This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The RPGPundit's Own Forum Rules
This part of the site is controlled by the RPGPundit. This is where he discusses topics that he finds interesting. You may post here, but understand that there are limits. The RPGPundit can shut down any thread, topic of discussion, or user in a thread at his pleasure. This part of the site is essentially his house, so keep that in mind. Note that this is the only part of the site where political discussion is permitted, but is regulated by the RPGPundit.

Author Topic: This is Why We Don't Like You  (Read 57241 times)

Zak S

  • Just here to fact-check
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Fuck yr right wing bs
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2014, 04:16:59 AM »
Raw Homosexual Power @SA_Hashtags  ·  8h
here i am, a Legitimately Gay Man Who Loves Men, telling you that zak does not care the least bit for LGBT folks and other minorities
Raw Homosexual Power ‏@SA_Hashtags  8h
truly sorry for mandy, especially in her condition, and for being exploited by the person who should care for her most
Reply  Retweet  Favorite

 neongrey ‏@neongrey33  8h
@SA_Hashtags I'm honestly disgusted at how exploitative it is attaching a picture of her in her hospital bed to that screed :(
Reply  Retweet  Favorite
User Actions  
Raw Homosexual Power
@neongrey33 it's really fucking gross
 Reply  Retweet  Favorite   More
4:59 PM - 7 Aug 2014
I won a jillion RPG design awards.

Buy something. 100% of the proceeds go toward legal action against people this forum hates.

Zak S

  • Just here to fact-check
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Fuck yr right wing bs
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 08:06:49 PM »

Zak Smith4:39 PM

"Get on twitter, tweet at him, ask questions, give links"?
That's your damning evidence? Clearly I'm highly dangerous.

Jay Vee4:43 PM
Nah, but you're certainly a liar, which would also make you a troll by your own standards, and thus unworthy of any concern...isn't that true?

Zak Smith4:49 PM

When did I lie, Jay? I never claimed I did all the debunking of harassment all by myself

Jay Vee4:52 PM

nope, you lied about not inciting your followers to attack people. the proof is linked right up there. and believe me, 'ask questions' is a pretty thin veil dude.

therefore liar, therefore troll, therefore go away.

Current Donations $1771.93 

Zak Smith4:57 PM

Giving someone links to show them they made a mistake is not an "attack". But, please do go to the police, Jay Vee. I urge you to contact them with this vital information.
I won a jillion RPG design awards.

Buy something. 100% of the proceeds go toward legal action against people this forum hates.

Zak S

  • Just here to fact-check
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Fuck yr right wing bs
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2014, 04:29:38 AM »

Andri Erlingsson
Shared publicly  -  Yesterday 3:14 PM
Noted non-evidence haver Andri Erlingsson arrives on the scene with direct evidence that Zak Smith organizes online harassment of targets he doesn't like, including people. Make sure to take a good look at both images.

(NOTE FROM ZAK: dead link--it links to the same image above where I say "tweet at him")

Gareth SkarkaYesterday 5:00 PM

Debunking your lies isn't harassment, kids.

But nice try.  Keep going -- piss away the last remnants of credibility you might still have.   The rest of us will be over here, laughing at you.

Andri ErlingssonYesterday 5:03 PM+7
Apparently it's a "lie" that Zak tells people to go out and harass (and "destroy") people he doesn't like when there's direct photographic evidence of that happening.

Holden ShearerYesterday 5:07 PM+6
andri you don't have 1,000 followers, you're not allowed to talk about Zak's wrongdoing. don't you know how this works man?

Andri ErlingssonYesterday 5:08 PM+5
Oh man, how many followers do I need before I can openly brag about having taken money from people for a kickstarter while giving them nothing?

Gareth SkarkaYesterday 5:09 PM+1
I'll type slowly so you can figure it out:

The lies YOU were spreading about Homophobia, Transphobia, Anti-Inclusivity and Ableism.   Those lies.    Debunking those is not "harassment."

Spreading those, however, IS Libel.  

But by all means, keep your pathetic little crusade going.  It's heart warming for the rest of us to see how little you matter.

Gareth SkarkaYesterday 5:10 PM

You've just committed libel, Andri.   I have NOT taken money and given nothing, I've actually already delivered several parts of the KS.   Care to withdraw that statement, or are you about to become the object lesson you so desperately deserve to be?

Andri ErlingssonYesterday 5:10 PM+5
Maybe you should show me where I said anything about ableism or homophobia. Maybe you should clarify why you think accusing someone of not being inclusive is a literal crime. Maybe you should go parade around the city to let all the subjects see your majesty's new clothes.

Andri ErlingssonYesterday 5:11 PM+4
And as for delivering "several parts", that's not delivering on the project. And it's not a crime to point out that you totally lack professional credibility.

(Now do go away. I've long since become tired of you making up insane conspiracy theories about me.)

Holden ShearerYesterday 5:14 PM+9
Spurious litigious threats are so cool.

Gareth SkarkaYesterday 5:14 PM

Last chance, Andri.

Andri ErlingssonYesterday 5:15 PM

I'm pretty sure this is language you understand, Mr. "Toxic Cunt".
I won a jillion RPG design awards.

Buy something. 100% of the proceeds go toward legal action against people this forum hates.

Zak S

  • Just here to fact-check
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Fuck yr right wing bs
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2014, 11:37:00 AM »
Tracy Hurley Google+ post

"I'm not sure how I feel about the title, but much of the post is something that is important to me."
(Link to Tom Hatfield's hatchet job article)


Chris DronJul 30, 2014+1
I find it a little shitty that they name dropped the RPG pundit when he has said he doesn't want that. I mean, I know it's all over the internet and he is kind of an asshole but that's sort of shitty. It's bad form regardless.

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014+9
How is this still a story? It's like there is this other hobby, gossiping about gaming, that's more popular than gaming itself.

Rowan CotaJul 30, 2014+1
+Ramanan S - My sarcastic (and please, understand humorous) answer is... "Welcome to the internet?"

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014+1
+Rowan Cota The half life on this story is something serious.

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014+2
Well, it does get extended when Mandy posts what she did.

Rowan CotaJul 30, 2014

Well, I have some thoughts on that, but I'm not sure this is the thread to get into it. (Some of it sociological, and some of it activist. My thoughts, I mean.)

Woodrow HillJul 30, 2014+8
This isn't gossip. As someone who's played RPGs on and off for over 20 years now, a LOT of this is toxic behavior that's been driving people away from the hobby coming to the fore.

Getting the cowards into the sunlight, exposing their actions for what they do -- this is work that will make the entire RPG culture, and the attendant businesses, that much more healthy and vibrant. To dismiss it is to not grasp the severity of the problem.

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014+13
Talking shit about people you don't like isn't the same as fixing a diversity problem in the RPG industry. Right?

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014+9
Um, pointing out that this behavior is fucking toxic is helping to fix the diversity problem in RPGs. I'm tired of your zak fanboyism tbh.

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014

+Tracy Hurley What does that even mean?

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014+1
Also, is the barrier for toxic calling people into story games swine? Arguing with people in an annoying pedantic way? That's a low bar.

Veles SvitlychnyJul 30, 2014+2
+Ramanan S is there any reason you are intentionally oblivious or do you really not see anything wrong with equating 'these people stalk and harass transwomen and queer marginalized people in the industry until they leave' with 'gossip'

Veles SvitlychnyJul 30, 2014+1
how about "these people spread lies and rumors about minorities and then call anyone who calls them on that a liar"? is that still "gossip" to you?

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014+6
Sorry, what lies? I'm a minority. If people are talking shit I'd love to know when and where. As it stands, so far he only lies I've seen have been about these two guys.

Also, please don't call me oblivious.

