Gamergate: Born of Chan-Style

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:42 pm

The thing about the Republican Party is yeah, they disagree on a lot of stuff under a broad ideology (like GG, presumably) but when it comes time for an election, each candidate lays out a clear agenda. They go to the Primaries and everyone (theoretically) agree to vote for whichever platform (and candidate) the majority decides should represent them in the general election. In other words, those differences are settled internally. In fact, the Republican Party on a federal level is the absolute master of crafting a coherent agenda and narrative that its members support word for word publicly. Agree or disagree with that agenda or with dissenters in the party but but you can't argue that on any given day, you can find out where the Reublican Party as a whole stands on any issue with about five seconds of Google.

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:02 pm

[quote="username_6916"]


One crucial part of the communication issues is that the GG folk don't seem able to separate between styles of communication they use with each other in their own circles and with the general public.

I'm not sure that there's even a way to make any distinction between your own circles and the general public on-line.


Chan style communication has nothing on Twitter. There's little as fun as seeing the feeds of academics, politicians and journalists switch between PR plod, folks contacting each other over work and the like and intensely personal insult sessions.

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Post by Enail on Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:03 pm

So, thinking more broadly, given how different the anonymous/chan priorities and communication styles are from more mainstream subcultures, how do you all think people can communicate more effectively across the divide? The Gamergate situation is quite strongly broken down into 'sides,' but it seems like something that's going to come up more and more in a variety of contexts, not all of which are going to be inherently adversarial.
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:13 pm

People skipping and linking to dedicated, moderated communities quicker if they want to have an in-depth discussion on issues. 4chan, Tumblr, Twitter: they all have terrible side effects on talking, be it because of formatting, speed or userbase. This is not much different from meatspace: the convo you have in a club is going to be different from a convo you have at work, etcetera(including meatspace folks who suffer from Chronic Troll Syndrome).
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Post by Robjection on Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:54 pm

I would add YouTube comments to the above list.

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:04 pm

I would add YouTube comments to Unsprechelein Kulten, De Vermis Mysteriis, The King In Yellow and the Necronomicon as Things That Must Not Be Read If You Value Your Sanity.

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Post by LadyLuck on Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:50 pm

In all seriousness, this strikes me more as empathy, sensitivity and emotions other than anger being considered shameful and the misogyny flowing in from there, because a similar 'whiner' label gets stamped on folks on the spectrum and LGBT+ minorities.

This kind of just proves my prior point - 4chan pretends its ok with people of diverse identities, so long as you hide them when posting on 4chan. You can be gay, so long as you pretend you're not gay. You can be black, so long as you pretend you're not black. etc. And when you ever mention or allude to being one of those things, clearly you were asking for the abuse that gets heaped on you.

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Post by kath on Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:03 am

JP McBride wrote:
Kazerad has a pretty good list of things to start with:

I would like implicated journalists to give some response to the accusation that their coverage of the Zoe Post engaged in victim-blaming. This isn’t something I’m just going to forget about if they don’t cover it, because the very fact that mass media is able to shame an abuse victim for speaking out makes abusers everywhere more dangerous.

I would like to see some public response to NotYourShield and other minorities who feel they are being misrepresented, erased or generalized by gaming media. A lot of people have been uniting under the shared perception that they will be treated as invisible unless they fit a certain mold, and something has to be done to dispel (or at the very least, confirm) that.

At this point, I would also like to see some defense from gaming journalists that they are bringing something positive to the industry. As I’ve mentioned before, I currently have a hard time seeing their institutions as anything other than a liability to both consumers and creators, and I would like to be convinced otherwise.

Can you fill me in on what journalists he's talking about (the implicated ones) - obviously not all the media coverage did engage in victim blaming of EG (and I am sure that some did), but it would be much easier to take a read on where this guys is coming from if we have the backstory.

This also hasn't seemed to me to characterize the sort of "overall average", if one could be taken, of GG. Of course that would be an extremely difficult and probably ridiculous / impossible measure to take.

What I find very interesting about that post is that it's seemed to me (granted I have not been embroiled in it on either side) that the gamergaters have been doing more to silence dissent than the other side ... but since that's how chan works, it's something you're like "yeah that sucks but chan, listen to the reasonable gamergaters" but all attention must be placed on any unreasonable and bad behavior by anyone on the other side and that should be taken more seriously than any of the other crticisms. To me, it's been pretty clear that more of the horrible behavior has come from #gamergaters, rather than anti-GG (both in terms of how to behave towards others and just in terms of the sentiment of the posts). But of course, I haven't written the NLP program to objectively evaluate that.

