Bad Press: No, Skyrim Grandma Didn’t Scale Back Streaming Over Harassment

But who cares about the facts when you’ve got clickbait?

It’s been quite a while since the last Bad Press article. Far too long in my opinion. Originally this was going to center on VG247 doing shoddy and questionably ethical reporting (or as it’s also known; standard VG247 quality) but then I noticed that a lot of outlets had reported on this incorrectly. A lot of them.

Today’s bad press story has to do with Shirley Curry, aka Skyrim Grandma. Shirley Curry is a streamer who became famous on the web for her wholesome streams of Skyrim, enough that Bethesda scanned her face into the game and she apparently will have a part in Elder Scrolls VI. Curry stated in an interview recently that she would be scaling back her streaming due to poor health.

VG247’s Emily Gera decided to run with the headline: “YouTuber Skyrim Grandma announces she is scaling back streams for the sake of her health after receiving onslaught of patronizing comments.” We know this headline is false and Emily didn’t bother reaching out to Shirley Curry before running the story. How do we know? Shirley told us. Curry responded to the article denying the “onslaught” of patronizing comments and requesting VG247 delete the article.

As of this publishing VG247 has neither retracted nor corrected the article. This appears to be a case of one news writer pushing a false headline and others seeing that headline and copying it without doing any research of their own because the same headline has been pushed by a dozen other mainstream game websites with none of the authors doing their own research or fact checking.

Of course this wouldn’t be a Bad Press article without point out the good press. Forbes writer Alex Kane posted the reasonable headline: ‘Skyrim Grandma’ Shirley Curry Scales Back To Reduce Stress. Sin Vega over at Rock Paper Shotgun posted “Skyrim Grandma” cuts back on videos. Another reasonable title. Unfortunately the headline got picked up by some writers and pushed to bank on the exaggerated and dramatized idea of an 82 year old woman being bullied off of the net.

This is why you are supposed to reach out to the subject before writing about their motivations.