MyAnimeList finds itself embroiled in controversy this week after it was discovered that its users’ private information was released without their consent.
It all started years ago, when a researcher shared an innocuous quiz titled “Which Naruto character are you?”, which allowed him to access data about almost the entirety of the MAL userbase. Despite many users setting their anime lists to private, unauthorized individuals were still able to view its contents. In-depth details regarding these lists, often filled with “R+” rated titles and embarassingly high scores for Monster Musume, were collected and sold to a third party.
This information was obtained by アニメ丸, a previously unknown Japanese data analysis firm that specializes in altering consumer behavior and world domination. The firm is accused of having used the private information to target select individuals with marketing material, ultimately influencing the outcome of the 2017 Crunchyroll Anime Awards polls. The FBI are also investigating a possible link to Yuri on Ice‘s surprising popularity.
In total, MAL’s market value has dropped by approximately $50 billion in Zimbabwean dollars.
“What’s a stock market?” asked longtime MAL user Bryce Haddock. “Is it that thing from Spice and Wolf?”
Fearing further breaches of such sensitive information, many have abandoned the site altogether. Some have reverted to archaic forms of keeping track of anime they have watched, such as writing it down on paper or using aniDB.
“It could be worse,” Haddock continued. “At least I can still get all my anime news off Facebook.”