Part of the leaked contents of Crash Override Network included both Skype chat logs and Trello cards. According to former member of Crash Override Network, Ian Miles Cheong, they didn’t use Trello for long because they preferred Stack, but it was a project cooked up by one of the co-founders of Crash Override Network, Alex Lifschitz.
One part of the Trello leaks centered around profiles for various individuals involved in the #GamerGate scandal. The Crash Override Network group kept the cards as a way to document the harassment various individuals received. However, when it came to Anita Sarkeesian, the card was blank.
[Update: For reference, Feminist Frequency is a financial backer and paid sponsor for Crash Override Network, as evidenced on the site.]
The surprisingly barren entry was created on December 21st, 2014 well after dozens of outlets all reported and claimed that Sarkeesian had been the victim of harassment at the tweets, posts, and mean comments of #GamerGate. It doesn’t include the harasser that #Gamergate outed and caught, Mateus Prado Sousa, but that didn’t stop the media from placing the blame on #GamerGate.
On October 17th, 2014 the Rolling Stone claimed…
“Sarkeesian has been treated like Public Enemy Number One by a reactionary community of hardcore gamers who’ve gathered under the “#GamerGate” hashtag. Under the guise of pushing for journalistic reform and anti-censorship in gaming, GamerGate has targeted prominent women critics and designers like Sarkeesian, Zoë Quinn, Brianna Wu and Leigh Alexander with a relentless campaign of threats and harassment.”
So either The Rolling Stone has evidence of harassment that CON failed to cite, or CON couldn’t cite the harassment from #GamerGate because there was none?
On October 17th, 2014, Taylor Wofford at Newsweek wrote…
“The seriousness of the threats leveled against Sarkeesian, and her steadfast reaction to them in recent weeks, have made her an unofficial spokeswoman for those trying to improve the representation of women in gaming.”
They mentioned that a speaking engagement at a Utah university was canceled due to threats, but none of the articles seem to be able to cite any evidence that it had anything whatsoever to do with #GamerGate.
Rich McCormick from The Verge wrote on October 30th, 2014…
“Ostensibly a “consumer revolt” focused on ethics in video game journalism, Gamergate has been criticized for focusing much of its attention on harassing and threatening prominent women in the gaming industry, with Sarkeesian herself the focus of much of the vitriol.”
Again, The Verge has no citations on the claims of harassment. They provide no evidence and they link to no substantial sources.
Eliana Dockterman from Time wrote on October 16th, 2014…
“Around the same time Quinn came under attack, #GamerGate participants began harassing Anita Sarkeesian, a prominent feminist critic who speaks about women’s roles in video game plots and game development. Sarkeesian hosts a show called “Feminist Frequency” on YouTube.”
Dockterman claims #GamerGate participants began to harass Anita Sarkeesian, but no one has been able to link to this harassment. Others like the New York Times and the Huffington Post also make these claims but neither of the two seem to be able to point out where in the vast sea of the internet that these attacks actually occurred?
I asked former member of Crash Override Network, Ian Miles Cheong, if there were any recorded documents or instances of #GamerGate harassing Anita Sarkeesian, he responded by saying…
“That’s a good question. We did not find any evidence of harassment against her.”
He did later state that his team at Gameranx were doxed, however, due to a rogue imageboard group on the chans known as Baphomet, saying…
“There were real instances of harassment by Baphomet, who weren’t #gamergate supporters and were responsible for doxing both sides as well as game journalists. My team got doxed.”
Crash Override Network did have a lengthy list of what they considered to be harassment aimed toward Zoe Quinn. Quinn’s card from the Trello leaks is shown below.
As you can see, the list contains a number of links and citations to what Crash Override Network considered to be harassment against the co-fonder of the organization, Zoe Quinn. They had no links or citations for Anita Sarkeesian. The full dump can be viewed here, where they had extensive dossiers on Twitter users Chobitcoin, Mike Cernovich, and RogueStarGames to name a few.
This fits in line with Newsweek’s own statistical reading of #GamerGate via Brandwatch, which showed that out of 2 million tweets measured between September 1st, 2014 and October 23rd, 2014, the negative tweets directed at Sarkeesian only made up approximately 4% of all the tweets she received during that time from #GamerGate; an estimated 2% of all those tweets were positive and 94% of the tweets were neutral.
According to WAM!, their peer reviewed readings of the #GamerGate hashtag came out with similar results, with only 0.65% of the people on the #GamerGate autoblocker list having been reported for harassment, according to Techraptor.
Essentially, all the statistical data and even the anti-abuse efforts by Crash Override Network have revealed that #GamerGate did not maintain a harassment campaign against Anita Sarkeesian. I attempted to reach out to Sarkeesian for comment but I’m blocked on Twitter.
(Main image courtesy of Paolo Munoz)