I'm also interested by what Kazerad means in their third point, "I would also like to see some defense from gaming journalists that they are bringing something positive to the industry" -- I'm very interested in terms of like ... why? Gaming journalists work like any other set of journalists. Their opinions are the value they provide, whether you agree or not. If you don't agree with their opinions, you can let them know in the comments, or you can not read their columns, and if no one reads their columns, they will probably not be carried by their publisher anymore. If they write ridiculous clickbait and it causes a media storm and the publisher is fine with it as long as they get eyes on their site ... that's up to the publisher. They certainly have a responsibility not to lie, sure, and should be called out when they do, just like any other sort of journalist.

Presumably, the value they bring to the industry is their opinion, to the people who want to read their opinion, whether they are part of the industry or not.

There are a lot of radio and TV hosts I don't think "provide value" in that I think their opinions are ridiculous and sometimes harmful. But I don't think it's reasonable of me to demand that they "prove their worth to me" - they don't care. And they won't be able to do it.

Another thing that makes it more interesting is some of these journalists are like ... bloggers. And some of the media outlets are intrinsically linked to blogs and have grown out of blog communities. So, the main value provided by these journalists is their unqualified opinion that they post on private online media outlets.

I do think that the games media has heard some of the various "this is what I think gamergate is" from various gamergate supporters ... and just most of them didn't think there was much to talk about there (that's the impression I've gotten from media stories I've seen where that was attempted). It seems a lot of them disagree with the overall games journalism points that they've seen being made (because they can't have read each individual's opinions - they're just responding to the ones they have read). So they just cover it to say they don't agree with it as they've seen it laid out.

Have I totally misunderstood that? Is there a particular aspect of online gaming culture that explains this bit of it? The tension between conformity and individuality that seems to be key to chan / the way gamergate unfolded that is totally fascinating and I'm not sure they mesh in my head yet.

BasedBuzzed wrote:
You're supposed to go along with the mode of communication, not the ideological trappings. "Tits or GTFO"? You post a picture of manboobs. You tell him that he's a drooling nimrod if he can't find bazillion better-quality pics of boobies on the net. You post a picture of tits, songbirds, and if he whines you just dump the most grotesque birdman-furry porn you can find and call him a weakling for not being able to fap to it. You tell him to go back to /b/ with his shitposting. You intentionally post hyperbolic callout language and laugh at him if he flips out over it, pretending that it was bait all along.

Yeah, and I guess you can expect that on chan boards, where you have to opt in, and where you can get whatever else you might want out of a board somewhere else (like if you want a supportive community to talk about gaming or pop culture or memes, I think those exist somewhere, and to some extent that exists here). But when it's taken out of a context where you have to opt in - by choosing to sign up for a board where the behavior is pretty well known and clear, and that is its primary differentiator - when  you didn't opt into that / can't get that experience elsewhere, then it's a problem. Twitter isn't set up for opting in that way, and often the fights are taken to people without their participating in a hashtag by choice, even. If you want to online game with your favourite FPS and you are not a Young White Man, you're screwed - that's the only place you can get that experience, and you didn't opt in to having horrendous stuff hurled at you ... but I'm sure a lot of the people who behave that way on those media do so because it's fine in chan culture, and they think their FPS online game culture should be the same. So then the only place to have that experience is incredibly hostile.  

Enail wrote:So, thinking more broadly, given how different the anonymous/chan priorities and communication styles are from more mainstream subcultures, how do you all think people can communicate more effectively across the divide? The Gamergate situation is quite strongly broken down into 'sides,' but it seems like something that's going to come up more and more in a variety of contexts, not all of which are going to be inherently adversarial.

I think that when people are operating outside of the specific context in which chan culture (or any other niche internet sub culture) is law, they need to behave in ways that would be appropriate IRL.

Yes, that would mean that lots of people on the Anti-GG side should have behaved differently. I have no problem with that.

Also, does this sort of thing: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/23/from_stuff_white_people_like_to_notyourshield_how_irony_is_killing_activism/ fit into this culture discussion? (Salon article discussing the dynamic of mocking allies, and how it's both responding to a real problem and silencing allies who are needed)
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Post by Lemminkainen on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:33 am

Enail wrote:So, thinking more broadly, given how different the anonymous/chan priorities and communication styles are from more mainstream subcultures, how do you all think people can communicate more effectively across the divide? The Gamergate situation is quite strongly broken down into 'sides,' but it seems like something that's going to come up more and more in a variety of contexts, not all of which are going to be inherently adversarial.

