Holy fucken shit just put me in a white robe and call me a prophet! Did I not say that this entire thing wasn’t going to end well for them? Just a few hours after posting my article the entire Bully Hunters live stream event turned into one massive dumpster fire, and I so do love me a good dumpster fire. So let’s unpack what has happened since the whole thing went viral so the chain of events I am detailing will happen in chronological order as they unfolded on social media. The kick-off point for this entire shit show was a discussion between Angelheartnight:
So 30 minutes after myself and “Angelheartnight” had our “discussion” with Nati Casanova aka “ZombiUnicorn” on Twitter a user by the name of “PlatinumParagon” who seems to be a mental health researcher and statistician asked Nati the following question:
And as you can imagine, the question did not go down very well with Nati and was ignored. No surprise there, as we have already seen Nati being intellectually dishonest when it comes to discussing the topic, by blocking and avoiding all questions regarding the statistics Bully Hunters used to claim that 3 million women stopped playing video games. But the “fun” does not stop there, shortly after Nati began blocking people like crazy for questioning her and the event. Evidence emerged that Nati herself is a rather foul-mouthed Bully herself:
And this does not seem to be a one-off case for her as other users came forward including “Syrencove” stating that they have been bullied in the past by Nati, she as also called people “faggots” multiple times during one of her live streams:
Well shit, Nati is both dishonest and a liar, who would have thought! If you think this is where it ends you are sorely mistaken because right after these facts came to light a rather enterprising user by the name of “BigTimStrange” discovered that the entire event was one big viral marketing scheme by Steelseries, a PC peripheral company:
He also expanded on his original Tweet:
Another user by the name of “KatsBits” took it a step further, detailing how the entire thing was a viral marketing ploy:
Not only is Nati being dishonest and a bully but taking part in one big viral marketing scheme, but like those television, adverts always say before trying to sell you crap: “BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!” the entire scheme was run by venture capitalists as the user “Chad Strongjaw” pointed out:
And these people could care a flying fuck about online bullying all they care about is making a return on their investment. And guess where all the money being raised for this event is going according to SteelSeries?:
I asked the Official Steelseries Twitter account for clarity but they have yet to reply to my Tweets:
They are actually giving money to the one group of people who don’t need it a single cent, they are donating all their money to a Hollywood movement. What a fucken train wreck. But it does not stop there when signing up for Bullyhunters.org through your Steam account you are told that anything not set to private on your account is fair game to be used to “data mine” for information:
And right before the stream went live and Nati realized that this was going south quickly she decided to threaten anyone who dares make a video on YouTube about this entire event:
Aint she a “charmer” so when the live stream event kicked off the first thing people noticed was the “expert” and “gaming psychologist” they had on during the stream wasn’t really an expert in the field. With these credentials, I am more than qualified to talk about gaming more so than he is. Kevin Lanham who was talking about how “all male gamers see women as objects” seems to have spent most his career helping people with diabetes.
But the hilarity did not stop there oh no it turns out that the Bully Hunters where faking all of their matches. The very first person being bullied was “therosethorn” and they called in “Bully Hunter_77”. They are the same person:
And here’s even more proof that it is not fake: the steam account name changes were all done 9 days ago so no one could have faked these during the stream:
They also bragged about the entire group being an “elite squad” of female gamers yet their online stats for these bully hunters seem to tell a completely different story:
And unsurprisingly it seems the footage used in their matches was pre-recorded. During the match and the live stream event, they say “That’s her. Lets cut to her feed”. But you can clearly see it’s not the same person or the same gameplay. If you look at the video and the person running in front of her when they shift feeds the person running front of them just vanished. It was not even the same person playing or even the same location on the map…
And predictably the games media jumped on this like a vulture on a rotting carcass:
I think everyone can agree that making rape threats and harassing women while playing online is a garbage thing to do. There is a thin line between trash talking and being an asshole online, and I am not sure how creating a fake event and selling overpriced headsets is going to solve anyone’s problems. In fact, this event did more damage than good. Not to mention there is no requirement for evidence that someone was even bullied in the first place. And if Bully Hunters was real they literally take the “burden of proof” out of the equation and casts a guilty verdict without reviewing any evidence whatsoever. This is the very definition of a witch hunt.
