'Penny Arcade' Posts Hilariously Unprofessional E-Mails From Marketing Company

Been following this on neogaf, and it's a lot more insidious the more info gets uncovered:

http://www.examiner.com/video-game-i...

The later updates 15/16 are very interesting.

LockAndLoad wrote:
Running Man wrote:
mcdonis wrote:

I have to admit the guy got what he deserves, I am sorry for his family (if he has any).

I feel bad for his family too, if they exist, but in a way it seems particularly craven for a bully to hide behind his wife and child when the b.s. he spews blows back toward him.

The family angle really sucks for him. He just got married a few months ago and had a baby boy after that. He also got a really expensive electric shaver, some expensive alcohol and a full arm tattoo for Xmas. Also, Facebook and Reddit are really creepy for just casually having that info sharable...

THIS! Giving out his professional contact information makes me a bit queasy, but that stuff is readily available anyways. The granularity of rest of the info that is out there for this guy and everyone else who uses these services really makes me nervous, though.

I've been following this closely since it started, and it's an extremely interesting tale of internet communities and Mass Group Think. The big big players, Penny Arcade and Reddit, are at very interesting stages.

Malor wrote:

You know, I gotta say, the PA guys are turning into grade-A dicks themselves. Not that it excuses Christoforo's behavior, but when people are saying "Don't make Mike Krahulik angry", you know there's something really wrong.

I came over to GWJ from the Penny Arcade forums - I had joined there as they seemed to have a set of boards that matched my interests. It's an interesting place. I ultimately left because they were very clique-y and could get snarky in a hurry. They think of themselves as fairly cutting-edge in terms of internet culture. Gabe and Tycho are, obviously, held in very high regard and their boards turn into an echo that will repeat whatever sentiment is posted on the site.

I feel the same way that G&T are getting fairly full of themselves, but on the other hand - they truly have done a lot for the gaming community. I liken them to Valve at this point. Lots of people are getting skeptical because they're getting a little too big, much like the Penny Arcade cult of personality. At the same time, however, it's hard to point to either doing anything BUT good things for the gaming community. Until they do, they're just going to steamroll whatever's out there that they feel obligated to.

LockAndLoad wrote:

Also, Facebook and Reddit are really creepy for just casually having that info sharable...

Once the ball gets rolling, the Reddit Hive Mind is a thing to behold. I've been active for a while now, and the very nature of their systems make it easy for the pitchfork mobs to get roiled up in a hurry. The upvoting system works really well in subreddits where the point is to share interesting and relevant articles based on the topic at hand.

When used as a message-board style system, however, the most inflammatory knee-jerk reactions get upvoted to the top and any common sense gets buried in downvotes, never to be seen again. In some ways Reddit is great, but in others it is one of the biggest circle jerks on the internet. Because their membership has grown so large, there is a substantial population of Internet Vigilantes who look at tales of 4chan raids and other tomfoolery and get all excited and want to hunt down the bad guy. Families, personal information, all of it is "fair game", which I do not condone whatsoever. Because, big picture, this is all about a f*cking controller holder.

Getting heavyweights of the community like Gabe and Tycho involved put this in the realm of silly awfully quickly - and then once Notch mentioned it via Twitter anyone who wasn't aware of this soon was. That's what it hit Ludicrous levels and it all spiraled into a fascinating tale of nerd rage.

The information posted for contact were to the Controller Peripheral company to complain and Paul's, now changed, twitter account.

I feel there is nothing unprofessional or grey about that. This Paul guy deserves a lesson and he got it.

Michael wrote:

I've been following this closely since it started, and it's an extremely interesting tale of internet communities and Mass Group Think. The big big players, Penny Arcade and Reddit, are at very interesting stages.

Malor wrote:

You know, I gotta say, the PA guys are turning into grade-A dicks themselves. Not that it excuses Christoforo's behavior, but when people are saying "Don't make Mike Krahulik angry", you know there's something really wrong.

