Update (10:53): Katherine Cross has also written excellently on the issue (as she is prone to do), and Scott Jennings points out that Mark’s insistence to right to reply does not extend to enabling the comments on his blog.
First off, thanks to @ZenofDesign for agreeing to post a link to my rebuttal to his article about me. This is only fair and I’m glad to see that he is sharing it with his readers.
One place where he is correct is that most of the activism he is pushing right now is not focused on Randi Harper’s Good Game Auto Blocker, which was formed in the wake of the events of GamerGate, nor on BlockTogether, the technology that most users of Randi’s bot use to facilitate her list. Instead the ire is focused on TheBlockBot, a community blocking mechanism that was born out of the Atheism+ communities. My original article had a lengthy description of TheBlockBot, but it somehow got cut out in my editing passes, and what was left was pointing out that the BlockBot is what is being attacked for Libel claims by GamerGate at this time.
That being said, he’s being a little disingenious. He has definitely contacted Randi to discuss such matters, as evidenced by my screenshot in that thread, and other gamergaters have in fact, and heavily so in recent days, attempted to threaten, sue, or silence Randi for her work on GGAutoblocker. Long-term GG observers may remember that this included many horrible threats and even people stalking her place of employment.
Mark also says that the Block Bot is housed in the UK, with the implication that it may therefore run afoul of UK libel laws. Oolon, the guy who runs the service, disagrees in a comment on yesterday’s thread.
Sorry Mark, I set @TheBlockBot’s servers up in AWS in the US, they’ve always been in AWS in the US. The UK Information Commissioner told me personally as well that I don’t need to register as a data controller, therefore the DPA does not apply!
For what its worth, the SPEECH act makes it pretty hard for US citizens to be held to the libel standards of other countries.
My simple question to the readers of @ZenOfDesign is this: Why is it necessary for these blockbots to label its lists as lists of horrible people who are bigots, harassers, or otherwise “bad people?”
My counter question is that, if this offends you so much, why are you hanging out with a crowd who tries to slutshame Zoe Quinn, who performs all sorts of slanderous comments on Anita Sarkeesian – including racist caricatures, and who literally seeds Encyclopedia Dramatica with hyperbolic or false bullshit, and then routinely uses this to create a narrative that the entire movement believes is ‘true’.
It’s happened with people on all types of political beliefs, including Ben Kuchera and Kentucy Fried Chicken.
For those keeping track, KFC was a Randi blockbot issue, not a TheBlockBot issue. And as mentioned previously, I was on the blockbot for quite some time. I didn’t remove myself from the list because (a) my Twitter account is pretty much all about gamergate all the time nowadays, and anyone using Randi’s block bot probably doesn’t want to hear about it at all and (b) anyone who googles me is going to know where I stand on the issues of the day.
Getting off both blockbots have clear, well-defined policies, although clearly people who ARE obviously abusive fuckheads but don’t believe themselves to be may have a little problem
At any rate, even email spam filters sometimes includes mails and senders, accidentally, who are not considered spam. This does not stop these services from advertising themselves as spam filters. Anyway, I see no place on theBlockBot’s website where such toxic language that Ben implies exists. Supposedly, the Block Bot has cleaned up its front page to get rid of the nefarious description.
I can only assume that this will put an end to Mark and GamerGate’s complaints, and we will no longer hear people complaining about harassment victims using these tools to protect themselves from the worst element of the hate fringe that Kern is fighting to defend.