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John "TotalBiscuit" Bain - Portrait

Goons Blow Up At TotalBiscuit For Retweeting Charity Stream

Stephen Welsh

Stephen Welsh

Stephen (or Steve(or Tojeka Steve)) is a kind young man who cares more about games, fiction, sleep and chicken than is probably healthy.
Stephen Welsh

John "TotalBiscuit" Bain - Portrait

We have made attempts to accommodate TotalBiscuit’s expressed wish that those harassing him do not have their usernames published. We have included the Storify by user Tolvo as we want to report on how both sides are representing the incident.

Please welcome gaming’s first shitstorm of 2015. Congrats to TotalBiscuit for attracting an inordinate backlash with one simple Twitter gesture. You may remember last month when AbleGamers: a charity for helping disabled people to enjoy videogames, rejected the donations of porn star Mercedes Carrera for her support of #GamerGate. The organisation was under the impression that the stream Mercedes was planning to run was #GamerGate’s scheme to “weaponise porn” for brownie points.

Yesterday, a group of streamers put on the “ScotDrop Charity Marathon” for the charity. Contributor and Twitter user @DurpSA tweeted: “Hi! Again, we’ll be doing a charity stream later today at 6 pm est. Please rt/signal boost, and show up if you can!” Popular YouTube personality TotalBiscuit indeed did retweet this message in order to grant the stream more exposure to his 391,000 Twitter followers. What followed however was a veritable storm of the stream’s supporters sending plenty of nastiness in response to TB’s endorsement. Several users wished for him to die of cancer, while others brought up his support of #GamerGate and carted out the usual ‘Misogynist, Harrasser, Terrorist’ labels.

So what brought about such an aggressive response to this simple action? This Storify written by a friend of @DurpSA explains what the streamers took issue with:

Even if they aren’t gators, my friends are not ready to deal with that number of people. Understand we were going to have probably six mods for the chat, who would be strict about rules involving language, harassment, insults. We have queer folk, trans people, POC, people with disabilities, in the stream and chat. Even if Gamergate wasn’t a thing, we wouldn’t want possibly hundreds of fans of TB going into that stream and making it an unsafe place for those people.

Gators are bad, but in general a lot of gamers(Mostly white male gamers) are Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Homophobic, etc etc. Bringing a ton of people like that to a charity stream with a small moderation team that was not equipped for it would essentially mean we’d have to lock down the chat, and be unable to interact with viewers and those who donate.

As soon as I saw TB retweeted it I became frightened for my friends, so many of us seemed worried. Right away we knew that Totalbiscuit might have just seriously damaged or even ruined the charity stream with his carelessness. Keep in mind, we are a small group of friends doing a charity stream. We weren’t looking to get a lot of people, especially people like what TB would send our way.

A later update to the Storify includes: “As well I want to add, do not threaten TB, do not tell him to kill himself, do not harass him, do not make fun of his disability. Just don’t, nobody deserves that.”

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So what does John Bain himself think of all this? He attempts to explain it all in this lengthy TwitLonger post:

Today you may see Storifys floating around trying desperately to prove that I maliciously ruined a charity stream (for a charity I am partnered with). These Storifys will not include the initial reaction of the streamer in which he flipped out and insulted me and I doubt they will include many if any of the 300+ people who within the hours following, sent threats of violence, insults and as many wishes as possible that the cancer get me quickly. They will I’m sure include the tweets in response in which I call them crazy and stupid for these threads and their reaction. I stand by those statements 100%. These are people who have constructed a narrative in their heads in which I am a villain. They know very little of me of course, only what they’ve been told. Maybe they read that stupid SA post from 8 years ago, practically a lifetime on the internet and made their assumptions there. Maybe they just believe in the guilty by association fallacy and have ignored the focus on ethics and condemnation of harassment that has been going on for YEARS on my channel.

But yes that great crime and yesterday for promoting a stream for a charity with whom as of last month I have an OFFICIAL PARTNERSHIP WITH, I was bombarded with threats and even had an irrelevant ex-NFL player demand that games developers following him seriously reconsider working with our company.

