Overwatch YouTuber Harassed Following Reddit Witch Hunt

by Tanner Dedmon

(Photo: Activision Blizzard)

A Reddit thread on the r/Overwatch subreddit resulted in a significant witch hunt against the popular YouTuber OhNickel over the weekend.

Despite its usefulness in terms of community feedback, in-game knowledge, and direct contact to developers and their employees, not all of the discussions found on many popular subreddits, such as those geared towards Overwatch and League of Legends, result in the betterment of the games' communities. This past weekend was an example of the flip-side of the threads that come from these forums when a Redditor known as Vitalechz made claims against OhNickel that eventually were found to be false, but not until the YouTuber felt the backlash from the community. 

With a following of just over 780,000 viewers, OhNickel will occasionally propose contests via his videos and his Twitter with Steam giveaways as prizes. In the Reddit thread, the user Vitalechz claimed that after winning one of OhNickel's contests about two months ago, they had still not received their contest reward that was promised to them.

Like many witch hunts that begin on Reddit, it didn't take long for members of the community to begin targeting OhNickel despite concerns that they should first verify Vitalechz's claims. A wave of downvote brigades cascaded onto OhNickel's YouTube account to damage his videos' ratings and attacking him via Twitter as well, an assault that caught him off guard due to it's sudden and relentless nature. Some Redditors even went as far as to offer compensation to Vitalechz for the perceived wrongdoings.

The claims made by Vitalechz soon turned out to be false, however, as it was revealed that the poster was not who they claimed to be. The real Vitalechz caught wind of the situation and posted proof on his Twitter that he had indeed received his reward from OhNickel back in March, posting an email conversation that confirmed the counterclaim.

It seems that the Redditor who initiated the witch hunt only had to adopt the real user's Twitter handle in order to rally people against OhNickel. The YouTuber responded not long after the event occured, stating that the volume of people that came after him made much more sense after he saw that the post received enough traction to explode out of the subreddit and onto the front page.

[via Kotaku]