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Video Game Forum NeoGAF Goes Dark After Sexual Assault Allegations Against Site Owner

The NeoGAF moderation team resigned in solidarity against website founder.

News by Matt Kim, .

Full Disclosure: USGamer's Mike Williams is a former moderator at NeoGAF who has also stepped down in light of the allegations.

Online video game forum, NeoGAF, is currently down after sexual assault allegations came forward against site owner Tyler "Evilore" Malka. Many of the site's moderation team have stepped down in protest against Malka, and the forum's future is currently unclear.

Today, sexual assault allegations against Malka began circulating online which alleged that Malka made unwanted sexual advances against an individual. The moderation team stepped down from the site for various personal reasons, some in solidarity with the victim. Furthermore, NeoGAF users began protesting the site and its owner just before the site went down.

According to Twitter this is not the first time allegations of sexual assault have come up against Malka. However, recent events regarding sexual assault and harassment in the video game and larger entertainment industry have prompted swift action against perpetrators of sexual assault.

One screencapped post from a Neogaf member announcing their resignation posted a banner of Neogaf's logo with the words, "Believe Women" attached. A take on the site's regular slogan, "Believe".

Neogaf is reportedly preparing a statement, though the future for the website is unclear. A popular video game forum, NeoGAF counts industry figures as members and part of its community. As such, news and breaking events in the video games community often come first from the website.

We will update the story as more details arise. If you have any further information regarding the situation, please reach out to USGamer.net at matt.kim@usgamer.net

Correction: An earlier headline referred to Malka as the site Founder. He is the site owner. The headline has been changed to reflect the correction.

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Comments 36

  • Avatar for Suzusiiro #1 Suzusiiro A month ago
    It's been up and down all evening- I don't think this is Evilore taking the site down, this is either a DDoS or just increased traffic from everyone spamming F5 waiting for the "statement" and/or just wanting to watch it burn firsthand.

    From what I've gathered the timeline seems to be that the mods locked threads saying they'd make a statement about the accusations later on, they talked to Evilore about what that statement would be, then they didn't like what they heard and bailed. People started doing account suicide posts in protest (like the one in that tweet,) then people realized that the locks and bans wouldn't actually come because there was nobody around to do them and shit got *really* crazy.
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  • Avatar for gigantor21 #2 gigantor21 A month ago
    As disgusting as this is, it's not entirely surprising. A few years ago, he randomly groped someone in Italy, acted like "she was asking for it", and banned people who called him out on it.

    And to think he once bragged about not selling the site for millions.

    What a piece of worthless garbage.Edited 5 weeks ago by gigantor21
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  • Avatar for swamped #3 swamped A month ago
    Thanks for the update. I couldn't figure out what was going on since all Twitter was pulling in was GG'ers celebrating. (I didn't know that was still a thing??)
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  • Avatar for Duncarin #4 Duncarin A month ago
    The timeline here isn't correct.

    The news broke about 4 days ago and the mod team was nuking any thread, post or poster that mentioned it. This includes the guy who confirmed that the accusation post was genuine, he did not confim this on gaf but they banned him anyway. They were doing such a good job of hiding it that the majority of the forum was unware of it until today.

    My speculation is that they knew they couldn't keep a lid on it much longer and asked evilore to make a statement and whatever answer he gave them caused them to step down.

    This is the same mod team that stood behind evilores last statement that they barely knew amir0x. It's also the same mod team that has been deleting and banning posters who dared to ask about previous evilore accusations and had been doing so for years.

    So excuse me if i don't buy "The moderation team, in an act of solidarity with the victim, stepped down from the site."
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  • Avatar for UnskippableCutscene #5 UnskippableCutscene A month ago
    I don’t have a stake in this one as I’ve never been part of NeoGaf, not have I ever registered an account there. I have to ask: how does it pay it’s own bills? It seems to be a rather prominent place, but every time I look at it I see the kind of message board that ran me into debt in the late 90s. No blogging, no video features, no content other than the kind of forum Reddit and Facebook crushed to dust years ago.
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  • Avatar for Spectreman #6 Spectreman A month ago
    Not a surprise. Who cries louder in defense of political correctness is to hide shit things that do in personal life, like that other pedophile neogaf mod. People need to take serious real problems, rather than being outrage by big boobs in digital characters, for example.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #7 Roto13 A month ago
    This is the least surprising news ever. EvilLore has always been a disgusting creep. He doesn't even try to hide it. Same with when Amir0x turned out to be a monster. It's not like he had anyone convinced he wasn't human garbage before that point.
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  • Avatar for Siresly #8 Siresly A month ago
    Aside from a proper mea culpa, apology to the person he did this to and a committal to changing his behavior, what I'd like to see in this forthcoming statement is him stepping down and going away. The mod exodus would suggest that's not going to happen. I wouldn't be able to stick around either if he decides to.
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  • Avatar for wickerj #9 wickerj A month ago
    So, is there past evidence of Evillore being a creep and this is extremely believable?
    Have multiple people come out saying he has harassed them?

