The now infamous Pacific PonyCon /mlp/anel/Horse News panel was riddled with numerous issues, most having to do with the lack of planning on the host's part and the copious amounts of spaghetti that was spilled the hour we were up there.
However, one issue set itself apart from the others, having not being related whatsoever to our drunken sperginess.
A sudden accusation near the end of the panel that Horse News was using freelance photographers to take pictures of female cosplayers while they were in process of getting dressed.
In response, Horse News decided to take a break from being a bunch of spaghetti spilling depressed alcoholics, and actually do some investigative journalism for once. More after the break.
As previously mentioned, these rumors were brought to light near the end of the Horse News panel at Pacific PonyCon, when a white knight in shining armor decided he was going to attempt call out Horse News for committing acts of voyuerism at BABSCon 2015.
There was only one issue with these claims; Horse News has never used freelance photographers. Ever.
On top of that, there are no pictures of cosplayers in compromising positions floating around Horse News like this guy was insinuating. At least, none that weren't taken without the consent of the cosplayer (entrees for the Panty Horse contest, for example).
Basically, the white knight who was awkwardly standing in the corner of the room was completely full of shit, whether he knew it or not.
After cluing the white knight in on these important bits of information, he was asked to present us with proof of his claims. He continued to awkwardly stand there for about ten minutes, scrolling through his phone as he tried to hunt down the proof to back up his accusations, before fleeing the scene.
That wasn't the last we saw of him, however, as one of our admins happened to run into him when he stepped out of the party to watch some video with Pikapetey.
His affiliation to Horse News ended up being brought up, leading the white knight to continue to throw the fit he was throwing earlier. For the second time that convention, he was told that Horse News did not use freelance photographers, which just received a response of "w-well they said they were Horse News".
At that point, our admin told him to drop the he said/she said bullshit, and to get back to him the moment he had some legitimate proof. The white knight agreed, and the two parted ways.
|We're still waiting on that proof.|
Regardless of whether or not the white knight still felt that he was justified in making the accusations he made, we were still missing the proof that people with Horse News/claiming to be with Horse News were taking pictures of cosplayers in compromising positions without their permission. So, after a couple weeks of milking our post-con hangovers and waiting on the white knight to get back to us, we decided that we were going to do our own digging and get to the bottom of things, as we were genuinely curious if what this guy was saying had any merit. There was plenty of speculation about the things he was saying, though most of us assumed that someone unaffiliated with Horse News was actually doing this and claiming to a freelance photographer for us, either to frame us, or to use it as a shield to prevent retribution.
After all, it's not like people would just make up accusations like that, right? After all, accusations like these wouldn't just ruin reputations (>implying we have reputations), but they could have huge legal ramifications as well. Anyone would know that blatantly lying about someone taking pictures of women in compromising positions without their permission could lead to serious consequences.
Needless to say, we were shocked to find out that was exactly the case, according to a very reliable source within the cosplay community who is more than familiar with the accuser; Lochlan O'Neil.
As seen in the screenshots above, my source claims that Lochlan O'Neil, also known as Too Rad Cosplay, was the only one behind these accusations, and convinced a friend of hers to attempt to derail the Horse News panel with them.
My source also went on to say that they have been in talks with Lochlan's friend, and he is now not only aware he has been blatantly lied to, but is also pretty pissed off by the whole situation as well.
As for her reasoning behind making these accusations, it's mostly speculation right now. It's believed that Lochlan may have a grudge against a few of Horse News's writers for calling her out on talking shit on people behind their back (including her own fans), something that my source also confirmed to be true, as according to them, she had apparently been shit talking her fans and others in the fandom on her social media accounts (unfortunately, these posts were deleted before we could get screenshots).
There's also reason to believe that this may be related to an incident where an anon posted an image of Lochlan adjusting her bra in one of the BABSCon 2015 threads (unfortunately, it would appear that said post was deleted from the archive). Of course, the actions of a random anon has nothing to do with us, as much as Lochlan may want to believe.
Regardless of the reasoning behind Lochlan's accusations, Horse News has never used freelance photographers, and we do not have any pictures of cosplayers in compromising positions that weren't taken without their consent in our possession.
We're not really big on >no hooves around here, anyways.