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Since the harassment and death threats that were sent to Brianna Wu, GamerGate has reached exhaustive peaks. It seems that almost every big media outlet from The Guardian, The Washington Post, CNN, CBS and MSNBC did a piece regarding the harassment, many talking about Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn and many actually featuring Brianna Wu herself.

With the mass media all taking note of the consumer revolt that is GamerGate, many journalists and those who oppose it suggested that the GamerGate hashtag should be abandoned, the fight has been lost and they should all move on.

In opposition to these claims, however, are all the small and sometimes large achievements GamerGate has made so far. Amongst the cries of harassment and misogyny (which are prevalent on both sides)  there have been real grounds gained in several areas. Here is a list of wins that GamerGate have experienced so far.

Media Awareness

While user based content, on Youtube, Twitter and Tumblr etc, seems to have always been leaning in favour of GamerGate, the mainstream media has up until recently only given outright condemnation of the hashtag. The first big media outlet to reach out to the voices of GamerGate was Huff Post Live, which did an interview with Jennie Bharaj, Jemma Morgan and myself, on the female voices of GamerGate.

David Pakman also did an excellent job of interviewing Brianna Wu recently. Instead of letting her talk on the topics she wanted to, as she has done over dozens of other media outlets, Pakman thoroughly researched the topic as an outsider and asked her the questions on everyone’s lips. She then went on to accuse him of orchestrating a hit piece for asking tough questions.

And while Newsweek wrote a very damning piece on GamerGate, if you take note of the actual statistics then it is easy to form your own conclusions. 90-95% of the tweets examined by Newsweek using the GamerGate hashtag were neutral. Just 1.19% of these tweets were negative tweets towards non-journalistic figures Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu. While this might be 1.19% too many negative tweets it shows that in general #GamerGate tweets are about discussion and not harassment.

Analysis of #GamerGate tweets

Charity

While some argue that the amounts raised by supporters of GamerGate for charity are simply a ploy to make the supporters look good, it could also be argued that if the result is money raised for charities does it really matter why they are doing so? The main point is that GamerGate has helped raise almost $100,000 for various charities, from almost $17,000 for bullying prevention, almost $6000 for suicide prevention and let’s not forget the over $70,000 raised for The Fine Young Capitalists to help women get into development.

GamerGate bullying prevention campaign

For those arguing that TFYC are not a charity as only 74% of profits go to charity, I would point out that 8% goes towards the winner as payment for her idea, and that they are only 1% from the gold standard for charity. A company only need to donate 10% of profits to charity to name itself so.

Ethics Policies

Ever since Game Journos Pros and several damning relationships between developers and journalists who cover their work favourably were uncovered, there has been a demand for more clear disclosures in video gaming journalism. The Escapist was one of the first to reform their ethics policy, while several others have been including more disclosures of relationships which could affect journalistic integrity. Gamespot was one of the latest to include a disclosure on an article, and I was recently sent a long e-mail from another website I write for Gamesided asking for all Staff Writers to give their opinions on the new extremely transparent ethics policy.

escapist ethics

Reviewing one’s ethics policy seems to now be the latest trend in gaming journalism, and while not all websites have completely jumped on board, there seems to be more transparency in gaming publications by the day.

Taking down Harassers and Bullies

Supporters of the GamerGate movement have been working together to uncover internet trolls who have been working to harass and bully those in the gaming industry. They recently uncovered a Brazilian Click-bait journalist who had been sending death threats to Anita Sarkeesian, and 8-chaners worked throughout the night to hide a doxxing of Zoe Quinn before admin could personally remove it.

anti harassment gamergate twitter

These are just 2 major wins for GamerGate which has also been working to report several Twitter accounts of serial harassers from the website.

Advertisers Boycotts

Supporters of GamerGate seem to have been working tirelessly to inform advertisers of gaming publications which have proven themselves to be unethical or corrupt. Supporters have been careful to point out to advertisers that they will no longer be visiting these websites and their marketing dollars could be better spent elsewhere.

When the first large advertiser Intel pulled out of Gamasutra following many readers displeasure at some of the articles being supported by the website, this was GamerGate’s first big win, however, this could not have prepared them for what was about to happen.