    In no way saying that he is innocent or going against the lady,

    Just lynch mobs and lack of due process in any situation disturbs me.

    Having dealt with a lot of people with mental illnesses in my life, one person's words being able to destroy someone else's life scares me.
    Obviously, the victim in question probably felt the same way when she was harassed.
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  • Avatar for themblan #10 themblan A month ago
    The death of NeoGAF would be a great victory for the human race.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #11 riderkicker A month ago
    @themblan I'm just waiting for the other NG site.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #12 Kuni-Nino A month ago
    @wickerj Yeah, EvilLore himself confirmed it in one of his stories. You don't need to read a lot of his posts to recognize that the dude had a mammoth sized ego. His attitude on women in the past was also pretty suspect. I can't get into details but just think of any frat boy and how they act at parties and that's basically EvilLore.

    I don't know all the details about what happened here, but if he sexually assaulted someone, I can believe that especially in today's world where nonsense isn't tolerated anymore. He's that kind of dude, unfortunately.

    Anyways, I'm sad to see that the site had to be nuked. I had a community there with some really some really nice people that I regularly conversed with.

    It's also telling that Mike quit the moderation team. The allegations must have been serious.
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  • Avatar for Almyn #13 Almyn A month ago
    The shitstorm this is going to create in the coming days is going to be epic. The forum brought it on itself, And while i'm not exactly happy to see it (potentially) go I won't really miss it either. The nonsense they tried to stir up about A Hat In Time was the straw that broke the camels back for me.
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #14 WiIIyTheAntelope A month ago
    GAF has not been a video game forum for a long, long time. It's a social justice forum with a smattering of video games. Which is exactly why the developers abandoned it, and all those leaks which it was once known for dried up. The people that wanted to just talk about video games had to live in constant fear of being banned. I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I saw a member try to take a thread about a game and twist it into some social justice witch hunt, then be politely asked to stop, only for the person asking them to stop wind up banned.

    The most hilarious one I can recall off the top of my head was the "Link should be a girl" thread. The only allowable opinion was "Yes, Link should be a girl and Nintendo is sexist." Saying anything that deviated from that would lead to being banned. I think they wound up with 80 something people banned over the course of that thread. But that's the kind of thing that happens when you let the patients run the asylum.

    So long GAFFE, I'd say you'll be missed. But you won't.
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  • Avatar for PooPooKaKaBumBum #15 PooPooKaKaBumBum A month ago
    @Duncarin Considering MHWIlliam, a staff member of this site, was also a mod at Neogaf, it's incredibly shady that they didn't disclose this.

    I think MHWilliams should be speaking up about how much he knew about Malka's behaviour.
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  • Avatar for R.A.D. #16 R.A.D. A month ago
    Deleted 5 weeks ago by R.A.D.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #17 MetManMas A month ago
    @WiIIyTheAntelope Goddamn, man. I'm generally fine with social justice, but there is such a thing as taking it way too far.

    Like, banning anybody who expressed Anti-Girl Link opinions in a horrible, volatile, death threatening way is fine, but doing so for politely disagreeing? That's Mercykiller grade corruption, like blowing someone's head off for being near a "No loitering" sign for two seconds.

    Edit: For the record, I'm in the Pro-Girl Link camp.Edited 2 times. Last edited 5 weeks ago by MetManMas
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  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #18 KaiserWarrior A month ago
    @MetManMas There's a lesson in there about the actual point of all of that stuff, but that's for another time.

    For now, all I will say is that I bear zero surprise to hear about this sort of thing coming from GAF staff. There's a saying about protesting too much, it applies.
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  • Avatar for jayzii #19 jayzii A month ago
    @PooPooKaKaBumBum
    Seriously.

    So has Mike Williams stepped out of the burning building he helped run and into the onlooking crowd with just a "tsk tsk", end of story? Cool.
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #20 WiIIyTheAntelope A month ago
    @MetManMas It was quite honestly one of the most embarrassing displays I've ever seen on the internet. A discussion forum..where you aren't actually allowed to discuss anything.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #21 Kuni-Nino A month ago
    I was in a lot of those "Link should be a girl" threads, and I don't remember people being banned for expressing an opposite opinion. People were being banned for antagonizing each other and derailing the thread with Gamergate talking points (like PC culture and the like yadda yadda).

    NeoGAF's mods were probably being oversensitive in some cases, but overall, if you were chill, you got to have a say in the matter.

