You have serious, legitimate concerns hopelessly intermingled with the delusional fantasies of a scorned and embarrassed ex-boyfriend.
I've generally resisted commentating on that aspect of the story (outside of decrying the abuse against her) because I don't want her to be involved; I think the whole thing would be better if Zoe Quinn was never mentioned in the context of Gamergate again and left to get on with her life and making games. (Although I'm actually going to somewhat contradict myself further down in this reply...)
But I think this article
should probably be necessary reading regardless. Just to give some context on the author, Philip Wythe is a social justice activist himself and is probably most notable for being one of the leaders of the movement to place trigger warnings on classic literature. And for those who don't want to read the entire article the basis of it is this; if you read Quinn's ex-boyfriends call-out it has all the classic signs of an abusive relationship... with the boyfriend being the abused. The use of terms like "the delusional fantasies of a scorned and embarrassed ex-boyfriend" is essentially shaming someone for calling out what appears to be an abuser (at least in that relationship). If the genders were reversed and it was a woman calling out an ex-boyfriend about the same things (remembering #listenandbelieve) would the coverage have been anywhere near as hostile?
If this argument is correct, that these things cannot be separated from it, then it is irresponsible to use the platform of gamergate to raise these serious issues.
Doing so risks two things.
1) The serious allegations that have been discovered become tainted by association with a flawed methodology and a hashtag of ill-repute thus allowing the guilty to escape justice.
2) The frivolous and libelous accusations that have been thrown about for personal reasons within the hashtag inherit legitimacy from the serious allegations thus causing the innocent to be punished.
At worst case, it's possible for both to occur.
The breaches of journalistic integrity you've mentioned are worth producing an expose upon and bringing to light. However it would be the height of irony for this exposure to be achieved through what would be in itself a breach of journalistic integrity.
I largely agree... but here's
The breaches of journalistic integrity I've mentioned have
been brought to light. Through
Gamergate. We can't suddenly stick them back in the box, pretend they haven't been discovered yet and then release them into the wild without any link to Gamergate. Steampunkette previously used the example of unethical medical research and it's actually a good one. The influenza vaccine (and to a lesser extent the polio vaccine) were both developed with the help of incredibly unethical and almost certain illegal practices. Yet we still used those vaccines despite their source and I think anyone saying that all the research should be thrown out, the vaccines destroyed and starting again would be laughed out of a room. Likewise with gynecology. Likewise with malaria pills. One can rightfully say that Thomas Francis, Jr was a deeply immoral man who did some horrific things in his search for the influenza vaccine while also
using the vaccine he developed. The fact that some Gamergaters are nothing more than misogynists, abusers and trolls doesn't change the fact that through Gamergate breaches in journalistic ethics have been revealed.
So what do we do? Ignore the breaches in journalistic ethics because of the poisoned well? Give people a free pass? Pretend it never happened?
Or do we take both the good and the bad from Gamergate... decrying the abuse, looking at the investigation?
I'm trying to talk about the ethical concerns of using a hate movement, specifically one founded on a series of lies and hate-speech with the willful intent of creating attacks on women, to try and elevate a position discussing the ethics of other people.
I note you've put me on ignore (no worries) so you'll perhaps understand why I don't engage with your entire argument. But I do want to touch on one thing, for the benefit of everyone else as well.
(This is where the contradiction mentioned above comes in).
It's been well established that the "Zoe Quinn slept with reviewer for good reviewer" or "Zoe Quinn's boyfriend reviewed her game and gave good review" narratives have been debunked; they may have been worth asking a question about early on but they were quickly disproved; the only people still harping on about the sex aspect are the abusers and trolls who unfortunately still appear.
But has everyone seen the credits on Depression Quest?
(You can play the game for free from the DQ website
; it's an interactive fiction work and fairly quick to play if you just want to get to the credits to verify this point)
Because if you've seen the credits you'll see the name Nathan Grayson there listed amongst a group of people who the game would have been "dead in the water" without.
When this was brought up Zoe said Grayson was a tester. Grayson said he wasn't aware he was in the credits, wasn't a "tester" but he'd been sent an early build of the game, played it and sent some tips/recommendations/bugs to Quinn. In industry parlance that would generally be considered an alpha tester but the point here isn't the try to trap Grayson in a linguistic hole.
