On Empathy and Harassment in #GamerGate
Brad Glasgow

“I believe GamerGate would have been better served in its campaign had it been more sympathetic or empathetic to people who have clearly received abuse.”

Who is this “GamerGate”, and what more could it have done to show sympathy? From day 1 of the Zoe Post (and before, if we go back to Anita Sarkeesian’s original Kickstarter), many people who later became involved in the GamerGate controversy have condemned the harassment they received. I’m sure many of them also felt legitimately sorry for these people, even if they considered the need for criticism to trump this sympathy.

Now, a year and a half later, we have seen time and time again how they 1) blow the harassment they have received out of all proportion, 2) don’t show any sympathy for, say, men who have received as much or more harassment, 3) show that the harassment really doesn’t affect them except when it suits them to look like helpless victims, 4) continue to incite hate against themselves, by lobbing baseless insulting claims at entire groups (men, white people, cis people), and possibly even 5) organize harassment against themselves so they look like even more of a victim (e.g. that mass shooting threat against Sarkeesian that was laced with feminist inside knowledge, or Wu posing as someone else to call for harassment against herself).

Knowing all of these things, and coming to the conclusion that these people are essentially sociopaths and pathological liars only in it for the money, I have a very hard time feeling sympathy for them. I can emphasize, sure: if I was a sociopathic scam artist in their position, I probably would have played the media the same way. But sympathy? I’ll reserve that for people who actually deserve it, thanks.

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