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014+8
Calling a woman you disagree with a prude is pretty damn sexist in my book.

Stephen KingJul 30, 2014+1

Ewen CluneyJul 30, 2014+12
Man, what it is that makes people have such a hard time dealing with people calling out this seriously blatant bad behavior?

Veles SvitlychnyJul 30, 2014+3
+Ramanan S I didn't call you oblivious, I asked if you were. There's a difference any fan of 'pedantic arguments' should be able to recognize.

But you want an example of spreading lies and rumours, look over Zak's partner Mandy's most recent post on the subject, in which one paragraph is dedicated to outing, deadnaming and spreading lies about a transwoman (the most obvious and innocuous lie is that one of the screennames attached to this woman is someone completely unrelated with her). This is transphobic even if she claims to have a transwoman friend in the next paragraph.

Stephen KingJul 30, 2014+3
I'd also love for people to know the difference between not believing something that's been said, and someone lying.

Stephen KingJul 30, 2014+11
Also yeah, every iteration of I have a xxx friend needs to die in a goddamn fire.

Rowan CotaJul 30, 2014+12
I have a xxx friend. Its name is Fireball Whiskey. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Ramanan SJul 30, 2014+1
+Veles Svitlychny When did I ever say I was a fan of pedantic arguments? Are you trying hard to be an asshole, or does it come naturally?

+Tracy Hurley I don't feel like arguing with your entire circle. Sorry I spoke up.

Woodrow HillJul 30, 2014+8
+Ramanan S Funny, I'm a minority too, and what's being spoken of here makes perfect sense to me.

For example, you wanted an example of misbehavior, and the article links to where the Admins of RPGNet banned Zak. In that forum piece, the Admins wrote in some detail on his many transgressions on their forums. It's a good starting-point for understanding why people who aren't even involved in social justice can find his antics to be beyond the pale.

You can read the article to find the link, as well as other examples of bad behavior on the part of the people written about in the piece.

Jon HiesfelterJul 30, 2014+2
Just re-read Mandy's post on Zak's blog.  Do you suppose the outing (which I didn't catch as outing when I originally read it, dumb me) and the screen name association might have been a mistake?
"the Something Awful veterans cluster around something called ***** (game company redacted), headed by someone variously credited as **** or *** when designing games, **, ** or *** when trolling, and *** on twitter."
I can see the gender change now and understand the outing.  But otherwise identity is not always so obvious on the internet.  Now, links to posts would be better (like the post she claim attacked her for having electrical cords on a wish list) than merely naming names, but I read it as testimony and don't see obvious intent to harm others.

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014+8
For the outing, it's not about intent. And for someone who claims to be as supportive of people who are transgender, the change from one gender to another should be a big clue to research more. She actually gets several details wrong in that portion of the article, including linking one person with the handle of some random other person.

Jon HiesfelterJul 30, 2014

Have she and Zak been told and been given an opportunity to correct her statement?
This is the first I'd heard about it.

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014+2
A fair number of people that Zak monitors have pointed it out and there have been no corrections. I pointed it out directly to her this evening but she's currently in the hospital so I don't think she can update. However, she shouldn't be making those assertions without making sure she has her details right. The issue is that people in their circle have been reposting these wrong details over and over again without being questioned, so she probably took it as true without bothering to check. Something she's come down hard on others for allegedly doing.

Jon HiesfelterJul 30, 2014

Well, I linked to this on Zak's blog. 

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014

And Mandy uses the real-life name of Ettin, something he prefers to not have done.

Tracy HurleyJul 30, 2014+5
Great so I'll have to deal with a bunch of zak lovers. Good job!

Jon HiesfelterJul 30, 2014+1
Either some things will be changed (gender info, people named as they wish to be, associations corrected if corrections provided) or my opinion of Zak will be changed.  There are things Zak says that I disagree with, but I disagree with a good portion of the 'problematic tabletop' posts on Zak.  On the other hand, I am sympathetic to raising the standards of the hobby; that's where I'm coming from.

Andri ErlingssonJul 30, 2014+2
So are we going to see a list of names of people it's okay to shame and attack this time too, constructed from all the notes on a tumblr post?

Shoshana KessockJul 30, 2014+2
So this dude called folks 'The Swine' back in 2006. And that's about when he lost any relevance as far as I'm concerned.

Our community has a notorious problem for worshiping heroes and ignoring their flaws. And especially getting defensive when anyone does. 

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 30, 2014

+Tracy Hurley
Gee, that must suck when people use the real-life name of someone who would prefer they didn't. Certainly no one who is a hater of the RPGPundit has EVER done that...

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 30, 2014+1
+Veles Svitlychny
" is there any reason you are intentionally oblivious or do you really not see anything wrong with equating 'these people stalk and harass transwomen and queer marginalized people in the industry until they leave' with 'gossip'"

Yeah, there's something seriously wrong with that. It shouldn't be equated with "gossip"; it should be equated with VICIOUS LIES.  I've never stalked or harassed anyone for being trans or LGBT.

Andri ErlingssonJul 30, 2014+1
Not until people take responsibility for what they have said and done, no thanks.

Marshall BurnsJul 30, 2014

(Fuck. Tried to edit a typo and inadvertently deleted my post due to stupid phone. Never mind, disregard notification of my commenting.)

Veles SvitlychnyJul 30, 2014+1
Pundit I think you're a vicious liar. How will we resolve this impasse? Frankly, I'm more likely to trust the word of a non-shitlord.

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 30, 2014+1
Simple, Veles. We look at the evidence. Your side has consistently failed to provide any evidence, but there's plenty of evidence that in fact, you and yours are the lying shitlords.

Andri ErlingssonJul 30, 2014+2
What was that thing you wanted to do to a disabled person, again? "Fuck them with a spoon" or something?

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+7
"these people stalk and harass transwomen and queer marginalized people in the industry until they leave" +Veles Svitlychny

These are serious allegations. Is there any evidence that this actually occurred? Actual harrassment? Actual stalking? More specifically, is there evidence that anyone has been harrassed because they are trans?

There seems to be nothing at all behind this. The linked post is an especially weak and unsupported serious of arguments.

Why does this conflict live on? Who gains what from whom?

Veles SvitlychnyJul 30, 2014+1
+Tom Fitzgerald, just because you consistently ignore evidence doesn't mean it isn't there. I named evidence right in this comment thread of Mandy outing and libeling a transwoman. Don't pretend that didn't happen.

Tony DemetriouJul 30, 2014+2
I'd like to join into this conversation, but as an outsider... am I welcome to?

I've got some questions that I feel are legitimate, and would like to discuss in good faith.

I've been reading a lot of threads, and I think I have fairly broad and complete grasp of what is being discussed, but (of course) I probably don't know everything. Despite the numerous posts on g+, blogs, and some twitter, I haven't seen the actual proof that Zak is calling for.

With that in mind, I don't want to insert myself into a conversation if I'm going to be assumed as a "Zak Lover" (I freely admit that I enjoy reading his blog posts)

I do want to discuss this topic with people who obviously care enough about this topic to be having a public conversation.

Please let me know what you feel is appropriate, and whether you're interested in discussing with me or not.

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 30, 2014+4
+Andri Erlingsson
I said Bruce Baugh (who recently started the LIE about me being homophobic and opposed to the inclusive language in D&D, when 5e came out... you know, the one y'all have been endlessly repeating?) could go fuck himself with a spoon. Is he disabled? Was he, when I said that almost 10 years ago?
In either case, that wasn't the reason why I said it.  Does being disabled stop a person from being a lying sack of shit? Apparently not, in Bruce Baugh's case; and that's my problem with him, not any disability he may have.

