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Author Topic: Who actually cares about GamerGate?  (Read 3147 times)

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Offline White WolfTopic starter

Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« on: July 09, 2015, 08:27:52 PM »
Hey all, I wanted to throw out something that's been on my mind all day - pretty much exactly what you see above in the title for this thread.

Last year when the whole controversy surrounding "GamerGate" broke out, we actually covered it extensively in college (I'm studying journalism) from different angles; firstly accounting for the alleged ethical breaches by Zoe Quinn that were at the heart of the scandal, and then as the debate rolled on into the stewing cesspit of filth that it became we turned our focus to the issues it raised about sexism in the media and indeed just how far social media journalism...well, is journalism at all.

And that was that, you know, I think once actual journalists got involved (like The Guardian, et al.) it sort of got cleared up very quickly - sure, Zoe Quinn cheated on a guy but that's really between him, her and the third parties, it has no place being dragged up into public and forming the basis for vicious personal attacks on her person, especially when the espoused rationale for doing so was to stand up for "ethics" in journalism. *Guffaw.* Come on, like.

It stupefied me sure enough to find out last night that there is STILL a substantial portion of "video game journalists" (or, more precisely, Twitter and Youtube users basking in reflective egomania) who are fighting tooth and nail - on both sides - as if GamerGate is still a hot button issue. The narrative, though, has all but fled from its raison d'etre of journalistic integrity and has seemingly become a self-perpetuating tit-for-tat exchange of fire between people who seem greatly discomfited by the notion that females enjoy videogames (shock, horror!) and attention-seeking* Tumblr users who (ostensibly) define their entire worldly existence by their sexuality and/or race.

*I absolutely do not mean to imply that it's only the latter faction that are "attention-seeking;" on the contrary I actually am of the firm belief that the sole reason this is STILL going on in some murky bowels of Twitter and Youtube is precisely because it actually raised the standing of videogames journalism to the lofty heights of actually having its existence acknowledged by real media outlets. Growing fat on the Youtube subscriptions and retweets that came flooding in in GamerGater's wake, personalities on both sides - I believe - are unwilling to let the issue die and so be weaned from the attention they have so enjoyed as a result of it.

Which brings me back around to the title of this post - does anybody actually care about GamerGate? Did it ever really stand for anything, or was it always just a vehicle for sexism and misogyny to attempt to justify its own existence?

While I'm ambivalent on the matter - I feel for Zoe Quinn in spite of her faults, yet acknowledge there are some serious ethical issues with the way videogames journalists conduct their affairs (but then, Jesus, if these people feel so strongly about videogame journalism's ethics, wait 'til they hear about Rupert Murdoch...) - I nonetheless have one comment to make on the issue before turning it over to discussion.

The whole affair, for those of you unfamiliar with this nonsense, started when a female videogames developer (Quinn) who had been dating another videogames developer (Nathan Grayson) was outed as having cheated on him with several high-profile videogames journalists. The jilted lover took to the internet and posted lavish details of her sexual exploits while equivocating that he was doing so in the interests of journalistic ethics (as some of the journalists who she'd slept with had gone on to write reviews about games she had personally had a hand in developing). The internet responded with righteous indignation, blasting Zoe Quinn and unleashing a torrent of abuse at her in the same said name of journalistic integrity.

My thoughts, however, are...if the gender roles were reversed, and it had been a male who'd cheated on his girlfriend, who'd then taken to the internet with the same explicit details of their sex life in the name of "journalistic integrity," would so many have militated to answer her fatwa as they did in the case of Nathan Grayson and Zoe Quinn?

Offline consortium11

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 03:02:09 PM »
There was a previous topic on the issue that was locked and not re-opened, so I can't say I'm too hopeful about this one. In addition I suspect a thread on this might be better placed in Politics, Religion, and Other Controversies rather than On-Topic.



Anyway, onto Gamergate itself.

It's often forgotten that Gamergate won. Following the revelations about journalists giving coverage to their friends and acquaintances without either recusing themselves or at the very least disclosing their relationships pretty much every major video game website either introduced or updated their code of conduct/ethics policy to deal with such situations. The sort of disclosure Gamergate supporters asked for is now expected... for example Kotaku went through Christina Love's (one of the worst offenders) articles to retrospectively add disclaimers for the dozens of times she suggested people should buy her friends/ex-roommates/ex-lovers games without disclosure and the FTC added a segment to their guide making clear referral links must be highlighted and explained.

So why is it still going on?

Because Gamergate is anything you want it to be.

Want to keep it strictly about ethics in game journalism? There's still lots of pretty dreadful stuff going on; for example, how many of the major game sites reviewed the PC version Arkham Knight or, if they didn't, made clear that their (generally glowing) reviews were only for the PS4 (the platform almost all of them reviewed it on) and should be ignored for other platforms?

Want to make it more political/philosophical? Well, regardless of whether you want to rant about those evil social justice warriors taking over the world or scream about how video gaming is misogynistic Gamergate is there to offer you something to base that argument on.

Simply want to shout or mock people? Well there's more than enough communities willing to welcome those who disparaging "goober gaters" and their obsession with "freeze peach" or go the other way and joke about the "tumblerinas" and how you identify as an "attack helicopter".

The whole affair, for those of you unfamiliar with this nonsense, started when a female videogames developer (Quinn) who had been dating another videogames developer (Nathan Grayson) was outed as having cheated on him with several high-profile videogames journalists. The jilted lover took to the internet and posted lavish details of her sexual exploits while equivocating that he was doing so in the interests of journalistic ethics (as some of the journalists who she'd slept with had gone on to write reviews about games she had personally had a hand in developing). The internet responded with righteous indignation, blasting Zoe Quinn and unleashing a torrent of abuse at her in the same said name of journalistic integrity.

That's not quite what happened... and some of the details here are completely incorrect.

Nathan Greyson isn't a video games developer; he's a video games journalist. While she did have a sexual relationship with Nathan which has since ended he's not the one who posted details about it, instead it was Zoe's previous boyfriend who she had cheated on with Greyson (and allegedly four others) who posted the details, including of her cheating on him with Nathan.

Eron Gjoni (Zoe Quinn's ex and her boyfriend prior to Nathan) wrote "The Zoepost" (I'm not going to link to it as there's a lot of pretty intimate relationship stuff in there... if you want to find it just Google the Zoepost and it should be the first post; warning, it's really long) which went into a lot of detail about the breakdown in their relationship and her cheating on him (which none of the parties deny). But he never talks about journalist ethics and while there's frequent references to Nathan Greyson as one of the people she cheated on him with the only reference to him being a video games journalist is "Friggen Nathan Stupid-Red-Pants-Wearing Kotaku-Writing Grayson". At no time does he even suggest that the reason Zoe had a sexual relationship with Nathan was to improve her career or claim that he's written the post in the name of journalistic ethics. Of the five people he suggests she slept with two are nameless and have no details given, one is a video game developer and one was her boss; only Nathan was a journalist.

The post bounced around the internet going nowhere and, as such things do these days, eventually ended up on reddit after Zoe brought a DMCA claim against a video on youtube discussing it. And that's when the first of two things that turned Gamergate from something that was tiny (even by internet standards) to something that was massive (at least by internet standards). The comments on the Reddit page got nuked. It's an absolute graveyard; 25,000+ posts if I can remember correctly all gone... to give some context that's the equivalent of deleting every post in E's politics forum four times. It then came out that Zoe had been in contact with the moderators of the subreddit in question and arranged for the posts to be deleted. That's when the conspiracy theories really kicked into motion... and with most of the major places where one could normally discuss a story banning all mention of it and other video game sites not reporting on it people moved to the fringes. In short whether there was something to hide or not it looked like there was something to hide and people were covering it up.

The second thing that turned Gamergate into the multi-headed hydra it now is came about a week later. That's the "Gamers are Dead" articles. Within a couple of days of each other ten pretty major websites including many of the influential gaming ones all posted similar articles all largely attacking the gamer identity and saying it was no longer either needed or meaningful. It looked coordinated and when it later came out that most of the people who wrote the articles were both friends and members of a mailing list for "Gaming Journalism Professionals" (generally shortened to  "GameJournoPros") where journalists discussed professional matters with each other including coordinating coverage it looked even worse. With Gamergate (which had only really been taken on as a term the day before... previously people had tended to use either #FiveGuys or #Quinnspiracy to discuss events) being used as a stick to beat people who considered themselves gamers with drove more people into Gamergate and brought more interest; use of the hashtag pretty much doubled overnight.

(On a side point I will note that while the idea of Nathan giving positive reviews to Quinn's game has been debunked that doesn't mean that there wasn't an issue there... Nathan Greyson helped with the development of Depression Quest and then gave it highlighted coverage without disclosing the fact he'd help make it)

My thoughts, however, are...if the gender roles were reversed, and it had been a male who'd cheated on his girlfriend, who'd then taken to the internet with the same explicit details of their sex life in the name of "journalistic integrity," would so many have militated to answer her fatwa as they did in the case of Nathan Grayson and Zoe Quinn?

It's difficult to answer that question because the Zoepost itself didn't cause a huge reaction; it was the nuking of Reddit and the "Gamers are Dead" articles which caused Gamertgate to explode. Without those events Gamergate would have been a tiny storm in a tiny teacup which disappeared within weeks. So perhaps a better question is how would the media have reacted if the genders of Zoe and Eron had been reversed? A man is accused of emotionally abusing and manipulating his girlfriend while cheating on her with others and she finally leaves him while writing a post about her experiences?

This article strikes me as being almost required reading on the subject. To give some context on the author Anastasia Wythe (she was then going by Phillip and only started publicly transitioning after the article's publication) is a trans-woman who has been one of the leading voices in the fight to put trigger-warnings on books used in education... so generally one seen as being heavily on the social justice side of things. In the article she explains how the things Eron mentions are classic signs of the victim of an abusive relationship.

How would the video games media react to a male developer being accused of abusing their female partner? Would they describe the female partner as "jilted" (as you just have)? Describe her post detailing the abuse she alleges she suffered as "lavish details of her sexual exploits"? Treat her as the malicious party? Claim anyone who supported her was a sexist who hated men and wanted them out of video gaming?

Well, if the Brad Wardell example tells us anything it's that they'd do rather the opposite...

Offline Blythe

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 06:01:00 PM »
Moved this to PROC--Gamergate is one of those things better put in the Controversies section.

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 07:31:24 PM »
     Whenever people with an issue with anything get labeled something like "reflective egomania" or more generally, "narcissism," I have to wonder a lot well what is there that people are so eager to move the conversation away from by invoking all this ancient Freudian psychobabble that means very little. 

     People get hurt and the rejoinder is, "How dare you say anything cause you're talking too much about you?  Surely there's no one else in the world like you who could possibly be concerned?"  What sort of rhetoric is that anyway?

      If you really don't care, then fine read something else.  If you really don't think there's some sexism in gaming that is worth talking about, then by now I suspect you're pretty blind.  It's not going to go away just because you feel like bashing Zoe Quinn.  But there have been quite a few other threads in this section about it, if you care to look and maybe pick up an idea or few.  It's so not just about her.  Plenty of people care about it, and shouting back "I don't care" doesn't change that. 

« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 07:33:58 PM by kylie »

Offline White WolfTopic starter

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 08:26:38 PM »
     Whenever people with an issue with anything get labeled something like "reflective egomania" or more generally, "narcissism," I have to wonder a lot well what is there that people are so eager to move the conversation away from by invoking all this ancient Freudian psychobabble that means very little. 

     People get hurt and the rejoinder is, "How dare you say anything cause you're talking too much about you?  Surely there's no one else in the world like you who could possibly be concerned?"  What sort of rhetoric is that anyway?

      If you really don't care, then fine read something else.  If you really don't think there's some sexism in gaming that is worth talking about, then by now I suspect you're pretty blind.  It's not going to go away just because you feel like bashing Zoe Quinn.  But there have been quite a few other threads in this section about it, if you care to look and maybe pick up an idea or few.  It's so not just about her.  Plenty of people care about it, and shouting back "I don't care" doesn't change that. 



I penned that OP pretty late at night after a week of little sleep so if I muddled my message that's entirely my fault - but you've definitely got the wrong idea about my perspective on the issue. When I used the phrase "reflective egomania" I was actually speaking with one person in mind - a Sargon_of_Akkad, a Youtuber/Twitter personality - who seems to have developed an entire career around prolonging the ridiculous assertion that the side against Zoe Quinn wasn't just about naked misogyny and was in fact entirely to do with a crusade for journalist integrity while, at the same time, publishing videos making statements nakedly misogynistic in nature.

Of course there is misogyny in videogames journalism and the development process itself - my understanding was that the point of "GamerGate" was the outcry against Zoe Quinn and the subsequent attempt to justify that by saber rattling about journalism, which would make those who roll their eyes at it effectively "anti-GamerGate."

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2015, 01:32:17 AM »
This article strikes me as being almost required reading on the subject. To give some context on the author Anastasia Wythe (she was then going by Phillip and only started publicly transitioning after the article's publication) is a trans-woman who has been one of the leading voices in the fight to put trigger-warnings on books used in education... so generally one seen as being heavily on the social justice side of things. In the article she explains how the things Eron mentions are classic signs of the victim of an abusive relationship.

How would the video games media react to a male developer being accused of abusing their female partner? Would they describe the female partner as "jilted" (as you just have)? Describe her post detailing the abuse she alleges she suffered as "lavish details of her sexual exploits"? Treat her as the malicious party? Claim anyone who supported her was a sexist who hated men and wanted them out of video gaming?

Well, if the Brad Wardell example tells us anything it's that they'd do rather the opposite...
That's an interesting light to put it in, and honestly Eron's initial actions weren't very problematic. But for a guy who talked a big game about how he didn't want harassment, he sure as hell knowingly leaped into bed with the people doing the harassing - and for that, he loses major points. Supporting that shit is not acceptable, regardless of how you got there.

Reversing the genders would probably have resolved about 90% of the issues I have with Gamergate and its supporters - because Gamergate is just the most visible symptom of a problem that pops up everywhere. Torrents of abuse await pretty much anybody on the internet who happens to be in possession of a vagina, an opinion, and a visible platform. If the roles had been reversed, there would likely have been some condemnation of the guy, some of it extremely harsh. But you wouldn't see literal floods of death and rape threats aimed at any man who happened to speak on the subject for nearly a year.

Honestly, I'm glad that Gamergate hit mainstream media. Maybe now people will see how common and how fucked up this shit is.

I penned that OP pretty late at night after a week of little sleep so if I muddled my message that's entirely my fault - but you've definitely got the wrong idea about my perspective on the issue. When I used the phrase "reflective egomania" I was actually speaking with one person in mind - a Sargon_of_Akkad, a Youtuber/Twitter personality - who seems to have developed an entire career around prolonging the ridiculous assertion that the side against Zoe Quinn wasn't just about naked misogyny and was in fact entirely to do with a crusade for journalist integrity while, at the same time, publishing videos making statements nakedly misogynistic in nature.
You're very careful in that post to equivocate, blaming this behaviour on a "substantial number" of people "on both sides" in "a tit-for-tat exchange". That doesn't seem to be compatible with the one-person assertion here.

Offline Starstrider

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2015, 09:43:41 PM »
Regardless of reason or intent, it's definitely not acceptable to judge an entire group of people either by the actions of some of its members, or by the content of their pants. Quinn, like many SJWs, played the victim even after being exposed as carrying out some acts that would be considered immoral by any standards. Once again, there's a prevalent attitude of disdain and outright hate for the so-called "gamers", which are not and never have been a single homogenous group. The internet's SJW attack dogs love making them a target even more than they do the average straight white male. Let's also keep in mind that Quinn fabricated several attacks on her person by supposed "gamers" in order to play the victim and garner sympathy. She also, while claiming to be a voice for feminism, sabotaged other female developers' attempts at getting coverage through legitimate means. She was never out for anything other than her own personal gain.

The sad truth is, there are some people who seem to thrive and even live off of manufactured internet outrage. People whose sole purpose in life seems to be claiming to be under attack by everyone who doesn't agree with them 100%. People who claim to be victims while spouting hateful rhetoric that would make any right wing fringe group proud. This Sargon fellow has already shown how the hate speech from both groups is so similar that if you remove the parts where they refer to their "enemies" by name, they become virtually indistinguishable. And that's seriously terrifying. Many of these self-professed "feminists" are nothing more than female supremacists, and if you disagree with them on any point, or just don't agree 100% with their rhetoric, then you're "the enemy". They are insane, manipulative, and drown out any attempts at a reasonable and rational dialogue with their mad shrieking.

Bottom line, extremist groups always need some sort of "great enemy" to justify their own existence, and if one doesn't present itself, they'll manufacture one. And along the line, there are many, many people who embark on the hate bandwagon, either for a sense of personal vindication against imaginary slights, or for personal gain. Quinn is a shill of the worst kind, and a disgusting excuse for a human being, not because of her gender, but because of her actions. Any male doing the same would be just as disgusting.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2015, 09:00:08 AM »
Regardless of reason or intent, it's definitely not acceptable to judge an entire group of people either by the actions of some of its members, or by the content of their pants. Quinn, like many SJWs, played the victim even after being exposed as carrying out some acts that would be considered immoral by any standards. Once again, there's a prevalent attitude of disdain and outright hate for the so-called "gamers", which are not and never have been a single homogenous group. The internet's SJW attack dogs love making them a target even more than they do the average straight white male. Let's also keep in mind that Quinn fabricated several attacks on her person by supposed "gamers" in order to play the victim and garner sympathy. She also, while claiming to be a voice for feminism, sabotaged other female developers' attempts at getting coverage through legitimate means. She was never out for anything other than her own personal gain.
Okay, yeah, Quinn is a terrible person. And this certainly justifies throwing a fuckton of misogynistic bullshit that has nothing to do with her actual transgressions at her. Or the attacks on Sarkeesian. Or Wu. Or Lynn. Or Galvez. Or or or...

