On November 27th, 2017 CNET author Ian Sheer and Erin Carson had their hit-piece against #GamerGate re-published, even though it originally contained multiple falsehoods and disinformation about the consumer movement. The name of the piece is called “GamerGate to Trump: How video game culture blew everything up”, and features all the same misinformation that it did when it was originally published back in June of 2017.
CNET starts by attempting to paint Anita Sarkeesian as a hapless victim who was only trying to improve the game industry. In reality she did more to sow distrust, gender segregation, and misinformation about the industry than bring any kind of positive effects to the culture. That’s not to mention the double-standards that followed when the media praised or defended Sarkeesian when she was caught on camera verbally abusing and harassing Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin who was in attendance at one of her panels during a VidCon convention.
Worse yet was that the VidCon organizers apologized to Sarkeesian after she harassed Sargon of Akkad, which left many normal people scratching their heads how someone who is supposed to be anti-harassment was allowed to harass one of her critics and have the act justified by the same media who have been clamoring for years to supposedly end harassment.
That’s not to mention that Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency video series called “Tropes vs Women in Games” were littered with inaccuracies and falsehoods that could easily be debunked by simply playing the games she criticized.
Better discussions about the subject matter of females in gaming have cropped up, but media outlets aren’t intent on having that discussion since the creator, Liana Kerzner, isn’t using victimhood as the basis for discussion.
The CNET article doesn’t mention any of Sarkeesian’s factual inaccuracies nor her attempts to create hostilities between the genders in the gaming community, but instead continues to paint her as the helpless victim that she so often portrays herself to be.
They then move on to Zoe Quinn, claiming…
“A few years later, anonymous online trolls threatened to rape and kill indie game developer Zoë Quinn after her ex-boyfriend posted a 9,000-word online screed accusing her of sleeping with a games journalist for a positive review.”
This is false. Eron Gjoni never mentioned that she slept with a games journalist for a positive review. In fact that whole line was fabricated by the media as a red herring to distract from their own corruption, which included harassing, assaulting, abusing and even raping women. If you read the original Zoe Post, Gjoni never even mentions the word “review” in the post.
CNET goes on to falsely state…
“The whole campaign against Sarkeesian, Quinn and other women became known as #GamerGate.”
This is false. The campaign was against corruption in the media for spreading lies, misinformation, and purposeful disinformation. Essentially, the goal of the movement was to stop the very kind of articles that CNET just published in an attempt to defame #GamerGate. In fact, #GamerGate worked with the FTC to help investigate Gawker for their unethical use of paid endorsements and affiliate links without disclosure, and also regularly reported various media organizations to the FTC for investigation.
CNET has no records on file that the movement was a “whole campaign” against the aforementioned individuals.
CNET goes on to lie by omission, writing the following…
“Sarkeesian, who like Quinn declined to comment for this story, was forced to cancel a speech at a college campus after receiving an anonymous email from a supposed student threatening “the deadliest school shooting in American history.”
It’s true that there was an anonymous e-mail sent in as a threat to Sarkeesian. However, what CNET fails to mention is that the FBI investigated the threats and published the e-mails for everyone to read, and it was written by a troll (or trolls) who also threatened to deliver 9,000 bombs to the school, which is physically impossible for a single person to do. You can read the e-mail in full from the FBI’s heavily redacted report, part of which reads…
“We of GamerGate, or GamerGators, as we prefer to call ourselves, are sick and tired of you stupid feminists ruining everything by saying it’s sexist. You all need a hug, some tea, and maybe a gentle back massage, and what better way to pacify you than by burning your faces off with high-ordinace explosives.
“You can try calling the FBI to come arrest me, but I’m behind 7 proxies and you’ll never be able to backtrace this IP. Can’t lulzback the [redacted]
“Oh, and I’m also fapping to all of your pictures right now. You’re hot. It’s a shame you’re about to get blown up.”
Even the FBI profilers were quick to note that the letters seemed to be written by the same person. Most of everyone else also recognized that the letters contained lots of references to old 4chan memes.
The FBI was also informed that the person who wrote the threats may have come from the Somethingawful.com forums, a community notorious for being anti-#GamerGate.
Despite all the reports from the media about #GamerGate being a harassment campaign, there was literally no verifiable evidence available anywhere online suggesting it as such, and the FBI closed the case nine months after opening the investigation due to a lack of actionable evidence.
Nevertheless, CNET continues on with the conjecture, writing…
“In the case of GamerGate, the mobs coalesced around a particular hatred of what they saw as outsiders — women, in particular — attacking video games, which they claimed was theirs.”
There were women who headed up many of #GamerGate’s early operations, especially those targeting advertisers and corrupt media outlets, and even went so far as to tell media outlets like CNET not to use them as a shield for the media’s corruption.
CNET then quotes Paul Booth from DePaul University, a pop-culture major, who stated…
“It’s like staking your claim on a particular ideology or a particular view. Other views, other ideas, other people aren’t allowed in.”
Various types of gaming cultures are dominated by all types of people.
If CNET is serious about what they claim, they should release a [current year] group staff photo to prove that they foster the kind of diverse corporate culture that they claim is missing from gaming, otherwise it’s ethnic appropriation on their part to speak on behalf of diverse audiences if their own organization isn’t diverse.
Nevertheless, the article goes on to state…
“The GamerGate mob also expanded use of a tactic called “doxxing,” or publishing a person’s address, Social Security number, phone number or any other private information. A lot of this information is already available on the internet, either for free or for a small price through public and private databases. But giving the info to a hate campaign opens a person up to attacks on all fronts — and once someone has your private information, it’s not like you can get it back from them.”
All sorts of people had their dox spread on both the anti and pro #GamerGate side by third-party trolls, including Muse Games’ marketing director, Liz Finnegan. Finnegan used to be a rather avid pro-#GamerGate supporter until trolls put a dox out involving her kids. She addressed a letter to Kotaku in Action basically saying that she had to bow out of #GamerGate.
CNET failed to report on that.
CNET then attempts to draw parallels between Trump and #GamerGate, but the message is tenuous and seems to rely on linking their perception of #GamerGate with online trolling, while tying that to their description of the Alt-Right. They then claim that the industry has been slow to respond to #GamerGate, writing…
“And the video game industry, which was slow to respond to GamerGate, has been pushing back in a less confrontational way. “
In reality, any company opposed to #GamerGate means that they’re advocating for the status quo of corruption. The movement was anti-corruption at its core, and it has worked on behalf of consumers to expose fabricated news from mainstream media, libel from political-leaning blogs, and both pedophiles and rapists from within the journalism field.
All of #GamerGate’s accomplishments in attempting to clean up the corruption within the media industry are well documented across various alternative media website. However, the ethical elements of the movement have been mostly voided from the Wikipedia entry because the editors camping the page were found to be friends with Zoe Quinn and were paid to keep the Wikipedia entry biased against the movement.
We also have organizations like CNET who have used baseless claims and sophistry to push groundless views into mainstream news. In response, gamers have been logging attacks against gaming culture from gaming outlets and gaming journalists over on Deep Freeze.