In the most egregious example of a brand setting itself ablaze on the internet, THQ Nordic hosted an AMA on 8chan; a site that hosts child abuse content.
For the past few years, the most nightmarish of people have been emboldened in their awfulness to the point in having misplaced confidence that they can be awful people out in the open. Such is the case for THQ Nordic’s disastrous idea today to host an AMA on 8chan; a website that has blacklisted by Google (an incredibly rare occurrence) for hosting child abuse content.
Despite having “no idea why” THQ Nordic agreed to host the AMA on the site, PR & Marketing Director at THQ Nordic GmbH Philipp Brock insisted on answering questions from a community that bombarded the thread with pictures of naked anime characters depicted younger than 18. Criticism was swift, as the majority of the internet asked the reasonable question; “Why are you answering questions from a community with members that openly say “Heil Hitler?”
After answering dozens of questions over hours of time on the site, the THQ Nordic account posted an apology from Philipp Brock, stating, “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.
The thing is that earlier in the day, the THQ Nordic account talked to “Mark” on the site who promised to “take care of the nasty stuff,” indicating that not only did he know about 8chan’s reputation ahead of time, but he knew that it was a site to expect content posted that was “nasty stuff.” To imply that he didn’t know what he was getting the company into doesn’t hold water.
This leaves us with a few scenarios; none of which THQ Nordic looks good after being presented. The first is that the publisher knew the full extent of 8chan’s reputation, catered to the audience anyway, lied about their ignorance and apologized falsely in response to bad feedback. That theory falls in line where they continue to keep the tweets, responses and links after apologizing.
The second is that THQ Nordic’s PR guy is paid to represent one of the largest gaming publishers in the world yet does little due diligence about a website easily researchable, but instead was suckered in by someone who was nice to him. Even in that scenario where someone is incapable of doing their job at the most basic of levels, the team still continued to embrace the community of racists, white supremacists and child abuse enablers immediately after everyone told them it was a bad idea.