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December 27, 2011 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Gabe at Penny Arcade shares a remarkable email chain. And since the Internet loves a good pile-on, it then comes to light that the company on the other end of that conversation has been indulging in a little plagiarism as well.
posted by Ipsifendus (286 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Outstanding stuff. I actually laughed out loud at the bit about wheat at the beginning, too. Love these guys sometimes.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:01 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is an amazing story. Everyone should read the plagiarism link for the apology to the original customer. The apology to Mike at Penny Arcade is here.
posted by desjardins at 7:07 PM on December 27, 2011


I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed I didn’t know how big your site was and I really didn’t believe you ran Pax , So for what’s its worth I am very sorry.

Very similar to an apology!
posted by DU at 7:09 PM on December 27, 2011 [66 favorites]


I was waiting for this to hit the blue.

I know Penny Arcade has had a history of geting into trouble on the internet and creating some noteworthy internet shitstorms. This time, though, I think most people are not going to side with Ocean Marketing.

This is an interesting phenomenon, too.
posted by daq at 7:10 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a story. I think this guy could actually be quite an accomplished rapper or something who got confused about his job. He thinks he's in a freestyle competition apparently.

You just got told bitch … welcome to the real internet check kotaku in 2 weeks when they are reviewing free PS3 Avengers we send them as well as G4 and all the other majors hell yeah , don’t forget to check Amazon, gamestop.com, play n trade , Myers , Frys and a ton of other local stores coming your way you think you speak for billions son your just a kid you speak for yourself no one cares what you think that’s why were growing and moving 20-50 thousand controllers a month. We do value our customers but sometimes we get children like you we just have to put you in the corner with your im stupid hat on. See you at CES , E3 , Pax East ….? Oh wait you have to ask mom and pa dukes your not an industry professional and you have no money on snap you just got told.

I like how his apology is a long sob story about his new baby, his friend died, it's the holidays, and he just got "pushed" too much. I don't know, this wasn't just one email that didn't get a lot of thought. It was a lot of effort went into these missives.
posted by bleep at 7:10 PM on December 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Sometimes it's as if some people are just coming to the Internet today, without ever hearing of or knowing anything about what's gone before. Getting harder and harder to fool people when everything is a few mouse clicks away.

I kinda feel for the guy, though. We've all had our douchebag moments, and while this one is particularly comical in a dark way, imagine this guy trying to get a job doing something unrelated, say, five years from now. "So, you want to sell auto insurance? Looks like you have all the necessary certifications. Here, let me just quickly Google your name and see what turns up. Don't worry, this is just a formality -- I've never seen anyt ... HOLY FUCK. You're that guy?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:11 PM on December 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


"You just got told bitch...welcome to the real internet" is begging for image macros.
posted by downing street memo at 7:16 PM on December 27, 2011 [35 favorites]


Ha, I knew it! I went to look at his site and was like, "I bet this is copied wholesale from somewhere else because there's no chance Paul wrote this."
posted by neuromodulator at 7:18 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just wow. I'd like to see this guy in the supermarket, just not my supermarket.
posted by arcticseal at 7:19 PM on December 27, 2011


As a guy who's been bullied, I'm cheering.

As a former d-bag when I was younger, I'm wincing with guilt. Yikes, that could have been me.

But then I realize I wasn't 38 when I was a d-bag. And I feel a little better about cheering.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:21 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Kotaku has an interesting update where they ask the people at Avenger controller if Paul is a 3rd party...

This is where it gets weird.
posted by splatta at 7:21 PM on December 27, 2011 [30 favorites]


Everyone involved in this "man fails to obtain joystick" fiasco is foolhearty. I'm starting a list.
posted by _aa_ at 7:23 PM on December 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


OK, now with the Kotaku update, whatever feeling I had is gone.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:26 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]



Video from inside ocean marketing/strategy...

(ok, not really)
posted by ArkhanJG at 7:26 PM on December 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is an interesting phenomenon, too.

Why? Just because Gabe and Mike are trolls in some respects doesn't mean that they aren't decent people in other respects. In general, most trolls I've met have also been rather decent people as long as their personal troll button isn't engaged.
posted by muddgirl at 7:27 PM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is so stunning about this is how private his email correspondence probably felt with the customers, maybe in the seclusion of an empty office somewhere, and somehow it's come back to derail his entire career in a very public way within a day. I'm sure it feels very surreal how quickly it happened, almost disconnected from reality. The power of the internet.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:30 PM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoo man. I've been clicking on Reddit links with my bowl of popcorn out for the past THREE HOURS because this story is just too insane. "Mike, you have the power, please make it stop." HOLY SHIT THIS IS GOOD.

I'm not into gaming at all, and I feel for the actual owner of the product, but c'mon. This guy *really* fucked a goat here, and now he/it/they are learning a very important (and late) lesson about how to run a business...
posted by polly_dactyl at 7:33 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


muddgirl,
I was referring more to the enormous response that Penny Arcade is able to get for these kinds of things. They have a very loud bullhorn to broadcast things from and the resulting internet shitstorm is always interesting.

As for trolls, I happen to be good friends with many, many trolls. As a former troll myself, I completely understand the impetus to toy with people over the internet.

Also, my name is Captain Obvious a lot of days.
posted by daq at 7:33 PM on December 27, 2011


Kotaku has an interesting update where they ask the people at Avenger controller if Paul is a 3rd party...

I seriously couldn't make something up as crazy as this.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:34 PM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I do feel bad for the actual manufacturer of the controller, which may be a fine product, I don't know. Even though they've fired Ocean Marketing, no doubt their future business will be damaged because of this idiocy.
posted by desjardins at 7:35 PM on December 27, 2011


Mike Krahulik: I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.

This saddens me, and I can't explain why.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:36 PM on December 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


honestly, desjardins, i bet this turns out wonderfully for the manufacturer of the avenger. penny arcade is already posting about what a great product it is for kids with disabilities and i can see people making it a huge success just to embarrass paul whashisname even more.
posted by neuromodulator at 7:38 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"You just got told bitch...welcome to the real internet" is begging for image macros.

Begging for image macros, you say?

Next time beg for decent image macros.

posted by Homeboy Trouble at 7:40 PM on December 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


neuromodulator: Here's the Amazon review page for their XBox controller. I don't think the manufacturer gets out of this one unscathed.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:45 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


infinitewindow: This saddens me, and I can't explain why.

Not to worry. That's just the way he talks. That translates roughly to, "I said good day, sir!"
posted by gilrain at 7:46 PM on December 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


This motivational poster seems to be appropriate for this whole affair.
posted by chambers at 7:46 PM on December 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Mike Krahulik: I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.

This saddens me, and I can't explain why.


Funny, made me grin.
posted by Shit Parade at 7:47 PM on December 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


The real Brandon in one of the links above sounds like a bit of a tool, too. Have people just given up on professional-sounding email?
posted by Yowser at 7:47 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


There was some speculation in the Kotaku thread that this Brandon character is an alias or something of Paul's.
posted by bleep at 7:52 PM on December 27, 2011


Lol.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one who would never order an expensive electronic from a company called "Ocean Marketing"?
posted by falameufilho at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Can someone clarify for me the various corporate parties involved in this fiasco? Ocean Marketing was working for N-Control, who are or are not the manufacturer? Just a little unsure on the tangled web...


(does look like a cool controller though)
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:56 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


falameufilho: Am I the only one who would never order an expensive electronic from a company called "Ocean Marketing"?

Nah, sounds legit. I'd be wary of "Ocean Marketting", though, yeah.
posted by gilrain at 7:57 PM on December 27, 2011


When Brandon leidel, the CEO of a self-avowed Seo and viral marketing company thinks you're an thuggish witless waste of skin, you've got to think this guy Paul Cristoforo is a real piece of work.
a quick bit of googling shows up plenty of evidence for leidel and his companies existing, so I don't think he's an alias.

The sob story apology from paul about the dead friend and new baby is clearly a complete load of lies.

He's just sorry he got caught being a complete arsehole to someone able to call him out. That he's still faking emails from someone else trying to play down the incident shows exactly what kind of guy he is.

While avenger might not be directly at fault here, they clearly put a lot of faith in this guy, and delays aren't exactly uncommon with them, so its not entirely unfair they share some of the blow back.
posted by ArkhanJG at 8:00 PM on December 27, 2011


Man, this whole thing is just a douche fest. Thing 1 sends a douchey email to a customer, Thing 2 says "I will bring down the wrath of the internet and destroy this company because some marketing douche dared send me a douchey email." Whlle the first email would certainly be enough to write the company off for poor service, this whole troll bonfire he ignited seems gleefully vindictive in a way that doesn't make anybody participating in it look good. Stepladders to be handed out all round.
posted by Diablevert at 8:00 PM on December 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


Saxon Kane, it's hard to parse who owns what. The website is copyright Kotkin Enterprises, LLC.
posted by desjardins at 8:01 PM on December 27, 2011


Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet, thanks for the welcome to message wurd up. Grow up you look like a complete child bro.

That's some Noel Coward shit, yo.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:04 PM on December 27, 2011 [29 favorites]


this whole troll bonfire he ignited seems gleefully vindictive in a way that doesn't make anybody participating in it look good

it's just like metatalk!
posted by neuromodulator at 8:05 PM on December 27, 2011 [9 favorites]



This update
is a little more clear on who the players are.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:06 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whlle the first email would certainly be enough to write the company off for poor service, this whole troll bonfire he ignited seems gleefully vindictive in a way that doesn't make anybody participating in it look good.

Possibly. It's important to remember that Pennt Arcade is firmly entrenched in the gaming world, and there are plenty of scams and crap companies going around, same as any other industry. What happened is roughly comparable to Consumerist running a post about some company's scammy PR dude telling off its customers.
posted by verb at 8:07 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ahem.

Metafilter: Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet, thanks for the welcome to message wurd up. Grow up you look like a complete child bro.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:17 PM on December 27, 2011 [5 favorites]



Paul is apparently an old hand at this...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:18 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


You have made the Internet angry. All of it. Don't do that.
posted by scalefree at 8:21 PM on December 27, 2011 [29 favorites]


I know Penny Arcade has had a history of geting into trouble on the internet and creating some noteworthy internet shitstorms. This time, though, I think most people are not going to side with Ocean Marketing.

Even a broken misogynist jerkbag can be right, when the wind is southerly. Or something something twice a day.
posted by phearlez at 8:24 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unbelievably, the Ocean Marketing website's front page is prominently featuring a quote from somebody named Allan Jenkins:

Your Brand is no stronger than your reputation - and will increasingly depend on what comes up when you are Googled.

The first page of Google results for "Ocean Marketing" is really something. I don't believe I've ever seen irony piled that high.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:25 PM on December 27, 2011 [9 favorites]




Oh man, this is too rich. The following quote appears at the top of the Ocean Marketing homepage: "Your brand is no stronger than your reputation--and will increasingly depend on what comes up when you are Googled." - Allan Jenkins

Irony studded with gems immersed in shit. I love it.
posted by troll at 8:27 PM on December 27, 2011


Damn you Ipsifendus. Damn you to hell.
posted by troll at 8:27 PM on December 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wwebsite as on the internet. But really don't we all wwebsite as on the internet?
posted by sourwookie at 8:29 PM on December 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


If this whole episode isn't an elaborate directed-by-M.-Night-Shyamalan marketing scheme, it may as well have been.

I'm pretty sure it's significantly increasing the number of people aware of the product involved, and considering that it is a well-reviewed and somewhat unique product (and that they've now publicly fired Paul's marketing company) it probably isn't discouraging many people from buying it.
posted by finite at 8:30 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The copy on that site is.... something to behold :
Ocean Marketing Inc devotes time exclusively to understand your company and brand better,
...
Your optimized content like blogs is updated and managed with plugins.
...
Your informative content circulates throughout the web and visitors to your company site increase.
The stupid. It burns.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:30 PM on December 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Gosh, if only the Penny Arcade guys treated the idea of rape as repugnantly as they do the idea of some guy being a dickhole on the internet to another guy.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:30 PM on December 27, 2011 [72 favorites]


Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet ...

