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Game developer Brianna Wu leaves home after death threats for supporting women (venturebeat.com)
79 points by fredfoobar42 1160 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments



It's interesting what a chilling effect the evil "gamergate" people have.

By making it clear they target anyone who stands up for women in gaming or for freedom of press they have intimidated people who would usually be up front in their support for the people attacked.

I hope someone can come up with a sensible strategy for dealing with these trolls. I'd like to see real-world consequences.

The article indicates there are "some well known names" involved in the group. Who are they and what companies do they work for?

(Written from a throwaway, which says a lot doesn't it?)


This narrative you're pushing here is a very hard sell considering this is one of their most prominent banners: http://www.nichegamer.net/media/2014/09/gamergate.jpg

Being the interenet, there are naturally aggressive and violent people who will throw harassment around. With regard to this issue, it is downright false to claim that they originate from, or are encouraged by, any one camp, as there are examples of harassment originating from both sides. One of the more prominent journalists writing articles supporting gamergate was mailed a syringe filled with mystery liquid; far from a friendly gesture.

There are, however, a lot of people who wish to paint gamergate as woman-hating trolls - the kind of people in the media who have a lot to lose, who always pick up on these sort of outliers and point to them as the bulk of the movement, to try to distract the public from the real message of gamergate, which is that they want proper ethics and integrity in gaming journalism, not 10/10's for games made by your friends, or articles brazenly insulting your readership.


Here's the problem: #gamergate started as part of a harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn, closely following a round of attacks on Anita Sarkeesian[1] by many of the same people. The journalism bit was a valid issue latter adopted as a shield against criticism from the attacks at those women, several journalists and anyone else who spoke up against the abuse. Then they jumped in bed with the Breitbart crew, who were never particularly fond of gamers in the past but love free attention and attacks on feminists and other perceived enemies.

Things like the image you linked to were invented well after the shitstorm was in full swing as part of that distraction campaign, as were the hundreds of fake accounts registered on Twitter, etc. in the last couple months which use very similar language and pictures to either make attacks or deliver excuses or historical revisionism – amusingly, often trying both from the same account as in e.g. https://twitter.com/frankcifaldi/status/521117712844468224.

There's simply no way to recover from the tainted roots of that movement. I have no doubt that there are people who really do care about the quality of gaming journalism or the public reputation of gamers but they're simply being used at this point in the same way that someone who shows up at a PETA-organized rally expecting to talk about sustainable farming.

If you actually care about any of those issues, stop volunteering your time and reputation as a shield for #gamergate. Let the extremists deal with the mess while you write about ethics without having to get distracted by the grenades being tossed by the people you're choosing to ally with.

1. See e.g. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/zoe-quinns-depression..., http://gawker.com/what-is-gamergate-and-why-an-explainer-for..., etc.


> #gamergate started as part of a harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn

The problem has never been about Zoe Quinn.She can f$ck whoever she wants.

The issue is so called "game journalists" f$cking Zoe Quinn then writing articles about her praising her work,funding her through Patreon,and not disclosing the fact that they are also f$cking her.

The issue is "game journalists" colluding in google groups to push a leftwing political agenda that has NOTHING to do with gaming,not even because they believe in that agenda,but because they profit from it directly. This "webpress" has basically become a PAC,there is no difference.The way they opperate,the way they are funded,they have a plateform and they use it to push political bullshit.

It's about corruption.It's about a small elite of journalists and crooks, that knows each other,conspire to drive a political agenda,that is fundamentally extreme and is hurting the independent gaming industry and the independent gaming press.

And yes even leftism or feminism can be as extreme as conservatism or any -ism.

That's all.


> The issue is so called "game journalists" f$cking Zoe Quinn then writing articles about her praising her work,f

You meant one journalist, who never reviewed her game and mentioned her once before they started dating, right?

I've watched this unfold and it was rather starkly different from the charming story you're telling. On the off chance that you aren't intentionally spreading propaganda, here are a few links which cover how things actually happened:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/new-chat-logs-show-how... http://gawker.com/what-is-gamergate-and-why-an-explainer-for...


Nathan Grayson is one of the accused people. He's written a few articles on Kotaku painting her game in a positive light. Kotaku is a Gawker Media site - one of the two sites you've linked to. You can see why your evidence might not be taken so seriously in this context.

Robin Arnott is also one of the accused people. While not a journalist, he is one of the judges for Indiecade. Her game won an award on last year's indiecade, winning over Papers, please and other titles - quite a clear conflict of interest.

Kyle Orland is also one of the accused people. You can see an article on depression quest by him right here: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/08/what-depression-quest-...

There has also been unearthed that the IGF, which granted awards to Fez in two separate years, had judges who all had a financial investment in it, and according to Edmund McMillen, there was direct decision to cause it to win because of this, not on it's own merits.

These are the sort of things people backing gamergate are angry about. Few people are interested in harassment campains, despite what the opposing side claim.


"Robin Arnott is also one of the accused people. While not a journalist, he is one of the judges for Indiecade. Her game won an award on last year's indiecade, winning over Papers, please and other titles - quite a clear conflict of interest."

That's also not a thing that happened. Depression Quest did not win an award at Indiecade. It wasn't even one of the finalists. There's a press release here: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200020/IndieCade_announce...

"The 36 finalists represent only a fraction of the total number of games to be exhibited, which will include top picks from the inaugural VR Jam and over 120 non-finalist selections including Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest."

So Depression Quest was exhibited, but it wasn't a finalist and it didn't win an award. The actual award winners are listed here: http://www.indiecade.com/2013/award_winners/

Seriously, man. I'm not trying to win an argument here: I am earnestly and sincerely recommending that you step back and think about the people who lied to you about these things. You're swimming in a toxic cloud of hate and anger. It's not healthy.


Ok, I was wrong on that point - believing a forum post to remind me of robin's role was a poor choice of mine. Her game was chosen as an exhibitor among thousands of submissions however, so it seems hard to believe that no influence is at play, nor does it invalidate the other points.

You are VERY quick to accuse me of "swimming in a toxic cloud of hate and anger". Have you yourself considered that you may have had your viewpoint biased by the input you've had? Or that perhaps some of that anger may be due to gamers as a collective being openly insulted by journalists, simply for demanding better standards?


