Games Journalism! Wainwright/Florence/Tomb Raider/Eurogamer/Libel Threats/Doritos

Status
Not open for further replies.
In fairness to Eurogamer, they ran the original piece and have only backed down due to the thread of expensive legal action with (I am only assuming) Intent Media. I think this is a sad 24 hours in UK games press, but one I'm glad has happened. A lot of folks over here do not act in the way professionals should, and at the very least this has got us talking about it. It will be interesting to see who makes a move next. If anyone.
 
Yeah, seriously. People in here like to jump to conclusions.
I think Eurogamer can still be called out for severe weakness here even though they're not 'the bad guys'. Could you imagine if a publication like the Guardian edited every editorial if the subject merely threatened legal action because they're not happy about being mentioned?
 
There may be some consolation in the fact that Wainwright will have only brought more heat and attention to herself as a result of this.

The Streisand effect will come in full force.

Yeah, seriously. People in here like to jump to conclusions.
Eurogamer also omitted Dave Cook and he apparently did not threaten legal action. They capitulated, and Florence left as a result.
 
I don't know if he knows Lauren and he has other info that is not included in the original article, but if he had to word it like, paraphrasing: "I'm suspicious, I'm sure it's not true, but the doubt is seeded, but I'm sure is not true" then he should not have included that in the article. As soon as you start naming specific names, there should be no doubt in your mind, or any dubious wording in the article about what you are writing. It's specially stupid when Rab a few paragraphs after the Lauren comment writes this:

. I have a mental list of games journos who are the very worst of the bunch. The ones who are at every PR launch event, the ones who tweet about all the freebies they get. I am fascinated by them. I won't name them here, because it's a horrible thing to do, but I'm sure some of you will know who they are. I'm fascinated by these creatures because they are living one of the most strange existences - they are playing at being a thing that they don't understand. And if they don't understand it, how can they love it? And if they don't love it, why are they playing at being it?
3
He should name the worst of the bunch. If not it's just inconsistent.


Don't just spout that and go away, why so?
I'm at work and on and off from the computer. Sorry.
 
I don't know if he knows Lauren and he has other info that is not included in the original article, but if he had to word it like, paraphrasing: "I'm suspicious, I'm sure it's not true, but the doubt is seeded, but I'm sure is not true" then he should not have included that in the article. As soon as you start naming specific names, there should be no doubt in your mind, or any dubious wording in the article about what you are writing. It's specially stupid when Rab a few paragraphs after the Lauren comment writes this:



He should name the worst of the bunch. If not it's just inconsistent.
Do you know Lauren?
 
You have to have some nerve to be a douchebag, get called out in public for your douchebaggery, and then instead of doing the right thing continue to be an even bigger douchebag.
This might be the best summarization of this whole thing.

The original article is sound and makes a good point. I also don't see how that was libel. he pointed something out that seems wrong. He even says that he doubts she is in the cahoots with Square-Enix. I doubt that as well, but doing stuff like that as a Journalist is just wrong. Have some standards!

PS: The Streisand effect is also in full effect on Twitter.
 
Rab losing his job over this is insane, and should be a much bigger story than it currently is. Unbelievable.
The phrasing suggests that Rab quit rather than being fired; that said, I fully understand him having that reaction.

That said, I think there's scope here for a nineteenth column - on this story.
 
Mods, change the thread title to "Eurogamer's Lost Credibility".

The phrasing suggests that Rab quit rather than being fired; that said, I fully understand him having that reaction.

That said, I think there's scope here for a nineteenth column - on this story.
The way Rab worded it on Twitter made it sound like he decided to quit as a result of his article being edited.
 
Instead of someone taking from the original article that Wainwright was truthfully compromised (which is not what it said at all) this whole threatening to sue thing is just going to get more people than ever thinking she is in the PR pocket. The opposite of what she intended. For the record I don't think she is. I have no evidence etc, but that isn't really the point. We don't and really can't actually know these people who cover games or other media. This is one of the reasons why journalism ethics exist.
 
Either I am missing something or this dude who wrote the column is a dirty fucking hipocrite. "Boo these other guys for not having any integrity, but don't blame Eurogamer for not having any either. I quit my job with them because they don't have any balls and they edited my column but you should not blame them. It's not their fault." What logic is this?