I came over to GWJ from the Penny Arcade forums - I had joined there as they seemed to have a set of boards that matched my interests. It's an interesting place. I ultimately left because they were very clique-y and could get snarky in a hurry. They think of themselves as fairly cutting-edge in terms of internet culture. Gabe and Tycho are, obviously, held in very high regard and their boards turn into an echo that will repeat whatever sentiment is posted on the site.

I feel the same way that G&T are getting fairly full of themselves, but on the other hand - they truly have done a lot for the gaming community. I liken them to Valve at this point. Lots of people are getting skeptical because they're getting a little too big, much like the Penny Arcade cult of personality. At the same time, however, it's hard to point to either doing anything BUT good things for the gaming community. Until they do, they're just going to steamroll whatever's out there that they feel obligated to.

I would point to their horrible handling of the Dick-wolves incident as a non-good thing they did for/to the gaming community. It's certainly always sitting in the back of my mind when I hear about the actual good things (like this) that they've done.

Stengah wrote:

I would point to their horrible handling of the Dick-wolves incident as a non-good thing they did for/to the gaming community. It's certainly always sitting in the back of my mind when I hear about the actual good things (like this) that they've done.

True - forgot about that one. They didn't handle that one very well.

Getting popcorn!

Xeknos wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Malor, is it that you think Mike's behavior was out of line, or does the amount of power he can wield unsettle you?

Out of fairness, Mike himself states that as soon as the posted the guy's contact information, the power was out of his hands. The question becomes whether it was right for him to post it, but as stated above, that information was likely going to come out anyway once the internet started getting involved.

Yes, that is the question. It was "out of his hands" at that point, but before that point it was securely in his hands. He chose to let it go, knowing the consequences. It isn't clear whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing but he can't absolve himself of responsibility for a choice he made, for better or worse. Otherwise you might as well shoot someone and say, "once the bullet left the gun it was out of my hands. I bear no responsibility for what the bullet decided to do from that point on. Besides, he had it coming."

I also think that doing good - and let's be clear, they have done a lot of good - has much of an impact on whether one is or is not a dick. If I donate a million dollars to sick orphans and then start kicking puppies, I am a dick. A benevolent, altruistic dick.

I agree, Lobster. But in this case, was it a bullet or a nerf dart? If it was just public contact info for one or other company, it wasn't really some great reveal on his part.

NFSW but very funny:

LobsterMobster wrote:

Yes, that is the question. It was "out of his hands" at that point, but before that point it was securely in his hands. He chose to let it go, knowing the consequences. It isn't clear whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing but he can't absolve himself of responsibility for a choice he made, for better or worse. Otherwise you might as well shoot someone and say, "once the bullet left the gun it was out of my hands. I bear no responsibility for what the bullet decided to do from that point on."

To clarify - and someone correct me if I am mistaken- PA posted his business information: his Twitter handle and the parent company.

Personal information was dug up by the Internet Mob in the ensuing inferno.

Was looking for this topic here yesterday. Saw a bit at kotaku, then read the blog post at PA.

While I agree it's a little scary what info is out there and what can be found so quickly... it's also nice to see Internet Dickwad, who things he's anonymous, get what he deserves.

One of the reasons I like this place, we generally treat each other with respect. And even the few times things have got heated between people (mostly L4D/2 vs that I've seen), we're mature enough to step back and let things cool off for a while.

This guy had a chance, when Mike got involved and told him he would cancel his PAX booth. He could have done a little research, apologized, cited the stressful delays, and maybe got away with his job still intact and a valuable life lesson. Instead he escalated things and kept being a jerk. Whatever happens now is his own fault.

And the bullying thing is appropriate to cite. There are constantly news stories about kids being bullied in school or online, and sometimes even leading to suicides or other still serious emotional problems. Bullying shouldn't be tolerated. If more people would step in to help when they had a chance instead of looking the other way, things would be a lot better off.

Arovin wrote:

NFSW but very funny:

video

That's sheer awesomeness. How the hell do they do this so quickly, didn't the story just break yesterday? I hope a South Park version is in the works

Michael wrote:

To clarify - and someone correct me if I am mistaken- PA posted his business information: his Twitter handle and the parent company.

Personal information was dug up by the Internet Mob in the ensuing inferno.

