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NeoGAF offline after owner accused of sexual misconduct


Influential internet forum NeoGAF has gone offline after an allegation of sexual misconduct surfaced against its owner.

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NeoGAF’s masthead and tagline ‘Believe’, as edited by one user.

The site imploded over the weekend as the claim went viral, the majority of NeoGAF’s moderation team elected to resign in response, and forum users created dozens of threads asking to be banned.

Hours later, the site could no longer be reached.

NeoGAF admin and owner Tyler “Evilore” Malka was last week named by film director Ima Leupp in an account of sexual harassment posted to her Facebook.

Leupp shared details of the incident as part of the ongoing #MeToo movement, where sexual harassment and assault survivors speak about their experiences publicly to highlight how widespread the issue is.

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NeoGAF.com is down.

In Leupp’s post, she recounted how Malka and her – who were friends at the time, back in April 2015 – had been drinking together in a New Orleans hotel.

“I was throwing up and decided to hop in the shower to feel better,” Leupp wrote. “I was surprised when he got into the shower, fully naked, behind me. I had a boyfriend at the time and didn’t think I had given him any reason to believe I wanted this. I don’t cheat.

“So I told him that it wasn’t ok, that I was sick, that I had a boyfriend, that I didn’t want that. He got out and slowly started resenting me, being mean to me, ignoring me… in a city he drove me to.”

Leupp initially did not name Malka – “I don’t want him to ever contact me. I got lucky” – but soon decided to – “F**k it. Google Evilore”.

As the account circulated, calls for Malka to make a statement or leave the site grew from NeoGAF users. Site mods then began resigning in protest.

At one point, a statement was said to be coming (via a posting from NeoGAF’s annonymous mod account, ModBot) but it never transpired.

The site then reached a tipping point, with users in open rebellion against Malka. Numerous threads were created accusing him of sexual harassment and asking to be permanently banned from the site.

Malka is still to comment.

After more than a decade of operation (nearer two decades including its first incarnation The Gaming-Age Forums), it looks as if NeoGAF is now down for good. Load up the site now and you’ll see the following message:

“NeoGAF is currently down for scheduled maintenance. Please be patient while the site is down.”

NeoGAF was used by gaming fans, members of the press and industry executives alike. Its hivemind was often first to spot gaming news – or leak it – and proliferate ensuing memes. It had a reputation for being a kneejerky bellwether of the gaming community, and I’ve heard from too many developers to count that its threads were analysed closely to suggest the wider tone of feeling – or likely cause for feedback – for a game project.

As of yet, a NeoGAF replacement is yet to spring forth.



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