My Response regarding Byuu / Near -

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Featured on Jun 29, 2021 at 5:15 PM: My response regarding Byuu / Near
I've addressed this during the downtime on an error page but I am making another statement here. We'll likely experience more downtime as people continue to be outraged.

On June 27th, Henry Martin (@marcan42 on Twitter) published a Google Doc stating that an emulator developer named Near (or Byuu) had committed suicide. He went on to explicitly blame the Kiwi Farms for harassing Byuu. He also listed the names of two third-party service providers, implying people should harass them in retribution.

1. No evidence of Kiwi Farms users harassing Byuu exists.
Byuu had a 13 page thread on the forum. Byuu participated in this thread. You can read the thread in archives here. Threads on this site often grow to thousands of pages, so thirteen is very small. I encourage you to read it for yourself before making assumptions about what was said or done to Byuu.

Last year, Byuu joined the forum to talk to users in his thread. You can read his posts in archives here and here. In his messages, he said:
So sincerely, and only in my case and no one else's, thank you for the wake-up call here OP. No hard feelings. I'm not asking you to take it down, and I know you never would anyway. Keep it. Mirror it. Put it on a titanium disk and ship it into space. I'll own all of my mistakes. If you ever get a DMCA or GDPR request or some bullshit on this, it's not me. Send me an e-mail and I'll counter-claim it myself. People do impersonate me (eg on Stormfront), so keep your guard up against any false flagging or white knighting, please. I support free speech absolutely, even when it's speech I don't like, because silencing it only makes things worse. I even defended Tom in the recent Goemon translation controversy, knowing that'd lose me support among my friends. And I'll lose a lot of support by simply posting here at all. So be it.

People on Twitter (who do not participate in the forum and actively want to see it shut down) frequently claim that we are an "organized harassment site" designed to "drive people to suicide". This is not true. Our rule about "no trolling plans" and otherwise not messing with people is not for liability. The principle of "look, don't touch" is built into the zeitgeist of the community. The users on this website are ordinary people who want to watch the trash TV of the Internet. With limited exception (see: Zoosadism and Nick Bate), there is no desire to see people harmed.

2. There is no evidence that Byuu is dead.
The only source of this suicide is the Twitter user marcan42, who himself is a secondary source citing a totally anonymous person.

The Google Doc describes a preposterous scenario where a real life friend of Byuu was called late at night, and then he proceeded to sit on the phone for 30 minutes while his friend overdosed and killed himself. The document describes the music playing in the background, but nothing else. No discussion, no attempts to stop him, no attempts to call welfare services. This is an unrealistic story described in such a way which does not hold up to scrutiny.

In the emails to me (described below), Byuu claimed he had no real life friends. The document claims that this person had sushi with Byuu the week before.

Byuu himself is anonymous. In the years that the Kiwi Farms (famous for 'doxing') had a thread on Byuu, no one had a first or last name for him. Nobody knew where he lived. Nobody knew what he looked like. None of his personal information is in that thread. Even right now, we cannot do a wellness check to see if he's alive.

Marcan's last tweet about Byuu came a day after his first. He says that he, with no relation to Byuu, called the police of Tokyo and that they confirmed, over the phone, that Byuu was dead. This is not how the police operate in any country, never mind Japan, where personal privacy is deeply revered in their society. Marcan's claim that the police would do this seriously undermines his credibility.

3. Byuu has a history of manipulative behavior.
He made a post on his forum (which has since been deleted) accusing a rival emulator developer named Squarepusher from Retroarch of harassing him for a decade. A copy of this post is here.

In 2020, he posted that he retired from emulation development (archive). He became reclusive and triggered people into wondering if he had committed suicide (archive). He hadn't, and returned to development months later.

4. Byuu tried to extort me.
Byuu emailed me the day before posting his tweet chain. You can read it here. In it, he attempted to extort me. Byuu claimed that if I did not delete all information about him on the forum, he would kill himself and blame me.

He offered me $120,000 cash. He also offered me his services helping write software for the Kiwi Farms. I saw this as a legally and morally dubious offer at best, entrapment at worst, so I declined.

I told him I would have to consult an attorney. He barely waited 12 hours after his first email before closing communications and deciding to go through with his plan at 3am my time.

In his emails to me, he promised a trusted friend would deliver a scan of his passport on Twitter within 5 hours of him killing himself as proof. Two days later, we still do not have this passport scan or any evidence he has killed himself besides the testimony of a Twitter user, citing an anonymous third party.

It personally interests me that the Google Doc names two third-party services the Kiwi Farms does actually use (albeit, neither 'host' the forum). This information is not obvious without educated scrutiny, because a lot of the Kiwi Farms's infrastructure is self-hosted and owned directly by me - unlike most websites online. Marcan was both very fast and very accurate in finding and naming these two unaffiliated companies. I don't believe that he could have found that information in the timeframes between Byuu's last email to me, the alleged phone call, and the document that Marcan posted.

The Kiwi Farms is an entertainment site. It is a lighthearted discussion forum that exists to talk about people. It's not a Jigsaw-esque torture chamber to teach people the value of life. It's Internet nerds gossiping about their favorite e-celebs. It's catty women talking about fat girls on YouTube. Sometimes, it's even anime avatars talking about vtubers. These are ordinary people who are having fun on the Internet, and everyone is welcome to join us.

In the 8 years we've been around, Byuu is the first person with a thread on the forum to name the Kiwi Farms as a cause of suicide - despite previously claiming he did not care about it. I believe he has made choices regarding his medication (including the decision to ignore his doctor's orders by self-medicating HRT) that induced an altered state of mind.

Regardless of the truth, Twitter's reaction to this sends a dangerous message to troubled people: the best form of revenge is a suicide note.

I hope Byuu is alive and I wish him well. However, I will not be extorted.
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