Marcus BurggrafJul 30, 2014+3
The trolls get a rise of the people they anger an the people they get to spread their bullshit. That's who gains what in my book.
Silence is neither consent nor endorsement, even though I would prefer +Zak Smith to publicly denounce the alleged stalking behaviour. For all I know he may have done so. Or may have not as he is not one to give obtuse allegations any credit. This is all more of the same still. I can't believe no one walked away from this saying: Well I send my stuff to Mearls and he did not see what I see. Maybe my perspective is wrong.
Whenever this comes up I review what is Linked up and all I see is Zak being mean to people that disagree with him. The only thing that he was off about as far as I can tell is calling Tracy a prude when dismissing her Maxim comments. 

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+8
+Veles Svitlychny Mandy's words about the individual in question were not transphobic, libellous or harassing, they merely reported the names used by an individual involved in the situation. No untruth is alleged (these are names used by an individual), no prejudice against transsexual individuals is implied. Indeed, the concept of pseudonym is so widely understood that there is no reason to believe the individual is a transsexual. 

Stephen KingJul 30, 2014+5
Lots of people who defend Zak and/or Pundit keep using the word libelous, and I think they don't know what it actually means.

Jon HiesfelterJul 30, 2014

+Stephen King There are three instances of libel/libelous on this thread before this post.  It was brought up first by +Veles Svitlychny who said Mandy's post was libel.

Stephen KingJul 30, 2014

I've been part of so many of these discussions, I've lost count of how many times it's been used by the folks I mentioned.

Stephen KingJul 30, 2014

I'm also not denying that Veles used it, mind.

Nate McDJul 30, 2014+3
+Marcus Burggraf
Zak  S.:  (dated June 10, 2014)
"Well, don't stalk or harass them, that doesn't help me at all--I want them discredited and harassing them only adds credence to their bullshit.."

Mike DaveyJul 30, 2014+1
Mean while in the real world children are getting blown up by artillery shells. Get a grip it's just a game 

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+1
+Stephen King So you're saying you've seen it used before and that Veles used it and then I used it in refutation of Veles' statements. You don't appear to be specifically challenging my use of it but merely wafting bad vibes in my direction. I'd change my wording to calumniatory but I suspect your comments are motivated by tribalism more than concern for clarity of expression. Educate me if I err.

Tony DemetriouJul 30, 2014

/sub with this account, as my earlier post was (accidentally) with my work account.

My question still remains as to whether someone on the Anti-Zak-Or-Pundit side wants to have this conversation. I can clearly see that people are discussing it, but that is potentially because they feel the need to defend their opinion rather than because they actively want to discuss it.

Veles SvitlychnyJul 30, 2014+1
Saying a transgender person isn't transgender is itself transphobic, Tom.

So many names to add to my blocklist.

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+3
+Veles Svitlychny While I do not think we have a great deal to offer one another I feel it is necessary to state  clearly that there is insufficient information in Mandy's post to come to any kind of conclusion about the individual's gender and there is certainly insufficient evidence for the post to be counted as harassment or libel. The individual's gender is of no consequence and is utterly irrelevant save as a pawn to be used to smear people (to mix metaphors).

In all seriousness, nobody cares. Gender is irrelevant to this debate and anyone using it as a means of trying to ascend to the moral high ground are corrupted by that action. Anyone who feels they have been harassed needs to provide evidence of that harassment or withdraw those claims.

+Tony Demetriou  Yes, it would be nice to have some discussion.

Mike DaveyJul 30, 2014

Zac and pundit are loving all this attention it makes them feel big and they get to sell more product. With all the crap going on the real world at the moment why are you all getting so worked up about what seems to me to be just people being rude on the Internet 

Jack MackJul 30, 2014+7
+Veles Svitlychny It's only your posts that have told me that the person you're discussing is transgender. I didn't realize that from Mandy's post, just this thread. If you want to protect them from being outed, you're working against that goal here.

Nate McDJul 30, 2014+1
Mandy listed all known aliases used by said entity. If a name on a list appears to be feminine in no way indicates that the person is transgendered. My first assumption would be a Rule 63 Sock-Puppet.

There are men who post as women for attention, and women who post as men to avoid it... It means nothing past that.

Tony DemetriouJul 30, 2014+2
+Tom Fitzgerald Cool, thanks :)

So, this seems to be a thorny issue with a bunch of he-said-she-said. Mostly because there are a lot of vague statements that Zak harasses people, but they're too afraid to speak out. Which means we're getting post after post of repetitions of those vague statements, and posts of people asking for proof but being told "can't give proof, that's unsafe"

... which makes me wonder where +Mike Mearls fits into this. According to the linked article, he asked for evidence against Zak & Pundit, and then (without revealing the sources or what was told to him) told them that the accusations were baseless. The article also implies that the evidence was sent to Mike.

Does this mean that +Mike Mearls has seen the whole story? And decided that it's baseless? Why would we not accept that as the "proof"?

- Is there a reason to believe that either Mike was biased in favour of Zak or Pundit (or in favour of not admitting anything bad about a consultant)?
- Is there a reason to believe that there is substantial proof that was not sent to Mike?
- Is there a reason to believe that Mike is unbiased, had all the evidence, but his interpretation was incorrect for some reason?

Marcus BurggrafJul 30, 2014+2
+Nate McD thanks. I hope this may finally put to rest the whole "he endorsed the shit" angle? I doubt it but hope remains. 

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 30, 2014

I've never once crossed paths with Mikan, to my recollection. I had no idea who Mikan was until a day or two ago.  So imagine my surprise at hearing that I've been "constantly harassing" this person for years!

Jon HiesfelterJul 30, 2014+6
In response to having been pointed out that Mandy's tumblr post outed someone, she's changed it so that person is not obviously trans, as Mandy did not intend to out them.  One of the jumble of forum names was removed as not being that person.  Zak can't change his own blog posting yet because they are still in the hospital (adult blog content off limits to that wifi). She still alleges she was attacked of course, and those forums should be referenced.  The list of names are there to show that the attacks were repeated over multiple forums.
I think the outing was unintentional and effort is being made to remove it.
Continuing to cite this as evidence of transphobia will challenge the credibility of any other claimed (but not documented) assertions.

Kevin VealeJul 30, 2014+7
Absolutely, we must keep the conversation about Zak!  That's the real issue here, anything else is a smokescreen.  I mean, a straight cis white dude is not completely satisfied by how he's been treated!  That's just unacceptable. After all, if we don't maintain sensible standards then we're no better than common baboons. (walrus-moustache-quiver, monocle falls out)

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+3
+Tony Demetriou It would be very interesting to get +Mike Mearls ' version of this. I am very much in favour of independent arbitration of the entirety of the evidence. If thishas already taken place and there is still this continuation of what are certainly very serious allegations then it smells like cognitive dissonance to me.

If independent arbitration hasn't taken place to everyone's satisfaction then it would be in everyone's interest to get it done so we can cease this time-wasting nonsense.

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+2
+Kevin Veale That is irrelevant. Everyone has a right to defend themselves.

Tony DemetriouJul 30, 2014+4
... I've posted under female names in the past. For various reasons including:
- Playing a computer game with a female avatar, and wanted a name to match
- Engaged in online conversations while presenting myself as a female, because I'm interested in how people treat me differently even if I behave the same
- Assumed a female identity because I was still exploring my personal sense of identity
- Assumed a female identity because I hated myself, and wanted to distance myself from my "real" identity as much as possible. Changing gender was only one of the changes I made.
- Used female names in some games, because people were more cooperative and less competitive towards me, so it was more fun.
- Used male names in other games, because people were baselessly spiteful against players with female names
- Used the name of a tabletop roleplaying character rather than my own name. Some of those characters are female.

