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  1. I have avoided the ToonKriticY2K thread for the past several days. I noticed that it very much turned into a Debate Pit-esque thread in which a few members of our forum community (who will not be named) have lashed out. And it is completely understandable that they are having difficulty dealing with the disgusting actions of a prominent member of the fandom as a whole. I wanted to let all of this process for a bit before saying something apart from merely condemning ToonKritic's actions, which I have already done on a few occasions. About a week ago, I first learned about Toon's actions via a video that gave a basic rundown of the situation. I have been a brony for over 3 and a half years now. I often took to the internet for my fix of pony-related content long before I even made a Poniverse account. During that time, I grew to enjoy the brony analysis community on YouTube: their personalities, their unique insights, and above all, their passion for what they love. While I wasn't really a fan of ToonKritic's content from his own channel, I certainly recognized him from the wide array of collaborations that he did with other people in the analysis community. I even came across some of his writing on Fimfiction and enjoyed what he brought to the table. It pained me to find out what Toon has been doing behind the scenes. And at first, I didn't even know the full extent of what had been happening. I looked into the situation even more and eventually I learned that ToonKritic had been engaging in similar illicit acts with minors for more than a decade. I already knew that what he had done was heinous and has no place in not only this fandom, but a civil society. But as I dug deeper, things began to look even worse. I am incredibly ashamed of members of this fandom who have allowed such perverse activities, no matter how serious they actually were, to continue for a long time. I am ashamed of members of the fandom, specifically the analysis community, who learned about the full extent of ToonKritic's sexual abuse of minors, and kept their mouths shut about it until a Skype call and various screenshots of Toon's interactions with his victims were leaked. Pedophilia, and indeed ALL forms of sexual abuse or harassment, are not something to be taken lightly. There are victims whose livelihoods were shattered by the actions of a manipulative child sexual predator. They will forever have to live with the memories of this man taking advantage of them. Justice needs to be served, but that alone is not enough. What about other people who have suffered at the hands of members of this fandom? It is an odd coincidence that a thread about pedophilia and underage dating in the MLP Forums community showed up in the Feedback section over a week before ToonKritic's behavior was made public. And this reminded me that incidents of a similar nature have happened close to home. This community is made up of people from their teens all the way to their 40s. In a setting where adults are grouped with and allowed to interact with minors, then there is a risk of abuse. I'm not saying that the majority of adult users of this forum would do such a thing. I'm not stereotyping adult users of the site, because I myself am a 20 year old. But it appears to me that in some way, shape, or form, there have been underage members of this very community who were victimized by older users (who were then given appropriate consequences). And that hurts. Yes, the fandom has proven time and time again to be a force for good and positivity in the world. It has broken down barriers. It has changed lives for the better, like my own. It has been a light in the lives of many people in this dark world. But every group is going to have its bad apples. If we won't bring to light and discuss the truth that sexual abuse can and does exist within this fandom, then how are we going to fix the problem? While the fandom has been a wonderful thing for many people, staying silent about a problem we are aware of for the sake of preventing controversy is a disaster waiting to happen. What do you care about more? The public's view of a fandom that is honestly already stigmatized to begin with, or the innocent young people who have fallen victim to abusers who just so happened to be bronies? So in light of the ToonKritic mess, I have this to say to the members of this forum, and indeed all members of this fandom who may happen to lurk on the site without being active contributers. If you are being victimized by a member of this forum, this fandom, or anybody else, then there are people you can reach out to for support. We have administrators and other staff here who have dealt with abusive situations within the community before. There are authorities who can help you get out of an unsafe situation. And I honestly believe that there are good people within this very community who you can talk to and who will be there to support you. You are not alone. As for myself? I have noticed quite a bit of talk--not just here, but indeed across all places on the internet where bronies congregate--about leaving the fandom behind in light of the controversy. I will not be leaving the fandom as a result of the actions of people like ToonKritic. I believe that it is your choice, and your choice alone, to stay or to leave. If you no longer feel comfortable in the fandom, then I respect that. But I am incredibly ashamed of the members of the community who have committed such acts of abuse, and who let such things slide without making it clear that there is a problem. I sincerely hope that together, we can tackle this problem head-on, and foster not just a forum community, but a fandom with no tolerance for sexual abuse, harassment, or misconduct in any form, as well as a positive culture that seeks to empower the individual fans in the community and make a positive difference in their lives. -------------------------------------- So, with that, I thank you for reading this. I didn't plan on it being this long, but I needed to vent and express my thoughts on the matter.