IGDA ,the international game developers association, recently released a resource for how to best deal with online harassment. The resource, which includes extreme measures such as links to a suicide prevention hotline for those who have experienced severe and mentally damaging threats, also recommends a Twitter tool which blocks “some of the worst offenders” of online harassment.
The GG autoblocker list is a bot created by Randi Harper, which blocks anyone on Twitter who follows more than one of the following accounts : @Nero, @PlayDangerously, @RogueStarGamez, @FartToContinue, @TheRalphRetort, @_icze4r, @RealVivianJames, or @CHOBITCOIN, and does not in fact analyze the content of users tweets for harassment. It should be noted that the above users have never been implicated in harassment, and in fact, have been the subjects of harassment with @Nero receiving a syringe and a dead animal in the mail, while @_icze4r has been swatted.
The structure of this list, which is labeled under mental wellness and self-care and refers to users mentioned as monsters, sheeple, and idiots various times, means that journalists and gamers, such as myself, who follow a wide range of twitter users in order to keep myself informed on the latest news, have been implicated as offenders of harassment, despite never participating in such.
Mike Cernovich, a lawyer and twitter user @PlayDangerously, is now looking into the case legally, to see if there is anything he can do in terms of the defamation of his and several thousand others names. Harper has also accused Cernovich of making a rape threat against her for stating that she needs a “real man”.
After the outrage following the labeling of more than 10,000 people as online harassers IGDA has since changed the document from “A Twitter tool to block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment” to “A third-party Twitter tool developed to quickly mass block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment and those who follow these offenders.” While there is still a strong implication of harassment from all 10,425 accounts, this is particularly damning to the 8 blacklisted members listed above.
Roberto Rosario, Chairman of IGDA Puerto Rico, has also been named a harasser by the resource, supposedly for using the GamerGate hashtag to speak out against Geordie Tait, who claimed that the only solution for ending GamerGate was to bring about a second holocaust. Rosario claims that if this is not adjusted, IGDA will have his resignation by Tuesday.
Ernest W. Adams founder of IGDA has previously been accused of blackmailing developers who are also members of #GamerGate with a tweet that read “If you are an Indie Developer and you are supporting #GamerGate, watch what you say. Your future business is at stake. #theinternetisforever”
Edit: Since the publication of this article, IGDA has realised their mistake and removed the autoblocker from their resource completely. The original article also forgot to include @FartToContinue in the original Blacklist. This has since been corrected.