Ian Miles Cheong

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Ethics in game journalism? It’s fucking game journalism. Who gives a flying fuck. Holy shit.
Ian Miles Cheong - October 27, 2014
Ian Miles Cheong
Ian Miles Cheong.jpg

Aliases @stillgray, SolInvictus, Exitium
Occupation Video game journalist
Affiliations Gameranx


Ian Miles Cheong is the Editor in Chief at Gameranx and self-described turbo-feminist, known for his Reddit scandal in 2012 as well as uncovered IRC logs in which he claimed "hitler is my fucking idol".[1] He later went on to apologize for these remarks when the resurfaced in 2014 after #GamerGate, though instead of taking full responsibility for his actions, blamed the "toxic gamer community". He also is known for calling YouTuber KSIOlajidebt sexist for creating a YouTube video in which KSI motorboated a cosplayer (after asking for permission), after which one of the cosplayers defended KSI.

Reddit Scandal

In the Spring of 2012, it was uncovered that Ian Miles Cheong, primarily under the pseudonym "SolInvictus" and also under the username "slaterhearst", had been relentlessly submitting content from his website Gameranx, as well as Global Post and Uproxx, and using his mod powers in subreddits including r/AskReddit, r/Politics, r/WTF, and r/TodayILearned to help influence views towards his posted articles, amassing 350,000 link karma over the course of the 4 years this was allowed. While Reddit doesn't officially forbid submitting your own content, Cheong's abuse of mod powers to get it past spam filters was forbidden.[2]

A month after the banning, Global Post confirmed that they had payed Cheong as a “social media consultant” through its marketing agency, which is highly against Reddit's rules. When questioned, Cheong maintained that he did not work for the publication and only worked for the independent PR firm that manages Global Post.[3]

ModTalk Leaks Uncovers Continued Reddit Use

In March 2015, contents of the Reddit #modtalk IRC channel was leaked to the public. In those logs, in lines 2268-2285, you can see Forest|_ discussing the mods knowing that Ian Miles Cheong still was posting his own articles to Reddit despite the ban

Oct 05 02:17:57 <hermithome> !readers kotakuinaction
Oct 05 02:17:57 <redditBot> r/kotakuinaction has 9,129 readers
Oct 05 02:20:05 <Forest|_> hermithome, they did do one good thing
Oct 05 02:20:29 <hermithome> Forest: hmm?
Oct 05 02:21:12 <Forest|_> hermithome, SolInvictus deleted his alt because of that subreddit
Oct 05 02:22:06 <hermithome> erm, why?
Oct 05 02:22:40 <Forest|_> hermithome, http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2ibh93/meta_kotakuinaction_state_of_the_sub_and/cl0m6n8
Oct 05 02:23:21 <Forest|_> I don't use alts, but someone used theirs after I pointed out the deleted account was Sol's alt
Oct 05 02:23:32 <Forest|_> I just thought it was kina funny
Oct 05 02:24:23 <hermithome> um, how did you know?
Oct 05 02:24:30 <hermithome> also, what? i'm lost on this entire thing
Oct 05 02:24:50 <hermithome> also, did someone on KIA use rape culture seriously and not ironically? huh?
Oct 05 02:24:54 <Forest|_> hermithome, Sol was Ian Miles Cheong
Oct 05 02:25:04 <Forest|_> I follow him on twitter
Oct 05 02:25:27 <hermithome> um, but i dont see how people knew this was his alt?
Oct 05 02:25:31 <Forest|_> we had a user who were already following on twitter for posting links to his websites
Oct 05 02:26:12 <Forest|_> I then noticed 2 or 3 times of that user submitting an article at the same time Ian posted the story on twitter
Oct 05 02:26:26 <Forest|_> easy to put 2 and 2 together

Anti-Semitic Logs

Apology

In September 2014, after the logs became widespread,[4] Ian Miles Cheong issued an apology, though laid the majority of the blame at the "very toxic gamer community":

So I need to talk about something. I'm sure some of you who've seen my interactions with GG can attest to the toxicity of the issue.
Ian Miles Cheong
I said some gross shit while young, dumb, and under the influence of the very toxic gaming community that is trying to smear me today
Ian Miles Cheong
I apologize for saying those things in the past, and will continue to work and advocate against the excessive amounts of racism and antisemitism in gaming. Thank you for hearing me out.
Ian Miles Cheong