Wait, no it fucking doesn't.

It amuses me how responding to thousands of rape and death threats makes one an "attack dog" who hates gamers, by the way. After all, it's just not possible that someone could possibly have grown up with games, loved them, have literally tens of thousands of hours clocked on just the hundreds of games they own that track such stats, and also be against threatening to kill women who disagree with you for the crime of being women who disagree with you.

The sad truth is, there are some people who seem to thrive and even live off of manufactured internet outrage. People whose sole purpose in life seems to be claiming to be under attack by everyone who doesn't agree with them 100%. People who claim to be victims while spouting hateful rhetoric that would make any right wing fringe group proud. This Sargon fellow has already shown how the hate speech from both groups is so similar that if you remove the parts where they refer to their "enemies" by name, they become virtually indistinguishable. And that's seriously terrifying. Many of these self-professed "feminists" are nothing more than female supremacists, and if you disagree with them on any point, or just don't agree 100% with their rhetoric, then you're "the enemy". They are insane, manipulative, and drown out any attempts at a reasonable and rational dialogue with their mad shrieking.
Yep, those whiny bitches, making this shit up. Clearly they're all about female supremacy and not, y'know, equality.

Bottom line, extremist groups always need some sort of "great enemy" to justify their own existence, and if one doesn't present itself, they'll manufacture one. And along the line, there are many, many people who embark on the hate bandwagon, either for a sense of personal vindication against imaginary slights, or for personal gain. Quinn is a shill of the worst kind, and a disgusting excuse for a human being, not because of her gender, but because of her actions. Any male doing the same would be just as disgusting.
There is nothing "manufactured" or "imaginary" about the stuff I just linked to. Why is responding to these things so much more "disgusting" than doing them?

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2015, 06:43:40 PM »
The thing is, any random anonymous idiot can make rape and death threats online. Should an entire group of people be blamed for that? No. But of course it's easier to blame all gamers, or all straight white males, or just all men altogether. Besides, without knowing 100% for certain who did certain things, who's to say this isn't a false flag ploy, or just the work of a handful of bored internet trolls? It's happened before.

It's perfectly possible to be a male, a gamer and a perfectly sane and rational individual, but you don't hear about those, do you? It seems to be rather trendy to hate on gamers as a whole these days. The vast majority of them are too busy playing their games or arguing with each other about said games to go out of their way to harass anyone.

As for Sarkesian and others like her, I'd have a whole lot more respect for them if they brought actual honest discussion to the table, instead of just trying to drown out everyone who disagrees with them, or just doesn't agree 100%. Those crazy women harassing GamerGaters and social commentators and trying to get them banned from public events for speaking their minds in a civilized manner are ample evidence that they have no interest in actual dialogue.

Offline Blythe

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2015, 08:55:09 PM »
Besides, without knowing 100% for certain who did certain things, who's to say this isn't a false flag ploy, or just the work of a handful of bored internet trolls? It's happened before.

The death and rape threats against Zoe Quinn, Anita Saarkesian, Brianna Wu, and women like them, were undertaken and coordinated across three websites at minimum--reddit, 4chan, and 8chan, and it spread quickly to Twitter.

That's hardly just a "handful" of trolls, in my estimation. :/
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 08:57:25 PM by Sherlock »

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2015, 09:20:23 PM »
The thing is, any random anonymous idiot can make rape and death threats online. Should an entire group of people be blamed for that? No. But of course it's easier to blame all gamers, or all straight white males, or just all men altogether. Besides, without knowing 100% for certain who did certain things, who's to say this isn't a false flag ploy, or just the work of a handful of bored internet trolls? It's happened before.

1. When that group was founded on toxic behaviour by their own admission, then yes, that group can be blamed for the toxic shit they did and encouraged.

2. I would say that primary sources are pretty solid proof. You might want to check some of the links I posted.

3. Given that GamerGate fits a very common pattern of behaviour toward women in previously male-dominated geek spaces (see also: SF&F, atheism), the smart prior is on "This actually happens." Given the overwhelmingly vast conspiracy needed to fake all the hatred in all these places, it will take a huge amount of evidence for that to be a credible hypothesis.

4.You ignored this point when I tried it with some subtlety, so let me state it plainly: I am, by any definition, a gamer. I have been playing since 1985. My library contains at least hundreds, possibly thousands of titles. The ones that actually track play time show tens of thousands of hours, and this is a minority of both my library and my play history. This isn't about gamers. It's not about men, straight and white or otherwise. It's about people who unleash torrents of abuse on women and their supporters for being and supporting women, and people who endorse and support such campaigns of terror and hatred. It's about whether we want death and rape threats and swatting to be considered acceptable levels of discourse.

It's perfectly possible to be a male, a gamer and a perfectly sane and rational individual, but you don't hear about those, do you? It seems to be rather trendy to hate on gamers as a whole these days. The vast majority of them are too busy playing their games or arguing with each other about said games to go out of their way to harass anyone.
True, you don't hear much about gamers who aren't being misogynistic assholes. You also don't hear about schools that didn't get shot up, Republicans who don't spew racist shit, etc.

No matte how much you try to conflate "gamers" with "gators", the overwhelming majority of the pushback against GamerGate isn't about hating gamers. It's about rejecting ridiculously terrible, beyond-the-pale behaviour. A lot of it is from gamers who hate what GamerGate is doing.

As for Sarkesian and others like her, I'd have a whole lot more respect for them if they brought actual honest discussion to the table, instead of just trying to drown out everyone who disagrees with them, or just doesn't agree 100%. Those crazy women harassing GamerGaters and social commentators and trying to get them banned from public events for speaking their minds in a civilized manner are ample evidence that they have no interest in actual dialogue.
Actual honest discussion like, say, formal criticism of video games from a feminist perspective? Not sure how that constitutes "trying to drown out everyone who disagrees". Or do you mean when she went to the police with credible threats on her person? Technically that is trying to shut down speech, but I don't think any reasonable person thinks it was a bad idea.

As far as "trying to get [GamerGaters] banned from public events for speaking their minds in a civilized manner"... I'm forced to assume you're talking about the time she tried to bar people with guns from her public speaking engagement after someone threatened to shoot it up, then cancelled when this couldn't be done (since that's the only incident I can think of when Sarkeesian ever tried to bar people from a public event). In that case, I'd suggest you rethink your definition of 'civilized'.

Or perhaps you're referring to the time representatives from one of the most prominent anti-woman sites on the Internet got a booth at an expo with a strong equality policy under the false pretense that they were there to promote a webcomic, hijacked a panel on women in comics to talk about men, and were asked to leave in entirely predictable fashion? (Details here.) That... also doesn't strike me as terribly civil, and is entirely unconnected to anything Sarkeesian has ever done.

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2015, 10:58:20 AM »
This is probably not the best time for me to continue this discussion as I've been grappling with a massive headache that's been making me irritable and snappish, so I'll just put this on hold until I'm better. In the meantime, let me just say that this siege mentality when it comes to opposing points of view benefits no one. Yes, I find it abhorrent that people would advocate violence or try to threaten those they disagree with. I have no love for hate groups of any kind, and people who think women should just shut up and stay in the kitchen are utterly deluded and should crawl back into their caves.

But these so-called gender wars are the symptom of a larger problem, and these things aren't going to go away with raised voices and hostility. And this is something that people on all "sides" seem to have trouble understanding. Humans are, unfortunately, quite adept at creating division between themselves over anything and everything that gives them an excuse to set themselves apart and treat others as inferiors. It's a wonder the species has lasted this long.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2015, 05:19:33 PM »
This is probably not the best time for me to continue this discussion as I've been grappling with a massive headache that's been making me irritable and snappish, so I'll just put this on hold until I'm better. In the meantime, let me just say that this siege mentality when it comes to opposing points of view benefits no one. Yes, I find it abhorrent that people would advocate violence or try to threaten those they disagree with. I have no love for hate groups of any kind, and people who think women should just shut up and stay in the kitchen are utterly deluded and should crawl back into their caves.
This does not match with your earlier apparent support of Gamergate. It has been a hate group since before it was Gamergate. It was always about keeping women in their place.

But these so-called gender wars are the symptom of a larger problem, and these things aren't going to go away with raised voices and hostility. And this is something that people on all "sides" seem to have trouble understanding. Humans are, unfortunately, quite adept at creating division between themselves over anything and everything that gives them an excuse to set themselves apart and treat others as inferiors. It's a wonder the species has lasted this long.

Can you please name a single equality movement that has ever achieved its goals by asking politely?

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2015, 08:01:12 PM »
It has been a hate group since before it was Gamergate. It was always about keeping women in their place.

I'm sorry for the harsh language, Ephiral, and I don't mean any disrespect to you personally, but that is utter Poppycock. I've been lurking for a while, watching how this thread developed with interest, but I can't let that comment slide.

Were there a depressing amount of individuals who used it as an excuse to attack women/publishers/people they disliked/people they thought would react? Yeah, of course. Not denying that. I am personally of the opinion that a very large percentage were trolls out to get attention or a reaction (because let's be honest, there are a HUGE amount of trolls out there, especially on Social Media where it's hard to get rid of them) and that there was also a large percentage of people who genuinely believed that they were doing "the right thing" (as reprehensible as it was, I'd imagine some of them genuinely thought they were in the right whereas the trolls were likely doing it for attention/to get a reaction/because they thought it was funny/etc etc). But that's neither here nor there.

The reason your above comment is utter nonsense (to use a more polite term) was handily outlined by Consortium in the first reply.

Gamergate is anything you want it to be.

Want to keep it strictly about ethics in game journalism? There's still lots of pretty dreadful stuff going on; for example, how many of the major game sites reviewed the PC version Arkham Knight or, if they didn't, made clear that their (generally glowing) reviews were only for the PS4 (the platform almost all of them reviewed it on) and should be ignored for other platforms?

Want to make it more political/philosophical? Well, regardless of whether you want to rant about those evil social justice warriors taking over the world or scream about how video gaming is misogynistic Gamergate is there to offer you something to base that argument on.

Simply want to shout or mock people? Well there's more than enough communities willing to welcome those who disparaging "goober gaters" and their obsession with "freeze peach" or go the other way and joke about the "tumblerinas" and how you identify as an "attack helicopter".


To expand, Gamergate's biggest issue was that it was primarily a hashtag. How do you go about policing a hashtag on the internet, especially forums and social media? It isn't like being a doctor or an engineer in that you need specific qualifications, or like a job where you need to apply and go through an interview, or like an actual social gathering IRL where you need a club/group of people around you supporting you (and who may actively police your behaviour within the rules of the group and if you break them, you're gone and can't show up again the next day in a false moustache and glasses). Anybody could use it with relative impunity, and their posts/comments would show up in the feed regardless of whether it was representative of the original ideals of the movement or even the majority of the group. There were efforts to police the comments (notably by OTHER Gamergaters who genuinely wanted a discussion about journalistic integrity) who went around flagging and reporting abusive members of both sides. That sort of thing tends to get lost in the noise, but it DID happen. It was an uphill, hopeless battle thanks to the nature of the internet, but the point is that they tried.

As Consortium said: The movement could be anything you wanted it to be, simply due to the nature of online anonymous discussions and the freedom to use whatever hashtags you wanted regardless of whether it was related or not.

You dubbing it "A hate group whose sole purpose was to keep women in their place" based on the people who adopted it to attack people (regardless of their reasons) is kind of like me dubbing feminism a Female Supremacist Group based on people who spout nonsense like "All men should be put into breeding camps," and that "every man is a rapist waiting to happen" and "women can't be sexist towards men," etc etc (all of whom DO exist....I can't think of any specific names off the top of my head and it's a pretty tricky thing to google, but I'll try and find some names if you need them). Utterly fallacious and ignoring the broader picture. Online, at least, feminism is something that can be "adopted" by ANYBODY with a keyboard and the inclination. Because those people DO label themselves as feminist, just a more radical strain than I'm assuming you follow. I personally don't identify as a feminist, but that's for entirely different reasons that I would rather not get into now. Regardless, I DON'T think that feminism is a hate group based on the ravings of its more fringe, extremist elements. You get the idea.

Back to the point, it wasn't even a hate group when it started, or even before then. At most, it was a conspiracy theory that was drifting around various forum boards but not really gaining any traction until much later. Had Quinn and the media left it alone, it likely would have died within a few weeks, since by and large the internets attention span isn't all that long. Memory? Yes, in certain circumstances. Attention span? Not so much.

Consortium addressed this as well.

Eron Gjoni (Zoe Quinn's ex and her boyfriend prior to Nathan) wrote "The Zoepost" (I'm not going to link to it as there's a lot of pretty intimate relationship stuff in there... if you want to find it just Google the Zoepost and it should be the first post; warning, it's really long) which went into a lot of detail about the breakdown in their relationship and her cheating on him (which none of the parties deny). But he never talks about journalist ethics and while there's frequent references to Nathan Greyson as one of the people she cheated on him with the only reference to him being a video games journalist is "Friggen Nathan Stupid-Red-Pants-Wearing Kotaku-Writing Grayson". At no time does he even suggest that the reason Zoe had a sexual relationship with Nathan was to improve her career or claim that he's written the post in the name of journalistic ethics. Of the five people he suggests she slept with two are nameless and have no details given, one is a video game developer and one was her boss; only Nathan was a journalist.

The post bounced around the internet going nowhere and, as such things do these days, eventually ended up on reddit after Zoe brought a DMCA claim against a video on youtube discussing it. And that's when the first of two things that turned Gamergate from something that was tiny (even by internet standards) to something that was massive (at least by internet standards). The comments on the Reddit page got nuked. It's an absolute graveyard; 25,000+ posts if I can remember correctly all gone... to give some context that's the equivalent of deleting every post in E's politics forum four times. It then came out that Zoe had been in contact with the moderators of the subreddit in question and arranged for the posts to be deleted. That's when the conspiracy theories really kicked into motion... and with most of the major places where one could normally discuss a story banning all mention of it and other video game sites not reporting on it people moved to the fringes. In short whether there was something to hide or not it looked like there was something to hide and people were covering it up.

The second thing that turned Gamergate into the multi-headed hydra it now is came about a week later. That's the "Gamers are Dead" articles. Within a couple of days of each other ten pretty major websites including many of the influential gaming ones all posted similar articles all largely attacking the gamer identity and saying it was no longer either needed or meaningful. It looked coordinated and when it later came out that most of the people who wrote the articles were both friends and members of a mailing list for "Gaming Journalism Professionals" (generally shortened to  "GameJournoPros") where journalists discussed professional matters with each other including coordinating coverage it looked even worse. With Gamergate (which had only really been taken on as a term the day before... previously people had tended to use either #FiveGuys or #Quinnspiracy to discuss events) being used as a stick to beat people who considered themselves gamers with drove more people into Gamergate and brought more interest; use of the hashtag pretty much doubled overnight.

(On a side point I will note that while the idea of Nathan giving positive reviews to Quinn's game has been debunked that doesn't mean that there wasn't an issue there... Nathan Greyson helped with the development of Depression Quest and then gave it highlighted coverage without disclosing the fact he'd help make it)


Now, I need to point out that before then, even if they were getting threats and nasty tweets, it wasn't really anything major. Maybe a few here and there, but honestly, celebrities get hundreds of bits of hatemail and nasty comments on forums EVERY DAY. It isn't RIGHT, they don't DESERVE it (most of the time), but if you're in the public eye it's to be expected. There's always at least one asshole out there who doesn't like what you are saying/doing and thinks they're big and clever. Most of the time, it doesn't amount to anything. They get blocked/filtered out, life moves on.

As Consortium points out, it only became a big thing with the apparent coordination of everything, and even if there wasn't any massive conspiracy ACTUALLY going on, it still drew attention to glaring problems that games journalism had, which rightly worried a lot of people who thought they could trust the media and that it would protect them from "mainstream scorn." So, a lot of people took up the Gamergate Tag to combat what they saw as injustice....and then the morons and trolls got ahold of it, as they do everything. See, this is why we can't have nice things. There are always people who want to wreck other peoples shit, insert dated Batman reference here.

Now, the fallacy you seem to be making is attributing the horrible, bastard-y behaviour by the twats who used the tag to attack people to EVERY Gamergater...which is utter rubbish, and here's why:

First off, if you think every single threat came from a different person - that everybody only sent ONE nasty message and that was it - you're wrong. A lot of them would have come from the same people either sending out C&Ped messages, or using sockpuppets or dupes.
Second, I would imagine the people doing it were, as is always the case, less numerous than they initially appeared....think about it; who makes the news? The people who are newsworthy. What baits clicks or sells papers more? Outrage stories, or stories about dry media politics? I'm not saying it wasn't/isn't an issue - it DEFINITELY was/is - but I AM suggesting that it's always the more vocal, extremist, fringe members of the group who get the news time because the more outrageous the story, the louder the proponents, the more attention they get, which makes them look more numerous than they are.