Must be that I'm missing something, right?
 
Under PCC code and libel law, Florence is entirely in the clear on this one. A public quote from twitter is subject to criticism. This even includes the questions of if she is fit to practice or not due to her public quotes. She hasn't got a leg to stand on. If she makes a public statement that is directly quoted. Then she puts it in the public domain and gives the people the right to analyse and criticise her statements. Politician's quotes on twitter are subject to the same and thanks to the Leveson inquiry, so have Journalists (ex-NOTW editor Neil Wallis in particular) and the right to ask is she fit to practice.

It's the threat and high cost of libel lawyers which is making Eurogamer group back down, however. And if you have been a fan of the esteemed organ, Private Eye, over it's lifetime. You know that the threat of a libel suit is used to stifle criticism as the high cost of fighting it is not worth it to a significant amount of publications (Usually accompanied by a letter from everyone's favourite libel solicitors, Carter-Fuck). Which leads to them backing down.I can't imagine Eurogamer group produces the amount of profit needed to fight such a case.

But then ideally Eurogamer should have cited the precedent of Arkell Vs Pressdram, 1971 in response to her because she doesn't have a leg to stand on but money is money.

"Cash Rules Everything Around Me" - Old Staten Island proverb
 
I don't know if he knows Lauren and he has other info that is not included in the original article, but if he had to word it like, paraphrasing: "I'm suspicious, I'm sure it's not true, but the doubt is seeded, but I'm sure is not true" then he should not have included that in the article.
The point is that he's not actually making an accusation directly, he's giving an example of a set of circumstances that - for anyone, not him specifically - would set off alarm bells. And yet circumstances like that are accepted as completely normal; a major part of his point is railing against the fact that we just let that sort of thing slide.
 
Under PCC code and libel law, Florence is entirely in the clear on this one. A public quote from twitter is subject to criticism. This even includes the questions of if she is fit to practice or not due to her public quotes. She hasn't got a leg to stand on. If she makes a public statement that is directly quoted. Then she puts it in the public domain and gives the people the right to analyse and criticise her statements. Politician's quotes on twitter are subject to the same and thanks to the Leveson inquiry, so have Journalists (ex-NOTW editor Neil Wallis in particular) and the right to ask is she fit to practice.

It's the threat and high cost of libel lawyers which is making Eurogamer group back down, however. And if you have been a fan of the esteemed organ, Private Eye, over it's lifetime. You know that the threat of a libel suit is used to stifle criticism as the high cost of fighting it is not worth it to a significant amount of publications (Usually accompanied by a letter from everyone's favourite libel solicitors, Carter-Fuck). Which leads to them backing down.I can't imagine Eurogamer group produces the amount of profit needed to fight such a case.

But then ideally Eurogamer should have cited the precedent of Arkell Vs Pressdram, 1971 in response to her because she doesn't have a leg to stand on but money is money.

"Cash Rules Everything Around Me" - Old Staten Island proverb
Yeah sadly this seems to be the case everywhere even when the law is quite clear. Dealing with frivolous lawsuits isn't cheap.
 
Mods, change the thread title to "Eurogamer's Lost Credibility".
I don't think it's fair to give EG lots of stick for this. I'm sure everyone writing for that publication are appalled at what went down.

But libel cases are so expensive in the UK, and even if they were to win against Wainwright (which is what would likely happen, because her accusation of libel is baseless), she's a game journalist (though I use that term lightly for the likes of her). She has no money. They'd never get their legal fees back or any compensation. So any "win" would be a pyrrhic victory at best.

Sometimes, the threat of libel action alone is enough to get someone to back down, and that fact is something that Lauren Wainwright abused to force them to censor Rab Florence.

It's a complete and utter disgrace. As Florence said, the only "bad guys" here are the people who threatened legal action for obviously not libellous comments.
 
It amazes me that any of these people are under the mistaken impression games journalism is even a thing. One writes an article pointing out that the industry has become little more more than paid for representives of corporate PR, singles out specific people and is then surprised and saddened when they react badly. No grand statement was made that needed to be said, just one person ridiculing others in service of stating the obvious, as if it were news.
 
I don't know if he knows Lauren and he has other info that is not included in the original article, but if he had to word it like, paraphrasing:
This makes no goddamn sense.

