Bahamut Lagoon News: NEAR HAD BEEN A VICTIM OF HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE DUE TO HIS GENDER IDENTITY WHICH LEADED HIM TO THIS POINT IN HIS LIFE
He had developed some of the first computer video game emulators. Bsnes had been released especially for an audience without technical experience. But, not only for that had Near been celebrated, he had also done preservation work and full translations of extensive RPGs like Bahamut Lagoon.
Some of Near’s conservation work ranged from thousands of classic video game art scans to historical objects like Stephen Hawking’s synthesized voice. However, none of his achievements stopped the violent harassment he had received online for years, according to his friend, Hector Martín.
NEAR SHARED ITS LAST MESSAGES ON TWITTER
According to his social networks, Near (or Byuu as they also knew him) confessed that the abuse he had received from Kiwi Farms had become intolerable. Kiwi Farms is an anonymous internet community that is defined like this: ‘Community dedicated to discussing eccentric people who become a joke. Explore the abnormal psychology and mind of the follies of the internet. ‘
So, they made Near a target for his harassment and violence. And, concerns for his health grew from the messages he shared:
‘The truth is that I have been harassed, ridiculed and humiliated all my life. From my early school years until now. It has always been so painful that I cannot put it into words. I could only tolerate it along with heavy depression when it was on 4chan. But, Kiwi Farms has taken it to a worse level. Their attack has escalated towards me for being autistic, they have attacked and shared private information of my friends, they have tried to make them commit suicide, only for me to react. I lost one of my best friends because of this. I feel responsible. ‘
After these first messages, Near clarifies that he has tried all kinds of therapies and treatments, disconnecting from the world, etc. But, every so often, he was another bullying, another case, more. Elle continues:
‘The internet is not a game. It is real life. I am a real person. This really hurts me. Here, I have put my life. I have no ‘real life’ friends. I have no other reason to live, only this. And, now I have nothing. It’s too late for me, pray that someone else can do something against that site. There are many people suffering and nobody cares because we are relatively nobody. Evil triumphs when good people do nothing. ‘
Before finishing his last thread on Twitter, Near mentions that he wants to be remembered for his work, for everything he has done. And, he appreciates the compassion and support he has received over the years.
WHY DO WE TOLERATE BULLYING ONLINE? MARCAN ASKED
According to those who knew him on the internet, Kiwi Farms focused its harassment on Near for being furry, for being part of the LGBT + community and for being trans. Elle was a non-binary trans person.
Marcan was the last person with whom she had contact and with whom he had had contact in Japan several times with her.
He shared a document on what had happened to Near lately:
“Near took his own life.” This is how new articles have described what happened, as if suicide were a voluntary action, a problem with oneself and that’s it. Implying that there is no one to blame except the victim (…) But, this is not how the human mind works. We are not cold and calculating machines, we are a product of our environment. We are shaped by our experiences and a single powerfully traumatic event can change a person forever. ‘
Marcan goes on to talk about Near’s accomplishments throughout his career as a developer, from his preservation and emulation work to his titanic translation work. And, then he continues:
‘Near didn’t kill himself, he was murdered. He was the victim of a life of harassment; from child abuse, from a toxic community, and eventually was targeted by Kiwi Farms. This website preys on its sport to the less fortunate people, who have received emotional abuse. From the comfort of anonymity, of sitting at a computer for miles, they have fun destroying people’s psyches. Until death, if possible.
Despite this, Near had managed to survive the emotional abuse. But, Kiwi Farms is a relentless bunch. They didn’t stop at hurting him psychologically and emotionally, they went after what Near valued most: her friendships. They harassed them, published their private information and forced one of them to commit suicide. That broke Near. ‘
Marcan confesses that this was a point of no return for her great friendship. And, before finishing her document, she wonders:
‘Why do we tolerate this?
‘Harassment’, ‘Online bullying’ How is this different from a terrorist attack, someone taking a gun and taking the life of another person? Why does it matter that there is no physical bullet in the crime? The objective and the result were the same. To say: ‘Near took his life’ is to take responsibility from those people, who directly caused the death of a person ’
‘As an internet community, we need to understand what it means to tolerate communities like this and their actions. Not just Kiwi Farms, places like that like to get people like that together. They exist in all communities and social networks. Maintaining a passive attitude to such a problem is being an accomplice. ‘
Rest in peace, Near (Byuu).
Similarly, if you live in Mexico and require psychological help, we recommend these free services:
National System of Support, Psychological Council and Crisis Intervention by Telephone (SAPTEL) or by phone (55) 5259-8121
The Metropolitan Autonomous University also has the UAM Line to the telephones (55) 5804-644 and (55) 5804-4879
Distance Psychological Care from UNAM (55) 5025-0855
National Institute of Psychiatry (800) 953-1704