KiA and Popehat target @ArchivistBecks

Another night, another dox/harassment/threat campaign.

Earlier tonight, KotakuInAction took issue with a tweet of @ArchivistBecks‘; shortly after they posted it, one of the posters on the @Popehat account sent their 43k+ followers after her.

They’ve received 10 phone calls, at least one of which was threatening, as well as harassment on Twitter.

Popehat’s done some useful– or at least amusing— work in the past, so it’s disappointing to see them engaging in targeted harassment.

Additionally, this is another example of KotakuInAction engaging in targeted harassment, which is ostensibly against reddit’s rules. Like everything I write about here, this is just one example of the type of targeted attempts at silencing that GamerGate is known for.

SXSW voting

KotakuInAction, GamerGate’s forum on reddit, GamerGaters, has sicced it’s members on several prospective panels at South by Southwest (SXSW), which uses community input to help choose which panels to feature.

Two of the panels that they’re brigading are about internet harassment and feature several of their targets. The first is “Is It Possible for a Safer, Saner & Civil Internet”, featuring Brianna Wu, developer of Revolution 60, Arthur Chu, a speaker, voice-over artist and columnist (he’s written about GG for Salon), and Shireen Mitchell of the Stop Online Violence Against Women Project.

Some of you might remember Brianna Wu, whose harassment I’ve written about before; she has also been forced out of her home because GG’s harassment and threats, and stalked and threatened by one of the volunteers working at Penny Arcade Expo. That’s just the tip of the iceberg– she receives such an enormous volume of harassment that her company has a full-time employee whose sole job is dealing with it.

The second harassment-related panel, “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games”, includes Katherine Cross, a sociologist and PhD candidate at CUNY who writes about feminism and games, Randi Harper, a developer most famous for creating the Good Game Autoblocker, which automatically blocks enough members of GamerGate on Twitter that the site is actually usable, and Caroline Sinders, an polymath artist/photographer/writer/creator. All three women are regular targets for GamerGate’s harassment, threats, and SWATings.

The third panel doesn’t actually have anything to do with harassment at all– it’s about virtual reality– but they’re still targeting it, because Brianna Wu is on it.

GamerGaters– nearly all of whom have no actual plans of going to SXSW at all– are posting their usual lies and denials in the comments and making accounts to attempt to downvote these panels enough that SXSW decides not to feature them. Like everything they do, it’s an attempt to silence marginalized voices in video games.

Special thanks to Arthur Chu for bringing this to my attention and to @srhbutts’ for tweeting about it.

Unrelated blog-housekeeping note: I rely on your PayPal donations and Patreon contributions to keep this blog running. I’m also working on getting Amazon and other sellers to remove Roosh V’s rape-promoting books from their site under the #RooshIsARapist hashtag, which has already been brigaded by GamerGaters and members of other hate groups; you can either keep an eye on the hashtag or follow me on Twitter for updates.

#RooshIsARapist

After posting that article about Roosh in Montreal, I actually decided to try to make #RooshIsARapist work. I kept seeing articles calling him a “controversial blogger” or “Neo-Masculinist” or other various bullshit instead of what he actually is: a rapist and a rape advocate.

People keep claiming there is no evidence of this. They’re full of shit. Here’s a selection, in his own words. Trigger warning for rape, obviously.

  • “I Am A Rapist”, in which he copies and pastes items from a”rape checklist” that he’s done.
  • “When No Means Yes”, in which claims that men aren’t able to stop having sex once they start. (This is called post-penetration rape, and yeah, people have been sent to prison for it.)
  • From Bang Estonia: “While walking to my place, I realized how drunk she was. In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she couldn’t legally give her consent. It didn’t help matters that I was relatively sober, but I can’t say I cared or even hesitated.”

There are more excerpts from his books over on We Hunted The Mammoth. Warning: These are pretty graphic, and really horrifying.

In addition, here’s some info about his advocacy for rape!

There’s more over at We Hunted The Mammoth. I also did a Twitter essay on the connection between rape culture, male entitlement, pick-up artists, men’s rights “activists” and #GamerGate, which might provide some helpful context on why, even when Roosh admits to acts of rape repeatedly in his writing, even when there’s video of him touching a woman without consent before she acts in self-defense, there will still be people defending him.

