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Category: Gamergate (page 1 of 10)

Milo Finally Get Everything He Deserves

It’s been a long time since I posted – frankly, I’ve been a little busy lately. That being said, you know that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to engage in a little Schadenfreude at the Godfather of Gamergate’s world collapsing.

In many ways, Milo was the epitome of the nonsense anti-PC “you should be able to say anything” mentality that assholes on the internet use to be abusive, racist, sexist asses. He is, effectively, a living 8chan thread, and it is somewhat satisfying to see even conservatives react in horror when Milo’s world view is exposed to sunlight, even if doing so highlighted the fact that ‘the line’ is not racism, sexism, anti-semitism, blatant dishonest journalism or just being a giant asshole for the sake of being one. Nope, ‘the line’ is suggesting that men preying on children is somehow healthy for the children. Well, at least there’s ONE belief that everyone on the right and left can agree on, and that is that this is fucking skeevy as shit.

I, for one, am glad that Bill Maher invited Milo onto his show, even if I don’t think Maher deserves as much credit as Maher thinks he does. Yes, Maher showed his true colors by giving flaccid agreement to Milo’s blatant, appalling fearmongering on the subject of transphobia (fun fact: pretty much every ‘fact’ Milo stated in that interview was tortured like a Jack Bauer prisoner in hour 23). But it also resulted in Larry Wilmore dismantling Milo like a tinkertoy, which is the sort of thing that happens to a not-very-smart person when he tries to tell a much smarter person that he’s stupid. And to think, I really thought that schadenfreude sandwich would be the highlight of my three day weekend.

Not so! You see, CPAC (a conservative hatefest wankathon) had recently named him their Keynote Speaker. They did so because he’s a bastion of free speech who has a tendency to leave a trail of anger and disgust everywhere it goes, whether its claiming victory for inciting antifas to protest him so violently that his speech was cancelled, or whether it’s his own followers shooting protesters on weak claims of self-defense. It’s also worth noting that CPAC isn’t nearly as free speech as they claim – Chris Christie was not invited in 2013 because he hugged the Kenyan President, and the Log Cabin Republicans have been trying to get a speech at CPAC forever – apparently, gays can only speak at CPAC if they’re willing to be the court jester.

Still, as hypocritical as I might find CPAC (oh, and I do), there’s definitely a bunch of Republicans out there who take it, and the cause of conservatism, very seriously. Among those is apparently a group called the Reagan Battalion, a group of right-wing activists who actually seem to be intent on holding conservatives to account. They started linking to videos, more than a year old, that involved Milo proudly advocating men ‘helping’ young gay boys below the age of consent. These weren’t new: Anti-Gamergate advocates had been trying to call attention to Milo’s worst statements for years. However, quite frankly, Milo fed on this criticism. It took him climbing, Icarus-like, out of twitter and closer to the mainstream for him to fall, and it took some friendly fire from conservatives to finally push him.

Beyond this, Laurie Penny’s article on the subject is most excellent. As is Ross Douthat’s from a conservative perspective. But the far more important article is this article arguing that Milo was just playing off the Tucker Max outrage marketing playbook, and that we should all stop falling for it. Advice that I will endeavor to take to heart.

You know, after enjoying the schadenfreude just a bit more.

GamerGate Godfather Gets Banned From Twitter – Finally

Last night, Twitter finally got serious and banned the Godfather of the Gamergate Manchildren, the Liberace of Alt-Right Demagoguery from their service.  Sadly, after two years of him cheerleading targeted abuse on individuals, Twitter took action only because his target this time is famous, which made his exploits well-known.

But let’s back up.  There’s two sides of #GamerGate.  There’s the underinformed side who believes that GamerGate actually has something to do with Ethics in Games Journalism.  These people are typically naïve about how the industry works or even what ethics in journalism actually means, but if this is where GamerGate actually ended, they would have been ignored and moved on.

The problem is that there’s the other side of GamerGate, and that is the culture warriors who started GamerGate as a new front in the culture war against, you know, progress being made.  In particular, these were the people who used GamerGate to heap abuse on known, strong-voiced women in game development such as Zoe, Anita, Randi and Brianna, as well as attempted to shut down anything that would be considered progressive commentary about the games industry.  The actions of these dipshits did serious damage to the games industry and its relationship with the fans.  The actions of these dipshits is why no serious member of the Games industry treats GamerGate with anything short of utterdisdain or disgust.

Milo Yiannopoulos has long been the leading voice of this festering stew of misogyny and hate.

Milo doesn’t give two shits about games, and neither does the people he leads.  Two weeks before he claimed the baton and jumped to the front of the Parade of Misogynistic Basement Dwellers, he actually described gamers as being ‘wierdos in yellowing underpants’.  He only has two things that are actually important to him:

  • Bashing feminists.
  • Defending being an antisocial fuckweasel on the Internet as ‘free speech’.