Considering that Indiecade 2013 took place well in advance of any sexual contact between Robin and Zoe? It's very easy to believe that no influence is in play.

And this is why I don't think I'm too quick to accuse. You're not thinking. You're not applying any rationality to this at all. There's something else going on in your thoughts, and I think it's toxic anger generated by the meme bubble you're currently living in -- not maliciousness.

Demanding that Robin Arnott develop a time machine and retroactively undo Indiecade choices after he started a relationship with Zoe Quinn isn't "better standards." It's insanity. Gamergate is being treated as you'd expect from a bunch of people insisting that something that happened in 2013 was caused by something that happened in 2014.

I'm truly sorry you can't see that.


linking to arstechnica ,sure , when the head of its gaming department is at the center of that shitstorm ... who is spreading propaganda again ?

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed...


Generally speaking, the guy linking to frigging Breitbart is a good lock to be the guy spreading propaganda.

Y'all have been played most effectively by guys like Nero--guys who sneered at you until they realized they could make a name off you. Y'all froth at Sarkeesian all day long for "not being a gamer"...and yet this is the guy you put up as having Useful Things To Say? Get real.


Generally speaking you should actually read the damn article linked before commenting it.The guy who wrote the article worked at the Guardian.He is not a right wing nut.


Nero is one of the more loathsome right-wing extremists you will run across outside the straight-up Stormfronts of the world; he dresses it up a bit better but if you dig a bit you'll figure it out. He's happy to be known as wearing Iron Crosses (seriously, holy shit) and is the token "gay against marriage equality" trotted out by Breitbart when they need him. He's spoken positively of the BNP in the past, too.

(Oh, and he stiffed numerous contributors when he ran The Kernel, but that's just him being a turd, not a right-wing turd.)


Sorry, you sound like Rush Limbaugh. Stop clinging to silly conspiracy theories of journalists sitting down together and deciding future of the gaming industry. Journalists don't care about future of gaming industry, as long as it bring clicks to their articles.


Sorry, you sound like Rachel Maddow. Distording facts and saying i said stuff i never said.



Of all the genres of journalism to get so passionate about ethics about, you choose this?


Of all posts on the internet you choose to comment this one?


Check my profile - I comment on tons of posts. Doesn't mean I'm that passionately invested in them.


Yeah,says the pot that calls the kettle black... I'm not a creep, I dont check profiles nor give a fuck about yours.


That's one way to tell the story. Here's another:

Zoe's disgruntled ex-partner decided to publicly air a lot of dirty laundry after he'd discovered she'd been unfaithful to him. This is childish behavior, but the thing that caught people's attention was his claim that she'd intentionally slept with the editors of gaming publications to receive positive coverage, which turned out to be true.

Caught with their pants down, instead of doing the decent thing and apologizing, the editors in question rallied their friends, and published articles decrying gamers as woman-hating children, and declaring that they were 'dead' and 'over' - essentially, insulting their audience for daring to accuse them of poor ethics.

This was understandably offensive to previously loyal readers, being attacked because of their hobbies, and so the movement was born - coined #gamergate by Adam Baldwin, but helmed by none.

Images like that banner were created as a response to the repeated attempts to discredit the movement as nothing more than a woman-hatting harassment campaign, as was the sister hashtag #notyourshield, in which plenty of minorities of all genders showed their support, and disproved the claims that it was just a bunch of hateful white men.

re: your links. Gawker Media are well known as having a vested interest in painting gamergate as a hate movement; their site Kotaku plays host to one of the accused PR-for-sex journalists, they have posted numerous attack pieces, and in return have had several of their sponsors pull out due to gamergater's emails. They are desperate to paint gamergate as a hate campaign, because they badly want it to go away and stop hurting their revenue.

Gamergaters generally want people to stop focusing on women's sex lives, and pay more attention to the actions and lack of integrity of the journalists involved.


It's not true that she slept with editors to receive positive coverage. The ONE writer she became involved with did not write any reviews of her game and the only article he did write was written before they became an item.

The fact that you choose to lie about this fact shows that you are perfectly happy with your role as a cog in the harassment campaign. Gamergate is a hate campaign that you are participating in.

As for the #gamergate hashtag, after its first use by Adam it was quickly taken over by several people on 4-chan to attack Zoe, so it was helmed by someone. see http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/new-chat-logs-show-how...

in a response below you state: "it was about the journalists who had accepted sex, and reciprocated with positive coverage." Yet there has never been any proof of this, because it didn't happen. She started a relationship with a writer and received no positive coverage from it. You continue to state lies that have been proven false.


She herself stated that it was her reason for sleeping with them, in the video-capped facebook chatlogs her ex posted. That was enough evidence for me to believe the claims.

Her actions aren't important, however. Gamergate the movement generally wants people to stop focusing on women's sex lives, and pay more attention to the actions of the journalists involved.

You're quite quick to accuse me of harassment and hate. That a hashtag was hijacked hardly discredits it's original intent. Those hijackers, and any since, have quickly been condemned by people who simply want journalists to have integrity and ethical standards.

If the websites had simply stated that yes, having a conflict of interest with the subjects we write about is poor ethical behavior and we will do things to change this, the campaign wouldn't have taken off at all. Instead of simply addressing gamergate's legitimate complaints, they are still trying to discredit the movement, which serves only to fuel the fire, and ironically, destroy their ad revenue due to sponsors pulling out.


How about pointing me (and the others reading this thread) towards the chat logs where she admits to sleeping with journalists in exchange for positive reviews.

The hashtags original intent existed for only a short period of time. It's like saying we shouldn't call Hitler a murderous dictator because he was so sweet and friendly as a child.


The only reason I viewed them in the first place was because they were readily available at the time, and because I wanted to confirm for myself if the claims being made were true.

I don't want to go digging for other people's private relationship drama to share it here in order to prove a point, and if you think this discredits my position, then so be it.


I went digging for them and found nothing that was even close to an admission of trading sex for positive coverage, so yeah, your lack of proof discredits your position.