I thoroughly condemn the idea that my followers and viewers are horrible people who would engage in harassment. I accept the obvious, that in such a huge group there will be some assholes and I also accept the reality that I can do nothing about that. I will not apologise for things I did not do or provoke, I will not apologise for defending my audience.

The conflict has yet to die down it appears, as some Twitter users created the #UnsubTB hashtag: an attempt to make TotalBiscuit’s subscriber count drop in response to his thoughts and actions. TB’s supporters have co-opted the tag in an effort to change its subject to be about raising awareness of TB; namely the disease tuberculosis. Bain also hopes to run his own AbleGamers charity stream in the next few days, following this incident.

I think it’s a shame that the gaming community has divisions so spiteful now that they will decry endorsement of charity fundraising as a form of harassment, and use it as an excuse to attack a well-intentioned internet personality and his fanbase. It just saddens me that there are people out there who are so antagonistic that they will aggressively reject an opportunity to unite for a good cause.

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About Stephen Welsh

Stephen (or Steve(or Tojeka Steve)) is a kind young man who cares more about games, fiction, sleep and chicken than is probably healthy.

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  • JackDandy

    These people are fucking hopeless.

  • Doc Hammer

    TB showing some classy behavior yet again. His ability to remain poised in the face of great adversity is actually inspiring.

    Obviously, referring to the bonus charity stream, not the fit of frustration last night. But I feel like that was classy in its own way.

  • Kansokusha

    “Gators are bad, but in general a lot of gamers(Mostly white male gamers) are Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Homophobic, etc etc.”

    Oh, ok. We understand your position. Totally fair.

    No. If you’re going to compromise the altruistic act of raising money for charity because you’re afraid of being offended, you may need to step outside of your comfort zone. Leave the hugbox behind. Because if that’s you’re view of the majority of people, they are not the ones with the issue, you are. Try speaking to some of these while males gamers. I guarantee they’ll surprise you.

    Props to TB for the way he handled it. Shows he’s a much bigger man than he was on that day eight years ago on SA. You can only experience that kind of growth by putting yourself in the way of potentially offensive people once in a while.

    • anonme

      TB is handling this much classier than the situation deserves. Good for him.

    • TomasEdwardChristian

      Hugbox is slang for vagina.

      Serious, the word “box” also is slang means vagina.

  • “Gators are bad, but in general a lot of gamers (Mostly white male gamers) are Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Homophobic, etc etc.”

    Dude’s just tossing out names. Literally.

    And I don’t appreciate the implication that to be a bigoted asshole, you’d have to be white and male. That sounds bigoted in itself.

    • Doc Hammer

      Anytime someone says “but in general,” you can pretty much disregard whatever they’re about to say. Especially if its about a person or people.

      • Statements like that are worthless if they’re taking the “this uber minority I personally dislike represents the vast majority” approach. It’s one thing to analyze a community you’re part of and consider how the majority does things; it’s quite another to paint each and every person with a broad brush and suggest that they’re all terrible because of something one guy said.

        • David Gray

          The real irony is that they display, explicitly, the behaviour they think they are condemning.
          These people are LITERALLY prejudiced against EVERYONE without a specific set of characteristics.
          They are nasty people and should be treated so.

  • anonme

    Uh, what is the point of doing a charity for disabled gamers, streaming a video game, when you hate gamers?

    • Iminspace

      Publicity usually.

  • Dav

    I didn’t think these people could get anymore mentally ill.

  • Max Headroom

    I didn’t think Anti-GamerGaters could get more dysfunctional.

    “Gators are bad, but in general a lot of gamers(Mostly white male gamers) are Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Homophobic,”

    You have to be a truly bigoted cunt to write something like that.

  • Arcon

    Funfact: Tolvo, writer of the storify shitting all over the TB promotion, is a white male gamer himself.

    • Viredae

      We need to remove him from the charity, lest he lose all self control and start harrassing all the people in his own stream.

