So I read 1500 Twitter mentions that Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu got

If you are on Twitter you have most likely heard about Anita Sarkeesian (@femfreq), Brianna Wu (@spacekatgal), Zoe Quinn (@TheQuinnspiracy) and #gamergate. If you are in need of a refresher Vox has a great write-up.

But suffice to say the online harassment they (and other women) have been getting on Twitter is atrocious. Death threats, rape threats, posting of personal information and more. Both Zoe and Brianna felt forced to leave their house after the threats. This prompted me to throw together an application called ‘No More Threats’ with the aim of blocking such abusers for all of its users. Right now all abusers have to be reported manually, which isn’t great. So I set out to see if I could automatically detect them. And for that I needed to get an understanding what their mentions on Twitter looked like. So I collected all of their mentions in a 20 hour period and read all 1500 of them.

The results were very surprising and forced me to rethink the way we have to deal with this. In those 20 hours neither Anita or Brianna received a serious rape or death threat (which doesn’t meant they never get them, just that they did not receive them in that time-frame). But what they did get was an endless stream of almost exclusive negativity. I have categorised them with some examples below.

Slander / Misogynist remarks

Your ‘standard’ misogynist remarks.

https://twitter.com/NorthernDragon/status/523133336282488833
https://twitter.com/jerkelmorder/status/523095097424879616
https://twitter.com/Blackjae_47/status/523043574431358976

Questioning Qualification

Another large part of the mentions are about questioning the qualifications of Anita and Brianna to comment on gamer culture.

https://twitter.com/NullaVisus/status/523030222174552064
https://twitter.com/Object_InSpace/status/523069948231688192
https://twitter.com/Taylor_Leibel/status/523130703958257664

The Conspiracy Theorists

These guys are clearly on to both Anita and Brianna. This is all a great conspiracy to make tons and tons of money. But they have proof I tell you.. well, maybe not proof as such, but very strong opinions. They count as well right?!

https://twitter.com/Bane_Alex_Uk/status/523026352908558336
https://twitter.com/RaineArii/status/523129846684483585
https://twitter.com/GamersGate2014/status/523128741493735424

Because obviously…

Show me the proof! I demand you debate X

One of the biggest categories of mentions is the demanding of proof for something. About Anita’s Women vs Tropes, that Brianna who suggested that #gamergate was behind her harassment or that they actually received death threats.

https://twitter.com/WhyNotSimple/status/523035498303225856
https://twitter.com/Karn33333/status/523053307959734273

The Sick

Some of the ones are not just slander or misogyny, but are just sick..

https://twitter.com/PansexualAsian/status/523026096170618880

Bonus points for trying to impersonate CEO of Valve Software Gabe Newell. Some of his other gems are: “@femfreq pow right in the kisser” and “@femfreq i love u. i admire u. i want 2 b u.”

https://twitter.com/contactmkzero/status/523098267798994946

Two tweets which have been deleted since which are worth mentioning are: “@femfreq die” and “@femfreq Buy a fucking vibrator and leave video games alone.”

The ‘Fun if it wasn’t so Sad’

These would be quite hilarious if the subject matter wasn’t so grim.

https://twitter.com/PapaPico619/status/523031689342484480

I am sure your sister is a foremost expert on the matter..

https://twitter.com/helihatch/status/523133263821676545

This is in relation to the threat to a shooting massacre at an event Anita was supposed to speak at. More people shooting into a crowd is indeed a great plan. I feel safer already..

https://twitter.com/TheQuinnspiracy/status/523107178090356736

And Zoe Quinn herself..

The Support

Luckily it wasn’t all doom & gloom. Out of the 1500 mentions there were 99 supportive ones. I have copy & pasted all of them and put them up here if you want to have your faith in humanity restored a little bit.

https://twitter.com/FirstOfThFallen/status/523118714712248320
https://twitter.com/tylerohlew/status/523102163791536128
https://twitter.com/KatCaverly/status/523125609485312002

Thank you devilkitten misandryman BryanHigel Nymunariya HonestB heatheralbano cfwebtools jbrjake FirstOfThFallen legeek2086 RobairreG girlfromcanada wildwalkerwoman paigelinaG Snasays bmccormack CouchShouts LitteratusLLC McNarnia mjrodolico lukemckinney discord_inc paulidin swwaldie OUberLord GeekySwede MikeCam bwyatt JessiSheron the_amphibian vikkivansickle GCsVentures kaylaclaus SubManUSN KasaiPT ThePengwn rachelcallachor Alb_Ee janafjord daly_beauty baliozianara drdeathmont _clarisse_ marcoooootje faris roach_sophie joelkelly Edwardwong4 341841 2718281828459 Pippo_Jedi wideawakewesley bwyatt lydialicious atkins_robert romeroabelleira jzcamp TheUglyBlowfly Auragasmic Jen_Carey_ VorianK Super_Widget MyrddinGrrrl hbennetter abaddondave moonprismpovver magacious tylerohlew KatCaverly NatalieZed Sabriality constantreader4 yannikbloscheck Sethenvir ruthie147 APixelatedMind will5nevercome saljen darth_mall theUcane jayjacksonmusic BenRiceM Nehalia Florian_Si WickedGood ZachHinkleGD pcryan5 Amar_P_Ahmed girlbilbo and MissLaurenWells for making reading all of those tweets slightly more bearable.

And just in case we forget what is at stake here. Here is just one of the women who is afraid to be all she can be. Completely unacceptable.

https://twitter.com/TheDanaAddams/status/523032095430430720

Going into this I thought the biggest damage would be the high-profile death & rape threats, but the problem is much worse than that. Besides those threats there is also the death by a thousand cuts of demeaning and slanderous tweets. We really have to find a way to deal with this. Otherwise these people will drown out and wear down some interesting & awesome people and we will all lose.

PS: Before you brand me a ‘Social Justice Warrior’, please note that I am deeply offended by that term. I don’t like playing warriors.. I played Dragon Age Origins as a warrior once and it wasn’t nearly as much fun as a mage. Mages are much cooler. So please don’t call me a Social Justice Warrior.. how about Social Justice Wizard instead?