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An Apology to Our Readers

Georgina Young / November 25, 2014 at 10:16 PM / Gaming, Gaming News

I am human. Sometimes when I write articles I make small factual or grammatical errors. My readers are often quick to point these out to me, and I try my best to edit the articles straight away.

For example, when I wrote this article I accidently missed out @FartToContinue from the blacklist. When a reader informed me of this error, I went back and corrected it. I also made a disclaimer on the bottom noting my error.

Three edits have been made to my recent articles and I wanted to clear the air on why I did so.

Firstly, in the article noted above I alluded to Randi Harper’s criminal past. This is the only edit I have ever made, that wasn’t for factual or grammatical errors. There is also no disclaimers in the article about this edit, as I didn’t wish to exacerbate the situation further. When I wrote this article, I did a lot of research into IGDA and Harper, and it did not take me long to stumble upon her arrest. I did not know whether I wanted to include this information in the article, as it wasn’t particularly relevant, but at the same time, I wanted to alert people to her dubious character. Even after publishing, many readers were unhappy with the allusion, and questioned its relevance. I questioned its place in the article further.  Randi reached out to TechRaptor and explained her displeasure. I feel that ex-cons should be given a chance to rebuild without their past being constantly dragged up, and as such I agreed to have the line removed. I apologise to Harper. If I caused you any harassment by including this in my article, I am deeply sorry.

The second 2 edits were made to this article. Dabitch reached out to me, at night with this tip about the trouble the blocklist has caused her company. As I like to make sure the news is reported immediately, I stayed up to write a quick news piece. In my haste I made a few minor errors. As they were pointed out, they were deleted until a time TechRaptor could rethink and rewrite the statements factually.

My first incorrect statement:

“They were originally added to the block list for following @Nero, a journalist at BreitBart and @CHSommers a feminist scholar.”

I wrote this because Dabitch had told me she believed this to be true. However, after some investigating, it turns out that @CHSommers was only of the alpha list before it was used to block people. Adland must have also been following someone else on the blacklist.

While there was an uproar caused over my labeling @CHSommers a feminist scholar, I still personally believe this to be true, and is not the reason the statement was deleted. However, to prevent further uproar we have chosen to refer to her by her YouTube name the factual feminist. For those of you who are confused, my calling Sommers a feminist does not make me a men’s rights activist.

My second statement:

“There are also worries about privacy, as  Randi Harper,  creator of the list, released the name and email of someone who tried to appeal on Twitter.”

Randi Harper in fact doxxed and then quickly deleted information of someone who wrote to FreeBSD, and not someone who appealed. She also pointed out to us that by appealing, you are publically releasing your information.

This article now comes with a disclaimer at the bottom correcting these errors. I apologise whole-heartedly to my audience for making these errors and the drama they have caused, particularly to Scott who was manning the TechRaptor Twitter at the time.

I would like to make it clear that as ever, all opinions are my own, and not that of TechRaptor.

All my love to beyond the stars,

George


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • John Howard

    There is no shame in being called a “Men’s Rights Activist”. They want it to have shame attached to it, but a quick glance at their subreddit shows that they’re not some kind of frothing-at-the-mouth hate group.

  • Topgeartony

    You do not need to apologise George. You were just doing your job. And you do it way better than most.

    As for the criminal past of Randi. I thought it was relevant. But that’s just me.
    Keep it up.

    Also. MRA? What world are they living in?

  • anonme

    Your treatment was abhorrent, and there is nothing to apologize. At least on the “feminist scholar” front. Christina hoff is a prominent 2nd wave feminist. I don’t see why she is no longer one because she’s been criticized by 3rd wave feminists. Georgie, you do good work, don’t let them get you down.

    edit: I’m okay with the corrections for the actual mistakes. It happens, and you are giving full disclosure

  • SirBittle

    Not sure how @chsommers is not a feminist scholar, but oh well. I also agree as others have said that “MRA” or “Men’s Rights Activist” is no more a negative thing than a “Women’s Rights Activist”, if you ask me.

    Happy for the honesty and the disclosures. Don’t feel too bad though. I think a look into Randi’s character is a bit justified when you consider IGDA, the blocklist, and her doxxing someone on public Twitter. Even if it was deleted, that info is still out there, and still can be used for malicious means. Disgusting.