Well, there definitely are people who are conversant in multiple internet communication styles, so, if something weird from another internet subculture is going on and you want to understand it, I would recommend asking a person who's fluent in a style that you're comfortable with as well as that of the subculture you're investigating for clarification. (Much like you'd ask BasedBuzzed for clarification about stuff going on in the Netherlands, or ask Marty about stuff going on in Japan-- the interpreter can be "native" to your culture or theirs-- it's their comprehension skills that matter). It's also probably useful to suspend judgment until you've talked to somebody who crosses the gap in some ways, and be suspicious of opinions expressed by people in your own subcultures who clearly don't understand the other subculture (in much the same way that if you want to know about Islamic law, you should go talk to a professor of Islamic studies at your local university or the Imam at your local mosque [or read stuff written by people who would have a level of expertise similar to them] rather than just believing what random commentators on CNN or Fox News say).

The other thing you can do is create moderated spaces that have rules about things like subcultural jargon and language use. There's a subreddit called FeMRA Debates, whose purpose is to host debates and discussions between feminists and MRAs. It's remarkably civil, and people there seem very willing to listen to one another and consider alternate perspectives. I think that a major reason for this is that the subreddit has an official glossary offering set definitions of a bunch of relevant words, and using any of those words differently without explaining that you're doing so and explicitly stating what you mean is a rule violation. This prevents people from equivocating (which leads to a lot of sloppy thinking and stupid arguments from basically everyone-- it's a cognitive bias thing), and it also stops people from having arguments because they define words differently (which I think explains about 50% of all internet arguments about social justice, and about 75% of the most heated and vicious ones). Similarly, the community surrounding LessWrong tends to be relatively civil, not because its members agree about politics (they don't-- the site tends to be lefty on the whole, but the various kinds of leftists spend lots of time arguing with each other, and there's a substantive contingent of libertarians and neoreactionaries as well), but because they share a set of norms for communicating, making arguments, and evaluating claims. So basically, diverse spaces generally need to have clear norms about language use for meaningful communication to thrive.

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Post by Lemminkainen on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:51 am

kath wrote:

Also, does this sort of thing: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/23/from_stuff_white_people_like_to_notyourshield_how_irony_is_killing_activism/ fit into this culture discussion? (Salon article discussing the dynamic of mocking allies, and how it's both responding to a real problem and silencing allies who are needed)

I have some strong negative feelings about Arthur Chu (because he has defended lying and spreading false statistics to advance political causes-- which I think is morally wrong, counterproductive because it will alienate people, and counterproductive because building good societies is a nontrivial problem which we need accurate information to solve), but I really liked and mostly agreed with this article.

It's worth noting, though, that a lot of people who say negative things about SJWs (including, I'm fairly certain, BasedBuzzed in this thread) aren't talking about people who are clueless, but people who are toxic and hateful. Here's an article by somebody who's an active participant in the social justice tumblrsphere/blagoblag outlining and discussing this particular social problem:

http://thingofthings.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/certain-propositions-concerning-callout-culture/

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Post by username_6916 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:57 am

BasedBuzzed wrote:People skipping and linking to dedicated, moderated communities quicker if they want to have an in-depth discussion on issues. 4chan, Tumblr, Twitter: they all have terrible side effects on talking, be it because of formatting, speed or userbase. This is not much different from meatspace: the convo you have in a club is going to be different from a convo you have at work, etcetera(including meatspace folks who suffer from Chronic Troll Syndrome).

[url="http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/10/twitter_is_broken_gamergate_proves_it.html"]David Auerbach wrote about this in detail.[/url] And, there are a number of prominent #gamergate supporters who agree with him. TotalBiscuit has also said that Twitter is a terrible place for discussion.

That said, I'm not sure "moderated communities" are the solution to having an "in-depth discussion on issues". In this instance, having an in-depth discussion was largely suppressed for largely political reasons on a wide variety of gaming forums. We know from the GamesJournosPros list there was pressure for even more suppression.

What I find very interesting about that post is that it's seemed to me (granted I have not been embroiled in it on either side) that the gamergaters have been doing more to silence dissent than the other side

And myself, like most #gamergate supporters, would very much disagree with this assertion.

