Categories
#gamergate entitled babies evil SJWs men who should not ever be with imaginary women ever men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny sarkeesian! the c-word threats transphobia zoe quinn

GamerGate may be fading, but its harassment never ends

GamerGate logic, sharkified
GamerGate logic, sharkified

Welcome back, my friends, to the harassment that never ends.

It’s not news that GamerGate is fading – the media hubbub has died down, and the last I checked the volume of Tweets to the #GamerGate hashtag has dropped to only about a fifth of what it was in its glory days.

But it’s too soon to say it’s over. Because while the number of Gaters has shrunk, the harassment of GamerGate’s targets goes on, and on, and on. Indeed, for the three “Literally Whos” who’ve been the central targets of #GamerGate harassment little has changed. The death threats, the rape threats, the insults, the harassing Tweets and comments and emails and phone calls all continue.

And then the Gaters accuse the “Literally Whos” of faking their harassment in a bid for sympathy and cash.

Let’s look at each in turn:

1) Anita Sarkeesian

Sarkeesian, the cultural critic whose harassment started years ago when she first announced her plans to make a video series on sexism in video games, recently posted a week’s worth of harassing and threatening Tweets directed at her; there were more than a hundred of them, including numerous death and rape threats, suggestions that she kill herself in the most painful way possible, and assorted other abusive comments bristling with hatred and misogynsitic slurs.

2) Zoe Quinn

As Sarkeesian sorts through her Twitter notifications, game developer Zoe Quinn tries to figure out how to continue her life and her career in the face of unrelenting and irrational hostility and harassment. In an eloquent meditation on the subject on her blog, she writes

I’ve been trying to take a day to just be a regular person, recenter myself, and have the energy to get back to work with the same enthusiasm I tend to have, but every attempt gets cut short by some fresh, new, horrible news about someone trying to get into my accounts, a new asinine conspiracy theory being used as an excuse to dox people I went to high school with, friends freaking out because anonymous message board people are talking about how to mail them bombs, or just another death threat. At least the death threats have become somewhat routine.

Stalked by a restless mob of haters, she’s constantly under the microscope, her every utterance picked at by her critics looking for anything they can use as fodder for their increasingly baroque and fanciful conspiracy theories; as she puts it, she’s faces, every day, “a mob of Nerd McCarthyists nipping at your heels and spinning up TMZ-style blog posts every time you fart.”

Indeed, Quinn recently found herself accused of terrorism for making a joke on Twitter suggesting she planned on “burning hollywood to the ground” if an upcoming episode of Law & Order SVU loosely based on GamerGate ends up having a victim-blaming plot twist.

Privileged individual who benefited with awards, money, positive press and success from undisclosed relationships with their boss, friends and romantic partners threatens to burn Hollywood to the ground if it portrays them poorly. The violence and threats in the Anti-GamerGate movement is appalling. (i.imgur.com)  submitted 2 days ago by SpiritualSuccessors      221 comments (7 new)Do these people honestly believe that Quinn is really planning on burning anything to the ground? I don’t know, and I don’t think it even matters to them; it’s just another “crime” to add to Quinn’s GamerGate rap sheet.

I can only assume that GamerGate will go after the imaginary Hollywood director “Alan Smithee” next; after all, he’s credited with directing the 1998 film Burn Hollywood Burn. Come to think of it, Public Enemy had a song with that name as well.

3) Brianna Wu

Meanwhile, game developer Brianna Wu is facing an even creepier threat: a disturbed and delusional “GamerGate vigilante” who bombarded Wu with a succession of threats that alarmed her enough to contact the police – then, en route to her house, he flipped the Prius he’d stolen from his mom on an icy highway. And yes, this really happened; he posted a video of himself having a screeching meltdown on the side of the road next to a wrecked Prius balanced on its side. (I’m avoiding his name because I honestly don’t want to give him any more publicity.)

He claims that he meant Wu no harm, and merely wanted to challenge her to a “street race” to which she never agreed – apparently thinking that if he scared her enough to flee her home on her motorcycle this would count as a race.

But he also apparently sent a friend to try to “disable her comms” (communications) – the friend evidently never arrived – and tried to convince an online acquaintance with a gun to accompany him for this “op.” Thankfully, the acquaintance refused, and posted what he said was their chat to a message board devoted to trolling. An excerpt:

[2:52:07 PM] [name redacted]: SHE IS WORKING WIth the National Social Justice Party to stop gamers!!!!

