Cronyism
40
Perceived issues
And 5 lesser issues
Cleaning
8
corrections
16% correction rate, in line with site average
Cronyism

Apparent

Cronyism

About

Wrote about Anna Anthrophy, also an occasional contributor to her site Offworld, at least in seven total articles, 2010 to 2015, without disclosing their friendship, shown both from their Twitter conversations and indirect means.
Corruption

Apparent

Corruption

About

Positive coverage of Zoe Quinn in three articles, without disclosing their friendship and eventual affair. Later covered Quinn again, disclosing they "dated briefly", but not that he had previously financially supported her.
Cronyism

Apparent

Cronyism

About

Coverage of Riot Games and League of Legends in at least seven articles, without disclosing his relationship with several Riot Games employees, especially Taylor Cocke.
Covered games that were represented by public relations agency TriplePoint in at least eight occasions without disclosing his friendship with Stephanie Palermo, who at the time was working for TriplePoint and involved in said games PR work. After Palermo joined Capcom’s PR department Grayson covered that company and its games four times.
Positive coverage of White Whale games, with no disclosure of his personal relationship with both members of White Whale.
Positive coverage of Gaymer X, with no disclosure of his friendship with its president Toni Rocca.
Positive coverage of his friend Robin Arnott in six articles published through three months.
Positive coverage of Porpentine, without disclosing they worked together at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Postive coverage of Nina Freeman on two occasions, without disclosing their friendship.
Wrote about Butt Sniffing Pugs without disclosing his personal relationship with Maya Kramer, the game's logistics coordinator.
Wrote at least five articles about Mattie Brice, without disclosing their personal relationship, which involves multiple meetups and Grayson getting involved with one of Brice's games.
Cronyism

Possible

Cronyism

About

Gave positive coverage to Deirdra Kiai in three articles, disclosing their friendship only in one.
Sensationalism

Apparent

Sensationalism

About

Agenda driven non-interview of Ubisoft’s Mark Thompson, titled “Ubisoft refused to talk to me about women”, spent entirely offering his proofless, subjective prospective on things his subject allegedly didn't say. This piece followed another controversy-chasing article—over a nonissue—by Grayson, who had also previously engaged in a discussed, interrupted interview with Blizzard. By its timing, the Ubisoft interview may have been the cause of Kotaku’s claimed blacklisting.
Sensationalism

Not

Sensationalism

About

Often accused of plagiarism because one article of his directly copies text from a French one. However, the original plagiarism was by the author of the Imgur post that Grayson quoted as source.
Cronyism

Apparent

Cronyism

About

Wrote two times about Sunset, without disclosing her friendship with fellow journalist and occasional Kotaku contributor Leigh Alexander, who was involved in the game through her consulting company Agency for Games.
Covered Cameron Kunzelman at least two times without disclosing he had been a staff member at Nightmare Mode—a gaming outlet of which Hernandez was a founder and editor-in-chief—since at least as early as November 2012.
Covered Dylan Holmes on two different occasions for Kotaku without disclosing that he was a writer for Nightmare Mode—a gaming news outlet of which Hernandez was a founder and Editor-in-Chief—since at least as early as October 2011, prior to when Hernandez had covered him.
Plugged Jonas Kyratzes without disclosing that he had been a writer for Nightmare Mode—a gaming outlet of which Hernandez was founder and Editor-in-Chief—since at least as early as November 2012, prior to this coverage.
Cronyism

Amended

Cronyism

About

Wrote six times about her roommate Anna Antrophy, originally without disclosure.
Wrote about her former partner Christine Love in three articles, originally disclosing their relationship only in the first. Disclosure was added to both other articles after its absence was publicly pointed out.
Wrote two times about her friend Zoe Quinn, originally without disclosure.
Wrote two times promoting Kickstarters by GaymerX, originally without disclosing her friendship with its president Tony Rocca and other staff.
Wrote two articles about games by the controversial Mattie Brice, initially disclosing their friendship only in the first one — which is liked in the second. Article was updated with disclosure as well in 2015.
Cronyism

Possible

Cronyism

About

Covered Merritt Kopas at least three times between December 2012 and October 2013, without disclosing that Kopas has been writing for Nightmare Mode—a gaming news outlet of which Hernandez was founder and an editor-in-chief—since at least as early as November 2012. An article under the byline “Kotaku Staff”, written on February 2014—after Hernandez joined Kotakupromoted Kopas again without disclosure. Hernandez covered Kopas again on April 2016, but in this time she disclosed that she and Kopas worked together on a book.
Sensationalism