Geico have used this little gem to their advantage.
posted by lovermont at 8:32 PM on December 27, 2011 [36 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: Now I have to fight the urge to examine my resume, out of a sudden terror that it sounds as stupid.
posted by happyroach at 8:36 PM on December 27, 2011


The whole thing is completely distasteful, especially the apparent glee the internet hate machine is getting from burning this guys life to the ground.

Lesson learned - don't say something dumb on the internet during Christmas holidays.
posted by davey_darling at 8:54 PM on December 27, 2011


@davey_darling i agree, this is a clusterfuck of the first water
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:00 PM on December 27, 2011


Video from inside ocean marketing/strategy...

For some perplexing reason, this douchebag Cristoforo has retweeted the link to this video dissing him and his excuse for a company, as well as the responses from Scott Lowe disavowing any connection with him (he responded by calling Lowe a douchebag), and a few other people just outright mocking him.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:01 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


davey_darling: This guy is posing as a PR professional and insulting not just customers who had reasonable inquiries, but influential figures in the gaming community. He is provably a fraud, a liar and an asshole.

I've seen enough people who got through life on being pathologically lying assholes and enough of the damage they caused around themselves to feel nothing but joy when one of them gets zapped as a consequence of their own bullshit.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:02 PM on December 27, 2011 [24 favorites]


The worst part is, his apology isn't even right enough to be wrong. He seems to think that what he's apologizing for is "accidentally being a dick to some important people," instead of "being a dick at all, period."
posted by KathrynT at 9:05 PM on December 27, 2011 [28 favorites]


What happened is roughly comparable to Consumerist running a post about some company's scammy PR dude telling off its customers.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. I don't know --- I don't read Consumersit religiously; when I have read it the outrage usually involved some actual injury --- somebody not getting something they'd paid for, getting ripped off, being unable to fix a problem and spending ages in customer service hell, etc. In this --- I mean, he's still going to get his controller, yes? It's just late? And late not because the marketing guy was a douche but because of customs/import issues?

I mean, I get why the customer was pissed, particularly if he suspects that funds from pre-orders were used to cover development costs. That's sketchy behaviour on the part of the company. But the tone of the email he sent that really seemed to set things off --- the "here, let me tell you how to do you job, idiot," one --- well, no one responds well to that. It's the job of a responsible customer service person at a professional organization to grit their teeth, apologize, and give the customer the info they wanted. But I don't think anybody wouldn't have felt insulted by that email. "Paul"'s problem is that he's immature and unprofessional person who responded to being insulted by raising the stakes and spitting insults right back --- completely, completely wrong thing to do. He's definitely a much bigger douche than the customer. But I don't find the customer admirable. Put it this way: If the lovely Judith Martin weren't already silver-haired, I think reading up on this whole debacle might have turned the last few.
posted by Diablevert at 9:08 PM on December 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Am I the only one more disturbed about his bizarre punctuation style than anything? Even in his mostly-coherent apology, he sets all of his commas off by spaces to the left and it's bugging the crap out of me.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:08 PM on December 27, 2011 [24 favorites]


I mean, he's still going to get his controller, yes? It's just late? And late not because the marketing guy was a douche but because of customs/import issues?

It's late, and also there was a $10 discount applied to *later* orders on the controller, and also he was told that his order would be cancelled entirely if he quite logically tried to cancel his order and then reorder it in order to receive the discount. Oh, also, he was repeatedly berated by an idiot for daring to ask reasonable questions about his product shipment.

The glee from the internet hate machine may be unseemly, but it's not like this guy didn't ask for it a few times over. He didn't just send out one jerky email. He repeatedly hit the same damned buttons.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:13 PM on December 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


Gosh, if only the Penny Arcade guys treated the idea of rape as repugnantly as they do the idea of some guy being a dickhole on the internet to another guy.

They do, in fact, write jokes about internet dickholery, which, yeah, seems like pretty similar treatment.
posted by aubilenon at 9:13 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Here's his Ebay profile.

Highlights :
What everyone should know about me
I am a god person to do business with :)
...
Favorite Books
I dont read books unless I have to
...
Favorite Movies
Goodfella's, Casino, Bonnie Brasco

Why am I not surprised ?

posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:14 PM on December 27, 2011 [17 favorites]


So I am at best a casual gamer. And I'm looking at the Avenger controller and to me it looks like a cross between a PS3 controller and an octopus. What... does it... do?
posted by mendel at 9:16 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, he's still going to get his controller, yes?

Not in time for Christmas, which is when he ordered it for. He was told it would ship late November to early December, and paid in full. On 12/16, he sent an email asking when the controller would ship, because he hadn't gotten any email or a tracking number, and got back an email that said "Dec. 17" with no other context. When he wrote back asking for clarification, he learned that that date was a complete fabrication, because the controllers were still in China. He then said "So, a shipping date before Christmas is unlikely then?" and got back "It'll either be before Christmas or after," which is a pretty shitty thing for a CS rep to say.

His next email is frustrated but still reasonable, at which point he gets told to "put on his big boy hat and wait it out." And that's when he snaps.

He still doesn't have a controller in hand, nor does he have a date when he's going to get one. He was angry and unprofessional, yeah, but guess what, he wasn't at work, and he was out his money, had no Christmas delivery, no clue when the controller would arrive, and sass from the CS guy. It's not his job to be unfailingly polite to the guy who has his money and refuses to tell him when he's going to get his product.
posted by KathrynT at 9:17 PM on December 27, 2011 [78 favorites]


Mendel, it's adapted for people with hand disabilities.
posted by KathrynT at 9:17 PM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


So I am at best a casual gamer. And I'm looking at the Avenger controller and to me it looks like a cross between a PS3 controller and an octopus. What... does it... do?

why dont' you put on your big boy pants and jsut order one. $150.00 on ebay, it ships whenever, get off my dick about the details
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:18 PM on December 27, 2011 [105 favorites]


The whole thing is completely distasteful, especially the apparent glee the internet hate machine is getting from burning this guys life to the ground.

I wouldn't doubt if part of this is the ancient Nerd vs. Jock war, and the Internet nerds are reveling in their chance to get revenge for long-ago metaphorical wedgies. The guy hits so many nerd buttons it's not even funny. A steroid-using probably coked-out bro who bullies by name-calling and invoking imaginary social connections.

Taking a step back, you're right though, the internet hate machine has been activated, and it's scary watching its effects. But like Grimgrin said, many of these guys go through life with no repercussions for their pathological lying and bullying. Some sort of social repercussion for his actions seems reasonable, right?
posted by formless at 9:20 PM on December 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


Mendel, it's adapted for people with hand disabilities.

It's just a controller generally meant to allow for very agile, simultaneous movements. It's just a nice side effect that its design would indeed be great for people with certain disabilities.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:22 PM on December 27, 2011


If I were to advise Paul Christoforo about strategy for dealing with this, I'd tell him to just turn his computer off and keep his mouth shut until the internet finds something else to be outraged about. Could be a week, could be a month, but it will blow over.

Frankly, I'm ambivalent about internet outrage mobs. On the one hand, it's always nice to see a jerk get his comeuppance, but, on the other, I'm not entirely comfortable with the disproportionate response of tens of thousands of angry internet users harrassing some bully.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:24 PM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


So let me get this straight. Guy from south Boston with a rice rocket who is on 'roids is a fucking moron to a customer and then tries to fight the internet; All of it?

Got it. Oh, my.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:24 PM on December 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


I think the idea is that it frees up the fingers typically used to hold the controller, allowing you to use more fingers for button control.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:25 PM on December 27, 2011


It's just a controller generally meant to allow for very agile, simultaneous movements. It's just a nice side effect that its design would indeed be great for people with certain disabilities.

Well, except that it was specifically prototyped for a boy with epidermolysis bullosa by his art teacher.
posted by KathrynT at 9:26 PM on December 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


It was specifically designed by a teacher to be used a student of his who has a skin disorder.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:28 PM on December 27, 2011


Well, except that it was specifically prototyped for a boy with epidermolysis bullosa by his art teacher.

Shows what I know, but on the other hand, scanning their website and the tenor of the product reviews, the controller is being marketed to gaming aficionados in general as a really cool controller, and not really as a solution for people with relevant disabilities. Maybe it's just a problem with their marketing company, ba-dum-tshh.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:30 PM on December 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


So, basically, any asshole can start a "marketing agency" and make money by wwebsite as on the internet?

That's good to know. And here I was worried about my future earning potential. I'm gonna start wwebsiting as on the internet immediately!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:34 PM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


The glee from the internet hate machine may be unseemly, but it's not like this guy didn't ask for it a few times over. He didn't just send out one jerky email. He repeatedly hit the same damned buttons.

At every step along the way he had an option to choose that would de-escalate the situation. At every step along the way, even after things had spun out of control, he chose the opposite path, making more people aggravated & upset at him. There's something about this that's so black, it's like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.
posted by scalefree at 9:35 PM on December 27, 2011 [29 favorites]


Mike Krahulik: I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.

This saddens me, and I can't explain why.


It saddens me because it's meeting the douchebag's immaturity with his own different kind of immaturity. Here's someone with a [relatively] tremendous amount of power (and probably wealth as well) who is still caught up in and sees his life as part of some nerd vs. jock bully narrative. The Ocean douchebag probably "deserves" to lose his job, sure, but it's really sad to me that Krahulik holds such resentment, and manipulated others' resentment in the manner he did. Oh, Internets.
posted by palidor at 9:39 PM on December 27, 2011 [18 favorites]


Gosh, if only the Penny Arcade guys treated the idea of rape as repugnantly as they do the idea of some guy being a dickhole on the internet to another guy.

Ah, the tragedy of the internet asshole. No one more fun to have around when they're going after a righteous cause, no one more painful to watch when they're defending rape jokes. So it goes.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:39 PM on December 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Gosh, if only the Penny Arcade guys treated the idea of rape as repugnantly as they do the idea of some guy being a dickhole on the internet to another guy.

Can we not refight this same tired bullshit every single time PA makes the blue?
posted by kafziel at 9:45 PM on December 27, 2011 [48 favorites]


Irrespective of what this guy deserves professionally, I don't see any call for trying to smear him personally. Who cares whether he was a defendant in a family-court action, or what movies he likes and whether he reads books. It's not relevant.
posted by cribcage at 9:45 PM on December 27, 2011


I'd like to turn around the Ghostbuster's adage: "If someone tells you they're a god, GOOGLE it."
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:46 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


The two people that run Penny Arcade are among the most caustic people in the entire industry. We would be much, much better without them or their dwolves. This email thread and making the PAfanboys attack ... is maybe one level above /b/ and Group That Should Not Be Named.
posted by andreaazure at 9:46 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


The two people that run Penny Arcade are among the most caustic people in the entire industry. We would be much, much better without them or their dwolves. This email thread and making the PAfanboys attack ... is maybe one level above /b/ and Group That Should Not Be Named.

And it sucks that they raise millions of dollars for children's hospitals.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:48 PM on December 27, 2011 [49 favorites]


Can we not refight this same tired bullshit every single time PA makes the blue?
posted by kafziel at 10:45 PM on December 27 [+] [!]

For many of us, yes, we will "refight" this because we are tired of the bullshit that PA gets to be painted in a positive light while also being royal dbags.

I mean, they aren't Hitler and bin Laden, but...

Yes, Godwin rule.
posted by andreaazure at 9:48 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would personally love it if we could separate references to the dickwolf debacle and fire those in an escape pod to planet "that discussion has been done to death". Seems like a derail that doesn't really contribute in an interesting way to the current situation.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:49 PM on December 27, 2011 [17 favorites]


If these guys are your definition of "royal dbags" then seriously, who isn't?
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:49 PM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]




And it sucks that they raise millions of dollars for children's hospitals.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:48 PM on December 27 [+] [!]


