Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Fallout of the Block Bot Post

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.


Mark Kern has, after some prodding by the internet at large in the wake of my article yesterday, finally gotten his own blog, and his very first post is a response to my blog post.

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.

Sure, Mark!

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.



  1. You know, all this sea-lioning and quibbling reminded me of the offline tactic called “Paper Terrorism”:


    These were tactics used by right-wing extremists to non-violently harass their opponents into acquiescence. This would include flooding courts with reams of bogus lawsuits to shut down functioning local government, or issuing hundreds of bad checks to clog up the financial system.

    The GG tactics really seem like the online equivalent (which further paints them as a reactionary movement).

    • The word “terrorism” has officially lost all meaning if it be applied to something that even the person using the term calls “non-violent.”

      • Terrorism isn’t defined solely by violence.

        It’s defined by using fear to achieve one’s goals.

        Violence is just an effective method of creating that fear.

        Terrorism really HAS lost it’s meaning if it’s just used as a synonym for violence.

        • The first result on Dictionary.com:

          Terrorism: the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.


          The Myriam-Webster dictionary:

          the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal

          The FBI’s definition of terrorism on its official website:

          18 U.S.C. § 2331 defines “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism” for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled “Terrorism”:

          “International terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

          * Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
          * Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
          * Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*

          “Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

          * Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
          * Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
          * Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

          18 U.S.C. § 2332b defines the term “federal crime of terrorism” as an offense that:

          * Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and
          * Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including § 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and § 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.).

          * FISA defines “international terrorism” in a nearly identical way, replacing “primarily” outside the U.S. with “totally” outside the U.S. 50 U.S.C. § 1801(c).


          I believe the actual word for “using fear to achieve one’s goals” is “intimidation.”

          • The works you just cited state in several places that “intimidation” is terrorism.

          • They all said that terrorism is a type of intimidation, specifically one that involves using violence to intimidate people for political ends. I have yet to see any definition which does not include violence as a necessary part.

            Which is at it should be. Using a word that conjours up images of blowing up buildings to refer to filing a bunch of lawsuits to clog up a county court system is the worst kind of language abuse.

            By the proposed definition of “using fear to advance your goals,” even nonviolent leaders like MLK or Ghandi could be considered terrorists because, for instance, Ghandi organized mass labor strikes to make a bunch of British businessmen afraid that they would lose their livelihoods.

          • That should be “Gandhi,” not “Ghandi.”

  2. Guesty McGuestington

    March 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I notice that Kern’s blog doesn’t have a space for readers to comment.

    Which is kind of emblematic of his whole problem.

    He can’t have a comments section, firstly, because then rational, thoughtful people might call him out on the rampant abusive idiocy, and he would look like a fool (much as he simplistically hand-waves away the majority of your criticisms here). But secondly, he would have to allow his true believers to post their support of his views – which would immediately expose the rancid bigoted underbelly he has proudly signed on to.

    Either way he’s screwed. But rather than let that vile truth stand, he blocks it out, letting no one speak their mind.

    Hmmm… is that ‘irony’, or just pure fucking idiocy?

  3. “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.”

    Phhhhht ahahaha! Good one! 😀

  4. At this rate we might forget all about Mark Kern’s history in the vidja gaemz bizness.

    It really ought not be relevant, except to say, this is an example of a monstrous ego who doesn’t know how to modulate his response to anything.


    • This is interesting, especially when you consider the other “big name” dev that came down on the side of GG: Wardell from Stardock.

      What do Kern and Wardell have in common? They are actually both “out of touch” or “marginal” to the current mainstream of the games industry.

      Wardell because he essentially runs a Windows software house now, where gaming is a sideline. And Kern, as the articles about Firefall posted around show, almost seems like Brian Wilson, wallowing in bed, completely detached from current reality.

      This leads to behavior like Wardell comforting a vile cartoonist, and Kern rendering his colleagues incapable of using one of the internet’s premiere social networks.

      Stories of such bizarre monomania are legion in mature creative spheres like music or film. So it would be a sign that gaming has arrived, that it is happening here. Hurray for games.

      • Both have engaged in some pretty lousy personal behavior, which was covered and reported by….video game journalists.

        So they both have an ax to grind. Also in Wardell’s case at least he has some deeply right-wing politics, confluent with the gators.

