It’s a sad truth about living on the internet that there is usually someone out there who is more than happy to make your life hell. As public figures, the couple behind the popular YouTube gaming channel Girlfriend reviews know this all too well, but they recently saw a different kind of intimidation when a molester sent himself fake death threats accusing YouTubers.
In their latest video, Girlfriend Reviews duo Matt and Shelby stepped in front of the camera to address the situation directly and explain their week-long investigation into the molester’s false claims. They uncovered a misinformation campaign that, while built on a foundation of sand, managed to turn a fringe gaming community into a weapon out to hate it and the horrors that often come with an internet presence to make matters worse.
Make up harassment
It all started, as so often, with a tweet. After a year of negative attention from subreddit r / TheLastOfUs2 – we’ll get to that a little later – Shelby tweeted some of the frankly deranged posts
TheRealRogerEbert’s second Reddit post, which featured multiple screenshots of hateful messages he allegedly received, skyrocketed. Here was the proof, at least in the minds of the Redditors who already hated girlfriend reviews, that the YouTube duo were the real monsters in this asymmetrically controversial relationship. But Matt and Shelby quickly noticed strange discrepancies in the “harassment” allegedly sent to TheRealRogerEbert.
“Like most YouTubers, we get hateful comments on a regular basis, and it’s a sad day when you realize the internet is so full of hate that it just doesn’t get you into the phase,” said Girlfriend Reviews Kotaku by email. “What made this important enough to be addressed was the seriousness of the allegations, the popularity of the post, and the large number of users who appeared to undoubtedly believe this man’s allegations while expressing a great deal of anger and wishing for us harms us. “
“A rude YouTube comment is white noise,” they continued. “An online community that doesn’t like you organizing a brigade on Twitter to instigate a conflict with your fans is going to sound the alarm bells. Not to mention, this was one of the highest rated Reddit posts about us in a while. Who would want this post and comments to appear when their name is searched on Google? No one.”
“Evidence” released by TheRealRogerEbert to demonstrate his alleged harassment by fans of girlfriend reviews showed obvious inconsistencies and logical errors.
Matt and Shelby, for example, doubted whether members of their fan base would refer to someone as “retarded” as they did on one of the messages, let alone did, while also claiming the recipient was transphobic because they disliked them The Last of Us Part II. TheRealRogerEberts screencaps of the alleged harassment also featured threats of a “golf club to the head,” a meme phrase often used by r / TheLastOfUs2 regarding the fate of series protagonist Joel Miller in the sequel. Something was wrong.
As described in the video above, Girlfriend Reviews followed a trail of breadcrumbs and was soon confident that TheRealRogerEbert was sending the harassing messages to himself. He eventually emailed them from his personal account asking for “help” in uniting their “fans” and Matt and Shelby were outwardly cooperative despite their suspicions.
But when TheRealRogerEbert refused to send them uncensored screenshots of the harassing messages, and even threatened to involve his local authorities, the couple had had enough. Girlfriend Reviews let TheRealRogerEbert know they were on to him and then watched in real time with amusement as the hoaxer systematically erased his Reddit sock.Puppet accounts, his main account, and even the email he used to communicate with them.
Needless to say, this has dispelled any doubts about the origin of the “harassment”.
How dare you like a video game?
Matt and Shelby have been posting gaming videos as girlfriend reviews for nearly three years. What started with a satirical criticism from Red Dead Redemption II From the point of view of a friend whose boyfriend was obsessed with the open world cowboy simulator, a hugely popular source of video game reviews and analysis emerged on YouTube.
“Their signature series opens up gaming as a spectator sport, with Shelby providing snappy comments on her time as she relives her boyfriend’s varied gaming sessions,” said the duo official website reads. “Far from the stereotype, Girlfriend Reviews undermines the trope of disinterested or angry girlfriends with reviews and comments full of love and passion for games and gaming.”
It shouldn’t come as a shock that Shelby’s mere presence was enough to send adult men into hysteria. It should also come as no surprise that this harassment became very apparent when Girlfriend Reviews released two positively sentiment The Last of Us Part II Videos last summer. For over a year now, those uploads have kept Matt and Shelby rent-free property on the minds of a bitter subreddit called. brought in r / TheLastOfUs2whose users perceived the videos as a personal attack. The community has followed every move of the channel since then, a one-sided vendetta often paired with attacks that remain undisputed by the subreddit’s moderators.
While the title suggests otherwise, the subreddit r / TheLastOfUs2 is dedicated to the hatred of its namesake. But the members of this community rarely stop there. It’s not enough that they don’t like it The Last of Us Part IIThey also criticize it from an “anti-SJW” perspective, believing that Naughty Dog killed Joel as the main character and introduced more variety into the sequel to add variety to a mythical “woke up” mob. Everyone who is having fun The Last of Us Part II and does not stick to this misguided perspective (e.g. girlfriend reviews) becomes fair game for the wrath of the subreddit.
Continue reading: The Last of Us Part II, That Kotaku examination
A silver lining
Matt and Shelby have been in touch with both Reddit and the moderators of r / TheLastOfUs2 since their investigation video was released over the weekend. But little progress has been made in clearing the record. Reddit only responded with a series of automated messages, and the r / TheLastOfUs2 mods, despite initially being cooperative, refuse to completely deny the false claims against girlfriend reviews or take responsibility for the hateful environment they fueled.
“After our video, we feel like they tripled by again making sticky posts and statements trying to somehow cast us as the bad guys,” said Girlfriend Reviews. “They continue to twist our words or just lie to their members to play the victim. They made the submarine private, scrubbed it clean, then opened it up again and said, “See for yourself!” Some of these mods deleted their own comments, one of them deleted his entire account and the creator of the sub just gave it up completely. “
“That said, you guessed it, we get more hatred and harassment,” they added. “But this time we sleep soundly because the truth is out there. We just want the mods to say, ‘Hey guys, girlfriend reviews didn’t do that. I’m sorry we allowed this post and lied to everyone. ‘ It would also be nice if they stopped equating what they were going through (as a result of the things they did and said in public) with what they did to us. It’s the victim’s fault and it’s not okay. “
The internet is a wonderful, hideous place. While it is great to be able to connect with people from all over the world, that connection also allows for a variety of harassment opportunities. Your online reputation, especially as a publicly available content creator, is often determined by just a moment or two that morph into a whole alternate reality made up by people you don’t even know. And that’s not just limited to communities like r / TheLastOfUs2. Even online destinations advertised as bastions of good faith discussion, such as ResetEra, are participating in the action. as Girlfriend Reviews themselves can unfortunately confirm.
It is very easy to lose sight of a person’s humanity in the red fog of internet blood sports. And as someone who receives harassment, the positive interactions that can accompany the bad often fall by the wayside in the cacophony of bullshit. Fortunately, Matt and Shelby managed to make this whole ordeal positive by: a. organized Fundraiser for no-kill shelters. As of this writing, they have raised nearly $ 28,000 and exceeded their humble goal of $ 6,000.
“The last two weeks have been miserable,” said Girlfriend Reviews Kotaku, “Then our video fell, we missed our charity goal, and we’ve all been smiling ever since. It was a much needed wake up call that most people on the internet are empathetic and loving. That there are many people who want to help if something bad happens to you. Even strangers. Mr. Rogers’ mother always told him to look for the helpers and we have a long list of them on our donation page. “