Just because you do something good -- even very good -- doesn't mean you get to do equally bad things. (Or, to avoid arguing "equal"... just because one does a good thing doesn't mean one gets to do a bad thing, especially when the bad thing is helping to perpetuate this caustic, hatefilled environment that makes my industry look like it is by and for 18-24 year old boys and no one else.)
posted by andreaazure at 9:50 PM on December 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


When I meet somebody and they start laying down the red carpet of bullshit by listing things (subjects, people, places, toys) they know, I automatically mistrust them. They might be perfectly cool people, but I just can't stand that shit. It's like taking money out of a bank you don't have an account at. Stop trying to be impressive and start acting like you are having a normal two way conversation.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:50 PM on December 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


The Internet Hate Machine does massively overreact to things, but maybe that's just because it's still fairly novel to be able to share this sort of thing publicly. I think the internet provides a much needed audience which says "No, you're not the weird one, that is fucked up".

Shits like this get away with being shits all their life because they put nice people in a position where they think they'd be being shitty to make a fuss.
posted by lucidium at 9:50 PM on December 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's possible to applaud their charity actions and disdain their attitudes with regard to certain issues at the same time.

Personally, referring to my previous comment about why Krahulik's behavior saddens me, I just get so tired of powerful people in the gaming community reinforcing negative stereotypes about "nerd" personalities with immature behavior.
posted by palidor at 9:51 PM on December 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Andrea, you are bringing a lot of baggage to this discussion that really isn't needed.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:51 PM on December 27, 2011 [31 favorites]


Years ago I pre-ordered a book (a kid's book - can't even remember the title now) some months ahead of the release date, which was around Christmas time. As Christmas drew closer I reflected on the fact that I'd heard nothing from the publisher regarding when the book would be shipped. I let some more time pass, and then emailed the publisher, basically saying "hi guys, haven't heard anything from you, is this thing going to ship before Christmas? I wanted to give it to someone as a present. You know I've already paid in full, right?"

A day later I got a response, which was basically a long rant about they were working their asses off over this book, were chronically overextended and understaffed, probably going to lose money on the thing, and didn't really have the time or inclination to deal with my inquiry.

I thought on that, and a few hours later replied to the effect that "sorry this has turned out to be such a rough time for you. Hope things get better. Might be best if I assume it will arrive after Christmas. Good luck."

The reply was the most touching apology you could possibly imagine. The rep acknowledged and completely owned the fact that he'd gone off the deep end, and admitted that he'd used anger to cover up his anxiety at having to tell yet another customer their book wouldn't be shipping until the new year.

And then, you have this guy.
posted by Ritchie at 9:52 PM on December 27, 2011 [55 favorites]


Favorite Movies
Goodfella's, Casino, Bonnie Brasco


is this one of those tired and trite film exercises where they just reverse all the genders of the characters because wow i would watch the HELL out of that
posted by FatherDagon at 9:55 PM on December 27, 2011 [20 favorites]


If these guys are your definition of "royal dbags" then seriously, who isn't?
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:49 PM on December 27 [+] [!]


Nyan Cat. The cat seems ok. Also not on my royal dbags list: zombo.com, Ze Frank, Arsenio Hall, Mark Summers, the 1986 New England Patriots, the Blue Man Group, Up With People, Rachel Maddow, Shane McMahon, Jon Huntsman, Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Richard Schiff, my mom, my daughter, Captain Feathersword, Tara Slone (though I haven't met her in person), Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and King Blzaxuiquioniaul from Planet #19.
posted by andreaazure at 9:55 PM on December 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


But honestly Monica, the web is considered 'public domain' and you should be happy we just didn't 'lift' your whole article and put someone else's name on it!, Part IX.

Dammit, IAmBroom, can't you even read the fracking title at the top of the page before you post?

(What? I'm logged in as who? Ah, frack it!)
posted by IAmBroom at 9:56 PM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mother Teresa? Really?

I will win the derailing game!

Sorry

posted by palidor at 9:57 PM on December 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Nyan Cat. The cat seems ok.

You obviously have a very skewed idea of a "royal dbag".

And invoking Mother Teresa is like a reverse Godwin.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:00 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, and the Blue Man Group is like dbag city.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:03 PM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


is maybe one level above /b/ and Group That Should Not Be Named.

You mean the group that formed the seed of one of the most important social movements of this decade, the group that helped shine a spotlight on Scientology, etc? Sometimes anonymity is a powerful social good.

For many of us, yes, we will "refight" this because we are tired of the bullshit that PA gets to be painted in a positive light while also being royal dbags.

Oooh ooh! I want to derail too! What is Marijuana and Drug Law Reform for $100 Trebek?

Maybe I shouldn't have brought that up, because really, it has nothing to do with this thread, right?
posted by formless at 10:03 PM on December 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


This email thread and making the PAfanboys attack ... is maybe one level above /b/ and Group That Should Not Be Named.

Angry "edgy" mommybloggers with broken washers and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers?

In any case, I think it's possible to be dbags about one or two issues and still get a good grade on the "do good" report card.

But as someone who toys with the idea of doing some internet marketing consulting on the side, guys like this make me want to crawl in a hole and hide.
posted by ladygypsy at 10:04 PM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


palidor, don't waste one single tear over this loser.

He's not a hardworking fellow who scraped his way to the top of Ocean Marketing's bureaucracy, only to have the whole empire come crashing down, etc...

He's a arrogant wannabe, who has finagled some business, and then destroyed that line of income through idiocy. He's a loser, plain and simple. Like Judith Griggs, who was "Editor-In-Chief" of Cooks Magazine, but ultimately was exposed as the entire staff (if you don't count the many people she plagiarized for articles), he started with nothing, briefly rose, and ended up lower by being a total jagoff.

Save your sorrow for nice people being laid off, through no fault of their own, in this economy.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:05 PM on December 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Gosh, if only the Penny Arcade guys treated the idea of rape as repugnantly as they do the idea of some guy being a dickhole on the internet to another guy.

Not to derail, or anything, but I don't think they've shied away from making cartoons about stupid PR people and bad customer service. The whole point of the previous rape controversy that Penny Arcade was involved in boiled down to whether rape could be used as a generic standin for "something terrible" in a cartoon, not whether rape was a terrible thing.

To suggest that they are treating this PR flap as something worse than rape is a lie. It's probably quite gratifying to say it,because it feels like you're taking an easy shot at a terrible person, but that doesn't make the comparison any truer. People lying in order to score easy points is precisely the sort of thing that Mike used during the rape-joke controversy to dismiss the serious criticisms of his rape-as-a-punchline position.
posted by verb at 10:06 PM on December 27, 2011 [31 favorites]


start laying down the red carpet of bullshit by listing things (subjects, people, places, toys) they know

Oooh, is this the New Year list thread?
posted by arcticseal at 10:14 PM on December 27, 2011


If you don't want to give PA pageviews or otherwise do something that feels like it's supporting them, that's reasonable. There are plenty of other sources for updates on this story, like this one. Getting mired in PA's involvement in this, seems a little like burying the lead, to me.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:14 PM on December 27, 2011


boiled down to whether rape could be used as a generic standin for "something terrible" in a cartoon, not whether rape was a terrible thing.

Woah, woah, woah, what are you doing?! Don't give it proper context, it actually makes sense that way. Don't you know how to do a derail?
posted by P.o.B. at 10:15 PM on December 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


[No more Dickwolves derailing, please; those who really want to rehash that issue instead of the post topic should take it to email.]
posted by taz at 10:16 PM on December 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


palidor, don't waste one single tear over this loser.

Oh, like I said, he deserves to lose his dubious job, of course. And he is The Douchebag as far as I'm concerned. He sucks so much I'm like gleefully dehumanizing him here. But Krahulik sending the Internet gamer brigade after him, especially with the whole over-the-top bully justification, is just really sad to me. It's this storm of nerd resentment and utilization of negative emotion to accomplish nothing constructive. It just depresses me that people want to tap into that stuff over something so stupid. Someone in Krahulik's position should know better, and I would hope they'd have a more mature outlook on such Douchebags, or bullies as he would say.
posted by palidor at 10:21 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's good this guy got a light shown on him. Due to the nature of the Internet, however, said light was provided by the glint of flaming torches off of pitch fork tines. There just really isn't much room between total lack of interest and foaming mob mentality in this medium.

I'm rather looking forward to seeing if Mike and Gabe actually put this into a comic somehow.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:43 PM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I hear about stuff like this, I always wonder, "How do you come back from this?" This guy, Aleksey Vayner, other people who become infamous for stupid douchebaggery -- what happens to them after, and tdo they ever get the opportunity to live a normal life?
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:49 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


He probably doesn't have a "job" as such, being a small business owner, unless he has a day job as well which wouldn't surprise me given his apparent competence and dedication.

As a small business owner I did have a moment of pity for him at email #2, as the sensation of "stop pestering me about when your stuff will be ready, so I can get your stuff ready instead of dealing with your questions" has been annoyingly familiar to me during crunch times. Also, I was responsible for production. I have no idea why a promotions guy is doing production, other than an "all hands on deck" Christmas rush.

But the time to set the conditions is before the orders are placed, and it is always better to underpromise and overdeliver. If you think the item will be ready by the 7th, tell them it'll be ready before the 10th; if you plan to charge them $150, estimate "under $200". This makes you look faster and cheaper without costing you time or money, and makes you look fantastic in comparison to jerks like this guy who routinely tell customers it will be ready on the 7th and show up on the 10th, and that it will be about $100 to get the job and actually invoice $150. (Not that he has done this in this case that we know of, however he seems the type.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:49 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, basically, any asshole can start a "marketing agency" and make money by wwebsite as on the internet?

A thousand times YES, except for the money part.
posted by Edgewise at 11:01 PM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


This guy, Aleksey Vayner, other people who become infamous for stupid douchebaggery -- what happens to them after, and tdo they ever get the opportunity to live a normal life?

Oh my god, I had never heard of Aleksey Vayner. Ironically, your concern for their long-term prospects has resulted in yet more people learning about their blunders.

The Michael Cera and Neil Patrick Harris spoofs on Aleksey Vayner were great.

Maybe they can't and shouldn't try to live normal lives. Maybe they should try something impossible Buddy road-trip movie? Reality TV show?
posted by formless at 11:17 PM on December 27, 2011


Penny Arcade, and Gabe is a central part of this story, not a tangent. The PA guys, and moot, and the other internet personality kings basically have huge personal armies to direct at whatever they want. And they always do. Sometimes it's raising money for children's hospitals, sometimes it's to pitchfork a guy who they decide deserves it.

It is nerd angst that after a lifetime of powerlessness has finally found itself some agency, and it sure as shit is gonna make those fuckers pay. It's terrifying. This is how comic book villans are born.
posted by danny the boy at 11:28 PM on December 27, 2011 [30 favorites]


So, I've deleted one comment digging into this guy's personal life because it names another (completely uninvolved) person and even if that kind of thing is okay for the "villain" of the story (and I don't actually think it is, beyond very limited aspects), it really sucks to start pulling in family, etc. Generally, though, let's just link to other stuff about the issue and skip the "original research" here.
posted by taz at 11:31 PM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't understand this Christmas parable at all.
posted by homunculus at 11:45 PM on December 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


In the spirit of comic book villains and memes this incident has spawned, one for Gabe himself:

It's terrifying. This is how comic book villans are born.
posted by formless at 11:47 PM on December 27, 2011


I have no worry about this guy's life being ruined by this, there are millions of people who aren't involved enough in the internet to hear about this. He's clearly not destined for long term employment in his current industry, but then, with his customer service attitude he wasn't going to stay with his current employer for long anyway. People have short memories and will soon be diverted to the next sideshow.
posted by arcticseal at 12:05 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.
This saddens me, and I can't explain why.


Because it's basically a declaration that history and neurotic response will trump reason and morality? And because, as Danny the Boy points out:

The PA guys, and moot, and the other internet personality kings basically have huge personal armies to direct at whatever they want.

