Statement Regarding Allegations Against BLACKWING Author Ed McDonald
Many of you will have seen the recent allegations against Ed McDonald on social media this past week. The Fantasy Hive has now seen irrefutable evidence that these allegations have been falsified.
We have been made aware that Ed McDonald has been targeted for online harassment and abuse, for which there is also irrefutable evidence. The evidence proves beyond all doubt that one or two individuals have utilised multiple social media accounts with the express purpose of spreading malicious rhetoric against McDonald, and making it appear that ‘reports’ are coming from numerous sources, when in fact they all come from a single source.
This source has never met Ed McDonald in person.
It is now very clear that McDonald has been exposed to a long and malicious campaign of harassment by someone who has abused the trust and confidence of people within the SFF community, over and over.
In light of this, it is asked that members of the fantasy community:
- Do not name the individual(s) behind the allegations – even if you suspect who they are. The individuals do not deserve any further attention. Their names have not been mentioned here on purpose.
- Do not pursue the individual(s) behind the allegations. Do not cause them any distress. Doing so may impact pending legal action.
- Please do welcome Ed McDonald as a member of the community. Any further harassment will not be tolerated.
Due to the aforementioned pending legal action, the evidence against McDonald’s accusers has not yet been made public. However, to prevent gossip, the following overview has been provided to summarise these events:
- A number of social media accounts across multiple platforms have been linked to, at most, two individuals behind the allegations.
- These accounts use different personas (including names, real-world locations and background information).
- These accounts have pretended to be different individuals to spread falsified allegations in open and closed groups, and in private chats.
- These accounts have made comments in support of posts made by each other, as well as shares and likes.
- At least one account is in a position of authority in a public internet forum. This authority was abused throughout this case, and ultimately Ed McDonald was banned from the forum after he tried to defend himself against the allegations.
Additional note from the editor:
The Fantasy Hive would like to make it clear that false allegations such as those leveled against Ed McDonald are damaging to both the individual(s) accused and to the community as a whole, and are dangerously harmful to real victims and their ability to be heard.
In this particular case, the accusations have not only caused irreparable damage to an author’s reputation and mental wellbeing, but have also negatively impacted those who were manipulated into aiding the accuser in sharing them on social media. The SFF bloggers who were involved in making the allegations public have apologized and retracted their statements, and the Hive would also like to make it clear that these individuals were victims here too. The accuser(s) abused the bloggers’ trust and went to extreme lengths to convince them to use their platforms to perpetuate what turned out to be false claims. The bloggers are not to blame here.
Finally, we once again urge readers not to speculate publicly about the identities of those discussed in this post, lest it interfere with the ongoing investigation.