He later stated:

I'm not blaming anyone for having been that person—I was a crass and thoughtless individual. I hope people can learn from my mistakes.
Ian Miles Cheong

KSI Motorboat Incident

In October of 2012, EuroGamer held an event at which YouTuber KSIOlajidebt attended and made a video in which he asked various other attendees, both male and female, various questions. At one point fairly early in the video, he asks one of the girls if he could motorboat her, she said yes, and he did. Upon releasing the video. Ian Miles Cheong got wind of it when another writer at Gameranx, Wesley Copeland, wrote an article about how KSI was "committing vile, and frankly disturbing, assaults on unsuspecting booth babes in the name of comedy."[5] This was picked up and reported on by numerous people, including Stephen Totillo of Kotaku and Jim Sterling. Subsequently, the "motorboat girl", Brandy Brewer, challenged Cheong about the article stating that she was not sexually harassed or assaulted.

@Brandy_Brewer No worries. I never said you were the one being sexually harassed/assaulted. The other girls didn't seem into it, though.
Ian Miles Cheong
@stillgray well the others didn't get touched so who else would be the one being assaulted u spoke of? Hmm #MotorBoat #MotorBoatGirl
Brandy Brewer
@Brandy_Brewer Actually the first/last girl got touched with the mic. She didn't seem to like it, at least it seems that way in the video.
Ian Miles Cheong
@stillgray with a mic omg it weren't his dick seriously get away from ur computer screen and meet a girl they were just awkward
Brandy Brewer

A video of the ensuing drama can be found here:

And insignificant occurrence blown wildly out of proportion through social media and tabloid journalism

KSI was banned from all future EuroGamer events and the articles continue to follow him; for example when Microsoft had an Xbox One launch event, and had KSI perform on stage, they were flooded with angry emails and eventually put forth a statement stating "[having him at the event] does not represent Microsoft's endorsement of KSI's personal views" and that they “are not planning on working with KSI in the future.”[6]

GamerGate

Several articles have been published under Ian Miles Cheong's name, mentioning GamerGate. The following table lists them:

Title Date
Game Developer Brianna Wu Driven From Home After Death Threats and Doxxing October 10, 2014
Sweden Considers Implementing 'Sexist' Label on Video Games November 14, 2014
Bandai Namco Speaks Out Against GamerGate Harassment' December 30, 2014
Gamergate Tries to Send Swat Team to Critic's Home January 13, 2015
Canadian Victim of Gamergate SWATing Attempt Comes Forward January 13, 2015
Game Developer Interviews About Gamergate: Caelyn Sandel January 14, 2015
Game Developer Interviews About Gamergate: David S Gallant January 17, 2015
Game Developer Interviews About Gamergate: Silverstring Media January 20, 2015

On January 5th 2015, Cheong attacked Boogie2988 for discussing how Boogie himself was doxxed by those against the consumer revolt.

Good job making this about you while people are being SWATted, Boogie. (Archive)

HuniePop

In January of 2015, the game HuniePop gained notice by people using the #GamerGate hashtag and subsequently began being sold on Steam, making it into the top 10 list, angering Ian Miles Cheong.[7][8]

Ian Miles Cheong campaigned to help get the game banned on Steam, as well as stating that the developers were "pandering hard to [GamerGate]" and that they were "a piece of trash."[9][10]

In an article he posted on Gameranx, Cheong stated: "Say what you will about the game, or even Steam’s censorship of nudity, but violating Steam’s Terms of Service is the height of unethicality. I wouldn’t be surprised if Steam pulled the game. Other platforms, including Google Play and the Apple App Store have dealt with similar issues in the past."[11] On Twitter, he stated "Violating Steam's ToS is so ethical, you guys."[12]

Along with the article, he tweeted out:

I’ve reached out to Valve Software for comment on HuniePop.
Interesting to note that the file size of the patch for HuniePop is 0kb, which implies that the nudity assets shipped with the game.

The next day, after learning that the HuniePop devs were in the clear, Cheong tweeted out:

You know, if you want to spend your money on HuniePop that’s your right and your business. Don’t let me stop you from wasting your money.
Notable YouTube celebrity states HuniePop passes the Bechdel test. Fans of celeb swoon to his side for sticking it to those darn feminazis.