"the thing that caught people's attention was his claim that she'd intentionally slept with the editors of gaming publications to receive positive coverage, which turned out to be true."

No, this is not true. Here are the ways in which it isn't true:

- You're claiming that Zoe Quinn slept with people for the purpose of positive coverage (as opposed to, say, pleasure). There's no evidence of this.

- She didn't sleep with "editors of gaming publications." Of the three people named in the blog post, only one is a journalist and none are editors.

- Zoe's ex-partner didn't accuse her of sleeping with people for positive coverage; in fact, he explicitly says "if there was any conflict of interest between Zoe and [journalist] regarding coverage of Depression Quest prior to April, I have no evidence to imply that it was sexual in nature."

- [Journalist] wrote one article that talked about Zoe Quinn at all; it was not a review. It does say nice things about her. He wasn't sleeping with her at the time.

I don't have much hope of this, but seriously: you should stop and think about why you've come to believe this skewed, angry version of the story. What are you getting out of thinking Zoe Quinn is this bad a person? Could you be wrong about the rest of your beliefs about Gamergate?


The video-capped facebook chatlogs and her own admissions were evidence enough for me.

However, she is not important.

What is important is the poor behaviour of the journalists. That is what the focus is, that is what's been called into question, that is what people are angry about.

The only people still talking about women's sex lives are the anti-gamergate crowd, trying to smear the movement.


This is absolutely false. There was no coverage that was slanted for her free game after she supposedly slept with anyone. This is not about ethics, if it were that would have been an issue when BIG publishers started paying youtubers to cover games without any negative language. Or any of the other actual scandals. Not when ONE indie game developer happened to have some dirty laundry aired by an asshole.


You mean like when TotalBiscuit called out Shadows of Mordor and then Boogie reported that publishers are changing their contracts?


Notice how quickly the #gamergate contingent dropped that to go back to talking how Anita/Zoe/Brianna totally deserved it and how gamers are being oppressed by a vast SJW conspiracy?

This is not what a real campaign to improve journalistic ethics looks like.


Can you name me everyone in the "#gamergate contingent" as well as all tweets between the time SoM issue was announced and when Boogie mentioned the "resolution" (in the name of contract changes). I recommend pastebin for large lists.

If not, I would ask ... why has this -> gamergateharassment.tumblr.com [1] <- not been reported by the same journalists that say they are ethical and that GamerGate is only a harassment campaign.

Also, I think things get a bit more messy when the same journalists involved in the issue use their parent companies to shield themselves from criticism. Unless you forgot that time that P.H. smeared Stardock and Cards against Humanity on flimsy "evidence" and then when the same level of evidence comes up about someone else, it's deemed irrelevant. Here I thought being ethical was applying equal standards to people, guess I was wrong.

So, in that case, please explain why Grayson did not need to mention his relationships, or why the Wizardchan harassment was never clarified in a new article (to correct offending publications), or why allegations against Wardell and Tempkin were published (multiple times) as "relevant to the industry" whereas another developer is not.

Where is the exact line? Please fully describe the line in detail so all reading this comment thread can clearly see Grayson, Hernandez, Kotaku et al have not violated any ethics standards and treat all stories and persons equally, and they have not contributed to harassment.

[1] http://gamergateharassment.tumblr.com/


No, I haven't noticed that. In fact, discussion of anita and zoe is banned on most gamergate forums because of throwaway accounts being made to try to stir up shit about them. What I have noticed is their campaigns to get advertisers to pull ad campaigns from corrupt websites. Looks like a real campaign to improve journalistic ethics to me.


The admission she herself made, as well as the video-captured facebook conversation logs her ex posted with her where she admitted as much, was evidence enough for me.

The scandal wasn't about her though, try as the media might to make her the focus - it was about the journalists who had accepted sex, and reciprocated with positive coverage. It was also about the many other journalists who were found to have been doing similar things - patricia hernandez, writing a multitude of articles about the games of her housemate; danielle rindau, giving Gone Home a 10/10, when she had a pre-existing friendship with the developers, to name two.

It's the behavior of the journalists which is what's being criticized.

Gamergaters generally wants people to stop focusing on women's sex lives.


If you won't point to the Facebook conversation/logs where she supposedly admitted to exchanging sexual favors for favorable coverage, at least point us toward all these stories by the journalists she slept with. That would help, a list of all the journalists that you know accepted sexual favors to provide positive coverage. With that list, please provide links to the positive coverage they wrote for those game developers they slept with.

And please point us towards all the death threats that the journalists received for writing these articles.

And you say that gamergaters generally want to stop focusing on women's sex lives, but you continue to bring it up without providing any proof what so ever.


I will never forget when a Gawker employee (Gizmodo, brand under Gawker) used an on/off device for TVs in the middle of a tech demo at CES 2008 [1]. Gawker showed their true colors then.

They have not changed since, only gotten worse.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gizmodo#TV-B-Gone

Edit: I'm getting downvoted. Please explain where I am factually incorrect, either in what I have said or linked. Thanks :-)


Sounds like a lot of female sexuality policing to me. I'd be ashamed to have my name anywhere near it.


It has nothing to do with her actions - the complaints are aimed at the journalists who accepted sex in exchange for coverage, as well as the numerous other journalists who have demonstrably low integrity and poor ethics.


Really? Where are these reviews?


> This is childish behavior, but the thing that caught people's attention was his claim that she'd intentionally slept with the editors of gaming publications to receive positive coverage, which turned out to be true. > … more tedious historical revisionism …

You couldn't even make it one sentence in without repeating a trivially disproven lie about Zoe Quinn – how exactly is that supposed to convince anyone that you're concerned with ethics instead of harassment?


I wanted to verify for myself that said claims were true, and video-capped facebook chatlogs where she admits her intent are pretty hard to convincingly fake.

She's not the issue, though. The journalists who accepted such favors in exchange are the issue.

Why are you trying to focus on a woman's sex life instead of the journalist's poor ethical behavior?


Yeah, that banner is bullshit - as far as I can see it is completely ignored by the majority of people supporting gamergate.

The linked thread on reddit is full of people complaining about "SJW" - social justice warriors. These are equated with feminists and are widely condemned by GamerGaters.

