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Published November 12, 2018

A joke or silly misunderstanding is all it takes to get fired these days. Disturbed people who feel inadequate and left behind by normal, healthy society coalesce into self-radicalizating echo chambers on the internet — and evolve into digital mobs itching for any opportunity to exact revenge against the world that hurt them. This is cancel culture.

And cancel culture has now got popular GOG community manager Linko fired. Yes, the Polish company and CD Projekt subsidiary best known for selling classic PC games and offending the far too easily offended in what some have speculated — wrongly, it would seem — is a clever marketing strategy.

The tweet that ended a career.

I have already covered the fallout from Linko’s October 22nd tweet in Cyberpunk 2077 devs doxed, harassed after misuse of trans* hashtag #WontBeErased, but now I have been able to confirm with a source in the company that — as feared when the community noticed his GOG account had been deleted — he is fired.

Let’s be very clear, GOG and parent CD Projekt Red dealt with the entire hubbub in the worst possible way from the get-go.

Quick background: the #WontBeErased hashtag was conceived of by LGBTQ social media accounts after news of a Trump memo about defining gender as a biological condition determined by genitalia at birth, and it briefly trended on Twitter. Linko, a manager in charge of GOG’s Twitter account as well as its forums, saw an opportunity to promote his company by tweeting “Classic PC games #WontBeErased on our watch.”

The tweet was immediately deleted when he realized the hashtag was off-limits to mere heterosexuals, but the outrage brigade had already hit PRNT SCRN and sounded the Red Alert.

Cries of unimaginable social justice suffering inundated Twitter, and users of the ResetEra forum started posting dox and coordinating a harassment campaign against the Polish company. The blitzkrieg of bitterness soon received reinforcements from activists with fancy job titles at gaming publications.

And of course, spineless GOG capitulated and penned an apology that mentioned nothing about the harassment Linko and his family received.

The firing will probably be no surprise to the GOG community, which has felt his absence and tried in vain to get answers concerning his status with the company. Most GOG forum threads on the subject have been locked or 404’d, but a still available open letter in support of Linko received 17 pages of supportive replies before it was locked.

Gamers love him. Game journalists do not.

Firing Linko is a huge loss to the GOG community. The company has legitimized the heckler’s veto, incentivized harassment of their own employees, and gotten rid of the only member of their staff that understood their own gaming community, a community that already shows signs of struggling without his guidance.

The company gave in to a group of people who have no intention of spending money on any of their products, all to save face with game journalists who are steadily becoming more and more irrelevant due to alternative media on YouTube and Twitch. For all the company puts in advertising its games on these outlets, few people even know about the launch of Thronebreaker, the GOG-timed exclusive single-player campaign for its card game, Gwent. That says everything you need to know about the state of the games media and its ineffectiveness in driving attention towards the products it’s supposed to cover.

As it stands, the games media is only good at stoking outrage campaigns towards games and their developers rather than building hype for these products. Apart from a handful of important pieces of coverage, like Riot Games’ (League of Legends) treatment of its employees, which was diligently chronicled by Kotaku, the only time the games media is ever truly relevant is when they’re raising some controversy about Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, or PewDiePie or Ninja and the so-called “entitlement” of gamers — controversies that simply wouldn’t exist were it not for these articles.

Of course, we have to talk about these controversial subjects because they are controversial, but the fact remains that videos establishing the better qualities of certain games get a million times (this is no exaggeration) as many views as any sort of positive coverage the games media can spin, and the divide is getting wider.

Companies like CD Projekt Red/GOG are not wise to the outrage mob, and their belief that catering to their indignation is going to help them build their brand is mistaken. It is having the opposite effect on how gamers — their customers — perceive the company and their products.

As they say: get woke, go broke.

What do you think? Tell us in a comment below.

“A force of evil.” Journalist. I do stuff on Twitch and YouTube. Previously seen on Daily Caller, Heat Street, and The Escapist. Subscribe to YouTube.com/HypeBreak for insightful analysis of games and criticism of game journalism and the culture surrounding video games.

30 Comments

  1. Test Test

    Test poopy gently caress censor

  2. Anonymous Anonymous

    gently caress poopy test

  3. Anonymous Anonymous

    Is there anything better than the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing you were right when nobody believed you? CDP has been pozzed for a long long time now.

  4. Caroline Caroline

    As a trans, I’m glad we are coming into power now after centuries of marginalization and genocide. There will be an adjustment period where hets are going to scream and cry and do irrational poopy because giving up power is hard, but you can’t fight time itself. Linko is either going to accept the new paradigm or drink himself to death in siberia, either way gently caress him for abusing his power to stalk and attack hashtags that weren’t invented for the likes of him.

    • BlowMe BlowMe

      Dream on. No chance but hey ho, whatever helps you sleep at night.

