Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida says he knows how to deal with Internet hate

As president of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida probably gets a lot of hate from unhappy fans. Everybody’s a critic, and with platform’s like Twitter, people can (and do) send lots of angry words his way. “They love to hate me now!” Yoshida told Kinda Funny Games’ Greg Miller at Sony’s PlayStation Experience fan convention last week.

Speaking with Miller on Kinda Funny Games’ PlayStation podcast PS I Love You XOXO, Yoshida said that, when it comes to abusive fans, he prefers to let the chaos of the internet sort itself out.

“It’s been great to talk directly to people, and we get direct, immediate, spontaneous response[s] from people whenever we announce [new products],” Yoshida said. “[It’s] mostly good, but sometimes it’s disappointing for some people. Some people get really angry, and  send me hate tweets. And the way I’m dealing with these hate-tweets is with other people in the same community trying to tell those people that hate speech on the internet doesn’t help their cause. There’s a sort of mutual self-policing going on.”

Though this approach doesn’t always work as well as it should, Yoshida also noted that many of his angriest critics operate under the impression that he doesn’t see or read their messages.

“More often than not, when I return to write to those people, who say those nasty things, they kind of quickly tone [it] down,” he said. “Truly they didn’t expect me to reply. When they see me responding, they are like ‘Oh ok, now I have to deal [with him] as a human being.'”

He also said he empathized with them, because he believes that even the ones who can’t be talked down from a place of abuse, reach that position because they are emotionally invested in the games he’s made.

“The last couple days was [sic] tough,” Yoshida said. “Because I can see the pain in some people [who were] expecting some announcement that didn’t happen. And these people feel ignored. … It must be frustrating or disappointing, because those people are really passionate, right?”

In the end, Yoshida doesn’t let angry trolls get him down. He said “jetlag” was the most difficult part of his job.


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