The point is that whatever we want to call it, Nathan Grayson assisted in the creation of the game enough for Zoe Quinn to think him worthy of credit. And then while back in his rockpapershotgun days, Nathan Grayson considered the game a "standout"
and drew the readers attention to it within making any mention of his involvement, calling it a "powerful twine darling" (twine being the interactive fiction system the game was written on) and including a pun about the game as the title of the piece and using a screenshot from it as the picture for the article.
Now, you (using the universal you) may not think there's anything wrong with that (and I should note people are only really drawing attention to it now so more information should come out). But it's exactly the sort of issue that Gamergate has been interested in; journalists and developers essentially working hand in hand to build and promote games without declaring their connections or interests in a game. All it would have needed was a simple one line disclaimer ("For the record; I provided some alpha testing for a very early build of this game but haven't been involved since"). Isn't that a topic worthy of discussion?
In this case it has nothing to do with the eventual sexual relationship between Grayson and Quinn. It's entirely about his involvement with the games development. In truth I wish it wasn't Grayson or Quinn involved... I wish it was another case of Patricia Hernandez or some other journalist and developer... because the fact it's these two will inevitably bring back mentions of their eventual relationship. But the point remains. It appears Grayson had an interest in Depression Quest that he didn't declare... just not the one people originally dogpiled in about (and which was proven wrong).
It's still doing pretty much nothing for actual ethics issues, except where those ethics issues can be used in service of attacking women and their allies. This tells me that "journalistic ethics" is not their terminal goal.
The "and their allies" strikes me as being overly vague here.
Who has been the major target of Gamergate over the past week or so? Gawker, specifically editor in chief Max Read and journalist Sam Biddle. And they became targets not because Biddle, Read and Gawker put up a defence of Quinn, Anita etc or because Biddle, Read and Gawker set themselves up as anti-Gamergate. They did so because Biddle went on twitter (in the middle of anti-bullying month of all things) to talk about "bullying nerds" and why it was a good thing, then offered a clearly disingenuous "it was only a joke" defence which only became more clearly disingenuous when emails about the subject from within Gawker surfaced and with some of the more recent articles about it Gawker put up. Gamergate supporters have spent most of the week complaining to Gawkers advertisers about this and had a seemingly decent level of success doing so and possibly revealing more unethical practices (some of the companies listed on Gawker's partners page... now removed... say they weren't partners with Gawker and that Gawker were using their logos without permission which is a pretty big deal in the corporate world). I haven't seen a similar level of activism (for lack of a better word) coming from Gamergate against pretty much anyone else or any other company... hell, even Kotaku, while being owned by Gawker, isn't getting the same level of interest; they're targeting Gawker directly.
Is that Gamergate attacking an ally of women? I struggle to see it as being so.
And frankly... even if they do have a point? It's very, very hard to appreciate someone's nuanced positions on the finer points of socioeconomic theory while they're still punching you in the face.
Isn't this somewhat similar to the arguments people raise when they complain about "social justice warriors invading gaming"; that any good points they make are ruined by the fact that people think they imply that gamers and gaming is misogynist/racist/homophobic/bigoted etc etc. It's not a good argument when raised then and it doesn't strike me as a good argument now. The legitimate journalistic points about Gamergate may be combined in with the abuse but that doesn't mean one can't discover them or discuss them without having someone screaming "bitch!" in all caps or sending death threats... we are right here after all.
You ask where the actual movements for journalistic ethics are? I say "We need heroes? Build them." If you think this is an actual concern worth spending time and effort addressing, then do something about it without all the misogyny and hatred and abuse. It's costing the movement resources - both in creating these attacks and in deflecting criticism about them - and it's completely tanked any trust or credibility they ever could have earned. Even before you begin taking the first look at whether equality is, y'know, a good thing - even if literally your only concern is dealing with ethics issues in journalism - Gamergate is a toxic, festering pit that can do nothing but harm you. The only way to actually do something productive at this stage is to walk away from it and try building something useful.
