Following Violent Threats Against His Family, Mortal Kombat Producer Leaves Twitter
"I cannot deal with the threats of violence to my wife and now young daughter. Threats of sexual violence are even more disturbing."
Veteran Mortal Kombat producer Shaun Himmerick is stepping away from social media site Twitter in the wake of violent and disturbing threats against his family, some of which were sexual in nature.
On March 26, Himmerick posted a threatening message [NSFW] he received from a fan regarding his wife. At this time, Himmerick announced he would be leaving Twitter, and he also changed his Twitter handle to "come on people."
Across a series of follow-up tweets, Himmerick went on to offer more insight into why he's decided to quit Twitter. It's not because he's inundated with messages from fans asking about new Mortal Kombat characters and other details about the game. He says he understands this passion and it's what drives him at work, too. Instead, he's stepping away because he won't stand for threats against his wife and daughters.
So to be clear. The reason I don't want to do this twitter anymore is not fans asking for characters or hints or whatever. I get that ->— come on people (@lover_of_tacos) March 27, 2015
That is passion and love for the Mortal Kombat and I also have that. So I get it. No problem. I'm glad people care about their favorites ->— come on people (@lover_of_tacos) March 27, 2015
I used to be thick skinned enough for the random personal attacks. I'm a big boy I can handle it. I've been in my share of fights. ->— come on people (@lover_of_tacos) March 27, 2015
However I cannot deal with the threats of violence to my wife and now young daughter. threats of sexual violence are even more disturbing ->— come on people (@lover_of_tacos) March 27, 2015
You wanna fight me for Any reason. I'm probably willing to go, verbally or physically. I can hold my own. But threats on my ladies? No— come on people (@lover_of_tacos) March 27, 2015
Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo admitted: "We suck at handling abuse" for its millions of users.
"I'm frankly ashamed of how poorly we've dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO," he said in February. "It's absurd. There's no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It's nobody's fault but mine, and it's embarrassing."
As it faced an avalanche of criticism, Twitter in December announced new harassment reporting features that the company says it hopes will make Twitter a safer place. However, when Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore reported death threats made against him and his family to Twitter, he was told that the harassing tweets did not violate the company's rules.
Moore says he receives similar threats on a daily basis. And he's not the only one with ties to gaming taking abuse through Twitter. Call of Duty developer David Vonderhaar has also faced threats against his life from people upset with gameplay tweaks.
More recently, Feminist Frequency creator Anita Sarkeesian published an account of the harassment she received on Twitter from January 20 through the 26th, which included death and rape threats, among other things.
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