If it didn't occur to Mike before he posted that the Internet Mob would dig up this guy's personal information and post it everywhere, he hasn't been paying attention to the internet. It's a pretty obvious outcome for a post like that.

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

momgamer wrote:

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

Unless he posted those on the front page of Penny Arcade himself, the responsibility for this getting out into the internet wilds is still with Mike.

Sounds like they're both jerks, to me...

Tagging and giving props to Michael for an excellent summary post on the grey areas of this. (Ps. GWJ Redditors unite!)

ClockworkHouse wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

Unless he posted those on the front page of Penny Arcade himself, the responsibility for this getting out into the internet wilds is still with Mike.

Strongly disagree. Mike related a story of a douchebag so everyone would know what an awful person he was. He publicized the events, but did not issue a fatwa or publish any of the guy's private info. I don't like the implication that popular figures like Mike can't perform the public duty of identifying assholes for us all so that we can stay clear of them.

Just about any piece of information can be misused. EVEN THIS POST!

ClockworkHouse wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

Unless he posted those on the front page of Penny Arcade himself, the responsibility for this getting out into the internet wilds is still with Mike.

According to the sources I can find, the customer went to Reddit and Destructoid first. Mike did post them, but the damage was already done.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

Unless he posted those on the front page of Penny Arcade himself, the responsibility for this getting out into the internet wilds is still with Mike.

It's possible that Mike may not have thought it would have escalated to that point, though. He may have had the expectation that the guy's work email and twitter were going to get bombarded by harassing comments, not leading to the guy getting docced. As far as I know, doccing someone is a relatively new phenomenon.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

Unless he posted those on the front page of Penny Arcade himself, the responsibility for this getting out into the internet wilds is still with Mike.

Strongly disagree. Mike related a story of a douchebag so everyone would know what an awful person he was. He publicized the events, but did not issue a fatwa or publish any of the guy's private info. I don't like the implication that popular figures like Mike can't perform the public duty of identifying assholes for us all so that we can stay clear of them.

Just about any piece of information can be misused. EVEN THIS POST!

It's immature and unprofessional for Mike to post the exchange he had with this guy. He's not putting it out there as a warning to other people, as the majority of his readers will never have reason to hire a marketing expert, and there are better ways of making that kind of public service announcement, anyway. Mike used his fame to give this guy a good ol' fashioned public shaming. You might think a public shaming is a great thing, and there are certainly a lot of comments here in support of that very idea, but I don't.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Um.... the minute that customer guy sent his actual email address and display name in the headers he sent out the cat was out of that bag, Clocky. If you're going to start down that road, start there.

Unless he posted those on the front page of Penny Arcade himself, the responsibility for this getting out into the internet wilds is still with Mike.

Strongly disagree. Mike related a story of a douchebag so everyone would know what an awful person he was. He publicized the events, but did not issue a fatwa or publish any of the guy's private info. I don't like the implication that popular figures like Mike can't perform the public duty of identifying assholes for us all so that we can stay clear of them.

Just about any piece of information can be misused. EVEN THIS POST!

It's immature and unprofessional for Mike to post the exchange he had with this guy. He's not putting it out there as a warning to other people, as the majority of his readers will never have reason to hire a marketing expert, and there are better ways of making that kind of public service announcement, anyway. Mike used his fame to give this guy a good ol' fashioned public shaming. You might think a public shaming is a great thing, and there are certainly a lot of comments here in support of that very idea, but I don't.

So what do you suggest be done?

momgamer wrote:
LockAndLoad wrote:
Running Man wrote:
mcdonis wrote:

I have to admit the guy got what he deserves, I am sorry for his family (if he has any).

I feel bad for his family too, if they exist, but in a way it seems particularly craven for a bully to hide behind his wife and child when the b.s. he spews blows back toward him.

The family angle really sucks for him. He just got married a few months ago and had a baby boy after that. He also got a really expensive electric shaver, some expensive alcohol and a full arm tattoo for Xmas. Also, Facebook and Reddit are really creepy for just casually having that info sharable...

