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Giant Bombcast 640: Tactical Growth

This week we unpack the current assault and abuse allegations roiling the games industry, the abrupt Mixer shutdown, EA Play, the rumored Rocksteady Suicide Squad game, more with The Last of Us Part II, Windjammers II, and the mysterious couch of Masahiro Sakurai.

The Giant Bombcast is the world's most beloved video game podcast, and now it's available in video form.

Jun. 23 2020

Cast: Jeff, Brad, Jan

Posted by: Brad

105 Comments

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LonelySpacePanda

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Edited By LonelySpacePanda

[MOD EDIT]: Trigger warning for assault/abuse for the first 34 minutes.


Thanks Brad for checking the audio levels before the podcast. I complained here before about this stuff so didn't want it to go unnoticed. Much appreciated!

I'm wondering is there a reason you don't have more guests? When this whole lockdown thing started, I thought there would be lots of guests on podcasts and other stuff since everyone is at home now and you're all just streaming remote anyway. Would be interested to hear the behind-the-scenes conversations about this whether its technical or practical. Always a treat when a guest appears, especially GB/Gamespot alumni. I guess its a lot harder to yank someone from Gamespot the day off to fill in for Ben/Jason than it is to schedule a video call and get everything worked out.

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rorie

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rorie  Staff
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mozzle

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Only 20 minutes in, but really appreciate you guys getting personal on shit topics.

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Nodima

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Three hosts...three hours?! *buckles up*

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AcidBrandon18

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REAL TALK ends 34 minutes in in case you don't want to hear it.

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heatDrive88

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Edited By heatDrive88

@acidbrandon18 said:

REAL TALK ends 34 minutes in in case you don't want to hear it.

Appreciate this, as a mental health trigger warning for discussions of sexual abuse. Obviously I think those that are able should absolutely listen, if they can safely.

That aside, thanks to Brad, Jeff, and Jan for speaking out to the sexual assault and abuse issues at hand - speaking truth to power when you have a platform is important.

I'm glad that silence is being broken when speaking to problems that surround our society, and I feel more hopeful as that opinion is now shared across more people here in this community.

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LordTataraus

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@aurahack said:

@acidbrandon18 said:

REAL TALK ends 34 minutes in in case you don't want to hear it.

Do this and you're on my shit list forever.

Change starts by listening, understanding, and acting, and you can't do any of that with your eyes and ears closed.

There are legitimate reasons to not listen to discussions of abuse, even if it's only talking around the subject. It can be traumatic for some people, it's best not to assume someone's reasoning for skipping it.

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bathala

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skeleton crew, but still with great content.

thanks dudes

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chaser324

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Edited By chaser324  Moderator

@acidbrandon18 said:

REAL TALK ends 34 minutes in in case you don't want to hear it.

I certainly understand that it can be hard to listen to, especially right now with so many other things going on at the same time, but please do try to be aware of what's going on so that we can all learn and do better.

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Onemanarmyy

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

As someone that has never watched any of these movies, hearing Jeff & Jan talk through how Suicide Squad, Dirty Dozen & Expendables are sort of related gave me a way better understanding of what these movies actually are.

I don't think it's surprising that Suicide Squad is pushed so heavily in a world where the Avengers movies were huge. Joker and Harlequin are very recognizable villains in a mainstream way, so what if we made movies based on this supergroup of villains? In a similar way like those successful movies in which a bunch of superheroes joined forces. That does sound like something that could be very successful. And if it is, you can just keep pumping out movies based on lesser known suicide squad members and end up with more and more elaborate team-movies as you make the audience care about these characters.

I think Butt-rock is very accessible mainstream rock, with simple lyrics to sing along to, catchy hooks and pretty sounding melodies. But despite this radio friendliness, the band members still have to evoke the look of the rock that the mainstream would deem too rough around the edges. I think the band also has to be disliked by a fair amount of people that hate how they watered down the 'real' thing. I think bands like Kiss & Nickelback fit the genre if you look at it this way.

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DrDarkStryfe

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@stoutlager: Educate yourself and be better. If you would read some of these stories, you will see a lot of like things happening; things like management and HR handwaving, or no one believing them because "they're friend will never do it", and that there were threats of being blacklisted from the industry.

To preface whatever your argument you are trying to make with "I know very little" is a disservice to these victims that are sharing their torment on a public stage because no one else in their professional lifes would give them the time of day.

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popeye11

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talk about the last of us 2 start in (1:39:00), brad like the game (more than anyother naughty dog game)jan like the game too, brad is playing it for the second time, I really hope brad writes a review for the last of us part 2 cause he is a really good at it.

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csl316

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Edited By csl316

Important for the team to discuss these serious topics. It's uncomfortable and far from some wacky intro discussion, but I appreciate them tackling these issues head on.

