Tuhin Chakraborty

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Tuhin Chakraborty
Current college Michigan (2018–2021)
High school Troy (2014–2018)
Stats HDWhite • NAQT

Tuhin Chakraborty played quizbowl at Troy High School and Michigan.

Career

In 2019, Tuhin attended the MSU site of 2019 Terrapin as part of the open team "Tuhin" after receiving permission from the tournament director.[1][2] This team was unaffiliated with Michigan, which sent two other full teams.

Misconduct

Instigating incident

After attending 2020 ACF Winter at the OSU mirror, Tuhin was tasked with communicating Michigan C's roster to ACF to determine payment requirements. At this time, he did not list a female teammate who had only played the first two rounds as having been on the team, despite later admitting that he was aware that the player had showed up and had entered several game rooms.[3] This resulted in Michigan receiving a shorthanded discount (awarded to teams with two or fewer players) for a team with three players. When this action was discovered, the incident was reported to Michigan quiz bowl's e-board and a grievance committee was formed from club leadership (sans the reporter). Tuhin was given a two-week ban from practices, which did not interfere with his ability to attend future tournaments.

Public accusations

On November 30, 2020, the individual who had initially reported Tuhin made a public accusation that he had engaged in misconduct. The statement was underwritten by ten additional members of the Michigan team.[4]

This post also intensely criticized the response of the grievance committee that handled the initial complaint. The members of this committee were three sitting members of Michigan's e-board, plus two replacements for the reporter.

Accusations made toward Tuhin:

  • that he was explicitly aware that the player had been present in a minimum of one game, and that he characterized his choice to not include her on the roster as "where the brilliance of Tuhin comes into play"
  • that he considered leaving the player off the roster justified because "she didn't contribute" and so "for all practical purposes she didn't show up".
  • that, in direct response to a statement that such behavior was exclusionary, perpetuated gender inequality in quizbowl, and discouraged new players from participating, Tuhin said that:
    • "the goal is to win/maximize performance at tournaments"
    • the "implication that [girls in qb] are shyer and more afraid to offend people is beyond ridiculous"
    • that the reporter was projecting their own insecurities on the situation
  • that he accused the reporter of having low PPG
  • that Tuhin said that he had relayed information about the situation to his friends and that they had agreed that the reporter was a "crazy [misogynist insult beginning with a 'b']" and "psychotic" and belonged in a mental institution (messages redacted slightly)
  • that Tuhin claimed that the reporter had blown the situation out of proportion because they felt "residual tension" from when the reporter rejected Tuhin romantically two months prior
  • that, prior to the confrontation, he had engaged in a pattern of sexist behavior that included badgering other women that rejected him until they "snapped"

Additionally, it was stated that as part of his punishment, Tuhin was made to apologize to "the ACF member that he lied to", implying an admission of guilt.

Accusations made toward the committee

  • that the people on the jury (sans the replacements) did not take the hearing seriously
  • that they were made aware of the specific comments that Tuhin had made while communicating with the reporter
  • that aforementioned comments were not considered when determining a response because "that is stuff that everyone says even people who are woke" (sic)
  • that they were more concerned with potentially overreaching into Tuhin's personal life than addressing the issue of gender inequality and exclusivity in quizbowl
  • that one of the members of the jury had inadvertently revealed pornography to the remainder of the jury

Aftermath

The immediate response towards the post was strong support for the reporter and intense condemnation of the Michigan e-board. On December 2, the Iowa quizbowl team unilaterally banned Tuhin from their upcoming mirror of IKEA.[5] Within a week, all three members of the Michigan e-board involved with the decision resigned.

Tuhin's response

Five months passed with no additional discussion. On April 29, 2021, Tuhin authored a response.[3]

As part of his statement, he confirmed that he was aware that the player he ultimately omitted from the roster was both on his team and present at the tournament. However, he claimed that the player's lack of responsiveness on tossups and bonuses had motivated him to conclude that they were "not a member of the team"; Tuhin stated that he bore "full responsibility" for this.

In response to the specific accusation that he had intentionally lied to ACF, Tuhin asserted that "it was an honest mistake" and that he "never lied or displayed any fraudulent behavior whatsoever". In defense of this point, he claimed that ACF had conducted an investigation that had concluded in the negative (no representative of ACF has publicly made a statement on the matter). Tuhin also claimed that he "honestly did not believe [the omitted player] showed up"; this is seemingly in direct contradiction to his early claims that he saw the player in two separate game rooms, which would not be possible if the player was not there. He later asserted that "being wrong does not make me a liar"; while it is unclear whether this is actually true, it is undeniable that the two are correlated.

