Disney game publisher chief apologises after promoting child porn site

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A MAJOR European game publisher has been forced to apologise after hosting a Q&A session on a site blacklisted by Google for hosting “suspected child abuse content”.

THQ Nordic, whose published games include RUSH: A Disney • PIXAR Adventure, promoted a discussion on 8chan, which is also known for hosting white supremacist and racist discussions, as well as being a hub for the ‘gamergate’ harassment campaign.

THQ Nordic also publishes kids games for the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon

Announced last night, the publisher claimed that a moderator would “take care of the nasty stuff” when it revealed it would be hosting an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session for game fans on the board.One fan pointed out “that nasty stuff is the sexual abuse of children. you’re a game company that targets children as an audience and you are going on message boards where pedophiles went when they were no longer welcome elsewhere.”

Another Twitter user summed up the feelings of many responding the announcement saying: “Guys, what in the flying beJeezus were you thinking? Terrible terrible idea, whoever’s doing your social media needs to go think about choices.”

Several hours after the Q&A, THQ Nordic’s marketing chief Philipp Brock posted an apology on Twitter, saying he had “personally agreed to this AMA without doing my proper due diligence to understand the history and the controversy of the site.”

Darksiders 3 was published by THQ Nordic in 2018 after it acquired the series’ IP
THQ Nordic

Going further, Brock also made it clear he “does not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism in any shape or form.”

Some of the answers given in the AMA session, as reported by ArsTechnica, also caused a stir.

THQ Nordic Business and Product Development Director Reinhard Pollice replied to a post featuring a medieval knight uttering a homophobic slur suggesting it”could be from one of our upcoming games.”

Another response suggested the firm would “work it like an alien prostitute” when asked about the fate of the Destroy All Humans franchise.


 

8chan’s founder Fredrick Brennan had previously described child abuse images as “the cost of free speech”.

The site claims to police the posting of such material, as well as that subject to copyright laws, but this claim has been widely disputed.

8chan was forced to change its domain when the original URL was shut down by registrars after complaints about such material.

It was later blocked from appearing in Google search results due to concerns over “suspected child abuse content”.

8chan is not directly related to the similarly named 4chan, but it was created as a “more-lawless, more-libertarian, more ‘free’ follow-up” to it, according to the Washington Post.

 


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