Attacks on women in gaming dominate the headlines on the linked subreddit[1], and it's pretty clear that problems they have "biased and corrupt" all revolve around the reporting of women in gaming.

Perhaps there is a problem with biased and corrupt game reporting. I wouldn't know, but as far as I can see #gamergate is just using it as an excuse for misogynistic behaviour.

[1] http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/


Browsing that subreddit, it seems to very effectively disprove your claims. Nobody is complaining about 'women', they are complaining about shitty people. You don't get a pass from being a shitty person just because of your gender. Furthermore, #2 of the subreddit's rules: "Do not be a dick to anyone. Harass anybody, and you're out. We don't want your kind, here."

Social Justice Warriors are vilified because of their fanatical, hateful, exclusionary behavior. They are called 'warriors' and not 'advocates' for a reason.

If you can only see gamergate as an excuse for misogyny, then I'd say you're only looking for that, and ignoring anything else you find, because poor behavior like that is universally condemned within the movement.


It's great that you're interested in promoting journalistic integrity, and not in attacking women. Why, then, don't you start a movement that can credibly claim to support those goals, instead of rallying behind one that was created to attack one woman for completely made-up crimes against journalism?

I would love to see someone do this. Corruption in games journalism is a real problem. But it's not a problem that I've ever actually seen a #GamerGate fan attempt to address except when they were spinning it to attack Zoe Quinn or her supporters.


>instead of rallying behind one that was created to attack one woman for completely made-up crimes against journalism?

I've seen this statement quite a lot, where exactly are people getting this idea from? #gamergate was started by Adam Baldwin, specifically to address corruption in games journalism and the collusion of media outlets in trying to silence discussion of it. The roots of it go back to /v/ having been convinced game journalism is corrupt for several years. See their musical tribute to games journalism from a year ago for an example (or the dewrito pope meme): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr7u1tWsGBk&list=PLAX8JHUJcF...

>But it's not a problem that I've ever actually seen a #GamerGate fan attempt to address

Have you ever looked? They have tons of information, they organize out in the open (it was on github until their repo was removed due to complaints), where everyone can see and contribute. #gamergate supporters have been harassed and threatened and Milo was even sent a syringe full of something unknown. Why do people paint such a dishonest picture of this whole thing?


> I've seen this statement quite a lot, where exactly are people getting this idea from? #gamergate was started by Adam Baldwin, specifically to address corruption in games journalism and the collusion of media outlets in trying to silence discussion of it.

The specific instance of "corruption" that touched it off was Zoe Quinn allegedly trading sex for good reviews, which was 100% bullshit.

But let's assume you're right and I'm wrong, then. Why cling to a name that is--perhaps wrongfully--heavily associated with vicious misogyny in the public perception? At best, that's terrible PR. Even the most polite and level-headed Gamergate fans seem to spend far more energy defending the Gamergate name than they do attacking actual corruption. It makes you look like you care more about a snappy name than about getting your message heard; frankly, it makes you look like dupes for a small group of misogynistic trolls.


Because you're effectively herding a group of cats, and coming up with a new name with a new cause every time someone tries to slimeball and gaslight you is a good way to lose momentum.

But here's the thing, while the original allegation of her sleeping with Nathan for reviews is bullshit, that doesn't clean up the fact she entered a romantic relationship pretty much right after Nathan published his piece.[1]

On March 31, Nathan published the only Kotaku article he's written involving Zoe Quinn. It was about Game Jam, a failed reality show that Zoe and other developers were upset about being on. At the time, Nathan and Zoe were professional acquaintances. He quoted blog posts written by Zoe and others involved in the show. Shortly after that, in early April, Nathan and Zoe began a romantic relationship. He has not written about her since. Nathan never reviewed Zoe Quinn's game Depression Quest, let alone gave it a favorable review.

Nor does it excuse the fact that she was actually covered by Patricia Hernandez, a close friend of hers, a long while back without disclosure either. The update at the bottom happened after the fallout.[2]

The harassment that she received that prompted her game to be taken down from Steam Greenlight in Particia's article was also proven to be false.[3]

Unfortunately, since Wikipedia's WikiProject Feminism is brigading the article (which is now locked) http://puu.sh/bZri1/121afb137b.png

The only other source of a decent timeline is KnowYourMeme of all places.[3]

The escapist at the very least decided to apologize for reporting on her original harassment on Steam Greenlight without doublechecking[4]

"But to explain is not to excuse. Our editor-in-chief, Greg Tito, having reviewed the facts at hand, concluded we ourselves have been imperfect in maintaining journalistic standards. A particularly problematic article, the one which generated his review, was about the alleged harassment of an indie developer by a forum community which denied the allegations but was itself victimized as a result of them. The article failed to cite the harassment as alleged, failed to give the forum community an opportunity present its point of view, and did not verify the claims or secure other sources. Mr. Tito has personally updated the article and spoken to all our editors about the importance of adhering to standards that will prevent such bad incidents from happening again."

[1]http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-time...

[2]http://kotaku.com/depression-quest-the-thoughtful-game-about...

[3]http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/quinnspiracy

[4]http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/ed...

Even the most polite and level-headed Gamergate fans seem to spend far more energy defending the Gamergate name than they do attacking actual corruption. It makes you look like you care more about a snappy name than about getting your message heard; frankly, it makes you look like dupes for a small group of misogynistic trolls.

It's to be defended because the movement doesn't stand for misogyny, and changing the name is effectively admitting to something that it didn't do.


>The specific instance of "corruption" that touched it off was Zoe Quinn allegedly trading sex for good reviews,

It was more the "lying about being harassed by a forum of depressed people to stir up publicity for her game about depression" really.

>Why cling to a name that is--perhaps wrongfully--heavily associated with vicious misogyny in the public perception?

What good would changing the name do? The media that they are against will continue to spread lies about them regardless of the name they choose. This sounds an awful lot like "stop calling yourself feminists because the name has been corrupted by radicals". No, people who oppose the group just want to dishonestly paint them in a bad light. They will continue doing so no matter what the label.


