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#gamergate 8chan empathy deficit

Randi Harper, GamerGate critic and anti-online-harassment activist, was SWATted last night

So, this happened:

Last night, around 10:20 PM, I received a knock at my front door. I live in a secured building, and it’s rare that I have visitors, so it wasn’t any huge surprise to me when I opened the front door and 6 officers from the Oakland Police were standing outside.

Randi Harper, who posted the above on her blog today, was the victim of an attempted SWATting late last night. That is, one of her online enemies contacted the police, pretending that they were in her apartment holding someone hostage, in hopes of literally sending a SWAT team to bust down her door. Luckily for her, she had herself contacted the police some months earlier and warned them that someone might do this.

Had she not warned the cops in advance, more than six police officers would have shown up. In all likelihood, a literal SWAT team would have shown up, guns drawn, at her door. Instead, her encounter with the police, while nerve-wracking, was peaceful. (I’ve bolded some of what follows.)

Leo, my golden retriever, followed me to the door, so I only opened the door partially and was blocking him with my body to keep him from rushing out to make friends. One of the officers asked me if I was OK. I told him I was fine, and I immediately followed that up by asking if a SWAT threat had been called in. They confirmed this, and I told them I had a police report filed documenting that people were threatening to call in fraudulent reports.

I told them my dog was friendly, and I asked if I could give them this report. They said yes, and they asked if they could come inside and make sure everything was OK. I agreed. Four of the police stayed outside, and two came in. I was asked if anyone else was here, if I was living alone, why someone would call in a false report, and other various pertinent questions by one of the officers while the other took a look around my apartment.

After they had asked all of their questions and were sure that no one was being held against their will, I was informed that someone had called the police “from an iPad” stating that there was a ransom situation at my address, and they wanted $10,000. When I had opened the door, all guns were holstered. I was told that had I not filed a report back in January documenting these threats, that would not have been the case.

What usually happens when someone gets SWATted? Well, take a look at the video below, which Harper posted on her blog, featuring actual footage of a number of gamers being SWATted while in the middle of streaming video events. That is, they were playing games online, others were watching them playing, and some of those watching decided it would be hilarious to send a SWAT team to visit them while they were playing.

So, yeah, that’s what whoever called the hoax in was hoping would happen to her.

For more details, some documentation, and advice on how to approach the police if you are worried that someone will try to do this to you, see her post.

We still don’t know who called in the fake report. Given that she’s been repeatedly targeted (and doxxed) by the not-so-good folks on the baphomet board on 8chan, a lot of people think that’s who it was.

Of course, there are many GamerGaters who think her story is a hoax, and complain that she hasn’t posted an official police incident report detailing what went down. According to Harper, the police told her she wouldn’t be able to get hold of one for at least two weeks.

I believe her. But I guess we’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks, huh?

In the meantime, Leo the dog is hunkering down in the bathtub.

And Leo’s owner is just glad she was wearing pants during the whole ordeal.

 

 

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Shalimar
Shalimar
7 years ago

Mitchel | April 4, 2015 at 5:35 am
I certainly apologize if my comment came off as rude or uncaring. It certainly wasn’t my intentions. I looked into it more, and do believe it really happened. As was already said, there’s no reason for her to make this up.

How is that still digging? Uncaring isn’t the best word, but I assume he’s saying he shouldn’t have implied so casually that Harper might be the type of person to lie about this. He says repeatedly that he didn’t know anything about her when he first commented but he read more and agrees with everyone else that there isn’t any reason to think she would lie.

If he’s trolling, then he is damned good at it. Posting gut reactions and then re-evaluating when people point out the faulty cultural assumptions they’re based on sounds like a normal way good-intentioned people respond to ideas they haven’t considered before.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

I never actually asked for a banning. I’m just expressing annoyance at a pattern I’ve noticed across multiple threads. It’s starting to look more like JAQing off than anything. If he doesn’t do it again, I’m cool. But the more I see it, the more cross I’m getting.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
7 years ago

I don’t feel that way, but I may just be overly sensitive now to the massive tendency to vote absolutely everyone off the island this place has evolved, and be unable to tell when someone actually should be booted.

If there’s a reason for that, it’s because this blog has a history of people – usually as first-time posters – coming here under the guise of civility only to then waste everyone’s time and energy. I understand that sentiment because the phenomenon exists elsewhere and, sometimes, I just want to go somewhere that has a zero-tolerance policy than suffering fools endlessly under the notion it is “open-minded.”

Maybe Mitchel is being genuine – but I can’t really know. The internet doesn’t allow you to read someone’s body language or tone of voice, which would make it easier to determine such, but all we have to go off of is text and it’s far easier to be utterly dishonest and fool others.

It doesn’t help his first response is to be disbelieving of Harper because of Mike Cernovich, then admitting he knew nothing about her but nonetheless assumed she was making it up. Given the false equivalence and the usual attitude from GamerGaters/MRAs/etc. is that victims of harassment just “make it up”, even without knowing all the facts – it’s a pretty bad first impression and those are hard to get past.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
7 years ago

But the more I see it, the more cross I’m getting.

It’s difficult not to be. Especially when it’s the same conversation over and over, again and again.

It gets more frustrating when it’s with a different person each time – yet, per usual, repeat the same exact arguments from before. Under the delusion they, more than anyone else, are being more profound or clever about it and arrogant enough to demand validation for just expressing their opinion…as if no one else is capable of doing the same.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
7 years ago

In this particular case, I don’t think Mitchel is trolling. If it turns out he is I won’t hesitate to ban.