Remember, these people are willing to throw money at Eron Gjoni after he physically abused Zoe Quinn, ignored a restraining order and started a hate movement to ruin her life. Their movement is built on constantly denying that it is about harassment, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. Of course they’re gonna lie about one of their heroes being a rapist: they already are lying about pretty much everything else.

more lies about Zoe Quinn

Over on their reddit forum, KotakuInAction, GamerGate is posting screenshots from Zoe Quinn’s old modeling profile, which was recently hacked, claiming that this is an “admission” that she “fakes harassment”.

Zoe Quinn’s been dealing with this shit for over a year now; in that time she also co-created Crash Override, an organization that helps people who are also dealing with being targeted by hate mobs. The work she does is fantastic and you should fucking pay her.

that Roosh thing

This week we saw Roosh V, admitted rapist, “pick-up artist” and advocate for making rape legal, visit Montreal; the lead-up to this event had him advocating “infiltrating” and posting personal information about the planned protests. All of this ended with him accusing a woman who threw a drink in his face of assault when video of the incident showed him putting his hands on her without permission.

How it’s related to GamerGate: A few days ago, Roosh shut down Reaxxion, his gaming site that he made for GamerGaters; he was one of many non-gamers (including Christina Hoff Sommers and Milo Yiannopoulos) to attempt to use the hate movement for his own profit.

Roosh is a major figure in the “manosphere“, a group of semi-affiliated websites for “pick-up artists” (a group of generally misogynistic self-help “gurus” who post techniques to get women to have sex with them; these techniques are often threatening and/or sexually violent) and “men’s rights activists”, who are actually just anti-feminists who don’t ever do anything to help men.

There’s a huge overlap between the “manosphere” and GamerGate; KotakuInAction, GamerGate’s subreddit, has more users in common with the Men’s Rights subreddit than any other sub. The reactionary tactics that GamerGate uses have long been staples of the manosphere’s “activism”; there’s a long history of men’s rights activists using harassment and doxxing (releasing personal information of targets) of feminists that they disagree with– they’ve even offered bounties for personal information of women before.

More information:

A personal note: I’m running this site out of my own pocket because it’s information that needs to be out there. If you want to help, you can sign up as a site patron or donate; you can also check out my other projects.

Also, if anyone who’s thrown a drink at Roosh needs a replacement, please hit me up.

conversations about an open source convention (OSCON)

GamerGate just figured out that Randi Harper, the creator of the GGAutoBlocker (a tool that automatically blocks most of #GamerGate, which keeps them from making Twitter quite so unusable for both their targets and people interested in one of the topics that they are spamming with their garbage), is speaking at O’Reily’s Open Source Convention (OSCON) and has been flooding their official Twitter account with abuse as well as cluttering up the hashtag with the usual combinations of abuse and conspiracies.

I could write up a big thing about it, but Harper summed it up pretty nicely:

Here’s a couple of examples of the kind of stuff they’re tweeting; you can find more by looking at the hashtag yourself.

a bunch of tiny screenshots of tweets with red arrows and nonsense

Some of #GamerGate’s trademark conspiracies, tied together with a bunch of arrows made in MSPaint.

 

jeff ‏@Jeffsmall46: @randileeharper why should anyone believe what u say. U lied about drug use, u harass on the regular and u dox all day

They’ve been trying the “Randi Harper is a drug addict” thing in an attempt to make her look bad lately

More info:

  • Why Is Mark Kern Sad did a round-up of all of #GG favorite and noted failure Mark Kern‘s tweets as he urged his followers to go after OSCON and their sponsors
  • Good Game Autoblocker
  • Kiva Bay talks about the harm that’s done by using the “drug addict” label like they do
  • Previous attempts to ruin hashtag conversations: 1, 2 (I don’t write about this every time they try this strategy, because time– both mine as a writer and yours as a reader– is finite, but it happens a lot more than makes this blog.)