That's scary.
posted by fatbird at 12:08 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Doesn't seem much different than the power imbued in celebrities of earlier eras. Though I guess now they aren't so managed by handlers, advertising men, and studio executives.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:15 AM on December 28, 2011


Is there no one to bring these internet terrorists to justice?
posted by ryanrs at 12:19 AM on December 28, 2011


Will no-one rid me of this turbulent PR guy?
posted by infinitewindow at 12:27 AM on December 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


There's something about this that's so black, it's like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

Racially or metaphorically?
posted by troll at 1:09 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


To the people who are characterizing this as an overreaction, remember that Christoforo and his ilk have arranged for class action lawsuits to be effectively eliminated.

The asymmetry of the corporate citizen standing to make millions or billions by screwing over mass quantities of individuals in low-dollar transactions that can't possibly be recouped in any legal action on the consumer's side, has made it so that the only recourse is to get lots and lots of people aware and angry enough to take a disproportionate amount of time out of their day to personally take action that will cost way more in manhours than the dollar amount of any individual's loss.

To get anything more than lip service the consumer - over a single small purchase that would not be a material amount of in corporate accounting practice - has to be ready to put an amount of time and effort in that would run a company doing the same kind of thing into the ground ten times over.

And we really pretty much have to do it altruistically: had the guy in Pogo_Fuzzybutt's link documenting the same treatment from Ocean/N-Control at the beginning of the year would have been doing it all for posterity if he had kept at it for anything less than three straight months to the bitter end.
posted by XMLicious at 1:12 AM on December 28, 2011 [23 favorites]


Racially or metaphorically?

Is that a cucumber in your pants or are you happy to see me?
posted by phaedon at 1:24 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


And invoking Mother Teresa is like a reverse Godwin.

Not really. Given her track record in collecting millions of dollars from dictators while leaving people in her care to die in agony because pain relief offended her sensibilities, I figure citing her as beyond reproach is a handy signal that the person doing so is either (a) mindlessly citing a name they associate with sanctity with no particular basis of knowledge, in which case I am inclined to take anything else they say less than seriously, or (b) think taking millions from dictators while refusing pain relief to people is OK if you have a sincere religious belief that it's a good idea, in which case I can safely consign the person to the bit of my moral universe reserved for people who should be immolated in lava.

In any case, while hordes of vigilante justice unnerving because, well, vigilante justice, the guy is pretty clearly a cockwit of the first water. Note that one of the apologies makes reference to the author not knowing how popular PA is - definitely not "sorry I fucked up your plans for your kid's Christmas gift by been useless and then making fun of you for my failure", but "sorry I got caught".

And, as XMLicious correctly points out, in much of the modern Western world, what exactly is your remedy? Companies cynically advertise post-rebate prices knowing that if they make rebate coupons hard enough to use they only ever pay out on 30-40% of them. They sell products as "magical and wonderful" and then tell you if you want them to offer more than a few months warranty it'll cost you extra. You aren't even a customer, you're a "consumer". When you leave pitchforks and torches as the only way of levelling the field, mobs is what you'll get.
posted by rodgerd at 1:30 AM on December 28, 2011 [33 favorites]


I am choosing to pretend that in actual reality, Ocean Marketing is in fact the most brilliant PR Firm of all time. I mean, think about it. Create (or just hire) a caricature: the very picture of the most meatheaded, sneering and disrespectful jock-bully you can think of, and set him up in an infuriatingly that's-never-happened-to-me-but-I-could-totally-see-it-happening customer service fiasco, and then point the Penny Arcade audience to him. An audience that probably knew NOTHING about this avenger controller before, but would probably be pretty well interested in it.

You guys, it's fucking GENIUS.

Anyway, that's my version of what's happened here because it leaves me with the warm fuzzies of human ingenuity and cleverness - instead of the cold uglies of watching what appears to be the global version of a battle between an enraged, disappointed fanboy and a power-tripping Gamestop shift manager.
posted by pazazygeek at 1:35 AM on December 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ocean Marketing
All wrongs have now been righted
posted by palidor at 2:10 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Calling Christoforo a "corporate citizen" and blaming him for legislative capture is beyond ridiculous. The guy is a single-person small business owner and if he has bothered to set up a company at all it'd be a $2 shelf company or a family trust or something, and from the look of the guy he would have no clue what that structure is actually for other than to facilitate casual tax evasion, assuming he even manages to earn enough to pay tax. The guy is a hell of a lot less "pro" than your local grocer or mechanic.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:20 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, seriously, let's not do "the 1%" thing here, eh? Not even remotely relevant.
posted by downing street memo at 2:29 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Since nobody else has linked it, and I am a visual person, his pic from Linkedin.
He doesn't look like the internet's biggest monster, but you often can't tell from a profile head shot.
posted by bystander at 3:22 AM on December 28, 2011


I do not think that it's only Christoforo who benefited from this happening. When he says "Customer service of old is gone were in a new generation now" he's not just talking about himself.

The fact is that he couldn't treat other companies this way; another company is going to say "Net 30" with discounts for early payment... early payment being after the goods are delivered. If not, litigation and the courts. End customers being able to get satisfaction, through the justice system at least, for being treated this way by those they do business with was a temporary aberration of a few decades that has been rectified.

I'm pretty flabbergasted, dsm, if you seriously think the asymmetry between the corporation and the consumer in society or the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion decision are "Not even remotely relevant" to these kinds of practices. (Or that noting these sorts of patterns is all lumped under "the 1%" for you, like it's all some recent fad or something?)

The title of this post is "Cooks Source V2.0" - comparing it to a copyright infringement case makes sense to you, but any observations relating it to how as a society we handle consumer rights versus the rights of corporations is just nuts and out of left field or something? I'm gone for the night, so have any sort of discussion you want about it, but it seems like a relevant angle to me especially since it seems that a great part of what's finally effecting change here is pressure from the other companies N-Control is doing business with instead of just the consumers.

(And I'm not even saying that there's any malicious intent or willful ignorance on N-Control's part, though it doesn't seem impossible; it's just that even if their motives are as pure as the driven snow it's all rigged so that the house always wins and backsliding even further in that direction, which was my point in bringing up that SCOTUS decision.)
posted by XMLicious at 3:23 AM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


One percent or not, it's still a good point that quite often the only power you have as a consumer in these situations is to escalate by giving the ripoff publicity, whether through consumer watchdog organisations or somebody like PA. Especially in the US where going to the courts is a limited but expensive option for most people while government watchdogs, if they even exist, seem less than willing or able to deal with these matters, due to decades of declawing.

Categorising the PA response as nerd rage or lynch mob politicis seems wrong to me; I read more than amusement than outrage in the responses, as well as a desire not to let this guy get away with his behaviour.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:31 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Goddamn but I love a good flameout. Especially when the guy flaming out is a horrible asshole. It's tough picking a favorite part, but the bit where he IMMEDIATELY attempts to reverse the tone of the exchange when he realizes he's talking to the guy from that Penny Arcade is especially delicious.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:33 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


ALSO, this: The PA guys, and moot, and the other internet personality kings basically have huge personal armies to direct at whatever they want. is one of my very favorite things about the modern world. And kind of represents a career goal of mine.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:36 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I found it quite hard to separate my reaction to this from my reaction to the dickwolves thing. It is such a complete example of "nerds can never be bullies!" that it is difficult for me to even read. The PA guys are so caught up in their identities as nerds, their nerd-narrative structure as the outcast that they have ceased to view any behaviour objectively: if they do it, it can't be bullying but if others do, it most definitely is. So as much as my initial sympathies are with the PA guys, their immediate use of the nuclear option in any and all situations just makes me think they're a bunch of dicks. Scotched earth tactics are obnoxious.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:39 AM on December 28, 2011 [16 favorites]


huge personal armies

It's rumored that the PA guys have a tropical island citadel shaped like a giant human skull in the works too, so at that point they have it all wrapped up.

I can't believe I'm not getting any Google Image results for holkins dr. evil.
posted by XMLicious at 3:46 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


The PA guys are so caught up in their identities as nerds, their nerd-narrative structure as the outcast that they have ceased to view any behaviour objectively: if they do it, it can't be bullying but if others do, it most definitely is.

I think Mike/Gabe was being very clear that he was viewing this behavior subjectively with the statements he made.
posted by Drumhellz at 3:55 AM on December 28, 2011


I don't get this whole penny arcade nerd army thing. As if Dave had sent the email chain direct to kotaku, or arstechnica, or rock paper shotgun or whoever, and they'd emailed from a private account and got the same responses from the took that penny arcade did, and then published- that we wouldn't see the same response from everyone else, and the snowballing media effect in the gaming media and beyond?

what you call nerd rage, I call customer back lash, bad press and media reporting.

Just look at the Godaddy issue over supporting sopa; 10,000 canceled domains and promises from big fish to withdraw big sites and supporting domains, some robot calls to Godaddy offices, and they change track in under 24 hours. No penny arcade or private vigilante need army in evidence, but similar press and similar result.

When companies can do what they like and customers are just told to put their big boy hat and suck it up, all we have left is community action through the media, calling attention to bad actors to warn others.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:11 AM on December 28, 2011 [23 favorites]


What was this guy thinking writing such long replies? Is being an ass his hobby? Does he dedicate an hour each day to pissing off his customers?
posted by choppyes at 4:13 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone saying this is the PA guys' fault has not read the emails.
posted by DU at 4:29 AM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


So as much as my initial sympathies are with the PA guys, their immediate use of the nuclear option in any and all situations just makes me think they're a bunch of dicks.

From reading the thread, it looks like they exchanged several emails with the guy, even clued him in to who they are when he couldn't take the time to look it up. Here is where they tell him they are going to put it up on PA:
From: Ocean Marketing
To: Mike Krahulik
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Love penny Arcade !!

From: Mike Krahulik
To: Ocean Marketing
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:42 PM

I’m glad you like it! You will be on it tomorrow:)

From: Ocean Marketing
To: Mike Krahulik
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Great !! Love PR
Look at the timestamps - this takes place several hours before the thing went out, with plenty of time for an adult to get involved and apologize for poor handling of the situation. It's not like they received a confidential e-mail and immediately went public.
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:50 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I kinda feel for the guy, though. We've all had our douchebag moments, and while this one is particularly comical in a dark way, imagine this guy trying to get a job doing something unrelated, say, five years from now. "So, you want to sell auto insurance? Looks like you have all the necessary certifications. Here, let me just quickly Google your name and see what turns up. Don't worry, this is just a formality -- I've never seen anyt ... HOLY FUCK. You're that guy?"

You kinda feel for the guy? Dude is a raging psychotic asshole in his initial exchanges, throwing his weight around and making threats. It's fucking insane.
posted by odinsdream at 5:11 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]




You can take the man out of Dorchester or South Boston, but you can't take Dorchester or Southie out of the man.
posted by killdevil at 6:11 AM on December 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


So true. I knew lots of south guys just like this asshole.

I feel no pity.
posted by spitbull at 6:25 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


South Boston that is
posted by spitbull at 6:26 AM on December 28, 2011


Ok so there are a bunch of companies involved here

Kotkin Enterprises, LLC and iControl Enterprises, LLC., The HAND Media and Ocean Marketing

David Kotkin is, a teacher in Miami and amateur inventor who invented this thing Local Miami news piece He is also the director of an entity called Kotkin Enterprises,LLC incorporated in Florida.

iControl Enterprises is manufacturing/selling the thing. The IControl name has been on the press releases

Until march 2011 iControl enterprises working with an operation named The HAND Media who then dumped them as a client.

They now have Ocean Marketing, a slightly less professional operation filling this roll.

Biz dev for iControl is now involved as well..
posted by Ad hominem at 6:29 AM on December 28, 2011


Just look at the Godaddy issue over supporting sopa; 10,000 canceled domains and promises from big fish to withdraw big sites and supporting domains, some robot calls to Godaddy offices, and they change track in under 24 hours. No penny arcade or private vigilante need army in evidence, but similar press and similar result.