Tuhin explicitly stated that he indeed used the profanity that the accusations had accused him of saying. He stated that he had "apologized to [the reporter] as a professional courtesy due to [their combined] membership in a student organization", but immediately followed by asserting that his words were "more than understandable" given the context.

A number of statements made in the post have been shown to be false by outside observers. Tuhin claimed that the reporter "had exclusive access" to the team's listserv - as noted by Conor Thompson, a listserv is simply an email list and thus any one who has the address can make use of it.[6] Tuhin also characterized his banning from events as an "illegal suspension" and claimed the reporter had committed "a severe administrative iolation" for implementing it; further, he stated that the e-board had neglected to meet on the topic. However, the e-board had indeed met, unanimously agreeing that Tuhin's ban was justified and that the reporter had not overstepped their authority - they also sent Tuhin a copy of their decision.[7] Tuhin rebutted by claiming that the decision was extraconstitutional and was thus illegal, regardless of whether it was allowed.[8]

A large fraction of the post was spent making ad hominem attacks against the reporter and the other participants in the thread, with Tuhin characterizing much of their language as "grossly irrelevant, downright false, and/or unforgivably malicious". These statements are definitionally ad hominem because they do not directly respond to any points raised in the original post and instead primarily involve defamation of character.

Examples of ad hominem employed by Tuhin

  • claiming that the reporter had initiated the use of profanity in their private messaging with terms like "f-cking idiot", "asshole", and "sh-tty person" (messages redacted slightly)
  • claiming that, prior to any profanity was used, the reporter had shared "personal/intimate messages [Tuhin] had sent to [the reporter] privately" to other quizbowlers
  • claiming that the reporter had taunted Tuhin with this revelation by calling it a "fun fact" and that it was for the purpose of informing others of what a "sh-tty person" Tuhin was (messages redacted slightly)
  • claiming that the reporter "felt some form of perverse romantic tension" because "nobody else in their right mind would do something like this"
    • Note: this was explicitly meant to confirm the accusation that Tuhin had said that from the thread's original post. He went on to say that "a part of [him] wonders (and regrets) why [he] apologized for it in the first place", rescinding the apology he had earlier made out of "professional courtesy".
  • claiming that no self-respecting human being (implicitly Tuhin) "should ever be expected to put up with such foul and petty behavior"
  • claiming that, in the course of their private messaging, the reporter had communicated "via maniacally long message streams, some as long as 30 texts in a row", which was "neither professional nor normal"
    • claiming that being made to receive long strings of texts "should be seen as some form of harassment" because "if someone does not respond to you after 15 straight texts, what on Earth gives you the right to send 15 more?"
    • claiming that communication in the form of "30 texts in a row" was directly to blame for Tuhin escalating the situation, as "it is very difficult to ignore and/or de-escalate anything when facing someone who communicates like this"
  • claiming that the reporter had "not expressed remorse or apologized for" any of their actions
  • claiming that he was greatly offended of being accused of "badgering/sexual harassment"
    • Note: As part of this statement, Tuhin confirmed that he used of the word "snapped", presumably to describe women in a context similar to the accusation - it is unclear what the text of the original quote is. He went on to note that he "[asks] for affirmative consent before [he persists] in any romantic endeavors and that [he receives] it before continuing" - it is implied that this is a refutation of the accusation that he engages in sexual harassment, but without the original context it is not possible to know what qualifies as a "romantic endeavor" - and that the reporter noted that it is then "ok".
  • claiming that the reporter's words "speak far more towards [their] malicious deceit than it does to any impropriety that [the reporter] thinks [Tuhin] committed"
  • implying that it was a moral failing of the reporter that a clarification of Tuhin's thoughts on consent were not attached as images or otherwise acknowledged in the original forum post
    • Note: the original post did not include images of any kind for proof. Neither did Tuhin's.
  • claiming that the reporter engaged in evidence tampering by selectively cropping context out of screenshots of their chat with Tuhin that were passed on to the grievance committee
    • Note: Tuhin goes on to claim that the allegations of "badgering/sexual harassment" were summarily dismissed as a direct consequence of the "evidence tampering".
  • claiming that members of the e-board were "changing their stories" and shifting in opinion against the reporter

Outside investigations

Besides the previously mentioned investigation by ACF, Tuhin alleged that a complaint was filed with NAQT and eventually closed without any action being taken against him (no representative of NAQT has publicly made a statement on the matter).

