THQ Nordic hosts AMA on racist sexist child porn website 8chan, wins Worst Ever PR prize

For reasons that must entirely defy rational or even irrational explanation except maybe “for the lulz”, the video game publisher decided to engage last night with the denizens of what’s perhaps best described as the internet’s toilet, and consequences will never be the same.

Launched in 2013 by Fredrick “Hotwheels” Brennan, 8chan has been the subject of multiple controversies since, including allegations of promoting white supremacist ideology, misogyny, and child porn, with links to Gamergate, doxing and swatting incidents, Pizzagate and other stupid conspiracy theories, and almost everything else in the category of despicable shit. The website is blacklisted by Google.

But so what.

Not unexpectedly (to everybody besides THQ Nordic marketing guy Philipp Brock, anyway), the results were not exactly, uh, sanitary, featuring the edgelord’s bingo of Hitler memes, loli sleaze, b-b-b-but SJWs, and everything in between. Also not unexpectedly (to everybody besides THQ Nordic marketing guy Philipp Brock, anyway), the public response on social media was less than enthusiastic.

The AMA was subsequently cancelled about an hour in, and Brock apologised on Twitter, claiming he didn’t even know about 8chan’s reputation.

I personally agreed to this AMA without doing my proper due diligence to understand the history and the controversy of the site. 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.

It’s an assertion somewhat undermined by the previous reference to “nasty stuff”. And these questionable exchanges between Brock and one 8chan user, in which it would be kind of hard to distinguish between them without the names. I mean, I dunno if Brock is an 8chan user himself, but…

… but okay.

I think evaluating promos ahead of time in case of problems requiring a disclaimer like “I do not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism” should be standard business practice. But I’m no expert.