GoDaddy only pretended to change track to try to preserve their business. Evidently SOPA fighters could use a bit of Penny Arcade's army themselves.
posted by JHarris at 6:31 AM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah I spent an insane amount of time following this digging up the relevant bits when this popped up on reddit, vacation is boring. At least I got some Karma for it.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:38 AM on December 28, 2011


is one of my very favorite things about the modern world. And kind of represents a career goal of mine.

Really? It may be cool that there are folks who can exact revenge on people you don't like, but "private armies" aren't really a good idea. Quite aside from the major issue of whether or not they are always used for good (however you define that), they aren't really controlled in any way. Mob mentality rules in these situations. This particular guy was a douchebag, and so far the response that we know about has been mostly confined to business stuff, but there are likely folks out there set off by this whole mess who are set on making his life difficult in all kinds of ways that will have lasting repercussions out of all proportion to the actual offense here.
posted by OmieWise at 6:42 AM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


geek anachronism: It is such a complete example of "nerds can never be bullies!" that it is difficult for me to even read. The PA guys are so caught up in their identities as nerds, their nerd-narrative structure as the outcast that they have ceased to view any behaviour objectively: if they do it, it can't be bullying but if others do, it most definitely is.

That would be very hypocritical, if that's really how they felt. However, considering Mike said this:
Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe that’s me in this case.
It seems clear that, though possibly/probably an asshole, he isn't being the hypocrite you're trying to portray. He knows he's bullying the bully.
posted by gilrain at 6:52 AM on December 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Has anyone ever met a social media/SEO marketing person who is a sole proprietor and isn't a slimy douchebag? (I'm not talking about in-house or employees of marketing firms.) I'm sure smart, ethical people exist, but the field seems to attract assholes like flies. I guess it's the combination of attraction to "being your own boss" and "making easy money." It seems like no one else will have many of the people who want to be their own bosses. And "making easy money" usually involves unethical behavior, or everyone would do it.
posted by desjardins at 7:00 AM on December 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Precious few, precious few.
posted by XMLicious at 7:09 AM on December 28, 2011


Anyone who feels sorry for this guy should also note that he appears to be an anti-Semite.

Also, as of yesterday, the registered address for Ocean Marketing Inc. is in an apartment complex. Must be a big apartment to hold 125 employees.

This guy insulted my heritage (Boston Italian). He insulted my people (gamers). He's a plagiarist. There's at least one case of domestic violence in his past. I am so happy to see him suffer. Schadenfreude is the tastiest breakfast.
posted by giraffe at 7:10 AM on December 28, 2011


(my bad. that's a parody account. I still want this guy living in an off-brand Dumpster for the rest of his life.)
posted by giraffe at 7:13 AM on December 28, 2011


Why am I not surprised ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:14 PM


I'd just like to point out that at minute 1:00 of that video, Paul asks the viewer to "get some."
posted by deanklear at 7:20 AM on December 28, 2011


Curses... more like minute 0:55.
posted by deanklear at 7:23 AM on December 28, 2011


Just because you do something good -- even very good -- doesn't mean you get to do equally bad things. (Or, to avoid arguing "equal"... just because one does a good thing doesn't mean one gets to do a bad thing, especially when the bad thing is helping to perpetuate this caustic, hatefilled environment that makes my industry look like it is by and for 18-24 year old boys and no one else.)

By the same token, doing something bad -- even very bad -- doesn't mean you can't do good things. Yeah, we know the PA guys are awful for the whole dickwolves debacle, but can we not just drop that and talk about what this thread is about instead?
posted by Dysk at 7:24 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's still a good point that quite often the only power you have as a consumer in these situations is to escalate by giving the ripoff publicity, whether through consumer watchdog organisations or somebody like PA. [Emphasis added.]

Your basic point might be right, but it's not relevant to "these" situations. Two different customers have raised complaints about this guy and in both cases, the customers acknowledged that they could have received refunds but chose not to. The Ocean Marketing guy himself offered to refund the purchase, and if he hadn't, both of these customers could have disputed the charges with their credit-card companies. The second guy (June 2011) seems well-versed in credit-card policies.

These consumers had options. Let's keep perspective. Yes, this guy was being a jerk, but both of these consumers made conscious decisions to keep transacting business with him after it became clear that he was being a jerk.

Another thing worth keeping in mind is that just because a person was named as a defendant in a legal action doesn't necessarily mean that person actually did whatever it is (crime, negligence, breach of contract, etc.) that he was accused of. Taz posted above about the "original research" thing and I agree. But also, unless your surname is Sherman, then you really have no idea what you're linking to. So you should probably stop.
posted by cribcage at 7:26 AM on December 28, 2011


Has anyone ever met a social media/SEO marketing person who is a sole proprietor and isn't a slimy douchebag?

In the mirror, every day.

I hope.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:28 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of the things that puzzles me is how Paul Christoforo got hired to do PR work in the first place.

Re-read some of the stuff from before he went into full attack mode:

"They still haven’t shipped yet on the way here from china "

You can, if you work at it for a moment, puzzle out what he's trying to say there.

"They are in the USA now in customs so its wither before or after Christmas."

Neverminding the fact that he's changed the lie about the location of the merchandise, the bigger point is that what he wrote is completely scrambled. It's anyone's guess what that might mean.

Reading his email one thing becomes even more clear than his assholery, and that's the fact that the man can't write a coherent sentence. Punctuation is scattered nearly at random, run on sentences are the norm, and even when he isn't misspelling things and confusing matters with run on sentences just figuring out what he's trying to say is a chore.

How did a man who literally cannot write a readable sentence get hired for a job that involves nothing but writing? What where the people who hired him thinking? How do you possibly look at even the non abusive email written by this guy and think "yup, he'll be a great hire for a job that involves lots of email!"?
posted by sotonohito at 7:29 AM on December 28, 2011 [20 favorites]


They mention this incident in their strip today.

I'll leave it to others to fully parse this, but I don't think they're unaware of the influence they wield and the potential to use it for evil.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:30 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone who feels sorry for this guy should also note that he appears to be an anti-Semite.

That particular misspelled name is a parody Twitter account, I believe.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:38 AM on December 28, 2011


These consumers had options. Let's keep perspective. Yes, this guy was being a jerk, but both of these consumers made conscious decisions to keep transacting business with him after it became clear that he was being a jerk.

Not really with him, but with the company which actually made the controller, because they wanted the product the company had to offer. The thought had originally been to deflate the marginal utility of the company keeping on Paul (and his marketing company) to the point where it would be more valuable for the company to drop Paul than to keep Paul. Things got weird when it turned out that he was on the board of the company's LLC, and also that the company was willing to lie about Paul's involvement with the product.

How did a man who literally cannot write a readable sentence get hired for a job that involves nothing but writing? What where the people who hired him thinking? How do you possibly look at even the non abusive email written by this guy and think "yup, he'll be a great hire for a job that involves lots of email!"?

He's probably very insistent and persuasive in person. Aggressiveness can often seem like confidence and competence. Pushy people are sometimes excellent for businesses, especially small ones with something to prove, because the squeaky wheel often does get the grease.

Also, you would be shocked at the writing ability of many so-called grown-ups.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:52 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know many smart people who really can't write, but 1) they're not in jobs where they have to write a lot and 2) they're not douchebags.
posted by desjardins at 7:57 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone who feels sorry for this guy should also note that he appears to be an anti-Semite.

That particular misspelled name is a parody Twitter account, I believe.


Yeah, @oceanstretagy is a parody troll account. Ocean Marketing had actually changed their (his) twitter feed to @oceanstratagy, which is slightly different (altho still can't spell strategy correctly). That account has been silent since yesterday, which may be the first prudent thing this fellow has done in his entire career.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:04 AM on December 28, 2011



There's not writing effectively or being a poor speller or whatever, and then there is "Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet, thanks for the welcome to message wurd up".
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:06 AM on December 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


people who become infamous for stupid douchebaggery -- what happens to them after, and tdo they ever get the opportunity to live a normal life?

A look through what Rod Blagojevich has been up to since his douchebaggery was smeared across not only the Internet but the mainstream media as well suggests that this is by no means a life sentence to obscurity, penury or ostracism. I very much doubt that Christoforo is going to have much trouble walking away from this, if he wants to.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:11 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


[Comment removed. If you really want to hash out something moderation-related, please head on over to Metatalk and do it properly and skip the "fuck this wwebsite" stuff in the thread.]
posted by cortex at 8:16 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I wwebsite as on the internet"
so many lols.

Can anyone figure out what he was actually trying to say? I have no clue.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:54 AM on December 28, 2011


Metafilter: wwebsite as on the internet before it was the internet.
posted by panboi at 8:57 AM on December 28, 2011


Potomac Avenue: "I wwebsite as on the internet"
so many lols.

Can anyone figure out what he was actually trying to say? I have no clue.


My guess: "My website was on the Internet..." before you were born, or whatever he says after that. I believe it was a bit more crude, but that's the gist.
posted by gilrain at 9:00 AM on December 28, 2011


Can anyone figure out what he was actually trying to say? I have no clue.

I parsed it as "My website was on the internet before it was the internet" or something similarly outlandishly and impressively stupid.

I have to admit that this is spectacularly good marketing. I would have likely never heard about these controllers if said meatsack didn't open an institutional food service sized can of unrelenting stupid and then proceed to power-chug it like a total dudebro.
posted by loquacious at 9:05 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can anyone figure out what he was actually trying to say? I have no clue.

I think it was an autocorrect. He typed "ww as" instead of "was" and the "ww" was autocorrected to "website."
posted by dogrose at 9:06 AM on December 28, 2011


That account has been silent since yesterday, which may be the first prudent thing this fellow has done in his entire career.

He changed it to a new account, oceandeepsea or something.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:16 AM on December 28, 2011


There's something kind of gleeful about seeing internet hordes bezerking in the name of (what I consider) good, but I think there's way too much internet bezerking in the service of harassing people on the internet who are not evil but just stupid, or disabled, or female, or something else that isn't young white cisgendered and male. Some of it from the same people.

So, yeah, kind of conflicted, here.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:26 AM on December 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


"I wwebsite as on the internet"
so many lols.

Can anyone figure out what he was actually trying to say? I have no clue.


My guess is he's typing on a laptop and hit the touch pad accidentally and started typing on the wrong line. Take the word website out of the line and you're left with the word was. A few lines down, insert the word website you removed and it all makes sense. Sort of.... It should be:

Son Im 38 I wwebsite as (was) on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls ... All you had to do was check the (website) like everyone else
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 9:37 AM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm really worried that all this focus on "Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet when you were a sperm in your daddys balls and before it was the internet" is going to take the memetic juice out of "You just got told bitch … welcome to the real internet," which I was definitely planning to start making a regular feature of my speech right up until my wife tells me that I have to stop calling her "bitch." The over-under for that was around 6:00 PM tonight.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:54 AM on December 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: her response will be "Welcome to the real couch." as she hands you a pillow. :D
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:10 AM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, thank goodness Penny Arcade is going against some Internet douchebag. They certainly have never weirdly tried to raise mass internet ire against somebody completely undeserving.

These type of PR people tend to pitch themselves to the Internet ignorant. The same sort of person that is likely to Google the Southie douche wasn't likely to hire him anyway, and the people who won't Google him will go ahead and hire him regardless of this, in the way that tourists continue to shop in sketchy Manhattan electronics stores despite the fact that they are repeatedly exposed as con artists both online and in mainstream press.

Aside from the fact that the Southie douche is going to have to deal with several weeks of nerd rage, the only person this is hurting is the man who makes the controller for disabled users, who sounds like he genuinely makes a good product and who's only failing is that he doesn't know enough about the web to not hire somebody incompetent.

