The #GamerGate movement has been associated with harassment in the mass media since it began, but users of the hashtag on Twitter go to great lengths to claim that it is actually a campaign about “journalistic integrity,” and the harassers and woman-haters are just a few bad apples who don’t represent the whole.
In this piece, I’m going to show that a significant number of GamerGate supporters, both prominent and non, have histories of harassment, hatred and abuse. [TW] for a lot of racist, sexist and violent content throughout.
Twitter user @Bendilin (Ben Spruill) is an early adopter of the #GamerGate hashtag, and prior to its launch posted several times about Zoe Quinn using the #Quinnspiracy hashtag.
In 2012, Ben Spruill created an online game in which the player clicks the face of critic Anita Sarkeesian to “punch” her, creating bruises, cuts and lesions in graphic detail.
@Bendilin uses images of violence towards women to harass and intimidate them.
Twitter user @JakALope044 has been a significant user of the #GamerGate hashtag and posted allegations of receiving a harassing phone call due to it.
However, several years ago before publicly identifying as female she posted a message on 4Chan with personal details of a classmate to incite the /b/ board into harassing her.
To their credit, /b/ immediately recognized that she was trying to use the site as a personal army and did not engage in harassment towards the girl.
@JakALope044 incited harassment of a woman on 4chan.
Twitter user @FartToContinue is one of the most active and visible individuals in the movement, posting myriad attacks and calls to action on a daily basis.
He’s also a noted harasser of women on YouTube. Here’s a post from one of his targets.
A little over a year ago when you started spamming my videos with accusations about my personal life and demanding answers it was the first time I ever felt scared of my viewerbase. I literally wanted to stop doing YouTube. I couldn’t handle the fact that you were able to get people to fall in line with you and demand the same things. “How on earth can these people that claim to care about me and watch my videos be so awful when I’m obviously hurting and depressed?”
@FartToContinue is a harasser of women.
Twitter user @Curunitar is the third Twitter account created by the same person to support #GamerGate.
His communications are overwhelmingly harassing and violent, including (in a Tweet deleted when his previous account was deactivated) calling for the shooting of game designer Mike Sacco and his fiancee.
@Curunitar has made threats of violence towards men and women.
Twitter user @RogueStarGamez has been active in the #GamerGate movement since before the hashtag was coined, showing up repeatedly in the IRC chatroom dedicated to harassing Zoe Quinn.
He was banned from the chatroom for repeatedly suggesting the use of “black hat” tactics to attack Zoe Quinn, but he has remained active in organizing many #GamerGate boycotts and operations.
In addition, RogueStarGamez is an independent game developer. His project, FleetComm, was funded on Kickstarter in May of 2012 with final delivery promised to backers in August of 2012. Delays are perfectly normal in Kickstarter projects, but as of October of 2014 the game has not even reached a public Beta state. Despite that, RogueStar launched (and failed) ANOTHER Kickstarter for a completely new game in 2014, even as backers of FleetComm were wondering where the game they paid for was.
@RogueStarGamez has acted unethically in his business and publicly stated his willingness to use illegal methods to harm Zoe Quinn.
Twitter user @Rabite, aka “weev,” announced his support for GamerGate in October on his LiveJournal and Twitter.
@Rabite, real name Andrew Auernheimer, is a notorious troll who is implicated in the doxxing of writer Kathy Sierra and numerous other events. In addition, he has a tattoo of a swastika on his chest and wrote:
“I look on Google Street View and see the place I used to live in, before I was kidnapped at gunpoint and held in foreign territories based on the lies of blacks and Jews.”
@Rabite is an admitted white supremacist.
Twitter user @Kingofpol is one of the most prolific voices in the #GamerGate movement, posting frequently and appearing on many live video streams.
In many of those streams, he indulges in anti-Semitic speech, speaking about “Jewish conspiracies” to control the media and espousing Nazi beliefs. In addition, he recently went on a Twitter tirade attempting to use his status as a mental health nurse to convince an individual with obsessive-compulsive disorder that she had additional psychological problems because of her opposition to GamerGate.
@Kingofpol is an anti-Semite who abuses his position in the mental health field to “diagnose” people who disagree with him.
Twitter user @Thidran has been a prolific tweeter of the #GamerGate hashtag, frequently advancing the view that it is a “consumer revolt.” He can also be seen in many comment sections of articles about GamerGate pushing that viewpoint.
He was also a significant presence in the IRC chatroom created to harass Zoe Quinn. In those logs, he encourages people to post information taken from the hack of Phil Fish, discusses using the Fine Young Capitalists for “good PR” and plans strategy for a long-term campaign.
Aug 24 14.25.13 <Thidran> This whole thing is social engineering warfare, and we’re out of practice.
Aug 24 14.25.35 <Thidran> We need to get INTO practice, because this is going to be relevant for a long time.
@Thidran participated in the harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn from the beginning.
Twitter user @MundaneMatt was one of the first individuals to publicize the Zoe Quinn “scandal” by means of a YouTube video, which was promptly taken down by a DMCA complaint. He has been active in GamerGate since then.