On October 16th, several tweets from Gawker Media staff, a key figure in journalistic corruption, suggested that Gawker supported bullying. Max Read claimed to have spent the day “fucking with” people who have autism. The editor of Jezebel claimed she would give $10,000 to a supporter of GamerGate she’d actually want to “fuck” and worst of all was Sam Biddle. Sam claimed that gamers should be “degraded into submission”, and that the previously mentioned Max Read had given him a pay rise for making gamers cry. Worse still members of Kotaku, Ars Technica, The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed, Time and Business Insider had all supported Biddle’s tweets.

sam biddle bullying tweets

Following this harassment several advertisers, such as BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar, pulled advertising from Gawker to show that they stand against bullying. Gawker sent around an e-mail warning staff to be careful of their tweets as they have been a “pain in the ass”. Sam Biddle must not have got the email.

sam biddle bullying tweets

He’s still employed by Gawker by the way.

Conclusion

While all of these wins by GamerGate may make supporters seem like the golden group of the gaming industry, I would be quick to point out that there have also been some shady activities and questionable remarks also made by some supporters of GamerGate. As always I’m the first to tell people to do their research and form their own conclusions. While any amount of harassment is bad, the 1.19% figure shows that it is the minority and not the majority of supporters that continue this behaviour, and that it is not representative of GamerGate as a whole. Gamers are not dead. GamerGate is not dead. It’s only just beginning.

EDIT: I originally said that Adobe advertised with Gawker, this was incorrect. Gawker claimed that they were partnered with Adobe which was untrue. Making this mistake is not a breach of ethics. It is human error. Sorry I humaned.


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.



  • OSM

    Good stuff mate.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    Gotta note a correction here: This was 25% of 2M tweets that were investigated, or 500,000 tweets. So that’s 1.19% of 1/4th of the tweets, and so only if we make the assumption that that remains proportional (which it wouldn’t, since Wu wasn’t even a figure at all in this until she pushed herself into the limelight) would we get the result that it remains at 1.19%. In truth it is probably much closer to 0.75%.

  • George on the Go

    I was trying to give them as large a margin as possible while still pointing out that it’s a tiny percentage.

  • WishiwasArcher

    Fantastic article 🙂

  • Ørjan Kristoffersen

    Good piece as always Georgina. 🙂

    Worth noting, when talking about who have received the most tweets with/from the hashtag, and the tone of these tweets: The two that have received the most negative responses, while not journalists, have both engaged directly with the hashtag in an extremely condemning fashion.

    It’s only logical that these two would have the largest number of direct responses, as well as the largest percentage of negatives. People tend to respond negatively when having unfounded claims thrown at them.

    GamerGate supporter CaineJW made an excellent piece on Medium in the research Newsweek provided.

    https:[email protected][email protected]da31ea7e

  • Topgeartony

    Remember. Gamergate isn’t over till we say so. This isn’t up to the media, McIntosh or anyone else and their conformation bias.

  • Those claiming that GamerGate is over are, I believe, the very same who claimed gamers were over. In truth, it’s the opposite. It’s them who are over. We’re just watching a beast thrashing about in it’s death throes.

    As for the trend for more transparency in video games media, it’s just common business sense. All it is, is outlets showing they are not willing to commit business suicide. That’s all there is to it.

  • cirithungol

    “kicking a dog isn’t unethical”
    “animals can’t be mistreated”

    People still support this guy…

  • Kain Yusanagi

    Fair enough, but it looks a little offputting; those who read the Newsweek article or cainejw’s breakdown know this stuff, but quoting numbers without stating what they’re based on just feels wrong, IMO. Thanks for giving your reasoning, either way!

  • Couple of articles have come out saying Gawker is set to lose millions over this. They are a huge company but not huge enough to not feel the lose of millions. The most recent number I can pull up is from 2009 and that is when they turned a 30 million dollar profit. Considering that millions implies more that one this would probably be between 5-10%, safely, of their total profit of the year if this was to STOP NOW.

    If you are an outside investor or higher up I can’t see looking at this and thinking that losing that much money in two months over something that the employees were increasingly poorly spoken about makes any sense. Speaking as an idealist, this has to have lasting impacts for their business, right?

