GOG.com has a horrible habit of apologizing, kowtowing, or trying to appease the Social Justice Warrior crowd, even though that crowd is a very bitter and hateful bunch, so much so that some members on the ResetEra forum going by the handles of KoolAid and Vela shared personal identifying information about staff from GOG.com in an attempt to leverage the forum’s hate against the employee. Both users were temporarily banned for the information that the moderators of ResetEra appeared to deem as a dox.
This all took place over a tweet from GOG.com that stated the following.
The Daily Dot’s Ana Valens, took the opposite position: trying to defend the dox and claiming that it wasn’t actually a dox.
In a piece titled “GOG Conspiracy: Alt-Right Gamers Are Lying To You on YouTube” that was published on October 26th, 2018, it attempts to paint the factual information presented in a video by Hype Break as being little more than a conspiracy.
You can view the video below to judge for yourself whether or not the information is factual.
Valens attempted to rebut the piece by writing…
“[…] it seems unlikely that ResetEra users actually posted a GOG employee’s family address or phone number on the site at all. In ResetEra’s thread on the GOG controversy, only two users posted personal information on a GOG employee: user “KoolAid” and user “Vela.” Based on quote replies referencing the removed posts, it appears both users posted a tweet from Twitter user bootsy […]
“[…] bootsy’s tweet does not include any information on his “private phone number,” “email address,” and “family whereabouts,” which Hype Break claims were posted on ResetEra by admin Hecht_Era_. In fact, Hecht does not appear at all throughout the ResetEra thread on GOG, nor does the thread contain any immediate identifying information beyond [GOG employee’s] name, position, career history, and hometown.”
While the ResetEra thread that was referenced in the video and in the Daily Dot article doesn’t feature any comments from the administrator Hecht_Era, the administrator was directly thanked on Twitter by the doxer, bootsy, for uncovering the information about the GOG.com employee.
The Daily Dot completely ignores this post in order to hand-wave away ResetEra’s involvement with the alleged dox. When attempting to reach out to Hecht to ask about his alleged involvement with the dox, he protected his account and locked it down following the news spreading about the GOG.com employee being doxed.
Also, despite the article claiming that no “immediate identifying information” was posted on the ResetEra thread, it was enough information to apparently rile up the harassers.
In the very same article Valens admitted that someone close to GOG confirmed to the Daily Dot that the employee and their family had been harassed, even though the source couldn’t directly confirm that the information about the employee’s family came from the ResetEra thread. Valens writes…
“A source close to the incident confirmed to the Daily Dot that a GOG employee’s family members were receiving ongoing harassing calls since the GOG controversy began. However, that source could not confirm that the employee’s home address and phone number were posted on ResetEra.”
The information, however, was personally identifying enough to force moderator Bronson Lee to storm into the thread to tell the users to stop posting what could be considered as a dox. Lee wrote…
“Don’t post something that could lead to someone’s personal information being found. We don’t know which individual made the tweet, only that it was someone on GOG/CDPR’s social media team.
“If you have to ask, don’t do it.”
Lee then promptly edited and removed the personal identifying information from the posts made by Vela and KoolAid.
Now even though a ResetEra mod had to remove personal identifying information, which is considered as dox, and had to warn users not to post more of it, and the fact that the users referenced Twitter user bootsy — who in turn thanked the ResetEra admin for uncovering the information about the GOG.com employee — The Daily Dot utilized a triage of escalating palisades to protect the members of ResetEra and bootsy from accountability in the harassment that the GOG.com employee and their family endured.
Part of that protection came in the form of Valens reaching out to bootsy to mitigate the blame by stating that the dox was not that important. Bootsy promptly denied that the information shared about the employee on Twitter and on ResetEra could even be considered as a dox, telling The Daily Dot…
“The maximum amount of personal information posted on this person that I’ve seen is: 1. his name, 2. the fact that he works [at GOG], 3. any of the other stuff in the thread, if that even counts as personal? The issue is, this person had put into their bio that they were GOG social media. They weren’t trying to hide, it wasn’t private info. The idea that this constitutes doxing is questionable at best.”
What’s interesting is that in a Daily Dot piece published back on October 23rd, 2014, author Aja Romano considered the dox of Felicia Day on a tumblr post to be the responsibility of #GamerGate, even though the anonymous troll was quickly condemned by Kotaku in Action and disavowed from most participants of #GamerGate, as admitted to in the article. Yet here, there were multiple people engaged in outing a GOG.com employee’s personal information in association with ResetEra, but this time around there are excuses why it’s not quite a dox or not the fault of ResetEra.
In fact, Ana Valens goes so far as to potentially dismiss the idea that any doxing even took place, writing…
“In other words, while there’s a grain of truth to Hype Break’s video—a GOG employee’s family supposedly faced harassment amid the controversy—Hype Break dresses up this statement with unsubstantiated claims in order to convince gullible users that a “social justice mob” is on the hunt for fresh meat. In reality, it’s entirely unclear if anyone posted a GOG employee’s personal information online. It’s just as likely that a small group of trolls reverse engineered an employee’s personal info and engaged in harassment.”
Valens doesn’t go into any sort of detail how a “small group of trolls” managed to “reverse engineer” a GOG.com employee’s personal information and then harass their family, instead Valens uses that loose end to segue into an unrelated tangent.
Ian Miles Cheong from Hype Break, however, published a follow-up video to address the claims made in the article by Valens, which you can check out below.
Of course, it should be noted that many Left-leaning outlets will defend or absolve seemingly guilty parties in the Social Justice Community under the morally amorphous maxim of “no bad tactics, only bad targets”.
Essentially, The Daily Dot is fine with erasing the line on what’s even considered a dox because the victim was on the opposite side of the Culture Were; therefore the lengths that ResetEra members (and Twitter users like bootsy) went to in order to expose the GOG.com employee to harassment is being downplayed by The Daily Dot.
I attempted to reach out to bootsy to gain further clarification on what role the ResetEra actually administrator played in uncovering the GOG.com employee’s personal information, but they have me blocked on Twitter.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)
(Main image courtesy of Outspokenbeef15)