Mundane Matt’s videos are resoundingly anti-woman. In one, he calls Anita Sarkeesian “a loud mouth woman who doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up.” In another (removed from public view since this article was posted, butGoogle cache confirms it existed), he questions whether the gang rape of 17 year old Rehteah Parsons that led to her suicide even happened because she was “being flirtatious” and “egging the boys on.”
@MundaneMatt consistently expresses public viewpoints that are overwhelmingly negative and derogatory to the female gender.
Twitter user @SargonOfAkkad has created numerous videos about #GamerGate with a focus on a conspiracy of “feminist corruption” at play in games journalism and design.
Sargon’s videos are overflowing with sexist and hateful language. He refers to a feminist as “the skinniest Downs syndrome sufferer I’ve ever seen.”
@SargonOfAkkad is a resoundingly anti-woman commentator who makes no attempt to hide his disdain for the female gender.
Twitter user @RSMccain is Robert Stacy McCain, a conservative columnist who has publicly announced his support for GamerGate.
McCain has made multiple offensive statements about race and sex in America, including:
“The media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion.”
“The decline of white America in recent decades has gone hand-in-hand with a decline in moral standards.”
RSMcCain’s views on race are odious and he is happily welcomed into GamerGate.
Twitter user @AVoiceForMen is Paul Elam, owner and operator of the web site avoiceformen.com. Elam has commented on GamerGate numerous times in support of its actions.
Here are Paul Elam’s thoughts on rape victims:
“ they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk though life with the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH – PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.”
In addition, Elam funneled money donated to his site into his own pockets to pay for his personal living expenses.
Paul Elam is virulently anti-woman and unethical.
Twitter user @BloomfieldJanet is the Social Media Director for Paul Elam’s “A Voice For Men” site. She has been a vocal supporter of the #GamerGate hashtag.
In October, under her previous Twitter name @JudgyBitch1, BloomfieldTweeted a doctored screenshot found on Facebook of Anita Sarkeesian’s Twitter account in an attempt to defame her.
This isn’t the first time Bloomfield has done so — in August, she did the same thing to feminist writer Jessica Valenti. Twitter eventually deleted her @JudgyBitch1 account to prevent her from continuing in this harassment.
@BloomfieldJanet creates fake Tweets to libel her enemies in a clear breach of ethics.
Twitter user @JordanOwen42 is the other co-creator of the Sarkeesian Effect documentary and a frequent user of the GamerGate hashtag.
He has created a staggering 60+ videos about Anita Sarkeesian, calling her an “obvious con artist” and other pejoratives. Some of these videos are in excess of four hours long.
@JordanOwen42 displays an obsession with Anita Sarkeesian that could best be described as troubling.
Tumblr user @Shittywebcomics has posted multiple times in support of the #GamerGate hashtag.
On the blog, an early anonymous report by an alleged games writer was hosted. The post claimed that “SJW” ideology had infested the gaming journalism business and that people were being forced out because of it. The Gamergate movement took this unsourced statement as absolute truth and spread it widely. Despite the blog’s title, much of its contents consist of often violent anti-woman, anti-PoC sentiments.
“women see how much rape victims get coddled, and they decide they want a piece of the action. the result is that real rape victims (the very few real ones) have both their suffering and their recovery cheapened by an army of phonies.
black people could pull themselves up by their boot straps and achieve something on their own, or they can whine loudly to anyone who will listen that they are victims of “the white man.”
@Shittywebcomics is violently racist and anti-woman and GamerGate proudly took early support from his blog and continues to link to it.
Twitter user @JackOutisBurn3 is a frequent user of the #GamerGate hashtag and a poster on Paul Elam’s “A Voice For Men” site.
In an article on the site, Outis admits to harassing women on Twitter, including Tweeting them about being raped.
@JackOutisBurn3 is an admitted anti-woman troll who is happily welcomed in #GamerGate
Twitter user @EvilBobDALMYT proclaims himself “#GamerGate Firebrand” in his bio and has been active in the tag since the beginning.
He is also present in the IRC chat logs, including having operator status on the channel. He at many points hunts for and provides personal information about the individuals speculated to have had sexual relations with Zoe Quinn. And that’s not counting the general gross, sexist and transphobic language.
@EvilBobDALMYT participated in the harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn since the beginning.
So when Anita Sarkeesian tweeted that “gamergate is the new name for a group that has been harassing me for 2 years,” she was factually correct. Many of the most consistent users of #GamerGate are inextricably linked to harassment of Ms. Sarkeesian and other women. I’ve just shown you 20 of them, all of whom are happily welcomed into the GamerGate movement and not censured in any way for their actions. I’m sure this list will grow as more people share their experiences.
These people have spent the last two years harassing and demeaning women in and out of the games industry. You know what they haven’t spent the last two years doing? Talking about ethics in journalism.
There may be ethical, honest people involved in #GamerGate. But a few good apples won’t magically make a rotten barrel edible. And #GamerGate is rotten to the core.