  • We still love you, George. 🙂

  • Mike

    With all due respect, I think that including the apology for calling
    Christina Sommers a feminist is unnecessary. If someone were to accuse
    me of being MRA because I referred to a feminist as such…even if it
    were a type of feminism the person angry with me didn’t agree with…I
    would simply disregard that as puerile nonsense.

    As to the issue
    of Doxxing, if Randi Harper puts someone on a blacklist and the only way
    for them to appeal this involuntary blacklisting is to “doxxx
    themselves” AND including the fact that Randi Harper’s tweet revealing
    private contact information shows she has little disregard for privacy,
    then I see no reason to consider a forced self-doxxing via appeal to be
    “voluntary”, nor do I see a reason that Randi Harper would not publicize
    that information if she felt she wished to cause you harm in that way.
    Her very conduct, which she has not denied in her communications with
    you, would indicate that.

    Writers are there to inform, but must
    serve truth above all else. Your factual corrections are appreciated,
    but stepping back from unpleasant truths to particular individuals
    simply because they are offended by the repercussions of their own
    actions is irresponsible as it allows disingenuous bullies undue control over public discourse.

  • wcg

    George, I agree with the others here, no need to apologize. As to the point about CH Sommers, she has a PhD from Brandeis University and written several books on feminism. She’s a scholar as far as I’m concerned.

  • Topgeartony

    I agree. Randi laying and trying to cover that shit up won’t stop the truth,

  • Sylveria Shini

    And it shows another insidious aspect of the block list. You’re providing personal information to Randi who seems to have no reservations about releasing that information to people who’d use it maliciously, including herself..

  • anonme

    Forever and always.

  • Lemon

    Nope – no reason to apologize. Just make the corrections you feel are needed.

  • The errors were of little consequence and did not affect the actual message of the story. You did a good job investigating, and as for Randi Harper, just because the person sent the email to freebsd.org, the person had his email and real name private on twitter, which her revealing to twitter was “doxxing”, and based on her past comments regarding her criminal past (public record), she thinks telling twitter where to look is the same thing.

    I use my real name on Twitter. It’s not a big deal to me. But to some people it is. And Randi Harper thought she was being cute and snarky by revealing someone else’s name. All for a legitimate request from a person who wrote to freebsd.org. That’s not harassment. She defines harassment as anything that annoys her. FreeBSD has no official representative, but it has been intimated that the trademark “FreeBSD” is something that could be harmed by Randi’s actions.

    She is neither a contributor nor a coder for FreeBSD, but she lists it on her various profiles (again, public profiles on public websites.)

    You have far more credibility than any of the SJW’s will ever have. Thanks again for the article and the transparency.

  • Greg Nieto

    By any objective measure, yes. But by the ‘muh feelz’ of some third wave feminists, she isn’t, which is stupid.

  • Erik

    Fighting to make others more accountable is one thing. Doing it yourself is another, and I applaud you for it.

    Like others, I think the Sommers stuff was especially silly, but regardless, I applaud you for leading the charge here, and doing it wholeheartedly and without spite or passive-agressiveness.

  • FortifiedWine

    I share the sentiments of most of the posters here. Publishing your corrections in such a way truly goes above and beyond, especially in an industry that quietly edits their articles long after the fact… sometimes.

    Keep up the great work George!

  • Javier Vega

    I am not upset we all understand the situation .

  • Max

    You realize that by making corrections and admitting msitakes you are better than 90% of game journalists.

  • Max

    I never understood why people would throw around MRA as an insult. And
    it often lead to confused people wondering what an MRA is. I’m sure
    there is some extreme fringe that is legitimately misogynist, but it
    looks like most of them are raising legitimate concerns.

  • Elmiond

    Let them, every time they smear the mens rights movement it brings unaware people in to look, most of them find the truth and a few care enough to stick around.

  • utera

    She’s most definitely a scholar in the old sense, she respects reason and is about teaching people to think, not what to believe. Its still a bad idea to make any concessions on this issue, the idea that these women are policing who can be a feminist or not tells you what is wrong with their movement.

  • Good thing you’re honest and disclosing information. Thank you for that.