The point being made was that once you use your twitter feed as paid marketing, which is basically what tweeting good things about a game in order to win a prize is, any rational human being should question any other tweets you make about games being good.
 
Just some baseline analysis

One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: "Urm... Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that's a bad thing?"

Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: "Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ"
Statements of fact. Dig into the twitter records and see if it's true/justifiable. If deleted, check with twitter itself; pretty sure they archive that shit.

And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist's apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she's in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I'm sure she isn't, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?
Statement of opinion. Probably a subject matter of common interest. Based on fair facts, as above. Could hit an honest opinion defence, or maybe even a limited privilege defence, don't know how the specifics work in the UK.

I can't myself see a legit case for Wainswright's lawyers... I wonder if she merely threatened legal action and hoped they didn't call her bluff, or if there's some other stuff we're not seeing.
 
Either I am missing something or this dude who wrote the column is a dirty fucking hipocrite. "Boo these other guys for not having any integrity, but don't blame Eurogamer for not having any either. I quit my job with them because they don't have any balls and they edited my column but you should not blame them. It's not their fault." What logic is this?

Must be that I'm missing something, right?
You clearly are...
 
Had never heard of this lauren wainwright character. Overnight internet sensation much? From nobody to poster-child for all that's wrong with games "journalism."
HNNGNGFNGNGNNNGGNGNG
 
Either I am missing something or this dude who wrote the column is a dirty fucking hipocrite. "Boo these other guys for not having any integrity, but don't blame Eurogamer for not having any either. I quit my job with them because they don't have any balls and they edited my column but you should not blame them. It's not their fault." What logic is this?

Must be that I'm missing something, right?
If anything, the fact that he walked gives him solid integrity.
 

Ikuu

Had his dog run over by Blizzard's CEO
Just some baseline analysis



Statements of fact. Dig into the twitter records and see if it's true/justifiable. If deleted, check with twitter itself; pretty sure they archive that shit.



Statement of opinion. Probably a subject matter of common interest. Based on fair facts, as above. Could hit an honest opinion defence, or maybe even a limited privilege defence, don't know how the specifics work in the UK.

I can't myself see a legit case for Wainswright's lawyers... I wonder if she merely threatened legal action and hoped they didn't call her bluff, or if there's some other stuff we're not seeing.
She just hid her account, but she did say those tweets and I'm pretty sure she threaten action rather than call anyone in, she had a tweet saying how a Media law course had been useful.
 
I was just looking up some of here work, as I admit I've never heard her name mentioned before now and came across this linked from her website:

http://journalisted.com/lauren-wainwright
ahahahaha. the streisand effect here is delicious.

but it still sucks for rab and for eurogamer's credibility and for the terrible precedent it sets for calling out stuff like this, as rab was absolutely correct to do, in the future.
 
She just hid her account, but she did say those tweets and I'm pretty sure she threaten action rather than call anyone in, she had a tweet saying how a Media law course had been useful.
Helpful enough to use libel as a stifling motion without any real legal ground to stand on, apparently
 
Someone needs to make a new thread about this or a mod needs to change the title of this thread/OP. I'd do it but I'm on my way to work. This Wainwright thing is a much bigger story and needs to be spotlighted.

I'm usually a defender of people in the games press but this is disgusting.

And now Wainwright locks her once public Twitter account? Ha.
 
This makes no goddamn sense.

The point being made was that once you use your twitter feed as paid marketing, which is basically what tweeting good things about a game in order to win a prize is, any rational human being should question any other tweets you make about games being good.
I'm not commenting on that practice that I also feel is abhorrent. I'm not disagreeing with the majority just to be a dissent voice, I am not disagreeing in the first place. I also have doubts about Lauren work, past and future, considering her tweets about the PS3 give away and all that. Rab should have written a bullet proof article if he wanted to write about what he wrote. He didn't. In my opinion. And Eurogamer lost a good writer and some cred, Rab lost a gig, and we lost a his writings.
 
You clearly are...
Help me out and tell me what is it?


If anything, the fact that he walked gives him solid integrity.
Yet he says we should evaluate Eurogamer based on what he says and not based on what Eurogamer does. He quit his job because he took an issue with Eurogamer editing his column. He. Quit. His. Job. Because. Of. It. And yet he asks us not to blame Eurogamer. What the hell?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.