    • That article is basically IMHO a hitpiece. Many unfamiliar with the grueling process of software development (and by extension game development that is more grueling even) will read the article and conclude that Kern is some sort of megalomaniac. But the reality is that the brain and the personality under crunchtime conditions reacts very differently. Directed attention fatigue makes people more irritable, less amenable. Things that start as little differences escalate to irreconciliable rifts. No wonder Kern tried to be in the side of the controversy that calls for a better code of ethics in journalism. Cultural crusaders are trying to erase Kern’s previous history as a respectable figure in game development just because of the failure of FireFall and because he is pro-GG.

      That a large portion of GamerGate is still steered by people like RogueStar, with the consequent… ahem… let’s say “RogueStar brand of ethics” is another issue. But the critics of GamerGate are demonstrating not to be better, by example, by their crucifixion of Brianna Wu when she met Brad Wardell.

      • John Henderson

        March 20, 2015 at 4:30 am

        That article came out wayyyy before GG ever reared its head. It came out just before Kern was forced out as CEO of his own company. The9 is still struggling after losing the China license for WoW and Firefall *technically* launched but not at the level of hype thought appropriate four years ago.

      • Brianna Wu wasn’t crucified for meeting Brad Wardell. She was *criticized* for calling someone who’s contributed to the worst of GG’s target-finding an “ally.”

      • Except according to all accounts he specifically *wasn’t* deeply involved in the development. He spent a lot of time arguing with fans on the company’s forums, chasing expensive and half-baked marketing schemes, and sometimes just flat-out missing from the office.

  5. Do my eyes deceive me, or does Mark Kern’s blog not allow comments? Have we crossed some sort of irony event horizon with that?

  6. So, when I was researching the blockbot earlier today, the first thing I read was:

    “(Note for those coming here when blocked, nowhere does the bot say you are anything, abusive, an MRA, whatever. Look at the tweet that added you and ask the blocker that blocked you. The levels are from annoying to abusive bigot, but that is merely a guide. The blocker adding the person makes the call, see why you were added. If you don’t agree and you want off contact a blocker or post on the thread at the atheismplus.com forum”

    Which maps with other things I read about it: Being on the block bot list means that you’re “annoying”, a term which I believe can be applied to literally everyone on the planet. And that’s literally literally, not figuratively literally. (Logical proof: If there’s someone who has never annoyed anyone, isn’t that annoying? QED #ThisIsAJoke) You may also be a bigot; I personally find bigots quite annoying, so I can understand why the people over at atheismplus might also do so.

    So, in answer to Mark’s question over “Why is it necessary for these blockbots to label its lists as lists of horrible people who are bigots, harassers, or otherwise “bad people?”” is that it’s not, because for example the blockbot and GGautoblocker don’t do it. I think there’s a third blocklist that’s being talked about, but my bet will be that it doesn’t do it either.

    He also slips between talking about the blockbot and the GGautoblocker in a way that seems to indicate he doesn’t know that they work differently — one is a curated list assembled by volunteers, the other is automatic based on who follows who on twitter, with a whitelist ability to be removed. Neither is perfect.

    My answer to a slightly different question: ‘Why is it necessary for people to label the blockbot lists as lists of horrible people who are bigots, harassers, or otherwise”bad people?”‘ is that when you do that, you get to be outraged about being on it, or having friends who are on it. That’s why people like Mark Kern label it as being a horrible indictment of character, while more reasonable people laugh about how the interaction of two bots results in KFC being blocked; it’s meaningless and funny. GGAutoblocker is not at all meant to block people who harass; it’s meant to block DDOT attacks. (Distributed Denial of Twitter). Blockbot is meant to block people who are annoying to particular people; granted, some of these annoying people are also bigots. I would never use blockbot because I don’t want anyone curating which people I can see or not; I would, however, turn on the autoblocker in a second if GG made me their next outrage victim, as they did #GDC at Mark Kern’s urging.

    So, Mark Kern — if BlockBot edited their tag from “HELPING YOU IGNORE PEOPLE FROM ANNOYANCE TO BIGOT ON TWITTER” to “HELPING YOU IGNORE ANNOYING PEOPLE ON TWITTER”, would you be pleased and celebrate its existence? That seems to be your main beef with it, and it IS admittedly odd that they set an upper limit on it. “Sorry, can’t ignore him. We only do up to bigots, and he’s just a tad worse.”