Going back to the feminism comparison, which "type" of "feminist" (using quotation marks because the meaning of the label itself is so hotly debated right now, everybody will have a slightly different answer...nature of labels, alas, it's subject to the evolution and drift of language) do you generally hear about in the news more often? The moderate, reasonable, progressive and peaceful kind? Or the loud, aggressive, rude, fanatical and extremist ones? Which ones go viral, and which ones kinda get forgotten? If you went by the reporting media, you would think that the loud, aggressive, asshole "feminists" made up the majority of the movement, when the complete opposite is true...they're the minority that gives the majority a bad name. I doubt you would like me judging feminism by its loud, toxic extremists, so why is it acceptable for you to judge Gamergate by the loud, toxic assholes who adopted the tag who likely made up the minority of the movement, and the majority of whom were actually more likely trolls rather than genuine supporters of the "movement?"


Quite frankly, you dubbing it a "hate group" is utter bollocks, simply because it wasn't. The core principal at the heart of it wasn't "Put those women in their place," otherwise the simple fact that Quinn TRIED to develop a game would have set it all off. It only got kickstarted into overdrive when the media revealed its bias and corruption and the lack of journalistic integrity that riddled so many of the big news sites, which heavily suggests that the core of it - the people actually genuinely waving the flag, so to speak - wanted a discussion.

Further, I find it rather disingenuous that attempt to suggest (and if this isn't what you were suggesting, I apologise; what is inferred isn't always what is implied, after all) that it was ONLY the Gamergaters who spewed bile and venom.

Yes, the Pro-Gamergate side had it's fair share of vile things spewing from its hashtag both by morons who thought they were clever and by people who just wanted to hijack it to cause some internet drama, but the anti-gamergate side wasn't innocent either. I can accept attacking the people being misogynistic, aggressive, toxic assholes, but when people like TotalBiscuit tried to ignore the bullshit and get people round the table - which, according to him, was a very nice, sturdy table - for an actual discussion on the topic, he got doxxed and harassed by people claiming to be anti-gamergate. Boogie2988 had a comment with his home address and a death threat against his wife. Mike Cernovich almost got Swatted, and only avoided it when he was tipped off. Milo Yiannopoulos was mailed various horrible things, including roadkill and a loaded syringe. GG+Fem was doxxed, sent rape threats and threats against her job. Randi Harper tweeted a picture of FB users who were in a GG group, with the implication being "Get 'em," and also engaged in death and rape threats against pro-GGers and researchers who hadn't done anything to "deserve" it (again, in quotation marks because I don't think anybody deserves stuff like that...well, maybe Stalin. Or Hitler. What's that? Aaaaaah! A Godwins Wormhole, noooooo!).

*ahem*

Anyway. Bad joke aside.

A restaurant in Washington DC that was going to host a GG get-together was harassed in an attempt to ban them, and when they didn't, the meeting was interrupted by a bomb scare.

The point of all those examples isn't to assert that "The Anti GG Movement was a hate group from its inception," but to demonstrate that neither side was innocent in ANYTHING, and that all of the accusations you level at GG Hastag users can easily be levelled at Anti GG Hashtag users.

The problem with BOTH movements is that they are/were amorphous, leaderless entities with no real threat of punishment or retribution against people who step out of line. Therefore, labelling a movement that is effectively a hastag based on its worst components and the worst assholes using said hastag unpoliced is unfair to say the least.

My point is this:

Gamergate WASN'T a "hate group since before it was named Gamergate." It was a Hashtag that started life as an obscure internet "Quinnspiracy" that was then exacerbated as a reaction to various media outlets seemingly coordinating an attack on it (which, regardless of the truth of the Quinnspiracy, at least made it seem like there was something to it; See also: The Streisand Effect), which - once it got popular and viral - inevitably attracted the assholes and the trolls, just as the Anti GG movement did as well. Both sides were as good and bad as the other, and as Consortium rightly points out:

It's often forgotten that Gamergate won. Following the revelations about journalists giving coverage to their friends and acquaintances without either recusing themselves or at the very least disclosing their relationships pretty much every major video game website either introduced or updated their code of conduct/ethics policy to deal with such situations. The sort of disclosure Gamergate supporters asked for is now expected... for example Kotaku went through Christina Love's (one of the worst offenders) articles to retrospectively add disclaimers for the dozens of times she suggested people should buy her friends/ex-roommates/ex-lovers games without disclosure and the FTC added a segment to their guide making clear referral links must be highlighted and explained.


GG WON. At least, the GGers genuinely seeking Journalistic Integrity did, after a fashion. But these victories are drowned out by people accusing GG of being SOLELY a hate movement, like yourself, when that is DEMONSTRABLY false since there were high profile self-labelled Pro-GGers (EG, Total Biscuit, Boogie) who made a point of being on the side of the people calling for greater journalistic integrity in the games media.


Was/is there harassment? Yes.
Was/is that bad? Yes.
Were/are there assholes and misogynists poisoning the well? Yes.
Was Gamergate solely a hate movement specifically designed to "put women in their place?" FUCK no. And I think I've explained that rather extensively.

Damn, I didn't want to get dragged into this thread, but I couldn't let that statement slip by. Were there people who used the GG hashtag in that way? Of course there were. But we shouldn't act like the Anti GG side didn't have the EXACT same problem as the Pro GG side did. With the harassment, threats, censorship and all the other bullshit, both sides dished out FAR more than their fair share.

Let me sum up, so I can stop writing this accursed post. XD

Gamergate =/= a hate group.
Gamergate =/= Journalistic Integrity Movement.
Gamergate = a relatively unpolicable Hashtag that anybody can claim and use, and that some used for the former and others for the latter. Labelling the whole movement as a hate group misses the point that it was an amorphous, leaderless movement that wasn't ever any one thing. Much like any group or movement, it had its assholes, its extremists and its trolls. And to criticise it and condemn it for that and not to do it for feminism, secularism, liberalism, etc ad nauseum is highly hypocritical and unfair.

I get what you were getting at, but statements like "It has been a hate group since before it was Gamergate. It was always about keeping women in their place" are obviously wrong simply because of the nature of the movement and the actual reality of the genesis of the term. It wasn't a hate group before the shit hit the fan and it wasn't one afterwards. It started as an obscure internet conspiracy theory, experienced massive rapid growth after a seeming coordinated attack on the conspiracy idea, and then grew to represent hundreds of different things to different people. It had self-identifiers who USED it as a "license to harass," but the EXACT same thing can be said of the Anti GGers and most other movements and groups that you could care to mention. Calling it solely a hate group and dismissing all the people who genuinely wanted to do good with it (and SUCCEEDED, what's more) is like saying that Feminism is all about female supremacy just because it has Female Supremacists that identify and post as Feminists, which is obviously false.


Do you see what I'm getting at?


EDIT:

I decided that the opening line's swearword was utterly unnecessary and set the wrong tone; it came across as overly aggressive, which is not how I intended it to be read. I changed it to a less offensive and hopefully more light-hearted word. Poppycock. Poppycock. I like it. It's a fun word.

EDIT 2: I re-read and found some inflammatory language that I decided wasn't conducive to the pleasant, non-aggressive tone I was going for. I replaced that terminology, but I may have missed a piece or two. If I have, I apologise and would like it on record that this post is not supposed to be aggressive, condescending or offensive. Your understanding is appreciated :-) Unless you don't understand. In which case..... *blows raspberries*
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 08:48:48 PM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Melusine

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2015, 09:30:38 PM »
GG WON. At least, the GGers genuinely seeking Journalistic Integrity did, after a fashion.

I kinda...doubt this. It's true that the updated policies happened, but GG as a movement isn't just about ethics in game journalism. I've arrived to this conclusion by hanging around kotakuinaction which is a prominent pro-gamergate subreddit. If I've gotten anything wrong please feel free to correct me.

1) Gamergate is pro-ethics in videogame journalism (personally I find some of their actions centered around this to be rather counterproductive).

2) Gamergate is anti-subjective game reviews/critiques, or at least anti-sociological perspective reviews.

3) Gamergate is anti-SJW, as they define it.

4) Gamergate is against forced diversity in games (again to me, somewhat counterproductive).

5) Gamergate is against Anita Sarkeesian.

The updated policies happened. Subjective game critiques are alive and well. People who are defined as SJW by Gamergate are doing okay. Diversity, forced or not, is gaining traction in the gaming world. Anita Sarkeesian is quite successful. So, I don't think Gamergate has won. It's still fighting, and I suspect the battle will be long.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2015, 09:46:11 PM »
1) Gamergate is pro-ethics in videogame journalism (personally I find some of their actions centered around this to be rather counterproductive).

That much, I agree with, including the counterproductive thing...but that's more to do with humans than Gamergate specifically. You could say the same thing about any "movement" or group that gets large enough, haha.

2) Gamergate is anti-subjective game reviews/critiques, or at least anti-sociological perspective reviews.

Ummmm....that one's a little more difficult. There are certainly "Heads" - to continue the "Hydra" analogy that Consortium used earlier - that take on that aspect as well, but I don't think subjective reviews and journalistic integrity are inherently linked. I mean, as much as you may love or hate him, Jim Sterling did an excellent example of what a purely objective review would look like and it was utterly stupid. I mean, I know Gamergaters like that exist, but then I also know Gamergaters who think that reviews are inherently subjective, and if you know that a reviewer has a tendency to delve into sociology in their reviews, you should already know whether to avoid or read them. My personal thoughts are that you can mention those views, definitely, but remember that not all of your readers will necessarily care about them, so you have a duty to inform them about the story and the mechanics as well. Like TotalBiscuit does, he says "I personally don't like this game, but if you're a fan of the genre, you'll like it for X, Y and Z."

Short answer is that some "Heads" of Gamergate are like that, yes.


3) Gamergate is anti-SJW, as they define it.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh again, a difficult one. I personally don't see any connection with Gamergate and SJW's, but that's just me. I'm one of the "I only care about whether I can trust that a review isn't being paid off by somebody" Gamergaters. Again, there are GGers who align themselves against "SJW's," but again, I know of GGers who largely agree with "SJW's."

4) Gamergate is against forced diversity in games (again to me, somewhat counterproductive).

Again, some "Heads" are and some aren't. Me? I think forced diversity IS a bad thing, but only because it risks things being "token" or "crowbarred in." More diversity is good. Affirmative Action isn't. But that's a topic for another thread, methinks. :P

5) Gamergate is against Anita Sarkeesian.

This one is, again, difficult simply for the reason that some GGers see Journalistic Integrity and Anita Sarkeesian as closely linked (due to her researching flaws, alleged shady marketing ploys, perceived censorship of criticism, basic level of analysis, basic factual errors, etc etc) and some....don't. XD

The updated policies happened. Subjective game critiques are alive and well. People who are defined as SJW by Gamergate are doing okay. Diversity, forced or not, is gaining traction in the gaming world. Anita Sarkeesian is quite successful. So, I don't think Gamergate has won. It's still fighting, and I suspect the battle will be long.


I guess the overall response to that post is....yes and no. I guess my "GGers focused on Journalistic Integrity" was too simplistic a term, considering the nature of GG, so I apologise for the vagueness. XD

The thing is, GG is many things to many people, with many "Heads" that don't always agree and aren't after the same thing. It's like...two of them want to eat Hercules, one of them wants to talk to him, one of them wants to help him against the other Heads, one doesn't really give a shit about Hercules, one is more concerned about getting out of their prison and one is urgently trying to warn the others about the impending rockfall. XD Some "Heads" are definitely concerned with the points you mention and see them as inextricably linked to GG as a whole, while other decidedly don't. It's why any GGer has to specify what TYPE of GGer they are, which again goes into the general uselessness of labelling a movement or group that doesn't have a leader or a set code of ideals/aims.

So what I should have said is that GGers concerned about the code of ethics being upheld not being to the standard that other media formats are (ideally) held to won, because they got the practices updated, and made several important strides in Games Media "growing up," as it were. Different Heads are fighting different battles, of course, and no one is correct or incorrect...it's why labelling it as a "Hate Group" is also wrong. A couple of the "Heads" will be, the others aren't. *shrug* The points you mentioned are held dear to some GGers, but not others. Different sites will focus on different things, after all. That particular group of GGers focuses on those issues, but then there are other groups that either disagree with them or just flat out don't care about some of them. The nature of an amorphous, leaderless internet "movement," y'know? Splinter groups, difference of opinion, etc etc. It's like the Atheist Community; no two "Atheist Clubs" will ever agree on everything. There will always be a little bit of dissension. What's the saying....leading a group of atheists is like trying to herd cats. Every one of them will disagree with SOMETHING with EVERYBODY. XD

Basically...SOME aspects of Gamergate won, but others didn't simply because of the nebulous nature of the internet "movements" in general. Does that make sense, or am I rambling? I tend to do that. XD
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 09:50:48 PM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2015, 09:56:34 AM »
The thing is, GG is many things to many people, with many "Heads" that don't always agree and aren't after the same thing.

So... what's the point of it? Forgive me, I don't use twitter and don't understand these fancy hashtag things.

But if the group has no goals, membership, identity, hierarchy, cohesion, values or definition... what's the point of having it?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2015, 10:13:16 AM »
I'm sorry for the harsh language, Ephiral, and I don't mean any disrespect to you personally, but that is utter Poppycock. I've been lurking for a while, watching how this thread developed with interest, but I can't let that comment slide.

Were there a depressing amount of individuals who used it as an excuse to attack women/publishers/people they disliked/people they thought would react? Yeah, of course. Not denying that. I am personally of the opinion that a very large percentage were trolls out to get attention or a reaction (because let's be honest, there are a HUGE amount of trolls out there, especially on Social Media where it's hard to get rid of them) and that there was also a large percentage of people who genuinely believed that they were doing "the right thing" (as reprehensible as it was, I'd imagine some of them genuinely thought they were in the right whereas the trolls were likely doing it for attention/to get a reaction/because they thought it was funny/etc etc). But that's neither here nor there.

The reason your above comment is utter nonsense (to use a more polite term) was handily outlined by Consortium in the first reply.


To expand, Gamergate's biggest issue was that it was primarily a hashtag. How do you go about policing a hashtag on the internet, especially forums and social media? It isn't like being a doctor or an engineer in that you need specific qualifications, or like a job where you need to apply and go through an interview, or like an actual social gathering IRL where you need a club/group of people around you supporting you (and who may actively police your behaviour within the rules of the group and if you break them, you're gone and can't show up again the next day in a false moustache and glasses). Anybody could use it with relative impunity, and their posts/comments would show up in the feed regardless of whether it was representative of the original ideals of the movement or even the majority of the group. There were efforts to police the comments (notably by OTHER Gamergaters who genuinely wanted a discussion about journalistic integrity) who went around flagging and reporting abusive members of both sides. That sort of thing tends to get lost in the noise, but it DID happen. It was an uphill, hopeless battle thanks to the nature of the internet, but the point is that they tried.

As Consortium said: The movement could be anything you wanted it to be, simply due to the nature of online anonymous discussions and the freedom to use whatever hashtags you wanted regardless of whether it was related or not.

But here's the problem with that: I said "before it was Gamergate" and I meant it. I've provided links to support this. Back when it was an IRC channel, it was still all about punishing a woman with an extra side-order of misogyny. The hashtag went that way because that's the base it started from. The people who launched it, who set the tone, and who were looked to for direction and inspiration wore their misogyny on their sleeves, and that's the direction it went from there.

You dubbing it "A hate group whose sole purpose was to keep women in their place" based on the people who adopted it to attack people (regardless of their reasons) is kind of like me dubbing feminism a Female Supremacist Group based on people who spout nonsense like "All men should be put into breeding camps," and that "every man is a rapist waiting to happen" and "women can't be sexist towards men," etc etc (all of whom DO exist....I can't think of any specific names off the top of my head and it's a pretty tricky thing to google, but I'll try and find some names if you need them). Utterly fallacious and ignoring the broader picture. Online, at least, feminism is something that can be "adopted" by ANYBODY with a keyboard and the inclination. Because those people DO label themselves as feminist, just a more radical strain than I'm assuming you follow. I personally don't identify as a feminist, but that's for entirely different reasons that I would rather not get into now. Regardless, I DON'T think that feminism is a hate group based on the ravings of its more fringe, extremist elements. You get the idea.
Here's the thing, though: That is a radical fringe element, not the core or the bulk of the movement. And feminists do a lot of loud, active rejecting and rebutting of those ideas. How do you police a hashtag? By being the majority and calling the minority on their bad behaviour.

Back to the point, it wasn't even a hate group when it started, or even before then. At most, it was a conspiracy theory that was drifting around various forum boards but not really gaining any traction until much later. Had Quinn and the media left it alone, it likely would have died within a few weeks, since by and large the internets attention span isn't all that long. Memory? Yes, in certain circumstances. Attention span? Not so much.
Have you actually read some of the vile shit in those IRC logs? Further, on actually looking at some of the infamous "Gamers are dead" articles as cited by 'gaters, an interesting pattern emerges. They devote at least as much time to Sarkeesian as to Quinn - because Sarkeesian had already been run out of her house. Some of them - including one of the two most cited - literally don't mention Quinn at all. So your premise that it was just a conspiracy theory about Quinn that would've blown over if the media hadn't poked the hornets' nest? Doesn't hold.

