Community Cyberbullying: TSSZ Mocks ‘Fake Disease’

Community Cyberbullying: TSSZ Mocks ‘Fake Disease’

TSSZ News founder, Tristan Oliver Bresnen, has consciously published an unprovoked, veiled and malicious attack towards TSS’ own news writer, Shadzter. Shadzter has M.E., a legitimate disease also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The hate-filled and envy-laden libel was written when a reader of TSSZ light-heartedly joked about Bresnen being “late” with the news. This was his response;

“Well, SOTI, some of us had to dig out of a 30 inch snowstorm, and actually have to work for a living and not live off the taxpayer’s dime for some fake disease.”

TSSZ News has frequently published subtle jabs and digs at The Sonic Stadium for months, in an effort to beef up falling page hits. Its tactic is to offend TSS staffers and readers to the point where they will visit TSSZ News to comment and provide Bresnen with the hit-count he desires.

Several months ago, I personally told all TSS Staff to ignore such activity from TSSZ, in an effort to maintain a civil co-existence. Despite Bresnen’s continuing jealousy-fuelled attacks, we have succeeded in rising above the taunts. Realising that his usual strategy is not working, Bresnen has resorted to more extreme jabs, directly comparing and belitting The Sonic Stadium on its advertising page and implying that TSS’ recent Sonic 4 coverage was not motivated by fan excitement (rather as a “pursuit of precious page hits”).

Dreadknux Speaks Out

I’m not one to react so aggressively to someone attacking The Sonic Stadium. In fact, I’ve avoided TSSZ News for the best part of 6 months in an attempt to make things right. But if you’re going to be sinking to the lowest of the scum and cap one of my writers at the knees while he’s already down, you can bet your arse I’m going to respond passionately about it. This is an open letter to Tristan Bresnen, demanding an immediate apology to be published with an explanation for this unwarranted outburst.

I’m not going to sit by and idly watch other administrators verbally assault my own writers. With this statement, you’ve made things personal. And I want you to know that I am angry. I am angry that you have the balls to attack someone with a disability. Shadzter is one of the nicest, friendlist, and kindest people on my staff, if not the whole Sonic community. The very thought of you attacking him on such a heartless whim just beggars belief.

I make a point to be friends with absolutely everyone in the Sonic fan community. Even those that don’t agree with me, and even those that hate my guts I abide. But no matter how much I try, you always seem to want to attack me and my staff, Tristan. And all because we posted a news article before you? Bless.

Of course, knowing the kind of person you are, I fully expect a news story on TSSZ reporting on this very article, once again twisting my words in order to present yourself in a more positive light. Or perhaps without any twisting at all – you’ll thrive on the very discussion of whether you’re really as malicious as you look.

I could throw a countless number of profanities around to make my point. I could call you names back. Hell, I could even bring up that court case you were in, where you beat the shit out of a female journalist (sorry, was that a low blow? Oh, you know how it feels, then).

But I won’t. I simply post this to defend my staff, and the integrity of the Sonic fan community. I want people to read this and know what kind of a person you really are. Don’t you dare attack any of my friends again. And I’d just like to point out, your libel is illegal, and I can take legal action.

I await your heartfelt apology to Shadzter.

For more information on M.E, visit the M.E. Association’s website.

The Sonic Stadium may link to retailers and earn a small commission on purchases made from users who click those links. These links will only appear in articles related to the product, in an unobtrusive manner, and do not influence our editorial decisions in any way.

Published by


Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. Why this couldn’t have been a PM to him I don’t know, fair enough what he said was out of order, but making it an article on TSS? You realise your GIVING him the attention you think he wants here?

  2. This was something I considered, BlastedPinata.

    But I don’t believe that blatant cyberbullying should be hidden away. We otherwise pretend that the problem does not exist, or that we are living in fear of those that attack us.

    This is more than a letter to a single person. This is a profiling of a controversial person to the community. This is in your interest. Bullying is not something to be taken lightly – remember this comment follows a string of jabs attacking Shadzter’s character. This is not something that can be fixed via PM.

  3. Best retort I’ve ever read ever, that’s exactly why The Sonic Stadium has been my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog related website ever since I first got the internet (God I feel ancient).

    Dreadknux I personally applaud you for doing exactly what everyone, not just sonic fans, not just internetters, but EVERY LAST PERSON should do: pick and choose your battles.