[2:52:35 PM] [name redacted]: I SENT ELI UP TO DISABLE HER COMMS WE DONT HAVE MUCH TIME BEFORE SHE ASKS FOR REINFORCEMENTS THOUGH AND I NEED YOU FOR BACK UP!!

[2:52:52 PM] FlyAwayNow – Matthew.N: What? You want me to bring my rifle or what?

[2:53:05 PM] [name redacted]: YEA JUST LIKE IN PAYDAY 2 DUDE ITLL BE SICK

[2:53:36 PM] [name redacted]: IN CASE SHE SHOOTS AT MY CAR I CANT GET BULLET HOLES IN MY MOMS CAR SHE ILL KILL ME ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I STOLE IT

[2:54:10 PM] [name redacted]: WERE GONNA STREET RACE HER SHE WONT BE ABLE TO DRIVE IN THE STORM SO WE WILL BE ABLE TO WIN EASY AND TAKE YOUR RIFLE IN CASE SHE SHOOTS US TOO

[2:54:32 PM] FlyAwayNow – Matthew.N: You’re not laying a hand on my gun.

[2:54:42 PM] [name redacted]: ILL DRIVE YOU SHOOT

And now he seems to have convinced himself that Wu somehow sabotaged his car in an attempt to “assassinate” him. From his video:

tBv0gmxl.png

I honestly don’t quite know what to make of the threatener or the threats. His behavior is so strange and erratic and almost literally unbelievable that it would be easy to dismiss him as a troll.

But then there is that wrecked Prius. And several years worth of videos on Youtube that suggest either that he’s sincere —  or that’s he’s the most dedicated troll since Andy Kaufman’s fake comedian alter ego Tony Clifton, who somehow managed to survive Kaufman’s death.

Is GamerGate responsible for his actions? On the pro-GamerGate subreddit Kotaku In Action, the regulars largely dismissed the threatener as a troll; one accused Wu of being “a disgusting human” for publicizing the threat and being “so quick to paint him a Gamergate supporter.” Never mind that in the video the threatener repeatedly describes himself a “#GamerGate vigilante,” and that he would not have chosen her as a target had she not already been subject to months of vilification from GamerGate.

GamerGate, which is quick enough to take credit for charity work done in its name, shies away from taking responsibility for any of the terrible shit anyone does in its name. And in recent months many of the remaining Gaters seem to have stopped even pretending to care about the victims of GamerGate harassment. Indeed, @_icze4r, the former head of GamerGate’s much-vaunted, now-abandoned “Harassment Patrol” was one of those who egged the threatener on with a jokey supportive Tweet.

It’s a dangerous game they’re playing. As Wu notes

What any of this has to do with “ethics in video games journalism” I couldn’t tell you.

144 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
correcty fairy
correcty fairy
7 years ago

@marinerachel

“I’d prefer that to engaging in the same tiresome discussion over and over again. As much as I’d like people to say “OK, if that’s the rules, whatever” and either stick around and not use it or or leave the blog, I find the long fucking explanations and ensuing arguments re: WHY some of the commentariat has decided the word isn’t acceptable just as boring. I’m so tired of the long winded fucking derails, particularly when, aside from use of the word “crazy” the post was a great contribution.”

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you~~~~

I have literally been avoiding this site over the ridiculous bullying of newbies over “crazy”. If the word is supposedly not allowed here then the SITE OWNER needs to post that at the top of the comments sections or adjacent to the “reply” widget. The derailing, arguing, driving away of newbies, and bad faith was driving me *****–oh, I’m sorry, triggering my diagnosed anxiety disorder.

And, look, one specific poster here made a comment about how women are treated in the family law courts which made a really great, affecting argument as to why not to use that word here. However, the way this issue is being handled in comments is just classic oldies-vs-newbies gatekeeping internet forum bullshit. Make it stop.

matchstickuk
matchstickuk
7 years ago

I wonder if any of the GG usual suspects have chosen to comment on the mind-numbingly stupid announcement by the Philippines eGaming League Garena eSports that they would be putting a “Quota” on how many LBGT players would be allowed to take part in their upcoming “feminine” League of Legends tournament.
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/02/league-of-legends-e-sports-organizer-puts-limits-on-lgtbq-participants/

Unsurprisingly they rapidly retracted the statement once the inevitable shit-storm of bad publicity hit but I wonder if any GGers have tried defending the indefensible ?

maistrechat
7 years ago

There was a case in the U.S. a couple of years ago where a white supremacist got convicted of trying to have a judge killed (it was a trademark infringement case, initially). During the trial for the attempted judge-killing, they used the same sort of wink-wink-nudge-nudge don’t really kill this person thing as a defense and it didn’t work out so well.

