About a month ago, I wrote an article about harassment where I noted as almost a throwaway comment, that harassment has been aimed at people on both sides of the Hashtag That Shall Not Be Named. It included a link to a GamerGate girl who claimed that she had been framed by someone for sending threats to Anita Sarkeesian, resulting in a visit from the FBI.
Welp, it turns out that pretty much everything this particular person said is in question, due to this person turning out to be not who she says she is. After spending a year as one of GamerGate’s most fiercely loyal NotYourShield denizens, proclaiming frequently and loudly her lesbian bonafides and her love for the oversized bosoms found in games (even being cited by noted antifeminist hack Christina Sommers as such), she made the mistake of posting a picture of someone else’s cosplay as her own. This led to a full-on shitshow, which involved both her initial evasion, allegations of fraud, and an eventual apology.
I’m not going to dwell on the specifics of these issues because, well, they’re still emerging, and to be honest, it’s petty, vindictive drama as KiA debates whether to cannibalize one of their own.
I do want to say that this is yet another episode that proves why political movements driven by anonymity are doomed to failure. For all its talks of ethics, GamerGate is pretty much incapable of acting ethically themselves, because their anonymity and their craving for leaders or celebrities they can glom to keeps leading them unable to separate themselves from people disseminating utter bullshit and calling it reality. Remember how they claimed that Anita was lying about going to the authorities? Or how Zoe Quinn didn’t give money to the authorities? Or how secret anonymous sources claimed that notable feminists were sending threats to themselves? Remember Chihirodev? How about when King of Pol was blatantly caught trying to smear Stephen Totilo and Nick Denton fraudulently, only to be exposed by Hot Wheels?
This utter lack of ethics, honesty and basic fact-checking has been going on ever since things blew up last August, and at this point, one is left with one of two possible conclusions. Either the core adherents of GamerGate believe so ardently that the ends justify the means that they will stoop to any level of dishonesty to attempt to push forward their repugnant world view, or they have been so fully infiltrated by trolls incapable from being seperated from the ‘good’ Gators, due to the anonymity of the cause.
In either case, this episode reaffirms what game companies, the gaming media and the mainstream media have suspected for more than a year now. GamerGate devotees and their wild claims should be treated with as much credibility as they have so far earned: none at all.