Now, I need to point out that before then, even if they were getting threats and nasty tweets, it wasn't really anything major. Maybe a few here and there, but honestly, celebrities get hundreds of bits of hatemail and nasty comments on forums EVERY DAY. It isn't RIGHT, they don't DESERVE it (most of the time), but if you're in the public eye it's to be expected. There's always at least one asshole out there who doesn't like what you are saying/doing and thinks they're big and clever. Most of the time, it doesn't amount to anything. They get blocked/filtered out, life moves on.
See above re: Sarkeesian. She had somebody quoting personal info at her and threatening to come to her house and do frankly horrifying things to her, at length. This was not a minor concern. This was before the articles.

As Consortium points out, it only became a big thing with the apparent coordination of everything, and even if there wasn't any massive conspiracy ACTUALLY going on, it still drew attention to glaring problems that games journalism had, which rightly worried a lot of people who thought they could trust the media and that it would protect them from "mainstream scorn." So, a lot of people took up the Gamergate Tag to combat what they saw as injustice....and then the morons and trolls got ahold of it, as they do everything. See, this is why we can't have nice things. There are always people who want to wreck other peoples shit, insert dated Batman reference here.
So the tag was used from the beginning to, say, point out how AAA studios demanded certain minimum ratings? Or how advertising dictated content? Or was it focused on indie games that didn't have that kind of leverage, by using advertising in an attempt to dictate content?

Now, the fallacy you seem to be making is attributing the horrible, bastard-y behaviour by the twats who used the tag to attack people to EVERY Gamergater...which is utter rubbish, and here's why:
No, just to the core group that launched the thing and to the majority (because, well, the majority of traffic under the tag was targeted at women, not at journalists or media). The rest of them just endorsed the horrible behaviour.

First off, if you think every single threat came from a different person - that everybody only sent ONE nasty message and that was it - you're wrong. A lot of them would have come from the same people either sending out C&Ped messages, or using sockpuppets or dupes.
Second, I would imagine the people doing it were, as is always the case, less numerous than they initially appeared....think about it; who makes the news? The people who are newsworthy. What baits clicks or sells papers more? Outrage stories, or stories about dry media politics? I'm not saying it wasn't/isn't an issue - it DEFINITELY was/is - but I AM suggesting that it's always the more vocal, extremist, fringe members of the group who get the news time because the more outrageous the story, the louder the proponents, the more attention they get, which makes them look more numerous than they are.
It's a good thing we have the data to look at, then. It was a small core being retweeted a lot, a lot of sockpuppets, and most of it was aimed at women. Exactly what percentage of it has to be about women before we just admit that this is what it's about?

Going back to the feminism comparison, which "type" of "feminist" (using quotation marks because the meaning of the label itself is so hotly debated right now, everybody will have a slightly different answer...nature of labels, alas, it's subject to the evolution and drift of language) do you generally hear about in the news more often? The moderate, reasonable, progressive and peaceful kind? Or the loud, aggressive, rude, fanatical and extremist ones? Which ones go viral, and which ones kinda get forgotten? If you went by the reporting media, you would think that the loud, aggressive, asshole "feminists" made up the majority of the movement, when the complete opposite is true...they're the minority that gives the majority a bad name. I doubt you would like me judging feminism by its loud, toxic extremists, so why is it acceptable for you to judge Gamergate by the loud, toxic assholes who adopted the tag who likely made up the minority of the movement, and the majority of whom were actually more likely trolls rather than genuine supporters of the "movement?"
Because "loud toxic assholes" were there before there was a tag. Because "loud, toxic assholes" drove most of the traffic on the tag. Because "loud, toxic assholes" were the closest this thing came to leaders. Really, it's that simple.


Quite frankly, you dubbing it a "hate group" is utter bollocks, simply because it wasn't. The core principal at the heart of it wasn't "Put those women in their place," otherwise the simple fact that Quinn TRIED to develop a game would have set it all off. It only got kickstarted into overdrive when the media revealed its bias and corruption and the lack of journalistic integrity that riddled so many of the big news sites, which heavily suggests that the core of it - the people actually genuinely waving the flag, so to speak - wanted a discussion.
Games media having serious integrity problems was not news - I remember hearing about its payola problems years ago. So why now in particular, hmm? And again, you're ignoring Sarkeesian. There was a huge problem before gamergate was gamergate.

Further, I find it rather disingenuous that attempt to suggest (and if this isn't what you were suggesting, I apologise; what is inferred isn't always what is implied, after all) that it was ONLY the Gamergaters who spewed bile and venom.
Nope. Not claiming that at all. But one side in this argument was built around bile and venom, and spewed orders of magnitude more of it, and drove people out of their homes, and swatted people.

For the record: I do not condone or endorse the people who said horrible things in the other direction, either. I've already dissociated in this very thread from Zoe Quinn.

Yes, the Pro-Gamergate side had it's fair share of vile things spewing from its hashtag both by morons who thought they were clever and by people who just wanted to hijack it to cause some internet drama, but the anti-gamergate side wasn't innocent either. I can accept attacking the people being misogynistic, aggressive, toxic assholes, but when people like TotalBiscuit tried to ignore the bullshit and get people round the table - which, according to him, was a very nice, sturdy table - for an actual discussion on the topic, he got doxxed and harassed by people claiming to be anti-gamergate. Boogie2988 had a comment with his home address and a death threat against his wife. Mike Cernovich almost got Swatted, and only avoided it when he was tipped off. Milo Yiannopoulos was mailed various horrible things, including roadkill and a loaded syringe. GG+Fem was doxxed, sent rape threats and threats against her job. Randi Harper tweeted a picture of FB users who were in a GG group, with the implication being "Get 'em," and also engaged in death and rape threats against pro-GGers and researchers who hadn't done anything to "deserve" it (again, in quotation marks because I don't think anybody deserves stuff like that...well, maybe Stalin. Or Hitler. What's that? Aaaaaah! A Godwins Wormhole, noooooo!).

*ahem*

Anyway. Bad joke aside.

A restaurant in Washington DC that was going to host a GG get-together was harassed in an attempt to ban them, and when they didn't, the meeting was interrupted by a bomb scare.

The point of all those examples isn't to assert that "The Anti GG Movement was a hate group from its inception," but to demonstrate that neither side was innocent in ANYTHING, and that all of the accusations you level at GG Hastag users can easily be levelled at Anti GG Hashtag users.
And these are all horrible things that shouldn't have happened, but in no way representative of the vast majority of anti-gamergate speech or actions.

(As an aside, since you mentioned Yiannopolous: Can you really claim to be about ethics in journalism while cozying up to Breitbart?)

There's the difference. The anti side was not an organized campaign. It was not built around a core of toxic hatred. It didn't have founders and effective leaders endorsing and engaging in criminal actions. It was not largely composed of toxicity.

The problem with BOTH movements is that they are/were amorphous, leaderless entities with no real threat of punishment or retribution against people who step out of line. Therefore, labelling a movement that is effectively a hastag based on its worst components and the worst assholes using said hastag unpoliced is unfair to say the least.

My point is this:

Gamergate WASN'T a "hate group since before it was named Gamergate." It was a Hashtag that started life as an obscure internet "Quinnspiracy" that was then exacerbated as a reaction to various media outlets seemingly coordinating an attack on it (which, regardless of the truth of the Quinnspiracy, at least made it seem like there was something to it; See also: The Streisand Effect), which - once it got popular and viral - inevitably attracted the assholes and the trolls, just as the Anti GG movement did as well. Both sides were as good and bad as the other, and as Consortium rightly points out:
That is only true if we don't consider the volume of traffic, or the origins, or the key players, or or or...


GG WON. At least, the GGers genuinely seeking Journalistic Integrity did, after a fashion. But these victories are drowned out by people accusing GG of being SOLELY a hate movement, like yourself, when that is DEMONSTRABLY false since there were high profile self-labelled Pro-GGers (EG, Total Biscuit, Boogie) who made a point of being on the side of the people calling for greater journalistic integrity in the games media.
...by abusing integrity issues, a practice they still engage in. And yes, it's possible for things to change over time. But it originated as, and for a very long time at least was, a vile tide of misogyny. I'm not sure how much of that is still there. I hope little to none. I hope to see it rehabilitated into an actual movement for ethics. (Even if the misogyny goes away, you can't abuse ethics issues to solve ethics issues.) But I'm not going to ignore the huge problems it had/has, and what it means to endorse it with those problems baked in. I'm still going to look long and hard at its proponents to see what they're saying, and honestly? I'll probably think a little less of them for jumping onto that hot mess. And I'm still going to call misogynistic jerks misogynistic jerks.

The rest of it is just restatement and summary, so I think I'll let my point stand here.

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2015, 12:50:41 PM »
So... what's the point of it? Forgive me, I don't use twitter and don't understand these fancy hashtag things.

But if the group has no goals, membership, identity, hierarchy, cohesion, values or definition... what's the point of having it?

I know I'm going to regret having this in my Unread replies, but...

Think of a hashtag like a flag.  It's a banner that people wave around to show their support for something.  So, in a sense, it starts out with a form of cohesion and identity.  Group A, a bunch of people who raise exotic birds, starts up the hashtag #WeLoveChicks.  This is probably not very well thought out, because once the 'flag' gets enough exposure, another group of people starts using the same flag to refer to their dating preferences, possibly even being nasty to those with different preferences - or possibly being downright creepy about how #WeLoveChicks.

The initial intent of the hashtag could be anything.  The problem is that in being 'short and pithy' and especially using the -gate suffix (which is another rant entirely), whatever intent initially existed for 'Gamergate' was drowned out by the fact that this particular flag/banner could be used to describe any controversy involving 'Gamers'.

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2015, 01:33:50 PM »
So... what's the point of it? Forgive me, I don't use twitter and don't understand these fancy hashtag things.

But if the group has no goals, membership, identity, hierarchy, cohesion, values or definition... what's the point of having it?

What's the point of having feminism, in that case? It doesn't have a hierarchy, much cohesion (no two feminist groups will ever agree on everything), it has no real membership criteria (anybody with a keyboard can claim membership)...see the point? Gamergate, however, as as many values and goals as feminism does, it just depends on the group in question. I mean, no two feminist groups will have identical aims or tactics, so whilst it isn't the BEST comparison, it's still valid. There are nasty strains of GG, just as there are nasty strains of everything else. It's not unique to GG. As for the hashtag, it also applies to tags on things like Tumblr. Anybody can write a tweet saying "Stupid fucking Quinn, she should just stay in the kitchen, #Gamergate" and have it show up in the Gamergate "Feed." Similarly, anybody can write something saying "A man held a door open for me as if I was too weak to open it on my own, the misogynistic prick, #Feminism." That's the problem with hashtags...nobody can really effectively police them.


But here's the problem with that: I said "before it was Gamergate" and I meant it. I've provided links to support this. Back when it was an IRC channel, it was still all about punishing a woman with an extra side-order of misogyny.

Back when it was the Quinnspiracy, it was all about whether Quinn had been an abuser and used her "assets" to get good reviews. There were some who tried to use it to "punish" her, but an IRC only proves what the members at that time on the IRC were thinking. Would you take the IRC of Elliquiy and then claim that everybody on Elliquiy must necessarily agree with what's being said in the IRC? Of course not. Most people on websites don't use the IRC outside of private chatrooms. Those people did say that horrible stuff, but I doubt that's even vaguely representative of the Quinnspiracy as a whole. I mean, would you really use the IRC from FreeThoughtBlogs as a microcosm of what the Atheist Community as a whole thinks? Of course not.

The hashtag went that way because that's the base it started from. The people who launched it, who set the tone, and who were looked to for direction and inspiration wore their misogyny on their sleeves, and that's the direction it went from there.

Wrong. GG and Quinnspiracy are linked...but they're not the same thing. GG came from the seeming coordination of the media against "Gamers," as some saw it, not from Quinn specifically.

Here's the thing, though: That is a radical fringe element, not the core or the bulk of the movement. And feminists do a lot of loud, active rejecting and rebutting of those ideas. How do you police a hashtag? By being the majority and calling the minority on their bad behaviour.

Which is EXACTLY what a lot of GGers did, but they were either ignored or called liars....or were threatened and harassed for doing it (again, see TotalBiscuit).

Further, on actually looking at some of the infamous "Gamers are dead" articles as cited by 'gaters, an interesting pattern emerges. They devote at least as much time to Sarkeesian as to Quinn - because Sarkeesian had already been run out of her house. Some of them - including one of the two most cited - literally don't mention Quinn at all. So your premise that it was just a conspiracy theory about Quinn that would've blown over if the media hadn't poked the hornets' nest? Doesn't hold.

Except that Sarkeesian is, to a certain extent, irrelevant; Gamergate stemmed from The Quinnspiracy, and the Quinnspiracy itself would have gone away if it hadn't been given so much attention. Sarkeesian was going on long before the Quinnspiracy, and it would have moved on past those two eventually. Until Gamergate became a "thing," Sarkeesian and Quinnspiracy were largely separate entities. It was only with the genesis of GG that they kinda got rolled in together. That is, if I'm getting my chronology right. It's been a while since it all started, so I'm a little rusty on the specific dates.

See above re: Sarkeesian. She had somebody quoting personal info at her and threatening to come to her house and do frankly horrifying things to her, at length. This was not a minor concern. This was before the articles.

And it was also suffered by people being critical of her as well. Assholes on both sides. Painting one side as the "villains" and the other as the "hero" misses the grey area that Sarkeesian's vocal critics also faced that sort of thing. On a smaller scale, true, since Sarkeesian was more "famous" so obviously she attracted more attention (negative as well as positive) but the point stands.

So the tag was used from the beginning to, say, point out how AAA studios demanded certain minimum ratings? Or how advertising dictated content? Or was it focused on indie games that didn't have that kind of leverage, by using advertising in an attempt to dictate content?

Not necessarily - different people, different focuses - but neither was it used "from the beginning" to solely attack women. THIS is what I'm saying; saying that GG was ALL one thing and NONE of another is stupid, simply because of the amorphous nature of internet "movements" and hashtags. There was a harassment aspect to it...but saying that's ALL it was - which you DID say - is simply incorrect.

The rest of them just endorsed the horrible behaviour.

No, they didn't. A lot of them did, this is true, but the exact same thing can be said of Anti GGers. A lot of prominent GGers condemned the practice, and a large portion of the GGer community actively tried to police the hashtag, reporting abuse under its usage (a fact that even Quinn herself acknowledged).

It was a small core being retweeted a lot, a lot of sockpuppets,

Exactly. A lot of sockpuppeting went on, so the number of actual people doing the harassment was a lot lower than it initially appears. So why not try our best to ignore the sockpuppets and trolls and engage with the people who are actually raising genuine issues? Or do we ignore the people with genuine grievances who are trying to have a civil discourse because they happen to use the same hashtag as people who are using it to harass people?

Exactly what percentage of it has to be about women before we just admit that this is what it's about?

Exactly what percentage of the Anti GG movement has to be harassing anybody who uses the hashtag regardless of what they're actually saying before we just admit that both "sides" were as bad as each other at times?

Because "loud toxic assholes" were there before there was a tag. Because "loud, toxic assholes" drove most of the traffic on the tag. Because "loud, toxic assholes" were the closest this thing came to leaders. Really, it's that simple.

I could level the exact same accusations at things like Feminism (especially on places like Tumblr), but you rightly wouldn't accept it as a valid reason to ditch Feminism, so why is it acceptable to do the same to GG? Yes, it had its loud members who drew most of the attention because they were loud, and when other trolls realised the success, they joined in. And I reject the "closest thing it came to leaders" thing. No, they weren't. There were a lot of "high profile" members who were assholes, but there plenty who weren't (again, Boogie, TB, etc) who got lost in the noise because it was the loud, toxic assholes who got the articles because they were the ones who got the clicks. The exact same thing happens with any other movement that you care to mention, especially online.

Games media having serious integrity problems was not news - I remember hearing about its payola problems years ago. So why now in particular, hmmm?

I agree...but this was the first time in recent memory where there was a huge kerfuffle over it. You heard about Payola problems years ago...and yet this was the first time (to the best of my knowledge) that the leading gaming media en mass overhauled its Code of Ethics. So why now in particular, hmmm?

And again, you're ignoring Sarkeesian. There was a huge problem before gamergate was gamergate.

I'm not; I addressed it above. You're right that it was a problem (though I think a sizeable proportion of her negative feedback was manufactured (much like Quinn's initial stuff likely was (Talking about Wizardchan here, not The Quinnspiracy), and though I think she's at best naive/wrong and at worst manipulative and dishonest, I don't think she deserves any level of threats or harassment) and that supports my initial point up there ^ . Sarkeesian had nothing to do with GG until GG was created. It didn't start with Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian and the Quinnspiracy were largely separate issues that got combined by the articles. There will always be trolls and assholes on the internet. Does that mean there is some kind of ingrained misogyny in Gamer Culture that directs these attacks? Of course not. Some people are just assholes. We scoffed at Thompson when he claimed that games cause violence, so why aren't we scoffing at Sarkeesian when she suggests that games cause sexism? Off topic, but I think it's a question worth asking.