And that’s totally fair. I probably should’ve clarified my comments were not really geared at Mitchel than at others’ feeling exhausted by that kind of thing. Having dealt with numerous people over the recent Batgirl cover as well as Erik Larson deciding it was a good idea to have an interview with Reaxxxion – it’s made me a bit bitter about discourse online.

Fitz
Fitz
7 years ago

I can’t imagine ‘swatting’ even being a thing unless your police are entirely fucked. Why would you send several heavily armed officers into a situation at an address you know nothing about?

Orion
7 years ago

Fitz, I imagine you don’t like in the US?

M.
M.
7 years ago

I don’t feel that way, but I may just be overly sensitive now to the massive tendency to vote absolutely everyone off the island this place has evolved, and be unable to tell when someone actually should be booted.

People keep saying that, but I’m yet to see a case of a totally innocent person being shunned. I mean, it may have happened, but I haven’t seen it or even seen reference to it. =/ In Mitchel’s case specifically, we’re side-eyeing him because of what he said in another thread:

Can you explain something to me? Aside from the name “sluthate”, why do you consider it a bad site? I too admit the name sounds TERRILBE, but I personally LOVE “bash the scene”. What are your thoughts on “bash the scene?”

Of all the sites he could have defended, he picked the one that is most well known for literally spawning a mass murderer and, oh yeah, is called SlutHate. I’m not yet ready to call him a sealion – he may be genuinely clueless, you never know – but he only has one more strike from me before he’s out.

mitchel
7 years ago

This is my last comment on this subject. I was in no way trying to troll. I too can see now why people were upset with me. If I do post again, I’ll be more cautious about things I’m not entirely up to speed on.

I’ve been looking into Cernovich more the last couple weeks ago and am shocked by him. I did read a bit into his “swatting”, so that was the fist thing that came to mind about Randi. Mike may even be WORSE than Roosh(if that’s even possible?). I fully plan on writing a piece on him. He has ZERO legal angle whatsoever against legit criticism. I fully expect him to “fear monger” me with stuff like, “I’ll sue you for defamation, blah, blah, blah.” There’s one thing I’ve been digging my hardest to find on him, and if I find it, some of the “mindless bros” who worship him may be not overly impressed with him anymore 😉

friday jones
friday jones
7 years ago

“This is, IMO, the most insidious part of these online harassment campaigns. If the same bullshit gets disseminated far enough and fast enough, it doesn’t even matter what the truth is. The lie just keeps self-replicating.”

As Twain said, lie can get halfway around the world before the truth even gets its boots on.

zarathustratheserpent
7 years ago

We still don’t know who called in the fake report. Given that she’s been repeatedly targeted (and doxxed) by the not-so-good folks on the baphomet board on 8chan, a lot of people think that’s who it was.

Of course, there are many GamerGaters who think her story is a hoax, and complain that she hasn’t posted an official police incident report detailing what went down. According to Harper, the police told her she wouldn’t be able to get hold of one for at least two weeks.

Can we finally call these 8chan fuckers criminals already? That’s exactly what they are, and they’re using the anonymity of the internet to get away with it.

I’m hoping and praying that this sort of bs behavior doesn’t crash headlong into a pit of racism and get some random PoC killed. I’m dreading the day this happens.

I dread it as well. That would be especially heinous, as if what is happening right now is not heinous enough.

zarathustratheserpent
7 years ago

Can someone explain this to me? I just don’t understand how online reactionaries work. I don’t mean in an intellectual sense… but, I just can’t wrap my mind around why people in general would do such things.

I’m not sure how all these guys originated. Are they just some “grassroots” people on the Internet or are there some very sinister people in background who orchestrate these kind of things? I apologize if I sound like a kind of conspiracy theorist, but sometimes I just think that this level of hatred is unnatural to be spontaneous.

At the moment I think it’s “grassroots”. Some people are hateful miscreants and meet in the Internet because they can find other people to reaffirm their beliefs (like any other Internet subculture), and so they can get away with things they can’t in real life. Some of these people are either more intelligent, criminal, or hateful than the rest, so they become demagogues (Paul Elam, Sargon of Akkad, Roosh etc.) They drum up insane rhetoric and make scapegoats, making their followers every more fearful and hateful. As long as the “hate train” keeps running or accelerates, they keep their power.

I’m sorry if you guys find my theory above bad in some way. But… It’s my attempt to try to understand these people. I just can’t… wrap my head around them. What kind of people are so deeply resentful and vengeful that they would do such crazy things? What kind of people are so glib, callous, and superficial that they would jeopardize innocent people’s lives because they see a scapegoat? What kind of people just follow people’s orders, and become bullies and cowards?

In the name of the city of Dis, what kind of fucking people SWAT their political “enemies”?

I just can’t comprehend this kind of behavior. It’s thoroughly disgusting. The more I try to understand it, the more twisted my brain gets.

footnotegirl
footnotegirl
7 years ago
footnotegirl
footnotegirl
7 years ago

And I’m not sure if this got posted, but it is the lovely:
http://sorenbowie.tumblr.com/post/95355917126/so-why-does-cracked-constantly-push-feminist

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

In the name of the city of Dis, what kind of fucking people SWAT their political “enemies”?

I’d think they’re much the same as those terrible people who urge complete strangers to Jump! when they see some poor distraught soul on a bridge or the top of a building.

There’s no reasoning, no thinking, no justification. It’s pure, uncontrolled worst instincts.

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