Amended

Sensationalism

About

Wrote the perhaps most famous article on the Max Temkin accusations, where she claimed Temkin ”spent too much time defending himself, and not enough time contemplating the idea that he might‘ve messed up“. Article was later amended, and Kotaku admitted it was a misfire.
Sensationalism

Possible

Sensationalism

About

Sensationalist article criticizing of the use of the word "rape" as an euphemism for "one-sided victory" in online gaming.
Cronyism

Not

Cronyism

About

Following the publicity of her other conflicts of interest, has been accused of writing about David S. Gallant without disclosing an existing friendship that their existing public conversations don't seem to solidly prove.
Dishonesty

Apparent

Dishonesty

About

Managed to twist GamerGate catching the harasser Mateus Sousa into an article blaming GamerGate's "atmosphere" for Sousa's actions.
Released scandalmongering article about a drunk journalist hitting on a developer — but calls a colleague having an affair with a developer he favorably covered just a few days before not news worthy.
His followup article after the end of the trial for the false Brad Wardell accusations echoes the false narrative of Kotaku's original piece by Kate Cox and completely inverts the real timing of the lawsuits.
Following allegations of cronyism between Brandon Boyer and Stephen Thirion, he wrote an article minimizing the issues, calling them "misguided at best" and comparing them to a conspiracy theory, since the person used as a source to confirm these ties denied having discussed them when he asked. Hasn't updated the article or returned on the subject when more proof of Thirion and Boyer's relationship surfaced — not only confirming this relationship existed and showing that Thirion had received coverage from Boyer multiple times, but that Boyer was involved in at least five other conflicts of interest of comparable magnitude.
Sensationalism

Apparent

Sensationalism

About

Initiated a moral panic surrounding the game Dragon’s Crown—first, on Kotaku, by comparing the art direction of the game’s artist and Vanillaware president George Kamitani to the work of a “14-year-old-boy”. After a response from Kamitani and some backlash, Schreier doubled down with a longer article—which included an apology for his tone—and, especially, with some infamous forum posts where he accused the game’s large-chested sorceress character of inciting pedophilia. His criticism generated much backlash, with his Editor-in-Chief eventually addressing it, stating Schreier had been misunderstood.
Wrote two articles about a specific scene in the 2013 Tomb Raider prequel, eventually taking his reporting into scandalmongering territory.
Wrote a heavily circulated article about Trendy Entertainment, and a couple of follow-ups. In these articles,his anonymous sources described lots of issues at the “Video game studio from hell”, laying all the blame on then-president Jeremy Stieglitz. Issues included unfair crunch hours, bad management decisions, and, worst of all, offering lower wages to women candidates for the same positions. In 2016, a throughly researched article showed most of Schreier’s claims were heavily questionable: several of his sources were working at a competitor of Trendy, the woman offered a lower wage was significantly less qualified, and Trendy’s mismanagement seemed to come from individuals other than Stieglitz. Stieglitz lost his position immediately after the article, while actually still working for Trendy and being forced to co-operate with the people who had defamed him. The article was also eventually brought as evidence when Insight (Trendy’s owner) sued Stieglitz and the more-successful company he had founded, forcing him to settle for 40 million dollars.
Dishonesty

Apparent

Dishonesty

About

Handwaved the Grayson sex scandal, claiming it wasn't an ethical issue because Grayson's article about Quinn was not a review and it was written on March 31, when they were just professional acquaintances.
Claimed that harassment caused Brianna Wu to leave her home, despite her history of farfetched claims and the ambiguous circumstances of the doxing, and never updated the article despite the the very strong evidence that, apart from an already planned weekend at Comicon, she had never actually left her home, aside from the numerous outrageous claims and apparent false flags that mined Wu’s credibility afterwards.
Sensationalism

Amended

Sensationalism

About

Corruption

Not

Corruption

About

Initially handwaved the Doritosgate scandal as "not important" and "tired nonsense" — later retracting the statement after significant backlash, and producing perhaps the most exhaustive article on the subject, used as a source on DeepFreeze's own article as well.
Collusion

Apparent

Collusion

About

Provided Kotaku's entry in the Gamers are dead media blitz, a brief article mostly quoting Leigh Alexander's.
Corruption

Apparent

Corruption

About

Criticized detractors of the Call of Duty series — calling them "stupid", "idiots", "obnoxious elitist[s]" and even "asshole[s]" while his site was running an extensive Call of Duty ad campaign.
Censorship

Apparent

Censorship

About

Advocated for the censorship of the Tentacle Bento card game, arguably contributing to its Kickstarter's cancellation.
Sensationalism

Apparent

Sensationalism

About

Rewrote basically the same article on "Project Cars" over six times.
Sensationalism