Nope. Not claiming that at all. But one side in this argument was built around bile and venom, and spewed orders of magnitude more of it, and drove people out of their homes, and swatted people.

Yeah, only one side harassed, spewed bile, drove people out of their homes and swatted people. Oh wait, assholes on both sides did that. The Anti GG side was based around bile and venom as well, and they were just as indiscriminate about spreading it around as the assholes on the other side.

For the record: I do not condone or endorse the people who said horrible things in the other direction, either. I've already dissociated in this very thread from Zoe Quinn.

So why can't GGers who support the positive aspects of it - that is, better journalistic integrity in games media - disassociate themselves from the morons who spewed bile and hatred at anybody and everybody? You disassociate from Quinn, so why can't I - for example - disassociate myself from the trolls and assholes? Or am I not allowed to do that?

And these are all horrible things that shouldn't have happened, but in no way representative of the vast majority of anti-gamergate speech or actions.

And yet when I say the same thing about GG, you brush it off. There was a huge proportion of sockpuppets and trolls, yes, but that is in no way representative to what serious supporters of the GG movement wanted, and is in no way representative of the "moderates" who genuinely wanted a discourse. So why are you "allowed" to brush off the entirety of GG - moderates and genuinely concerned gamers included - whilst I'm not allowed to brush off the Anti GG side for the same reasons? It seems kind of hypocritical to me.

(As an aside, since you mentioned Yiannopolous: Can you really claim to be about ethics in journalism while cozying up to Breitbart?)

Pfffft, please. Just like you don't have to like Quinn to disagree with the harassment she was faced with, I don't have to like Yiannopolous or Breitbart to dislike the fact that they were harassed and threatened.

There's the difference. The anti side was not an organized campaign.

Neither, really, was GG. The two sides are more alike than you seem to want to think.

It was not built around a core of toxic hatred.

Neither was GG. It was a hashtag that anybody could use, and everybody who did built it in a different way. Again, that's my point; GG WASN'T an organised campaign with leaders, a hierarchy or a set manifesto. It was a Tag that anybody could use....JUST LIKE ANTI GG.

It didn't have founders and effective leaders endorsing and engaging in criminal actions.

Neither did GG. Both sides had people acting "in the name of" those "sides" doing those things, but GG didn't have any founders or leaders. They had personalities who attracted their own following, but so did the Anti GGers. This is what I'm trying to say; GG wasn't an organised campaign or group. It was a loose collection of Hashtag users, each following separate personalities for different reasons with different goals. Exactly like the Anti GG side. In fact, in a lot of ways, the Anti GG side was a lot more organised, since they at least had a unifying principal; "Fuck those GG guys."

It was not largely composed of toxicity.

HIGHLY debatable. You seem to be trying to make out like Anti GG was better than GG and that all the stuff that GG did that Anti GG did was somehow better when Anti GG did it. It was just as reprehensible, and they were both as bad as each other. Both had a large proportion of assholes who used it as an excuse to harass and threaten, and both had a proportion of people who wanted a civil discussion. That's what I'm trying to say to you; you saying that it's "nothing but a hate group" is patently WRONG because it wasn't even a group. It was a hashtag that anybody could use, with little unifying power past that. Exactly like the Anti GG side. And as for the "it wasn't toxic," yes it was. It was just toxic towards different people.

That is only true if we don't consider the volume of traffic, or the origins, or the key players, or or or...

Again, the same could be said of Anti GG. Anti GG was created specifically to oppose GG, and adopted largely the same tactics. Your whole spiel about "Oh, GG was founded to put women in their place!" Well, Anti GG was founded to put anybody who supported GG for whatever reason "in their place." Exact same argument, exact same validity. They're not "good and evil." They're opposite sides of the same coin. Both as good and as bad as each other, and both had the exact same problems. You attempting to paint GG as some evil hate group that specifically set out to do one single thing is missing the point and attributing a single authority and manifesto to a group that doesn't exist because it wasn't a group. It was a hashtag that people assigned their own meanings to, much like the Anti GG side.

...by abusing integrity issues, a practice they still engage in.

SOME did that. Not all. And that's not always inherently a bad thing. I don't doubt you would defend the Suffragettes methods, since it indirectly resulted in women getting the vote in England (though, to be absolutely fair, lowerclass men didn't have the vote either...they only got it a few years before women, but that's neither here nor there). NOT saying that the ends justify the means, just that sometimes bad things are done in the name of a "greater good," and whether it was the "right" thing is a subject for an entirely separate debate. But again, you speak of GG as if it's a unified entity that issues orders in pursuit of a grander strategy, like some Doctor Doom of the Gaming World....when it isn't. It's a loose collection of people using a hashtag for different reasons, which is NOT what you seem to think it is.

And yes, it's possible for things to change over time. But it originated as, and for a very long time at least was, a vile tide of misogyny.

Not quite. It didn't "originate as a vile tide of misogyny." There were many who used it as an excuse to do that, but there were many others who used it to try and open a discourse. Again, you falsely imply that it was a unified movement when it wasn't. It was, I say again, a hashtag that was used in various different ways. If you can decry the assholes of Anti GG and say "They don't represent what we stand for, they're just using it as an excuse to be assholes!" Then why can't the moderate GGer's say the EXACT same thing about the darker, more disgusting "Heads" that sprouted from certain people adopting the hashtag in less-than-decent ways? Why do you get to do it, and GGers don't?

Even if the misogyny goes away, you can't abuse ethics issues to solve ethics issues.

Eeeeeeeeeh you can...it just might not be overly moral, and would be hypocritical. It's like saying "You can't break the law to enforce the law." You can, you'd just be a massive hypocrite. BUT. I don't necessarily disagree with you there, and I don't want to get into THAT debate here. XD

But I'm not going to ignore the huge problems it had/has, and what it means to endorse it with those problems baked in.

So why don't you apply the same standards to the Anti GG side, which has the exact same problems? Again, if you're going to say "those people don't represent what Anti GG is all about," why can't GGers do the same thing, leave the assholes to their assholiness and sit down and have a civil discussion about the issues? Y'know, leave the toddlers to splash each other in the paddling pools while the adults sit at the table? Why does every GG discussion, regardless of what it's actually about, have to drift to "Well, a lot of GGers are assholes, therefore you're all assholes and we don't need to listen to you!" As much as I disagree with Thunderfoot on a lot of things, he did once say something that I agree with:
An argument stands or falls on its own merits, regardless of who says it.

I'm still going to look long and hard at its proponents to see what they're saying, and honestly? I'll probably think a little less of them for jumping onto that hot mess.

And I'll do exactly the same for Anti GGers. They had a similar genesis, they employed similar tactics (both the moderates and the extremist assholes), and every cross-discussion inevitably ends up in a shit slinging contest over what their less desirable members have done recently.

Again...you shouldn't treat GG as a uniform, united campaign because it wasn't. By and large, it was fairly disorganised and is effectively just a hashtag being used by thousands of different splinter groups, each focusing on different things and "led" by different charismatic individuals...exactly like any other nebulous, ill-defined term (EG, Feminism, Secularism, The Atheist Community, most religions, etc etc).

And I'm still going to call misogynistic jerks misogynistic jerks.

And so am I. But why not just say "Those GGers who were misogynistic assholes were assholes, but those other GGers who want to actually talk seem reasonable, I'll go over and chat to them." Because what you do by saying "GG is nothing but a hate group" is instantly shut down conversation and dismiss the fact that there are moderate GGers who have valid points. I don't disagree that GG had its issues and there were people in there that did horrible things, I simply took issue with your assertion that GG was nothing but hate, which is demonstrably false, and overly simplistic. I wouldn't care overly much, but....well, I lurk on this board quite a lot, and though there are a few things I disagree with you on, you largely seem to be an intelligent, reasonable person. So to see you oversimplifying something so unfairly...well, I figured I should try and correct you. Were there groups under the GG umbrella that were hate groups? Yes. Does that mean that GG is NOTHING but hatred and bile? No. And that's what you were saying...which is, I think obviously, wrong.



And I do want to take the opportunity here to say that I know I can come across as condescending and aggressive sometimes - a side effect of writing all in one sitting, I get a leeeeetle worked up sometimes - and if you do read it like that, that isn't how I meant it. I generally mean things like this as conversationally as possible. So if I said something that upset or angered or offended you, I'm sorry...I didn't mean to. :-)



Additional:


Yhup, Oniya has it right. The Hashtag was adopted by several different groups, and one "meaning" for it drowned out the others by virtue of exposure and the vagueness of the tag itself. *nods*



And good to see you again, Oniya...I can't actually remember if we get along or not. :P If we do, hi! *waves* If we don't, Grrr! *shakes fist* :P :P
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 01:37:33 PM by Vergil Tanner »

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2015, 02:49:30 PM »
Back when it was the Quinnspiracy, it was all about whether Quinn had been an abuser and used her "assets" to get good reviews. There were some who tried to use it to "punish" her, but an IRC only proves what the members at that time on the IRC were thinking. Would you take the IRC of Elliquiy and then claim that everybody on Elliquiy must necessarily agree with what's being said in the IRC? Of course not. Most people on websites don't use the IRC outside of private chatrooms. Those people did say that horrible stuff, but I doubt that's even vaguely representative of the Quinnspiracy as a whole. I mean, would you really use the IRC from FreeThoughtBlogs as a microcosm of what the Atheist Community as a whole thinks? Of course not.
I'd certainly take what the O-levels were saying as indicative of the general direction of E as a whole. I'd take FTB as fairly representative of the progressive atheist community. Every scrap of evidence we've ever seen, be it the IRC logs, the 8chan screencaps, what have you... it all shows this stuff being baked in. And you're wrong about the abuser angle - there's little to none of that (certainly none I saw) in the logs, but lots of "can we throw shade at her to make her look like a criminal?"

Wrong. GG and Quinnspiracy are linked...but they're not the same thing. GG came from the seeming coordination of the media against "Gamers," as some saw it, not from Quinn specifically.
Will address this below.

Which is EXACTLY what a lot of GGers did, but they were either ignored or called liars....or were threatened and harassed for doing it (again, see TotalBiscuit).
Except they were never the majority, were they? most of the traffic on the tag was aimed at women, and very little of it was unique content.

Except that Sarkeesian is, to a certain extent, irrelevant; Gamergate stemmed from The Quinnspiracy, and the Quinnspiracy itself would have gone away if it hadn't been given so much attention. Sarkeesian was going on long before the Quinnspiracy, and it would have moved on past those two eventually. Until Gamergate became a "thing," Sarkeesian and Quinnspiracy were largely separate entities. It was only with the genesis of GG that they kinda got rolled in together. That is, if I'm getting my chronology right. It's been a while since it all started, so I'm a little rusty on the specific dates.
And now we reach "below." So is the Quinnspiracy the core and origin of GG or not? You've played it both ways here. Further, the point I was making is that the articles aren't about Quinn or the Quinnspiracy, and therefore claims that GG kicked off in response to these "attacks" are disingenuous at best. If Sarkeesian is irrelevant, why are articles that are mostly about her worthy of response?

And it was also suffered by people being critical of her as well. Assholes on both sides. Painting one side as the "villains" and the other as the "hero" misses the grey area that Sarkeesian's vocal critics also faced that sort of thing. On a smaller scale, true, since Sarkeesian was more "famous" so obviously she attracted more attention (negative as well as positive) but the point stands.
Not trying to paint one side as angels and one as devils, just point out that there's a very distinct difference in the default tactics and level of toxicity. Sarkeesian became a major name because of what was happening to her, so your "it's because she's famous!" premise doesn't hold. And can you show me any hundred of her critics - some of whom have higher public profiles than she started with - who have collectively gotten as much of this as she has? How about Wu? Remember, these people are (according to your prior assertion) not even primary targets.

Not necessarily - different people, different focuses - but neither was it used "from the beginning" to solely attack women. THIS is what I'm saying; saying that GG was ALL one thing and NONE of another is stupid, simply because of the amorphous nature of internet "movements" and hashtags. There was a harassment aspect to it...but saying that's ALL it was - which you DID say - is simply incorrect.
There might have been useful idiots from near the beginning. But it was founded, driven, and guided by people who hated that women were invading 'their' space and not staying docile. A few dupes doesn't change that.

No, they didn't. A lot of them did, this is true, but the exact same thing can be said of Anti GGers. A lot of prominent GGers condemned the practice, and a large portion of the GGer community actively tried to police the hashtag, reporting abuse under its usage (a fact that even Quinn herself acknowledged).
By using and spreading a banner that was overwhelmingly about toxic bile and hatred, they did. If you proudly associate with the Southern Baptist Congregation, you're supporting hatred of gay people. If you call yourself a National Socialist, people are going to have some very sharp questions about your views on race. That is because this is how these groups have defined themselves. The same holds for Gamergate - it is defined by toxic bile because toxic bile is the bulk of it, and so signing on with it means endorsing that toxicity.

Exactly. A lot of sockpuppeting went on, so the number of actual people doing the harassment was a lot lower than it initially appears. So why not try our best to ignore the sockpuppets and trolls and engage with the people who are actually raising genuine issues? Or do we ignore the people with genuine grievances who are trying to have a civil discourse because they happen to use the same hashtag as people who are using it to harass people?
Because the 'trolls' are most of the traffic. Why is it the responsibility of the targets to filter a very weak signal from overwhelming noise, instead of just writing the entire thing off as not worth it? Why is it not the responsibility of those who want to talk about actual issues to find a less noisy channel?

And yes, the number of people doing the harassing was relatively low. So was the number of people raising genuine issues. Most of the traffic on Gamergate was retweeting of things targeted at women. The unique individuals saying things about actual issues were a very small minority. The data do not support your claims.

Exactly what percentage of the Anti GG movement has to be harassing anybody who uses the hashtag regardless of what they're actually saying before we just admit that both "sides" were as bad as each other at times?
I'd say the anti-GG traffic would need to be at least as toxic as the pro, if we're calling them equal. I've provided documentation  showing just how much of the GG traffic had nothing to do with ethics in journalism. That number was significantly over 50%. At that point, saying it was really about ethics is disingenuous at best. You have yet to address this.

I could level the exact same accusations at things like Feminism (especially on places like Tumblr), but you rightly wouldn't accept it as a valid reason to ditch Feminism, so why is it acceptable to do the same to GG? Yes, it had its loud members who drew most of the attention because they were loud, and when other trolls realised the success, they joined in. And I reject the "closest thing it came to leaders" thing. No, they weren't. There were a lot of "high profile" members who were assholes, but there plenty who weren't (again, Boogie, TB, etc) who got lost in the noise because it was the loud, toxic assholes who got the articles because they were the ones who got the clicks. The exact same thing happens with any other movement that you care to mention, especially online.
I would reject it, because I can clearly and easily demonstrate that a) most feminist speech is non-toxic (provided you don't automatically tag anything feminist as toxic because it's feminist), and b) by far the loudest and most effective voices against the toxicity are feminists. You cannot do this with Gamergate, because it isn't true of Gamergate.

Can you name me three people who were in from day one, were high profile, and weren't saying toxic things? Can you show me high-profile toxic people who were rejected? About the only example of the latter I can think of is Roguestar, who has bounced back and forth between "loved" and "hated" several times.

I agree...but this was the first time in recent memory where there was a huge kerfuffle over it. You heard about Payola problems years ago...and yet this was the first time (to the best of my knowledge) that the leading gaming media en mass overhauled its Code of Ethics. So why now in particular, hmmm?
It was a big deal a long time ago - there's a reason that I, who did not pay any attention to games media at the time, heard about it. But then people decided it wasn't a big deal. And then Quinn comes along and suddenly it's the BIGGEST THING IN GAMING (but only when it comes to indie games and journalists saying approving things about ones we don't like)? Colour me suspicious.

I'm not; I addressed it above. You're right that it was a problem (though I think a sizeable proportion of her negative feedback was manufactured (much like Quinn's initial stuff likely was (Talking about Wizardchan here, not The Quinnspiracy), and though I think she's at best naive/wrong and at worst manipulative and dishonest, I don't think she deserves any level of threats or harassment) and that supports my initial point up there ^ . Sarkeesian had nothing to do with GG until GG was created. It didn't start with Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian and the Quinnspiracy were largely separate issues that got combined by the articles. There will always be trolls and assholes on the internet. Does that mean there is some kind of ingrained misogyny in Gamer Culture that directs these attacks? Of course not. Some people are just assholes. We scoffed at Thompson when he claimed that games cause violence, so why aren't we scoffing at Sarkeesian when she suggests that games cause sexism? Off topic, but I think it's a question worth asking.
Umm. You realize the Kickstarter comments are public and extremely ugly and number in the thousands, right? How much time do you think she devoted to writing misogynistic, racist, threatening things about herself? This ugly, toxic undercurrent was a significant part of gamer culture, and it was from this undercurrent that things got kicked off. Gamergate was a convenient banner for the already-toxic people to rally around. There's a reason Sarkeesian became a primary target in no time flat - because a lot of the people rallying behind GG already hated her and were already attacking her.