Despite all of this, I'm not, nor have I ever been transgendered.

While I don't - in any way - support someone outing a transgendered person, I've got to question whether making the statement "this dude uses a female name on this internet service" (or vice versa) implies that they are transgendered.

Outing pseudonyms still seems bad form. I've got my work account, my personal account, and my "work avatar" (I run an online RPG MUD) and, although I don't make secrets of any of them, I wouldn't appreciate someone explicitly linking them together. They are separate for a reason.

That said, if someone was making a point about my behaviour, and there was evidence with all three, or if I had used those different services to make similar attacks or to push my agenda, then pointing out "those different people making similar statements are actually the same person" doesn't seem unreasonable.

Until the internet comes up with some sort of idea of a "fingerprint" that we can use to stop sock-puppets, there's always going to be tension between preserving privacy, and socially pointing out that multiple accounts belong to the same person.

... I guess I'm just talking now, rather than asking questions. I guess my question is whether Mandy made any statements outing an individual as a transsexual, or just linked to different accounts?

Was there more to it? Like, for example, linking to a blog about being a transsexual, and then saying "and this was written by X" is clearly outing X.

How do I, as a casual reader of Mandy's post, know that this person is a transsexual, and not just someone who wanted to present a different persona on the internet?

Tony DemetriouJul 30, 2014

+Kevin Veale - isn't one of the fundamental concepts of justice that everyone deserves the right to defend themselves?

After all, this whole conversation is about how people are being treated - it seems strange to say "let's talk about how group X is being treated, but group Y is not allowed to talk about how they are treated" regardless of who X and Y is.

If Zak is in the wrong, then we should talk about how he's being treated as part of this conversation. If he's in the right, then we still should talk about how he's being treated. If we're disinterested in talking about how Zak is being treated, then we shouldn't participate in a conversation about what Zak may or may not have done wrong.

Tom FitzgeraldJul 30, 2014+1
+Tony Demetriou Yep, thre's an interesting distinction between using different pseudonyms to maintain anonymity for rational reasons and using sockpuppets to harass people. For example, I think Veles has blocked me. Sure, fine, no trubbs (I don't think it's ever happened before but he's disappeared). If I were to log off and create another identity and come back to harass him for disagreeing with me then I would be reprehensible. If the new avatar was, for whatever reason, female, then it would not be unreasonable to link those two identities as belonging to the one individual. Doing so would be reasonable and not a violation of my rights.

Tony DemetriouJul 30, 2014+1
Right, that's basically my opinion, too. If you're harassing him, and he feels the need to say "Tom Fitzgerald is the same guy as Mot GitzFerald" then that seems reasonable. Your choice of display name shouldn't matter.

I want to say that pointing out any factual information that is relevant to the point being made - if done in good faith - is perfectly fine. I won't make that statement wholeheartedly, though, because I do acknowledge that sensitivity is often required. For example, even if it was relevant I wouldn't link someone's personal online account to a work account unless they were already using that work account to participate OR unless there was a disclosure issue - e.g. Tom Wheeler's previous occupation is relevant to his current work and the discussions about his current actions. That should be pointed out.

Similarly, my work writing online RPGs isn't something I often mention on g+, but would be fair game for someone to reveal (including my pseudonym there) if they were discussing my game design. But my real-life programming job probably isn't worth mentioning, and probably isn't appropriate.

That said, these are my opinions. Although it sounds like I'm stating them as facts, I recognize that there is a lot of subjective opinion and fuzzy lines at work in the real world. What one person feels is relevant, another person might think doesn't apply at all. But that's all the more reason I'm interested in discussing with someone who disagrees with me, to try and understand how and why their opinion about this differs from mine. And to maybe reconsider my opinions.

It sounds like, at least on this topic, we both agree.


Aside: If Veles has blocked you, he's blocked me as well. I don't see his posts any more.

I'm not quite sure why he would block me, though. I did post about how I've posted under female pseudonyms in the past without being transgendered. Perhaps he saw that as an attack, or perhaps he is blocking people who don't fully share his point of view?

Or perhaps he didn't block, and has just deleted his posts. I wouldn't know.

I don't much care, really. If he's uninterested in seeing what we have to say, that is entirely his choice.

Well, I do care. Because if he feels strongly enough to block me, then he probably disagrees with me. I'd be genuinely interested in why he disagrees if he wanted to discuss it.

But not interested enough that I want to force him into the conversation.

Jon HiesfelterJul 31, 2014

Well, +Veles Svitlychny has blocked me as well.  I don't know if the changes that Mandy made to her tumblr post would satisfy, but Veles won't know unless someone else points it out.  If the changes don't satisfy, I would like to know.

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+1
+Tom Fitzgerald ... incidentally, GitzFerald is such an awesome name I'm using it for an Ork PC if I ever get to play in a WH40K setting!

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 31, 2014+1
It's been pointed out to me that even though I had no idea who "Mikan" is, in fact Mikan has been following me and reposting things I wrote on Something Awful for YEARS now.  So in fact, it is more accurate to say that I haven't been harassing Mikan for years, and in fact it is Mikan who has been harassing ME for years. Though not very effectively, since I didn't even notice.

Nate McDJul 31, 2014+2
+Tom Fitzgerald he has in fact blocked you.

In other conversations, I have observed him jump to conclusions about motives or perspectives not supported by the actual posts, announce he is blocking yet another person, and then do so; which any experienced forum moderator can tell you is performance for the crowd and not a statement of substance to the person the comment purports to be for... they can't see it!

Jussi MarttilaJul 31, 2014+1
It's nice when the truth gets out. 

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+2
+Kasimir Urbanski I'm not sure that "directly quoting things you posted on your blog" really qualifies as harassment.

The bar we're talking about is somewhat more, you know, personal.  The former is just you being sad people made fun of words you wrote in a public platform :(

But privilege is like that-- you've probably never ACTUALLY been harassed in your life, so I can see how that would qualify in your mind.

Kasimir UrbanskiJul 31, 2014+1
+Jess Purdy
"Quoting things people said" + insults, mockery and personal attacks.  That's what they've done.
That's also the worst thing you can say about me or what I've done.   So I'm really wondering why it is that they want to pretend I'm "toxic" but they're the chosen elite of the hobby.
I guess it's sort of like when someone uses Ettin's real name (I don't, by the way), that's a foul kind of harassment; but just about every anti-pundit article that has been posted in the last month has gone out of its way to use my name, and that's just some kind of profound truth-telling that is beyond reproach.

But I guess HYPOCRISY is like that. If you think you're morally superior to your opposition, and you don't believe that truth actually matters, then you have no problem making up lies and holding on to grotesque double-standards in order to try to destroy those who you oppose.

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+1
I don't think anyone actually thinks +Kasimir Urbanski was harassed by Mikan (since Kasimir admits that he didn't know who Mikan was)

I read his comment more like "Mikan says I've harassed him, but I haven't spoken to him, yet he's apparently been seeking out my writing for years"
(He can, of course, correct me if I'm misrepresenting his opinion)

But if we assume that talking about what people did, and linking to what they said doesn't count as harassment (and I agree that it doesn't count!) then... isn't that, mostly, what people are accusing Zak of having done with his list of people who +1'd (aka endorsed) a post?

But more to the point, do we have any quotes or believable testimony that shows that Mikan has harassed Kasimir, or that Kasimir has harassed Mikan?

Marshall BurnsJul 31, 2014+11
I was going to stay out of this and go to bed and forget about it, but one thing in particular is still making me angry. Specifically that, after reading Mandy's original post, I had no clue that soandso was trans until reading the linked article. The article thus compounds an issue it purports to address. It throws a trans person under the bus in order to make a point that is ostensibly in defense of trans people. That is DEEPLY UNCOOL and highly suspicious (in that, if making a point is more important to you than damage control in aid of someone you present yourself as an ally of, I have to wonder what sort of motivations produce those priorities. I am not making claims, note; just explaining my thought process.)