UPDATE 7/23: They’re still at it. Ashley Lynch posted about how they’re trying to spam the hashtag with porn (warning: porn). Randi Harper confirmed that every time Mark Kern floods a hashtag, subscriptions to GGAutoblocker go up. She’s also received threats; her talk went well anyway.

Also, noted jackass Vivek Wahdwa– the dude who made a career of speaking over women about issues of sexism in the tech industry– jumped in, citing a piece on Breitbart, the conservative online “newspaper” that employes Milo Yiannopolus and has even less actual journalistic integrity and credibility than Fox News.

GOG.com (Good Old Games)

GOG.com, formerly Good Old Games, recently hosted a sale of games endorsed by GamerGate favorite John Bain, AKA TotalBiscuit, AKA The Cynical Brit. Bain is one of the people responsible for launching GamerGate; he helped the lies about Zoe Quinn that started the hate movement spread by sharing them with his followers, which were at around 350 thousand at the time.

Additionally, regarding the death threats against Anita Sarkeesian, he stated on his podcast that “I’m also not going to claim they are credible, because well, Anita is still breathing.”

He’s also recently spearheaded a group called “The Framerate Police” that has recently been harassing and threatening the developers of games who lock their frame rate at 30 frames per second. (For reference, most videos and television display between 24 and 30 FPS.)

This comes after he threatened to sic his fans on someone who criticized him (and pinned the tweet doing so to the top of his Twitter page).

Anyway, GOG.com is being criticized a lot a fair bit on Twitter sponsoring one of GamerGate’s ringleaders, but this is another look at how deep the issues of hatred are in GamerGate. Jim Sterling, a game reviewer who’s spoken out about GamerGate, talks about being friends with him. Steam, one of the largest platforms for distributing computer games, allows him to curate his lists of games on their site, including the aforementioned hitlist of games that lock their FPS; this feature makes it incredibly easy for his fans to leave fraudulent ratings or reviews of games based on his near-arbitrary criteria and disrupt the communities that develop around these games.

The fact is that even if many of GamerGate’s prominent figures, such as Milo Yiannopolus and Christina Hoff Summers, are opportunistic right-wingers who are latching onto a movement that supports their bigotry, harassment culture and misogyny runs deep both in gamer culture and the game development community. Despite the fact that GamerGate has been shown over and over again to be a harassment movement focused on silencing women in gaming, companies are still sponsoring prominent figures in it, apparently willing to take the short-term gain from profiting off hate’s ringleaders than invest in making women– who make up 52% of people who play games— welcome in the world of computer gaming.

the Gawker thing

a screenshot of KotakuInAction

The front pate of KotakuInAction, the GamerGate subreddit. Note that all but one thread is about Gawker (and the one that isn’t is pinned, meaning it didn’t actually get up there by members voting but by mods choosing to have it display at the top of the page.

On Thursday (7/15), Gawker published an article outing the (male) CFO of a major company as someone who made appointments with a male escort; the escort in question apparently leaked this information to Gawker as part of some kind of blackmail scheme. (LGBTQ Nation wrote about it.) It was a pretty yellow journalism thing to do, and a lot of people, including many Gawker writers, were upset. The post was eventually taken down and Gawker published a sort-of apology.

This isn’t actually the kind of thing that actually has anything to do with GamerGate, except that they hate Gawker. Their subreddit, KotakuInAction, is named for Gawker’s videogame subsite; their writing about GamerGate has generally been accurate and has portrayed them as the hate movement they are. Gawker itself has also written about GamerGate; there was also an excellent editorial about it on Deadspin.

GamerGate has latched onto Gawker’s mistake and is determined to drive it into the ground. Here are a few reasons why this is incredibly hypocritical.