  • Tyrannikos

    Jesus christ, this is honestly one of the largest clusterfucks I’ve seen in a while, and I’ve been with GamerGate since before it was called such. How can you say you want to run a charity and get as many people as possible to help others, but oh no, not THOSE people because reasons and “safe spaces”? Fuck right off.

    There are two very big differences between GamerGate supporters and SJWs. GG supporters want to learn how to accept assholes on their side of the fence and attempt self-policing, knowing it’s wrong and completely impossible change said assholes. SJWs want to attempt the impossible or flat out exclude large swathes of people if they can’t succeed in their asinine endeavor.This situation is such a blatantly PERFECT example of this mindset.
    To top it all off:”Gators are bad, but in general a lot of gamers(Mostly white male gamers) are Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Homophobic, etc etc.”

    I guess it’s okay to generalize large groups when they disagree with you, right?

    I’ve been purposely relaxing a bit with GG – getting back into other hobbies and generally having less stressful days for it. But screw that – they know how to BRING ME RIGHT BACK INTO THE ACTION. I AM A FULL-FORCE KIND OF PISSED ONCE AGAIN AND READY TO FIGHT THIS NONSENSE. THANKS FOR THE KICK IN THE ASS I NEEDED.

  • Scionyde

    Okay, this is probably a stupid question, but what the hell is a gator?

    Also, the person who wrote that Storify page is a fucktard.

    • dsadsada

      A gator is a large amphibious reptile and the name is abbreviated from alligator. They typically live in the Southern United States and eastern China. Despite being carnivorous by nature, alligators have also been known to eat fruits. Despite how scary they seem, they typically keep to themselves and don’t attack people unless hungry or threatened.

      I have no idea why these people have a problem with this majestic creature or why they are being compared with people who play videogames. I mean I wouldn’t want one in my house either but alligators aren’t nearly as bad as squirrels and pigeons.

  • TheSharpeful

    “in general a lot of gamers(Mostly white male gamers) are Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Homophobic”

    Ahhh so it’s an anti-white racist movement under the guise of a charity to help disabled gamers…. gotcha.

    And people wonder why gamergate exists… this is the sort of ideological bigots that are trying to infest our hobby.

  • Ninjagai

    I don’t remember SA Goons being such sensitive pussies.

  • MosesZD

    They’re not ‘goons’ they’re ‘social justice warriors’ or ‘SJWs’. They’re the ones who consider themselves pure and above all us ‘#gamergate losers’ and call us vile names while telling the world we’re the most disgusting, racist, ablest, etc., people that have ever existed all while getting the vapors and running for the fainting couch because someone might say something mean on the Internet.

    I mean, seriously, TB was HELPING and he SHOULD have been thanked. And yet he’s cast as the Internet Villain Du Jour or as we like to call them in a forum back-water I hang out in: “The Witch of the Week.”

    • Stephen J. Welsh

      Goons refers to members of the Something Awful community. Most of them even go to the lengths of including SA on the end of their twitter handles. Not saying all of them are from the site, but twitter conversations of those involved in the shitstorm suggests they are.

      Just wanted to clear that up, I wasn’t trying to go soft on them.

  • Peter Schmidt

    This is like throwing a charity and saying no to donations. Oh wait….

  • Cod Gob

    What the actual hell? People’s stupidity is actually tragic

  • Mr Snow

    What don’t all you racist nigger faggots understand about how you are all racist nigger faggots?

  • gordon handerhank

    Just keep doing kind, great things for other people while calmly drawing attention to their bigotry and hypocrisy. The rest of the world is starting to recognize the poisonous nature of identity politics. Stay positive, courteous, and moderate.

  • Skulb

    This is like some invasion of communist loons or something. It`s verboten to make fun of trannies and you must be called all sorts of nonsensical names. But it`s perfectly fine to wish more cancer on someone who for all his foibles has quite a bit of style. Organized stupidity on Twitter shouldn`t surprise anyone I suppose. Still, a more toxic bunch of idiots I haven`t seen in a long time.

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