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You probably recently saw a post on Mangotron claiming that a writer at Mangotron had recently been doxxed by GamerGate supporters and therefore the website would no longer be discussing GamerGate. It also withdrew its previous interview with Liz F an avid GamerGate supporter. Many GamerGate supporters had been outspoken fans of Mangotron, and the interview and it originally confused me as to why they would now turn on a media outlet which they had up until last night been in favour of.

I decided to ask Twitter and  /r/KotakuinAction what had happened with the incident and it didn’t take long for them to reply to me with the full details of events. Here is the timeline of events so that everyone is as informed as possible about what happened leading up to Mangotron’s withdrawal from GamerGate discussion.

George on the Go Mangotron tweet

Last night a website was created called biglistofgamers.com. A twitter account started to promote the website asking for people to sign up if they were in support of GamerGate. This was suspicious to GamerGaters many of whom fear harassment from those who oppose the movement, as they wished to protect their personal details. Looking into the twitter account Gaters found that hours earlier the twitter account had been trying to get people to donate to Mangotron’s patreon account following the positive coverage the movement had received from the website.

This again aroused suspicion from people and an investigation was launched. GamerGaters investigated the website and found out through WHOIS there was a link between the new website and Mangotron. In order to bring light to this corruption, the data was posted to twitter with personal information such as the address blacked out.

Mangotron then considered this a doxxing and decided to release this statement. It should also be noted that due to the offence caused by the release of the metadata, GamerGaters then decided to work with Mangotron to see the data removed from twitter.

While the reasons for creating such a website are unknown, some have speculated that the list was created in order to sell the personal information of Gaters to spammers.

I will not tell you what to think about this situation. In my eyes this was not a doxxing, and the actions of Mangotron are suspicious to say the least, ultimately however, it is up to you to decide for yourself. What I would suggest is that it might be prudent for people to investigate articles in the media before blinding believing everything they read. That includes this very article, which you can investigate by clicking the links above.


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.



  • Kevin

    What the…. fudge??

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    To me the entire thing screamed “someone with another motive and was discovered for it.” Might be a bit into conspiracy land, but growing up on the internet of the 80’s and 90’s anything like this just stinks of “someone out to do harm.” Now maybe they weren’t, but that would be upto them to prove otherwise.

    The whole “biglistofgamers” thing just stunk, it wasn’t doxxing either. But it sure stunk.

  • coboney

    When I did some looking into it – my view is that while it wasn’t a doxxing or done illegally. I do think though that it wasn’t smart to post the info and was ethically questionable to do it. No reason to post all that info even if it was available and it did nothing but cause harm for pro-gamer gate on the whole.

  • BeholdMyPower

    I understand why, but being called a ‘Gater’ sounds rather silly.

  • Guest

    It was a really positive interview for the GG side, and made anti-gg look like assholes. Not surprised they took it down.

  • Varus

    Personally I am glad to see Gamergate can look within and find suspicious activity even from supporters. It shows a dedication to removing corruption and shady practices. Also it shows the response of people when you call them on their clear corruption.

  • Fearghul

    I must admit it makes me feel like I should be in a swamp in Florida or something…which is unacceptable because there’s really lousy wi-fi coverage there.

  • Ncrdrg

    I knew it was a scam, I heard about a link to mangotron but I didn’t know who it was.

    Now that they claim he got doxxed, it’s pretty clear that their motives have been exposed for what they were – publicity/doxxing attempt. But seriously, trying to get GGers personal info is a really freaking low blow.

    But personally, I don’t see how you can cry foul when the intent was to expose the person behind a scam. It’d be as ridiculous as the Celebrinando guy whining about being doxxed because we got his name out there. No, sir, you simply got exposed for the fraud you were.

  • Doc Hammer

    It’s a good thing supporters of Gamergate archive absolutely everything. The one thing you can never do to us is pick up your toys and go home.

  • Doc Hammer

    Looking up a WHOIS is not doxxing. This controversy has taught me that the people we’re dealing with these days have no clue what that word means and are just using it however they please.

  • Niwjere

    We are not “Gaters”. Stop painting this as a movement. This is a consumer revolt.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2k5oxt/psa_reality_check_time_gamers_its_important_that/

  • coboney

    It wasn’t a Doxx no – but there was no real reason to go share around personal info. Yes it was available because the person didn’t take full security precautions stuff. But opening it up can cause issues and such.

  • Yosharian

    This website is proving itself again and again to be a brilliant place, well done guys (and gals)

  • You guys are giving indispensable coverage of this rolling consumer revolt!

  • Since when has public information been doxxing? Also, why are you using your personal address for WHOIS. If you are collecting money for something legit, like a business or whatever, shouldn’t that be registered under the business address? You know, like a PO box or an office or something?

    Also, if you info is just out there for anyone to find it ISN’T DOXXING. To be doxxed it has to be non-public info. WHOIS look ups aren’t hard, they are like patent searches. You just need to know what you are doing and it is kind of easy and legal.

  • Zepid

    Obvious honeypot was obvious

  • Junoh315

    It looks like Mango wanted to profit off of GamerGate but I might be wrong. They opened up a patreon to get GamerGate money and then created a large list of GamerGate supporters. When caught, they decided to stop covering GamerGate.

  • dodoking

    there was no personal info it was a WHOIS

  • DragonBlood87

    The personal info is *part* of the WHOIS — you can’t just make it disappear when talking about WHOIS data that contains personal info, because it is trivially easy for people to go look it up themselves (which is what apparently happened, since all of the pictures of the WHOIS data had the personal info redacted).

    (Also, it wasn’t available because he “didn’t take full security precaution stuff” — he *volunteered* that information when registering his website.)

    And they couldn’t just leave out mention of the WHOIS data, since it was the biggest piece of evidence that something fishy was happening.

    So, given the above, what *should* have been done, in your opinion?

  • DragonBlood87

    “Also, if you info is just out there for anyone to find it ISN’T DOXXING.”

    This. It’s like somebody making a facebook comment from a profile with no viewing restrictions, then crying “doxxing” when somebody mentions something from their profile.

    If you put the information out there yourself, in a way that is intrinsically linked with your internet persona and trivially easy to find, then it’s not doxxing when it gets found. To claim otherwise is tantamount to claiming that responding to Facebook comments is doxxing, since you included the person’s name in your reply.

  • I think with Doxxing posts it’s less about the details and more about the ‘intimidation’ factor. Kind of a “This is you, be afraid” kind of thing. I’d like to think I could handle it if it happened to me, but I just don’t know until it happens.

  • coboney

    Its a tough situation – and the precaution stuff was not buying whois protection which costs money. Thats what I meant by not taking full precautions on security he left himself vulnerable there.

    I can’t say I know 100% of the story – but I think the first step would be to try to talk with him privately. With tensions running high as they are right now appearances and steps matter a lot. So talk with him and get a feel – and ask if he’d take that stuff or have his brother do so (whether you believe it is his brother or not). If he isn’t willing to talk or you come up with a solid reason with proof that there is something fishy after than you might have no choice to some extent but to carefully do what happened. I still feel like there should be steps and there could be other ways to go carefulyl – maybe going through a verification with the Kotakuinaction reddit mods so they see it and can say it is confirmed information.

    In a lot of ways this is a fight of perception and you don’t want to give the other side ammunition. Yes they’ve created stuff and twisted things – however anytime they can use something real it looks that much worst. This is a tricky one though because of the potential abuse of a trusted person – but because of that it needs to be handled all the more cautiously.

    And yes, they might have done what I said and I missed it and they felt they had no choice but to say it. At which point it might be something that is a sad necessity to report it. As I did say, it isn’t a dox and it isn’t illegal what was done.

  • DragonBlood87

    “or you come up with a solid reason with proof that there is something fishy”

    …like a honeypot site that is encouraging people to donate money to a different site registered to the same person, perhaps?

  • Miguel Leiva-Gomez

    Tl;dr Someone who hosted a honeypot got doxxed with information that was available publicly. Firestorm from media ensues. The brigade considers this more ammunition.

    I have to say you did what other reporters won’t have the gall to do: Expose facts. I feel great working in the same team as you.

  • TeLin特林

    Really Depressing…