Adam Baldwin also linked hashtag #GamerGate to the anti-feminism movement[1] when "when tweeting links to pre-existing misogynistic corruption conspiracy theory videos surrounding Quinn and Sarkeesian".

Maybe it meant something else for a week or two. But it's been associated with this for much longer than anything else.

[1] https://twitter.com/AdamBaldwin/status/504801169638567936

[2] http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/new-chat-logs-show-how...


I'm struggling to see how Adam Baldwin's tweet is linked to an anti-feminist movement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5-51PfwI3M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKmy5OKg6lo&list=UUWB0dvorHv...

Those are the two videos he links to. There's nothing anti-feminist about them.


I'm confused. How does this address the claim that was made? The claim was that #gamergate was created to attack someone, and that therefore some other hashtag needs to be created for games journalism corruption. Now you are agreeing that it really was about corruption, but that it got associated with "misogyny" so that retroactively makes it not about corruption? Could you give a time for the misogyny in those videos? They are pretty long and neither had any in the first few minutes or at any of the random times I skipped to.


Let's be clear about why Adam Baldwin is doing this: he's interested in spreading his brand of conservative thought.

"EveryJoe: I recently saw a tweet came down my stream: 'Ever since GamerGate started, I’ve been forced to completely reconsider what it means to be a left-leaning liberal.' So it’s causing second thoughts.

"Adam: Yeah, second thoughts are best! There was a famous former Marxist who met with Ronald Reagan. Reagan shook his hand and said to him, 'You know, I had second thoughts before you did.'"

Read more: http://www.everyjoe.com/2014/10/06/news/interview-adam-baldw...


So, it is a problem that Adam Baldwin is "conservative" shares his opinions? You must realize most of the people attacking #gamergate and gamers are doing so to spread their "brand of liberal thought" too. Yeah, people have different opinions and different politics. For example, I disagree that people having different opinions is a problem.


Nope, it's not a problem at all. However, if you say "#gamergate was started by Adam Baldwin, specifically to address corruption in games journalism and the collusion of media outlets in trying to silence discussion of it." I feel OK about pointing out that you're omitting some of Baldwin's motivations.


His motivations were not the issue. The purpose of the hashtag and movement were. Nonetheless, your desire to point out that he is not liberal enough to meet your standards is still hypocritical. Why aren't you pointing that out all the "journalists" attacking gamergate have liberal politics and want to discuss them?


Neither side of things is that simple. While people who openly support gamergate now focus on journalism and condemn misogynistic threats, a look at GG's origins (e.g. the #burgersandfries IRC logs, which as much as anything else started the whole thing[1]), reveals plenty to abhor - way more discussion of how to effectively character-assassinate Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian than of how to reform games journalism, anyway. If the "real message" of the movement is now completely removed from that, that's great, but I don't think the idea that misogynistic threats have no connection to the "real" gamergate stands up to scrutiny.

[1] http://puu.sh/boAEC/f072f259b6.txt


TotalBiscuit supports GG, and he's the most trustworthy person reporting on games out there. (He's also received threats for his stance, though he did not receive a series of news articles reporting them.)

https://twitter.com/Totalbiscuit/status/520247895996395520


The guy who doesn't disclose when he's being paid to pimp a game, while pimping that game, is "most trustworthy"? Interesting. Or is it just that he waves his hands at SJWs that you like him?


No. TB has been plenty trustworthy in my experience and I started watching him when he started making Starcraft content. Care to back up that allegation?

Frankly, the last line is irrelevant. Anti-GG involves plenty of classism (cheeto basement dwelling loser) and more than enough icky gender policing (not a real man!)


You mean the guy who decided to own up to his mistakes, and pledged to offer full disclosure?

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/221129/Prominent_YouTuber...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KclXm0fDo0

Yes, it's him.


Hello my friend. I'm actually present in the logs. And we do talk quite a bit about how to spread awareness towards the corruption in video game journalism.

The logs aren't for the fainthearted because people say stupid things and spout memes, myself included. But everything is there.

Trying to say "look! it's in the logs!" then linking to thousands of lines of text is kind of silly.

The logs will also prove that the logs Zoe Quinn is spreading around are cherrypicked and edited. But that would require actually reading thousands of lines of text, which I'm sure neither you nor anyone willing to listen to the opposing viewpoint is willing to do.

The "secret club" is on rizon, in the #burgersandfries channel, and yes, we kept the old name. You're free to drop in and chat any time.


I argue that, while sparked from the same incident, gamergate is not the same as the childish harassment you refer to. It's rallying cry has always been "game journalism ethics" , and never "women get out".

I would ask the rhetorical question of why journalists continue to focus on claims of gamergate members harassing women, and give no lip service to the gamergate claims of poor journalistic integrity, and a lack of ethics.


Probably because they only decided that "integrity in game journalism" was a worthy cause when they decided that a woman paid for a review with sex.


This is provably false. There was plenty of outrage over the 'dorito pope' incident: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/dorito-pope

and over the firing of Jeff Gerstmann over his Kane and Lynch review: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Gerstmann

The reason this incident blew up is that, when people complained about it, journalists who were friends of the accused decided to publish a series of attack pieces painting gamers as nothing but woman hating adult children in response, thus igniting the current fire.


How have they made that clear exactly? By condemning the actions of the tiny number of people being abusive? The tiny number of people who have nothing to do with "gamergate" in the first place? Do you seriously not have any moral qualms about lying about millions of people and claiming they target and intimidate people? If you are going to make claims like that, you need to back it up with evidence. You can't just claim one sick person's actions are the fault of some other group of people.


You can't just claim one sick person's actions are the fault of some other group of people.

Actually I can. That group of people acts as an enabling environment, making the behaviour seem less extreme to those associated in that group.

Do you seriously not have any moral qualms about lying about millions of people and claiming they target and intimidate people?

I don't see these "millions of people" actively working to make sure the person making those threats is found and brought to justice. Instead, I see lots of them going "yeah, that bad, but the other side did...." or "hey look, she was logged onto 8chan. She probably did it herself" or at best "We shouldn't say too much until we know who did it".