I feel like the team is full of good people after listening for so long, and since it's my primary source for game stuff it's sometimes easy to forget that the industry's full of some shady folks.

They started talking about booze at the site. Honestly, there was a point where they were looking for new hires, and I was thinking "this sounds awesome and I'm super interested, but I don't drink so I probably wouldn't fit in there." And I never sent over a resume.

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nantukoprime

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Jelly uses juice, while jam and preserves use fruit chunks. Preserves use larger pieces or more fruit compared to jam.

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StanleyPain

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@stoutlager: We're not in a court or on a jury. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a legal concept, not something every day people need to adhere to. We make judgement calls about people all the time, every day as part of our lives and it is done without a weeks-long investigatory process. People are free to use their own judgement and make up their own minds. So please.....don't confuse the two. The people being called out for their behavior are not going to jail, they are not being put to death...they are suffering the consequences of their credibility. Once they are in a court, then yes....all legal standards should apply. Until then, we are all free to look at a piece of shit who has always behaved like a piece of shit and think "boy, that's a piece of shit" when someone reveals how they were a piece of shit.

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depecheload

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I know little about these cases aside from whatever the news saw fit to report yesterday. However, there is a troubling situation created here. My concern about these waves of allegations made through social media is the lack of justice system involvement. Often no police report made at the time, allegation not made until years after the incident. It creates a court of public opinion and denies the accused the opportunity to present a defense. I don't like seeing people's careers, and sometimes lives, destroyed on rumors. If something happened, file a police report immediately. Do not make twitter posts years later as part of mob accusation.

Jurisprudence is part of the foundation of this country, with clear rights for both alleged victim and accused. It isn't right to sidestep it in this way.

"Police report"

Dude. Cops do not care. Google "untested rape kits" or just, y'know listen to women who do report this stuff to the cops, or to their bosses, or to HR, only for their allegations to be ignored and the women face repercussions for "making waves."

Simply put, you have no idea what you're talking about and are serving as a useful idiot for abusers.

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Maitom

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@stanleypain: And what about when the accusations lay flat and false? They've might have already been fired from their job, their contacts and reputations ruined. But hey at least they didn't go to jail or get killed so it's all good right? It's the responsibility of everyone to not fall into mob mentality. Because it is never just. The juridical system has yet to adapt social media and the impact it can have.

Everyone will remember the first print but not the corrections.

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mike_marco

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Bread Aspic Gross! lol I love Jans wacky food riffs

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@maitom: Haha this never happens FOH with that.

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heatDrive88

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Edited By heatDrive88

@stoutlager: @maitom:

If you choose not to believe the many that have come forward and speak out, that is ultimately your privilege to have that choice - but do please put in the time (if you haven't already) to read the multiple corroborations of sexual abuse, harassment, and predatory misbehaviour that have been put forward by multiple sources and the victims themselves.

If you still choose not to believe any victims after that, while also looking to understand that all of these victims are trying to be heard and seen (at the sacrifice of their own personal character, unfortunately) in a judicial/police system of law and corporate interest that is absolutely not built to support them (as shown by years, and years, and YEARS of failure), then I guess I fear that any words I offer further won't affect your empathy beyond your current ideas of jurisprudence - and for that I am sorry.

[edit] Outside of this, I know there will be people that will probably be very aggressive in response to your posts - I don't condone it, but do please try to take their aggressiveness and frustration in stride, and I hope it doesn't coerce you from hopefully seeing a different viewpoint at hand. Thanks.

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jscovic

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Tactical Growth was a good episode title, but "Butt Rock Continuum" should have also been in contention

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plinko

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Rough stuff all around but I always appreciate you guys talking openly about it and admitting to past mistakes. I haven't finished the entire podcast but just ended the more serious stuff at the start and wanted to say this right away.

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Topcyclist

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@popeye11: Surprised they like it. I thought all of GB would be down on it. They seemed uninterested prior release. Jeff seems like he hates lou 1 and the fandom. I dont know why i just had that feeling atleast. Well see how this pans out GOTY. Not much games to choose from but 2077 is definitely in the spot along with doom, animal crossing, and somehow last of us 2.

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Onemanarmyy

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

@maitom: These cases are just not fair no matter what the procedure is. Innocence unless there's conclusive evidence means that when anything happens between exactly 2 people , the accused person has a huge advantage and is able to get away with awful shit and become a repeat offender. And that has led to the current situation where pretty much every industry has people doing heinous shit and getting away with it. And even if multiple people are aware of it happening, people are cautious with rocking the boat, don't want to get caught up in someone else's business and don't feel like they know the full story neither. All this is in favor of the status-quo where the accused gets the benefit of the doubt.