And before anyone tries anything funny, I am not saying that this changes anything about the veracity (such as it may be or not be -- there's frankly not enough information to me to be able to decide) of the article's overall point, because that would of course be fallacious. The article does include things that are demonstrably untrue, but they are minor misrepresentations, minor enough that pointing them out makes one look nit-picky and petty (I do however also find this suspicious but am perhaps just cynical). This too has no actual bearing on the actual thrust of the article, but it damn sure isn't helping anything at all ever.

(Also, this was in my post that I lost, but I thought I'd restate for those who don't know: I am queer and non-binary. I know I wear a fedora, but I am not a Fedora. I am all for inclusivity and all manner of social justice, and trans- and homophobia are directly relevant to me, as well as loads of people I care about.)

Jack MackJul 31, 2014+3
+Marshall Burns Yes. Both +Veles Svitlychny and this blog post have tried to act like they're defending this person while using them as ammunition. When I said this to Veles, Veles blocked me (see my only other comment in this thread). When I commented on the tumblr post, they deleted the entire comments. I don't understand how you can say this doesn't affect the validity of the article. As far as I'm concerned, it destroys it.

I assume they'll now claim that the comments were so crazy and out of control that they had to be silenced. I saw it just moments ago: They were not. There was simple disagreement, and people asking for proof.

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+1
The person involved had no problem with the article. Try again. 

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+3
"Where's the evidence?! Oh, this firsthand source? How dare you use them as ammunition?!"

Concern trolling is super tiresome. 

Marcus BurggrafJul 31, 2014+4
Looks like I got my first block by +Veles Svitlychny too it seems. Thats a great approach and will clearly facillitate understanding and discourse in bettering our hobby. By blocking and silencing any dissent? That creates echochambers and they are neither useful or helping.

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+9
+Marshall Burns - the article says Mandy "attempted to out" a trans designer.

Considering +Jon Hiesfelter 's update that Many has already updated the article to avoid outing anyone, and considering how many people (like you) didn't realize they were trans until this post was made... I think it's pretty fair to say that Mandy wasn't attempting to out anyone.

I agree that one incorrect detail doesn't negate the article. (Journalists make mistakes all the time. That's what corrections are for!)

It does make me question the main thrust of the article, considering most of the rest of the article is also made up of unproven accusations.

While it's only a small point, it's a small point that is demonstratively incorrect (or, at least, demonstratively presented negatively)

Without some evidence of the other accusations, even small nitpicky evidence, it does call the article into question, at least for me.

People attacking someone for their body, gender, preference in roleplaying games, or anything other than their actual behaviour is inappropriate, and should be called out. If Zak & Pundit are doing that, then they should be called out (with evidence?)
If Zak & Pundit are not doing that, then the writers & supporters of articles like this should be called out (with evidence?)

At the moment, all I know is that:
- Pundit is offensive, and sees things as an us-vs-them battle, making verbal attacks on his opponents, usually by calling them "swine" (his blog as evidence)
- Zak is found to be abrasive by many people, although he views it as the best way to have an honest conversation (his g+ & blog comments. Which prove that people find him abrasive, but not that there is any ill intent)
- Mandy intentionally outed a transgendered person (I think his has been proven false? That her post was ambiguous enough that many people didn't realize they were transgendered until this article. She writes clearly enough that if it was intentional outing it would have been more obvious. Her editing the article once it was pointed out also speaks towards it not being intentional)
- We know Many updated the article after it was pointed out, which implies that whoever wrote this article didn't contact Mandy. Which implies bad faith on the part of the article writer. (implied bad faith, still, isn't proof of anything. But as +Marshall Burns points out, it's deeply uncool to hurt someone while claiming you're fighting to protect them )
- Pundit has, multiple times, asked that his real name doesn't get used. This article refers to him by name, even including "RPG Pundit" in quotes in the middle of his real name, making it impossible to not link the two together. In the same article that accuses Mandy of outing someone by linking their accounts. So clearly the author knows that this is bad behaviour (the article itself as evidence)
- Zak was banned from RPG Net (RPG net ban notice as evidence. But that just proves he was banned from a forum that regularly bans people, and that has one of the anti-Zak people as a forum moderator. Not actually proof that he did any of the things he's accused of doing.)
- Zak & Pundit gatekeep the hobby (Pundit tries, his blog as evidence.)

I've been told, but haven't seen:
- Zak is "famous" for having been banned from half the major RPG communities (He has been banned, but I don't know if that is the first thing people think of when they think of Zak. Maybe for this author it is? At any rate, it feels like an ad-hominem attack, unless his banning is tied to the other accusations.)
- Zak spends all his time derailing conversations on sexism, defending sexists and attacking real feminists
- Zak & Pundit gatekeep the hobby (Zak actively promotes that people should play the games that they enjoy, and seems to be anti-gatekeeping. Do we have an example of Zak gatekeeping we can reference?)
- Angry gatekeepers should never work on a game as influential as Dungeons and Dragons (isn't D&D, by its nature, trying to wall off a corner of the hobby and formalize it with specific rules & setting? Isn't that gatekeeping? And so it should be built by a group of people with specific ideas about how to play the game, so a coherent game can be made? That is, of course, only gatekeeping D&D, not gatekeeping Roleplaying-as-a-whole. But I'm just confused about why we wouldn't want to gatekeep a specific setting/ruleset?)
- Anyone who criticized found themselves subjected to harassment, abuse and real world stalking (Do we have any examples of someone who made concrete accusations, and then got harassed? We do have an example of Zak telling people on google+ not to harass, just to ask for proof. I don't have the link at the moment, but saw it earlier today)
- Sustained campaign of harassment (Do we have any examples of any "sustained" campaign, in which the harass-ee stopped posting against them and continued to be harassed?)
- they will routinely return to attack targets that angered them years ago (do we have any examples of them attacking a target that hadn't commented about them? If it's "routinely" then we should have many examples?)
- [Zak] has in the past posted lists of people who he feels have displeased him in some way (Are there any examples of this, other than him posting the list of people who +1'd an incorrect public accusation that someone was a rapist? Or is that the one and only example that is being referred to here.)
- "These attacks nearly always target women and LGTBQ individuals" (Do we have any information about the victims, to see the trend of targets against women/LGTBQ? Considering the makeup of his gaming group, is Zak more surrounded by women & LGTBQ than most people, so undirected attacks are more likely to land on them?)
- "I know several transpeople who their fans have attacked and harassed" (do we have any reason to think they were harassed because Zak or Pundit pointed them out, and any reason to think they were pointed out because of being trans?)

... I'm only halfway through the post, so I'm going to stop listing things here.

I honestly don't care if the evidence ends up being for/against either side. I'd just like to have the link to the thing that was actually done so we know these are true statements made in good faith.

Marshall BurnsJul 31, 2014

Well, that's good to know. And for the record, I'm not trying anything.

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+1
+Jess Purdy - Which firsthand source are you referring to? There are a lot of statements, and a lost of sources alluded to.

I can't see an author name on this article (but I might not know where to look), so I'm not sure who is the firsthand source.

I listed in my last post some of the accusations that I did feel had evidence.

If I've missed any, would you mind please adding them, or clarifying?

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+3
I find "hey maybe it's a coincidence a bunch of people who ran.afoul of Zak and got harassed just happened to be lgbt" deeply uncompelling as an argument. Once, you can call a coincidence. But it isn't just once, and that starts to make a pattern. 