After the conclusion of the original discussion, a new executive board was elected and held a new series of hearings. Tuhin claimed that he was only found liable for failing to include all members of Michigan C on the roster, with the board dismissing "pretty much everything else." This was disputed by Erik Bubolz, who stated that Tuhin was also found to have violated the "Ethics and Conduct" section of the team's constitution.[7]

A report was filed with the University of Michigan's Title IX Office, which was evidently dismissed - it was also alleged that the coordinator explicitly chose not to investigate further after looking into it. Tuhin claimed that the reporter was "legally prohibited from bringing up any allegations of sexism and other gender-based misconduct against me relating to this incident at any other U of M student organization proceedings", though it is unclear which, if any, laws would restrict the reporter from discussing these matters. The option remains that what was actually meant was "prohibited by the school", which not be a form of legal prohibition, but that would make Tuhin a liar and he has stated that he is not.

Aftermath

Tuhin also commented on the thread where Iowa had announced that they were not allowing him to play IKEA, where he criticized their decision-making, both in banning him and in posting the decision where it would be accessible by Google.[9] In response, a deliberately inflammatory post was made by Kevin Wang[10] and the thread was swiftly moved to the private misconduct subforum; that is now Tuhin's most active forum, with 150% of his posts.[11]

The already low public opinion of Tuhin fell even lower after these posts, with commentors accusing him of misogyny and a general lack of self-awareness. In response, Tuhin made a final post in which he described the process of writing his initial post as "a therapeutic healing process" and decried the reporter as "no saint", additionally claiming that he "was more harmed than [the reporter] was by all of this" and was "being scapegoated".[8] On April 30, 2021, Tuhin received a 1-month temporary ban from forums for the rule-breaking nature of his posts and in particular the continued personal attacks.[12]

Summary of points

There were roughly 146 days between Tuhin reading the public accusations against him (the creation date of his account being December 4, 2020) and his first comment responding to them. This table documents how true various claims about Tuhin are and how he responded to them.