To be clear, there are times that #gamergate has gone overboard with folks who call 'Shrill!' at every disagreement with a popular opinion in the movement. But, there has been very few calls for actual suppression of dissent. I think it's rather telling that you can oppose #gamergate in /r/kotakuinaction, but you can't support #gamergate in /r/gamergazi without risking a ban.


Also, does this sort of thing: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/23/from_stuff_white_people_like_to_notyourshield_how_irony_is_killing_activism/ fit into this culture discussion? (Salon article discussing the dynamic of mocking allies, and how it's both responding to a real problem and silencing allies who are needed)

I think he rather misses the point regarding #notyourshield. The folks who support #notyourshield aren't pushing a narrative of "white guilt" so much as they are saying, "Hey, I'm a part of group X and I disagree with them, where's my voice?".

This kind of just proves my prior point - 4chan pretends its ok with people of diverse identities, so long as you hide them when posting on 4chan. You can be gay, so long as you pretend you're not gay. You can be black, so long as you pretend you're not black. etc. And when you ever mention or allude to being one of those things, clearly you were asking for the abuse that gets heaped on you.

Not really. There's a bit of a difference between 'pretending you're not part of identity group X' and 'actively using your connection identity group X to advance your views'. I think that these folks object to the latter, but don't attempt to claim the former.

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:48 am

username_6916 wrote: And myself, like most #gamergate supporters, would very much disagree with this assertion.

To be clear, there are times that #gamergate has gone overboard with folks who call 'Shrill!' at every disagreement with a popular opinion in the movement. But, there has been very few calls for actual suppression of dissent. I think it's rather telling that you can oppose #gamergate in /r/kotakuinaction, but you can't support #gamergate in /r/gamerghazi without risking a ban.

It's sort of an implicitly agreed dogpiling that occurs(mostly on Twitter, which is the primary place news sites mine controversy). GG is more insulting on average, while anti-GG is quicker to go mafia-style "nice job/company/game you got there, hate to see you fired/boycotted because of those opinions". Afterwards, tu quoque fallacies get tossed around and in the end everybody feels suppressed(though the severity of course varies from person to person in a manner which we can all reasonably agree upon).

I think he rather misses the point regarding #notyourshield. The folks who support #notyourshield aren't pushing a narrative of "white guilt" so much as they are saying, "Hey, I'm a part of group X and I disagree with them, where's my voice?".


Some people feel they have been co-opted, others do deliberately weaponize the inconsistencies in identity politics to play the "you're trying to speak for me and playing white man's burden" card to needle the anti-side into revealing their prejudices. Flanking from the left is a classic rhetorical strategy in these debates.

Not really. There's a bit of a difference between 'pretending you're not part of identity group X' and 'actively using your connection identity group X to advance your views'. I think that these folks object to the latter, but don't attempt to claim the former.

Everything get painted as the latter, depending on the board, though. Conversely, especially on flag-enabled boards, sometimes people take for granted and actively play up their culture's worst stereotypes in some sort of reverse posturing("Dutchman here, how does it feel that within a few decades you guys will all get flooded because you suck at water management?", a self-identified Britbong kebab bragging about all the white dudettes he bones, etcetera). You can never know if it's not someone merely pretending, but from the local Chanology folks I've met and still BBQ with, self-stereotyping for humour is pretty trendy.

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Post by reboot on Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:52 am

Not to derail and violate my own warning, but boycotts are not mafia tactics, they are tried and true, nonviolent methods to signal displeasure and push for change. Montgomery bus boycott, Salt Satyagraha, grape boycott, the tea boycotts during the pre-revolutionary American period that led to the Boston Tea party, Nike boycott, the recent boycotts of stores/businesses that refuse to serve LGBTQ people etc.. Calling for boycotts of specific websites, games, etc. is a completely legit move. After all, it only works if many, many people get on board and are willing to go without something until it changes.

Even calling for the dismissal of employees/bosses is a standard tactic. Think of all the public and corporate figures whose resignation is called for every day and how many are let go. Personally I only find this occasionally effective because one person being removed does not often change a lot, but it is not a "mafia" tactic. It is a standard political/social action tactic. For example, there are calls for the police chief of Ferguson to be fired, the resignation of John Boehner, Eric Shineski was made to resign after public calls for dismissal, and too many others for me to list (Google calls for resignation corporate and political if you are curious).

Not listed, but another common method, is petitioning advertisers to drop media outlets. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number going around, including sponsors of the Washington R*dskins, the NFL for domestic violence, a few talking heads on MSNBC and Fox, etc..