    You avoid senseless arguments with this asshole at all costs, but when it comes to defending someone you’re not afraid to step up to the plate and unleash a devastating blow. This certainly won’t put a stop to his rudeness, as manners were something his mother shoulda taught to him years ago, but this will make him realize that he’s an absolute douchebag.

    With that said, I will come out and say I suffer from social anxiety and was molested as a child. Please, Mr. Bresnen, make fun of me. If you’re gonna make fun of one of us, make fun of all of us.

  4. To be honest I think it’s pretty pathetic that a bit of competition between sites can come to this, personal attacks on people because they posted some bit of news slightly faster. I hate E-drama. But yeah, I still don’t think sticking a ‘hate me’ flag on him will solve anything.

  5. Funny. i just finished with a situation like this when someone gave me this link telling me to pass it around.

    I agree that cyber-bullying is not a good thing.

    look, i could go into a long rant about it that would probally be bigger than the article posted here, but i wont because i do not want to waste people’s time. i will just say this:

    Dont. Do. It. Period. Full Stop.

  6. I think this is a rather calm and level-headed response, especially considering that that sort of jab at someone is just totally uncalled for and out of order.

  7. BlastedPinata: Think what you like. You’re entitled to your opinion. However, this ‘competition’ that you speak of – all acted on TSSZ News’ side. There’s no ‘competition’ on our side, we’ve done absolutely nothing.

    As I say, we’ve done nothing to provoke any of these attacks, and I feel that you want to simply brush a case of cyberbullying aside. Believe it or not, such attacks are serious and can affect someone’s feelings in a very negative way.

    I don’t see your blase attitude to a website protecting its staff, but that’s your position and I respect that.

  8. *simply sticks a single finger up in Tristens direction*

    *also adds TSSZ to his blocked website lists… encourages you all to do the same*

  9. wtf is wrong with this guy!? i’m most likely a stranger to you all, as i herald from the NiD side of the SEGA pool, but know that i agree that this guy is WAY out of line and i fully support all the staff here! the nerve of some people these days! oh and he’s got a criminal record has he? not cool man, not cool. i remember he was talking crap about DiGi Valentine aswell, so does he just go around bashing everyone he sees or what?

  10. My mother had M.E. when I was about 6 years old. M.E. may not sound like much but it is VERY real. My mother would be fine at times but when it hit her, she would have horrible migraines, she would eather sleep or not be able to sleep, bedsweats and generally wasnt able to handle a full day on her own when it hit her hardest. At it’s worst ME would render my mother incapable of movement and it was heartbreaking. In the 90’s ME was new and the Doctors just thought my mother was going insane, I dont wish that on ANYONE and I hope Shaszter doesnt feel alone in this. My mother eventually got better but not before we lost our home and had to move in with family, those were rough times

    I also suffered Cronic Fatigue during my teens which is related to ME which sapped me of energy, rendering me incapable of spending full days in school because I simply could not stay awake. It was never that I WANTED to sleep, much like my mother didnt want to be bound to her bed. I would lose whole days and I would hate it because I wanted to do so much. I’m just glad I didn’t have the extreme pain my mother experienced. My brother right now is experiencing something similar, though it seems to be an adrenal problem, yet something of it runs in our family.

    This shot by TSSZ is truly low and insulting, not only to the Stadium but to anyone who has ever had to suffer an unseen illness. Just because someone might function fine on the internet or sometimes in real life does not mean the illness is a lie. Some of us just want to be treated normally so we dont make a song and dance about the ills we suffer

  11. While I’m not entirely sure what this achieves being made public (other than awareness towards M.E. of course) I agree that Bresnen’s comment was bang out of order and should be taken back immediately. Clearly he has no empathy, tact or knowledge of disadvantaged people of any kind and should immediately write a public apology.

  12. Dreadknux, if there are two sites of equal reputation and fame then, yes there is gonna be competition. you may not see it at first, and you may not even take part in it, but it is there.

    this is TSSZ’s way of Competting with TSS. they think that by attacking your staff, that they will make others think badly about this site and in turn, go to theirs.

    you, in turn, are fighting that by posting this article. you may not see the competition in this, but its there.

  13. For the record, I suffer from Aspergers Syndrome, and while I can work and take care of myself for the most part, my condition makes a social life and communication frustratingly difficult for me and I do need support in my life. I guess I have a fake disease too since I can walk, sorry about that mate.

  14. Vote with your page hits people. This cunt cares not for who he insults or pokes at, Slap TSSZ on your blocked website list, all he cares about is his fucking advertising and page hits. Don’t give him them, we all know that if he said the stuff he does face to face to these people, they’d kick his bloody arse all over the shop!

