What a freaking mess, indeed
Last week, someone over at THQ Nordic has perhaps the worst decision ever. They decided to host an “AMA” or Ask Me Anything on perhaps one of the most toxic places to exist on the internet – 8Chan. Topics such as child pornography, white supremacy, and racism are just a few of the normal talking points over there. A website that is so notorious that at one point, Google had scrubbed them from its search engine. Yet, somehow no one at THQ Nordic was familiar with the site. I still find that hard to believe.
As you can imagine, the AMA didn’t go over very well. Getting derailed even before it started, and proving to be much worse when questions and the comments started rolling into. To say it was a colossal failure would be an understatement. With many asking how this even happened in the first place, all eyes were pointed towards THQ.
As of today, the parent company, THQ Nordic AB has issued a statement on the events from last week. Along with an apology to any and everyone who was offended due to the actions.
“This letter is to offer my sincerest apologies and regret for THQ Nordic GmbH Vienna’s interaction with the controversial website 8chan last Tuesday, February 26. I condemn all unethical content this website stands for. Even if no one within the THQ Nordic Group would ever endorse such content, I realize simply appearing there gave an implicit impression that we did.
As Co-Founder and Group CEO of THQ Nordic AB, I take full responsibility for all of THQ Nordic GmbH’s actions and communications. I have spent the past several days conducting an internal investigation into this matter. I assure you that every member of the organization has learned from this past week’s events. I take this matter very seriously and we will take appropriate action to make sure we have the right policies and systems in place to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
As a Swedish based, fast-growing group, we firmly support equality and diversity. We are also working actively to combat discrimination, harassment, and misconduct. We are already in the process of developing new work processes, based on the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and using the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards, and we will accelerate this work going forward.
According to the statement, the company has been conducting an investigation to find out why the ball was dropped.
That all said, I can’t even begin to understand how this even happened. For starters, how did they even come to the conclusion to host it over on that website? Why not Reddit, which is where the majority of AMA’s are hosted? Hell, even 4Chan would be been tame compared to where they decided to host their AMA.
Saying they would never endorse such acts, yet not going what appears to be ANY research before hosting their AMA seems asinine. Would you plan a party or any sort of social event at a revenue you know nothing about? I sure the heck wouldn’t. And while I see why THQ Nordic’s PR would put this out, for damage control reasons. It still feels like a half-baked apology and seemed to downplay the events more than anything else.
I’m not calling for a witch hunt, but those responsible for this need to be accountable for it. As for what that needs to be, I can’t say. I’d never want anyone to be fired, yet this act has damaged THQ’s reputation, regardless of what people think otherwise.
Whatever happens, I hope whoever approved this never makes the same mistake. And when I say whoever, I mean THQ Nordic’s Philipp Brock and Reinhard Pollice.