Yeah, only one side harassed, spewed bile, drove people out of their homes and swatted people. Oh wait, assholes on both sides did that. The Anti GG side was based around bile and venom as well, and they were just as indiscriminate about spreading it around as the assholes on the other side.
Can you show me the initial organizing of an anti-GG movement, and the hatred and bile present in it? Can you show me the 'gaters who were driven from their homes and had to confront SWAT teams? Can you show me the 'gater who recieved literally tens of thousands of insults about their sex or race?

So why can't GGers who support the positive aspects of it - that is, better journalistic integrity in games media - disassociate themselves from the morons who spewed bile and hatred at anybody and everybody? You disassociate from Quinn, so why can't I - for example - disassociate myself from the trolls and assholes? Or am I not allowed to do that?
You're allowed to, and it's quite simple - just stop waving their flag. You'll note I'm not waving Quinn's.

And yet when I say the same thing about GG, you brush it off. There was a huge proportion of sockpuppets and trolls, yes, but that is in no way representative to what serious supporters of the GG movement wanted, and is in no way representative of the "moderates" who genuinely wanted a discourse. So why are you "allowed" to brush off the entirety of GG - moderates and genuinely concerned gamers included - whilst I'm not allowed to brush off the Anti GG side for the same reasons? It seems kind of hypocritical to me.
Because I have data showing that the majority of Gamergate was in fact targeted at women. That's a rather big difference that you're going to have to address.

Pfffft, please. Just like you don't have to like Quinn to disagree with the harassment she was faced with, I don't have to like Yiannopolous or Breitbart to dislike the fact that they were harassed and threatened.
Sure, but you're going to have to address the uncomfortable fact that a movement "about ethics in journalism" is largely embracing one of the least ethical news sources in existence.

Neither, really, was GG. The two sides are more alike than you seem to want to think.

Neither was GG. It was a hashtag that anybody could use, and everybody who did built it in a different way. Again, that's my point; GG WASN'T an organised campaign with leaders, a hierarchy or a set manifesto. It was a Tag that anybody could use....JUST LIKE ANTI GG.

Neither did GG. Both sides had people acting "in the name of" those "sides" doing those things, but GG didn't have any founders or leaders. They had personalities who attracted their own following, but so did the Anti GGers. This is what I'm trying to say; GG wasn't an organised campaign or group. It was a loose collection of Hashtag users, each following separate personalities for different reasons with different goals. Exactly like the Anti GG side. In fact, in a lot of ways, the Anti GG side was a lot more organised, since they at least had a unifying principal; "Fuck those GG guys."
So there haven't been any organized campaigns? No high-profile members that the rank and file took cues from? None of those high profilers trying black-hat activities while embraced by the wider movement? None of that? Are you certain this is the position you want to take?

HIGHLY debatable. You seem to be trying to make out like Anti GG was better than GG and that all the stuff that GG did that Anti GG did was somehow better when Anti GG did it. It was just as reprehensible, and they were both as bad as each other. Both had a large proportion of assholes who used it as an excuse to harass and threaten, and both had a proportion of people who wanted a civil discussion. That's what I'm trying to say to you; you saying that it's "nothing but a hate group" is patently WRONG because it wasn't even a group. It was a hashtag that anybody could use, with little unifying power past that. Exactly like the Anti GG side. And as for the "it wasn't toxic," yes it was. It was just toxic towards different people.
Show me the evidence. I've shown you my evidence that GG was, by and large, toxic; let's see yours.

I'm not saying "It's better when the antis do it"; I'm saying "the antis do way less of it, and that makes a difference."

Again, the same could be said of Anti GG. Anti GG was created specifically to oppose GG, and adopted largely the same tactics. Your whole spiel about "Oh, GG was founded to put women in their place!" Well, Anti GG was founded to put anybody who supported GG for whatever reason "in their place." Exact same argument, exact same validity. They're not "good and evil." They're opposite sides of the same coin. Both as good and as bad as each other, and both had the exact same problems. You attempting to paint GG as some evil hate group that specifically set out to do one single thing is missing the point and attributing a single authority and manifesto to a group that doesn't exist because it wasn't a group. It was a hashtag that people assigned their own meanings to, much like the Anti GG side.
Please show me where the antis organized and directed campaigns at specific targets. Please show me one of these campaigns aimed at somebody who wasn't spewing toxicity.

SOME did that. Not all. And that's not always inherently a bad thing. I don't doubt you would defend the Suffragettes methods, since it indirectly resulted in women getting the vote in England (though, to be absolutely fair, lowerclass men didn't have the vote either...they only got it a few years before women, but that's neither here nor there). NOT saying that the ends justify the means, just that sometimes bad things are done in the name of a "greater good," and whether it was the "right" thing is a subject for an entirely separate debate. But again, you speak of GG as if it's a unified entity that issues orders in pursuit of a grander strategy, like some Doctor Doom of the Gaming World....when it isn't. It's a loose collection of people using a hashtag for different reasons, which is NOT what you seem to think it is.
Did the suffragettes take the vote away from others as a tactic to make their case? Your analogy is poor. And it's not "some", it's the primary means of action on journalism. Spend five minutes on KiA and try to tell me there aren't coordinated campaigns to target advertisers as a means of dictating content.

Not quite. It didn't "originate as a vile tide of misogyny." There were many who used it as an excuse to do that, but there were many others who used it to try and open a discourse. Again, you falsely imply that it was a unified movement when it wasn't. It was, I say again, a hashtag that was used in various different ways. If you can decry the assholes of Anti GG and say "They don't represent what we stand for, they're just using it as an excuse to be assholes!" Then why can't the moderate GGer's say the EXACT same thing about the darker, more disgusting "Heads" that sprouted from certain people adopting the hashtag in less-than-decent ways? Why do you get to do it, and GGers don't?
Again, gonna have to address the fact that the analysis has been done and yeah, it was mostly misogyny. When most of your movement is misogynistic crap, then yes, the movement is misogynistic crap.

Eeeeeeeeeh you can...it just might not be overly moral, and would be hypocritical. It's like saying "You can't break the law to enforce the law." You can, you'd just be a massive hypocrite. BUT. I don't necessarily disagree with you there, and I don't want to get into THAT debate here. XD
You can't break the law to enforce the law, if you want the law to retain legitimacy. You can't commit ethics violations in the name of ethics, if you want legitimate ethics.

So why don't you apply the same standards to the Anti GG side, which has the exact same problems? Again, if you're going to say "those people don't represent what Anti GG is all about," why can't GGers do the same thing, leave the assholes to their assholiness and sit down and have a civil discussion about the issues? Y'know, leave the toddlers to splash each other in the paddling pools while the adults sit at the table? Why does every GG discussion, regardless of what it's actually about, have to drift to "Well, a lot of GGers are assholes, therefore you're all assholes and we don't need to listen to you!" As much as I disagree with Thunderfoot on a lot of things, he did once say something that I agree with:
1. Again, proportion of content. 2. Pushing back against toxicity is necessary if we want to keep toxicity from being normalized An "anti" push is a vital part of trying to make society a better place. 3. Again, there is a difference in the level of coordination and organization.

An argument stands or falls on its own merits, regardless of who says it.
Absolutely right. And the bulk of Gamergate's argument is "Screw those women!". Why should this not be allowed to fall?

And I'll do exactly the same for Anti GGers. They had a similar genesis, they employed similar tactics (both the moderates and the extremist assholes), and every cross-discussion inevitably ends up in a shit slinging contest over what their less desirable members have done recently.
Show me the genesis. back up your claims with data, as I have. Show me that most anti traffic was toxic. Please. Do this and I'll recant my position immediately and publicly.

Again...you shouldn't treat GG as a uniform, united campaign because it wasn't. By and large, it was fairly disorganised and is effectively just a hashtag being used by thousands of different splinter groups, each focusing on different things and "led" by different charismatic individuals...exactly like any other nebulous, ill-defined term (EG, Feminism, Secularism, The Atheist Community, most religions, etc etc).
But I can treat it as soemthing composed of the elements it's actually composed of, in the proportions that it actually has. Which means it has a problem with being "the toxic misogyny movement (that also says some things about ethics (but doesn't get ethics 101))", not "the ethics movement (that occasionally has toxic misogyny)".

And so am I. But why not just say "Those GGers who were misogynistic assholes were assholes, but those other GGers who want to actually talk seem reasonable, I'll go over and chat to them." Because what you do by saying "GG is nothing but a hate group" is instantly shut down conversation and dismiss the fact that there are moderate GGers who have valid points. I don't disagree that GG had its issues and there were people in there that did horrible things, I simply took issue with your assertion that GG was nothing but hate, which is demonstrably false, and overly simplistic. I wouldn't care overly much, but....well, I lurk on this board quite a lot, and though there are a few things I disagree with you on, you largely seem to be an intelligent, reasonable person. So to see you oversimplifying something so unfairly...well, I figured I should try and correct you. Were there groups under the GG umbrella that were hate groups? Yes. Does that mean that GG is NOTHING but hatred and bile? No. And that's what you were saying...which is, I think obviously, wrong.
Because it is not my responsibility to make sure you communicate effectively. If you want me to hear your signal, maybe you shouldn't broadcast on a channel that is full of very loud noise. There is a thread of worthwhile content in there, but a) it, not the misogyny, came along later, and b) it will always be lost in the noise because the noise is overwhelming. If your group is in such condition that actual, widely-recognized hate groups can show up to the party, find it comfortable, and not be rejected or even visibly divisive, you have a problem.

And I do want to take the opportunity here to say that I know I can come across as condescending and aggressive sometimes - a side effect of writing all in one sitting, I get a leeeeetle worked up sometimes - and if you do read it like that, that isn't how I meant it. I generally mean things like this as conversationally as possible. So if I said something that upset or angered or offended you, I'm sorry...I didn't mean to. :-)
You're fine - you've actually gotten me to dial back on my usual "righteous anger" schtick in an attempt to keep to the tone you've set. I'm pretty hard to offend.

EDIT: So that we can keep this under novel-length, please feel free to condense and respond to my "show me the data" and "gonna have to address the proportion of toxicity" arguments as single points.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 02:51:20 PM by Ephiral »

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2015, 04:19:53 PM »
Ok, so, I don't have a lot of time - I've gotten rather busy, and I churned out a pair of fairly massive posts earlier for one of my RP's that left me kinda drained (before I posted my last reply to this thread, true, but that just contributed, haha) - so I'm gonna make this response as quick as possible, largely because I didn't want to get into a huge several-thousand-word-post debate about this specific topic. In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have posted about such a controversial topic if I didn't want a huge discussion about it. XD

So, if it's all the same to you, I would rather leave aside the things we've sidetracked into and get back to the point that was the cause for my initial post. I might come back after the fact and address all of the points once I've had a bit of a sleepy, but I want to get back to my initial point. XD


And now we reach "below." So is the Quinnspiracy the core and origin of GG or not? You've played it both ways here.

This is my fault for not re-reading the post before I sent it (though, to be fair, can you blame me? Look how long these posts have gotten. >.< ) to make sure that I was being clear with what I was trying to say. What I'm saying is that for some people it was, and others it wasn't. It's the nature of the online hashtag that anybody can claim it for whatever reason and for whatever purpose. Unlike things like Feminism and whatnot, GG is/was an extremely new thing that had yet to define itself properly (and I would argue still hasn't, not really) and didn't have a a core group of publicly known "Founders." Therefore, some GG hashtag users used the Quinnspiracy as its genesis, and others didn't care so much about the Quinnspiracy but the possibility that it could be true and they would still technically be abiding by their pre-set code of ethics (to name two examples; there are other possibilities, of course). So it really depends on the person, which is what the main thrust of my original comment was; calling it a "Hate Group" is wrong simply because it implies some kind of unified cohesive unit, when that isn't the reality of the "movement."

If Sarkeesian is irrelevant, why are articles that are mostly about her worthy of response?

Again, my fault for not being clear with what I was trying to say. She was irrelevant - her and the Quinnspiracy were two separate things, by and large - until they kind of got joined into one/linked together by either including each other, or coming out at the same time and saying similar things which regardless of intent, came across as coordinated.

Sarkeesian became a major name because of what was happening to her, so your "it's because she's famous!" premise doesn't hold.

This is true, I misspoke. What I meant was that the more famous she became, the more it happened because people were hearing about her. But! Sarkeesian is largely irrelevant to my initial point, and as much as I am tempted, I really don't want to get sidetracked with her.

There might have been useful idiots from near the beginning. But it was founded, driven, and guided by people who hated that women were invading 'their' space and not staying docile. A few dupes doesn't change that.

How exactly do you think they "guided" a hashtag? As I've said numerous times, the nature of a hashtag makes it extremely difficult - nigh on impossible - to guide, police or direct.

[ Side note: I did a bit of refresh-googling since it's been a while since I talked about GG in any great depth (which probably shows considering my unfocused and rambling structure (Sorry 'bout that) ) and found out that there's a type of ant called a "Gamergate" that is a reproductively viable female worker ant who reproduces in the absence of a Queen. Completely unrelated, I just found it interesting. ]

But the thing is, there wasn't a single group of "founders." There were a whole slew of different types of people looking at this kerfuffle who then adopted the term "Gamergate" for their own reasons after the term was coined by Adam Baldwin. A lot of the users used it as a screen to attack people, whilst others genuinely wanted a discussion. Of course, I wouldn't go to Twitter of all places to look at people who wanted a genuine discussion...twitter isn't exactly the right medium for a long debate. XD Anywho, the point is that the hashtag itself wasn't created or guided by people "looking to harass women," it was coined by somebody else at a panel (I think that's where he created the term, though I could be wrong. It was definitely Baldwin, though) and adopted by a large variety of different people.

The same holds for Gamergate - it is defined by toxic bile because toxic bile is the bulk of it, and so signing on with it means endorsing that toxicity.

Not necessarily. If I identify as a pro-journalistic-integrity GGer (Which I kinda do, though only retrospectively; I kinda stumbled upon GG mid-last year when it was already in full swing due to being busy with University), why not try to change the perception? I mean...no matter the amount of toxic bile that comes out of the Southern Baptist Church, we don't judge ALL Christians by those standards. We judge people based on what they themselves say (or at least, we should). My original point was, calling it a "Hate Group" implies more organisation, unity and cohesion then there actually was.

Because the 'trolls' are most of the traffic. Why is it the responsibility of the targets to filter a very weak signal from overwhelming noise, instead of just writing the entire thing off as not worth it? Why is it not the responsibility of those who want to talk about actual issues to find a less noisy channel?

So we should instantly ditch labels that become "tainted?" What's stopping those people that "tainted" the original label from just jumping ship and doing the same thing to the new label, leading to accusations of the people from the old label trying to get away with their "old tricks" under a new label? It's a "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. There were attempts at policing the hashtag, it was just extremely difficult due to the nature of Hashtags.

And yes, the number of people doing the harassing was relatively low. So was the number of people raising genuine issues. Most of the traffic on Gamergate was retweeting of things targeted at women. The unique individuals saying things about actual issues were a very small minority. The data do not support your claims.

So if the number of people doing the harassing was relatively low and none of it was really unique content, that would suggest at least a sizeable proportion of it being sockpuppeting, which in turn suggests it's the same people doing it and retweeting it. So why not focus on and draw attention to the people actually bringing up valid points and issues, rather than giving the people harassing people the spotlight? The more you pay attention to them, the more they do it. I thought that was Internet 101; don't feed the trolls. Report them, ban them, move on to more important things. If you get a genuine death threat with credible information, call the Feds but DON'T declare "I've been threatened and have called the Feds," which is pretty much the first thing they tell you to do since it's harder to catch them if they know the Feds are coming.

I'd say the anti-GG traffic would need to be at least as toxic as the pro, if we're calling them equal. I've provided documentation  showing just how much of the GG traffic had nothing to do with ethics in journalism. That number was significantly over 50%. At that point, saying it was really about ethics is disingenuous at best. You have yet to address this.

I have addressed it, in a manner of speaking. I'm not disagreeing, simply because those are the statistics. However, I'm not arguing that GG was a "force for good" or even that most of the tweets under it were solely about Journalistic integrity. My initial point was that you calling it "Just a hate group" was overly simplistic and missed the point of the nature of the hashtag because "hate group" implies more cohesion and unity than there actually was. I never said that it was "really about ethics" (and if I did, then I apologise; I misspoke). I just said that your assertion that it was "Nothing but a hate group" was overly simplistic, black and white and dismissed the GG hashtag users that didn't engage in harassing behaviour, of which there was a sizeable portion. Even if the number of GG tweets that were purely harassment numbered 70%, that still leaves 30% that wasn't harassment, which makes your assertion that it was "Nothing but a Hate Group" incorrect. That's what I was taking issue with; the absolutist language that dismissed the complexities of the situation in a seeming "Us Vs Them" mentality that ignored the grey areas inherent when talking about the usage of an online hashtag.

I would reject it, because I can clearly and easily demonstrate that a) most feminist speech is non-toxic (provided you don't automatically tag anything feminist as toxic because it's feminist), and b) by far the loudest and most effective voices against the toxicity are feminists. You cannot do this with Gamergate, because it isn't true of Gamergate.