Possible

Sensationalism

About

Corruption

Possible

Corruption

About

Wrote an article of praise for Diablo 3's contested DRM while his site was running a massive Diablo 3 ad campaign. He did backtrack two years later, after Diablo 3's developers had dropped the DRM themselves.
Cronyism

Apparent

Cronyism

About

Gave positive coverage to Gone Home without disclosing his admitted personal relationship with the game's voice actress Sarah Elmaleh.
Gave postive coverage to Redshirt without disclosing his very friendly relationship with the game's author Mitu Khandaker Kokoris.
Gave positive coverage to Joust without disclosing his friendly relationship with creator Douglas Wilson and game's voice actress Sarah Elmaleh.
Covered the videogame Volume, which was a customer of Agency for Games—a company owned and founded by fellow journalist Leigh Alexander. Agency’s involvement in the Volume’s design has beenconfirmed by Bithell to have started prior to when Hamilton covered the game. Alexander and Hamilton have a very clearly a friendly relationship—exchanging tweets since 2009, meeting extremely frequently, working together. Hamilton’s article on Volume contains no disclosure of this relationship. Hamilton also covered Alexander directly several times—articles about Alexander contain very partial disclosures,while namedrops don’t disclose anything.
Dishonesty

Apparent

Dishonesty

About

Wrote about the doxing of actress Felicia Day following her blog post criticizing GamerGate. Took GamerGate's guilt as granted, despite it being impossible to prove and GamerGate hubs having mild reactions to Day's blog, universally condemning people calling for a reaction to it as shills and immediately condemning the dox. Hamilton also claimed the lack of harassment towards certain GamerGate critics as a point against the consumer revolt, and that the harassment targeting GamerGate activists was irrelevant in comparison. While the claim that Day was not actually doxed, with the leak containing data referring to her talent agency, is disputed and likely false, there is circumstantial evidence that makes the dox appear likely to have been undertaken by GamerGate's opposition or by third parties.
Cronyism

Apparent

Cronyism

About

Gave positive coverage to Nina Freeman in two articles, without disclosing their friendship.
Sensationalism

Apparent

Sensationalism

About

First to publish the false Brad Wardell accusations with the original one-sided article that started the scandal and was eventually thoroughly debunked.
Accused Twisted Metal creator David Scott Jaffe of being a misogynist for a juvenile joke during an interview. Slightly adjusted her position in a followup article. Was defended by her then-EiC Stephen Totilo in both a dissatisfied comments section and a fairly famous conversation with Jaffe recorded by Ben Kuchera.
Cronyism

Apparent

Cronyism

About

Wrote about Iron Galaxy studios and their game Divekick without disclosing his personal relationship with the studio's David Lang — defined as "friendly" by Lang himself.
Sensationalism

Amended

Sensationalism

About

Article about Kickstarter's recent trend of being used for partial rather than full funding of games, whose original a headline accusing projects of "Lying about game budgets", implied to be talking about the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter. Article was promptly amended, with Klepek admitting the mistake.
Sensationalism

Apparent

Sensationalism

About

His article on X-Men Destiny used only the opinions of anonymous unverifiable sources with no independent proof or factual data to back the heavy allegations toward Silicon Knighs and their manager Denis Dyack. The allegations in the article were later denied by Dyack who offered his explanation for the issues that prompted the article.

Censorship, Dishonesty and Sensationalism emblems may be based on subjective criteria.

Readers are encouraged to take entries critically, and form their opinion independently.

Kotaku
Address
www.kotaku.com

Site is boycotted. Proceed anyway?
Yes No

Activity
Founded in 2004
Part of
Gizmodo Media
with io9, Jezebel
Editor-in-Chief
Stephen Totilo

About

The gaming blog of the former Gawker network, following Gawker's demise it has been acquired by Univision in 2016, apparently without significant changes in its operation.

Originally founded in October 2004 and, after a rocky start, Brian Crecente was brought in, heading the site until 2012.

Kotaku features frequent social commentary and trivia articles alongside gaming content. Its reviews have historically never featured scores.

Its focus on fringe content brought it occasionally to interesting coverage of gaming scandals, but also involved it in several controversies, including major ones such as the slander of Brad Wardell and the cronyism scandal, involving Nathan Grayson, that sparked the GamerGate consumer revolt. It's up to debate if the site's fairly frequent blacklisting is caused by more by the hard-hitting journalism or the scandalmongering.

GamerGate info

It has been GamerGate's perhaps most criticized target, aggressively attacked by the consumer revolt's operations and frequently brought up as the quintessential example of bad gaming journalism — with Kotaku in turn responding with extremely negative GamerGate coverage, although the coverage has dwindled and there have been some minor changes to its ethical policy early in the controversy.

Gamergate Involvement
Boycotted
(What does this mean?)