    However, I did notice some weird stuff going on in the past year. It really did seem like hivemind was in full effect with communities straight up being attacked and little moderation going on to end the pile ons.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #22 Vonlenska A month ago
    I never hung out on the site, but I liked a lot of the lists, fancy pants "official" threads and research/effort posts; so far the candidates for GAF-3 (slaent, Motherboard) aren't really conducive to that, so I imagine that's just...over. Unless Evilore steps down, which looks unlikely. Given that most of the allegations about him have been either brought forth by multiple people or confirmed by Evilore himself... yeah. I'm not cool with continuing to use the site if he's still running it, either. Dude sounds super gross, like someone I'd arrange to never be alone with. That's evidently been a known broken stair for a long time, so not a shock that the consensus from those more in the loop seems to be, "Not a shock." Sucks that none of it was addressed this directly previously, but it is good that the response is this strong when more people are aware of it. That does leave me with a little bit of anxious hope that we clearly are moving toward a culture in which sexual assault and harassment are plainly not acceptable. Even if it was "long ago." Even if "everybody knows."

    (Also, let's give Mike time to react, yeah? Even someone on an inside channel may be unaware of things that are "open secrets" or otherwise actively and aggressively Not Discussed. I think Mike has a good enough track history that we can assume honesty in good faith, and I imagine he's writing a more detailed article now.)
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #23 MHWilliams A month ago
    @PooPooKaKaBumBum I've been in San Francisco this entire week, in a warehouse, playing a video game for work. (Hence the lack of stuff from me on the site this week. No podcast, no streaming. Any news I did was late in the evening from my hotel.) I checked in on GAF *once* when the news started breaking. I dropped out of the site yesterday while I was mid-layover in an airport because my Twitter was blowing up and I checked in the channel to find the full scope of the news. I'm not a mod and I'm not using GAF for other discussion until the situation changes in some major way.

    As to how much I knew about the situation in the allegations. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. I've been a mod for a year and some change. I read boards, commented on shit I was interested in, and banned some people. Same as here on USG and Millarworld.

    There won't be a further detailed article, just because part of me doing both was keeping my time with USgamer and GAF separate. Ethically, I can't write anything for USgamer about any major GAF situation. I disclosed on any news story I pulled from GAF that I was a mod there. And if anyone from GAF has issues with this story, I'd merely have to forward them to Matt. All of this was part of taking the position and why I certainly didn't hide any of my associations: MHWilliams here is MHWilliams there, same picture, same person. Part of that is being open and honest about what I do and who I am.
    @jayzii I'm unsure what else you'd like? I was told of the scope of the situation, and I left.Edited 3 times. Last edited 5 weeks ago by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for mouse-clicker #24 mouse-clicker A month ago
    @swamped Of course GamerGate never went away! I transformed into a national movement and is now the model for white supremacy and misogyny on the national stage!
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  • Avatar for jayzii #25 jayzii A month ago
    @MHWilliams

    Well your explanation in the comment above would have been a good place to start, rather than having someone else at the website you work for write a piece about the situation while casting the moderation staff you were a part of in a positive light, bravely stepping down in solidarity.

    There's been sketchy things going on with the people running neogaf and its moderation practices, especially when it came to discussing said sketchiness, for a while now. Just assuming everyone thinks you bear no relation to that behavior or the minimizing of that behavior –and the strict moderation (banning) for even discussing it– because you left when the site owner was put on blast for being a creep for the second (third?) time, without an explanation, seems naive to me. On the internet, people usually want explanations for things like this.

    You do you, though.Edited 2 times. Last edited 5 weeks ago by jayzii
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #26 MetManMas A month ago
    @Kuni-Nino Thanks for sharing more info on this particular subject. I'm not really familiar with NeoGAF, but I do know that there are forums that can and will ban people over minor things, which is why I didn't find that statement unbelievable.

    Sure sounds like a subject they got spammed with way too many discussions of.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #27 MHWilliams A month ago
    @jayzii Once again, from an ethics perspective, I cannot write about this situation on USgamer. I'm not involved with the story above in any capacity.

    The rest, I frankly have little ability to change or affect your perception of the situation in any meaningful capacity. I've said what I've said and been rather open about everything I've done on GAF and USgamer. So, as you say, you do you.

    I hope you continue to be a reader for USgamer though, given the great work being done here.
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  • Avatar for jayzii #28 jayzii A month ago
    @MHWilliams

    Yes, I will continue to be a reader. I'm not accusing you of anything, just pointing out the optics of you not saying anything while someone else at the site distances you from the situation. You were a moderator on a site known to have questionable moderation, especially around personally... "unflattering" topics.

