It’s not unusual for developers and publishers to hold Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussions with fans, often taking to Twitch or Reddit. It’s another thing entirely when THQ Nordic Gmbh PR and marketing director Philipp Brock instead chose to utilise controversial website 8chan, a place infamous for its affiliations with paedophilia, hate speech and general toxicity.
Brock announced the event on Twitter, stating that the “opportunity was here and we took it.” This was accompanied with the promise that a person named Mark, presumably a moderator of the website, was going to “take care of the nasty stuff.” While this isn’t out of the ordinary, as moderators and admins often provide a helping hand during AMAs, it does highlight that Brock was somewhat aware of 8chan’s history before publicising the collaboration.
Closing the session after two hours, Brock began to apologise on Twitter stating that he agreed to the AMA “without doing my proper due diligence to understand the history and controversy of the site. I do not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism in any shape or form. I am terribly sorry for the short-sightedness of my (!) decision, and promise to be far more vigorous in my assessment of these activities in the future.”
(…) I am terribly sorry for the short-sightedness of my (!) decision, and promise to be far more vigorous in my assessment of these activities in the future. (…)
— THQNordic (@THQNordic) February 26, 2019
For those as unacquainted with the website as Brock claims to be, Google temporarily banned the website from appearing within its Search Engine in 2015, under suspicion that there was content pertaining to child abuse. There have also been dedicated boards that have encouraged paedophilia, alongside its general acceptance of racism, misogyny and harassment.
Some people have speculated that this was a purposeful attempt to attract the wrong crowd, to which Brock assures fans that it was “not about being edgy” and has since become a “regret” since things have blown up. Both Brock’s employer THQ Nordic Gmbh and the confusingly named parent company THQ Nordic AB have yet to comment on the disaster.
KitGuru Says: Anyone in a position of responsibility has to remember to represent their company accordingly. It’s unlikely that either THQ Nordic will take kindly to the mess that’s been left on their doorstep.