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+2
+Jess Purdy "The person involved had no problem with the article. Try again"

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Is this about Mandy outing them, but they don't mind this article directing everyone to Mandy outing them?

If that's what you were referring to then:
Considering that Mandy was complaining of being internet-attacked by them, we can probably assume that they feel fairly antagonistic towards each other. Regardless of who is in the right. If they're feeling antagonistic, "not having a problem with an attack on the person you don't like" doesn't seem particularly surprising.

The question wasn't really "do they mind being outed in this article", though.
The question was "Did Mandy do a bad thing by accidentally outing them, yet this article did nothing wrong by intentionally drawing many people's attention to the outing before it could be corrected"

I don't know them. I don't know their opinions. Maybe they don't care who knows.

But it seems strange, to me at least, to say that outing someone is either a bad thing, or totally OK, depending on which webpage the outing happened on.

There may be background information, of course. Perhaps this article writer asked their permission before publishing this. Perhaps they already felt they had been outed, and didn't mind about further exposure.

Do we have any information about further context?

Nate McDJul 31, 2014+1
Mandy did not deliberately 'out' anybody, and has edited her tumblr to correct the accidental outing.

As has been pointed out several times now, most people assumed that the feminine handle was sock-puppet theater of some sort, and no mention or implication of them being transgender was made.

Mandy in good faith corrected the error, I think the claim she did this deliberately outed a transgender person should be put to rest with prejudice.

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+5
Damage is already done at this point, is more the point, yes.

I don't really get the constant calls for encyclopedia style citations on every statement anyone makes. I'm not saying anything controversial here. 

Jussi MarttilaJul 31, 2014+4
To be unfashionably crude, for the half-year or so (longer for some people), there's been a pattern of people asking where's the proof that Zak engages in behavior that's either harassment or inciting harassment, and when people speak up about being harassed by him, the next comment is always "well that's not proof, show me the proof."

So, is it really, really that surprising that a lot of people now reply to "show me the proof" with "go find a big pile of rocks and a hammer and pound those rocks up your butt"?

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+1
+Jess Purdy - I'd find that coincidence deeply suspicious, too.

What I'm asking is... how often has it happened?

I've seen Zak get into a lot of arguments. I don't often pay attention to the gender or sexuality of the people he's arguing with.

So, a genuine question, do we have any actual measurement of how often Zak argues with LGBT people vs CIS people?

I ask this as a genuine question, because I've seen a few people having positive conversations with Zak, and also (unconnected) noticed some of them making posts about being trans, or gay. So it doesn't seem like he actively shuns these people.

I've also seen him get into a LOT of arguments, and my first exposure to him was him arguing with me.

While one example of him arguing with a non-trans person doesn't prove anything about whether he seeks out arguments with trans people, it does make me wonder whether he argues with trans people, or just argues with people.

... you say there's a pattern. I'm interested in that. What are you seeing that I'm not, that displays this pattern?

(And you're probably seeing a LOT that I'm not seeing, since I mostly see the threads he starts, which will be read by people who like him. While you probably see more of the threads he joins.)

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+3
I find the notion that someone was using a protected twitter account for "sock puppet theater" pretty laughable, though. 

Nate McDJul 31, 2014+5
If Zak doesn't know somebody is LGBT and treats them the way he treats people he disagrees with, that isn't anti-LGBT behavior. Even I find him trying in a discussion or debate, and for some who wear their identity on their sleeve, they may perceive his debate style as a personal attack, but that does not make it so.

Just because a person is not shy about their sexual orientation or gender identity does not mean that anybody they argue with either knows or cares. The only way to detect such animus is pointed comments addressing their LGBT status. Those are notably absent.  

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+2
+Jess Purdy - I'm not asking for encyclpedia style citations. That's just dreary!

But quick references and a link doesn't seem unreasonable. The article itself is full of links already, so the author was clearly willing to go to the effort.

And when making accusations against individuals & companies, it seems that backing up your statements with at least some brief evidence is the least that you should do.

The requirement for citations might seem dreary, but the refusal to provide evidence looks deeply suspicious. Would you typically accept the statement "I know they say it's not true, but it is. I've got proof. I'm just not going to show you my proof. Why do you keep asking for it?"

While they've provided some links, unfortunately they linked to thinks like Problematic Tabletop, that provides the quotes without any context, rather than linking to the actual things said. (I admit with Zak it's hard as he shares things to circles. It's easy to be added to the circle, but I can understand why they might not want to link to something not everyone can see)

Even so, y'know, these guys are both bloggers. There is a TON of stuff that they've said out there. A few links to support your point doesn't seem unreasonable, does it?

I'm a programmer, and when I'm talking with other programmers by email we'll often throw in supporting links. So I wouldn't say "have you checked for xss?" without also giving a link to an article about what XSS is, and how to avoid it. That way we all know what we're talking about.

That said, I'm me, and you're you. You don't have to do things the way I want to do them.

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+4
Notably absent in public spaces, agreed. No one is accusing him of being an idiot.

This is one of those things where you're not going to believe it because you don't know or trust the accusers. I do, so I believe it. There is probably no way to convince you this is real, and it makes me sad, because it's caused people I care about a lot of stress and upset. 

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+3
+Jussi Marttila - that's totally understandable.

I tried to avoid that trap by making a post listing the accusations from the first half of the article, and a comment about either the proof that we've found (either pro or con), or a comment with what I'd expect the proof to be, but don't know the facts myself.

If you'll extend me the good will to assume that I'm discussing in good faith, and will genuinely consider any proof put forward, then hopefully you won't be annoyed if I ask for it.

I'll even go a step further. If you like, I'll write & maintain a post with bullet points of the accusations, and links to the provided proof. (In cases where there is a lot of proof, I'll link to, say, the three "best" sources, to avoid it being too long)

That way, in the future, when people ask "where is the proof" you can provide a handy link, and avoid having the same roundabout conversation.

Sounds good?

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014

(But I'm Australian, and it's long past time I left work and saw my family. So my offer still stands, but I'll need to catch up with this conversation & write the post tomorrow)

Nate McDJul 31, 2014+4
A simple message to Mandy to correct the post without making a public spectacle of accusing her of something and revealing that the handle (I and many others assumed was a rule 63 sock-puppet) was actually their new gender identity and they were transgender.

Instead, a great deal of hay was made of an accidental slight that was corrected at the first opportunity, and now nobody can escape knowing that a particular person is transgender.

Also, I and many other people don't know a thing about twitter... you say protected twitter, and I picture a bird with a condom hat

Jack MackJul 31, 2014+2
+Jess Purdy Has this private harassment happened online? If so, can you blank out all names and details and link an image of it?

Marcus BurggrafJul 31, 2014+4
All I saw was "I have heard that" and "I have a friend that" "And I was told in confidence that" but never seen a link to a blog post or an email or a twiitter or anything where Zak stalks/harasses another person, just where he is really mean and sometimes offensive in his choice of words. The best people have is teh Desborough list, and that is weaksauce, sorry. The names have all been public in the original post anyway. And laying the blame of abhorrent behaviour of some of his fans on Zaks feet seems silly to me. After all what If someone starts to harras the person referred to in the original post because of that original post. Is that author then also "pointing his followers to trans people to harras and as such a toxic entity"?

But actual links to the stuff he has allegedly done is exactly what is needed in this he said she said theater. because I do not know you or your friends and this being the internet and Trolls being all around I think not trusting words is wise. And yes, I do not know Zak either, but he has clearly linked to specific stuff that shows to me that he is not the BBEG he is made out to be.