  7. It’s really funny to see how people react to blocking bots on Twitter the same way spammers reacted to DNS blocklists: Lots of shouting about slander and libel, lots of threats with lawsuits, but in the end it was all sound and fury.

    In the end, the DNS blocklists won. Simply because the kind of people that shouted the loudest about being ‘slandered’, were exactly the kind of people no-one wanted to have any truck with: spammers and their enablers. If Mark were smart, he’d take his lessons from that.

  8. UriahOlathaire

    March 20, 2015 at 8:45 am

    “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,”

    Another good post thanks Damion.

    Actually, this is a good point, and I hope i can enlighten people.

    Yesterday I demonstrated that the people who used blockbot were engaged in a flame war with TERFs, and due to this, one of the premier LGBT campaigners in Europe, Peter Tatchell, along side numerous respected academics and activists received a deluge of abuse and threats on Twitter, Peter receiving 5000 abusive tweets and death threats in 72 hours.


    Just as the ladies and gentlemen here do not associate themselves with this crowd of angry young things, with their brightly coloured hair and endless shouts misogynist/transphobia/racist/etc against Peter Tatchell even though they stand alongside the same people who are vocal against GG (for simplicities sake, lets use the transpositive crowd from Tumblr as an example) but are also involved in wholesale abuse on twitter on a massive scale.

    This also means that the various factions of gamergate/notyourshield feel any need to take collective responsibility for the actions of trolls on 8chan and elsewhere. There is a huge disconnect between the women and minorities of NotYourShield and some of the idiot factions, the MRAs, or RalphRetorts mob, or the ubertrolls on 8chan and Baph.

    I can see distinct splits between the various factions opposing gamergate, the older gamers, the developers, those involved in activism in the 70s and 80s, the millennials and their identity politics and personal attacks and each one needs requires a different argument, or indeed a different agreement.

    If you have a problem, you need a solution, if you need a solution you have to identify the problem. I don’t think this has happened yet. Each faction within GG/NYS needs a different approach.

    In by enraging in a policy of collective responsibility and collective punishment, you will never stop nor change the minds of those who do not believe in these concept of collective punishment, responsibility or guilt.

    • UriahOlathaire

      March 20, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Oh it has to be added, the people centered around the NotYourShield hashtag are clearly left wing, although libertarian left as opposed to authoritarian left favoured by the devotees of identity politics.

      Again, you wont be persuaded anyone if you are shouting “right wing terrorist!” over and over. Hyperbole aside, NYS don’t even know you are talking to them.

      • Err no, of the few hundred actual people in Nacho Shield, for the most part their politics fall definitively on the flaming right-winger side of the spectrum.

        If you compare them to the population at-large they are very disproportionately conservative, If you compare them to their respective minority groups in the US they’re mostly on the very far, far fringe of right-leaning opinion.

        • UriahOlathaire

          March 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

          No, I’ve spent 6 months engaging with and talking with them. There is a mix across the political spectrum, but definitely left leaning.

          The issue is modern online identity politics. Not a dev with blue hair, not a critique of female roles in gaming, not ethics in journalism (lol definetly not that) but a toxic, hate filled culture of people engaged in identity politics.

          Most of the anger and momentum comes from the actions of these people, the sockpuppet, right wing and *especially* the house nigger/uncle tom accusations. As these continue, so does NotYourShield.

          I became interested NotYourShield because it echoed issues outside of gaming. i.e as a Muslim I am responsible for ISIS. As NotYourShield I am responsible for Baph. Therein lies the problem.

          • This is probably why so few people take is seriously. I’m sure it does have minorities and left leaning individuals, but they only seem to come out of the woodwork sporadically as a cudgel for gamergate to attack/shame people with.

          • I’ve also been monitoring them for months now and you’re definitely very incorrect. Literally from its inception that hashtag has been disproportionately populated by people with right-wing political beliefs compared to the general population in the US. And compared to their respective minority groups most of them are on the very fringe of right-wing opinion for that group.

            It’s true that Nachos like to *claim* to be left-wing when its convenient, as do all gators, because, well, you guys are inveterate liars who will say anything.

            The tiny fring of gators who are Nachos also aren’t really “continuing” in any meaningful sense, unless you count the two days in the last month when they were flooding the GDC hashtags with various slanderous fabricated claims. Other than that it’s basically dead.