    Funny that you, a writer we support, is actually correcting information and apologizing. It’s what we want from Gawker and Otaku, it’s what we want from all writers and their ilk. An apology. Shouldn’t be too hard.

  • bazzar

    Men’s Rights: The radical notion that upper middle class women aren’t the only people who matter.

  • “However, to prevent further uproar we have chosen to refer to her by her YouTube name the factual feminist.”

    I think doing this is extremely wrong, just because Randi Harper and
    the faction of feminists she belongs to says Sommers isn’t a feminist (that
    she is a scholar is out of question, so it has to be about the feminist
    part of the description) you stop calling her a feminist scholar to
    prevent “further uproar”?

    The aim in telling people they shouldn’t call Sommers a feminist is,
    that these people try to own the discursive priority to define what is
    feminist and what is not. By complying with their demands, you give them
    the power to exclude and eradicate opposing views.

    I have to say, I am disappointed in TechRaptor about this one, it is
    one thing to edit Randi Harper’s arrest out of an article (it shouldn’t
    have been included in the first place) and something different to
    support the language policing tactics of this faction within the
    feminism.

  • Jess

    “Appealing” is tantamount to giving permission to be doxxed? And these characters whinge about passing comments on Twitter being a form of harassment? Oh my days.

  • Sarusig Musicman

    As many pointed out before, I feel the apology was not absolutely necessary as mistakes were minor. However, I do appreciate it, as it sets a nice standard. There may come a time when Techraptor actually does make a legitimate mistake that could taint the readers’ perception of something ; however now I know that you will make up for it, was it to ever happen. And that is great.

    I wish “professionals” had the courage/honesty to do the same, when they make so many MAJOR mistakes, when they are not even propagating misinformation on purpose.

  • Ncrdrg

    Honesty, accountability, disclosure. It’s all I ever asked for.
    You’re honest, you and techraptor have no issues amending articles to correct factual mistakes rather than let it slide and then apologize for it, even if clearly, I strongly doubt anyone here is mad at you (Except maybe Randi? But she’s always angry, heh).

    Also, sidenote, Feminist is a term one can self-identify with. And as long as you believe in equality (and C.H. Sommers does), I fail to see why the label wouldn’t apply. I could declare myself feminist right here right now (I’m not, and have never considered myself to be one) and it wouldn’t be incorrect for me to do so. It’s like “gamer”, if you see yourself as one, I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business to tell you you’re not.

  • bans

    So I did read that right, the only way to get off the blacklist is to publicly dox yourself. I think this highlights harpers malicious intent.

  • Mitchell Pollock

    Bending over to make sure you fit these peoples definitions of what they believe is a slippery slope in my opinion. Christina Sommers is a feminist scholar, so why change something that’s fact to avoid upsetting some people who will argue anything just to hear their own voices. You were doing so well, but now like others you’re starting to have them guide you in your narrative. Don’t let them tell you how to write, it’s not their place. As for people getting doxxed and harper saying it’s not doxxing, it’s only not doxxing because of the biased way they set that tool up which makes people out themselves if they want to appeal. It’s a fear tactic, nothing more. It then gives them free run to publicly shame and intimidate innocent people.

  • DukeMagus

    Well, I don’t see this as fatal errors or stuff like that, but you must respect someone that publicly apologize and fix even their smallest mistakes.

    That was something good to see. Hope more journalists follow your example

  • 33

    ‘I accidently missed out @FartToContinue from the blacklist’
    I laughed so much at this sentence simply because of how absurd it has come that I’ll forgive you for spelling ‘accidentally’ wrong.

    Also Christina Hoff Sommers is a feminist scholar. She’s a feminist and writes pretty much solely on feminism and everything else around it. The main people arguing that she isn’t a feminist are the people she’s saying are destroying/have destroyed feminism, the narrow minded people who don’t like diversity of ideas and diversity within the feminist community, the New Feminists/SJWs. She wrote about it in ‘Who Killed Feminism?’.

  • dsadsada

    It’s bad for a person reporting on things to make mistakes. But it’s worse if they refuse to accept that they made a mistake and the absolute worst when they refuse to correct them.