A first person testimony is a person coming forward saying I was harrassed/stalked and clearly laying out how when and where that happened, preferrably with links. Everything else is hearsay to most. I do hope someone is brave enough to substantiate the claims, because otherwise these stuff will go in circles as you are claiming someone showed you evidence while we all are supposed to blindly believe you and remove Zak from our circles and tell everyone else to do the same. And that is just not how this stuff works. If I claim that e.g. Ettin has been stalking and harrasing a person on RPGnet and I can´t prove it because all the threads are gone because of his moderator powers, would you simply believe me? This is a hypothetical, just to be clear. And for me most claims agains´t Zak have the same validty as my theoretical example.

Jack MackJul 31, 2014+3
+Tony Demetriou Thanks for doing that work on this. Link me to this post of yours when it's up.

Jess PurdyJul 31, 2014+4
If you think somebody dropping out of the business.over this is part of.some.masterful trolling attempt, I dunno what to say.

When people.speak up even in this context, they get their personal info looked up and calls made to their phones by Zak's fans. That isn't Zak's doing, no. But it creates a hell of a chilling effect. 

Jon HiesfelterJul 31, 2014+2
+Jess Purdy Zak and Mandy got corrections going within 2 hours of being told, from a hospital no less.  IF someone had told them DAYS ago, damage could have been avoided.  But instead is it going to become one more offense to be hoarded like a dragon with gold?

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+4
+Jess Purdy - you don't know me, but you've already decided that I'm not going to believe your evidence and there's probably no way to convince me that it's real?

Is this because of something I've done or said?
Or just because I don't know the people in question, and you would feel this way about any outsider who doesn't know those people?

I have empathy for people being upset. I truly believe that there are people who were upset by Zak.

I neither believe nor disbelieve that Zak targetted those people due to being trans. I honestly have no information about that.

I do have you saying you know people who were targeted, and I believe you. I also work at a university and process a lot of student appeals, so I'm very aware that someone believing that they were treated badly, and someone intentionally treating the student badly are often confused. That belief has nothing to do with my trust or mistrust of you or your sources, and more an experience of seeing people on the internet constantly misunderstanding each other.

Without more information, I'm not forming an opinion in either direction. The only information I have is:
- Despite multiple articles being published, these people are still anonymous, and we haven't seen any logs of conversations
- Mike asked for evidence, and stated that there was no harassment against trans people (or whatever he did specifically say)
- In public Zak is supportive and welcoming of Trans people.

I'm sure you can understand why - when that's all I'm seeing - I don't have any reason to believe that Zak targets trans people.

That doesn't mean I won't believe it, or that I think you're lying. To repeat, I believe that you're genuine in what you're saying. I'm open to the idea. I just haven't heard anything that sways me towards believing it yet.

It might just be that this is a case where we say "there's really no evidence for these accusations" and move along?

A lack of evidence doesn't prove innocence or guilt.

A lack of evidence is also perfectly fine for a g+ conversation, and I can trust that I'm talking to someone who is discussing in good faith. However, we're talking about an article published on a blog "curating the best writing about pen and paper RPGs" that refers to a major commercial product by name & contents. In that context, a lack of public evidence is significant, and should at least be acknowledged.

At that point, we can continue to talk about Zak, and the horrible things he might have done, in private. Without linking those accusations to a product who hired him as a consultant. Because, if there is no public evidence of that wrongdoing, the company (& Mike Mearls) couldn't have done anything wrong by not taking that lack-of-evidence into account.

Am I making sense? I'm kind of tired, and I'm not sure if I'm expressing myself clearly.

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+1
+Jess Purdy - Totally understandable why people wouldn't speak up, if that is happening. Even if it's not Zak's fault.

Someone dropped out of the business over this? Surely something that big happening does have a name attached, and some sort of statement about why they are leaving?

But... again... for me this comes back to my question about Mike.

Wasn't this information sent to Mike? Since that way Zak's fans don't know who was involved.
And if so, why did Mike say that Zak hadn't harassed them?

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+5
I see that the assholes have arrived and that they are ignorant of their own assholery. 

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+2
+Tony Demetriou

After all, this whole conversation is about how people are being treated - it seems strange to say "let's talk about how group X is being treated, but group Y is not allowed to talk about how they are treated" regardless of who X and Y is.

But I don't have to host it and if someone makes someone else feel a particular way, those feelings aren't invalidated because the person didn't mean it. You've been drinking the kool-aid for far too long.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+4
Holy fuck, I can't believe people are actually against blocking. You fucks really don't get it.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+3
We know Many updated the article after it was pointed out, which implies that whoever wrote this article didn't contact Mandy.

Mandy didn't bother to contact anyone before she wrote her hit piece so....

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+4
[Problematic Tabletop] that provides the quotes without any context, rather than linking to the actual things said.

I know tumblr is really hard but it actually does link to what was actually said.

Marshall BurnsJul 31, 2014+2
"Mandy didn't bother to contact anyone before she wrote her hit piece so...."

Tracy, seriously? That's not helping anything, is it?

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+2
Harassment is about a pattern of abuse, so no, providing one or two links to behavior people HAVE ALREADY DISMISSED isn't going to prove it. 

Tony DemetriouJul 31, 2014+6
+Tracy Hurley - you absolutely don't have to host it if you don't want to. It appeared that you wanted to host it, when you made a public post linking to the article.

A conversation about how X hurts Y's feelings is fine & valid. It's also valid to point out if Y was hurting X's feelings, as that's the other side of the same conversation.

I'm not sure what kool-aid I've been drinking that led me to that belief. It sounds like an insult of some kind, but I don't recognize the reference.

If you disagree with me, then please tell me to discontinue this discussion (your house, your rules!), or please tell me where specifically you disagree? Like, do you disagree that it's the same conversation? Or disagree with presenting the "opponent's" side?

Also: Who was against blocking? I think you probably misunderstood the statements being made, or I missed the comment you read where someone was against blocking.

Also: Who is being an asshole? Despite holding different opinions, the conversation seemed rather civil up until this point. Of course, if I'm one of the assholes, and I'm ignorant of my own assholery then... that explains my confusion here. Feel free to remove my ignorance by explaining how I'm being an asshole. I might disagree, but I won't be offended by you speaking your mind.

... and, to repeat, this is your house, and your rules. If you'd rather I don't discuss this topic on your thread, I'm very happy to move along. Just say the word.

Regardless of whether you want me here or not, this is the first conversation we've had with each other, to my knowledge. I'm confused why you're referring to me as a "fuck", "asshole" and saying I'm drinking kool-aid, when I've never insulted you.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+6
Zak goes out of his way to misrepresent what I said, not just in places where we've disagreed but on multiple posts, both on his blog and on G+. He erases my sexuality (which is fucking horrible), calls me things that are untrue (including irrational, something commonly thrown at women to dismiss them which is sexist), and refuses to stop calling me these things. This has gone on for fucking years. It's a campaign of abuse that is, at its heart, about gendered topics. He's an asshole sure, but it goes way beyond that. And disagreeing with him is grounds for getting a years long crusade against you where he spreads lies and does not correct them afterward.

Multiple people knew that tablehop is transgender. Even if Mandy didn't, if she's the advocate for transgender people she claims to be, she should have known to fucking ask, especially since the previous conversations have already claimed that Zak was transphobic because he used a word based on a common slur . That you'll excuse that behavior for Mandy, especially coupled with the fact that Ettin does not use his real name anywhere in these discussions while online and yet she uses it anyway, says a lot about this supposed commitment to the truth and etiquette.