I'll condemn that behaviour all day (behind the safety of my throwaway account)


"You can't just claim one sick person's actions are the fault of some other group of people.

Actually I can. That group of people acts as an enabling environment, making the behaviour seem less extreme to those associated in that group.

Do you seriously not have any moral qualms about lying about millions of people and claiming they target and intimidate people?

I don't see these "millions of people" actively working to make sure the person making those threats is found and brought to justice.

I'll condemn that behaviour all day (behind the safety of my throwaway account)"

The actions of a few do not invalidate an entire group of people.

Take a step back, and realize that you are literally using the same exact argument as islamophobes.

And no, I'm not saying this behind the safety of a throwaway account because I'm not afraid of you, or random internet trolls willing to call me names.


>I don't see these "millions of people" actively working to make sure the person making those threats is found and brought to justice

Good! That is the police's job, not random internet mobs. Look how well internet vigilante justice has worked out every other time. What we do see is exactly what we should see: them condemning this garbage regardless of who it happens to. Oddly enough, we don't see the "journalist"/indie side condemning the #gamergate supporters being sent threats and even syringes full of mystery liquids.


The way Twitter handles these types of incidents needs to change as well: https://twitter.com/StuHorvath/status/520750049702473729


Are you certain? What exactly do you propose Twitter do?

Twitter is not a real-space police force and in many cases does not have true-identity information.

It's possible that a faster move against threat-originators, through action like a ban on their Twitter account, would do one or both of (1) escalating their misguided anger; or (2) limiting evidence-gathering by real authorities.

Also, note that new Twitter sign-ups are very easy. That's a policy which overall provides benefits to Twitter and many Twitter users, especially newbies. But it means that it's trivial for griefers to circumvent simplistic account bans. So it may be better that they keep abusing via the one account, which collects evidence and can be blocked/muted by reputation, than they burn through the namespace with short-lived throwaway accounts.

It's a bit like managing antibiotic resistance with bacterial diseases. Sure, if you have a killer formula, deploy it and fix the problem. But if all you've got are incremental amelioration and escalation mechanisms, you need to use those very carefully to avoid training-up even worse malevolence. Practice game theory, not knee-jerk symbolism.


A few simple things which would help and are easy to implement:

1. Stop auto-discarding abuse reports which aren't from the target of an attack. Right now, Twitter won't investigate a credible death threat unless you say you're the target. 2. Limit new accounts ability to send messages to people who don't follow them 3. Apply blocks to email addresses, requiring griefers to churn validated addresses rather than reusing them 4. Give you better filters for notifications: i.e. currently there's no way to have it default to only notifications from people you follow so you can't avoid seeing crap unless you use a bookmark. Similarly, filtering out messages from new accounts you don't follow or which don't have n followers in common, etc. etc. would reduce the dog-pile effect. 5. Allow friends to help: auto-block/mute accounts which people you follow have blocked (specific people, threshold, etc.); hide tweets which people you follow have flagged as annoying / abusive; etc. There's a ton of interesting opportunity to use the social network for good here.

None of this is perfect but increasing the frictional costs matters a lot for this kind of thing when they're only in it for fun. A lot of prior art from the email spam prevention world applies here as well – the main thing is simply that Twitter's management clearly don't care to make any significant investment in this area.


Twitter is not an investigation authority. Nor should they be. Report it to the proper authorities.

None of your suggestions are going to do anything but aggravate the offender further, which is the entire point of the post you've replied to.

It's like suggesting Snapchat monitor and deny underaged teens from from taking suggestive photos.


Or like asking Twitter or Instagram to delete accounts used by ISIS, a terrorist group that coordinates things via social networks.


1. Stop auto-discarding abuse reports which aren't from the target of an attack. Right now, Twitter won't investigate a credible death threat unless you say you're the target.

The "We only review…" message is bad UX, after someone has already gone through multiple steps, but it doesn't necessarily mean the report has been auto-discarded. The fact that their form lets you submit them at all suggests it might be used as a secondary signal – just one that doesn't guarantee a formal 'review' and response. And Twitter might be offering this partial-but-disappointing path to collect data for some other future opening to third-party flagging.

Still, third-party flagging brings its own problems. If it triggers anything automatic, it gets abused for other group-persecution/censorship purposes. And if it always requires staff review, it'll waste a lot of staff time on harmless joking between friends. So I don't blame Twitter for currently setting a 'bright line' bound on what level of seriousness (target reporting) triggers staff involvement.

2. Limit new accounts ability to send messages to people who don't follow them

This is a plausible idea and I wouldn't be surprised to see some form of it soon, as a user-enabled option.

Note, though, that it still disadvantages good-faith new-users, as well: the person who was moved to register to message someone would now have a frustrating, "you're-not-good-enough-to-message-them" experience. How many hundreds or even thousands of good-faith interactions would you be willing to prohibit, to prevent a few episodes of nastiness?

3. Apply blocks to email addresses, requiring griefers to churn validated addresses rather than reusing them

This seems reasonable. Are you sure Twitter isn't already doing this?

4. Give you better filters for notifications: i.e. currently there's no way to have it default to only notifications from people you follow so you can't avoid seeing crap unless you use a bookmark. Similarly, filtering out messages from new accounts you don't follow or which don't have n followers in common, etc. etc. would reduce the dog-pile effect.

Another reasonable idea I wouldn't be surprised to see soon.

5. Allow friends to help: auto-block/mute accounts which people you follow have blocked (specific people, threshold, etc.); hide tweets which people you follow have flagged as annoying / abusive; etc. There's a ton of interesting opportunity to use the social network for good here.

Also reasonable, if all the pesky details can be hammered out. Note some of these features are being enabled by 3rd-party apps like 'Block Together' (blocktogether.org). I'd expect the best ideas to eventually work their way into the official Twitter offering.

But it's actually quite hard for Twitter to rapidly innovate in this regard, because users are very ornery about slight changes in such options. Case in point: last December's attempt to change 'block' to be more of a 'mute'. Every tiny change in moderation capabilities triggers controversy, and even things that don't work very well, but become loved as a security blanket, will be hard to roll-back once enabled. Hence the lack of any big, crowd-pleasing moves by the platform proprietor.

