The New York Times has a fascinating collection of articles today on the fifth anniversary of the start of GamerGate, and how that
media ethics crusade mob harassment campaign put in place a sort of template for the culture wars of the past several years, “jump[ing] out of the obscure fever swamps of the internet and into mainstream consciousness.”
I’m quoted in Charlie Warzel’s overview, examining the ways that GamerGate helped to channel the inchoate white male angst of 4chan and gamer culture into a reactionary political crusade that continued long after the #GamerGate hashtag itself died, and that created a whole new class of “harassment influencers” who profited off the mob.
One of the media entities that exploited the GamerGate mob most effectively was, of course. Breitbart. Wurzel writes:
Breitbart’s coverage elevated Gamergate across a growing far-right media ecosystem, which drew attention from the mainstream press, who viewed the entire conflict as an online circus with endless carnival barkers. “It didn’t help that these people are, in addition to their harassing, always embroiled in their own personal dramas,” David Futrelle, a Chicago writer who covered Gamergate extensively for his blog, We Hunted The Mammoth, told me. In other words, they weren’t just pundits, they were characters. “That outrageousness made them irresistible to media,” he said. It was this attention — from influencers and the press — that cemented the status of Gamergate.
Warzel’s piece is well worth a read, as are the other pieces in the package.
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