    In other words, you’re only human so don’t worry about it too much. It’s actually a little sad that I respect you for for disclosing your mistakes in this article. I mean that kind of thing SHOULD be expected and part of the job, like expecting a politician to work for the community and not something that should have to be applauded. And yet here I am applauding you. That really shows how bad modern journalism is, doesn’t it?

    And the idea that Sommers isn’t a feminist is ridiculous to me for the same reasons many others have pointed out.

  • Jonny Monroe

    Christina is a feminist that uses the genuine approach of fighting for equality of both sexes. 3rd wave feminists have been using that argument as a deflection against criticism of their bold-faced sexism. So when Christina genuinely does it people can see the difference between real arguments in support equality, and the false arguments 3rd wave feminists make (almost always focused on a poorly defined, amorphous concept of patriarchy). It’s a threat to them as they can’t use the word ‘equality’ as an easy deflection when someone else is visbily doing equality right and it looks completely different.

    She is a femenist, and I’m dissapointed with TR for removing factual information from articles to protect the feelings of someone who has no regard for the feelings of others. You are promoting the very victim culture that fuels a lot of this mess.

  • Jonny Monroe

    according to posts on /r/egalitarianism , MRA and Feminism are both subsets of egalitarianism – both aiming for the same goal from the necessarily different perspectives relevant to the members within each. I didn’t think of it that way until I read around there a little but it seems like a fair summary.

  • Mr. LHD6

    Who the hell is bitching about those little things? Don’t let those fuckers intimidate you George, you don’t need to apologize for those things.

  • You get one guess. Guess correctly and you get a pat in the back for realizing the obvious.

  • Mr. LHD6

    Must be that damn NSA, trying to spy on us. Barack Obama must be leadin’ them to take ‘way our freedoms and make us into Communists! Be on the lookout for any of ’em snoopin’ machines in the sky!

  • Erthwjim

    You’ve done really well by my book. Not only have you made the corrections (a passive approach that rarely anyone notices since who goes back to read an article later), but you’ve also written this article, which brings attention to your errors in an active way, for those that may have never found out about them. This article is the most important part of the correction, because I don’t think most of the main gaming sites do this (they’d rather just correct it, hope no-one notices and everyone forgot about it). You’ve done what we wish most other gaming sites did, put your errors front and center and publicly apologized for them, not hidden them in some unseen portion of the site. And really, your errors were not that bad, some I wouldn’t even consider problematic.

  • Reptile

    The same way that being a “witch” 200 years could take you to the fire.
    As a pagan and ocultist, I know this feeling, if I say what I am to almost anyone they will think right away that I’m evil satanist that eat children, why? because nut crazy people from christianity bullshitted it for more than 700 years and even today it remains as a fallacy, let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat again.

  • Reptile

    Hey George, I appreciate the apology even thinking that it isn’t necessary. Don’t burden yourself because some mistakes, As a writer bringing us news, you deal with a huge flux of information that may or may not be correct, names you should or not should say and so. I understand that it is common to make mistakes, but you have balls (figurativelly) to assume that and correct, better, you don’t put yourself in higher shoes while doing it neither blame other people like some “journalists” out there.
    I love your sincerity and your writting style, I find them amusing and very reasonable and please continue to bring us more awesome pieces and don’t feel intimidated by anyone, if those people are bothering you over those little details, it only shows that you are hitting the spot! Hit harder, better, faster, stronger!

  • Red Lagoon

    Bah… the apology is not needed in this particular case imho. The terms are being manipulated so hard on the internet nowadays and people claim every kind of nonsense… with that said, I’m the Pope typing from Vatican City…

  • ghostlife

    Sommers has done far more for feminism than Randi Harper or any SJW.

  • Fenrir007

    I don’t think you really needed to make a new article stating the changes as they were pretty small, but doing it certainly didn’t hurt – more power to you!

    You should tell certain other journos how much it hurt you to admit a mistake, because apparently this is akin to torture considering how the others avoid it like the plague.

  • Haha, brilliant! Good show with that one.

  • Fatherless

    For or to?… a matter o perspective, I suppose.

  • L8ter

    Not even Germaine Greer gets to be a “feminist scholar” these days if you check her Wikipedia page.

  • Guest

    soooo I’m confused about the part when it comes to the new sponsor based on impressions.