Near, creator of SNES emulators bsnes and higan, has died
Near, the creator of SNES emulators bsnes and higan, has died.
Hector Martin, a friend of Near, tweeted a Google Doc detailing the events leading up to the untimely death. Based on the account (TW: suicide, self-harm), as well as on Near’s Twitter account, they have experienced harassment from the internet – ranging from bullying to doxing. “I have spoken to the police department in charge of the investigation,” Martin tweets, “and they have confirmed that Near passed away yesterday, June 27th 2021.”
The escalating harassment experienced by Near, particularly by Kiwi Farms, led to their death. “I would have kept going if Joshua Moon had shown me just the tiniest bit of compassion,” Near tweets shortly before their death. “But he chose not to. That’s not on me, that’s on him. That’s on every last person who pushed me to this point and didn’t let up. I never deserved any of this.” Joshua Moon is the owner of Kiwi Farms. Kiwi Farms is an American Internet Forum focused on trolling, harassing, and doxing people they deem to be “lolcows,” or people that can be milked for laughs. Kiwi Farms has been linked to the deaths of Chloe Sagal in 2018 as well as being implicated in the sharing of live streams and videos of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings.
Near’s death is unfortunate. Their work in emulation spanned almost a decade, with projects bsnes and higan being successful efforts in video game conservation. However, harassment on the internet continues to cause pain and death, with harassment being widespread and increasingly toxic. Thankfully, there are institutions that are willing to help victims of harassment and help them get better. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. A list of international suicide hotlines can be found here.