Well, I can. There were a good number of Pro GGers that spoke out against the harassment, but because there were more who spoke out against it in the Anti GG camp (kinda obviously, if you think about it) it seems like there weren't that many. Also, I find that the loudest voices against toxic feminists aren't always other feminists. In fact, in my personal experience, ordinary moderate feminists are kinda quiet with the "Eh, they don't represent me, so I won't worry about it." The most vocal opposition I see are people who actively don't identify as feminist but tend to agree with the moderates. A kind of pedantic distinction, but I can't help it. >.>

Anyway, also remember that it was estimated that there were only really about 10,000 Pro GGers (which looked like a lot more given the dupes and socks), which isn't really that high a proportion of gamers, and the Anti GGers at least seemed a lot more numerous (though I have no doubt some Duping and Socking went on in that "camp" as well, though to what extent I'm not gonna speculate on).

Can you name me three people who were in from day one, were high profile, and weren't saying toxic things?

Nope, simply because there was no "Day One" with GG. The Hashtag grew rapidly, but I can't name anybody who was in at Day One because people don't generally say "I supported it from the start," and a lot of the high profile supporters heard about it later on. For example, I would again name TotalBiscuit because I know that he supported the Journalistic Integrity aspect of it, but I have no idea when he "joined," for lack of a better term.

Can you show me high-profile toxic people who were rejected?

Again, no, simply because it wasn't a group. It was a Hashtag, primarily, and people just declaring that they were in on forums and whatnot. How do you reject somebody from a nebulous, amorphous entity that doesn't have any centralised hierarchy or official leaders? You can't. Because it's not a unified group, so there's nobody with the authority to reject you.

(but only when it comes to indie games and journalists saying approving things about ones we don't like)

That's kind of unfair; to be fair, Quinn had done shady things in the past, so it isn't like suspicion was unjustified. The harassment was, but a healthy dose of suspicion as to her motivations and methods was certainly fair. And had that original post never been...well...posted, it would never have gotten to the "Quinnspiracy" levels...personal dislike obviously played a part in it, but to say it was generated purely because it was about one that people distrusted is unfair. A lot of people still like Peter Molyneux (I hope I got that right. I can NEVER remember how to spell his last name) but he still got raked over the coals the last time he started his usual tricks.

This ugly, toxic undercurrent was a significant part of gamer culture, and it was from this undercurrent that things got kicked off.

I said I'm not gonna sidetrack into Sarkeesian, and I'm not, but this bit right here I dismiss out of hand. Not that the harassment happened (though I find it suspicious that she opened her comments section only for her Kickstarter campaign and then closed it again when she got the money, as if she knew what was gonna happen, and though I disagree with closing the comments section at all since it filters out constructive criticism as well as nasty comments (and let's be honest, Youtube Comments are hardly a decent microcosm of a community at large; most watchers don't even bother commenting) that isn't why I labelled her as manipulative and dishonest. I dislike her for entirely different reasons that I would rather not expand on here), but that misogyny is somehow an inherent undercurrent of the gamer community. "There were literally thousands of hateful comments." .....so? You're saying that several thousand hateful comments in a community that numbers hundreds of millions, possible billions is indicative of a misogynistic current that underlies all of gamer culture? Nonsense. Gaming is no more or less misogynistic than any other form of media. BUT. I said I wouldn't talk about this, so I'm gonna move on.

Can you show me the initial organizing of an anti-GG movement,

Nope. Just like you can't show me the initial organising of the GG movement because there was no organising it. There were separate groups who had different reactions that adopted a term that was coined by somebody at a panel. THAT'S one of the things that makes it difficult to categorise; several different groups adopted it at the same time. The people you point at as being involved in the Quinnspiracy are entirely separate from the people who only learned about it after the "Gamers Are Dead" articles and whatnot and decided to speak up about journalistic integrity.

Can you show me the 'gaters who were driven from their homes and had to confront SWAT teams?

I already did. I named several Pro-GGers who were subject to that kind of harassment in one of my previous posts.

You're allowed to, and it's quite simple - just stop waving their flag. You'll note I'm not waving Quinn's.

So we should ditch any label that has been tainted for a new one? See above. I would rather try and salvage the ones we have. If nobody fights for the terms that are being corrupted, then what's to stop the new term being corrupted as well? I "wave the flag" of Journalistic Integrity, and identify with the GGers who also do that. I might well be in a minority, but I don't think being a minority is a reason to pack up and go home.

Because I have data showing that the majority of Gamergate was in fact targeted at women.

Thank you! The majority, not the entirety. That was the original point of my message; that you saying that the movement was nothing but a hate group was overly simplistic and ignored the complexities, dismissing those GGers who wanted a genuine discussion...because there was a sizeable proportion. It wasn't the majority of the tweets (though tweets, given the ease of Duping and Socking isn't necessarily indicative of the attitude of the majority of the supporters) but they existed, and my initial point was just that labelling it as a hate group both ignored the sizeable proportion who weren't and treated it like an overall association or organisation (like the WBB Church) rather than a loose collection of hashtag users and anonymous forum posters who likely had very little coordination with people outside of their respective "Sub group."

So there haven't been any organized campaigns? No high-profile members that the rank and file took cues from? None of those high profilers trying black-hat activities while embraced by the wider movement? None of that? Are you certain this is the position you want to take?

That's not what I'm saying. I've already specified in my earlier post that there were charismatic people that other users took cues from, like any other human social invention ever. What I'm saying is that these separate "Heads" didn't usually talk to each other and coordinate and whatnot, and there weren't any "official" overall leaders. If a toxic member was rejected from a circle of "journalistic Integrity" users, they could easily go off and find a "Head" that agreed with them where they could settle down. My point was that it isn't a group with an overall committee that decides the direction that they should take, like a Union or a Protest Group. It's a hashtag that loads of varying, often disagreeing groups adopted and your implication that the entire thing was coordinated on some grand scale is simply wrong due to the nature of the group. As I keep saying; there were loads of little sub groups and splinter groups (Splinter Cells, shall we say, fnufnu gaming pun fnufnu) that sometimes worked together and other times butted heads, but you were implying an overall guiding hand that directed the entirety of the movement, which is incorrect.

Show me the evidence. I've shown you my evidence that GG was, by and large, toxic; let's see yours.

Evidence of what? That GG wasn't just a Hate Group? You've already done that by admitting that whilst toxic messages were the majority, there was a sizeable portion that weren't toxic.

Please show me where the antis organized and directed campaigns at specific targets. Please show me one of these campaigns aimed at somebody who wasn't spewing toxicity.

I already did; there was that bomb scare that broke up the GG meeting. And anyway, regardless of what they were talking about (to a certain extent), they have the right to assemble regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

Spend five minutes on KiA and try to tell me there aren't coordinated campaigns to target advertisers as a means of dictating content.

Yeah, and that's bullshit and I don't support that. I mean, send petitions to advertisers if there's something you feel is inappropriate - you're allowed to do that, and the companies are allowed to either listen or ignore you - but threatening and hacking and whatnot? Yeah, no. Don't do that. But as I said; many different Heads. There are extremists in any group.

Again, gonna have to address the fact that the analysis has been done and yeah, it was mostly misogyny. When most of your movement is misogynistic crap, then yes, the movement is misogynistic crap.

But then what proportion? 51%? 60%? 75%? Why should you ignore the valid points because there are misogynistic assholes screaming alongside them (who the people making valid points likely don't like anyway)? That feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Moving Tags wouldn't solve anything - since what's stopping those misogynistic assholes from following you to the new Tag? - so why can't the GGers who actually want a discussion try to push back against that misogynistic collection of morons in an attempt to "clean house?" It's difficult, sure, but there are people trying to do that.

Absolutely right. And the bulk of Gamergate's argument is "Screw those women!". Why should this not be allowed to fall?

It should. Ignore those twats, and engage with the points that have merit, ignoring who the person who is suggesting it identifies as. Why bother vilifying everybody in the GG "movement" - as you DID do by claiming that GG was nothing but a hate group - when you can just assess the arguments by their own merits?

Show me that most anti traffic was toxic. Please. Do this and I'll recant my position immediately and publicly.

Setting aside that I didn't say that Anti GG was even mostly just bile, there's no way for me to do that since nobody has collated those statistics and I reeeeeeaaallly don't feel like wading through tens of thousands of tweets to draw them up myself. >.> Call me lazy, but that just doesn't appeal to me.

But I can treat it as soemthing composed of the elements it's actually composed of, in the proportions that it actually has. Which means it has a problem with being "the toxic misogyny movement (that also says some things about ethics (but doesn't get ethics 101))", not "the ethics movement (that occasionally has toxic misogyny)".

Which is your prerogative, but labelling something as a Hate Group when it isn't even really a unified group and still has a large proportion of valid messages is false. THAT is all I was saying; that your labelling it as a Hate Group was overly symplistic and missed the point of the actual nature of GG as a whole.

Because it is not my responsibility to make sure you communicate effectively. If you want me to hear your signal, maybe you shouldn't broadcast on a channel that is full of very loud noise. There is a thread of worthwhile content in there, but a) it, not the misogyny, came along later, and b) it will always be lost in the noise because the noise is overwhelming. If your group is in such condition that actual, widely-recognized hate groups can show up to the party, find it comfortable, and not be rejected or even visibly divisive, you have a problem.

What's stopping the "noise" from simply switching broadcast channels with us? It would solve nothing, so why put effort into getting everybody to switch Hashtags when we could use that same effort into attempting to push back against it, which some groups are starting to do by actively policing the Tagged posts. An uphill battle, but at least people are trying.

You're fine - you've actually gotten me to dial back on my usual "righteous anger" schtick in an attempt to keep to the tone you've set. I'm pretty hard to offend.

Woo! It finally worked! I try to intersperse my posts with bad jokes so people don't take it that seriously ever since I realised that I often come across as more aggressive than I mean to be. It still doesn't work sometimes, though...so I tend to try and stay out of topics like this, for the most part, so I don't end up getting yelled at because I made a bad joke and people think I'm mocking them. XD

EDIT: So that we can keep this under novel-length, please feel free to condense and respond to my "show me the data" and "gonna have to address the proportion of toxicity" arguments as single points.

My answer to that is pretty much A) I can't because the data isn't available short of me collecting it myself, and I don't want to spend my Sunday night collating statistics for some weird reason - maybe that's just me - and B) I don't really see the need anyway, since I didn't want to get into a GG Vs Anti GG argument, I just wanted to point out that GG wasn't a "Hate Group" simply because it's made up of several different "factions" that constantly disagree and is very difficult to police because of the nature of hashtags. >.< I reeeeaeaaaaally don't want to get into a GG Vs Anti GG debate, I just wanted to point out that saying that GG was "nothing but a hate group" was oversimplistic and unfair. XD




EDIT:


JESUS, I say I want to keep it short and I still end up with a novel length post. Maybe it's me. Maybe I just ramble too much. Maybe I should stop posting in the Politics And Controversy Section if I don't want to spend hours writing lengthy responses. >.>


EDIT 2:

Huh. So I just stumbled upon a website that purports to have some statistics related to harassment in GG, and though I'm not certain how reliable the statistics are - I only just found them - I thought it an interesting read for you, if nothing else.

http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2015/05/gamergate-isnt-a-harassment-campaign-states-wam-report/

I have never heard of Women Action Media, but that isn't surprising since I tend to just use Sky News and a collection of journalists that I've found I tend to agree with. *shrug* Since you're obviously more statistic minded than I am, take a look and let me know if you think these stats are reliable. If you want to, of course. :P It seems to suggest that the harassment attributed to GG was exaggerated in its severity, but I haven't read it cover to cover yet....I'll do that once I'm not feeling quite so dead tired, haha, and come to some concrete conclusions as to what it says. XD
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 04:41:42 PM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2015, 06:15:16 PM »
What's the point of having feminism, in that case?

Feminism is a social movement aiming to address a lack of equality between genders. You could be more specific about it by referring to intersectionality, womanism, second-wave, etc but it's still got a basic idea behind it even if it covers a lot of fields.

Gamergate is ... ?

If Richard Dawkins said, "Let's discuss Atheism." You'd know roughly what you're about to get into, even if Sam Harris, Dean Dennet or Christopher Hitchens might have different values. Now maybe it would be a discussion on evolution being taught in the classroom and maybe it would be about blasphemy laws in the middle-east but it would have a cohesive theme.

But when TotalBiscuit "tried to ignore the bullshit and get people round the table - which, according to him, was a very nice, sturdy table - for an actual discussion on the topic," what topic was he discussing?

These other labels seem useful, I'm not sure in what way Gamergate is a useful label. If Gamergate were a book sitting somewhere, why would I want to pick it up and read it?

I know I'm going to regret having this in my Unread replies, but...

Yeah I had a lot of second thoughts about posting in this thread after I did as well. I suspect nothing but trouble coming from this topic, it always seems to end up that way.

Quote
Think of a hashtag like a flag.  It's a banner that people wave around to show their support for something.  So, in a sense, it starts out with a form of cohesion and identity.  Group A, a bunch of people who raise exotic birds, starts up the hashtag #WeLoveChicks.  This is probably not very well thought out, because once the 'flag' gets enough exposure, another group of people starts using the same flag to refer to their dating preferences, possibly even being nasty to those with different preferences - or possibly being downright creepy about how #WeLoveChicks.

The initial intent of the hashtag could be anything.  The problem is that in being 'short and pithy' and especially using the -gate suffix (which is another rant entirely), whatever intent initially existed for 'Gamergate' was drowned out by the fact that this particular flag/banner could be used to describe any controversy involving 'Gamers'.

That makes a lot of sense.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2015, 06:32:51 PM »
You're right, Feminism wasn't the best example, but I still think it illustrated what I was saying relatively well; there are hundreds of different strains of Feminism, at least, and the nature of Gamergate is that it can be literally anything the person using the hashtag decides on. In that way, at least, they're similar (a somewhat vague term that can be broken down further). But, they aren't similar enough for the analogy to work properly, so I retract that example. It was an imperfect metaphor.

To answer your other question, he was discussing ethics in games journalism, the relationship between Media and Publishers, the nature of disclosure and promotional deals, when certain conduct is acceptable, how obvious disclosure should be, who should disclose what and when, etc etc.

The problem that GG has is that it didn't have a single group that "generated" it. It was coined by an individual, then adopted by several different types of people. I suppose Gamergate could be a useful label if we managed to get rid of the toxic element of it - which, to be fair, has started to happen (there are possible implications in the study I linked above, but I haven't read it cover to cover yet, so I'm not going to comment on its contents just yet) - but, as with everything, that will take time. Feminism didn't start as a useful, wide-ranging label, it started fairly small. The problem is, now we're stuck with GG and its negative connotations - whether unfairly or fairly, we're stuck with them - and moving Hashtags wouldn't solve anything, since that wouldn't stop the people who "ruined" the term from jumping ship alongside the people who want a genuine discussion.

Long story short, I think we should support the pushback to "reclaim" it, since simply moving 'tags wouldn't really help, at which point it could be a useful label, but like every label, it needs time to grow and distance itself from the past.

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Re: Who actually cares about GamerGate?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2015, 07:30:13 PM »
So, if it's all the same to you, I would rather leave aside the things we've sidetracked into and get back to the point that was the cause for my initial post. I might come back after the fact and address all of the points once I've had a bit of a sleepy, but I want to get back to my initial point. XD
Fair.


This is my fault for not re-reading the post before I sent it (though, to be fair, can you blame me? Look how long these posts have gotten. >.< ) to make sure that I was being clear with what I was trying to say. What I'm saying is that for some people it was, and others it wasn't. It's the nature of the online hashtag that anybody can claim it for whatever reason and for whatever purpose. Unlike things like Feminism and whatnot, GG is/was an extremely new thing that had yet to define itself properly (and I would argue still hasn't, not really) and didn't have a a core group of publicly known "Founders." Therefore, some GG hashtag users used the Quinnspiracy as its genesis, and others didn't care so much about the Quinnspiracy but the possibility that it could be true and they would still technically be abiding by their pre-set code of ethics (to name two examples; there are other possibilities, of course). So it really depends on the person, which is what the main thrust of my original comment was; calling it a "Hate Group" is wrong simply because it implies some kind of unified cohesive unit, when that isn't the reality of the "movement."
You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts. The movement that would become Gamergate did in fact originate somewhere, and all the evidence I've seen points to the burgersandfries crowd. That might not be why any individual person joined - but that's where it started, and that set the tone for what followed.

Again, my fault for not being clear with what I was trying to say. She was irrelevant - her and the Quinnspiracy were two separate things, by and large - until they kind of got joined into one/linked together by either including each other, or coming out at the same time and saying similar things which regardless of intent, came across as coordinated.
Which is why there's so little overlap between the early anti-Sarkeesian crowd and Gamergate, right?

How exactly do you think they "guided" a hashtag? As I've said numerous times, the nature of a hashtag makes it extremely difficult - nigh on impossible - to guide, police or direct.
Unless you have respect, recognition, and a degree of deference from a significant core part of the movement, and a forum or three where these people gather, and a habit of organizing and directing specific campaigns...


But the thing is, there wasn't a single group of "founders." There were a whole slew of different types of people looking at this kerfuffle who then adopted the term "Gamergate" for their own reasons after the term was coined by Adam Baldwin. A lot of the users used it as a screen to attack people, whilst others genuinely wanted a discussion. Of course, I wouldn't go to Twitter of all places to look at people who wanted a genuine discussion...twitter isn't exactly the right medium for a long debate. XD Anywho, the point is that the hashtag itself wasn't created or guided by people "looking to harass women," it was coined by somebody else at a panel (I think that's where he created the term, though I could be wrong. It was definitely Baldwin, though) and adopted by a large variety of different people.
I'm talking about the roots here. The movement has recognizable roots that predate the tag - and it was characterized by a small fervent core that met in a few specific places.

