The accounts written by Mandy, Hanna, Jennifer, and Vivka sound genuine to me. I see no reason why they would fabricate their experiences and put themselves through this experience.
Zak's response and those of some of his close friends haven't addressed the accusations, instead focusing on discrediting Mandy and painting Zak in a positive light.
Since the accusations we've seen an almost unanimous renouncement of Zak, severing of contact, and re-thinking previous support of him. When the accusations came to light he was banned from the OSR Discord server.
More interestingly, this has been followed by a stream of people saying that they had avoided engaging with the community while Zak was such a central part of it, and now feel comfortable joining in.
I didn’t fully appreciate the amount to which somebody can be technically correct, but still make the community a worse place.
I didn’t trust my judgement of character. Like so many others I knew Zak behaved like a jerk but gave him far too much leeway.
I was overly hung up on the fear of Zak having his own OSR Discord channel, and the danger of him being sole moderator of the main channel of OSR communication. This made me overly cautious in my treatment of him.
I'm sorry for the harm that the above mistakes caused to other users of the server.
- The way rules are presented can influence the perceived culture of the server.
- Some people will push their behaviour right up to the boundaries of any rules.
- You never know how many people are holding their voices back.
Now my focus on creating a community with positive, respectful culture rather than living by hard rules. People will still be accountable, but we will live within human limits.