Author’s Note: Zoe Quinn deletes many of her tweets. As such I have used archives instead of originals.
Zoe Quinn once made me cry. She did so by writing this article about TechRaptor, a huge portion of which was about how I am a terrible person and games journalist. She lied about things I had done and taken others completely out of context. Those who follow me knew that I had made some mistakes, apologized for them and that I vowed to continue improving as a games writer. But she libeled me just as I was beginning , seemingly for talking to people she didn’t like on twitter and giving her game a fair yet mediocre review. She stickied the post to the top of her twitter for her 47,000+ followers to see, and they then took it upon themselves to call me a c*** and tell me to go kill myself. I almost quit games journalism that day, convinced I was a terrible person and a burden to this very publication. I still harbor many of those feelings to this day.
It’s a strange feeling when a celebrity, someone you didn’t even think knew you existed, spends hours writing an article about how you are a piece of dirt. I spent the day in a deep depression wrapped in my blankets but slowly it all faded into obscurity. Then I saw that no less than 22 separate websites had praised Quinn for her “anti-harassment” campaign, Crash OverRide Network, and the stitches were ripped open anew. The woman who had harassed and demoralized me, who had tried to chase me crying from the gaming industry… she was being praised for “preventing harassment”, except of course for that which she herself carries out.
It’s so easy to forgive harassment when the victims of your attacks have already been demonized. The mainstream media took no mind when Quinn took offence to feminist charity The Fine Young Capitalists and almost destroyed a woman’s chance at becoming a game developer. Quinn wrote 43 tweets about how deplorable TFYC are (later claiming it to be just 4), and as a consequence of her influence she prevented them from receiving media coverage, they were DDoSed, and Quinn’s friend Maya Kramer released their personal information.
Then there is the story of Jason Miller, the black indie developer behind Detroit in Decline and founder of the #NotYourShield movement, a movement designed to give a voice to minorities and women in the gaming industry. Quinn again libeled his name for creating the hashtag, falsely accusing him of using artwork from award winning PlayStation title The Last of Us and declaring it to be his own. Miller lost his job as a result of creating the hashtag and the negative publicity it drew.
Quinn, who you must remember is now running a campaign which supposedly supports victims of online attacks, recently launched a blacklisting campaign against Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock. Quinn brought up previous false allegations filed against Wardell, claiming them to be legitimate, and falsely stated that Wardell had hired an artist who had once drawn a satirical comic of Quinn suggesting she traded sex for positive reviews. The definition of online harassment is flexible, though I believe that a barrage of tweets, bringing up career ruining allegations, more libel and calling someone a “pedantic piece of s***” falls in most peoples categories.
Crash OverRide Network is not an anti-harassment campaign. It cannot be an anti-harassment campaign as it is run by someone who profits and gains notoriety by openly harassing people online. An anti-harassment campaign is one that works to prevent the harassment of everyone, whether you personally like them, whether you disagree with things they have done, or whether they share your political ideals. If Quinn really wished to prevent harassment online, she would stop perpetrating it. I will surely not be the last woman she tries to remove from our industry.