Hooray, Web justice. And thank you, again, Penny Arcade, for standing up for it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:21 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is so much wrong and right with this situation, but I feel compelled to bring up something that has not be actively commented on that I can tell: Why do perfectly reasonable and normally polite people (Neither of which Mr. Cristoforo appears to be, incidentally,) lose all semblance of manners and common sense when they sit down at a computing device?
Dave was the adult in this situation, in my estimation. He was polite and reasonable in his requests for information. When he started CC'ing the conversation to gaming media outlets, he was taking the whole process a step further, but still in the bounds of reasonable behavior. Paul Cristoforo was first to violate the bounds of good taste, so he gets to reap the spoils of his (in)actions. When Gabe jumped in initially, it was in support of Dave, and he stayed within the boundaries of temperance. Since he does run PAX, he was perfectly within his prerogatives to deny Cristoforo use of what is admittedly one (or two) of the most popular gaming venues in the United States. When Cristoforo started slagging Gabe (without first discovering just who he was poking with a stick, I might add,), he compounded the issue. Was Gabe right to poke back? In my opinion, yes. Was it right of PA's followers to pile on? Gabe, contrary to Cristoforo's assertion that he "has the power", cannot stop PA's audience from taking action on their own. Gabe, I think, realized that once he pulled the trigger he wasn't going to be able to stuff the bullet back into the chamber. He probably should have been more mindful of that, in my estimation. But Gabe's sense of outrage was real and valid as far as I can tell. Are any of you going to tell me that you wouldn't have felt the same? What's been referred to upthread as The Internet Hate Machine is the actions of a small minority of PA's followers, vastly amplified by the distributive power of the 'Net. Lots of LOLs are being had at Cristoforo's expense, and certainly he deserves some of it. Common sense and common courtesy should dictate that it be limited to his unprofessional behavior and demeanor. But try telling some folk that they've gone too far when they're having too much fun indulging in schadenfreude, and they'll blow you off.
To address a side issue, some folk here have said that PA's past acts (notably the dickwolf episode,) mean that all of PA's acts and motives are suspect. I disagree, for a variety of reasons. Gabe and Tycho are quite likely not like their comic strip personae, many people in the entertainment field are not like their 'public' image. This doesn't absolve them from outraged reactions, but you have to remember, 'Gabe' wasn't involved here, Mike Krahulik was. I suspect his emotional reaction was genuine and heartfelt.
To summarize:

Dave = Adult.
Paul Cristoforo = poorly-restrained moron.
Gabe = amplifier.

Thanks for your kind attention. For those of you who TL;DR this, you need to take some Ritalin, your attention span is _WAY_ too short!
posted by Fferret at 10:23 AM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


"You can take the man out of Dorchester or South Boston, but you can't take Dorchester or Southie out of the man."

Well, I think that Patrick Kenzie would gladly kick this guy's ass.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:33 AM on December 28, 2011


Fferret: "There is so much wrong and right with this situation, but I feel compelled to bring up something that has not be actively commented on that I can tell: Why do perfectly reasonable and normally polite people (Neither of which Mr. Cristoforo appears to be, incidentally,) lose all semblance of manners and common sense when they sit down at a computing device? "

Body language is taken for granted, and it's very important to understanding the context of an interaction. Lack of body language in writing leads us to read hostility into words where none was intended. Also, lots people who are jerks to people they don't know, especially when they think their peer group won't find out about their idiotic behavior. Et voila, flamewars all over the internet.

I wonder if Paul would've written all that crap if he knew his mother would end up reading it.
posted by mullingitover at 11:01 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for your kind attention. For those of you who TL;DR this, you need to take some Ritalin, your attention span is _WAY_ too short!


Dude. Line breaks.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:04 AM on December 28, 2011 [36 favorites]


I wonder how long before people start sharing 3-d printer files for making your own versions of these controllers? They seem to just be pieces of plastic that wrap around an existing controller, and easily crowd-sourceable. Which begs the question of why the manufacturer can't get the product out to customers. None of this whole disaster would have happened if they'd been able to ship on time.
posted by nomisxid at 11:05 AM on December 28, 2011


Body language is taken for granted, and it's very important to understanding the context of an interaction. Lack of body language in writing leads us to read hostility into words where none was intended. Also, lots people who are jerks to people they don't know, especially when they think their peer group won't find out about their idiotic behavior. Et voila, flamewars all over the internet.

Also consider the fact that the absence of physical cues and tangible consequences can cause people who would normally be cowed by an agressive, bullying go-getter to push back. That can easily lead to a cycle of provocation, too.
posted by verb at 11:10 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


They seem to just be pieces of plastic that wrap around an existing controller

According to its Twitter it 'transforms the Xbox 360 controller into a meat-eating, back-breaking, space-age thug'. So presumably there's some organic element as well.
posted by emmtee at 11:10 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


There should really be some sort of test people to need to have to pass to call themselves PR people. I've done PR for a non-profit before (which, granted, may be different from doing PR for a tech company). The whole point of it is to make sure you maintain positive public relations. I mean, the description of the job is in the name of the job.

I wasn't the best PR dude in the world (I wasn't even the best PR dude working for this non-profit), but PR 101 is "the customer is always right." An angry customer is less likely to buy your product/pay for your service (at best) and is more likely to devolve into a publicity nightmare (at almost worst). When they're unhappy, even if they're being unreasonable, you smile, suck it up, and try to be as polite, accurate and helpful as you can be. You can't always get them what they want, but you can always offer them respect and accurate information - even if that accurate information is "I don't know, but I'll be happy to find out for you."

Furthermore, every time you communicate to a customer, you should assume that your e-mail is being archived (since a smart customer is going to keep a paper trail) and potentially made public. Ergo, you should write all of your e-mails as if they're going to be read by all your customers.

This is basic PR stuff. Not only did Cristoforo behave like a douche, he didn't display even the slightest job competence.

If you're feeling bad about his "company" losing work, remember that he doesn't actually appear to know how to do his job. A person who doesn't know how to do his or her job shouldn't have been hired in the first place and, for the good of everyone involved, should be let go.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:17 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's the Chinese phrase for this sort of thing, where mobs of people exact revenge for stuff online? It's something like human search engine, but not that exactly.
posted by codacorolla at 11:18 AM on December 28, 2011


According to its Twitter it 'transforms the Xbox 360 controller into a meat-eating, back-breaking, space-age thug'.

If they're proud of that description of their product, it helps explain their reasoning in having an illiterate asshole incharge of their PR.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:20 AM on December 28, 2011


MSNBC just interviewed Paul Christoforo.
posted by exogenous at 11:27 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the Chinese phrase for this sort of thing, where mobs of people exact revenge for stuff online?

The Great Link Forward?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:29 AM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


When Reddit realises that avengercontroller.com was registered by Go Daddy, it might just explode...
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:36 AM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Skimming the MSNBC interview exogenous just linked, it looks like he may indeed have a wife and baby. And if so, those are the only people in this whole imbroglio for whom I truly feel sorry.
posted by Kat Allison at 11:40 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's something kind of gleeful about seeing internet hordes bezerking in the name of (what I consider) good, but I think there's way too much internet bezerking in the service of harassing people on the internet who are not evil but just stupid, or disabled, or female, or something else that isn't young white cisgendered and male. Some of it from the same people.

There's a fine line between clever & stupid.
posted by scalefree at 11:49 AM on December 28, 2011


Skimming the MSNBC article, he's really happy to be on MSNBC and probably sees all this as a net win.
posted by fnerg at 11:56 AM on December 28, 2011


Skimming the MSNBC article, he's really happy to be on MSNBC and probably sees all this as a net win.

It's only been a day.
posted by scalefree at 12:01 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also,the interview mentions that beyond losing the Avenger Controller company as a client, he really hasn't sustained much damage.

Yet despite all the drama, Christoforo said he hasn't lost any of his other accounts, aside from Avenger. "It hasn't affected my business yet," he said. "Clients have brought it up, but they've mainly laughed about it. I haven't lost any clients."

Could he be lying about that? Maybe, but in any case, all you people worried about his wife and kid are probably overstating things. There aren't actually any angry mobs outside his door.
posted by fnerg at 12:03 PM on December 28, 2011


Why do perfectly reasonable and normally polite people (Neither of which Mr. Cristoforo appears to be, incidentally,) lose all semblance of manners and common sense when they sit down at a computing device?

Well, there's a name for that phenomenon... granted, this isn't so much an 'anonymity' issue as it is a 'self-supposed distance and lack of accountability' thing.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:05 PM on December 28, 2011


Wow, that interview. What a fucking scumbag. Getting caught is still the only thing he's sorry about.

In the nearer term, Christoforo has entertained the idea of doing some Internet videos himself, and even considered going to PAX East, held in Boston this April, with a shirt tauntingly saying 'I'm Paul Christoforo' on it. "I'm not sure I'd actually do that, since I don't want to get in any fights," he clarified.

I mean fucking seriously, who operates like this? Dude deserves to have his reputation destroyed forever. Far as I'm concerned, the Internet Hate Machine has a lot more work to do if this shitbag is still talking like he's talking.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:08 PM on December 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ah, and here's the dramatic reading.
posted by mullingitover at 12:10 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I didn't know who that guy at Penny Arcade was," he admitted. "If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better. PAX is a great show. What he does is what I've been idolizing since I was a kid. It's admirable he's put that together. He has a lot of connections, ones I want too."

Wait... his takeaway from this is that he should've recognized and treated Mike Krahulik better? Perhaps if he had a modicum of customer service this all would've been a non-issue. What a dick. He deserves what he gets.
posted by jbelshaw at 12:11 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whatever you think of this, you have to watch this video.
posted by desjardins at 12:13 PM on December 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm really confused about whether Christoforo is an officer of the company or a low-level CS rep. In either case, he's way out of his depth. He's running off the script in a way that would get a customer service rep fired on the spot, and so I have to believe that he's somehow higher up in the company. If he's an officer of the company, he's still doing things that would get him terminated immediately. If he owns the company, he's doing damage to his client's name that would get him sued into oblivion (and if that's the case, why the hell is he doing front-line CS work?). I really have a hard time seeing how he's not going to end up in court for this
posted by mullingitover at 12:16 PM on December 28, 2011


7 Habits of Highly Effective Marketing (Slightly NSFW language)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:16 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Er, make that "Marketting."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:20 PM on December 28, 2011


Wait, what he wants is for people to stop bothering him? Not for people to realize that he's aware that he made a huge mistake? Good lord.
posted by KathrynT at 12:24 PM on December 28, 2011


I'm really confused about whether Christoforo is an officer of the company or a low-level CS rep.

The company outsourced their marketing to this guy, who is a sole proprietor. They've realized their mistake and have fired him.
posted by desjardins at 12:27 PM on December 28, 2011


*"I don't know the mayor of Boston," he admitted. "That was taken totally out of context, I was just joking around. I am from Boston, though, and I know a lot of people who own clubs. I know some influential people, like the guy who runs the door at the convention center."

The guy who runs the door. The door.

Door.
posted by troll at 12:29 PM on December 28, 2011 [35 favorites]


desjardins: "The company outsourced their marketing to this guy, who is a sole proprietor. They've realized their mistake and have fired him."

My god, I hope they're clawing back every penny they gave him and then lawyering up for everything else he owns. They would've been better off paying a teenager $10 per hour to operate a canned email response database.
posted by mullingitover at 12:31 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whatever you think of this, you have to watch this video.

God, so great. I've watched this like eight times today. "Hey paul, look up Mike... Crau Hau Lik?... on Lycos..."
posted by odinsdream at 12:32 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The company outsourced their marketing to this guy, who is a sole proprietor. They've realized their mistake and have fired him.

Except that the guy they've supposedly hired to replace him, seems to be a sketchy fake profile that responds to people just like Christoforo...
posted by nomisxid at 12:35 PM on December 28, 2011


nomisxid, where are you getting that? I think I'm missing a timeline somewhere.
posted by KathrynT at 12:37 PM on December 28, 2011


This is the guy. Raven. This is the guy that Juanita is looking for. The guy Lagos told him not to mess with. And Hiro has seen him before, outside the entrance to The Black Sun. This is the guy who gave the Snow Crash card to Da5id.

