Erik Kain recently made tweets about how some people involved in #GamerGate were co-opted to join the Alt-Right as part of Breitbart’s plan to recruit the youth generation in the gamer demographic to ramp up the Conservative numbers. Kain was disappointed but cognizant in what he felt was #GamerGate being co-opted by the Right. After making the tweets and then later asking for calmer heads, Social Justice Warriors decided to attack Erik Kain.
It all started with this tweet on December 13th, 2017.
“I realized Milo could connect with these kids right away,” Bannon told Green. “You can activate that army. They come in through Gamergate or whatever and then get turned onto politics and Trump.” ~ Steve Bannon on Milo/Breitbart’s use of #GamerGate to boost Trump.
— Erik Kain (@erikkain) December 13, 2017
After Kain’s initial tweets about #GamerGate being co-opted by Right-Wing advocates, he later published a long series of explanations about how he felt and his stance on the issue, writing in a series of tweets on December 15th, 2017…
“I want to clarify something:
“1) I did not mean to imply that everyone in GG went right-wing because of Milo. I simply wanted to point out that opportunists like Milo did make that effort and it did work on some people. Some have told me as much.
“2) I don’t think it’s wrong to be conservative (even if I tend to disagree with conservatives) but I *do* think it’s wrong to be part of the alt-right. It’s one thing to be for gods, guns and liberty and quite another to support white nationalism/fascism.
“3) With regards to the smear campaign against me right now, I can only say this: In 2014 there was a lot of confusion and I did my best to try to understand it and to give *everyone* the benefit of the doubt. Women, gamers, etc.
“4) Given that people are lying blatantly about me right now (co-founder of the alt right etc. despite my very public left-leaning opinions) it’s more important to me than ever to consider giving people the benefit of the doubt. Social media makes it very easy to spread lies.
“5)I’ve had many opinions about GG over the years. Ultimately I wish the entire episode never happened because it’s only been stressful and exhausting. I certainly never tried to use GG to further my career or ambitions. I tried to understand it, and that was a grave sin to many.
“6) I also likely made a number of mistakes covering what was a deeply puzzling phenomenon and ultimately just walked away from the entire project because it became far too toxic for myriad reasons.
“7) And finally, I had no clue that Bannon quote would cause such a shitstorm. I thought it was interesting to hear that he admitted to trying to woo gamers via Milo. It sucks that many deeply shitty, dishonest people have used it as a reason to be shitty but this is Twitter so…”
Social Justice Warriors hated that Kain had dared to take on the tendentious disposition of being neutral when expressing himself about #GamerGate, and they were furious with red-hot indignation that he would neither condemn nor reject #GamerGate as a whole.
Zoe Quinn’s friend, Katherine Cross, attacked Kain in a series of tweets…
Among those who are now shocked, shocked that GG was co-opted early and often by the extreme right are Forbes’ Erik Kain who wrote a widely retweeted condemnation of GG. Good on him, except this was him in 2014: https://t.co/JUREtSu8rS
— Katherine Cross (@Quinnae_Moon) December 16, 2017
His “update” in that article, by the way, is the same waffling nonsense dressed up to look more equivocal. Again, a fundamental moral failing.
— Katherine Cross (@Quinnae_Moon) December 16, 2017
Lara Hudson from The Verge also chimed in to criticize Kain for not being more one-sided in his approach to addressing #GamerGate, and for daring to be neutral and even-handed in handling the cultural phenomenon.
Y’all can fuck right off with this, we all remember who you are and what you did (or didn’t) https://t.co/7l59kIi8Sb
— Laura Hudson (@laura_hudson) December 16, 2017
Former game journalists Leigh Alexander also offered her two cents. And yes, it’s the same Leigh Alexander who was the managing editor at GamaSutra that penned the “Gamers don’t have to be your audience” back on August 28th, 2014, which effectively turned #GamerGate into a global force for better ethics in journalism that brought a reckoning to unethical outlets like Gawker.
Ha ha with friends like these who needs enemies. pic.twitter.com/ysJH849LeW
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 15, 2017
Various other social justice instigators such as Jay Allen, known on Twitter as A Man In Black, also reproached Kain’s centrist attitude toward the movement, advising his followers not to allow Kain to “rewite his history of GG hagiography”.
— Jay Allen (@a_man_in_black) December 13, 2017
The circles of social justice were inflamed and incensed at the idea that Erik Kain would dare give credence to #Gamergate’s qualms in anyway. In the mind of these individuals, consumer revolts should not happen against corrupt establishments, and gamers shouldn’t attempt to want disclosure and honesty from the media.
Pure damage control here. Erik Kain wrote a 20 page editorial in Forbes pulling quotes from “The Zoe Post” to rekindle things when people in the press first debunked the sex-for-reviews part.
… Which he’s linking to, in that thread, to convince his nazi fans he hasn’t flipped.
— Secret Gamer Girl (@SecretGamerGrrl) December 14, 2017
I worked as a community manager during a GamerGate assault on my company, the temptation to appease is real and very strong and so so misguided. I learned that the hard way.
— Dee (@FarthingRoad) December 14, 2017
Some people even went so far as to say that Erik Kain was an Alt-Right Conservative, despite him being a Liberal Democrat.
Yeah, my pro-gun-control, pro-socialized healthcare, pro public education, pro gay marriage, pro immigration beliefs, and my votes for Gore, Kerry, Obama and HRC all really pin me down as an alt-right founder. What a fucking lying hack. I’m blocking all these fuckers. pic.twitter.com/JOcmmwU667
— Erik Kain (@erikkain) December 14, 2017
Despite being attacked through sub-tweets and threatened without being tagged, Kain decided that he was going to go back to covering video games and reviewing television shows instead of getting bogged down in the minutiae of social media drama and the powder keg of chaos that comes with invoking #GamerGate.
8) Now I’m going to continue what I’ve *actually* been doing for the past six years, which is write about games, TV shows, movies and consumer rights. I appreciate everyone who has been cool through all of this, even those of you who admit you dislike me. One love.
— Erik Kain (@erikkain) December 15, 2017
Kain also asked people not to attack the SJWs who attacked him, requesting for calmer heads to prevail.
I am really upset by certain people who have attacked me lately. But please don’t attack them. I want no part in sending hit squads at anyone. Let’s just be compassionate. Let’s end the cycle.
— Erik Kain (@erikkain) December 16, 2017
Anyone who remotely tries to be balanced, nuanced, and neutral when covering #GamerGate are usually attacked without quarter by the Social Justice Warrior hordes online. As evident with Erik Kain, if you attempt to denounce the SocJus orthodoxy, you will be branded a heretic and you will be attacked for the crime of wrongthink.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)
(Main image courtesy of Alejandro Argandona)