TotalBiscuit

Ian Miles Cheong also has driven himself against TotalBiscuit, going as far as to call him a homophobe in November 2014, though he has since deleted the tweet.[13] Also in November, he actively misinformed people as to the origins of the YouTube Shadow of Mordor incident, claiming Nathan Grayson broke the story, despite putting the article up days after TotalBiscuit revealed the information to Jim Sterling.[14][15][16]

On January 23 2015, Ian Miles Cheong used a Stephen Hawking quote to try to belittle him after TotalBiscuit said that Cheong had little to talk about ethics after selling his Reddit mod influence. [17]

Kotaku In Action/8chan

In October 2014, Ian Miles Cheong campaigned against /r/KotakuInAction's mod 28DansLater, calling him a rapist, before quickly backtracking and stating that it "is believed" and "impossible to prove" without a reddit admin.[18][19][20] Though he deleted the original accusations, you can find the same accusations within replies to people.[21][22] The ensuing chaos led to distract those interested in the consumer revolt from its goals, so KiA mod david-me demodded both 28DansLater and another mod that had drawn ire, Goatsac.[23]

On January 12, 2015, Ian Miles Cheong stated that 8chan's owner, Fredrick Brennan, wrote for Stormfront, which has never happened.[24] He may have been referring to the article Brennan wrote for The Daily Stormer, [25] a neo-Nazi website. [26]

Possible Change of Attitude

As of May the 27th, 2015, Cheong appears to be softening his stance on Gamergate, having unblocked many people on Twitter and publicly apologized to the general populace and TotalBiscuit in particular. Whether or not he begins to listen to concerns regarding ethics remains to be seen.[27][28]

References

  1. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: I added "Turbofeminist." to my Twitter profile. (archive)
  2. The Daily Dot - Why Reddit banned influential moderator Ian Miles Cheong - Kevin Morris - March 26, 2012
  3. The Daily Dot - Reddit moderator banned for selling his influence - Kevin Morris - Apr 3, 2012
  4. Imgur - Ian Miles Cheong Logs
  5. Gameranx - Sexually Assaulting Women (Verbally or Otherwise) at Gaming Conventions is Not OK - Wesley Copeland - October 5, 2012
  6. GameIndustry.biz - Microsoft to sever all ties with KSI - Dan Pearson - November 22 2013 (archive)
  7. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "And of course HuniePop is #7..." (archive)
  8. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "HuniePop is garbage" (archive)
  9. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Yup he’s pandering hard to GG." (archive)
  10. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "... Feel free to out yourself as a piece of trash." (archive)
  11. Gameranx - HuniePop Potentially Violates Steam Terms of Service With Nude Patch - Ian Miles Cheong - January 20 2015
  12. Twitter - Ian Mile Cheong on Twitter: "Violating Steam's ToS..." (archive)
  13. TweetSave - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Totalbiscuit is a homophobe? You don’t say."
  14. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "TB is trying to take credit for the Shadow of Mordor brand deal..." (archive)
  15. Twitter - TotalBiscuit on Twitter: "No @stillgray - you dont seem to have your facts together" (archive)
  16. Imgur - Ian Miles Cheong gets it wrong again - TotalBiscuit (archive)
  17. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Reminder that only assholes brag about their IQ, @totalbiscuit." (archive)
  18. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Got a number of details mixed." (archive)
  19. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Ultimately, it’s impossible to prove"
  20. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "A reddit admin with access to the IP logs is the only one capable of proving that." (archive)
  21. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "The PoR account is an alt for 28danslater" (archive)
  22. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "No, you misread. He actually claims to have committed rape." (archive)
  23. /r/KotakuInAction - [Meta KotakuinAction state of the sub and moderation. - /u/david-me - October 4 2014]
  24. TweetSave - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "meanwhile: Fredrick Brenann writes for Stormfront."
  25. Hotwheels: Why I Support Eugenics
  26. Blog Wars: The Daily Stormer and its Racist Frenemies
  27. Tumblr - Ian Miles Cheong on Tumblr: "what games mean to me"
  28. Twitter - Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Hi @TotalBiscuit I don't see eye to eye with you on everything, but I was irrational and mean when I last tweeted at you. I'm sorry." (archive)