I also can't believe the entitlement a number of you have expressed. "Oh no! The person blocked me." Um, you don't get to decide when and where a discussion takes place and how it will take place. Instead of listening, you decide to come on here and enforce your world view on others. That shit's going to stop now.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+2
the conversation seemed rather civil up until this point

Tony, this is exactly part of the problem. People say all sorts of horrible things and think they are being civil.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014

+Marshall Burns Yes seriously. They don't even hold themselves to their own fucking standards.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+1
+Marshall Burns They are constantly telling me I have to research every fucking thing before I plus one it or reshare it and they can't be bothered to do basic research before they publish their hit pieces (which by the way have led to tablehop deciding to stop designing tabletop rpgs and to leave the industry due to the harassment she has received due to their repeated posts about her).

Marshall BurnsJul 31, 2014+3
I don't think that attitude is at all useful. You can't excuse bad behavior by pointing out worse behavior. It doesn't accomplish anything, except perhaps making one look childish, which doesn't actually affect the validity of arguments but definitely impacts how they are perceived.

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+1
+Marshall Burns You don't have to find it useful, but just because you don't doesn't mean that it isn't.

Adam YakaboskiJul 31, 2014

+Tony Demetriou
You want to know the reason why she won't believe you.  Its because to anyone who is a normal human being  would realize Zak is a vile person.  This is a guy who calls people who he gets into debates with and doesn't fall for his rhetorical games autistic which you know is pretty dam demented.

Jon HiesfelterJul 31, 2014

Don't think that's helping, Marshall. :/
Telling people they aren't allowed to be offended usually doesn't.  And it's a truth that there are bad actors on either side. 

Tracy HurleyJul 31, 2014+1
For instance, even after at least 2 people called Zak's interpretation of a comment I made a while ago tortured at best, Zak continues to say that I am 100% irrational and that I lie . He does this over and over.

He apparently keeps lists of these things to bring up whenever he needs to continue his attacks defend himself, which is itself creepy as fuck.

Marshall BurnsJul 31, 2014

Never mind.

Stephen KingJul 31, 2014+3
+Tracy Hurley  My favorite thing about that comment section is Zak claiming that you not wording things perfectly (honestly, it was worded perfectly fine) is a problem, after I've seen
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 04:59:13 AM by Zak S »
I won a jillion RPG design awards.

Buy something. 100% of the proceeds go toward legal action against people this forum hates.

Zak S

  • Just here to fact-check
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Fuck yr right wing bs
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 05:02:51 AM »

Cheese Prince(ss) ‏@lastnora  Aug 18
I saw someone at #GenCon2014 walking around in a t-shirt that said (to paraphrase) "Zak and Pundit made D&D better," so. That's a thing.
Reply  2 Retweet  Favorite
Cheese Prince(ss)
It was really fucking gross. The only reason you wear that shirt is to pick fights & make other people feel unsafe.
I won a jillion RPG design awards.

Buy something. 100% of the proceeds go toward legal action against people this forum hates.


  • Have YOU got any
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7685
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2014, 11:02:33 AM »
[deleted by OHT - you're lucky i caught this and not pundit, as you've been warned once. This thread is for "Please ONLY post copied evidence of misbehaviour by the Outrage Brigade here."]
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 04:10:42 PM by Rincewind1 »
Furthermore, I consider that  This is Why We Don't Like You thread should be closed

Zak S

  • Just here to fact-check
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Fuck yr right wing bs
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2014, 09:38:16 PM »
Something Awful Forum


The consultancy was essentially a bribe to ensure they wouldn't poo poo on D&D 5, and rally their fans to strangle the game in its crib. They probably had to sign non disparagement clauses.

And honestly, I blame the culture of the hobby for being such that the biggest company felt it had to bribe the two largest trolls. WoTC didnt hand them all that influence. gamers did.

Edit: we should troll RPGpundit and accuse him of being bribed by WoTC.


Mearls has openly stated that he's a fan of both. Like, numerous times, even before all this went down.

(OHT- No real names unless usually known online, Pundit's policy/ Paul Ettin)(Forum Moderator)

Don't touch the poop.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 08:57:23 PM by Zak S »
I won a jillion RPG design awards.

Buy something. 100% of the proceeds go toward legal action against people this forum hates.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 5155
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2014, 01:01:41 PM »
The hilarious thing is that these clowns think the people on this forum are 'fans' of Pundit. Our host has precious few fans on this site, or on any of the grognard forums. The commonality of posters on his forum is a shared appreciation of free speech, not some sort of hero-worship of Pundit.


  • Administrator - The Final Boss of Internet Shitlords
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48048
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2014, 11:53:10 AM »
Please DO NOT post comments on this thread. This thread is for content ONLY, not commentary about those contents.
LION & DRAGON: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying is available now! You only THINK you've played 'medieval fantasy' until you play L&D.

My Blog:
The most famous uruguayan gaming blog on the planet!

Check out my short OSR supplements series; The RPGPundit Presents!

Dark Albion: The Rose War! The OSR fantasy setting of the history that inspired Shakespeare and Martin alike.
Also available in Variant Cover form!
Also, now with the CULTS OF CHAOS cult-generation sourcebook

Arrows of Indra: The Old-School Epic Indian RPG!
NOW AVAILABLE: AoI in print form

The new Diceless RPG of multiversal power, adventure and intrigue, now available.


  • No Más
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 09:49:30 AM by ArrozConLeche »


  • Administrator - The Final Boss of Internet Shitlords
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48048
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2014, 05:43:40 PM »
Quote from: ArrozConLeche;801851

I'm sorry, but the entire point of this thread is that you do NOT just post a link; you cut and paste material so it will be kept, specifically material that you suspect has a high chance of being either edited or deleted in an effort to "hide the bodies" later on when the perpetrators find themselves being questioned on it.
LION & DRAGON: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying is available now! You only THINK you've played 'medieval fantasy' until you play L&D.

My Blog:
The most famous uruguayan gaming blog on the planet!

Check out my short OSR supplements series; The RPGPundit Presents!

Dark Albion: The Rose War! The OSR fantasy setting of the history that inspired Shakespeare and Martin alike.
Also available in Variant Cover form!
Also, now with the CULTS OF CHAOS cult-generation sourcebook

Arrows of Indra: The Old-School Epic Indian RPG!
NOW AVAILABLE: AoI in print form

The new Diceless RPG of multiversal power, adventure and intrigue, now available.


  • Descending into madness
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2014, 12:13:17 PM » is a good way to keep a webpage archived, as it's a lot more difficult to edit than just a screen capture too.
Quote from: dragoner;776244
Mechanical character builds remind me of something like picking the shoe in monopoly, it isn't what I play rpg's for.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1071
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2014, 10:52:46 PM »
BlackHat Matt on the term neckbeard (also fatbeard)

Context is always important, but sure, report it. It's a pretty insulting term no matter who's using it.

he then goes on to say

To be clear, it's not a "forbidden word." We don't really have those, except perhaps some of the harshest racial slurs.
If your having tier problems i feel bad for you son i got 99 problems but caster supremacy aint 1.

Apology's if there is no punctuation in the above post its probably my autism making me forget.


  • No Más
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2014, 12:14:17 PM »
Links to documenting the events surrounding Evil Hat's hissy fit and its consequences for James Desborough's #GamerGate game:

Bonus: Watch Cam "Mr. Ethics Counselor" Banks, pseudo-activist and Marvel Heroic RPG author, make threats about the blackballing of people only to find himself backpedaling, on this very site, like a coward:

Let me know if you still need the quoted text. I doubt that these will be removed from


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7638
This is Why We Don't Like You
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2014, 11:56:00 AM »
Fred Hick referencing the events in Ferguson, MO and James Desborough's micropublished GamerGate cardgame.

Currently running: Runequest in Glorantha + Call of Cthulhu   Currently playing: D&D 5E + RQ
My Blog: For Honor...and Intrigue
I have a gold medal from Ravenswing and Gronan owes me bee