  1. GamerGate hero Milo Yiannopoulos (previously) “outed” Brianna Wu last year. I use the quotes around “outed” because it’s entirely possible that he’s wrong.
  2. GamerGaters are totally okay with outing trans people as long as, by their standards, they don’t “pass”. From KotakuInAction yesterday (note the upvotes):
    "Honest Question: How is this any different from us outing [REDACTED] as trans? / "Outing [REDACTED} as trans is like "outing" a 1200-pound Dalmatian with hooves, horns and a big swingin' udder as a cow.
  3. They doxxed and deadnamed Sarah Nyberg because she wrote publicly about GamerGate, sharing pre-transition photos of her.
  4. GGers regularly link to Encyclopedia Dramatica (it’s on one of their semi-official reading lists), which has hosted several dox, including Nyberg’s.
  5. GG favorite @TheRalphRetort has doxxed, deadnamed and/or outed several trans women who he has deemed ideological opponents.
  6. GamerGate is incredibly homophobic. Seriously, just do a search for #GamerGate on Twitter and add your least favorite homophobic slur. You’ll get thousands of results, and it’ll probably be updating in real time.
  7. GamerGate does not care about privacy. They literally are founded on being a movement that tries to expose people (mostly women) who they disagree with by releasing information about them so they’re susceptible to threats and harassment.
  8. GamerGate does not care about LGBTQ people. Their first target, Zoe Quinn, identifies as queer; additionally, they regularly target trans people in the gaming community. Previous list items show the people who’ve been outed/deadnamed by major figures in the GamerGate movement, but casual transphobia and transmisogyny is huge among GGers, and accusations of being trans (or claims that trans people are “actually” the gender they were incorrectly assigned at birth) are extremely popular tactics for rank-and-file GGers.

None of this, of course, makes what Gawker did any less abhorrent. But it does make GG’s choice to make this a “GamerGate issue” pretty obviously an opportunistic move to attack a website that has repeatedly made them look bad since their hate movement started.

You can support What Is GamerGate Currently Ruining and my other projects by contributing to my patreon or donating with paypal.

the Airplay thing

Remember back in April when GamerGate took over a hashtag conversation that was actually about journalistic ethics and made it unusable? Well, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) board member Michael Koretzky noticed and wanted to give GamerGate a chance to explain themselves. So he created an event called AirPlay for them to do so.

Koretzky is the writer of such hard-hitting journalistic pieces as this 3-part series on how much all the toys in 50 Shades of Grey would cost and this listicle about women’s self esteem, which mostly features statistics from studies paid for by companies that sell beauty products.

Now, the SPJ isn’t actually associated with AirPlay; it’s actually only sponsored by a couple of local Florida chapters, and they actually had to remove the official SPJ logo from their branding. Koretzky has tried to recruit “anti-GamerGate” voices to speak at this “debate”, but no one took the bait, probably because no one wants to be on a panel to “debate” with people actively trying to ruin your life. (Also, there isn’t really an anti-GamerGate.) Despite this, the official AirPlay website still advertises a debate with two sides.

Today (7-14), a blog post by Koretzky went up talking about how, despite his giving the GamerGate community-selected panelists “almost everything they want”, they have already threatened to quit, and have shared early drafts that Koretzky sent them for factchecking with other GamerGaters, despite his request they not do so until the final version was published.

You can read the full details on the AirPlay blogtrigger warning for racial slurs there– but it’s clear that GamerGate can’t even manage to behave themselves well enough to handle an event that is clearly pandering to them.

More info on this whole thing:

Schadenfreude and jokes, for people interested in that kind of thing, is available from:

[Special thanks to lexica for editing help with this piece.]

Ellen Pao resignation

Ellen Pao resigned from her position as interim CEO of reddit today following years of quantities of racist and misogynist abuse from reddit’s userbase.

GamerGaters have, predictably, been celebrating, both in their forum on reddit and on Twitter. They’re doing so with their usual, predictable combination of lies about “censorship” (they keep thinking that a private website choosing to remove their comments is “censoring them” and abridging their “free speech”):

Antigamers are mad that Ellen Pao has been shitcanned because some were expecting jobs at reddit.  HAHAHAHAHA  #GamerGate

and racism:

BREAKING: Ellen Pao interim CEO of Reddit Inc is stepping down  #GamerGate

 

Not all of the people behind the harassment of Pao are associated with #GamerGate, but #GamerGate is only one of many hate groups that engage in large-scale harassment intended to silence women, people of color, and other members of marginalize groups. Many of these groups use reddit as a platform.

More on Pao’s resignation:

More on reddit’s history with hate groups: