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.

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