THIS! Giving out his professional contact information makes me a bit queasy, but that stuff is readily available anyways. The granularity of rest of the info that is out there for this guy and everyone else who uses these services really makes me nervous, though.

It worries me too that one day someone will find a reason to get ticked at me and take my personal info and use it against me. That said the guy was a bully and when given chance after chance continued to meltdown.

At this point I actually wonder if the guy has serious mental issues. I mean who in their right mind would talk like that and then continue to esclate it. Its one thing for a 12 year old but a grown man?

This story has several good teaching moments for our kids.

Chastened gaming rep responds to Internet infamy

ClockworkHouse wrote:

You might think a public shaming is a great thing, and there are certainly a lot of comments here in support of that very idea, but I don't.

In some cases, I think it's a good thing.

mcdonis wrote:

It worries me too that one day someone will find a reason to get ticked at me and take my personal info and use it against me. That said the guy was a bully and when given chance after chance continued to meltdown.

Yeah, welcome to the internet. On the one hand, you've got the Anonymous Dickwad Theory; on the other, you've got loons who use any personal info they can find to harass you.

momgamer wrote:

So what do you suggest be done?

Mike shouldn't have posted their exchange in the first place. At this point? Mike should take down the post and apologize to the guy, both privately and publicly, for having posted it. I have no expectation that that will happen.

As for everyone caught up in the schadenfreude of it who are posting what the guy's Christmas gifts were, that genie can't be put back in the bottle, sadly.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
momgamer wrote:

So what do you suggest be done?

Mike shouldn't have posted their exchange in the first place. At this point? Mike should take down the post and apologize to the guy, both privately and publicly, for having posted it. I have no expectation that that will happen.

As for everyone caught up in the schadenfreude of it who are posting what the guy's Christmas gifts were, that genie can't be put back in the bottle, sadly.

So why aren't you suggesting that Reddit and Destructoid (and Kotaku and about 10 other sites that I know of) do this? Why only Penny Arcade?

momgamer wrote:

So why aren't you suggesting that Reddit and Destructoid (and Kotaku and about 10 other sites that I know of) do this? Why only Penny Arcade?

Because, so far as I can tell, Penny Arcade is ground zero for this. The customer having problems might have posted about it elsewhere, but it didn't blow up; get reported on Destructoid, Kotaku, and a dozen other sites; and become an internet crusade until Mike put their exchange up on Penny Arcade's front page.

I agree that posting the guy's personal contact information online was out of line and shouldn't have happened. I also have a hard time feeling any sympathy for the guy himself. Perhaps that because like Mike, I was bullied throughout my entire schooling career and I've no doubt it had a profound impact on my mental upbringing. The key point is this: All of this could have been avoided if the guy wasn't such a bloody idiot to a paying customer. Some people may have taken the retribution too far but he's the one who started this and he's the one who is ultimately responsible for his actions. All it took was not acting like a bratty child over e-mail to a paying customer. I have a real hard time feeling for him when he's put himself in charge of PR for a company and acts that way. There's a simple reason this kind of thing hasn't happened to any of us: We're better people than that.

I am all about personal responsibility. Mike shares some in this but ultimate, the Ocean idiot shares the bulk of it.

Malor, is it that you think Mike's behavior was out of line, or does the amount of power he can wield unsettle you?

Oh, I don't care if he's got a button to start global thermonuclear war on his desk. It's using the button that I would, potentially, have an objection to. And publishing the guy's phone number was pretty much a dick move, and publishing emails at all without express permission is probably illegal -- the owner maintains copyright over his or her writings.

More generally, when you have a rabid fan base that would be willing to watch you kick puppies on TV and cheer the entire time, that doesn't lend itself to good analysis and smart conflict resolution. No matter what they do, their inboxes and website will be full of people praising those actions, and I think nearly anyone would have trouble keeping perspective in that circumstance.

Look at how poorly they handled the 'rape comic' controversy last year -- the original comic was no biggie, and the lady that complained about it was rather off base, but their subsequent cruelty toward her and utter rejection of what she was trying to tell them was serious, serious asshole territory. And that fan base was egging them on the entire time.

I'm absolutely certain I'd make poor decisions, were I in their shoes.