    So hit him where it’ll hurt the most, his precious site hits.

  15. As another sufferer of an oft-called ‘fake’ disability, I can feel Shadz’ pain. Dreadknux, this response is a bold, informative, compassionate and empathic response. People need to be aware of the discrimination that goes on by those who are uninformed and weakminded and who cannot defend their own honour without jabbing at someone else’s. Bravo, Dread!

  16. I think this is stupid. We’re all meant to be one, big community of Sonic fans. We’re meant to just chill out and have a good time with it. Who REALLY cares who finds the information first? Let’s just be grateful we have so many websites and so many Sonic fans! Without them, Sonic wouldn’t be around today.

    I understand some people are just seriously bone idle and won’t lift a finger to get out and work, but others actually find that difficult to do.

    I think we all need to take note of this and to watch what we say in future, don’tcha think? ;).

  17. To attack a rival site in little mockery is laughable, to attack someone on that personal level is just plain ignorant and rather disgusting.

  18. Oh, forgot to say – my sympathies go out to anyone who has illnesses or diseases, including this :(. I really do wish you all the very best in the lives ahead of each and every one of you!

  19. @BlueFox – Totally agree. It’s completely uncalled for and unacceptable in any environment or circumstance! I hope people get their just desserts…

  20. thats how its done. The insult was un called and i agree with the actions dreadnux has taken. People who think there big on the interwebs act like there big shots so having a message like that letting everyone know what kind of person he is is the right thing to do. If it was me however writing the article and one of my friends had been insulted like that, would have pulled up all ther dirt about the guy and branded him something. Then spread it and watch his site become a wasteland.
    Personaly i just laugh at people who try to act tough on the internet.

    And i’ll join Casanova in blocking his site. Never once visited it and dont plan to in the future. Will be passing this on to friends aswell and incouraging them to do the same.

    Nothing to do with loyalty to this site. Just the prick needs to get whats coming to him.

  21. Yeah, I know how it feels to have a disability that’s ignored. When I was younger, I had rather severe OCD and Tourette’s. Yes, people understand that they exist, but they never fully comprehend it, so I was pretty miserable during elementary school.

    I guess that’s one of the everlasting problems with psychological disabilities- they’re just hard to acknowledge as legitimate when compared to more malicious diseases like cancer.

    But an outright personal attack, even as a joke, on this sort of thing is a really low blow. The internet equivalent of kicking your dog.

    Still, people say a lot of stupid and insensitive things, so I won’t hold it against him. But I do agree with you fully, Dread.

  22. Way to give it to ’em good Dread!

    You know the world’s coming to an end when Shadzter of all people is attacked like that… Geez. =/

  23. Wow. I guess this makes me glad that I’ve been coming to this site since Sonic Heroes, and I didn’t even know this kind of stuff happens in this community. Honestly, people on the Internet are a lot immaturer than in real life since we can hide behind a user name for the most part.

  24. What on Earth is TSSZ??? I’ve never heard of it before, but thanks for the heads up on how the site acts, i’ll be sure to never visit it.

    You’re a great guy to defend your staff.

    Hopefully this guy apologizes.


  25. Oh man…just…wow. I normally avoid this video game fan drama crap like the plague, but considering that my own mother has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I see her suffer with my own two eyes, I can’t help but feel a tad peeved. Not to mention that Shadzter is one of the nicest members here.

    I’m eagerly awaiting this guy’s apology.

  26. this is sad and disgusting.
    and Shadzter, don’t let this go to you.
    you and the rest of the tss staff are awesome people.

  27. Not cool. At all. Though that’s not surprising from TSSZ, that’s just… wrong.
    TSSZ has been immediately removed from SCD’s affiliates. A long overdue action, at that.

    Very well written, Svend. I approve.

  28. Damn Straight DreadKnux! You tell it to that fool! You guys here at TSS always make my day, and it sickens me to see someone from a rival site make blatant, rude and mean remarks to an otherwise nice guy on the community.

    Cyberbullying, hell, bullying in general should not and WILL not be tolerated. Especially in the Sonic community. We’re a group that should stand together, no matter what.

    So let’s all stand together on this guy and show him that we won’t tolerate these attacks on Shadz!

    And to Shadzter, I never knew you suffered from M.E. My prayers go with you man.


  29. Oh wow. Didn’t think he could reach a new low, but he just keeps on digging down.

    Well done Dread, point that asshole to the door.