The tattoo on his forehead consists of three words, writen in block letters: POOR IMPULSE CONTROL.

Hiro startles and actualy jumps into the air as Vitaly Chernobyl and the Meltdowns launch into their opening number, "Radiation Burn." It is a tornado of mostly high-pitched noise and distortion, like being flung bodily through a wall of fishhooks.

These days, most states are franchulates or Burbclaves, much too small to have anything like a jail, or even a judicial system. So when someone does something bad, they try to find quick and dirty punishments, like flogging, confiscation of property, public humiliation, or in the case of people who have a high potential of going on hurting others, a warning tatoo on a prominent body part. POOR IMPULSE CONTROL. Apparently, this guy went to such a place and lost his temper real bad.
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
posted by scalefree at 12:40 PM on December 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Except that the guy they've supposedly hired to replace him, seems to be a sketchy fake profile that responds to people just like Christoforo...

No, Christoforo had access to the replacement guy's email and responded from a different address. The real guy responded when he found out about the fake from the Intertubes. Here's the Kotaku link from upthread that explains this.
posted by desjardins at 12:54 PM on December 28, 2011


mullingitover: A valid point regarding body language, but there are lots of nonverbal cues that we use to enhance communication. My point was that by the age of majority, (hopefully) we've learned to communicate in such a manner that meaning and tone are both clear from text alone. Cristoforo's meaning and tone became crystal clear as the email thread progressed, but he still felt that it was OK to belittle and insult. If you or I did that in a business email, we'd be fired so hard we'd have powder burns on our buttocks.

running order squabble fest: Feh. I put in CR/LFs at the end of each paragraph. Guess I'll have to use blank lines for spacing. Thanks.

fatherdagon: Thanks for the link. It's a lovely G.I.F.T.!
posted by Fferret at 1:01 PM on December 28, 2011


There's been a number of updates to the Examiner link in the FPP. It would appear that signing with Ocean Marketing isn't the only poorly thought out, arguably shady decision the N-Control has made.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:01 PM on December 28, 2011


It's true. There really are Massholes who hail from this Commonwealth. We're sorry.
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The kotaku link seems to be about Paul pretending to be Brandon. I'm talking about Eli, the examiner article updates is where I first heard of potential weirdness with the replacement.
posted by nomisxid at 1:05 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, Christoforo had access to the replacement guy's email and responded from a different address.

Looks like it's time for everyone with half a brain to just drop the whole thing and walk away. The guy's only response mode seems to be DIG DEEPER, I can't see this ending in a good way.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:07 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eli looks like he's about 14.
posted by desjardins at 1:13 PM on December 28, 2011


...in any case, all you people worried about his wife and kid are probably overstating things. There aren't actually any angry mobs outside his door.

posted by fnerg at 3:03 PM on December 28


Challenge accepted.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:36 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


AdamCSnider: A look through what Rod Blagojevich has been up to since his douchebaggery was smeared across not only the Internet but the mainstream media as well suggests that this is by no means a life sentence to obscurity, penury or ostracism.

Um. He certainly hasn't been obscure (helped by numerous Illinois GOP types who have been gleefully trying to tu quoque their way past the fact that their last governor, George Ryan, is still in jail), but financially-successful celebricrooks don't have to hawk their autographs at a freakin' comics convention (not that he would have had many takers, I'd imagine), and he's got precious few fans in Illinois, thanks in no small part to his trying to throw Pat Quinn and Obama under the bus, as noted in that Wikipedia article section. Even with his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice, there's no sign that he's been pulling in the tall coin, even without factoring in what his lawyers must have cost him. He's had no more success at making this "fucking golden" than he did with Obama's Senate seat.

But, like Christoforo (to try to re-rail things a bit), he put a brave face on, at least all the way up to his sentencing, when he tried (far too late in the game) to tuck into a little bit of humble pie. And he and Christoforo are hardly alone in claiming that getting fired/dumped/arrested/otherwise publicly humiliated is the best thing that ever happened to them; hell, I've done it, more than once (although not so publicly). And, and, a little of that kind of moxie, chutzpah, spunk, whatever you want to call it, is kind of what you want if, say, you're an aspiring gadget maker and you've still got some production bugs to iron out regarding your video game controller add-on thingy. A little, I said. You don't want some 'roid rager (if some of the speculation regarding Christoforo's alternate online personas are true) trying to smooth over ruffled customer feathers; it doesn't go over any better than an already-embarrassing governor grabbing every talk show seat, talk-radio microphone, and street-corner megaphone that he can get his mitts on.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:41 PM on December 28, 2011


I'm just asking for some soundproof glass...

Oh, the irony!

In his comment for the video he threatens to use the Internet to ruin his landlords' reputation, if he doesn't get soundproof glass installed in his apartment.
"Hilda and Jennifer,

I am putting my complaints and this Video Viral if I don't hear back from someone soon, I have 30 thousand twitter followers , 1300 Facebook friends , groups, real estate and business professionals , over 10 thousand LinkedIn professionals from lawyers to Brokers and Realtors to city and government officials ,Realtor.com , Ripoffreport.com, Apartments.com , BBB , MLS in Miami , Boston and California , I'm filing a complaint with the California DRE , I sit on the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and The Carlsbad CA Rotary Club. That's a lot of Bad press to a lot of influential and important people like I said this will get into the proper hands of someone to handle the situation one way or another.They didn't show my unit till 3 days prior to move in , i noticed it was on a 6 lane freeway and was worried about the noise I was assured it wasn't that bad and the windows were double pained, my wife is 8 1/2 months pregnant and I asked them to sound proof 2 windows and they said move out or pay yourself after I have furnished the pace with 4 k worth of stuff and built a baby nursery. Im a Realtor and this place is a joke offering new washers and dryers and wont put in some sound proof glass"
Christ, what an asshole!
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


And he slept at a Holday Inn Express last night.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:53 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know, ericb; maybe he's just tired out from the noise morning, noon, and night.

That poor, poor guy. [/]
posted by ChrisR at 1:54 PM on December 28, 2011


I think what everybody has missed is that Paul Christoforo is perfectly well versed, but misunderstood. He is only guilty of reaching the peak of his abilities just 500 years before his time.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:56 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Andrea, you lost me at Up With People. I mean, that right there, I think may even be a worse sin than godwinning a thread...
posted by symbioid at 2:55 PM on December 28, 2011


What's the Chinese phrase for this sort of thing, where mobs of people exact revenge for stuff online? It's something like human search engine, but not that exactly.


Netizen? They can get pretty pitchforky too.
posted by arcticseal at 3:20 PM on December 28, 2011


Troll, I laughed myself sick at this comment.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:25 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eli looks like he's about 14.


He's 16, actually, apparently - the Kotaku report that he was the new marketing manager was mistaken - he was helping out with social media, and presumably stepped into the space left by Christoforo. The new Marketing Manager (also a consultant) is Moisés Chiullan, who appears to be a real person - he has a trail of movie reviews across the Internet.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:44 PM on December 28, 2011


What's the Chinese phrase for this sort of thing, where mobs of people exact revenge for stuff online? It's something like human search engine, but not that exactly.


Human flesh search engine, by the way - Rénròu Sōusuǒ. The US equivalent is doxing.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:46 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the MSNBC interview, talking about the people that are following him on Twitter:

"If these people stick with me and follow me, a couple months down the road anything I say is news"

Yuck. This guy isn't just a miner (miners v. farmers) but a mountain remover who spends every extra nickel on lobbying so he can keep dumping tailings in lakes. Do some real work for a living.
posted by morganw at 3:52 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Interesting how easily Southie morphs into SoCal bro. That's dedication to your persona. Well done.
posted by book 'em dano at 3:59 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting how easily Southie morphs into SoCal bro.

It's easy because there isn't actually a "SoCal bro". They're all invariably transplants from somewhere else, posing.

There are indeed native dudes and brahs but they're usually too busy actually surfing and living in a van down by the river to be noticed, much less get themselves into this kind of trouble.
posted by loquacious at 4:39 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Interesting how easily Southie morphs into SoCal bro. That's dedication to your persona. Well done.

Part of me wonders how much of his problem is a form of code switching, which we've discussed before.

I mean, the biggest issue is that he's a complete asshole. But some of that inability to step down is probably a big part of the social community he grew up in.

Similar with that fake apology, "I didn’t know how big your site was" and "It's admirable he's put that together. He has a lot of connections, ones I want too.". It's easy to interpret that as "I'm not really sorry", but part of it might actually be a form of apology by compliment, which may be more acceptable culturally to his clique.

My money is still mostly on unrepentant douchebag, but I figured I'd throw in this because he's not the only bro-tastic asshole out there, so the problems may be more systematic.
posted by formless at 4:43 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


andreaazure: "...Ghandi..."

Gandhi had some really regressive views on caste, a messed up attitude to sex, was a terrible father and an even worse husband.
posted by vanar sena at 5:38 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


N-Control have released a press release: key points (taken from Forbes.com):
  • Paul Christoforo is no longer employed in any capacity by N-Control, has no equity in N-Control and stands to make no profit from Avenger Controller Sales
  • All PS3 Avenger Controller currently ordered will ship on or before January 15
  • The $10 discount is now, per Dave's request, extended to all preorders
  • Delays in delivery are a result of unexpected demand: better delivery estimates will be provided going forward by the new marketing team
  • Afternoon Artists Inc is a shell company, and exists in name only.
  • Press and customer service inquiries should be directed to AvengerDefender@gmail.com
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:53 PM on December 28, 2011


From the press release.

“We have to move forward and take care of Avenger’s customers,” Chiullan said. “I can’t worry about the fact that there isn’t a bus big enough for me to throw Paul Christoforo under. The internet did that for me. I think they set him on fire too.” He continued, “I just hope that people will have the common decency to leave his wife and child out of all this. They didn’t send those emails, Paul did.”


Well put, I think.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:22 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


OnTheLastCastle: "Bulgaroktonos: her response will be "Welcome to the real couch." as she hands you a pillow. :D"

Couches are serious business.

(So tried to avoid saying "Get that bitch an Avenger. Bitches love Avengers" but so could not resist.)

So, any wagers on how long it is until RoidRageMarketing ends up plowing his crotch rocket into the back of a semi in a fit of anger? Obviously his self-preservation circuitry is offline.
posted by Samizdata at 6:38 PM on December 28, 2011


I just hope that people will have the common decency to leave his wife and child out of all this. They didn’t send those emails, Paul did.

Amen. I agree that the guy comes off as a tool in the MSNBC interview, but he also says that his wife has been inundated with Facebook friend-requests from random strangers during this incident—and I tend to believe that's probably true. If you are bothering this guy's wife in any capacity, whether it's hatemail or just a friend request, then you are worse than him. His crime was callous stupidity in a two-way business transaction. You, on the other hand, have no stake in the original dispute and are antagonizing someone who had no part in it.
posted by cribcage at 6:59 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one imagining Kenny Powers when I read his emails?
posted by caek at 7:08 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hah, in today's N-Control press release, they write they've set up a new Twitter handle to handle customer service updates. Oops.

N-Control? You need to hire professionals. My SO, a marketing pro with 20 years of tech industry experience is looking for a job. Feel free to contact me.
posted by jamaro at 7:08 PM on December 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


I came in this thread with a head full of "I love Penny Arcade. Fuck that PR dude."

Then, I read through just about every single comment and seriously considered, for many minutes, a lot of well-reasoned arguments and varying perspectives that I would not have been able to come up with myself.

Finally, I came out with a head of "I love Penny Arcade. Fuck that PR dude. Metafilter is awesome."
posted by d1rge at 9:36 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I love Penny Arcade. Fuck that PR dude. Metafilter is awesome."

You guys, I am not a gamer at all and usually not much of a PA fan either, and I'm not really even sure why I opened this thread in the first place, but OH MY GOD, I have been laughing my ass off over this. Metafilter, thank you for bringing so much joy to my life.
posted by naoko at 10:57 PM on December 28, 2011


Hah, in today's N-Control press release, they write they've set up a new Twitter handle to handle customer service updates. Oops.


Yes. In the press release they point people to @AvengerControl. I don't know what some guy dicking around on some other twitter account has to do with it though.
posted by Authorized User at 11:14 PM on December 28, 2011


From the 2nd paragraph of the press release: "In the interim, a Gmail address and Twitter account (AvengerDefender@gmail.com and @AvengerDefender, respectively) have been set up for press inquiries and customer service needs."

Perhaps a revised press release was released.
posted by jamaro at 11:20 PM on December 28, 2011


From the 2nd paragraph of the press release: "In the interim, a Gmail address and Twitter account (AvengerDefender@gmail.com and @AvengerDefender, respectively) have been set up for press inquiries and customer service needs."

Perhaps a revised press release was released.


No, they just have some confusion within the press release, from the very end:

For more information, follow Avenger Controllers on Twitter: @AvengerControl

So still some enthusiasm instead of professionalism but fairly minor at least.
posted by Authorized User at 11:48 PM on December 28, 2011


rick

rick

rick

you just got told bitch

welcome to the real internet
posted by the_bone at 1:09 AM on December 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


"December 17. Xylophone. Yeah, whither before or after. Fuck you for calling."
posted by krinklyfig at 7:04 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's a close question whether he's more obnoxious in the original emails to Dave and Penny Arcade Mike, or in the MSNBC interview.
posted by Eyebeams at 11:34 AM on December 29, 2011


Two more interviews: Forbes and Gameranx.

to quote someone on the p-a forums: "Perhaps he should go into demolitions next. He seems to be excellent at digging holes and burning bridges."
posted by KathrynT at 12:15 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Forbes interview is rich. That he comes up with the following analogy is really telling:
If you were in a bar, drinking and hanging out with a bunch of people, and in that group of people was one guy that you didn’t know was a mixed martial arts champion. He knows he can kick the **** out of anyone in that bar, and you happen to pick a fight with him. He doesn’t tell you what he is, you take a swing at him and the next thing you know you have a broken jaw and you’re on the way to the hospital.
posted by exogenous at 12:31 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I hate it when that happens.
posted by OmieWise at 12:40 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you were in a bar, drinking and hanging out with a bunch of people, and in that group of people was one guy that you didn’t know was a mixed martial arts champion. He knows he can kick the **** out of anyone in that bar, and you happen to pick a fight with him. He doesn’t tell you what he is, you take a swing at him and the next thing you know you have a broken jaw and you’re on the way to the hospital.

think i've found your problem, chief
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:46 PM on December 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


In either case, it is certainly the case that it was terrible luck to be the person
whose Internet argument caught the eye of a superfan.


I don't understand what this means. It didn't "catch the eye" of a "superfan" - Dave the customer sent it to Penny Arcade. It's not as if Dave posted it on his own blog and it caught someone's eye. And why is Mike Krahulik being called a "superfan"? Of what?
posted by desjardins at 12:56 PM on December 29, 2011


How did a man who literally cannot write a readable sentence get hired for a job that involves nothing but writing?

One might just as well ask how someone whose only leadership experience involves destroying things he didn't build can be elected President of the USA. Maybe Paul Christoforo is great fun to have a beer with.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:10 PM on December 29, 2011


Maybe if you are a mixed martial arts champion.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:54 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


And why is Mike Krahulik being called a "superfan"? Of what?

That's a reference back to an earlier post, here. It's a slightly awkward insertion into a Wild West metaphor, but the idea is that Mike Krahulik is in an unusual position - he isn't the employee of a video games company, or involved in games PR, or a journalist - so he doesn't have to report to a boss, or check with a managing editor. So, he can respond to things quickly and essentially according to his conscience, just like anyone with a blog and a webcomic could - but he also has a huge Internet following and enormous influence through Penny Arcade and PAX.

So, basically it means (a) Gabe is very good at the Internet, (b) he doesn't have to answer to a reporting hierarchy and (c) lots of people listen to what he says and take it on board.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:08 PM on December 29, 2011


Leave Paul Christoforo alone!!!
posted by bxyldy at 6:24 PM on December 29, 2011


The only thing I can really latch on to in this whole shit storm, as someone who's read as muich as I can about it, is the deep, deep desire to say "fuck you" to the people who are torturing the shit out of the facts to make Christoforo a victim and PA the villans.
posted by kjs3 at 8:45 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jerkwad got what he deserved. Don't flame out at work, people.

Of late I have thought, "soon, people will be putting their internet handles on their tombstones, or their WoW names, or maybe their ebay handles."

This fellow, he may be an interesting test case of that theory.

Back to the lab.
posted by vrakatar at 9:25 PM on December 29, 2011


The only thing I can really latch on to in this whole shit storm, as someone who's read as muich as I can about it, is the deep, deep desire to say "fuck you" to the people who are torturing the shit out of the facts to make Christoforo a victim and PA the villans.

Why are Forbes et al siding with Ocean Marketing? I'm confused, especially since its so clear that Christoforo is a lying sack of crap

Incidentally, N-Control have said that David Kotkin does not, and will never, forgive Christoforos.

In further douchebaggery, Christoforos is holding N-Control's AvengerController.com domain and email accounts hostage.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:01 PM on December 29, 2011


I find this guy absolutely thuggish and mostly just ridiculous, but I just can't stop scratching my head over the decision to hire him, the terms of his employment, and his role(s) at the company. As I read more and more articles and interviews, it seems he was doing PR/marketing, and sales and distribution and customer service, and had control of all the sites and emails and social media accounts, and was listed on the incorporation papers for some nascent charity thing for this company?

Why? This is a guy who can barely communicate via the written word and was supposed to be a gaming marketing specialist, but didn't know who Mike Krahulik is. So why? I know small companies with limited funding sometimes have to resort to hiring people as "jacks of all trades" to some degree, but they had PR and marketing representation before he came on board, and those people finally left because of him. What was so special about him that the company was willing to lose their already-in-place professional PR people over him, and pretty much hand over the keys to everything? It's just very puzzling to me.
posted by taz at 2:40 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah. I really do think this is the question that drives all of this. But, the longer I work the longer I see incompetence in all kinds of places I would expect it to be absent, so I don't think it's just Poor Paul.
posted by OmieWise at 4:46 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reddit AMA with Paul's replacement.
posted by Gator at 6:02 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


A look through what Rod Blagojevich has been up to since his douchebaggery was smeared across not only the Internet but the mainstream media as well suggests that this is by no means a life sentence to obscurity, penury or ostracism.
posted by AdamCSnider


Um, Blagojevich is going to jail last I heard. For a long time. It may not be obscurity, but it is ostracism and by the time he's out and able to profit from his story, no one will give a shit

And I agree. The Avenger folks hired Cristoforo because why . . .? Because "they wanted to give him a chance?" I wonder if their charitable spirit extends to every employee, including their engineers. And I wonder if they think as hard about the Chinese factory workers who build their crap. I think they deserve to go out of business. They made a bad business decision and there was plenty of evidence this guy was an illiterate thug with no real experience that they ignored.

I also wonder whether Cristoforo really *has* a wife and "new baby" or if that isn't just more of his bullshit.

I have never met anyone who even used the term "SEO" who wasn't a con artist, by the way.
posted by spitbull at 6:11 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I assume the Avenger Controller people are going to sue Cristoforo's ass into the poorhouse.
posted by spitbull at 6:46 AM on December 30, 2011


I suggest reading the Reddit AMA. Paul is demanding compensation from the company, claiming this fiasco has brought great attention to the company. He's holding domain names and other information hostage until he gets what he wants. He's also threatened to file a $5 million lawsuit. What a wacko!
posted by ericb at 9:59 AM on December 30, 2011


desjardins: "Whatever you think of this, you have to watch this video."

"Look up Mike Kru-holic on Lycos." Outstanding.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:49 AM on December 30, 2011




Paul Christoforo Has Made Multiple Threats Against N-Control
- "Eight months ago, I locked down all this stuff so they wouldn't be able to f--- with me. If they don't give me what I want, it's war." Christoforo on his initial refusal to transfer back control of N-Control Twitter and email accounts. He is now reportedly cooperating.

- "If they f--- with me, I got all these websites all over me. Whatever I tell them to write, they write." Christoforo on his granting of interviews to the media.

- "I like you and everything, and you're reasonable and just trying to do your job, but if they don't do what I say, things are gonna get ugly."

- "I know you're just a guy doing a job and you don't know any better. I'm gonna ruin your life if I have to."

- "Don't you f---ing threaten me! You don't know who the f--- you're dealing with! I will do things to you that you cannot imagine, they are so f---ing bad! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M CAPABLE OF!"
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where do you get these big boy hats? I still haven't managed to find one and I have been looking for 30 years.
posted by srboisvert at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


You could tear the head off the bobblehead and tape it to a regular hat?
posted by nomisxid at 2:20 PM on December 30, 2011


I have a feeling Christoforo may find himself in jail before this whole thing is over.
posted by the_artificer at 3:39 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


srboisvert: "Where do you get these big boy hats? I still haven't managed to find one and I have been looking for 30 years"

Here you go. It might be a little too big, though.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:54 PM on December 30, 2011


I have a feeling Christoforo may find himself in jail before this whole thing is over.

God, I hope so - at least for the extortion and identity theft. I would also like to see him sued for defamation and negligence. I doubt that any of the players involved will bother with the civil suits though.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:26 PM on December 30, 2011


Sounds like what happens when you owe someone a favor, so you give their entitled jackass of a son a sweet no-show job. But then he actually thinks he's somebody and refuses to stick to the busy work you gave him.
posted by ctmf at 12:49 AM on December 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christoforo's AMA. Going almost exactly as well as might be expected.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:56 PM on December 31, 2011


Sounds like what happens when you owe someone a favor, so you give their entitled jackass of a son a sweet no-show job.

The AMA by Moisés Chiullan, who is handling damage control at N-Control, says that Christoforo was actually contributing value in sales, at least at first:
What David Kotkin (the owner) told me is what I believe: they only had so much money, and this guy was offering to do lots of jobs for the price of one. He was driving solid hard sales early on, so they gave him a shot. He had a compelling personal story, growing up on the hard-knock streets and so on. He talked a good game, and by the time things got uncomfortable, they tolerated what was mostly interpersonal differences rather than jeopardize the whole business by dumping him, since so many things were in his hands.
So, it sounds like he offered to sell on commission, or a low basic plus commission, and handle the website, PR and customer service for cost or for free, and N-Control prioritised minimising their burn rate.

The Forbes.com i/view has been updated - it was constructed for a point/counterpoint with N-Control, but the AMA and other time-critical issues meant N-Control couldn't respond quickly.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:22 PM on December 31, 2011


The thing I associate the word "superfan" with is this.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:50 PM on January 1, 2012


That Reddit thread accomplished the impossible and made me pity the poor bastard. He keeps blustering and blathering on about all the opportunities that have opened up for him, what with all the name recognition and the interviews, including the latest with Spike TV. When it's pointed out that every interview so far has all but literally blown up in his face and why should he think this one will be any different, he writes:

we will see we had a long long conversation with them or I wont do the interview and if they lie to me ill tell them to beat it or maybe just answer the questions. I asked them times if they were going ton sandbag me they said no, the purpose is to apologize and move on.

This is hope triumphing over experience, insanity expecting a different outcome, Wile E. Coyote opening up his latest delivery from the Acme Corporation.
posted by dogrose at 9:39 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another Customer Service FAIL:
Boners BBQ Bashes Customer On Facebook And Twitter, Social Media Battle Ensues.
posted by ericb at 12:48 PM on January 10, 2012


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