    • grimview grimview

      I can see the benefit of Transforming into a permanent victim woman, Identified by a pretty white dress & a matching white hood & using Social lynch mob Justice to enforce our rules or segregated diversity & isolated inclusion.
      Just imagine if Gamers march on Washington DC & demanded protected status as a Lifestyle choice, race & gender. Then we too would could have representation in the workplace.

    • Mike12 Mike12

      @Caroline: “Stalk and attack hashtags” really?
      You cannot stalk a hashtag and the hashtag also was NOT attacked at all. It’s also completely not stated at all if Linko has “accepted the new paradigm” or not since he did NOTHING at all that could be considered to be anti trans or anti anything. If anything at all he underestimated the importance of a hashtag but everything else is pure interpretation on your side – maybe it is wishful thinking? Maybe you need the feeling that everybody is hating you? I don’t know. I only know that I don’t like people with such egoistical characters and I could not care less which race, skin colour, gender or whatever they are.

  5. fuck twitter fuck twitter

    #notguilty

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      He should have known that every trending hashtag is about transvestites, wymenz strong, or drumpf in le current weimar year.

  6. LUL LUL

    He may have been fired, but he #WontBeErased from our memory [*]

  7. Marie Marie

    This was not a firing offense. Furthermore, the tweet was deleted, and that should have been enough.

    But no, we’re all living under the tyranny of some seriously mentally ill people who think that being left alone in their delusion is equivalent to suffering in a concentration camp or something.

    Transwhatevers are not dying or in danger or anything like that. They’re just a bunch of self-important twatwaffles who want to control everyone around them.

  8. Darc Darc

    Excellent article. I despair with how delicate some members of our society are now. Whatever happened to just been offended? We cannot all be equal – that’s not the way humanity works and it won’t ever change no matter how much the libtards try.

    Back in the days before the internet and the SJW echo chambers, stupid people would just be stupid by themselves and not really bother anybody. These days, we gave stupid people the voice to reach millions of other stupid people, and from there the stupidity evolves. Its like the telephone game, except this time we’re already starting with something incoherent and seeing how far away from intelligence we can get.

    SJW Social media is unfortunately a great way for harmlessly stupid people to become harmfully stupid people.

  9. msoltyspl msoltyspl

    Thanks for info.

    Now I can, with clear conscience, add CDPR to blacklisted developers on Steam.

    • magneto magneto

      If you ever were supporting CDPR you wouldn’t be buying their products on Steam in the first place.

    • Rain Rain

      Aren’t you just doing the same as the outrage warriors that overreacted in the first place? Ah well, if you want to ditch the company making some of the best ever games simply because they had some bad PR, that’s your choice. I’ll just go back to playing Witcher 3, while waiting for Cyberpunk 2077

      • Anonymous Anonymous

        >giving money to the pozzed
        If they ever make anything worth playing again I’ll just pirate it.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      >be based
      >get erased

  10. failingbirthrate failingbirthrate

    The absolute horror. He used a hashtag that trannies and other mentally deficient individuals were using to promote a minority group of the minority homosexual disorientation. We’re talking less than 5% of 2% of the population.

  11. dont care dont care

    He should still as a social media maneger try to do better before post as he represents company when post.

  12. stem stem

    This has nothing to do with CDPR. GOG.com has its own division within CD Projekt, the parent company of CDPR and GOG.com. GOG has it’s own corporate hierarchy, completely seperate from CDPR.

  13. Jeysie Jeysie

    Yep, the media marketing person got fired for doing a bad job of their media marketing, with this being just the latest in a string of being bad at their media marketing.

    Welcome to the real world, where if you’re bad at your job, you lose your job. If me or any other worker in existence was bad at our jobs, we would get written up or eventually fired. I don’t see why that fact of life suddenly becomes bad when it’s a GOG employee.

    I’m also tired of the “it’s just a joke” BS. It was an offensive and tasteless joke against people who are dealing with potential and literal life and death ramifications from proposed policy. Part of being a mature adult enacting your freedom of speech is standing behind your speech and accepting the consequences that everyone else has the equal freedom to speech their disapproval of your speech.

    I’m equally tired of the BS claim that those of us bothered by the conduct here don’t buy games. Here’s my profile: https://www.gog.com/u/Jeysie I’ve been on the site since November 2008. I have close to 400 games. I went through my orders once out of curiosity and determined I had spent about $1500 over ten years. I’m provably as much of a GOG fanperson as you could wish.

    And I definitely know transpeople who play video games. Heck, I know transpeople who make video games, in particular one of the creators who made the recent BattleTech game.

    I’m tired of how, I spend my days having to listen to rhetoric about how all gamers are bigots who need to “get over” their mistreatment and have no empathy for anything outside their games, and I spend my time trying to protest that characterization. But now I’m sitting here having gamers in the GOG community be transphobic bigots who are rallying around someone who has repeatedly made bigoted jokes and don’t seem to have any empathy for other human beings going through a difficult time.

    So now the next time I hear about how gamers are bigots, I’m going to be forced to admit that there is a significant chunk of a gaming community I’m directly a part of that does in fact actually behave that way. And that bothers me deeply.

