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Anita Sarkeesian’s assorted haters frequently demand “proof” that she’s really been harassed. Sarkeesian regularly provides proof, in sickening detail; her haters resolutely ignore the evidence.
In a blog post yesterday that everyone concerned about online harassment should read, Sarkeesian documented yet another example of what she’s had to endure ever since she started expressing her opinions about video games on YouTube, looking in detail at the wave of harassment and threats she received this past July after 4chan trolls and other haters spread around “screenshots” of phony Tweets deliberately designed to whip up hatred against her.
The phony Tweets — so obviously fake that one of them contained more characters than Twitter even allows — made it appear that Sarkeesian had responded to the death of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata by declaring him a “male supremacist” and saying she was “glad he’s gone” from the game company.
Sarkeesian’s haters are hardly the only ones who’ve used fake Tweets and fake quotes in order to unleash hatred upon their enemies online. As I’ve documented here, A Voice for Men’s social media director “Janet Bloomfield” used fake quotes attributed to feminist writers Jessica Valenti in an attempt to smear her; on at least one occasion she’s posted fake Sarkeesian Tweets as well. (“Bloomfield” was banned from Twitter for this sort of targeted abuse; she’s now attempting to get around the ban by posting under her real name Andrea Hardie.)
In the case of the fake Iwata Tweets, Sarkeesian made clear that she hadn’t posted them — saying it was “disheartening” that people were using the “sad event” of Iwata’s death to whip up phony outrage against her.
But it didn’t matter. Because, as Sarkeesian points out, many of those attacking her knew all along that the Tweets were fake.
They just didn’t care, because their goal was simply to discredit me and to generate so much animosity against me that I would stop speaking critically about video games.
A Twitter user who tracks GamerGate found the origin of the attack on 4chan and shared proof that the harassers knew they were spreading misinformation. They were the ones doing exactly what many of the harassers they spurred on accused me of doing: callously using a man’s tragic death as an opportunity.
They seized it and turned it into a weapon to use against me.
Some harassers knew, others were tricked, but the end result was a cybermob of hate that lasted most of the week.
Sarkeesian ended her post with several dozen examples of the harassing and threatening Tweets that were sent to her that week. Here are a handful of the more striking ones.
I left out a number referring to Sarkeesian with the c-word because, as I write this, it’s 9 AM, and way too early for that sort of crap. Unfortunately, Sarkeesian has to face this kind of harassment every single day.