  30. Dread, respect +10. Even though you already had like max respect from me anyway, its max +10 now!

  31. Considering I also have an ‘invisible disease’ (one where there are almost no physical symptoms; in particular, it’s the same as Ben/Rio and, no, it’s not been easy at all for me) this definitely hit me as offensive. I understand what he was originally trying to say (that he was busy and just couldn’t get the article up on time), but the insult at the end was just… there was no point to it. At all.

    The guy should apologise. Really.

  32. Epic.

    I saw that comment earlier as I was perusing their version of an article you guys actually posted WAY before he did.

  33. Wow, that’s just wrong. I wouldn’t even joke around with something like this. This is serious business over something so petty. I understand we take our jobs seriously, but that is radically even if it was used as sarcasim. Jealous? for what? I hope he understands the seriousness of this situation. This isn’t about Sonic anymore nor who gets first coverage. People kill themselves over stuff like this. Jesus, how far have we’ve taken our fandom/ journalism, to get to this degree.

  34. It just shows how pathetic he is, starting to attack people over disabilities.
    I’d take legal action, that’s hate crime right there.
    Sonic Stadium > TSSZ News

  35. And this is where the kettle steam blows out my ears, it’s ignorant ******ds like this dude that bring the downfall in a community.
    Verbally abusing someone for their health conditions?
    Especially when, come to think of it, it’s over a damn video game. (not bad mouthing the blue blur at all i hope you all understand)
    I suffer from a list of disabilities, and this indeed has ticked me off in a few ways. I however am not going to take this into my own hands, but I do expect an apology because that was just incredibly low.
    What’s next in this community? racism and homophobia?
    I bloody well hope not.
    *Stay strong Shadzter, we’re all rooting for you here 🙂

  36. from where i come from people don’t joke about serious and possibly fatal causes and label them as something that can get a few laughs. i seen people that act this this way but just putting it out like this real sick

  37. With crappy staff.

    To me the only purpose of it is to give me the tiny bit of info that sonicstadium doesn’t. But now I know I shouldn’t go there again… Thanks TSS.

    Hope he gives Shad an apology.

  38. I like seeing people stick up for others. I saw that post, but didn’t know any of the back story behind it. I’m going to have stick to this site from now on… (Although, I have to wonder, whats the point of page hits? Will somebody really stoop this low just so they have the pleasure of saying I have more people coming to me for news? …)

  39. @Sonic Emerald

    It’s for advertising revenue, really. The more page hits you get, the more your web page is worth, and the more you can charge for advertisements.

  40. ….Wow, that guy sounds like a real ass! Seriously: taking a pop-shot at someone’s disability? That’s gotta be the lowest thing anyone can ever do! I hope that little mister Brensen, or whatever his name is, get’s his just deserts for this.

  41. How pathetic is that? Dude, I can understand how mad you can be stuck in a thick blanket of snow, but that comment was totally uncalled for. Making a disabled person a bull’s eye for comments like that is just… horrid.

    He’d better apologize for that crap.

  42. What a moron! Lord knows why anyone would visit that site, half the stories that end up on it are only exclusive because they are about things nobody gives a toss about.

    Having listened to Dread tell me about some of the exchanges between this site and his, it’s pretty damn childish but comments like that cross a line.

  43. LOL, I didn’t know this tssz site, it looks so silly with those “we are better than stadium, OHGAWD” banners. I mean, they want it to looks as if they’re an important source of information on high-end science and politics. it’s just a fansite that rejoices on having pageviews.

    I stick to tss and it’s awesome site design, excellent staff and good sense of humour, all mixed with up-to-date news on my favorite franchise :]

  44. Very pathetic and childish of him indeed, I very rarely went on there but now I know now not to go, knowing what a viscous person the founder is.
    I’m very sorry for Shadzter for having to be the target in this particular situation, but it’s a good job you’ve bought this to the attention of the TSS and it’s readers.

  45. Thats horrible. It’s like making fun of a kid at school with a disability, saying that they can do whatever ’cause they’re ‘special’. Personally, I know nothing of the TSSZ staff, but thats downright rude in any form. Besides, I’ve had friends who were disabled/had a life-long disease, and I guess I’ll add Shadzter to the list, which means I’ll stick up for Shadzter too. Dammit, when will people learn?