    A statement to say where you stood on the matter seemed in order to me, more so than just leaving. You could have written an explanation like you did in your comment somewhere else and the article could have linked to it or something. Maybe you were waiting for Malka to make a comment first and I jumped the gun, I don't know. This past year has been a lot.

    I'm glad you addressed it in the comments here at least.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #29 SatelliteOfLove A month ago
    The intelligence, empathy, and evervescent wit of GAF has been a home for me going on 13 years. Far from the dull, repetitive drudgery and bickering of most site's discussion with real developers and real reviewers. Actual fact-checking! Fancy that!

    But this is probably fatal, at least to A "GAF", not the spirit of the site. The only way "GAF" under that name can come back is if he completely divests himself till he can sell the site and enough leadership comes back...a tall order.

    So yeah, I've lost more good acquaintences and friends from the site's history than I have now, so I'll track where they go and perhaps coordinate on a new home away from the drudgery, more like here than the bowels of Reddit or what have you I escaped from.

    @swamped

    It is THE thing now. Those manbabies got a job doing what they loved...

    @MetManMas

    That's been the thing about GAF: it's heavily moderated but hasn't been cheeky about it in about a decade (ie, "if Drinky can't do it anymore, than it's after that time period). Hard to get, easy to lose. Much better than the exploitable techno-libertarian messes that function as signal boosting to urban legends at best.

    Puts some texture on this butthurt and schadenfreude, it does...
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #30 MHWilliams A month ago
    @jayzii It's not a problem, man. I understand everything is running hot now and it's a very bad situation. For my part, I'm just being open in whatever manner I can.
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  • Avatar for JohnnyThunders #31 JohnnyThunders A month ago
    @wickerj
    Agree entirely. While not diminishing the seriousness of this type of issue, whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #32 WiIIyTheAntelope 30 days ago
    @JohnnyThunders GAF has fostered a community that loves nothing more than a witch hunt over the last say 5(?) years or so. There is no innocent until proven guilty in witch hunting. It's much more surprising that it took this long for it to burn itself down, as this isn't the first time Evillore has participated in some unsavory conduct..and the mod that now sits in a jail cell.

    I sure bet Tyler is really regretting turning down that multi-million dollar offer he got to buy the site some time back, now that the value of the site is about the same as a meal at Arbys.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #33 Kuni-Nino 30 days ago
    @JohnnyThunders That's a rule made for the courts of law to abide. The court of public opinion has no such guidelines.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #34 SargeSmash 29 days ago
    @Kuni-Nino : While that may be true, there's a reason it exists in courts. I don't particularly like how our society jumps to conclusions on almost everything these days.

    This guy may be a scumbag. I have zero knowledge of who he is, or of NeoGAF outside of some interesting posts I've read there. But I do feel like perhaps in situations where it is warranted, we extend some benefit of the doubt to the accused party.

    @ Duncarin: It could very well be that the moderation team was doing the above, extending the benefit of the doubt while they had time to evaluate the evidence. And honestly, if you're not sure about an accusation, I wouldn't throw it out there for public consumption right off the bat anyway. You can absolutely ruin someone's life with an accusation like this. The fact that they all pretty much resigned tells me that the evidence is likely pretty strong... but since I haven't seen said evidence, I'm going to withhold judgment until I do.Edited 2 times. Last edited 5 weeks ago by SargeSmash
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  • Avatar for Duncarin #35 Duncarin 29 days ago
    @SargeSmash

    You admit in your post that you have very little knowledge of the site or evilore himself, i assume this also extends to the actions of the mod team.

    As i said they covered for him for years. Gaf has some very creepy ex members who document every little thing that happens on and off those forums. All of this is just a google search away if you want to see it.

    Personally i've been with gaf since gaming-age, i was one of the first to signup to neogaf and saw the majority of this as it happened.
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  • Avatar for ironjoe99 #36 ironjoe99 29 days ago
    I think the discussion of the banathons at Neogaf do obscure the fact that some of the community threads there are particularly impressive. The retro threads, for nearly every system, are a fun place to hang out and discuss retro games. You're not going to get banned in those, unless you thread topic derail.

    Now politics? I post on neogaf, but I sure don't post there. If you can stay calm and relax when posting on politics, you'll likely be fine. If you're a gamergater? You'll be banned pretty quick. Reddit is the place for incendiary opinions, as Gaf rarely tolerates it. Fair? Maybe not, but I don't need an incessant flame war based on some obscure connection between game journalists. I'll fully agree that there is a lot of groupthink in the politics threads, but hopefully that will dissipate with a new mod team. If it ever comes back.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #37 SargeSmash 28 days ago
    @Duncarin : True. I've only started getting up to speed on how all this has gone down.
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