I definitely agree with you that frictional costs are important: incentives matter, and driving up the costs and dampening the rewards will help minimize (though not abolish) bad behavior.

I'm unsure if wisdom from spam battles will be applicable, though. A determined and deranged abuser isn't playing a bulk numbers game, like a spammer, who is just hoping some profitable percentage of spam sneaks through and 'converts'. The abuser is instead focusing on few targets, more like a spear-phisher, and hand-crafting all the abuse. So quite different tactics may be required.


> Note, though, that it still disadvantages good-faith new-users, as well: the person who was moved to register to message someone would now have a frustrating, "you're-not-good-enough-to-message-them" experience

That's actually one of my biggest concerns about something like this – I said "limit" because it seems like you'd want something more like a rate-limit than an absolute block so you could allow someone to get started with the service but start doing a “whoa, slow down” delay if they send to some number of users or if any of those users subsequently block / mute / report them.

> But it's actually quite hard for Twitter to rapidly innovate in this regard, because users are very ornery about slight changes in such options

Agreed. Initially, I think a safe tactic would be to focus on making it easier to do things which users can technically already do – e.g. you and I could already share a list of who to block, so it doesn't change the fundamental model if we automate the process.

> The abuser is instead focusing on few targets, more like a spear-phisher, and hand-crafting all the abuse

This is a very good point. I think there are two separate groups here – the dedicated attacker is probably impossible to stop through automated means and we're almost certainly fooling ourselves if we pretend otherwise. There seems to be more room to take the fun out of the casual harassers – e.g. the casual GG troops who camp on a hashtag when they get bored and auto-reply to anyone who mentions them – which would also make it harder for the more abusive types to hide behind them.


I have no interest in taking sides in #gamergate but it should be pointed out that someone trying to make #gamergate look bad could have posted the threats on twitter.

As heated and complex as this dustup has become you really can't take anything at face value any more. Its become a pretty intense propaganda war by both sides, or maybe all sides, so unless you have posts from a verified account or video of someone saying something you should take just about everything else with a grain of salt.

Its pretty naive to think anyone knows the true motives of someone posting with a probably throw away twitter account.


The out-group homogeneity bias, it runs deep in everyone loudly discussing these issues:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-group_homogeneity


Ms. Wu's bitterly sarcastic tweet pretty much says it all:

> The police just came by. Husband and I are going somewhere safe.

> Remember, #gamergate isn't about attacking women.


The question is, why does "#gamergate" get the blame for this? This trend of vilifying any group one disagrees with based on the actions of individuals with no indication they are even connected to the group is pretty disturbing. Remember when Jack Thompson got death threats? Remember how it was not acceptable to pretend "gamers" were at fault for that, but rather the individual people committing those crimes were at fault for their own behavior?


There's a strain of activists which like to operate to by rallying a crowd to shout down their opposition, rather then negotiating policy or changing minds.

It works well on college campuses and the internet when targeted at individuals. It doesn't work against anything else.

The type of articles which try to group and target blame at "gamers" are exactly this type of thinking: they're written on the assumption that "gamers" is a small group that can be shamed into going away. It's telling that they're written with the usual "can't get laid" smarm which fundamentally fails to understand modern demographics, and has a lot to answer for about how exactly one wants to help guide and shape a generation moving into adolescence who'll be wrestling with understanding a lot of these types of issues.

Conversely, they're not entirely wrong in this assumption if you consider the actual demographic audience either: the group of people who know or care about the blogs and personalities involved is tiny if you're not in it. It is not mainstream news. No one outside of the relevant forum communities knew or cared.


Because #gamergate is a name that was created to attack one woman based on completely spurious claims.

If you really care about corruption in games journalism (and I do) then it makes no sense to continue rallying behind this banner that was tainted from the start.


That doesn't make any sense. "Some people said before that Gamergate was about harassing women, I guess this woman must've been harassed by Gamergate as well, although there is no proof, and Gamergate supporters decried the threat and reported it, which is all they could do."


>Because #gamergate is a name that was created to attack one woman based on completely spurious claims.

No it was not. Again, where are people getting this bizarre idea? It was created by Adam Baldwin, on twitter, specifically about games journalism and the game websites silencing discussion of games journalism. It seems really hard to believe that these constant claims that #gamergate was started to attack someone (who?) is all honest ignorance rather than deliberate dishonesty.


Before anyone jumps to any conclusions these threats are anonymous and nobody knows if they are tied to any group.

There have been a series of feminists who make fake Twitter accounts to threaten themselves and later on were proven to be hoaxes for attention.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/womens-rights-activist...

http://www.goingyourownway.com/mgtow-lounge-main-forum/rok-a...

http://www.returnofkings.com/42602/did-anita-sarkeesian-fake...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErGcBxMpgwA

Apparently they can create all of the fake Twitter accounts they want, sign out, and take a picture of it 12 minutes later. Then log back into the account and delete all of the history.

The news media just has to believe them, because they believe that these anonymous people are behind death and rape threats to everyone. Even if the Twitter accounts doing the threats have the same IP as the feminist's accounts. Sometimes the police catch the feminists and arrest them for filing a false report.

http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/false-claims-of-rape-an...

This fake rape and fake death threats and fake sexual assaults are nothing new:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_lacrosse_case

Feminists will keep doing this stuff to get popular, and attention, and speaking gigs, and sell books and promote blogs and websites.

They think by faking this stuff they raise awareness for it.

With this past history of hoaxes, it is hard to tell with each new case of harassment if it is real or just another hoax for attention.

If real she and her family have my deepest sympathies, if fake she will be found out eventually I guess?


You don't do yourself much favor in this discussion when you post links to returnofkings.com or avoiceformen.com :-)


The source of a fact does not matter. Your post is the very definition of ad-hominem.


I don't think you know how things...like...work. Being an ad hominem argument and being accurate are not disjoint sets. You don't just get to blow the whistle and say "AD HOMINEM, ARGUMENT GOES TO THE RECEIVING TEAM!".