Claim Evidence Status of accusation
Tuhin did not include a player on Michigan C on the official ACF roster
  • confirmed by Tuhin, who stated he took "full responsibility"
  • confirmed by both iterations of the Michigan QB grievance committee
  • confirmed by ACF
TRUE
Tuhin was explicitly aware that the player had been present in a minimum of one game
  • confirmed by Tuhin, who stated that he saw the player present in the game room for two rounds and took note of their lack of activity
  • confirmed by outside observer, who stated that Tuhin noticed that the player typed after the first tossup
TRUE
Tuhin characterized his choice to not include the player on the roster as "where the brilliance of Tuhin comes into play" n/a UNCONFIRMED
Tuhin felt justified in leaving the player off the roster because "she didn't contribute" and so "for all practical purposes she didn't show up".
  • partially confirmed by Tuhin, who stated that he did not add the player to the roster despite knowing they were there because of a lack of communication but did not confirm the specific quotes
MOSTLY TRUE
Tuhin knows that players can be on a team without contributing
  • Tuhin has been playing quizbowl for at least 4 years and recently attended a tournament where all of his teammates spent at least two rounds not converting tossups (though presumably contributing on bonuses)
  • however, Tuhin also claimed that he thought that a player who spent two rounds not converting tossups or contributing on bonuses was not on the team
PLAUSIBLE
Tuhin deliberately lied to ACF by submitting a roster which he knew was incorrect
  • Tuhin confirmed that he knew that the player was there
  • Tuhin confirmed that he submitted the incorrect roster
  • Tuhin may or may not know the rules and conventions of quiz bowl after playing for four years
PLAUSIBLE
Tuhin never lied or displayed any fradulent behavior during this incident
  • if Tuhin knows the rules and conventions of quiz bowl, then omitting the player from the roster must have been intentional
  • if he intentionally omitted the player, he lied to ACF
  • fraudulent behavior is defined as behavior which is "obtained, done by, or involving deception, especially criminal deception"
  • lying is a form of deception
MOSTLY FALSE
Tuhin lied during the discussion surrounding this incident
  • Erik Bubolz confirmed that Tuhin knew that there was a meeting of the e-board to discuss the reporter's actions which ruled the reporter had acted within their authority, despite claiming the opposite
TRUE
Tuhin being wrong does not make him a liar
  • Tuhin admitted to being wrong
  • Tuhin likely lied during the incident
  • Tuhin lied during the discussion of the incident
  • telling lies makes one a liar
  • but correlation does not imply causation
MOSTLY FALSE
Tuhin responded to a statement about his behavior being exclusionary, perpetuating gender inequality in quizbowl, and discouraging for new players from participating by saying:
  • "the goal is to win/maximize performance at tournaments"
  • the "implication that [girls in qb] are shyer and more afraid to offend people is beyond ridiculous"
  • that the reporter was projecting their own insecurities on the situation
n/a UNCONFIRMED
Tuhin accused the reporter of having low PPG n/a UNCONFIRMED
Tuhin and his friends agreed that the reporter was a "crazy [misogynist insult beginning with a 'b']" and "psychotic" and belonged in a mental institution (messages redacted slightly)
  • Tuhin confirmed that he said this, though he did not say whether he was talking to his friends
MOSTLY TRUE
Tuhin relayed information about the situation to his friends
  • Tuhin confirmed that what was said in the previous accusation was accurate, which implies that the other half of the statement regarding communication with his friends was true as well
PLAUSIBLE
Tuhin's choice to insult the reporter was understandable given the reporter's prior statements and actions
  • the reporter's previous actions:
    • use of profanity
    • sharing of "personal/intimate messages" to quizbowlers to inform them of how Tuhin was a "sh-tty person"
    • taunted Tuhin by calling aforementioned sharing a "fun fact"
  • Tuhin could have simply not insulted the reporter
FALSE
Tuhin claimed that the reporter had blown the situation out of proportion because they felt "residual tension" from when the reporter rejected Tuhin romantically two months prior
  • confirmed by Tuhin, who "absolutely [stands] by [his] statement"
TRUE
Writing maniacally long message streams, some as long as 30 texts in a row, is neither professional nor normal
  • writing a large number of messages, especially in a relatively short time period, is not often professional
  • writing a large number of messages is very normal
FALSE
Long message streams should be seen as some form of harassment
  • harassment is a very broad term for any offensive behavior
  • however, this comment was made in a thread discussing sexual harassment, and thus the implication of the word harassment is of a more significant nature
MOSTLY FALSE
It is very hard to ignore and/or de-escalate anything when facing someone who communicates in long message streams
  • it is relatively easy to ignore anything sent electronically
  • by the short-circuiting properties of logical-or, it is not necessary to evaluate how hard it is to de-escalate in this scenario
MOSTLY FALSE
Tuhin had engaged in a pattern of sexist behavior that included badgering other women that rejected him until they "snapped"
  • Tuhin confirmed that he said what the reporter had quoted, but not what the context was
PLAUSIBLE
Tuhin asks for affirmative consent before he persists in any romantic endeavors and receives it before continuing
  • Tuhin confirmed that he does this
  • Tuhin is a liar
PLAUSIBLE
Tuhin knows what "illegal" means
  • Tuhin said that it was "legally prohibited" for the reporter to discuss the allegations at U of M student organization proceedings, implying that the enforcement is regulated by the school and thus not legally binding
  • Tuhin said that his suspension was "illegal" because the reporter had no authority, but it was shown that the e-board agreed with the application of authority
    • Tuhin then said that because the ban was extraconstitutional, it was also illegal
MOSTLY FALSE
Tuhin has been more harmed than the reporter by all of this
  • Tuhin has been publically put on trial for accusations that he mostly confirmed and is banned from participating in any Michigan quizbowl activities
  • the reporter had to deal with Tuhin
MOSTLY FALSE
Tuhin is being scapegoated for systemic issues within the Quizbowl community
  • a scapegoat is one who is singled out for unmerited blame
  • Tuhin is not the only person who has been punished for misconduct
  • if the blame on Tuhin was unmerited, then few or none of the accusations against him would be true
  • Tuhin personally confirmed many of the accusations against him
FALSE

References

  1. https://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Talk:Tuhin_Chakraborty
  2. https://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/5610/stats/all_games/teamdetail/#t5
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=384356#p384356
  4. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=381691#p381691
  5. Re: Iowa Quiz Bowl Statement Regarding Individual Player Ban 12/2, Dec 2, 2020
  6. Re: Misconduct and Michigan's Mishandling of It by CPiGuy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:56 am
  7. 7.0 7.1 Re: Misconduct and Michigan's Mishandling of It by eiriksmal » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:38 pm
  8. 8.0 8.1 Re: Misconduct and Michigan's Mishandling of It by tch » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:02 pm
  9. Re: Iowa Quiz Bowl Statement Regarding Individual Player Ban 12/2 by tch » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:47 pm
  10. Re: Iowa Quiz Bowl Statement Regarding Individual Player Ban 12/2 by Santa Claus » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:40 pm
  11. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=13221
  12. https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=384386#p384386