With zero evidence, nothing but their own words, and a platform on social media to spread their agitprop, Social Justice Warriors decided to conflate the recent shooting in Wichita, Kansas with #GamerGate. More specifically, they’re attempting to pin the act of Swatting on #GamerGate by claiming that the consumer revolt was somehow responsible for the rise of Swatting.
On December 28th, 2017 a certain Andrew Finch was murdered by a police officer after stepping out onto his front porch. The shooting took place after the officer was dispatched to the scene following a call to the service center from a prankster who claimed that a hostage situation was taking place at Finch’s residence. The prank-caller was a 25-year-old from Los Angeles, California, and was notorious for using Swatting as a means to troll people; he had used it before in the past. As mentioned, the police arrived at Finch’s place, called him outside and opened fire, killing him once he stepped onto the front porch.
The tragedy led Social Justice Warriors in the gaming and media industry to instantly place the blame of swatting on #GamerGate, the globally-supported consumer revolt from 2014 that aimed to restore ethics in media journalism.
Huffington Post contributor and Buzzfeed writer, Kitty Stryker, claimed that doxing and swatting was part of “Gamergate’s legacy”, posting the tweet on December 29th, 2017.
PS – this doxxing/swatting trend is part of Gamergate’s legacy, along with Pepe and Kekistan. And it’s all fucked up. These trolls have always demonstrated that they enjoy being dangerous and are not to be brushed aside as silly. Maybe listen, now?
— 🎉🏴 Antifa Trash Panda 🏴 🎉 (@kittystryker) December 29, 2017
IT professional and Github contributor, Alice Goldfuss, also used Twitter to take shots at #GamerGate, indirectly attributing Swatting to the consumer revolt by saying that it just claimed “its first human life”.
Swatting, a tactic used against GamerGate victims for years, just claimed its first human life https://t.co/3igjdrfqdq
— alice coldfuss (@alicegoldfuss) December 29, 2017
CEO of Frog Creek Software, Anil Dash, wasn’t content with just putting #GamerGate in the crosshairs, he also extended the blame to “toxic masculinity”, posting the following tweet on December 29th, 2017.
The online griefing trope of swatting claims a completely innocent father as a victim. A confluence of toxic masculinity, the ratcheting up of tactics amongst gamers post-GamerGate & predictably violent policing across all of America. https://t.co/hJ9cIV4yGW
— Anil Dash (@anildash) December 29, 2017
SessionCam’s Mic Wright claims that Swatting is “Domestic terrorism” and that it’s employment by “young men” was wrought by #GamerGate. Wright also takes jabs at Japan’s declining birthrate, blaming Otaku culture, writing across multiple tweets…
“Let’s not call Swatting “a prank”. It’s terrorism. Domestic terrorism by young men with access to online gaming and no adequate access to empathy, compassion and a sense of propriety. This is what Gamergate has wrought us.
“In Japan, a culture of shut in men has been catastrophic for relationships. Western meninists/red pill pillocks blame that on women. I blame it on men being brought up far too indulged and expecting the world to shape to their will.
“The Reddit Red Pill/Pickup Artist/Alt-Right/Gamergate nest of toxicity stems from a similar thing. Men blaming things they struggle with on others. And no, it’s not about ethics in gaming or the destruction of masculinity. It’s about malcontents and danger.”
Game designer Jennifer Scheurle had a very long diatribe prepared – too long, in fact, to fit within the confines of this article. However, excerpts from the multiple tweets speak for themselves.
I’m calling it by its real name, despite people denying it: The practice of swatting is attempted murder and should be treated as an act of domestic terrorism.
No matter your intent, the possibility of it ending like it has here is real.
— Jennifer Scheurle (@Gaohmee) December 29, 2017
The death of an innocent man is a result of a militarised police force that is way too trigger-happy and an online community that glowingly and deeply believes these things are only jokes and a normal part of gaming communities.
— Jennifer Scheurle (@Gaohmee) December 29, 2017
Creative director at Bossfight Studios, Damion Schubert, claims it was “infuriating” watching #GamerGate get outraged at the murder-by-Swatting.
Watching GamerGate supporters pretend to be outraged by doxing and swatting now is infuriating.
— Damion Schubert, Dark Warlord of Game Design (@ZenOfDesign) December 30, 2017
What all of the accusers missed out on was that it was actually the anons from 8chan that ratted out Tyler Raj Barriss, the prankster who called in to have Finch’s house Swatted. According to Dangerous, the anons utilized weaponized civic journalism to track down the details and feed it to the cops. On December 29th, 2017 the Los Angeles police department made the arrest.
And in case you were wondering, yes it’s the same 8chan that is one of the only few places where #GamerGate is allowed to use it as a hub. Even while being demonized by the members of their own industry, the core gamer groups are still fighting the ethical fight.
As pointed out by respected journalist Brad Glasgow, there is no hard evidence anywhere indicating that #GamerGate was behind known documented Swatting events.
We do know that outside trolls used the gamergate movement as a playground to misbehave, and pro-GG and anti-GG alike received threats, dox, etc.
— Brad Glasgow (@Brad_Glasgow) December 30, 2017
As pointed out by Ian Miles Cheong, Swatting has been a thing long before #GamerGate became an online phenomenon back in August of 2014.
Swatting existed before GamerGate existed. Swatting, while prevalent in the gaming community, is only so because it’s a medium young people enjoy. Little to do with “toxic masculinity” or “gamers.”
Ultimately, gamers were the ones who identified him and got him arrested. https://t.co/Mt84JjnnDi
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 30, 2017
Cheong is correct. In fact, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service records, the first documented instance of fake bomb threats goes back as far as 1976.
Swatting in particular became a documented affair for the FBI in a February 4th, 2008 report that detailed the act of ‘Swatting’, which popped up on the FBI’s radar back in 2007. That’s seven years before #GamerGate was a thing.
Many people online called out the Social Justice Warriors for attempting to pin the act of Swatting on #Gamergate, as well as media outlets like Boing Boing, who recently attempted to conflate the Wichita shooting with the online consumer revolt.
Saying that Gamergate created swatting is irresponsible and lazy. The first case of swatting predates GG by at least FIVE YEARS.
Research is HARD though, right?
— Angela All I Want For XMas is an EDIT BUTTON Night (@Angelheartnight) December 30, 2017
Others were also keen to point out that Social Justice Warriors lying about #GamerGate being responsible for the rise of Swatting instantly makes all the media’s previous evidence-free claims about #GamerGate being a harassment campaign look even more ridiculous.
If these wankers lie about something so dumb as “#Gamergate created Swatting”, why do you believe the same wankers when they claim “GG was about harassment of women” without any kind of evidence?
— A Nopon in Dandy (@The_Extrange) December 31, 2017
The major problem, however, is when the general public is lured into the false sense of belief that #GamerGate really is responsible for harassing and doxing, and that it’s a movement that weaponized and popularized Swatting for the youth generation.
(Main image courtesy of Kukuruyo)
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)
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