    I’ve been gaming for most of my almost four decades long life, ever since I was old enough to hold a controller or use a keyboard (back in the pre-DOS days, mind), and like I said, been a GOG fan for 10 years. I would appreciate this continuing to be a community I can feel good about being a part of. Not a community where people not only rally behind and try to dismiss bigoted behavior, but keep pretending long-standing gamers don’t really exist just because they disagree with you and are giving valid criticism of misconduct. Not a community where we choose to embody all the negative stereotypes people have of us.

    • Jeysie Jeysie

      I know I feel like I clearly got into the wrong profession. At all of my jobs I was expected to know how to do my job properly and be polite and professional and knew I would get written up if I did any seriously incorrect thing, especially if I did it repeatedly.

      Apparently in social media you can not only do zero research into your job and cock up repeatedly, but have people rush to your rescue after you do so. Must be nice, yo.

      I also love how apparently we’re supposed to sympathize that people “overreacted” in getting mad about the GOG employee repeatedly making bigoted jokes, when, like, I’ve had customers in retail get mad at me because I didn’t smile enough.

      Again, see above for the “must be nice” since again not only does nobody ever champion retail workers like this when we’re anything less than pitch perfect to customers, but we often get to hear spiels from society about how we don’t deserve living wages because of said perceived cockups.

      • Stryfe Stryfe

        But it’s totally ok for you and your friends to target a person who used a joke, clearly not to offend, but to promote the website. It’s ok to dox and gang up on this person, his family and target his career with threats and abuse ALL BECAUSE OF A TWEETED JOKE. Ironic isn’t it?

        This person used a hashtag that “belongs” to people that have seemingly been constantly oppressed and put down, despite belonging to such a tiny % of the population and yet get more than 80% of LGBTQ media coverage, making even people within their own community who are not trans to isolate themselves from this attention-seeking subset.

        Do you know why people are outraged over this? Look in the mirror and see if your actions over something so insignificant caused so much harm to a person that maybe didn’t deserve it? The tweet was deleted within minutes because the person who posted it probably realized the tweet could offend despite originally not meant to cause harm. But no….it was too late and your group of outraged warriors of justice already sent their dogs out to specifically cause harm to another human being. And then you wonder why so many people vote for Trump when he speaks out against your kind. Because you’re hypocrites and you deserve the same abuse that you feel entitled to dish out.

        • paladin181 paladin181

          You know, While some of what you said is right, NO ONE deserves the abuse transgender people have endured. And NO ONE deserves the abuse that their vocal minority imposes on the rest of us. That’s not right.

          “An eye for an eye leaves the world blind.”

          I don’t think Linko should have been fired, especially since the post was deleted in fewer than 5 minutes. It wasn’t left up, and GOG’s stance should have been that they didn’t support the post and removed it. Period. But rather they’ve bungled this from the outset, and never recovered and managed to piss off almost everyone involved.

      • turdblow turdblow

        You sound like a real piece of work. Probably a tranny.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      1. It’s just a joke is completely valid. You’re free to dislike the joke but NOTHING is off limits when it comes to jokes
      2. They’re in danger? Are you gently caressing kidding me? They’re being forced to use their actual gender on ID cards. How the gently caress does that endanger them? Their overreaction is because of retards on the left pandering to them for so long that being exposed to actual facts based in science triggers them immensely. Guess what? That’s your and every other enabler of their delusions fault
      3. How insecure are you that you wrote that poopy about gamer identity? If you’re an actual adult, as you claim to be, and you care that much about how your hobby is perceived by irrelevant strangers, you’ve got much bigger problems on a personal level and should probably seek treatment for that

      And last but certainly not least, this bit of your ignorant rant deserves special attention:
      I don’t see why that fact of life suddenly becomes bad when it’s a GOG employee

      It becomes bad because developers like Naughty Dog has said far worse on social media but no one cared. Why? Because they were attacking white people. If all you holier than thou retards actually acted like you were pro equality, then you wouldn’t see the current backlash

    • Dontmindme Dontmindme

      So let me get this straight. You have 400 games so the complaints are valid. So, were you playing games in the 5 minutes the tweet was up, or were you watching Twitter looking for something to rage about?

    • Omagad Omagad

      gently caress that. It was just a joke. People are constantly getting fired because of this, nowadays.
      Look at Tex, who was a beloved animator in French television. He made one bad joke BAM fired. It wasn’t even in his own show…wtf. People can’t even speak or type something, they are being held accountable over trivial stuff like this. W T F is wrong with you people.
      Why do people get hurt over words ? O_ç

  14. Anonymous Anonymous

    Confirms to me that CDPR is going down the same road as every other multinational cuck corp

    Amazing how these companies bend over backwards and let SJWs rape them up the ass over the tiniest poopy

  15. Anonymous Anonymous

    Wait I thought GoG was based I started buying games from them fffffffffuuuuuuuu

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