So I think we have another culture clash if bog standard and extremely traditional social justice tactics are labeled "excessive" or "mafia" tactics. It could be because the social justice tactics effect the real world and take the fight offline, which might be considered unfair to people used to fighting online only?
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:56 am

reboot wrote:Not to derail and violate my own warning, but boycotts are not mafia tactics, they are tried and true, nonviolent methods to signal displeasure and push for change. Montgomery bus boycott, Salt Satyagraha, grape boycott, the tea boycotts during the pre-revolutionary American period that led to the Boston Tea party, Nike boycott, the recent boycotts of stores/businesses that refuse to serve LGBTQ people etc.. Calling for boycotts of specific websites, games, etc. is a completely legit move. After all, it only works if many, many people get on board and are willing to go without something until it changes.

Even calling for the dismissal of employees/bosses is a standard tactic. Think of all the public and corporate figures whose resignation is called for every day and how many are let go. Personally I only find this occasionally effective because one person being removed does not often change a lot, but it is not a "mafia" tactic. It is a standard political/social action tactic. For example, there are calls for the police chief of Ferguson to be fired, the resignation of John Boehner, Eric Shineski was made to resign after public calls for dismissal, and too many others for me to list (Google calls for resignation corporate and political if you are curious).

Not listed, but another common method, is petitioning advertisers to drop media outlets. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number going around, including sponsors of the Washington R*dskins, the NFL for domestic violence, a few talking heads on MSNBC and Fox, etc..

So I think we have another culture clash if bog standard and extremely traditional social justice tactics are labeled "excessive" or "mafia" tactics. It could be because the social justice tactics effect the real world and take the fight offline, which might be considered unfair to people used to fighting online only?

I was more referring to how people directly threaten someone with it on Twitter in cliché movie style dialogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZKUozrBl4

Of course those tactics are legit(I mean, the backbone of GG is nuking ad revenue through boycotting), and it's only worrying when it starts going after the lower rungs(indie devs, minor youtubers) on flimsy basis. Joe Schmoe getting fired because he said racist stuff on FB while the place he works at is clearly visible is okay. Mr. CEO getting fired for small donations to a bad cause half a decade ago is also fair, as he's the face of the company. Trying to get Jane Schmane fired for cartoons satirizing the overzealous nature of some identitarians, based on actual conversations she's had with them is troublesome. Unless someone is blatantly throwing firebombs into the dens of others by minimizing harassment, baiting with hashtags to the point of commiting gross -isms while fighting -isms, and the like, it looks very tacky.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:07 am

username_6916 wrote:
What I find very interesting about that post is that it's seemed to me (granted I have not been embroiled in it on either side) that the gamergaters have been doing more to silence dissent than the other side

And myself, like most #gamergate supporters, would very much disagree with this assertion.

To be clear, there are times that #gamergate has gone overboard with folks who call 'Shrill!' at every disagreement with a popular opinion in the movement. But, there has been very few calls for actual suppression of dissent. I think it's rather telling that you can oppose #gamergate in /r/kotakuinaction, but you can't support #gamergate in /r/gamergazi without risking a ban.

Honestly? I'd rather be banned from a community that doesn't want me in it than stew in a growing feeling that my ideas, my views, and my entire identity are unwelcome—which is exactly what happens when someone makes a hurtful comment and nobody calls it out* or does anything about it. Letting everyone stick around just so you can be the "nice" one while they continue unproductively feuding at each other is often worse than forcing one party to leave so the rest can be more comfortable staying.

*In the sense of "dude, not cool"; just harassing them in turn—which does seem like a response style characteristic of *chan communities—rarely makes the original target feel a lot better and just allows the first aggressor to cry victim.

ETA: Actually, that might be another source of difference between *chan and not-*chan. Does that community believe an avalanche of insults is actually more polite than deploying a dreaded ban? Because I don't think that's how the rest of us see it....
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:36 am

nearly_takuan wrote:
username_6916 wrote:
What I find very interesting about that post is that it's seemed to me (granted I have not been embroiled in it on either side) that the gamergaters have been doing more to silence dissent than the other side

And myself, like most #gamergate supporters, would very much disagree with this assertion.

To be clear, there are times that #gamergate has gone overboard with folks who call 'Shrill!' at every disagreement with a popular opinion in the movement. But, there has been very few calls for actual suppression of dissent. I think it's rather telling that you can oppose #gamergate in /r/kotakuinaction, but you can't support #gamergate in /r/gamergazi without risking a ban.