Stepping to the police ASAP does sound like the 'proper' way to go about these things, but as sexual harassment or rape cases often takes place between 2 people and conclusive evidence is extremely hard to gather, the chances of justice being served are not looking great if bad shit actually did happen. But the burden of proof lays on you as accuser when you go through the legal channels so suddenly you have to find evidence that this all was non-consensual at the time, whether power dynamics played a significant role and whether the perpetrator was aware they was doing it against the will of the victim. And then you take alcohol and drugs and party-situations in account and it's not hard to see why these cases get under-reported. And when they do get reported , it's rare that anything comes of it. The lack of evidence in these situations naturally spooks around the heads of the victims as they make a judgment whether they should open up to the police about this or if causing a scene about this is more likely to have negative effects.

`There's no conclusive evidence, it was a 1 on 1 situation, maybe i ,the victim, gave some subtle hints and am not entirely in the clear? Or at least my actions might not be perceived in the same light by third parties as it was me improvising on the spot and being nervous. If i come clean this will piss off the accused and everyone that supports the perpetrator, which will have real implications for my future situation. And naturally it puts a big spotlight on me and my sexual behavior and it forces me to keep repeating,remembering and reliving these traumatic experiences when these kind of events are exactly the ones you rather forget. Guess i better deal with this on my own instead.' Seems like a logical choice to make to me.

And then years later, you suddenly see other people call this person out on social media and you finally feel like you have 1 meaningful voice to add to the choir that this person is trouble. There is no conclusive evidence, but at least there are others that can share their stories and hopefully that paints a more accurate picture of this person.

Both options are not fair, but personally i rather side with victims saying that a person is trouble in these cases. And that required the accused person to have been able to get away with this behavior until there were finally enough people hurt by this person & brave enough to call the perpetrator out, which is already a less-than-ideal situation when it comes to fighting crime. But as evidence is rare, the only way to gather more evidence is to allow for more people to get hurt.

I rather take the accusations by people that step forward very serious. A serious sign that a person is probably bad news. Rather that, than take the lack of a conclusive police investigation as a reason that this alleged abuser is in the clear and that the accusers hate this person to the extent where they have faked elaborate stories about their sexual encounters and have chosen to deal with all the publicity and doubters just to see this person suffer. With no guarantee that this person won't retain power & their network afterwards and strike back. That has been the case for a very very long time which is totally unfair too.

At the end of the day, we all make our choices and there's no optimal solution here. I just hope that you can at least see why the 'proper' way to go about these things is often frustrating and unfair as well.

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Topcyclist

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@onemanarmyy: The cartoon version is actually good. As you get missions the big boys wont do. They also are all expendable so your on the edge each fight. The movie is trash. Honestly DC would destroy marvel if they just copied word for word and scene the animated tv shows and called it a day. They just had too many directors who dont believe in the source material and think their ideas are better. Some directors admit they think the cartoon super stuff is stupid later in life and that they did it for a check. Marvel directors actually like the geeky comic stuff, if you look at stuff they do in the time between marvel movies. I liken most DC directors to the enthusiasm the director of avatar the last airbender had. They did it cause eh why not its kid stuff. or dragon ball the movie,eh why not no one cares about this stupid plot right.

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zinkn  Online

@stanleypain: It's the responsibility of everyone to not fall into mob mentality.

This! People need to stop doing this because it can really ruin someone's life while being falsely accused.

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mistercoke

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Edited By mistercoke

„Innocent until proven guilty“ is right but as soon as there are many women saying they’ve been abused by the same guy it’s a bit weird. And there is a massive problem here and if people really don’t see this I really don’t get it. It’s been like this in gaming for years now. Not just that, the whole „community“ is very (!) toxic. I’ve been playing games for 30 years and working in the industry.

There is a LOT going on and it’s been that way for years. It’s ridiculous that some people don’t see that and tell me „innocent until proven guilty“. Most women don’t go to the police since there’s no evidence and if there is police don’t really care, simple as that. It’s not just the games industry it’s everywhere and it’s a systemic thing. Simple as that.

You can see it in another form in TLOU II now and don’t Tell me „maybe the Game is Bad“. It may very well be a bad game but the hate that gamer dudes give it and the user scores and texts about that show what is wrong with society and especially gaming. Women aren’t respected. Look at the down votes on Abbys videos even when she does charity streams. It’s a known and big problem and if people don’t believe it is that’s just ridiculous, sorry. Men in „power“ often abuse that power, it’s been like this for years and it’s gotta stop. Thank you Giant Bomb for not shutting up about it and for trying to do the right thing.

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The horror movie stings from Brad really upped the tension of a quiet conversation about crash bandicoot

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@acidbrandon18 said:

REAL TALK ends 34 minutes in in case you don't want to hear it.

thanks! gossip is a sin I don't enjoy being party to

Sad being you if that is what you got out of the discussion.