Not necessarily. If I identify as a pro-journalistic-integrity GGer (Which I kinda do, though only retrospectively; I kinda stumbled upon GG mid-last year when it was already in full swing due to being busy with University), why not try to change the perception? I mean...no matter the amount of toxic bile that comes out of the Southern Baptist Church, we don't judge ALL Christians by those standards. We judge people based on what they themselves say (or at least, we should). My original point was, calling it a "Hate Group" implies more organisation, unity and cohesion then there actually was.
We don't judge all Christians by the SBC - and I've specifically refuted the allegation that I'm speaking against all gamers. But if you identify as a pro-equality Baptist, you don't support the SBC. If you care about women and journalistic integrity, Gamergate is not the place for you. If you sign on to it, you've made it clear that women don't matter much to you (and you don't know much about journalistic integrity).

So we should instantly ditch labels that become "tainted?" What's stopping those people that "tainted" the original label from just jumping ship and doing the same thing to the new label, leading to accusations of the people from the old label trying to get away with their "old tricks" under a new label? It's a "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. There were attempts at policing the hashtag, it was just extremely difficult due to the nature of Hashtags.
Funny, I've seen a lot of political activism hashtags that didn't immediately go to shit - even if their message was actively hated by the gamergate crowd. So clearly it is possible to not have your message hijacked, if hijacking is actually the problem. Moving to a new hashtag would 1) set a new tone out of the gate, which makes a difference, 2) make the trolls an actual minority, allowing for better policing, 3) shed a lot of the trolls, who won't want to switch from a high-profile tag to an (initially) lower-profile one, and 4) Make it clear to outsiders that you don't stand with toxic assholes.

So if the number of people doing the harassing was relatively low and none of it was really unique content, that would suggest at least a sizeable proportion of it being sockpuppeting, which in turn suggests it's the same people doing it and retweeting it. So why not focus on and draw attention to the people actually bringing up valid points and issues, rather than giving the people harassing people the spotlight? The more you pay attention to them, the more they do it. I thought that was Internet 101; don't feed the trolls. Report them, ban them, move on to more important things. If you get a genuine death threat with credible information, call the Feds but DON'T declare "I've been threatened and have called the Feds," which is pretty much the first thing they tell you to do since it's harder to catch them if they know the Feds are coming.
Why is a tiny minority of the traffic more worthy of attention than the majority? Again, if you're the communicator, why is the clarity of your message not your responsibility?

There has been a problem since long before this was a thing. Women in STEM have been fighting an uphill battle for years. Sarkeesian got troll-bombed before there was a Gamergate. I, for one, am looking for a general solution - it's not about making them quieter, it's about making it stop. Activism 101: Spotlight and reject bigotry. Make it unacceptable in civil society.

I have addressed it, in a manner of speaking. I'm not disagreeing, simply because those are the statistics. However, I'm not arguing that GG was a "force for good" or even that most of the tweets under it were solely about Journalistic integrity. My initial point was that you calling it "Just a hate group" was overly simplistic and missed the point of the nature of the hashtag because "hate group" implies more cohesion and unity than there actually was. I never said that it was "really about ethics" (and if I did, then I apologise; I misspoke). I just said that your assertion that it was "Nothing but a hate group" was overly simplistic, black and white and dismissed the GG hashtag users that didn't engage in harassing behaviour, of which there was a sizeable portion. Even if the number of GG tweets that were purely harassment numbered 70%, that still leaves 30% that wasn't harassment, which makes your assertion that it was "Nothing but a Hate Group" incorrect. That's what I was taking issue with; the absolutist language that dismissed the complexities of the situation in a seeming "Us Vs Them" mentality that ignored the grey areas inherent when talking about the usage of an online hashtag.
Quick, do me a favour: Ctrl-F for "nothing but". Notice that none of the hits are in my posts. What I've said is that it was about and defined by hatred from the beginning. The fact that not literally all of the people under that banner engage in toxic behaviour is irrelevant to characterizing the movement as a whole; what matters is the overall character of the actions taken by the movement as a whole. I've clearly demonstrated that that overall character is, in fact, toxic, has been since it started, and therefore my characterization of it stands.

Well, I can. There were a good number of Pro GGers that spoke out against the harassment, but because there were more who spoke out against it in the Anti GG camp (kinda obviously, if you think about it) it seems like there weren't that many. Also, I find that the loudest voices against toxic feminists aren't always other feminists. In fact, in my personal experience, ordinary moderate feminists are kinda quiet with the "Eh, they don't represent me, so I won't worry about it." The most vocal opposition I see are people who actively don't identify as feminist but tend to agree with the moderates. A kind of pedantic distinction, but I can't help it. >.>
No, you can't; by your own admission, most GG traffic is toxic, disqualifying on point a, and the antis have been the strongest opposition, disqualifying on point B. On feminism... do a quick seach for "TERF" sometime. Chances are you'll find a feminist talking. (How many non-feminist groups have shut down TERF conventions?)

Anyway, also remember that it was estimated that there were only really about 10,000 Pro GGers (which looked like a lot more given the dupes and socks), which isn't really that high a proportion of gamers, and the Anti GGers at least seemed a lot more numerous (though I have no doubt some Duping and Socking went on in that "camp" as well, though to what extent I'm not gonna speculate on).
Why is the proportion of gamers relevant?

Nope, simply because there was no "Day One" with GG. The Hashtag grew rapidly, but I can't name anybody who was in at Day One because people don't generally say "I supported it from the start," and a lot of the high profile supporters heard about it later on. For example, I would again name TotalBiscuit because I know that he supported the Journalistic Integrity aspect of it, but I have no idea when he "joined," for lack of a better term.
No day one? So Gamergate is eternal? That's... an odd claim. I can name people who were there before the hashtag. The only high-profile one who actually spoke against completely reprehensible action was Eron himself.

Again, no, simply because it wasn't a group. It was a Hashtag, primarily, and people just declaring that they were in on forums and whatnot. How do you reject somebody from a nebulous, amorphous entity that doesn't have any centralised hierarchy or official leaders? You can't. Because it's not a unified group, so there's nobody with the authority to reject you.
Walk into a crowded room and loudly say something horrifically racist. (Disclaimer: Don't actually do this.) Invite discussion of your statement. Watch the reaction. Then tell me again how it's impossible for a disorganized band of complete strangers to reject you.

That's kind of unfair; to be fair, Quinn had done shady things in the past, so it isn't like suspicion was unjustified. The harassment was, but a healthy dose of suspicion as to her motivations and methods was certainly fair. And had that original post never been...well...posted, it would never have gotten to the "Quinnspiracy" levels...personal dislike obviously played a part in it, but to say it was generated purely because it was about one that people distrusted is unfair. A lot of people still like Peter Molyneux (I hope I got that right. I can NEVER remember how to spell his last name) but he still got raked over the coals the last time he started his usual tricks.
My point there is that the vast majority of unethical influence comes from AAA studios - indies just don't have the money and influence. And yet, even the "ethics" arm of GG is focusing disproportionately on indies, and confusing "speaking on matters of social justice" with "acting unethically".

I said I'm not gonna sidetrack into Sarkeesian, and I'm not, but this bit right here I dismiss out of hand. Not that the harassment happened (though I find it suspicious that she opened her comments section only for her Kickstarter campaign and then closed it again when she got the money, as if she knew what was gonna happen, and though I disagree with closing the comments section at all since it filters out constructive criticism as well as nasty comments (and let's be honest, Youtube Comments are hardly a decent microcosm of a community at large; most watchers don't even bother commenting) that isn't why I labelled her as manipulative and dishonest. I dislike her for entirely different reasons that I would rather not expand on here), but that misogyny is somehow an inherent undercurrent of the gamer community. "There were literally thousands of hateful comments." .....so? You're saying that several thousand hateful comments in a community that numbers hundreds of millions, possible billions is indicative of a misogynistic current that underlies all of gamer culture? Nonsense. Gaming is no more or less misogynistic than any other form of media. BUT. I said I wouldn't talk about this, so I'm gonna move on.
Disagree with "inherent", but that undercurrent is there and does need to be dealt with. And you're right, it's not unique to gaming - I actually said that earlier - but that doesn't mean it doesn't need to be dealt with in gaming. Yes, there are more gamers than comments on a single kickstarter by a single person... so? On closing comments: 1. There's a rule among feminists known as Lewis' Law: "The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism." I can see temporarily opening comments to illustrate this as quite justifiable. Closing comments also seems eminently justifiable when their signal:noise ratio gets so terrible that it's difficult-to-impossible to actually find constructive criticism.

Nope. Just like you can't show me the initial organising of the GG movement because there was no organising it. There were separate groups who had different reactions that adopted a term that was coined by somebody at a panel. THAT'S one of the things that makes it difficult to categorise; several different groups adopted it at the same time. The people you point at as being involved in the Quinnspiracy are entirely separate from the people who only learned about it after the "Gamers Are Dead" articles and whatnot and decided to speak up about journalistic integrity.
Where were all these groups in the #burgersandfries days? It looks to me like it was one group that picked up others as it gained momentum. Can you show me differently?

I already did. I named several Pro-GGers who were subject to that kind of harassment in one of my previous posts.
You named nobody who was forced to flee their home, and one person who never saw a SWAT team. Not equivalent.

So we should ditch any label that has been tainted for a new one? See above. I would rather try and salvage the ones we have. If nobody fights for the terms that are being corrupted, then what's to stop the new term being corrupted as well? I "wave the flag" of Journalistic Integrity, and identify with the GGers who also do that. I might well be in a minority, but I don't think being a minority is a reason to pack up and go home.
No, it's a reason to not set up camp in the middle of the misogyny pack. See above for my more general response.

Thank you! The majority, not the entirety. That was the original point of my message; that you saying that the movement was nothing but a hate group was overly simplistic and ignored the complexities, dismissing those GGers who wanted a genuine discussion...because there was a sizeable proportion. It wasn't the majority of the tweets (though tweets, given the ease of Duping and Socking isn't necessarily indicative of the attitude of the majority of the supporters) but they existed, and my initial point was just that labelling it as a hate group both ignored the sizeable proportion who weren't and treated it like an overall association or organisation (like the WBB Church) rather than a loose collection of hashtag users and anonymous forum posters who likely had very little coordination with people outside of their respective "Sub group."
Then you've been responding to what you thought I said, not what I said. And... well, define "sizeable", because to me that says somewhere around half - which is demonstrably not the case.

That's not what I'm saying. I've already specified in my earlier post that there were charismatic people that other users took cues from, like any other human social invention ever. What I'm saying is that these separate "Heads" didn't usually talk to each other and coordinate and whatnot, and there weren't any "official" overall leaders. If a toxic member was rejected from a circle of "journalistic Integrity" users, they could easily go off and find a "Head" that agreed with them where they could settle down. My point was that it isn't a group with an overall committee that decides the direction that they should take, like a Union or a Protest Group. It's a hashtag that loads of varying, often disagreeing groups adopted and your implication that the entire thing was coordinated on some grand scale is simply wrong due to the nature of the group. As I keep saying; there were loads of little sub groups and splinter groups (Splinter Cells, shall we say, fnufnu gaming pun fnufnu) that sometimes worked together and other times butted heads, but you were implying an overall guiding hand that directed the entirety of the movement, which is incorrect.
Except, especially in the early days, they did in fact coordinate, and they did set the tone for what followed.  Even when it grew more splintered, the overall pattern stuck to that tone.

Evidence of what? That GG wasn't just a Hate Group? You've already done that by admitting that whilst toxic messages were the majority, there was a sizeable portion that weren't toxic.
That the antis engaged in the same pattern of toxic behaviour to the same degree that the pros did, warranting the equivalency you're painting.

I already did; there was that bomb scare that broke up the GG meeting. And anyway, regardless of what they were talking about (to a certain extent), they have the right to assemble regardless of whether you agree with them or not.
Where was the organization and coordination? You've proven a single instance of poor targeting (and yes, absolutely unacceptable action) but not the rest and nowhere near equivalent levels.

Yeah, and that's bullshit and I don't support that. I mean, send petitions to advertisers if there's something you feel is inappropriate - you're allowed to do that, and the companies are allowed to either listen or ignore you - but threatening and hacking and whatnot? Yeah, no. Don't do that. But as I said; many different Heads. There are extremists in any group.
You misunderstand. Sure, you're allowed to write to advertisers to force a content change - but when one of the biggest ethics problems in games journalism is that advertisers dictate content, you lose any claim to a pro-ethics position when you do so.

But then what proportion? 51%? 60%? 75%? Why should you ignore the valid points because there are misogynistic assholes screaming alongside them (who the people making valid points likely don't like anyway)? That feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Moving Tags wouldn't solve anything - since what's stopping those misogynistic assholes from following you to the new Tag? - so why can't the GGers who actually want a discussion try to push back against that misogynistic collection of morons in an attempt to "clean house?" It's difficult, sure, but there are people trying to do that.
If forced to name a specific figure, I'd say a level steadily north of 60%. You can't effectively push back while allowing them to claim you as members of their movement - which it is.

See, I was there for this fight in atheism. We did peel off in droves. We did establish new camps and new labels, separate from the hatred. And it's pretty clear that we're separate from them.

It should. Ignore those twats, and engage with the points that have merit, ignoring who the person who is suggesting it identifies as. Why bother vilifying everybody in the GG "movement" - as you DID do by claiming that GG was nothing but a hate group - when you can just assess the arguments by their own merits?
Again you misquote me. And... again, why should it be my responsibility to make sure your message gets through? Why is the burden of your communication on me?

Setting aside that I didn't say that Anti GG was even mostly just bile, there's no way for me to do that since nobody has collated those statistics and I reeeeeeaaallly don't feel like wading through tens of thousands of tweets to draw them up myself. >.> Call me lazy, but that just doesn't appeal to me.
You said the two sides were equivalent. I've clearly demonstrated that most of GG was bile. If X = Y and Y = Z, then X = Z.

Which is your prerogative, but labelling something as a Hate Group when it isn't even really a unified group and still has a large proportion of valid messages is false. THAT is all I was saying; that your labelling it as a Hate Group was overly symplistic and missed the point of the actual nature of GG as a whole.
Except the actual nature of GG as a whole, as I have clearly demonstrated and you have yet to refute, is hate. Which is why characterizing it as a hate group is, in fact, accurate. It is, in fact, the toxic hatred movement (that occasionally says things about ethics.)

What's stopping the "noise" from simply switching broadcast channels with us? It would solve nothing, so why put effort into getting everybody to switch Hashtags when we could use that same effort into attempting to push back against it, which some groups are starting to do by actively policing the Tagged posts. An uphill battle, but at least people are trying.
You keep saying that, and yet the evidence and basic logic keep failing to support it. Do you have anything to support the claim that nothing would change, other than naked assertion?

Woo! It finally worked! I try to intersperse my posts with bad jokes so people don't take it that seriously ever since I realised that I often come across as more aggressive than I mean to be. It still doesn't work sometimes, though...so I tend to try and stay out of topics like this, for the most part, so I don't end up getting yelled at because I made a bad joke and people think I'm mocking them. XD
I really appreciate your participation here - I want to argue against the best opposition I can. So... thanks.

My answer to that is pretty much A) I can't because the data isn't available short of me collecting it myself, and I don't want to spend my Sunday night collating statistics for some weird reason - maybe that's just me - and B) I don't really see the need anyway, since I didn't want to get into a GG Vs Anti GG argument, I just wanted to point out that GG wasn't a "Hate Group" simply because it's made up of several different "factions" that constantly disagree and is very difficult to police because of the nature of hashtags. >.< I reeeeaeaaaaally don't want to get into a GG Vs Anti GG debate, I just wanted to point out that saying that GG was "nothing but a hate group" was oversimplistic and unfair. XD
"Nothing but" is unfair, which is why I didn't say it. "A hate group" is a valid assessment and I stand behind it, given the majority of action we've seen from GG.

EDIT 2:

Huh. So I just stumbled upon a website that purports to have some statistics related to harassment in GG, and though I'm not certain how reliable the statistics are - I only just found them - I thought it an interesting read for you, if nothing else.

http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2015/05/gamergate-isnt-a-harassment-campaign-states-wam-report/

I have never heard of Women Action Media, but that isn't surprising since I tend to just use Sky News and a collection of journalists that I've found I tend to agree with. *shrug* Since you're obviously more statistic minded than I am, take a look and let me know if you think these stats are reliable. If you want to, of course. :P It seems to suggest that the harassment attributed to GG was exaggerated in its severity, but I haven't read it cover to cover yet....I'll do that once I'm not feeling quite so dead tired, haha, and come to some concrete conclusions as to what it says. XD

Quick, not in-depth review: Never heard of WAM!, so they bear further investigation, but... they're missing the point. They're looking at block lists and reports; I'm looking at what GG was actually doing, which is what's relevant here. Also, their stats are terrible - they open by stating that most of the autoblocked accounts aren't gamergate, then when it comes time for the flashy "Only 0.66 of gamergate were harassers", they literally define Gamergate membership as "appears on the block list".