Honestly? I'd rather be banned from a community that doesn't want me in it than stew in a growing feeling that my ideas, my views, and my entire identity are unwelcome—which is exactly what happens when someone makes a hurtful comment and nobody calls it out* or does anything about it. Letting everyone stick around just so you can be the "nice" one while they continue unproductively feuding at each other is often worse than forcing one party to leave so the rest can be more comfortable staying.

*In the sense of "dude, not cool"; just harassing them in turn—which does seem like a response style characteristic of *chan communities—rarely makes the original target feel a lot better and just allows the first aggressor to cry victim.

ETA: Actually, that might be another source of difference between *chan and not-*chan. Does that community believe an avalanche of insults is actually more polite than deploying a dreaded ban? Because I don't think that's how the rest of us see it....

It's a tradeoff. The worst folks get banned anyway, but dissenting voices can and will be heard(if only to give the community something to dump on together). It's the social contract on which most banter is based to the extreme: I can be a nob to you so you can be a nob to me in turn, and if can't handle that, our styles of interaction may not be compatible anyway.

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Post by kath on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:52 pm

Lemminkainen wrote:
It's worth noting, though, that a lot of people who say negative things about SJWs (including, I'm fairly certain, BasedBuzzed in this thread) aren't talking about people who are clueless, but people who are toxic and hateful.  Here's an article by somebody who's an active participant in the social justice tumblrsphere/blagoblag outlining and discussing this particular social problem: http://thingofthings.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/certain-propositions-concerning-callout-culture/

We had that discussion earlier in the thread. The link is awesome.

username_6916 wrote:David Auerbach wrote about this in detail. And, there are a number of prominent #gamergate supporters who agree with him. TotalBiscuit has also said that Twitter is a terrible place for discussion.

Also a great article! And I would agree, Twitter does not provide a platform that can be used for holding discussion.

username_6916 wrote:
What I find very interesting about that post is that it's seemed to me (granted I have not been embroiled in it on either side) that the gamergaters have been doing more to silence dissent than the other side

And myself, like most #gamergate supporters, would very much disagree with this assertion.

To be clear, there are times that #gamergate has gone overboard with folks who call 'Shrill!' at every disagreement with a popular opinion in the movement. But, there has been very few calls for actual suppression of dissent. I think it's rather telling that you can oppose #gamergate in /r/kotakuinaction, but you can't support #gamergate in /r/gamergazi without risking a ban.

I think there have probably been few calls for overall suppression of dissent, but there's be systematic dogpiling on people who don't agree with them about various things, including "women should be able to also criticize gaming". And not in moderated forums, but particularly outside of those forums where there's no specific rules around not talking about a certain topic to avoid unproductive flamewars (which is not equivalent to saying "you shouldn't be allowed to have or share your opinion").

username_6916 wrote:
I think he rather misses the point regarding #notyourshield. The folks who support #notyourshield aren't pushing a narrative of "white guilt" so much as they are saying, "Hey, I'm a part of group X and I disagree with them, where's my voice?".

Again I don't feel like I have the whole story here, but I tried to look at the "notyoursheild" hashtag and what I saw was various strawmanning posts, and it didn't seem like they were actually concerned with the behavior they were criticizing, just the fact that other side had engaged in it. So it was waving Tu Quoque, by the time I was looking at it. I am sure that's not all of what was on it, but it seems like that's a lot of where it ended up, which just misdirects and makes it more ludicrous.
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Post by JP McBride on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:02 pm

kath wrote:
JP McBride wrote:
Kazerad has a pretty good list of things to start with:

I would like implicated journalists to give some response to the accusation that their coverage of the Zoe Post engaged in victim-blaming. This isn’t something I’m just going to forget about if they don’t cover it, because the very fact that mass media is able to shame an abuse victim for speaking out makes abusers everywhere more dangerous.

I would like to see some public response to NotYourShield and other minorities who feel they are being misrepresented, erased or generalized by gaming media. A lot of people have been uniting under the shared perception that they will be treated as invisible unless they fit a certain mold, and something has to be done to dispel (or at the very least, confirm) that.

At this point, I would also like to see some defense from gaming journalists that they are bringing something positive to the industry. As I’ve mentioned before, I currently have a hard time seeing their institutions as anything other than a liability to both consumers and creators, and I would like to be convinced otherwise.

Can you fill me in on what journalists he's talking about (the implicated ones) - obviously not all the media coverage did engage in victim blaming of EG (and I am sure that some did), but it would be much easier to take a read on where this guys is coming from if we have the backstory.