[Editorial Note:] So to summarize the entire shit show:
- Nati Casanova aka “ZombiUnicorn” is a known bully and harasser.
- Failed to provide any statistics regarding her claims that 3 million woman where bullied out of gaming. Blocks anyone who attempts to clarify her position.
- The entire event was one big viral event to sell merchandise and headsets by Steelseries and make money.
- The:“expert” in female bullying they had on during the event, had no experience in the field and spent most his career helping people with diabetes.
- They created fake steam accounts and faked bully accounts.
- All the video footage shown during the event was pre-recorded.
- The event was supposed to be an hour long but instead was just 35 minutes.
[Update 1:] Instead of making a completely new blog post about new developments in the Bully Hunters saga, I am going to amend this article and just add to it. I will also leave the original part of the article as is. So here we go:
It seems by appearance alone that SteelSeries has broken ties with Bullie Hunters because if you go to their YouTube channel all of the Steelseries branding has been removed from all of their content:
It also seems anyone who tried streaming the event on their own Twitch channels faced bans and suspensions but there was no abuse or violations of Twitch terms of service at Harmful Opinions found out. Could it be due to the earlier threats of DMCA’ing that were made by Nati Casanova?:
Which brings us to the next point, because in a rather weird turn of events Nati Casanova admitted after almost a day that the entire thing was scripted and not live. The question is why now all of a sudden? Or was this hastily slapped together to cover up their monumental fuckup during the event? Judging by their honest they displayed during the entire event I would say I have my doubts:
On a side note, “PlatinumParagon” released an article debunking the fake stats that were provided and never verified by Bully Hunters or Nati Casanova. You can find it here, I highly recommend you read it!
[Update 2:] Removed the Steam link and screenshot of the group as it was a fake. Also removed the screenshot and link. Also removed the Diverse Gaming Coalition screenshot and links as I verified that it was indeed just a rumor.
In other news, it seems CyberPowerPC removed their support for Bully Hunters website:
They say they weren’t kept fully in the loop, the “deal” they had with Bully Hunters was supposed to be different, at least “in their minds” and that they were misled. “We endorsed a group, it didn’t go the way thought it was gonna go [sic] planned. We weren’t really informed, I guess, enough. That could be partially our fault as well. We think negatively on that kind of behavior” Source a Twitch stream about round about the 42-minute mark.
Also, like clockwork Nati Casanova aka “ZombiUnicorn” did a few interviews for websites that would, of course, be sympathetic to their cause being our usual suspect’s Polygon and Kotaku:
She also released her “Official statement regarding the entire issue:
Also, this might seem inconsequential but the now infamous Mr Ryan Morrison aka “The Video Game Attorney” also got involved in some point, he gained popularity after doing a Podcast and being interviewed by TotalBiscuit after the FireWatch developers DMCA’d a video of PiewDiePie playing FireWatch after saying the “N word” in a live stream during PUBG. He most like saw the situation and comments that Nati Casanova made about DMCA’ing channels that use her content and offered his help:
But for some reason decided to back peddle on that offer and deleted his Tweet. And posted this questions on his Twitter account:
Could it be that he was not fully aware of the situation with Bully Hunters and Nati Casanova? Or could it be he smelled a rat and decided to bail the sinking ship? Who knows. And as a funny side note [And no this isn’t a personal attack on her.] she seemed to have done a video and photoshoot for Playboy Magazine but they “mysteriously” vanished round about the 9th of April right before the show started you can find the archive of the page here. Clicking on the link now just takes you to Playboy’s main page:
Remember how Nati Casanova said she had different interviews with different publications including Polygon, Kotaku, and vpesports? Well it seems running to the press has bit her in the ass, vpesports released their article regarding the entire thing and I think she isn’t going to expect this:
This was their official press release on their Facebook page and much better response that wat SteelSeries attempted when the shit hit the fan.
They have now updated their website all the sponsors are now gone, only NOW and the Diverse Gaming Coalition is left.
Diverse Gaming Coalition has also jumped ship and released an official statement on their Facebook page.