  • Jambo

    Please remember that Adobe did NOT pull ads, they didn’t advertise there in the first place. I think it’s fair to point out that Gawker should never have had their “flair” up at all, but saying they pulled ads isnt true.

  • FlamingoJet

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO, IT’S ONLY JUST BEGUN.

    We are not about harassment and people need to stop with that angle.

  • Guest

    Props to TechRaptor *doffs hat*. It’s articles like this people ought to be seeing when researching GG, even if they only do so “in two clicks” *coughPattonOswaltcough*

    Once more unto the breach, I say.

  • wcg

    Until GamerGate came along, I was under the impression that gaming websites were setup for gamers. However, many like Gawker Media’s outlets, are really all about getting page views and creating ad revenue. They don’t inherently care about us as gamers we are just chumps who click on their websites. The disdain that Max Read and Sam Biddle have for their audience is disgusting but also telling.

  • JC Ashcott

    Oh wow, didn’t even realized it was GY. Nice work as always o/

  • coboney

    I think what may have happened is that Gawker used an advertising network for its advertisments and there were other sites part of it. So when the companies approached that network they’d discuss the targeted audience and such – and than the network would put it on the proper places. So Gawker may technically get off with putting all those flairs up as they may have or had agreed to potentially be advertised there. In Adobe’s case they’ve made it clear now that they don’t want to be on Gawker no matter what

  • Jambo

    I’m pretty sure that’s not correct, they listed all of those companies as “partners”. That is a very different animal from subscribing to some network. It’s also very telling that the “partner” page no longer exists on their site. If nothing was wrong why pull it down?

    Thanks for the response though!

  • Alex

    Georgina Young everybody! Valkyrie of GG! 😀

  • Guest

    Great article. However some clarification on the Newsweek stats.

    NW outsourced their research to a brand analysis company(http://www.brandwatch.com).
    They don’t measure measure harassment, they measure reactions to a “Brand”.

    So when it says “negative” it means anything from “I don’t like X” to the most vile thing you can think of.

    While you don’t imply the intent of the negative tweets in your article. NW
    heavily implies they are harassment. So clarification in this article would be nice for people who read it with no prior knowledge of the article.

  • Great article. All the strange articles about how GamerGate is over are just people trying to force it to end, trying to force the narrative that it’s all sexism, racism and misogyny. Funny how they’re using such powerful terms.

    Just got my Vivian James t-shirt in the mail, btw, I’d recommend, well, anyone, really, to buy it since it’s a neat t-shirt and all the profits go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

    http://thatshirtwascash.com/products/vivian-james

  • coboney

    If you want to draw on a certain definition of partner and stretch some truths you can make that page – they partnered with you to make that exact specific webpage… or they could! Its definitely dishonest and morally bankrupt but I don’t know if it was illegal.

    It got pulled down because of it being dishonest, morally bankrupt and caught.

  • Jambo

    Yeah, I can see that. Thank you!

  • Chris

    They pulled the partner page for 2 reasons

    1) everyone was emailing people on that list to stop their partnership with GAWKER so they took it down

    2) most of the partners wanted their logo taken down and it easier to just take them all down due to reason 1

  • Brad Sherard

    Thanks for the link. I love me some statistical inference in the morning.

  • Yosharian

    Excellent article. Funny how hardly any of these points are raised in mainstream media coverage of GG. It’s all ‘death threats!’

  • The fact is that the reason there is a rush to kill this thing is because they don’t want to change, and they see this as a way to go after the viral media that has been taking people away from them for the longest time. When they see people trust TotalBiscuit and Let’s Players more than Kotaku to tell them if a game is good or not (and yes, they have been trying to vilify YouTube, as well), then they see that as a thing they cannot compete with on a fair level. So they decide to move into this shady way of trying to turn people against them so they will come back to traditional media…all while they continue to make these deals that got us to this point in the first place.

    Plus, keep in mind that there have been reports of third party trolls trying to make things look bad for both sides (the GNAA, for example), and they seem to have no boundaries as to what they do, say, or how they do it. Must be careful, too, as to who is using the hashtag for what it’s supposed to be used for, and not trying to just attach themselves to the tag for malicious purposes.

  • karalas

    Glad to see you settling into your new home at techraptor Georgina, well written article look forward to reading more.

  • Jonathan Roberts

    Hi Georgina, great article and also great performance on huff post live you three were great, i cant praise you enough. Ive just finished watching an interview between David Pacman and Jenni Barahj, it could have gone better for her as she seemed to be struggling to make her point at times. However she did succeed in pointing out something that i have mentioned before as a key demand of gamergate (or something i believe should be key) an apology!

    Their meager reforms aside, many of these journalists and their sites/companies have continued to slander and demonize those on the pro gamergate side and in doing so, berate anyone who might self identify as a gamer. They’ve focused all their attention on a minority (a very vocal minority) of harassers and aggressors, and have placed the blame squarely on the doorstep of gamergate and the gamers who make up the majority of the movement. This is simply not good enough!
    This is why gamergate must continue, because these people would rather demonize us than allow us a voice, they’d rather talk down to us than show us respect. They’d rather shove their agenda down our throats telling us to “Listen & Believe” rather than investigate & consider. They refuse to police or take responsibility for their own actions and this is the result. Gamergate. We’ve been brought to believe these people speak for gaming, speak for us but they don’t, we’re slowly learning that fact and we’re very very pissed off.

  • cookipuss

    #gamergate led me to Techraptor and I hope it leads more people here. Gamers have been shown who cares about their customers and who doesn’t.

  • GDI

    Protip: Take GG philosophy to Japan. With the tie-up between 8ch and 2ch, and there are also 2ch member who come out in support of GG (e.g. roninworks). These guys need translators since I couldn’t make heads or tails from their broken English, but it seems that they might be able to make good rebuttal articles.

    The Anime Comic Game industry in Japan is where creators don’t care about political correctness; and at the same time they rarely have superstar mentality (unlike western indies) and just want to make their craft. Not to mention they already have 55% female participation in the industry (I want to confirm and cite source for this statistics though) and yet have no problem cranking out breast physics and clothing damage and anything that irks the Gawker people.

  • David Viars

    Nice to read this. Been feeling down trying to debate civilly with anti’s who keep spitting in my face.

  • It is not over because the anti-GG side keeps stirring the pot.

    Which is awesome.

    It indicates they have no idea just how badly they are losing the debate in spite of their *frantic* attempts to re-frame the debate from being about journalistic and games industry corruption, into being about ‘misogyny’.

    So lets hope they keep it up, because they are so used to living in an echo chamber they simply cannot believe what they are seeing, and so they keep digging the same hole deeper and deeper. GamerGate has actually become a useful litmus test on how reliable any website is actually.

    Keep refusing to lie down and take it, guys and gals, it drives them crazy!

  • Oh and remember, people like TechRaptor are the good guys, so turn OFF your adblock for this site and all the other pro-GG sites. And keep it turned ON for the others 😀

  • cookipuss

    I don’t need sites to be pro-GG necessarily, just ethical and professional, which Techraptor seems to be.

  • Ogre79 .

    As a casual gamer I’ve been watching this whole thing unfold with a gradual sense of mounting horror. A sensation I was unpleasantly familiar with since I witnessed something similar attempting to gain traction in the Atheist community not too long ago in the shape of Atheism+ and their charming ‘with us or against us’ mentality. Thank you, guys and girls of Techraptor, for being one of the bastions of sanity amidst the chaos. Y’know, with actual facts, decent research and open discussion. 🙂

  • Yes that is true, but by actually looking at their coverage on GG, it is a great ‘short form’ for just cutting to the chase of where they stand on quality of reportage and ethics.

  • Emma Reade

    Good article, we need to weed out the harassers who use the gg tag for evil

  • Believe it or not, there is actually some overlap between the Atheism+ people and the Anti-GG people. What a surprise, eh?

  • Eagleeye595

    GamerGate is just getting started son now i am here and i have devoted myself (literally) to GG 12hours a day of emails video uploads and not a single minute spent on trolls, harassing, doxxing, or bullying. Bullies will get what’s coming to em. And i will not stop what i am doing until gawker is truly bankrupt.

  • Ogre79 .

    Yes, there were some depressingly familiar demagogues rearing their figuratively ugly heads whose names I shall not mention here, lest that somehow summons them.