That’s why the ‘alt-right’ defenders of freedom keep expanding their fight to dumb causes, particularly causes that are perceived as ‘social justice warriors’ attempting to expand the influence of feminism to all corners of the galaxy.  This spicy stew of misogynistic and reactionary game fans, mens rights activists and  white supremacists have been a ready-made army for Milo’s cause, and that cause is that they should feel free to load Leslie Jones’ mailbox with truly offensively racist shit, and that if Twitter attempts to address this problem, they are abridging their free speech.

This is an absurd argument that you’d either have to be an idiot or a full-blown shitbag to believe.  In truth, the first amendment does not apply to private companies.  You are free to say what you want, but you can’t be compelled to publish other people’s sick and twisted shit, and a company like Twitter is free to create and foster the atmosphere online that they want for their online culture.

Three other thoughts:

  • My Twitter feed is full of obnoxious gamergate and other alt-right shitheads trying to cherrypick examples of people who were NOT banned and compare them to that of Milo’s lesser crimes. Other than the fact that they typically pick minor namecalling to compare to rank sexism, it also ignores the fact that Milo has a record of Twitter malfeasance that extends more than two years in the past.  In January, Twitter shot a warning shot over his bow by removing his verification status, which hurt his fee-fees so much that he raised a stink about it in the White House briefing room.  He clearly ignored the point that Twitter was seeing this as a last chance for him.
  • There are other idiots that claim that Milo was banned for being ‘gay’ or being a ‘conservative’. This is bullshit – Twitter is still full of gays, conservatives and conservative gays who use Twitter without fear every day.  More to the point, what Milo keeps trying to argue is that racist and sexist puerile bullshit is the equivalent to ‘conservative’ thought.  True conservatives should be appalled and disgusted by this attempt to hijack their political belief system with this sewage.
  • It is depressing that it took an assault on a major Hollywood star to force Twitter to finally take action. Milo and his channer sewage farmers have been engaging in this sort of pathetic bullshit for years now, and it only became unacceptable once Leslie Jones put it on the front page of CNN.

Meanwhile, Milo’s fanbase has responded with the only way they know how to – harassment.

Milo Vanilli

Speaking of Ethics in Games Journalism, it turns out that Milo Yiannopoulos (of the blue checkmark scandalessentially farms out most of his articles to unpaid ‘interns’ who appear to be largely made up of 8chan posters.

Yiannopoulos confirmed in an interview with BuzzFeed News that he has “about 44” interns — “a mix of paid and unpaid” — writing and conducting research for him. But he denied that other people write stories for him start to finish….

Yiannopoulos told BuzzFeed News that all uses of the n-word in PROJECT MILO were ironic. “A lot of these guys are young 4chan guys,” he said, referring to his interns. “They use it in the sense that message boards use it … It was the n-word with an -a, not with an -er — they were quoting hip-hop lyrics.”

As one can tell from the screenshot of his slack channel, it proudly contains channels like ‘Trump’, ‘Shitposting’ and ‘Blackcock’.

“I know they don’t mean it in a racist way,” he continued. “It wasn’t like I had to police racism out of my Slack.”

This is amusing because just this week, Milo posted what can only be described as a dog whistle to the white supremacy/MRA laden ‘alt-right’ movement.  Which to be honest, is way more fucking terrible than the first story. And also, tells you everything you know about the relationship between GamerGate and this cancer-ridden part of the Internet.

 

Nintendo Fires GamerGate Target for Bullshit Reasons

In the realm of corporate cowardice, very little compares to the utter cowardice that is firing a female employee because she is the target of an orchestrated hate campaign from reactionary assholes.  But that is exactly what Nintendo America has done.  The always excellent Jesse Singal gives the rundown.

For those seeking more background, check out this Kotaku article.

Operation #BarelyADribble

Last year, I wrote about Fire Emblem’s poorly conceived romance option which involved drugging your lesbian companion so she would have sex with you — but only if you were male.  This was perceived by many observers as (a) creepy as fuck and (b) reminiscent of a barbaric American practice known as Gay Conversion Therapy, presenting the idea that homosexuality as a character flaw that can be fixed.  Ian Miles Cheong tried to handwave it away as normal for Japan, describing one of the most sexually repressive countries on earth as ‘sex-positive’.

Anyway, there was enough of a stink about it that Nintendo decided to change this quest when they localized the game for America.  This is, of course, completely a common process when localizing games, as Nintendo pointed out.

“Making changes is not unusual when we localize games, and we have indeed made changes in these games. When we localize a game we do so in order to make it appropriate for that particular territory. All our choices were made from that point of view.”

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Donald Trump Wins Endorsement from Bus Aficionado and Inethical Journalist

It’s so amusing when my two favorite train wrecks – GamerGate and the Republican Primary – manage to find a way to collide.  This week, Donald Trump earned a key endorsement.  Not, Sarah Palin –although that one is comedy gold.  This one:

That’s right, Mark Kern – a former game developer turned GamerGate zealot with a history of  noxious idiotic activity came out in support Donald Trump.  Because, you guessed it – Political Correctness!