And let's say people do walk away and do create something new and useful... how long before the "it's just Gamergate rehashed!" complaints begin if one of the issues focuses on a woman involved in the industry? We've already seen how people view the Gamergate tag as corrupted... a name change doesn't change that. What happens when this new and useful thing treads over the same grounds relating to integrity, challenging the same people on the same points (and in this case I'm refer to the integrity points not the abuse)? How long before people dismiss it as a "cynical rebranding". Moreover, how long till the abusers return and continue to abuse and troll... one can't control who attaches a hashtag to their twitter posts and one can't control who responds to one raising a journalistic ethics point by calling the person challenged a "hateful cunt" or hoping they get raped?
GamerGate will get my respect only when they start policing their own beyond the token "we're sorry about the bad apples, just ignore them!" when said bad apples have doxxed and harassed people out of their homes. And overwhelmingly women who are transgender and/or have feminist views at that!
How do you police who uses a hashtag? How do you police who posts to an imageboard?
Do we demand the same standards of anti-gamergaters who have their own history of doxxing, harassment and death threats? After all, it was an anti-gamer gater who got one of the most prominent #notyourshield guys (a black developer himself... on that note it might be worth reading this entry by a black social justice advocate on gamergate
; he's not exactly positive about those opposed to it and their actions) fired from his job. It was an anti-gamergater who doxxed someone and threatened to reveal their trans status to their family. It appears to be anti-gamergaters (or at least trolls) promoting the idea that the person involved in the current Parliament Hill shooting in Canada was done by someone wearing a Gamergate t-shirt, leaving an X-Box status referencing gamergate and a note talking about "SJW's". Personally I don't; I know that anyone can set up a reddit account go on either KiA or Gamerghazi and post whatever they want, put whatever hashtag they feel like after a tweet etc etc.
In the same way I don't think it's right to judge feminism by the TERF's, Muslims by ISIS, Christians by the Westboro Baptist Church or any other group merely by an element they have little to no control over, I don't judge either anti or pro gamergate supporters by the worst elements to claim alignment with them.
Let's also remember that Gamergaters have done a fair amount of active policing rather than just telling people to ignore them; the discovery and reporting of a Brazilian "journalist" (and I use the term loosely) who made a number of death threats to Anita combined with subsequently noticing and reporting his new twitter spam accounts being an obvious example.
On the "should we accept this person/group or not" point, I note there's been a genuine discussion within Gamergate about an offer to help from Return of Kings (a site which likes to think of itself as being about "alpha males" but all too often is simply misogyny and other bigoted traits) and several are pretty hesitant about the amount of attention Mike Cernovich is getting (who's been doxxed while I write this) for much the same reason. There's been even more discussion about some wanting to try to get Fox News involved and others being hugely opposed to it; again, how do you police who sticks #gamergate at the end of their tweets? While this is basically attacking people rather than the argument which I hate I'd also note that the anti-gamergate side has its own issues; Ian Miles Cheon and his nazism or Chris Kluwe (who may have done a lot of good speaking on gay rights but is still perfectly happy to make jokes about children being abused... and then used the "it was just a joke" defence... and seemingly knew about at best child abuse and at worst a child rape without reporting it) to name two. Or Gawker as a whole with its "let's no pay interns" thing. But as I say, that's not something I think is really important here... what matters is the argument and an argument stands or falls on its own feet, not the feet of those who support it.
Likewise on Gaymer X, it's worth noting where the attacks came from. Gaymer X essentially said "we don't want anything to do with any of this, although we think there are concerns on both sides, we accept that some gay gamers support Gamergate and we think it's wrong to exclude them, everyone is welcome". Then Christina Love (who remember is directly implicated in the journalistic ethics side of things because of her friend promoting her games) turned it into an "us or them" issue. Gaymer X themselves say that they got hatemail from both sides (as always I'm not going to whitewash the pro-Gamergate aspect... there is certainly abuse there).
The only reference I can find to Milo and Gaymer X with relation to this come after
Gaymer X rejected/were pushed into rejecting Gamergate; there's nothing in Gaymer X's tweets or statements to implicate that Milo was involved in their decision (in fact they make it utterly clear it was pressure from anti-Gamergaters which made them change their position).