Influential gaming forum NeoGAF has returned, just days after an allegation of sexual misconduct against the site’s owner, Tyler “Evilore” Malka, saw the site taken offline.
Malka has now issued a statement on the incident: in short, he denies the allegation and NeoGAF appears to be back for good.
NeoGAF will now be run by a diminished moderation team. There will be no Off-Topic forums in the immediate future. Moderators will become anonymous.
Malka claims it was the forum’s Off-Topic section which caused the site’s problems – that it stretched the mod team’s patience and time over the year so far, during a period of heated political and social debate. This patience was then tested and gave out over the weekend, Malka admits.
As to the claim against him, Malka could not be more firm in his position:
“It’s not true,” he wrote, “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.”
Overnight, Waypoint published statements from both Malka and Ima Leupp, the woman behind the allegations. The article paints a confusing picture of who said what to whom, but goes into detail on two other points of contention: an incident involving Malka touching a girl in a bar while on holiday that he bragged about on the forum, and the June 2017 arrest of NeoGAF user and former mod Amir0x on charges of possessing child abuse imagery. In the latter case, other NeoGAF mods say Malka attempted to distance himself from Amir0x by stating he did not know the ex-mod well, and shut down further discussion of the story.
As of writing, NeoGAF is online, but users are still taking the opportunity to publicly quit the site.
“Check out his hot new game!” one quickly-closed thread read. “It’s called ‘Shower With Your Friend Without Their Consent Simulator’, it’s developed by some dude named Tyler.”
“Alfred Hitchcock inspired game. Psycho in the bath,” a separate thread began. “You’re a despicable piece of shit Evilore. Even more pathetic that you’re trying to sweep this shit under the rug like it’s okay. Enjoy cultivating like-minded individuals on this forum.”
Since NeoGAF went dark at the weekend, members have discussed setting up an alternative. One project, ResetEra appears to be readying itself for launch.
“The NeoGAF mod team is here for this community; all of you,” Malka’s blog post concludes. “You have no obligations to respect me or believe anything I say about my personal life one way or another, but if you’re going to be here and participate on NeoGAF, respect the mod team by following the rules and behaving.
“The team is diminished at the moment and the folks who stuck around care very much about this community and its future. Be considerate of them. That’s non-negotiable.”