Publisher THQ Nordic has come under fire after its marketing and PR team hosted an AMA on infamous message board 8chan.
The site was a spin-off of 4chan that launched in 2013 and has become notorious for hosting links to child pornography, according to The Daily Dot. It’s also said to have ties to Gamergate and incidents of swatting, amongst other controversies.
Yet despite this, last night THQ Nordic tweeted that it took an opportunity to do an AMA on the site after receiving an invite. That tweet has since been deleted.
A second tweet, still live, added: “the opportunity was here and we took it, we got approached in a very friendly and polite manner and were assured, said person (shoutout to Mark) will take care of the nasty stuff. so, here we are.”
"I very much regret to have done it"
The AMA went ahead, even as criticism mounted. Our colleagues at PCGamesInsider.biz reached out to the company’s PR and marketing director Philipp Brock, one of the people responding to questions, who confirmed the move was indeed legit.
Later Brock released a statement expressing his regret over conducting the AMA and claimed to have no knowledge of 8chan’s history.
The site has been blacklisted by Google and a quick web search shows 8chan’s Wikipedia page as the top result, which lists its past controversies. The initial tweets by THQ Nordic prior to the AMA also highlighted that ‘Mark’ “will take care of the nasty stuff”.
One statement made on the message board from an 8chan user during the AMA read: “please don’t censor any games nor appeal to the SocJus (social justice) crowd, you guys are doing fine as is”. In response Brock wrote: “thanks! We’ll try to stay that way”.
"I personally agreed to this AMA without doing my proper due diligence to understand the history and the controversy of the site,” read a later tweet on the THQ Nordic account by Brock.
“I do not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism in any shape or form.
“I am terribly sorry for the short-sightedness of my (!) decision, and promise to be far more vigorous in my assessment of these activities in the future.
“This was not about being edgy, this blew up and I very much regret to have done it in the first place."