SteelSeries might be considering legal action against the creators of Bully Hunters as it was deemed damaging to their brand:
SteelSeries just release their official statement regarding Bully Hunters on their Facebook page distancing themselves as well and throwing everyone involved under the bus:
Well, it seems Nati Casanova did a live stream earlier today on her Twitch channel basically throwing SteelSeries under the bus and claiming they knew about the entire event including how they were operating the supposed event. She also said that SteelSeries did play a role throughout Bully Hunters, much like her role as a consultant. SteelSeries was responsible for suggesting Natalie as the host for the event. This contradicts everything that SteelSeries said in their public statement. Which begs the question? Which one is doing the lying here? Considering Nati Casanova track record thus far I am pretty confident if I say I know which party us lying here. I still have questions though, who at SteelSeries thought this was a good idea and did seemingly zero research on The Bully Hunters? Everyone else saw the problems, but not a multi-million dollar company with years of experience?
By now we already know about Nati Casanova’s dirty mouth online, but it seems she has been making a habit of it for many years despite her instance that she has changed, Reddit compiled an entire list of incidents which you can find here. And trust me she has a long history of this:
And like predicted some of the first media outlets have started running the story before actually fact-checking the details behind the whole even most notably Good Morning America:
Sadly it seems I might have hit a roadblock with the Bully Hunters fiasco, according to Abby Sager from Diverse Gaming Company they are under an NDA and are under legal terms not allowed to talk about who started and financed this event.
Also, I have been taking a look at the co-host of the event, Tien Tran or @HankTina on Twitter sadly she has made her Tweets private:
But her Twitter Bio states that she is currently a member of The Second City a theater that specializes in the school of improvisation. Which makes sense when you consider the entire thing was staged from the start, so you would need someone with an acting and improvisation background.
The FCB released an official statement on the Polygon article basically stating that they were responsible for the entire thing:
“Brandon Cooke, FCB’s global chief communications officer, told Polygon via email today that the Bully Hunters program has come to an end.
“As this effort did not live up to our high standards, we decided to end this program, but hope the conversation it has raised around ending harassment in gaming continues,” Cooke said.
Cooke added that FCB is looking “forward to finding new, more effective ways in the future to fight bullying in gaming and will share details on those when we are ready.”
Cooke also cleared up a few unanswered questions about the campaign — mainly who was paid and whether the brand partners received any compensation for their role in the initiative.
“The sole creator of the campaign was FCB Chicago,” Cooke said. “All other organizations mentioned in the campaign did not provide any kind of financial or formal sponsorship. In most cases they were just supporting the cause. SteelSeries helped connect us with a few gamers and provided some headsets for the live event. That’s all. One [host was paid], but the other was not.”
It also seems that the mainstream media has latched onto the story like vultures circling a rotting carcass:
It does not matter that the entire premise was poorly executed, it does not matter that the entire event was built on lies and a narrative that was used to push a false agenda. It does not matter that none of the people involved wanted to take responsibility for their part in this. It does not matter that this damaged and set back the anti-bullying movement years. It does not matter that the sponsors did not do any research before supporting this initiative, what is the media and everyone who was involved takeaway on all of this: “AT LEAST IT STARTED A CONVERSATION”. I fucken kid you not I rolled my eyes so hard they almost popped out of their sockets.
So it looks like all the articles are ignoring Nati Casanova’s history when it comes to abusing other people online and using slurs. Going with her narrative that people were taking all of it out of context. And of course, the online harassment and abuse faced by her when the shit hit the fan was also a centerpiece of all the articles. No wonder Nati kept mentioning the Polygon and Kotaku articles throughout the stream, she knew if she ran to them that they would write fluff pieces about her and throw her a few softballs instead of asking the hard questions. It is rather disappointing that no one stood up and took responsibility, instead everyone played hot potato and passed the blame around…
[BIG Editorial Note:] I fucked up big time, as a blogger and amateur writer I should have checked my sources and properly researched rumors I received on social media. Which I did not in fact do, and I take full responsibly for this. I should have contacted Shannon Plante and verified the rumors I received first instead of going off half-cocked and just putting it in my article. And that I apologize for there was no ill or malicious intent on my behalf. I also incorrectly did not attribute a quote to her due to a publishing mistake on my side which I should have checked. I have made an archive of the original page so people can view what I did wrong and edited the original removing all mention of the rumor. The archive version can be found here. You can find the Twitter thread here.