I write this, about 8 months into what #GamerGate target Zoe Quinn is calling “August Never Ends“, to explain what I’m doing with this site and why.
My goal is to provide regular, brief summaries of what #GamerGate is currently ruining, attempting to ruin, or otherwise targeting for their hate.
For people who aren’t sure what #GamerGate is, it’s a group of people who gather mostly in private chat rooms, on message boards and on Twitter and use hundreds of fake accounts (known as “sockpuppets”) to harass, threaten and post personal information (a practice known as “doxing” or “doxxing”, from the word “documents”) of people who they disagree with. Most of the people they target are women and a disproportionate amount of them are transgender.
#GamerGate claims to be a “consumer movement”, that is concerned about “ethics in games journalism”, but they overwhelmingly target game developers rather than journalists and seem to be campaigning for contradictory goals; this is especially visible when they claim to be free speech advocates but regularly try to silence women with the power of the Twitter equivalent of a mob wielding pitchforks.
There is a ton of information about #GamerGate out there, but its mob regularly attempts to pollute their Wikipedia entries with misinformation and they create enormous quantities of articles and forum threads that make it hard to actually find reliable information about them on Google. They’re a hate movement with deep roots in the Men’s Rights Activist communities, white supremacy, and many online gathering places that are populated mostly by angry, entitled, young white men.
All this is a lot to keep up with, and frankly, watching it constantly is taxing, arduous and awful. But it needs sunlight if these undercurrents of misogyny, transmisogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, and basically every other kind of bigotry you could think of are ever going to get cut down.
So here’s what this site is for: I’ve been looking at this abyss for months, because I care about deeply about both feminism and the internet. As someone who grew up and learned to communicate online, this is my baileywick, and I’ve been reading Zoe Quinn since she was just posting neat stuff about biohacking and watching Anita Sarkeesian since before she started her fateful Kickstarter. I’m not saying this to be a “I listened to (band) before you” hipster: I’m saying this to establish that I have my finger on the pulse of what this corner of the internet is doing, and I’ll be quick to know what happens next.
I’m going to watching #GamerGate’s clusterfuck, because I care too much to turn away. But since #GamerGate is such a long, drawn-out fiasco, I’m gonna cut up what they’re doing into small, summarized pieces when big stuff happens, and I’ll link to people who have the full story. That way, you get someone curating the information so you know it’s legitimate, and you can just read the summary, which hopefully will be short enough you won’t feel like you have to shower afterwards.
If you want to know more about #GamerGate, I suggest reading Jay Hathaway’s primer over on Gawker. If you want to know more about me, I tweet @NoraReed and blog at barrl.net. If you want to support this project, you can contribute to my Patreon or donate with PayPal. If you have a tip for something new going down that I haven’t seen yet, feel free to @ me on Twitter.