U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-06-2019, 10:51 PM
 
4,574 posts, read 8,337,217 times
Reputation: 1723

Advertisements

Around last week, Zoe Quinn, a feminist activist, accused Alec Howolka, a video game developer, of being emotionally and physically abusive in a Twitter post.

EDIT:
* Original post: http://web.archive.org/web/201908270...12005629325313
* Thread: http://web.archive.org/web/201908300...m/UnburntWitch

I believe she said it was due to a mental illness, and that he had already apologized and come to an understanding privately, but she decided to make the post public anyway. She has thousands of followers, and the media latched onto it. Zoe Quinn had never contacted law enforcement about it, and did not do so. She did not take any legal remedies. Zoe Quinn did not speak up about this until now. Zoe claimed that she thought Howolka changed, but he did not http://web.archive.org/web/201908300...41941525745664

Some other posts I found:
* http://web.archive.org/web/201908301...88701225668610
* http://web.archive.org/web/201908301...92416133189632

Howolka's former coworkers then made a Twitter post stating they were cutting ties with him

Howolka then committed suicide, something announced by his sister. http://web.archive.org/web/201908311...55630385909760 This became a PR crisis as the suicide came just days after the public announcement.

One of the former business partners, Scott Benson, made a post on medium.com saying that Alec was abusive towards him, though because of his mental illness (this detail sandwiched in there), calling himself a "survivor", and arguing that it was understandable that he died. I believe he said there were other women saying Alec abused them https://medium.com/@bombsfall/alec-2618dc1e23e

None of those people went to the police or law enforcement. Unlike people like Weinstein, Cosby, Spacey, etc. Howolka lacked the financial wealth and power that would insulate himself, so Quinn should not have feared going to the police IMO. If anything she has the said power.

I understand that people are strongly against sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and want to protect society and women in particular. At the same time, unproven allegations can very quickly destroy a professional career and family connections. I think there needs to be action taken to prevent Twitter mobs and to encourage any accusers to go to the police or law enforcement in a timely matter; they may not believe you, or criticize you, and it may take a long time, but it's something you must endure to get justice. I also harshly criticize people saying that it's not the accusers' fault that an (alleged) abuser committed suicide, or that you cannot drive someone to suicide; you absolutely can if their professional and familial connections are taken away. Some of the pro-Quinn people say it's offensive to ask for proof; I say that it's an inappropriate attitude and not a reasonable objection.

I am also extremely disappointed in the mainstream (Western) media for not airing much about this dilemma; only RT of Russia had an op-ed warning against Twitter mobs. Some op-eds in western pubs, like the one by Laurie Penny, conclude that Holowka is definitely an abuser (despite lack of a law enforcement investigation or lawsuit) https://twitter.com/PennyRed/status/1168625632793808899 and https://www.wired.com/story/videogam...ale-fragility/ . This is a dangerous attitude as people can be, and have been, falsely accused.

I know City-Data is made of older adults who are not connected to gaming culture. It's important for us - and I'm a self-identified progressive Millennial liberal from a big city - to make it uncomfortable for people condoning mob shaming. I feel Zoe Quinn, Scott Benson, and Laurie Penny et al are making it dangerous in society.

Last edited by Vicman; 09-06-2019 at 11:41 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-06-2019, 10:55 PM
 
13,958 posts, read 7,602,245 times
Reputation: 12721
There is a thread on this from a few days ago. Perhaps a moderator can merge the threads.

Mob shaming and destroying people’s lives has gotten out of control.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-06-2019, 11:19 PM
 
75 posts, read 11,760 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
Around last week, Zoe Quinn, a feminist activist, accused Alec Howolka, a video game developer, of being emotionally and physically abusive in a Twitter post. zoŽ

I believe she said it was due to a mental illness, and that he had already apologized and come to an understanding privately, but she decided to make the post public anyway. She has thousands of followers, and the media latched onto it. Zoe Quinn had never contacted law enforcement about it, and did not do so. She did not take any legal remedies. Zoe Quinn did not speak up about this until now. Zoe claimed that she thought Howolka changed, but he did not zoŽ

Some other posts I found:
* U
* zoŽ

Howolka's former coworkers then made a Twitter post stating they were cutting ties with him

Howolka then committed suicide, something announced by his sister. Eileen Mary Holowka on Twitter: "Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning. This became a PR crisis as the suicide came just days after the public announcement.

One of the former business partners, Scott Benson, made a post on medium.com saying that Alec was abusive towards him, though because of his mental illness (this detail sandwiched in there), calling himself a "survivor", and arguing that it was understandable that he died. I believe he said there were other women saying Alec abused them https://medium.com/@bombsfall/alec-2618dc1e23e

None of those people went to the police or law enforcement. Unlike people like Weinstein, Cosby, Spacey, etc. Howolka lacked the financial wealth and power that would insulate himself, so Quinn should not have feared going to the police IMO. If anything she has the said power.

I understand that people are strongly against sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and want to protect society and women in particular. At the same time, unproven allegations can very quickly destroy a professional career and family connections. I think there needs to be action taken to prevent Twitter mobs and to encourage any accusers to go to the police or law enforcement in a timely matter; they may not believe you, or criticize you, and it may take a long time, but it's something you must endure to get justice. I also harshly criticize people saying that it's not the accusers' fault that an (alleged) abuser committed suicide, or that you cannot drive someone to suicide; you absolutely can if their professional and familial connections are taken away. Some of the pro-Quinn people say it's offensive to ask for proof; I say that it's an inappropriate attitude and not a reasonable objection.

I am also extremely disappointed in the mainstream (Western) media for not airing much about this dilemma; only RT of Russia had an op-ed warning against Twitter mobs. Some op-eds in western pubs, like the one by Laurie Penny, conclude that Holowka is definitely an abuser (despite lack of a law enforcement investigation or lawsuit) https://twitter.com/PennyRed/status/1168625632793808899 and https://www.wired.com/story/videogam...ale-fragility/ . This is a dangerous attitude as people can be, and have been, falsely accused.

I know City-Data is made of older adults who are not connected to gaming culture. It's important for us - and I'm a self-identified progressive Millennial liberal from a big city - to make it uncomfortable for people condoning mob shaming. I feel Zoe Quinn, Scott Benson, and Laurie Penny et al are making it dangerous in society.
This is gamergate 2.0.zoe quinn, feminism and social justice has blood on their hands.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-06-2019, 11:26 PM
 
4,574 posts, read 8,337,217 times
Reputation: 1723
Yes, if there's another thread, a merge would be great!

His sister said he wished the best for Quinn: https://web.archive.org/web/20190831...84648296222721 - I don't know the veracity of the statement, but my feeling is that unleashing a mob is like playing with fire.

I know e-mail forwards were the thing of the day, but it's good to let older adults know about this

Also this was the Twitter post from Benson https://twitter.com/bombsfall/status...47676907118592 - I notice the NITW Twitter has no "in memory of" or "rest in peace" for Holowka. I do feel that Benson in fact was at best not close to Holowka, and may have in fact resented him the whole time. He, behind Holowka's back, told other people not to work with him even though AFAIK Holowka had apologized.

Also the game had long ago been released https://twitter.com/bombsfall/status...68315238981637 , although the group still collectively held the rights.

The Reddit thread at the NITW subreddit has some links https://www.reddit.com/r/NightInTheW...re_discussion/

The page https://steamcommunity.com/app/48151...2851367260591/ has a listing of other posts about Alec Howolka - apparently there are other accusations of him being rude, yelling, or paranoid (and suicide threats can be abusive, though he did actually kill himself)

Quote:
Derek Yu's response:
https://twitter.com/mossmouth/status...60969100308480

Scott Benson's response:
https://twitter.com/bombsfall/status...25044378402821

And some responses from some well-known people:
Danny Baranowsky, composer for Super Meat Boy, Crypt of the NecroDancer among others:
https://twitter.com/dannyBstyle/stat...16194322468864

Terry Cavanagh, of Super Hexagon, VVVVVV, Dicey Dungeons:
https://twitter.com/terrycavanagh/st...86835405996033

Ryan Clark, of Crypt of the NecroDancer:
https://twitter.com/braceyourselfok/...68459993583616

Last edited by Vicman; 09-06-2019 at 11:43 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-07-2019, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Pine Grove,AL
23,686 posts, read 11,738,222 times
Reputation: 4392
Twitter mobs are horrible.

Abusers are horrible too.

You can argue that mobs are bad without defending abusers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-07-2019, 12:44 AM
 
4,574 posts, read 8,337,217 times
Reputation: 1723
An abuser of knowing, willing bad faith (think Brandi Worley) is one thing, and such should be condemned.

