the world that Buzzfeed had been spearheaded a campaign of fake news, and all the SJW-related websites followed suit, Kotaku was forced to post an apology.

Grayson ceded the moral high ground to admit that they had fallen for publishing fake news, writing…

“This story seems to have been based on a hoax designed to get BuzzFeed and, by extension, other sites to publish an inaccurate news article. Sly Buehl Rigilio is quoted in a new article on Infowars saying that he and his friends posed as trans women to trick BuzzFeed “for the laughs.”


“When this sort of prank gains widespread publicity, it makes people and organizations more likely to distrust actual trans people. By failing to adequately vet this story, I gave it more publicity. This should never have made it to our site. We should have been more skeptical in reporting this story, and I apologize to our readers for this mistake.”

Kotaku wasn’t the only one who was bent on pushing fake identity political news into the news sphere. Mashable also joined in on the fray, only to have to later update their story as well.

After Kotaku’s article garnered a lot of negative feedback, Grayson took to Twitter to defend his position, chastising the trolls for proving that media journalism is highly unethical, writing…

“I should’ve vetted this story better, and I apologize, but also… 🎶people are garbage🎶


“it’s like, what the hell were you trying to prove? that the media is fallible? no shit, sherlock. beyond that, this hoax says nothing incisive or whatever about trans folks bc, well, the people who did this weren’t trans so in the end, all these people have proven is that assholes exist. what a revelation[.]


“silver lining to all of this: ESL tells me they’re sticking by their plan to create a more inclusive set of policies[.]”

The copy-and-paste mentality of current news media meant that the story gained just enough saturation before Infowars pulled the rug out from underneath them, proving that all the skepticism and reluctance that readers have of large, corporate owned, politically motivated media outlets is well warranted.

This also proves that #GamerGate is right again, and that there is a serious and troubling issue when it comes to ethics in media journalism.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • RichardGristle

    LOL maybe if these retarded “media” sites get tricked enough times and lose enough readership and credibility then they’ll start to actually source and fact-check their stories.


  • Horrorstorm

    Mentally ill cross dressing men should be denied access to a female gaming tournament.

    Hoax or not, this is what should happen.

  • Samuel Alterio

    If you can’t even manage to do a quick Google fact check before you run to publish, you are part of the problem.

  • AlecJ


    The laziness in not checking a single fact for your piece because it aligns with your fantasy world view….

    Kotaku is a disgrace.

  • Disqusted

    The only apology I’ll accept from Kotaku is their death certificate.

  • Mr.Towel

    Point flies two thousand feet over Nathan Grayson’s head. News at eleven.

    It’s so sad that frigging Infowars has more reliable journalism than our gaming press. They are below snake oil salesman.

  • anopolis

    “no shit sherlock”….well if you weren’t chuck full of stupid you wouldn’t have ran such a shit story. If you weren’t liberal twat you wouldn’t have given two shits. If you weren’t a stupid bag of dicks you wouldn’t look like a fucking fool. kotaku…FUCK YOU…I actually used to visit them…now I look forward to that particular site dying in a fire..

  • I really wanted to include a joke about Grayson having to apologize a second time to his kid down the road for all grief the kid would suffer due to Grayson and the kid’s mother’s unethical behavior; but Grayson would have to forfeit that opportunity, since he paid $800 to ensure that he would never have to apologize to his kid in person.

    But… it seemed too tacky, so it’ll just sit here in the comment section… where no one will read it.

  • GodBowser

    First a man manages to convince the femtards at the Mary Fail that he was a woman and got them to publish his articles and now this and I’m starting to wonder how gullible these regressive dumb asses really are

    Let’s play a little game of what if?

    Since Nut Job Wu is running for congress and some random person get’s in contact with him claiming that they have some dirt on his opponent

    Would he…

    A. Try to use this information against them without a second thought?

    B. Do some research to see if the information is correct before using it?

  • Fenrir007

    I hope this becomes increasingly common. Baiting the press should be a national sport.

  • Muten
    • This was on the official Capcom Pro Tour? Really? WHat stream was this? For uh… research purposes.

      • TylorW

        Gotcha, fam (they only have the matches on twitch, so I lucked out on Youtube). She makes her appearance @11:00 in the video.

        Also: Wasn’t KBrad always a Cammy guy?