TSSZ, a Sonic fan site that had been running since 1999, closed over the weekend, not long after the site’s owner posted a very bad tweet comparing the plight of Black Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement to...some stuff that fictional video game character Sonic the Hedgehog has been through.
Though the Tweet in question has since been deleted, here’s a screenshot of it:
That is a Very Bad Tweet! But there’s a lot of that going around right now, so you’d expect that once it was challenged (which it swiftly was) the owner would do the usual and either delete it, apologise, or both.
Nope. Instead every Tweet ever made on the account has been deleted, and even more extremely, the entire site has been taken down, over two decades’ worth of Sonic news (we’ve linked the site several times) and opinion pieces from a score of writers, just gone. Anyone trying to access it now is greeted with a landing page and the following:
Everything is an extraordinary circumstance right now. Too much is happening that makes Sonic, Sega, or video game news, frankly, unimportant. Our community and our world demands better, but now does so to unsustainable extremes. And in that, TSSZ can no longer be the platform it should be. The decision has been made to permanently close TSSZ, effective immediately.
This site and those behind it have been accountable to you for the better part of 21 years. Amid our strong coverage of community events, stories that drew the ire of movers and shakers at every level, and Tweets that did little to navigate the waters of the social media cesspool, all of it was with the intent to make you think. The collective success of our team members, past and present, leaves no doubt of our impact.
Much will be speculated about closing in our current climate. Silence, indeed, is not an option. This platform has championed and molded change for nearly its entire tenure. With what is in front of all of us, it can no longer effectively do so—certainly not without continued deluded pleas for escapism and ignorance.
There is nothing to celebrate in this decision. Another voice in the community is lost. Another avenue for accountability is cut off. Another perspective on the world around us is gone. With any luck, better voices and perspectives will replace it.
TSSZ has endured 21 years of strong reporting born from strong collective decisions that few ever see or know of. There is little else for the platform to prove. Our team, now largely comprised of working adults, has bigger to fish to fry, and better lives to live.
As for me, T, I encourage all in these times to use their platform for a greater good. If the messages and issues you’ve seen from me here and elsewhere weren’t effective, craft better messages. It’s easy to shout people down, and cancel people and content you don’t agree with. It’s more difficult to take the uncomfortable step into the shoes of an agent for change—for yourself, and for others. I am confident in the collective power of the community this platform has covered for over 20 years to do just that.
To a good future.
Thank you for joining us for this installment of “huh, OK, these are the times we now live in.”