While I have spent a good deal of time nibbling around the edges of the issue on Facebook, Nightline’s latest hit piece on GamerGate – completely devoid of any fact checking our adequate context – has pushed me to a point where I need to start actually saying a little more on the issue, because it has been so badly mischaracterized that most folks associate the entire GamerGate “thing” as a hate campaign, and for the overwhelming majority of folks on the other side, nothing could be further  from the truth.

To the extent that a new website has been created to “help victims cope with GamerGate”, all I can say is – Really?! The fact that media outlets are allowing this asinine narrative to continue is befuddling to say the least, but with exactly ZERO (0) crimes beyond online harassment (which IS wrong to be clear – and I will get to that in a moment, as there is a bit of an irony to the whole thing when comparing the reaction to the facts), it is becoming less of the so-called culture war that it has been characterized and more of the typical “victim culture” scenario, where being the biggest victim seems to give you the most credibility, despite being a victim of nothing other than baseless online banter and your expectation that people should care that you have thin skin.

As far as baseless online banter, I submit the following:

http://mic.com/articles/105272/one-woman-has-the-perfect-response-to-online-rape-threats

It appears that ONE (1) writer actually bothered to go the extra mile and see who was actually talking shit to them (and good for her). What was interesting, however, about this exercise is that the results were not what were expected. Specifically, it was a bunch of kids.

That is right – in the single instance that has been reported where harassers were identified, they turned out to be a bunch of friggin kids whose mothers, almost in every instance were appalled, and likely handled the situation at home. This is the big GamerGate conspiracy that Nightline presented as such a gigantic issue that poor Anita Sarkeesian needs police to escort her to speaking engagements.

The whole issue is a fabrication meant to drive thought, and it is AT THAT LEVEL that I have massive issues with it. It isn’t about whether more games are made with better representation of women – at all. If so, then it would have to be noted that women ARE seeing better representation in games, first, because second, more women are in the business of making games.

So, there is that. But anyway, I felt a proper fisking was in order – as sites like TheVerge have no qualms about talking about the whole story, I figured I would add in some much needed context.

The full story is here: http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/17/7628567/crash-override

The story is in italics, my comments are in bold. Enjoy.

Crash Override wants to help survivors of Gamergate and other online abuse

Gamergate’s first target wants to help other survivors

The headline is already a lie, as will be pointed to as you read.

Thanks to the actions of contemptible online gangs like Gamergate, online abuse has recently gained unusual mainstream attention. But survivors of online harassment and abuse are fighting back.

Ignoring the fact that “GamerGate” came about as a RESPONSE (read, none associated with GamerGate that are potty trained had any issue until something was done to them) to several articles that specifically targeted gamers, it is beyond disingenuous to refer to people that got nasty tweets and emails (wrong as they may be) as survivors in the same way that there are survivors of a terrorist attack.

Crash Override is a new “online anti-harassment task force” being run by Alex Lifschitz and Zoe Quinn. Quinn, game developer and creator of Depression Quest, was the first target of Gamergate’s angry mob, and has received vicious harassment ever since total fabrications about her personal life were warped into biting accusations and conspiracy theories about corruption in journalism. Others (mostly women) have been literally driven out of their homes by threats from angry and aggressive online harassers.

If we’re forced to use the “victim” status (which Quinn is far from), then it is worth mentioning that Quinn was NOT the first “victim” of GamerGate. Leigh Alexander was, as she wrote the source material that initially pissed off gamers. The “Quinnspiracy”, as it was known online, was something that was later brought into the GamerGate conversation, and rightly so:

http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/08/the-fine-young-capitalists-finally-bury-the-hatchet-with-zoe-quinn/

http://mattforney.com/2014/08/25/zoe-quinn-phil-fish-and-the-great-social-justice-swindle/

http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/cronyism-lies-and-censorship-what-zoe-quinn-and-feminism-bring-to-gaming-part-1/

http://howtonotsuck.com/viewarticle.php?id=95

http://talkingship.com/wp/2014/08/19/zoe-quinn-sexual-affairs-ethics/

In fact, early on in the discussion, it WAS about ethics, as even understood by feminists:

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/zoe-quinn-slut-shaming-the-feminist-conspiracy-and-depression-quest

Now, it is certainly something that feminists disagreed with, but the fact is that the argument against Quinn, from the beginning, was a matter of ethics. So, what exactly was she a victim of, particularly when considering the Fine Young Capitalists, whom she openly made every effort to tank? Whether her ex-boyfriend was a douchebag is fair commentary, but it is hardly able to be said that Quinn wasn’t engaged in some ethically questionable things with equally ethically ambiguous media folks.

As far as people being driven from their homes – there is no proof of this beyond the assertion of it. It has been demonstrated expertly on several other websites and YouTube videos; again, who are the actual harassers? As shown above, the only proven harassers known were a bunch of kids. Come on, really?

The site’s creators say that the effort is staffed by “experts in information security, white hat hacking, PR, law enforcement, legal, threat monitoring, and counseling,” and that its associates are all experienced survivors. Crash Override seeks to work with targets of harassment to help reduce harm, help them recover, and “disempower their harassers.” To accomplish this, the group says it will work with law enforcement, media, and “social infrastructure” in response to threats.

But, here is the natural question that should any rational person should ask – why not just work with law enforcement? Why is a distinct group needed for this if laws are being broken? What on earth are white hat hackers needed for? 

…and again, this is the response that you have for a bunch of teens? …and threats to what, exactly? Define threat? 

Not to mention – GamerGate itself has been very busy rooting out its own idiots.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2014/10/25/while-the-media-slanders-gamers-as-terrorists-gamergate-is-hunting-trolls-and-abusers/

oh…

Sadly, the desire to help others through harassment has drawn… harassment. Lifschitz says Crash Override has already aggressively been targeted by hackers, and the dim bulbs of Gamergate have already started thinking of ways to derail the effort. And right on cue, random Twitter trolls are mocking it:

You can go to to the site to see the tweets in question. Interestingly – the first tweet is just stupid and ironically, the same sort of tweet that got Brianna Wu into hot water with people:

http://gamergateharassment.tumblr.com/post/100182851963/brianna-wu-harasses-woman-w-autism-aspergers

The second tweet is fair commentary more than mockery. My question is this – in the context of the narrative, these were the best you could muster to show mockery or angst? It sort of shows where the discussion is at.

In the absence of help from companies like Twitter, Crash Override has a lot of work to do.

Yes, because Twitter understands that things like Terms of Service don’t just get bent to serve the purpose of any third party. 

This is where the whole thing comes into focus – these folks aren’t interested in anything but smashing any sort of dissent. Whether it is ABC turning off the comments on the Nightline video on YouTube, or Sarkeesian doing the same in her hit pieces on gaming – they don’t want a dialogue. They want you to “listen and believe”. Evidence of their claims needs not to exist, merely the claims.

There is a word for such things – propaganda.