It's not even an ad hominem, though, because the credibility of your sources is at the core of your argument. returnofkings and avoiceformen have a storied and well-covered history of being astonishing shitheads towards women and doing everything in their (meager, thankfully) power to turn the clock back to 1950 or thereabouts. They have an inherent bias, and a real real disgusting one, that makes them immediately incredible. It's like citing Andrew Wakefield on autism--you aren't entitled to the respect of having an argument when you don't have an argument based on reality.

There isn't enough there to the spittle-flecked, cheeto-dusting link parade to argue about. It's prima facie nonsense being peddled by people with much, much more of an axe to grind than anyone on the "other side" that you (strangely) fear; there's no serious coverage of this sordid stain on a hobby of mine that's pro-#GG except from people whose entire worldview is predicated on being anti-women. And you know it, which is why you would rather blow the whistle and hope the ref stops the fight because--gasp!--somebody used a fallacy.


>there isn't enough there to the spittle-flecked, cheeto-dusting link...

Why, exactly, did you use this particular choice of words?


Because I felt like reaching deep and verbalizing the contempt I have for this brutally disingenuous crowd. (And before you step up about oh, no, it's not disingenuous at all, answer yourself this: why's everyone making a big stink about Nathan Grayson at Kotaku and not, oh, the lack of a wall between marketing/ad-sales and content generation at IGN?)


The whole thing is the gaming industry is corrupt. People can pay for good reviews or have sexual relations with the reviewer in exchange for a good review.

It doesn't matter if one is male or female that does those sorts of things. But when one gets caught he or she can fake threats with Twitter accounts to cover it up.

For some reason most of the people doing this are feminists, I don't know why, nor do I know why the mainstream media and news media won't cover it. Why is it a non-story if a feminist does bad things for a good review and when caught does a Twitter hoax, and then rewarded for it?

Sure those sites might be crappy towards women, but they uncovered some facts about the hoaxes. Something the news media refuses to do, which is why those websites report on it. I wish the news media would investigate it and find out if it is a hoax or not.

But taking a picture of a Tweet 12 minutes after it happened is very suspicious, esp when that Tweet is deleted in less than half an hour and the account gets deleted as well. So nobody else can see it or what IP it got posted from.


You are upset for no reason, and are being abusive as a result of your anger. Please calm down and try to be a little more constructive. I did not post those links, I simply pointed out that the source of a fact does not matter. You did not say "those facts are wrong because evidence", you said "those facts are wrong because I don't like who is saying them". That is the very definition of ad-hominem. I did not claim to win any argument, I pointed out that you did not make an argument. Your response had negative value. If you want to demonstrate that some claims are incorrect, then do so.


When you post facts, and not innuendos posing as facts, this self-righteous spiel might have some value. But my experience with goobergate has demonstrated to my satisfaction that Colbert's truthiness is in full effect up in hurr.


>shitposting is fine if I don't like you

Yeah, that really isn't how it works. I know it is hard to admit when you are emotionally invested in a mistake, but I believe you are better than that.


Your code switching needs work. But we knew you were a sock already.



Harassing women is NOT okay, in any form.

That said, Brianna is extremely inflammatory and vitriolic in her speech. She doesn't help her cause, at all.

Of course, no one will notice that, or care one whit.


oh, she was asking for it! well, that changes everything.


This is totally tragic and unacceptable. I hope the troll is met with punishment he/she deserves. But I am wondering - is our reaction to them is empowering these trolls. Its better to be safer than sorry. This is truly disturbing.


Yeah, I am wondering the same thing. When they hide behind anonymity (cowards) what the hell can anyone do to A) support these women and B) stop these people from creating a new account and repeating the behavior.


Here's a different perspective on anonymity that I think few people appreciate or even consider http://kazerad.tumblr.com/post/99022123468/shepherd-of-the-m..., which also might point to a solution to the problem you mention.


Things like this make me feel physically uncomfortable.

How do you even deal with something like that?


Just a meta-question, but is there some kind of flagging/downvoting system on HN that's hidden to newer users? It seems odd that this thread quickly fell off the top page, below older posts with fewer upvotes.


> is there some kind of flagging/downvoting system on HN that's hidden to newer users

yes.


HN is weighted towards preventing an influx of new users having an effect on the voting of comments and articles - precisely to avoid the effect that an new influx of pro-gg or anti-gg users would have on the story or comment score.


This sort of thing makes me glad I quit playing video games 20 years ago. What an absolutely toxic scene.

Games were an escape, but I feel that's been ruined because you have to deal with so many real people, both in-game and in the "community." I wonder how many other people avoid getting (back) into games because of that.


That's a surprise, because I'm able to enjoy my video games without feeling any connection to the "scene" whatsoever.


My question is how crazy jerks are able to find addresses for targets they want to harass? Simple public record searches? I think in this age, having a very common first and last name combination helps protect your privacy.


Internet anonymity died when the net went mainstream. Most of us have public profiles which are explicitly linked to your real life identities.

Where we've lagged is deciding how we deal with pseudo-anonymous harassment. This has probably been an issue longer then the net though: stop and think for a moment just how utterly ridiculous it is that people can call you on your telephone, but don't have to disclose the phone number they dial from (i.e. so you can't just block them trivially).

I somewhat suspect communications policy of the future needs to, at the very least, enforce the idea that big providers have to take some steps to allow easy selective filtering of contacts.


This is no different than fringe radical feminists attacking people on the internet, I dont have a link but there was an incident of a grown woman doxing a 13 year old kid.

If that doesnt make all feminists bad then this shouldnt make all gamers bad at least apply consistent logic and standards.


I think you might lack a little perspective here. Radical feminists attacking people is NOT the same as someone threatening to go to a persons house, rape and kill them, and then proving they know where the person lives.

"ps4fanboy". Hmm.


Sorry to be clear by attacking I meant threatening peoples safety in much the same way. My username is caricature so I am not sure why you are trying to attack me based on it, very childish.

Just a single example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Pizzey#Overview

"Pizzey has been the subject of death threats and boycotts because of her research into the claim that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and that women are equally as capable of violence as men. Pizzey has said that the threats were from militant feminists."

No sane person would suggest because of this that all feminists support this action. Why is it ok for you to say the same about Gamers?


"throwaway". Hmm.




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