The hashtag for “ZachAttack” has been used frequently over the past couple of days within some circles to signify a rather interesting fallout involving an attempt to dox someone who is labeled as pro-#GamerGate.
The hashtag spawned from a ruse that was formulated by Twitter user mombot and a close friend. Mombot is a big proponent of free speech and ethics in journalism and has been the social media bane of what most people would consider to be Social Justice Warriors.
Mombot and a friend named Rudderhouse setup fake information so people claiming to be anti-#GamerGate could get their hands on the info. Rudderhouse baited them along using a private chat group. What the anti-#GamerGate crowd did with the info was entirely up to them, and what they decided to do with it was dox mombot… or at least that’s what they thought they were doing.
All Think has a piece written by Brad Glasgow that covers the complex meta-trolling that managed to expose a bunch of anti-#GamerGate individuals as doxxers.
The article links to a pastebin dump containing thousands of chat lines where a group of so-called anti-#GamerGate individuals discuss ways of gathering up info on mombot to dox them. A friend of mombot, Rudderhouse, posed as an anti-#GamerGate member and baited the group along by feeding them fake information. The group latched onto this info because they felt mombot deserved to be doxxed. One of the individuals in that group was Ubisoft’s Blue Byte creative director Palle Hoffstein.
The logs implicate Hoffstein and others in a doxxing attempt as a way to shut up mombot. Why? Because mombot recently published a piece on Medium pointing out how fellow anti-#GamerGater and a support rep for Crash Override Network (an anti-abuse network setup by Zoe Quinn and Alex Lifschitz) was allegedly involved in 20 different cases of sexual harassment.
This was yet another anti-#GamerGate individual involved in sexually nefarious activity, following on Matt Hickey who ran a porn scam to get women drunk and have sex with them, and Sarah Nyberg who was exposed in an expose by Breitbart for being a pedophile. Some of the most outspoken people within the Anti-#GamerGate wheelhouse have been involved in some of the most heinous acts imaginable.
Nevertheless, some of the chatlogs revealed that the individuals willing to dox mombot would stop at nothing to make it happen. Recently, user F U I Work From Home wrote…
“[…] look at what we’ve become we’ve devolved into a /lolcow/ or kiwifarms thread […] we’ve stared too long into the abyss my friends”
This user later goes on to say…
“im “digging” into a guy to “dox” him and im save scumming out of a fight in xcom 2 […] im basically gamergate now [sic]”
They proceeded to scour 2ch, Pixiv and other image boards and networks like DeviantArt in attempts to do reverse image searches for photos posted on the mombot account as well as what was posted on the Facebook account for Zach Miller, the person that they thought was mombot.
The plan was only to release the name and some pictures, but no the home address. After they doxxed mombot it was later revealed that the information was fake and that mombot had played them like a fiddle.
Some time before that, Izzy Galvez and Ubisoft Blue Byte creative director Palle Hoffstein were scouring through images and information to help prep for the dox.
Now if you’re dubious of Palle Hoffstein being in that chat group, you’ll find that the same Twitter account that was in that direct message group (Inch Garlic Hero) is linked to from Hoffstein’s own LinkedIn page.
The URL hash goes directly to this Twitter account.
Twitter user Maximus Honkmus posted images on Twitter showing some of the people involved in the direct message group formulating the dox and how to spread it. Hoffstein was one of them, and he was even screen-capped confessing to being “owned” in the ruse.
This isn’t even the first time that Ubisoft has crossed paths with #GamerGate. Back in January of 2015 PC Gamer executive editor Tyler Wilde was outed for promoting Ubisoft games while dating one of their corporate communication officers, without disclosure. PC Gamer issued an apology after they were called out for the unethical indiscretion.
Breitbart did an in-depth report on the fallout, detailing how these people who are supposedly working as anti-abuse, anti-harassment, anti-”ism” activists were quick to form a clique and use it as a way to silence someone they oppose. They screen-capped some of Izzy Galvez comments on Twitter, where he states…
“Whenever they get banned or lock down, their effectiveness to harass people drops immensely. I’ve yet to see a harassment ringleader remain effective without an open platform for their followers to spread the abuse.
“I would be OK if they left Twitter forever. They’ve put enough people through hell, including losing jobs over video game “censorship”.
“[I don’t know] why mombot is locked down, but considering all the abuse they are personally responsible for, I am okay [with] this.”
It seems to call back to “Movie” Bob Chipman’s claim early on in #GamerGate’s lifespan when he stated that there were no bad tactics, just bad targets.
[Update 8/13/2016:] It was stated on Twitter following the publication of articles regarding this incident that mombot does not want Palle Hoffstein fired from his job over the dox attempt.
I don’t even want this man’s job to be affected.
— Best Mom Eva (@mombot) August 13, 2016