The most obvious thing is the silence and erasure surrounding Gjoni's claims of abuse.

I'm also interested by what Kazerad means in their third point, "I would also like to see some defense from gaming journalists that they are bringing something positive to the industry" -- I'm very interested in terms of like ... why? Gaming journalists work like any other set of journalists. Their opinions are the value they provide, whether you agree or not. If you don't agree with their opinions, you can let them know in the comments, or you can not read their columns, and if no one reads their columns, they will probably not be carried by their publisher anymore. If they write ridiculous clickbait and it causes a media storm and the publisher is fine with it as long as they get eyes on their site ... that's up to the publisher. They certainly have a responsibility not to lie, sure, and should be called out when they do, just like any other sort of journalist.

Kazerad goes into more detail here:

You have to do something that isn’t evil.

Like, I’m not asking a lot here. Maybe rather than insisting all your critics are horrible bigots who are afraid of change, you could give a nod to those of us who critique you because we are trying to actively fight against bigoted behavior? It’s okay to have people who dislike your material, but less okay to misrepresent and slander these people. It’s even worse when this involves erasing the identity of minorities.
Maybe rather than accusing other people of anonymous harassment, you could address some of the non-anonymous harassment coming from your own employees and co-workers? If you guys were as critical of other journalists as GamerGate is of controversial allies like KingOfPol who spread information without confirming it first, your actions would seem much less like collusion.

Maybe rather than exclusively talking about how the gaming industry is so hostile and scary to women, you could draw attention to cool female devs like Georgina Bensley who go completely ignored in the media? Her work is critically acclaimed, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen her referred to by something other than her company name.

Maybe when a developer faces sexual harassment from someone you’re friends with, at least investigate it a little before attacking them as making a false accusation? I admit I’m still pretty unnerved by how the whole thing with Wolf Wozniak was handled, since from my perspective it looked like he was publicly shamed into silence and had a bunch of industry connections revoked for coming forward about sexual harassment from a big name. Personally, that’s the kind of thing that makes the field scary to me, not anonymous trolls from 4chan.

What I’m saying is that it doesn’t really matter what you do; just find some way to bring the slightest bit of moral ambiguity to this from my perspective. Show me and the people like me that you bring something of value to the industry, not only harm, and that I’m wrong to fear you and crave your removal. All your response to GamerGate seems to rely on painting them in a bad light, and you don’t understand that this doesn’t sway sympathizers to your side when you have no redeeming qualities yourself. You see GamerGate respond to this negative light by doing stuff like donating tens of thousands of dollars to charity, and rather than even trying to outcompete them at that you accuse them of trying to weaponize charity for positive publicity. And it’s like, fucking hell, positive publicity is the exact thing you need! The whole reason GamerGate exists is because a lot of people agreed that you are terrible in every way, and your response is to belittle your opponents for trying to be better than you.

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:14 pm

See, as someone who has called out specific disagreements I have with Anita Sarkeesian, I've never felt any silencing. Now, I'm not in the industry so I can't really speak to anything beyond that nor do I really feel like I have to. Is GG trying to evolve into something with principles? Probably. I don't think they can do it with that title even if they get rid of Gnoji any more than the Moral Majority could if they kicked out Jerry Falwell. Brand identity isn't hard to produce but its even easier to screw up.

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Post by username_6916 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:08 pm


See, as someone who has called out specific disagreements I have with Anita Sarkeesian, I've never felt any silencing. Now, I'm not in the industry so I can't really speak to anything beyond that nor do I really feel like I have to.

As someone who might someday want to work in games, I'm afraid to support #gamergate in any way that can be publicly associated with my real name. We've seen what happened to Brad Wardell and the creator of #notyourshield. We've seen the threats of a coordinated blackout and blacklisting of those who speak in support of #gamergate and we have seen past examples of behavior just like that. We have seen the IGDA, the folks who are supposed to be on the side of all developers recommend blacklisting anyone who follows the wrong people on Twitter.

I don't think they can do it with that title even if they get rid of Gnoji any more than the Moral Majority could if they kicked out Jerry Falwell. Brand identity isn't hard to produce but its even easier to screw up.
No matter what brand identity #gamergate has, it will end up being smeared by games media, and the broader media will buy that narrative because it spoke first and loudest.

