During the recent Freedom Of Information Act request that was approved by the FTC and sent out in a 1,700 page report, it was revealed that Gawker was under steep investigation (and they still are by various law enforcement agencies) but what’s more is that in order to help the FTC in their investigation, they opted to check out some info-dump repositories by none other than Kotaku In Action and the denizens of #GamerGate.
The individual who filed for the FOIA request, The Chief Lunatic, was also the same individual who helped organize and put together #OperationUV (a #GamerGate campaign directed at exposing Gawker’s undisclosed affiliate links and put a little pressure on the FTC to update their guidelines regarding affiliate disclosures). He posted up a breakdown of the FOIA and some of the information contained within. The Chief Lunatic describes in a post on Reddit how there’s a section in the FOIA where the FTC used information and operations from #GamerGate and Kotaku In Action for their investigation.
The Chief Lunatic took on the painstaking task of actually redacting a lot of the personal information from the 1,700 page FOIA, including blocking out contact information, private information and addresses so that the public can view the data themselves via Scribd.
It starts on page 733 out of the 1,702 page report. There are several sections, some as long as 28 pages, containing links and images of #GamerGate’s various operations to inform the FTC about undisclosed affiliate links being used on Gawker’s various subsidiaries.
They also had a six page archive of #GamerGate’s Operation Baby Seal taken from the GamerGate Wiki, which was one of the many operations borne out of the late night plotting from 8chan and Kotaku In Action.
Operation Baby Seal was a mailing campaign (both snail mail and e-mail) that included contacting advertisers of Gawker and informing them about Gawker’s bad behavior, including Sam Biddle’s — a former Valleywag writer — tweet about bringing back bullying.
In total there are 53 pages out of the 1,702 pages logged in the Federal Trade Commission’s report on Gawker that are dedicated to Kotaku In Action and #GamerGate.
Even though some of the media may have been trying to convey that #GamerGate had nothing to do with the FTC updating guidelines and nothing to do with the FTC investigating Gawker, it appears as if the evidence literally says and shows otherwise. In fact, Rational Wiki has an entire section dedicated to trying to dismiss that #GamerGate had anything to do with the FTC and their revisions or investigations into Gawker, but the FOIA contains more than 50 pages dedicated to the FTC looking directly into #GamerGate’s operations.
890 pages have been redacted by the FTC due to litigation, law enforcement investigations and a separate consumer complaint from a “foreign source”. Nevertheless, Gawker’s undisclosed affiliate links, the legal reference material and affiliate reference material, along with plenty of mentions of #GamerGate and Kotaku in Action are all listed within the FOIA.