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On the Matter of the Blue Checkmark

If you don’t know who Milo Yiannopoulos is, you should consider yourself lucky.  I admit, I was initially fooled by his cool, cultured accent when he interviewed me for his Podcast in the early days of the debacle that would be GamerGate.  In truth, he is the Liberace of Manufactured Outrage, a bullshit merchant of the highest order.  He is also, ironically, a professional victim, adept at getting himself in trouble by being a total asshole, and then hamming it up to get clicks.

Ironically, given that he’s an e-celeb for GamerGate, he’s also a deeply inethical journalist working for Breitbart, a magazine so unethical it makes the National Enquirer look like the Wall Street Journal.

He’s also a key reason why the game industry cancer known as #GamerGate ceased to meaningfully be about game journalism or, typically, even about games at all.  Not that it was much early on, but he’s a huge part of why it veered into sheer right-wing thin-skinned outrage politics. After spending years mocking gamers as weirdos in yellowing underpants, he became a convert when he realized that GamerGate was, in fact, populated significantly by exactly the sort of toxic idiots that buy into his broken philosophy.

That philosophy is just a war on ‘political correctness’.  Of course, in an attempt to rub his stink on it, he and a couple of his colleagues tried to reclaim the tired old premise of ‘political correctness’ and rename the cause ‘cultural libertarianism’, probably because they realized that a whole bunch of kids get high, read Ayn Rand in college and think they’re libertarian before they realize that, at its core, what passes for libertarianism this day is the simple promise to try to remain an asshole as frequently as possible at all time.

He said so much in an article just before the break, where he proudly boasts about being an asshole – you know, for FREEDOM.  One thing he boasts about is getting suspended by Twitter, which required breaking the terms of service – most likely for targeted and directed harassment, but given his behavior, there is so many good reasons it could have occurred.

Despite Milo’s boasting about how awesome this is, this quickly turned sour. Twitter has a checkmark that they grant to people who are recognized celebrities – probably because they grew tired of assholes fucking with other people by pretending to be Anne Hathaway. Well, Milo had one. I say ‘had’ because Twitter apparently has a policy of removing this blue tick from anyone who breaks their terms of service, probably in an attempt to dissuade so-called celebrities from abusing their status by encouraging their followers to harass other users of twitter. Which I stress, is definitely the case here.

Anyway, Twitter took his checkmark away. I have some exclusive footage of his response.

Seriously, he’s been having a tantrum about this for a week now.

Now, I don’t know that I agree with those who say that just taking a checkmark away is going to solve anything.  It’s much more likely that this is merely a warning shot, and a first step towards a banning if he keeps doing what he’s doing.  His issue is that while he has declared that he is going to do everything in his power to be an asshole (and again, BOASTING about getting kicked off of Twitter for his efforts), then that’s going to run against the philosophy of Twitter, who has realized that their platform sucks at dealing with harassment, and that people as high as the CEO is convinced this needs to change.  It doesn’t help that Milo has a habit of taunting the people his followers decide to torment.  A couple of people have provided more insight on this tantrum, but why bother.  It’s just a tantrum.  That doesn’t stop his colleagues at Breitbart from hysterically trying to link this tempest in a teacup to a drop in Twitter’s stock price.

The funny thing is the people who still cry censorship.  It’s almost as if these self-styled libertarians don’t realize that Twitter is both a private business as well as a private publishing platform.  They have no reason to allow an abusive megalomaniac abuse their other users, nor do they have to feel compelled to give them a microphone.  Milo has made it clear that his goal is to weaponize Twitter to encourage his followers to harass, badger and terrorize people who don’t share his worldview.  Unsurprisingly, Twitter is signaling that that’s not how they want their platform to be used and perceived.

A Follow Up, and a Note About Anonymity

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.

SXSWhoops

SXSW isn’t supposed to be a tech conference, dammit.  From its inception, it was always meant to be a music festival, dammit, and it’s a good one.  But in recent years, it’s expanded its coverage to include movies and technology.  Being the biggest con in town, SXSW frequently gets a ton of local coverage, but usually not an above-the-fold front-page story in the Austin American Statemen describing how the conference shit the bed (electronic version).

On Wednesday night, SXSW became the latest large tech organization to not fully understand the GamerGate controversy, and therefore fundamentally screw it up.  This has been an all-too-frequent occurrence, with Intel’s $300M mea culpa being, of course, the most noteworthy example.   SXSW’s clusterfuck began  on Wednesday night, attempting to play Solomon with two GamerGate-adjacent panels on their docket, cancelling both due to security concerns.

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The Sarkeesian Effect is Out!

You remember Skullboy and the Bathtub Philosopher, right?  If you don’t, then this video might offer a useful refresher.  “If Ayn Rand Shrugs any harder, he’ll fall off his dad’s fucking couch.”

Yes, the white supremacist MRA douchebags who hate Anita so much that they decided to invite Jack Thompson to talk about how Anita is evil and wants to take all your video games away.  You might remember me ranting about this tactic before.

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