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Edited By LonelySpacePanda

Uh, I think a mod put the trigger warning for the podcast description on my comment below instead of the podcast description? Unless I'm misunderstanding something but that's what seemed like what happened. I dunno. Pls fix the great, powerful @rorie!

Love what you all do and I think it's commendable to talk honestly on unpleasant topics. In this era of streaming and social media, we are so married to personalities online so its good to have the facts and for each of us to make our own decision when we check out.

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MikeOTron1980

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Regarding Keaton potentially returning as Batman -

https://media.giphy.com/media/QRYJZ197L3rsk/giphy.gif

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MrMazz

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The only good Suicide Squad run has been the original one by John Ostarander which was recently republished in a series of collections. The new 52 and rebirth era stuff was umm not so good. The current Tom Taylor run is good but also only in like issue 6 but it’s the closest to a proper Squad since Ostraander.

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stanek1

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Holy shit some weirdo freak rape apologists in these comments. Jesus Fucking Christ the mods need to do something.

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Retromess

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Jan's reaction to the end, with the Surf Ninja's anecdote, was heartwarming.

I love Jan. Please never stop being you, Jan.

When/if office time returns, I'd love to see a Jeff Gerstmann's Pro Skater-esque feature with Jan and Jeff playing surf and/or ninja games.

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Billy_Ray_Valentine

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That Age of Booty video is a classic.

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CrashTanuki

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Of course these old men are doubting that a Crash Bandicoot game is going to sell yet again.

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SethMode

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@funkys: This is just a crazy big yikes. I'm glad at least Rorie reached out to the duder.

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Jeffmoocow

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Edited By Jeffmoocow

Giant bomb needs to take much more of an active stance on situations like this, they were way too flippant on gamer gate at the time especially when this site mostly consists of white straight guys and always has. Mods shutting down conversations like the one about about Temkin's allegations with now multiple "friends of the site" having accusations against them you just cannot be silent with shit like this and foster a community that are apologists or just ignore serious topics.

All this on top of Abby saying she needed a security team at cons just makes all this shit fucking gross.

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beatnikbedlam

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Mods shutting down conversations like the one about about Temkin's allegations with now multiple "friends of the site" having accusations against them you just cannot be silent with shit like this and foster a community that are apologists or just ignore serious topics.

yeah i was a little shocked to hear them not even mention the name Matt Pascual. i get that they maybe want to make sure they have their facts straight or whatever but... man. not a good look if you want people to believe you're not protecting abusers. which, to be clear, i really don't think they are. this was a good and honest discussion that i don't think people with an interest in protecting abusers would have. but it made me super uncomfortable and i REALLY hope they don't ignore it completely

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LonelySpacePanda

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Mods shutting down conversations like the one about about Temkin's allegations with now multiple "friends of the site" having accusations against them you just cannot be silent with shit like this and foster a community that are apologists or just ignore serious topics.

but it made me super uncomfortable and i REALLY hope they don't ignore it completely

That was the case with Nick Robinson so I'm not surprised. Nick actually worked for the site and was Ben Pack's roommate fairly recently. Ben was even on the pod when that went down and they just didn't talk about it. They actually spent that time instead talking about that guy at IGN who lied in his reviews or whatever. I think their position is that if it's personal they don't want to address it on the podcast, for better or worse. They just no longer support these people publicly and maybe handle some things in their private life around it and I think that's totally fine. They're only human and they themselves have to experience their own trauma through the discovery of this type of stuff.

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beatnikbedlam

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@lonelyspacepanda: at least with the Nick thing, Ben made it very clear on social media that he was disgusted with him and cut ties, he and Kessler quit Podburglars, etc. maybe i missed it but i haven't seen anyone on staff comment on the Pascual stuff whatsoever. which, i agree, is a personal decision and one that shouldn't be made lightly. but... people letting shit like this slide is EXACTLY how we got here in the first place and i'm starting to be on the side of, "if you have a platform and you've let abusers use that platform, whether knowingly or unknowingly, you have a responsibility to address the harm that has caused"

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AKTANE

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@ape_dosmil: if your definition of "purity" is trying to prevent disgusting pieces of shit from raping women from positions of power, and murderous cops from murdering black citizens....

... oh, and it isn't bottomless, there's a very clear goal here, and that is to discourage, prevent, and show that there are consequences to openly being a bad or evil human to other people, and to encourage instead that those people get help before they harm other people.

If you think that is too much to ask, or worse that the world is better without shining a light on this stuff, you're an active part of the problem. And I don't know you, so careful with your commentary, because that is the way you are coming across.

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ape_dosmil

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@aktane: be careful with my commentary? I meant what I said. If you want to read a bunch of shit into it that I didn't say then thats on you.