Moreover, I'm not sure I'd classify Gnoji as a #gamergate-er by any stripe. I still think he did nothing wrong, but I think he's largely irrelevant to most #gamergate supporters.

In short, it really is about ethics in games journalism. Or intellectual dishonesty therein. Or a lack of dissenting viewpoints. Or some combination thereof. And that's the thing about being a publicly organized, decentralized movement: What you see is what you get. It's hard to hide your true motivations (tm) when nearly all discussion is public.



I think there have probably been few calls for overall suppression of dissent, but there's be systematic dogpiling on people who don't agree with them about various things, including "women should be able to also criticize gaming".

Your "systemic Dogpilling" is my "expressing disagreement". Again, this gets into the problems with Twitter as a discussion medium. It's hard to follow any particular thread of discussion and harder still to keep any control over even your own participation.


And not in moderated forums, but particularly outside of those forums where there's no specific rules around not talking about a certain topic to avoid unproductive flamewars (which is not equivalent to saying "you shouldn't be allowed to have or share your opinion").

I really do think it is the equivalent of "you shouldn't be allowed to have or share your opinion". Particularly when 'productive' is defined as 'being most beneficial to the moderator's friends', which seems to be the case in the early days of #gamergate when discussion was largely suppressed almost everywhere.

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Post by LadyLuck on Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:13 pm

I really do think it is the equivalent of "you shouldn't be allowed to have or share your opinion".

Do you think a person should be able to express/share any and all opinions any time, anywhere, without any negative consequence whatsoever, regardless of the effect said opinions might have on the people around them? I would think the answer is no - in which case, the real question is, what do you think are acceptable limits/consequences for sharing one's opinions? Chan culture and mainstream media seem to be in strong disagreement on this point.

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:24 pm

username_6916 wrote:
I don't think they can do it with that title even if they get rid of Gnoji any more than the Moral Majority could if they kicked out Jerry Falwell. Brand identity isn't hard to produce but its even easier to screw up.
No matter what brand identity #gamergate has, it will end up being smeared by games media, and the broader media will buy that narrative because it spoke first and loudest.

Moreover, I'm not sure I'd classify Gnoji as a #gamergate-er by any stripe. I still think he did nothing wrong, but I think he's largely irrelevant to most #gamergate supporters.

You're welcome to think that. It is not the impression that the documentation supports. Now you can say "hey, we outgrew all of that stuff. He's not involved anymore" but that's like the KKK saying "we're about class not race now". Even if its true, its going to be difficult to swallow for the public at large. Its also worth noting that saying "everything's in public" when a god deal of coordination takes place on IRC is disingenuous. Even assuming that no one was ever banned from the chat rooms (itself untrue), tracking them down is enough of a task to not rate as "public" in my mind. Its like saying anyone can come to a meeting but not giving out the address.

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Post by JP McBride on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:02 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
username_6916 wrote:
I don't think they can do it with that title even if they get rid of Gnoji any more than the Moral Majority could if they kicked out Jerry Falwell. Brand identity isn't hard to produce but its even easier to screw up.
No matter what brand identity #gamergate has, it will end up being smeared by games media, and the broader media will buy that narrative because it spoke first and loudest.

Moreover, I'm not sure I'd classify Gnoji as a #gamergate-er by any stripe. I still think he did nothing wrong, but I think he's largely irrelevant to most #gamergate supporters.

You're welcome to think that. It is not the impression that the documentation supports.

What documentation?

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Post by Enail on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:20 pm

<mod>Folks, there have been two reminders already to not get into general pro-/anti- Gamergate discussion in this thread, and it's starting once again to veer in that direction. I don't like having to repeat myself.  All further discussion had better be focused like a frickin' laser on the -chan style aspect of this topic, or we'll not only be shutting down this thread, but most likely dishing out some suspensions.  </mod>
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Post by username_6916 on Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:40 pm

Oh, look what one of the top Google results for "Gamgergate IRC" was: http://gamergate.me/irc/

Seems very public to me.

And that's the thing: I'm not sure if there's any other way to organize a grass-roots online movement of any sort. Debian or the Linux Kernel might not have the ideal of cultural anonymity as the *chans do, but nearly every aspect of their operations and governance is public. There's no point to keeping it hidden, all that would accomplish is to keep potential contributors out. The same could be said of Gamergate.

Moreover, how do we square widespread hidden motivations with (the admittedly somewhat Chan-ish practice of) #gamergate's habit of crying 'shrill' at even the slightest hint of a hidden motivation? It just doesn't fit any part of the movement's culture.

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