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Child sex abuse allegations aren’t newsworthy but political donations are. That’s the view of the gaming press

Gaming journalism isn’t lacking in politically one-sided controversies. Websites focus more on scoring wins for a tribe than reporting on actual news, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the story of an alleged pedophile.
On Friday, a short video uploaded to YouTube by a vigilante group known as People v. Preds highlighted a confrontation between two men. One was the man recording and the other was an older male wearing a PlayStation 5 T-shirt, because, as you’re about to learn, that’s dramatic irony.

The clip begins as the cameraman walks up to the other and says, “Hey! What’s up!” before addressing the other guy as Jeff and asking who he is waiting outside for. A bright light is then shone in his face. At that moment, Jeff turns around and walks back inside, but not before the other man says, “We can have a conversation or I can call the cops.”

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TipsterNews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TipsterNews</a>: The Senior Vice President of PSN George Cacioppo was caught by an independent pedophile hunting group known as &quot;People v. Preds&quot; for allegedly trying to meet with a 15 Year Old boy for sex. <a href="https://t.co/4ukh4lmy6a">pic.twitter.com/4ukh4lmy6a</a></p>&mdash; Tipster (@BanishedJourno) <a href="https://twitter.com/BanishedJourno/status/1467203514971529218?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 4, 2021</a></blockquote> 

Unknown to most viewers at the time is the fact that ‘Jeff’ was actually George Cacioppo, a senior vice president working in the PlayStation Store division of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Allegedly, he was waiting outside because he was under the impression he’d be hooking up with a child just two weeks past his 15th birthday. 

According to People v. Preds, they found Mr. Cacioppo on the gay dating app Grindr. Using a decoy account pretending to be a young boy, they quickly found themselves inundated with dick pics and comments about wanting to suck and swallow, all of which ended up with an invitation to come to his house. They agreed, keeping up the pretense that Cacioppo would be meeting the boy – the same boy for whom ‘Jeff’ was later filmed standing in the driveway waiting. 

Not ‘newsworthy’

Less than a day after the video went live, it began to explode across social media, with people understandably calling on Sony to fire the individual featured in it. Yet, interestingly, as the story gained traction, news websites kept mum, as did journalists across Twitter. A noticeably odd void, given it involved a high-ranking executive. 

Likewise, the notorious web forum ResetEra, which is known for its ties to the gaming press, began closing threads discussing the matter. Its reasoning for this was that YouTube and Twitter weren’t valid sources. One moderator even said there could only be a thread once there was a “legitimate news article.” The problem, of course, was that the media was staying silent. 

When asked on Twitter about the lack of coverage, Dan Stapleton, the executive editor of IGN, expressed the view that it wasn’t “newsworthy.”

<blockquote>
    <span><strong>Read more</strong></span>
    <figure>
        <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2021.12/thumbnail/61add55185f5403b6a127b41.png" alt="Screenshot from &quot;#93 - &quot;GEORGE&quot; 64YO SENIOR VP ENGINEER of PSN INVITED OVER A 15YO BOY AT 430AM.....&quot; © YouTube / People v. Preds" />
        <figcaption><a href="/pop-culture/542297-sony-executive-terminated-pedo/">Sony fires exec after vigilante 'pedo sting'</a></figcaption>
    </figure>
</blockquote>

Yes, according to a gaming journalist, a high-ranking Sony exec trying to have sex with a child was not newsworthy enough. That was seemingly why there was no coverage of the incident throughout all of Saturday. It wasn’t until Sunday that it began being reported on, and that was only after Cacioppo had been fired by Sony, with most major websites still sharing merely a copy/paste version of the news. 

‘Newsworthy’

This was, of course, shenanigans, especially when one compares this story to those that have dominated headlines throughout 2021. 

On February 19, a tweet blew up after it called attention to the fact that Troy Leavitt, a lead designer on an upcoming ‘Harry Potter’ video game used to make YouTube videos that shared a mixture of moderate and conservative views. They’re all fairly lukewarm, and not extreme in the least, but the media went on the attack, and the news cycle became dominated by hit pieces and headlines falsely attributing him to be a member of the alt-right. Some articles were literally posted less than 24 hours after the tweet was posted. That was how quickly the media determined it to be newsworthy. Leavitt eventually stepped down from his role on the project. 

This happened again on September 4, when John Gibson, the CEO of Tripwire Interactive, tweeted in support of the Texas abortion ban. Abortion is a hot topic in the United States, but the split between those who are pro-choice and pro-life is relatively even. This is my way of saying that the guy was sharing a pretty common point of view. Yet the press still went on the attack, and, within 24 hours, journalists filled his mentions with criticisms, and news articles and hit pieces were soon to follow. Within about two days, Gibson was pushed out of the company.

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Proud of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USSupremeCourt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USSupremeCourt</a> affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat. As an entertainer I don’t get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.</p>&mdash; John Gibson (@RammJaeger) <a href="https://twitter.com/RammJaeger/status/1434245886670901250?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 4, 2021</a></blockquote> 

Finally, back in June, it came out that the creator of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’, Scott Cawthon, had donated money to Republican candidates. You already know where this is going. He was dragged through the mud by the media and the story dominated headlines for a week before he stepped down from his role. 

Not worthy

It’s with no exaggeration that I say the gaming press has taken more issue with creators who have differing political viewpoints than it has with those accused of pedophilia. It’s beyond messed up, but it’s the reality, and it just highlights the truth that journalists don’t care about reporting on stories unless there’s a sociopolitical motivation to do so.

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Dan Stapleton of IGN doesn’t think a high ranking Sony employee being outed as a pedophile is newsworthy. <br><br>Meanwhile the gaming media turned tweets, videos, &amp; donations into weeklong outrage cycles during 2021, moves which pushed those involved out of the industry.<br><br>🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 <a href="https://t.co/cUI7gkgpfV">https://t.co/cUI7gkgpfV</a> <a href="https://t.co/tpcMPQwAj8">pic.twitter.com/tpcMPQwAj8</a></p>&mdash; Sophia ‘Sophiopath’ Narwitz (@SophNar0747) <a href="https://twitter.com/SophNar0747/status/1467746276032794625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 6, 2021</a></blockquote> 

For example, to return to IGN once again, the writers there found it worthwhile to post about Palestine and Black Lives Matter, two subjects far outside their wheelhouse, but an alleged pedophile working within the industry they’re a part of? Meh. Only after the guy was fired did they churn out a short article that was basically the copy/paste version that everyone else had used. 

In the era of access media, are they simply afraid to piss off Sony? That’s a question I’ve seen people across Twitter ask, but who can say for certain. All I know is that the gaming media’s politics are on full display and it’s painfully obvious they care more about scoring perceived wins for their team than telling the stories people should hear. 

And that’s a disgusting reality made all the more icky, given how sexual misconducts at major gaming companies have dominated the headlines in recent years. With that in mind, an alleged pedophile working a cushy job at Sony should stir up lots of frustration in everyone with a working and somewhat decent morality compass. Yet, for the media, it was barely a blip on a radar.

It’s a huge problem when a games developer donating to Republicans stirs up more op-eds and news articles than an executive trying to fondle kids. And if that’s the type of thing that isn’t deemed newsworthy, then I shudder to imagine how many other stories may have been swept under the rug because the sources reporting on them weren’t seen as “legitimate” enough.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

     https://ift.tt/3ptIWnQ 07, 2021 at 05:48PM

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