  46. Disgusting, absolutly disgusting and childish, its great that you stuck up for him Dread and I still can’t believe what he just said, it was so immature of him. If he doesnt post an apology he will never be forgiven. Hell, even if he did write an apology he still wouldnt be forgiven. Offensive words like that can never be forgotten. Shame on you TSSZ!

  47. Poor guy I bet Bresnan wouldn’t like it if he had an illness and it was joked about would he? I hate TSSZ anyway, its full of crap, this is the only Sonic site for me!

  48. That’s precisely why I like to be careful about what information I share on the internet. You never know what some troll is going to do with it. (And that means you-know-who).

  49. Dude.

    Not cool.

    Behind Dread all the way here, if only because I admire his loyalty to Shadzter.

  50. I am absolutely disgusted and appalled regarding that comment–or rather, insult–by that…creature. The attack is based on pure maliciousness and jealousy. Calling an illness fake is low in the extreme. Having a permanent illness myself, I know how it feels to be on the butt end of a joke or insult. In the end, I’ve learned to not let it get myself down, to not give them the satisfaction. It’s very difficult sometimes though.

    Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do to show my support to you, except through words. I’ll definitely make sure that I don’t visit that site (I don’t even want to name it because of the Google bots) again. All I can say is to keep your chin up, Shadzter, because you’re not alone.

  51. Damn, that’s harsh. Tris sure changed over the years =\
    Don’t let it get to you, Shad. You’re better than that.

  52. You’ve just lost a user… How dare you stoop so low just to get SITE HITS?
    I’m sticking with the Sonic Stadium, not “DUH FIRST AT —-“

  53. Funny..I’d posted a comment on here, but it doesn’t seem to have been added…

    Anyway, I’d like to throw my unwavering support behind Dread, Shadzter and TSS in general. As I’m sure you’ve all noticed as well, TSSZ just reeks of typical American tabloidism, as all they care about is exclusives at any cost. After reading about a couple of prior altercations (the ASR site hacking being one of them) he’s been involved in, I’ve been using them as a source of amusement, just to see what crap he’s come up with. Now, I’m checking to see whether he’s grown a conscience and delivered the grovelling apology we all want.

    Once he’s done that, I’m done with that site. It’s poorly designed tabloid rubbish, whose sitemaster has the mental capacity of a 2 year old.

  54. I think TS*Z may be a fake “news site.”

    And speaking of “fake” diseases, I sure hope they find a cure for foot-in-mouth disease. Bresnan seems to have a chronic case of it. 😛

  55. @Epicenter712: Actually he can. It was a personal attack against one of his staff members. That’s illegal and wrong. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is no joke.

    Anyway I love the way you handled it DreadKnux. You did it the “civilized” way instead of bringing out the “asshole, motherfucker, shithead” comments. How dare he insult The Sonic Stadium! Probably better than his site though I’ve nerver been there. Cyber-bullying is a serious matter and needs to be treated as such. I’m sorry Shadzter, but if it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone. I’ve had the same experience on the Nsider forums when it was still around. Cyber bullies have no life and spend most of their time attacking people on the internet so they can be regconized because in real life they’re total losers.

  56. @Dreadknux: I knew he wouldn’t have the guts to admit that he’s in the wrong. All the worse on him really.

  57. Competition is a good thing, but this kind of vitriolic in-fighting is just absurd and totally uncalled for. TSSZ is becoming a sad display.

    That said, I don’t think that legal action is justified against speech. Libel laws are a sham, in my opinion. Exposing his behavior should be enough and is the right way to handle this.

  58. You people need to grow up. People get verbally attacked online and offline all the time. It’s called LIFE.
    No reason to act like a baby and post a news article about it.

  59. Read ‘Diana’s Story’ By Deric Longden (nothing to do with the princess) It is a man writing about his wife who suffered from a serious case of M.E. and how it effected their lives. My mum knew the author from her writing classes. It’s really sad from all accounts.

    The guy is just an idiot, him refusing to apologise proves the point further.

    I find it amusing that he has put up an article about the possibility of a charge for SOS entry. ” Do people really want to spend money on SOS ’10 when we don’t know what will be showcased there?”
    Thanks for the free publicity. ^^

  60. It really stinks of desperation Jemnezmy, I mean, last year in the original SOS 09 topic… people were actually asking if they could contribute to it via entry fee.

  61. Bresnon must be a real sad person if he insults someone with a disability and won’t apologize for it over a silly tidbit of news he reported late on.

  62. @CJ:True however this is different. It was a personal attack against a member of a rival community. That is wrong and illegal.

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