Todd Martens from the LA Times recently had an article published on January 7th, 2017 called “Rally white men. Demean women. Mock the impact of misogyny. How will Gamergate values play out in Trump’s America?”
Martens goes to great lengths to literally fabricate all sorts of information about #GamerGate in order to conflate it with Donald Trump, white supremacy, misogyny and harassment.
He tries to paint #GamerGate as some sort of weaponized bully campaign headed up by trolls to “attack” people in the game industry. The reality is that #GamerGate was a wide-sweeping hashtag used primarily to reform ethics in media journalism, something they accomplished with numerous ethics policies being updated, and getting the FTC to crackdown on corrupt media outlets like Gawker.
This is just one example of many that Martens misconstrues in his piece, which is fact-free and completely without any citations for his wildly flagrant conjecture.
For instance, he states that Milo Yiannopoulos was #GamerGate’s “de-facto leader”. While Milo used the movement to raise his own profile, #GamerGate has always stood by the fact that it was “leaderless”. This is something even the misinformation-laden Wikipedia article manages to get right, where it states…
“Most Gamergate supporters are anonymous, and the Gamergate movement has no official leaders, spokespeople, or manifesto.”
According to other Wikis, such as This Is Video Games, they also classify #GamerGate as leaderless. Even Rational Wiki states that #GamerGate is “leaderless” and it has even more misinformation contained therein than the Wikipedia article.
That’s just one of many factually dubious statements made in Martens’ piece.
He later writes…
“I hope you die,” Gamergate champions tweeted at Anita Sarkeesian, a prominent cultural critic who critiques games from a feminist perspective.”
Martens has no citation for who these “GamerGate champions” are. However, when I reached out to Martens on Twitter to ask what the citation was for that statement, he opted not to respond. Someone else did link to a search of people who told Anita Sarkeesian, the Feminist Frequency culture critic, “I hope you die”.
— Just Plain Old Smith (@misanthromorph) January 8, 2017
It turns out that few tweets remain of people telling Sarkeesian they hope she dies, one of which is a Ukrainian troll. Only two of the people who tweeted “I hope you die” at Anita interacted with the GamerGate hashtag at all. Brazilian native Angelo Guillaume did mention “gamergate” once, but was actually linking to someone else’s live-stream discussing #GamerGate, and the user Elliot made a single tweet in 2015 about the importance of women rights.
— Angelo Guillaume (@AngeloGuillaume) February 21, 2015
Women’s rights in North America Are irrelevant in 2015 #GamerGate
— Elliot (@Mrarias223) September 28, 2015
I’m not sure what kind of barometer Martens uses to gauge who a “GamerGate champion” is but only one of them actually used the hashtag, once, and the other was referencing a live-stream discussing #GamerGate.
What’s more is that Guillaume’s comments were actually part of a broader discussion about how Sarkeesian receives death threats from 12-year-old trolls, but real women are being oppressed in countries such as Afghanistan.
— Angelo Guillaume (@AngeloGuillaume) February 10, 2015
— Angelo Guillaume (@AngeloGuillaume) February 10, 2015
In reality, the people criticizing Sarkeesian were separate from the #GamerGate topic altogether, but the overlap of Sarkeesian consistently mentioning and berating #GamerGate to raise her profile brought an overlap in discussion between third-wave feminism, people who don’t like third-wave feminism, and #GamerGate. However, Martens leaves out the fact that media outlets conflated Sarkeesian and #GamerGate, since the two originally had nothing to do with each other.
This also coincides with the reason why you won’t be able to find harassment readily attached to the GamerGate hashtag because the #GamerGate Harassment Patrol tried keeping it clean. The sub-sect of #GamerGate spotted and reported any ill uses of the tag to keep it focused on ethics in journalism. The people attempting to utilize the tag for harassment usually included trolls attempting to get a rise out of everyone by fabricating harassment, as reported by Niche Gamer.
It’s why when the FBI investigated #GamerGate they came away with no actionable leads, and the only evidence of harassment was by third-party trolls that had no substantial connection to #GamerGate. Additionally, WAM! conducted a peer reviewed report about harassment, which included #GamerGate, and they also came away with data showing that only 0.65% of people using the tag were reported for harassment from the block list, as reported by TechRaptor. Even Crash Override Network was unable to find any legitimate links between #GamerGate harassing Anita Sarkeesian.
Ultimately, Martens makes up the entire thing about #GamerGate being about attacking people and harassing women. He is one of many journalists who have made claims about the harassment but has never been able to actually link to people using the tag to harass anyone.
Martens meanders off to discuss white nationalists, Grand Theft Auto and the often misconstrued split between male and female gamers (usually leaving out the fact that while half of gamers are women, they flock to mobile games that cater more to what they prefer out of electronic entertainment, as reported by M Dev).
Of course, Todd Martens is the same one who wrote about and promoted the Crash Override Network headed up by Zoe Quinn, but refused to report on the fact that those associated with Crash Override Network had partaken in demonstrable harassment and targeted doxing, as revealed by the CON leaks.
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