UPDATE: NeoGAF is now back online and a statement has been made by owner Tyler “Evilore” Malka. In the statement, Malka said the allegations were false, and also addressed the NeoGAF community in regards to new rules for the forum.
“An allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against me by an ex, Malka wrote. “It’s not true, the individual making the accusation isn’t credible, the story doesn’t reconcile logically with the facts, and there’s plenty of evidence and witnesses to corroborate that. It’ll be a process. All allegations of this nature are serious, of course.
“We’ve all become increasingly stressed and weary this year in ways even I’m not accustomed to by now, and discussions on heated news, political issues, and social issues on the off-topic side of the site have become areas no one has wanted to moderate in the open for fear of backlash or just general exposure to the inevitable toxicity.
“That’s all going to inform the way forward for NeoGAF as we refocus on what the main goals are supposed to be for the site. The mod team will talk about more specifics on what that will entail below.”
The full post and the update forum rules posted by NeoGAF’s ModBot are available here.
Original Post: Gaming forum NeoGAF is currently ‘down for maintenance’, following a weekend of disruption. The forum was unable to be accessed and presumed to have been taken down after sexual harassment allegations against owner Tyler Malka became public.
The website is now back up after visitors received a 503 error for most of the weekend, prompting the assumption that Malka (better known by his handle "Evilore") had taken the site down to avoid allegations against him.
The allegations began when film director Ima Leupp posted an account of an incident on Facebook, which initially had not named anyone. But after several comments of support, Malka was named by his handle with Leupp saying "F**k it, Google Evilore."
Since then, moderators have quit the site with four of the most well known within the community, Besada, Cyan, Kabouter and Xander Cage all leaving due to the controversy. Malka himself is yet to make any comment and the lack of any statement has prompted many new threads to open protesting against the owner and the site, as aggregated here by an unofficial twitter account.
There has been no official word from NeoGAF if this closure is permanent or not, but its impact has been felt across the industry. Originally started in 1999, the forum became a place not just for game enthusiasts but also an anonymous forum for developers to share leaks and experiences, as well as for the industry to analyse feedback from gamers directly.
We’ll update this story as soon as more information becomes available.