BUT, during the trial, another white supremacis decided to use his website to do the same thing, posting personal informationabut a juror and making the same kind of veiled threats, and while he was initially convicted it was overturned on appeal on first amendment grounds.

Note that all this legal wrangling started in 2000 and lasted more or less until 2011.

Some summaries:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Church_of_the_Creator#Creativity_Movement.2C_former_.22World_Church_of_the_Creator.22

And the posting-stuff-on-website thing:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-20/news/ct-met-charges-dismissed-white-suprem20110419_1_white-supremacist-district-judge-lynn-adelman-matthew-hale

maistrechat
7 years ago

Addendum to the above: it looks like he did end up getting convicted in 2013 after the initial conviction was tossed

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-21/news/ct-met-white-supremacist-sentenced-20130221_1_gay-jewish-anti-racist-juror-writings-and-postings-federal-juror

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Ooh, interesting, cheers. I’ll have to ask some attorney friends if they can track me down the actual law report if one exists. Like to see the ratio. Wonder if it can help the GG victims.

maistrechat
7 years ago

The affidavit from the FBI agent investigating the postings that (I assume) was presented to the grand jury is here:
http://www.justice.gov/usao/iln/pr/chicago/2008/pr1022_01b.pdf

I’m fairly positive the case is in the federal reporter somewhere but I don’t know the citation offhand. If you find the citation but don’t have access to the actual report let me know and I can send it to you.

My guess is that because the target in question was a juror that it’s probably not a great precedent for online threats in general.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Yeah, wondered if it was because it was an interference with the administration of justice offence that they pursued it more vigorously .

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

@ maistrechat

Ah, not specifically administration of justice, applies to anyone.

Very interesting. How this doesn’t apply to the GG lot is beyond me. I don’t do a lot of prosecuting but I think I could make this stick; First Amendment etc. notwithstanding.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/373

maistrechat
7 years ago

I found some of the citations:

Initially, the indictment itself was reversed. The reversal of the reversal of the indictment is: 610 F. 3d. 956

The reversal of the initial conviction and judgement of acquittal is 779 F. Supp. 2d. 775

The re-instatement of the conviction is 698 F. 3d. 1005

There are a couple of other cases involved – not all of them ended up getting published but they are available on WestLaw.

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

It’s revealing how the gomergoons, who ostensibly work on behalf of genuinely troubled young men like this, are the ones manipulating and mocking him.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Bugger, didn’t renew my Westlaw subscription (now I practice in a fairly narrow area so don’t need it)

maistrechat
7 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

All of the published opinions are available subscription-free here:

https://www.courtlistener.com/

Also, one more cite, this time for the opinion invalidating the indictment:
638 F. supp. 2d. 935

maistrechat
7 years ago

I can send you the unpublished opinions if you want them too, just let me know and I’ll send them to the e-mail you posted in the other thread.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
7 years ago

“However, the way this issue is being handled in comments is just classic oldies-vs-newbies gatekeeping internet forum bullshit. Make it stop.”

Agreed, but I’m a newb, so I don’t think I get a say.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Oh yes please Maistrechat. Doing great for interesting reading today. That other article is fascinating.

Sadie G
7 years ago

Thanks for the welcome! Sorry about the graphic threat – that I didn’t even think twice before including it speaks to how run of the mill this kind of thing is now and how truly horrific that is…

gilshalos
7 years ago

Just re-watched Serenity. Damn pity Adam Baldwin is just like his character in Firefly. Except the character was improving, and he isn’t 🙁

Craig E.
Craig E.
7 years ago

Problem with that meme above. That was a fake shark and it never actually bit anyone i half. So…..yeah. Fail.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

I actually believe that’s what’s known as a “joke,” Craig E. Y’know, comparing GamerGaters to Jaws in order to make a point with a humorous spin?

1 4 5 6
%d bloggers like this: