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There has been a lot of controversy over the past week surrounding a blocklist which was created to prevents accounts on the list from seeing the tweets of those who use the list. The list was compiled as a tool to prevent those who oppose GamerGate from hearing discussion from those in GamerGate. However, as the tool does not analyze tweets, and instead judges your account based on who you follow, several companies and accounts who use a follow back social media strategy have ended up on the blocklist despite having no, or tenuous links to the movement.
IGDA, the international game developers association, mistakenly labeled the users on the blocklist “some of the worst offenders” of online harassment in a recent anti-harassment resource they produced, and saw a wide backlash from gamers and developers alike. Many developers have spoken out against the situation and several have forfeited their membership as a result. However, due to the poor strategy implemented in choosing accounts applicable for the blocklist many unrelated companies have also seen negative effects.
Most famously KFC (yes, that KFC) has found its way onto the list despite clearly having no links to the consumer revolt, as well as social media management tool, Hootsuite. Adland, an online advertising trade magazine, has also been added to the list, and TechRaptor has spoken to Åsk ‘Dabitch’ Wäppling, the woman behind Adland’s twitter account.
Dabitch, noted that the account had used #GamerGate a few times to link to articles on the site with the hashtag in the title, but of course, it was not blocked because of this.
“Since a few brands have actually used the list, it means our account no longer can follow these brands on twitter. @Adland follows a lot of brands on twitter, as social media advertising is part of what we report on, so this is in fact impacting my ability to do my job. “
She went on to note that Raspberry_Pi, makers of compact all-in-one computer cards, a brand she used to engage with, is now using the blocklist.
Members of the blocklist have the ability to be removed via an appeals process. However, users have done so have claimed that managers of the list will then go through your tweets of the last 28 days and more often than not, pull out several as grounds for rejection.
Edit (1:19 PM 11/25/2014)
Some edits were changed to remove inaccurate information in this article upon viewer correction.
Edit (7:59 PM 11/25/2014)
She may or may not have been doxing people. There is evidence to show that she was, but we cannot validate the evidence. We do know that she created a system that for you to appeal, you have to publicly release information.
There was one tweet where she did release information from the freebsd list, and then immediately deleted it, according to our sources. We’re still investigating the validity of this.
Update(8:44 PM 11/25/2014)
http://tweetsave.com/freebsdgirl/status/536691872635166720 Here is the evidence. Decide if this is real for yourself.
Edit (7:59 PM 11/25/2014)
The article originally mentioned that Dabitch assumed she was blocked for following CHSommers, in error, however the Factual Feminist was no longer involved because she was removed from the blocklist as a source during the alpha of the list, meaning nobody was ever blocked because of following her.
Update(9:29 PM 11/25/2014)
An apology for mistakes made in this article can be found here