M:TG and Social Media Bullying
Over the holiday weekend, amid all the feasting and the shopping, there has been some dramatic events developing in the Magic: The Gathering (M:TG) community. A popular professional M:TG cosplayer by the name of Christine Sprankle announced over social media that she was leaving the community. The reason Sprankle gave was that another member of the community, YouTuber and M:TG personality/player Jeremy Hambly. Hambly operates popular YouTube channels UnsleevedMedia and TheQuartering.
“It has been a rough year. And I have blocked and not said anything about him because I wanted it to die but without a doubt MtGHeadquarters/Unsleeved Media has made my life hell this whole year with his unnecessary videos/tweets about me and other members of Magic,” Sprankle tweeted Friday, Nov. 24 on her Twitter profile.
As of Saturday, Hambly’s two Twitter accounts have been temporary suspended.
Hambly released a video on his YouTube channel, UnsleevedMedia, titled “This is What Real ‘Harassment’ Looks Like” explaining his side of events. You can view the whole video here.
“Let me point something out. I made one video about her, that I can remember, six months ago. She wants you to believe this was a slow burn for six months and that is in some way continuous targeted harassment leading her to quit the game. This is a false narrative,” Hambly stated in his video. He goes on to postulate that a breakup is the true cause of Sprankle leaving the community and that she might return in the future.
Hambly also questions, in the video, the actions of the people that have sent him messages over social media. One such message reads “have you considered dying in an oil fire?”
“If a single video six months ago critiquing somebody is cause for all of this harm, then what would you say by their definition they’re doing to me right now?” Hambly said.
Magic: The Gathering’s official Twitter page tweeted the following in response to this weekend’s events: “We’re saddened by what happened in the Magic community this weekend. Cyber bullying and harassment are unacceptable and we support those who come forward with their experiences. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome. We’re working to be a part of the solution.”
As of the writing of this article, the M:TG community has become split in three different parts. The first being in support of Sprankle, the second being in support of Hambly, and the third being in the middle and supporting neither side, but agree that harassment of any kind should not be tolerated.
What do you think? Have you been watching this unfold? Do you believe that either side is right or wrong? Should Wizards of the Coast, the company that owns M:TG, take further actions and if so what should they be?