The issue is that there was never any law enforcement investigation nor formal legal action which established Quinn's allegations as true beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal) or the equivalent standard for civil cases ("the preponderance of the evidence"). The question is whether Holowka counts as an "abuser" (as in the knowing kind).

Now him lashing out due to mental illness is a different matter; that deserves treatment and compassion, something the game Night in the Woods tried to address. It is ironic that the game itself treated Mae (main character) with compassion but the instinct with Holowka was to publicly air his dirty laundry.

The response to a person saying that Holowka is definitively an "abuser" is to question them, asking them "are you sure?"

Reject any claims that asking for proof ("receipts" in internet-speak) is abusive or demeaning, and frankly I say it's OK to be "sealioning" because making allegations without proof and unleashing an internet mob IS abusive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsjj251 View Post
Twitter mobs are horrible.

Abusers are horrible too.

You can argue that mobs are bad without defending abusers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-07-2019, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Pine Grove,AL
23,686 posts, read 11,738,222 times
Reputation: 4392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
An abuser of knowing, willing bad faith (think Brandi Worley) is one thing, and such should be condemned.

The issue is that there was never any law enforcement investigation nor formal legal action which established Quinn's allegations as true beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal) or the equivalent standard for civil cases ("the preponderance of the evidence"). The question is whether Holowka counts as an "abuser" (as in the knowing kind).

Now him lashing out due to mental illness is a different matter; that deserves treatment and compassion, something the game Night in the Woods tried to address. It is ironic that the game itself treated Mae (main character) with compassion but the instinct with Holowka was to publicly air his dirty laundry.

The response to a person saying that Holowka is definitively an "abuser" is to question them, asking them "are you sure?"

Reject any claims that asking for proof ("receipts" in internet-speak) is abusive or demeaning, and frankly I say it's OK to be "sealioning" because making allegations without proof and unleashing an internet mob IS abusive.
.
Im not worried about legal status here. There are plenty of abusers who walk free simply because their wives or girlfriends didnt come forward fast enough.

If you simply think they should have tried harder to get him help if he was mentally ill, say so,

If you believe she is lying about the abuse, say so.

But if you make this a "what can you prove in court" argument then you have lost me, because that has nothing to do with whether he did it or not, but simply if he made enough mistakes for a jury to convict him.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-07-2019, 01:26 AM
 
4,574 posts, read 8,337,217 times
Reputation: 1723
Legal status is a good barometer because the question is "did he do it?" A mob seeing allegations of abuse eont stop to ponder and weigh the evidence while a court will.

As for cases that dont go to court, it is true that people get away with crimes or bad behavior, but it is more important to protect innocent people from false or mischaracterizes accusations than to pursue people for bad acts that are unproven

Also I do think the other parties failed to get proper help; if someone threatens suicide you call the authorities regardless of whether it's a cynical ploy or a genuine cry for help. Unpleasant anti suicide mechanisms will get the cynical folks to stop. I'm sure its exhausting bring around a mentally I'll person, but cutting ties privately is a better choice than sticking a mob.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsjj251 View Post
.
Im not worried about legal status here. There are plenty of abusers who walk free simply because their wives or girlfriends didnt come forward fast enough.

If you simply think they should have tried harder to get him help if he was mentally ill, say so,

If you believe she is lying about the abuse, say so.

But if you make this a "what can you prove in court" argument then you have lost me, because that has nothing to do with whether he did it or not, but simply if he made enough mistakes for a jury to convict him.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-07-2019, 03:24 AM
 
4,574 posts, read 8,337,217 times
Reputation: 1723
Quote:
If you believe she is lying about the abuse, say so.
It goes beyond that. There are cases where people act in good faith but misidentify their attackers, or they misremembered the event. The longer one waits to take action, the more distorted a memory may be.

Having said that several of Quinn's critics have accused her of that on this and previous occasions. I have not checked the veracity of these previous accusations but this is all the more reason to pause.

As for the other people accusing Holowka, I believe they are only accusing him of yelling at them while Quinn had different accusations.

Last edited by Vicman; 09-07-2019 at 03:49 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-07-2019, 06:43 AM
 
75 posts, read 11,760 times
Reputation: 59
The accuser made those claims on Twitter while in the United States, and forced a Canadian man to commit suicide in Canada. This situation also crosses international borders and jurisdictions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top