The reported amount of harassment coming from Gamergaters is greatly exaggerated. I had followed the saga closely for a couple of days ( on Twitter and while there have been the odd snarky retort and rude insult (which is par for the course on the cesspit that is Twitter), I’ve yet to witness any geunine instances of harassment, calls for genocide, or misogyny from #gamergate, let alone the blatant falsehoods perpetuated by members of the other side — of rampant death and rape threats. My observations are corroborated by Jordan from Whatculture.
People have flooded the #GamerGate tag on Tumblr and especially Twitter, strawmanning by claiming that GamerGate is merely a group of misogynists that are unhappy with women in video games. To anyone who’s actually examined the issue, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, observations found no blatantly misogynistic tweets or Tumblr posts, what we did see were laments from gamers who are sick to death with being demonised by mainstream media sites.
Adrian Chmielarz of Epic Games Poland (who was initially —in his own words—unconditionally against gamergate) made the same observations when he spent a week browsing tweets:
For example, when Newsweek (kind of accidentally, as it wasn’t their goal) tells the world that 95% of #GamerGate tweets towards “the most hated by #GamerGate” were neutral, I cannot just ignore that. The sad truth is, we live in an era of an Internet Troll, so 95% neutral is astonishingly high. But still, I did not take their word for it and just spent the last week browsing. When I see that most of the tweets are civil, and that there’s more toxic behavior from the opposite side than the #GamerGate side, I cannot just ignore that.
A very well-done and informative blog post took a look at a newsweek analysis of the GG hastag. The analysis was meant to look into the number of tweets sent under the hashtag to people in the gaming industry that were considered negative. Newsweek attempted to use this information to portray GG in a negative light but,as pointed out in the blog post, the reality is very different if one looks at all of the numbers.
Out of the 124,076 tweets that they examined under the GG hashtag only ten percent of them were directed at the particular people that they were testing (Anita Sarkesian,Quinn, Wu, Kotaku, Alexander, Grayson, or Totilo). Out of all of these tweets eighty-five to ninety percent of them were labelled as neutral by the analysis.While only five to ten percent were labelled as negative,and under five percent were labelled as positive. This means that the vast majority of the GG tweets directed at these people were neutral in tone.
In an ongoing project, a Twitter user sampled and categorized 1800 tweets using the #GamerGate hashtag over a period of 18 days (and counting):
You are free to conduct your own research if you are skeptical about the authenticity of the above claims. Be aware, however, that spreading falsehoods is a common tactic of the anti-GGers.
The accusations toward #gamergate however, were ironically observed coming far more frequently from the SJW side, so to speak. This is a sample:
Beyond the lazy stereotypes, fat-shaming, endorsement of bullying, baiting, confrontation, threats, and insults by media professionals who really should know better, there were calls for genocide of the entire gamer community (additionally, see pic above), schadenfreude, pompous bigotry, comparisons to Klansmen, ISIS terrorists, Hitler Youths, Nazis, and rapists, violent threats toward a 13 year old, and doxxing (and bullying) of a woman (Jayd3fox) whose crime was making a parody video.
Blacklisting charitable indie startups that are helping to get more women into game development to ensure a lack of competition for their industry friends, and instigating a campaign of harassment and bullying against suicidally depressed individuals with no evidence whatsoever to promote a game about depression.
Minorities who spoke out against journalists with the #NotYourShield movement were either dismissed as white men using sock accounts (as if the notion of a non-white-male gamer is inconceivable to their accusers), mindless idiots following a trend, or —get this— “weaponized minorities”. This is a humorous but rather accurate depiction of the situation.
#DescribeAGamerin4Words is essentially an ongoing smear campaign.
#IstandwithJonTron, orignally started as a show of support for Jon Tron, was hijacked by the SJWs, and turned into a bullying campaign.
And Milo Yiannopoulos (a writer who had dared to criticize the SJWs) had also reported receiving death threats in the double figures. He later received a syringe containing unidentified fluid in his mail. A Gamergater was doxxed and received a knife. Later firemen were sent to his house by false claims that he wants to commit suicide. Mike Cernovich, who is pro-GG was a victim of anti-Gamergaters filling false police reports on him while encouraging others. A convicted felon made a veiled threat against Christina Hoff Sommers, a feminist sympathetic to Gamergate’s causes.
These are incidents arguably more serious than any threats made on twitter to the other side. Yet not a single one of the above harassment and threats were reported by the same “objective” and self-righteous gaming websites that launched a coordinated attack against gamers. This presented a totally skewed and biased narrative. Not a single SJW has apologized for (or even acknowledged) the harassment coming from their side, even when presented with the evidence. Yet they demand that we call out the abusers from our side (which we did anyway: #GamerGate Harassment Patrol is an effort by Gamergaters dedicated to reporting death threats and harassment on both sides).
Only a few journalists in the national media, such as Slate.com’s David Auerbach, have acknowledged that serious harassment, including threats and “doxxing” — posting a person’s private information online — have happened on both sides of GamerGate. Meanwhile, uncorroborated claims by Sarkeesian and Wu that the threats against them are connected to GamerGate have been uncritically repeated. In fact, there are persistent rumors, backed up with screenshots and chat room records, that at least some of the harassment and threats come from trolls who go after both sides to stir things up, because that’s what trolls do. To some extent, journalists have been reluctant to look into these claims because they don’t want to be targeted, but blaming the threats on GamerGate is also a convenient narrative. Meanwhile, GamerGaters’ efforts to stop and report harassment have been only rarely acknowledged. (When GamerGate members claimed to have found the man who had sent threats to Sarkeesian, anti-GamerGate blogger David Futrelle responded by accusing them of harboring some of Sarkeesian’s harassers in their midst — citing as his example a netizen known as “thunderf00t,” who has done little more than to engage in sharp criticism of Sarkeesian’s work.)
While I believe there were a fair amount of vitriol contributed by both sides, the only presented evidence of serious threats made by #gamergate — beyond anecdotes — was one screenshot of death and rape threats made by one psycho. And the evidence is hardly indubitable. More damning is the fact that the San Francisco Police Department has confirmed to Milo Yiannopoulos that it received no complaint from Anita Sarkeesian in August, as she claims. Later, the SFPD did confirm to Milo that the FBI was handling a case involving her. However, there was no confirmation as to whether it pertained to the August incident or an earlier incident involving a bomb threat in March.
What makes Anita so special that the death threats directed at her trump every iniquity committed by her side? I’m asking this because the SJWs’ default response to any sincere attempt to discuss the corruption in the industry is met with “why aren’t we talking about the death threats to Anita instead?”
As for Jenn Frank, this was the reason why she was criticized.
And this is why we think the “hounding her out of writing” accusation was overstated:
If one wishes to play the “who is more harassed?” game, then one should also fairly consider the copious amount of harassment coming from the anti-gamergate side, and produce non-anecdotal evidence of harassment coming from the gamergate side (show us gamergate equivalents of the above nasty tweets/posts). Also realize that two can play the same game.