NeoGaf owner Tyler Malka avoided making a public statement about the sexual misconduct allegations leveled at him over the weekend. However, he did respond to inquiries from Vice’s Waypoint, and in an article published on October 23rd, 2017, Malka denounced the accusations that were made against him, calling them “baseless” and “ridiculous”.
In a response to Vice’s Patrick Klepek, Malka curtly declared that the fallout is based on little more than a “deeply disturbed” and “malicious individual” taking advantage of the situation. He went on to say…
“It’s been a perfect storm of misanthropy and opportunism[;] totally ridiculous and baseless.”
Malka claimed that the original event described in the Facebook post that set everything in motion was wrong and that the way things took place was actually “harmonious” and “consensual”.
The article then captures more of the events and how they played out from budding filmmaker Ima Leupp, who claimed that she had no intentions of going on a trip with Malka to cheat on her boyfriend, especially since Malka and her boyfriend were friends at the time. She explained that during the trip to New Orleans back in 2015, things became uncomfortable when Malka attempted to step into the shower with her uninvited, but she still decided to give him a second chance…
“I pretty clearly remember closing the [bathroom] door, maybe not closing it all the way, but closing it enough so that I was protected. I wasn’t getting naked in front of him and then going ‘Oh, I’m going to puke. You wanna come in the shower with me? That’s fucking gross.”
[…] “I had no reason not to trust him still,”[…] “It was a creepy thing, but I tend to give people second chances. He had already invited me to go to E3.”
Malka’s claim that his intrusion was “consensual” as she was puking and taking a shower was rebuffed by Leupp who said he was “delusional” for thinking that. The article chronicles how the two further fell out during their E3 trip, with Malka calling her “hostile” and “bitter”, while she claimed that he became uncouth due to “feeling rejected”.
The rest of the article goes over some of Malka’s previous sexual misconduct claims, allegations, and instances that put the NeoGaf owner and the site in a bad light.
The article states that moderators stepped down one after another when no statements were made by Malka, and that it wasn’t just this incident that prompted the resignation, but also how Malka and the administrators brushed over the incident involving one of their former moderators being arrested for child pornography, something that gained just enough attention outside the forms thanks mostly to #GamerGate making people aware of the corruption hiding just beneath the surface of NeoGaf’s “progressive” exterior.
The mod team essentially said enough was enough. One moderator who spoke with Vice under anonymity, summed up how the rest of the staff felt by saying…
“Internet drama isn’t new to NeoGAF,” […] “but when the allegation is that the site owner sexually harassed someone, and it is allowed to spiral out of control to a point where it’s a really bad look, it’s hard to justify sticking around without a knowing that there’s a clear plan ahead. Not knowing how this would move forward is what sealed the deal for me. It’s impossible to moderate the forum in future in good faith when I’m unable to honestly answer valid questions people might have about this matter.”
Malka told Vice that it was just sociopolitical toxicity hitting a breaking point…
“A significant portion of the team stepped down in response to [the allegations],”[…] “and the rest of the negativity this year hitting a breaking point. 2017 has been depressing and toxic for moderation of social and political issues on a message board that’s supposed to be primarily about video games. I totally understand, and I don’t blame any of them for parting ways.”
“As for me, I have no reason to go hide under a rock, I’ll be at the helm as I always have.”
Malka and the former mod who was arrested for child porn came under heavy scrutiny and criticism due to the two of them being some of the most outspoken anti-#GamerGate members on NeoGaf, yet the two also have the most licentious news stories circulating their behavior. Many called it hypocritical for Malka and the other NeoGaf moderators to claim #GamerGate was a campaign about harassing women – and according to the FBI, it was not a campaign about harassing women – yet these sordid allegations constantly popped up surrounding the owner.
Malka was involved in several other incidents that have been chronicled around the web, and yet he was quick to point fingers at #GamerGate, ban discussion about the topic, and ban users for even considering being neutral about the subject matter. Perhaps the real issue was that #GamerGate’s aim to out corruption in the media industry seemed like a threat to skeletons in his own closet?
Nevertheless, Malka has brushed off the latest claims of sexual misconduct, just as he’s done in the past… even though the gaming community certainly isn’t letting it go.
The question is: will the feminists, Social Justice Warriors, progressives, Leftists, Liberals, and anti-#GamerGate journalists continue to support Malka and NeoGaf now that he’s denied a woman’s claim of sexual misconduct and refused to adhere to the “Listen and Believe” mantra? Or will they turn on him for not toeing the progressive line?
[Update:] During the writing of this article, the public statement from Malka was posted on NeoGaf, where he further dismisses Leupp’s claims as “allegations” from an “ex”…
“An allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against me by an ex. It’s not true, the individual making the accusation isn’t credible, the story doesn’t reconcile logically with the facts, and there’s plenty of evidence and witnesses to corroborate that. It’ll be a process.”
[…] “Since that whole mess, lasting from Friday morning through Saturday, before we formally went offline for maintenance and repair and restructure, we’ve just been trying to figure out the best course of action for NeoGAF going forward. And as stories began being published by various outlets, I issued some comments to the press, since everything coming out was proving to be sensationalized, opportunist, and unprofessional.
“We’ve all become increasingly stressed and weary this year in ways even I’m not accustomed to by now, and discussions on heated news, political issues, and social issues on the off-topic side of the site have become areas no one has wanted to moderate in the open for fear of backlash or just general exposure to the inevitable toxicity. I’ve gone in there myself to take the heat, since it’s very much my responsibility to do so before anyone else’s, but there’s been little headway, mostly just more anger and resentment and a lot of bans. I don’t think this necessarily reflects on our community; more so the tone of the entire internet this year with regards to heated issues.
“That’s all going to inform the way forward for NeoGAF as we refocus on what the main goals are supposed to be for the site.”