          • “Nacho” has to be the silliest pejorative I’ve seen in a long time.

            Now I don’t usually get into left wing/right wing debates because they tend to degenerate into pointless semantic arguments, but here you seem to be making an objective empirical claim. You say, “Literally from its inception that hashtag has been disproportionately populated by people with right-wing political beliefs compared to the general population in the US.” So you’re not just saying that they’re right-wing by some definition, but they’re further to the right than the average American.

            What’s your evidence of that? Because a GG political survey (http://gamepolitics.com/2014/12/29/editorial-gamergate-political-attitudes-part-1-movement-right-wing) found that 89% of respondents support gay marriage, compared to about 60% of americans as a whole (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/03/09/support-for-gay-marriage-hits-all-time-high-wsjnbc-news-poll/), 74% support Edward Snowden, compared to 55% of Americans in general (http://www.newsweek.com/most-americans-think-snowden-did-right-thing-poll-says-253163), and 70% believe climate change is man-made compared to 54% of Americans in general (http://www.latinpost.com/articles/18036/20140727/international-poll-54-percent-americans-think-climate-change-man-made.htm).

            I can’t really directly compare the abortion opinions because abortion opion polls tend to get wildly different results depending on how the questions are worded, but somewhere around 80% of respondents “strongly agreeing” that abortion should be legal is definitely more support than you would get from any poll of Americans in general.

            Obviously, a few caveats apply: this is a GG survey, not a NYS survey specifically, this was an online poll with all of the potential problems such a thing has, and many GGers are not American. But if you have any better evidence than this, I’d like to see it.

            If you want to argue that GGers and NYSers are more right wing that the average person in the urban young people demographic that they are overwhelmingly a part of, you might be able to make a better case, but as it stands the idea that they are more right wing than the average American is laughable.

    • “you will never stop nor change the minds of those ”

      Stop right there. Who is “you” in that sentence?

      Why is that “you” obligated to ‘change the minds’ of hundreds of people who are being nasty to them?

      Most of them won’t change their mind no matter what you say to them. For the ones that potentially will change their minds as a result of some particular combination of words that you direct at them, it will require an intense amount of energy and time to get that result. During which time you get to enjoy their numerous brethren calling you nasty things.

      Block-listing is a better alternative.

      • UriahOlathaire

        March 20, 2015 at 9:30 am

        I support blocklisting.

        Mobbing is an awful tactic when employed by any side.

        • False equivalence is a frequent logical error.

          True to their authoritarian political leanings, the gators have 7 months of coordinating organized ‘ops’ that included an en masse tumblr invasion, coordinated ‘digging’ campaigns into the pasts of the individuals on their ever-growing Enemies List, coordinated spamming and shit-posting of hashtags, coordinated mass emailing campaigns, coordinated spamming of comments sections, organized dog-piling of individual twitter accounts, several confirmed swattings designed to silence dissent, etc. etc. etc.

          Their critics simply do not have a history that even comes close to this. Note that one side almost immediately felt it necessary to create a filter to block harassment, whereas the gators just don’t need one.

          • I understand and respect your argument, but i deny that in this flame war, there are monsters on only one side.

            Identity politics has caused numerous flame wars over the years, obscurities such as wiscon and the NY BDSM scene, atheism+, gamergate, shirtgate, TERFs, no platforming, even the uproar over Clarkson has its roots in identity politics. Where ever they rear their ugly head, the adherents and opponents engage in a pretty vicious flame war. It is easy to document and evidence abuse, threats, flames, doxxing and the like employed by both sides.

          • Congratulations.

            If you have to cast a net so broad that you bring in the collective actions of millions of people spread out over a period of years reacting to a wide spectrum of different causes all over the world in order to (kind of) make it equal to the nastiness of just one coherent organized group consisting of a few thousand conservative authoritarians obsessed with just one issue in the US over a period of a few months, that’s just making my point for me.

            As I’ve already pointed out, out of all the brigading on Twitter that anyone of any political persuasion has experienced over the course of its existence, the only time Twitter felt the need to change their policies to deal with it and the only time people felt the need to make a mass-blocklist to stop it was to deal with the gators.

            That’s not a coincidence.

      • Block listing is your choice. Selling (figuratively) blocklist as list of harassers and rape apologists instead of “list of people who disagree with radical identity politics” is different thing. People are more likely to sign up to the block list of harassers and rape apologists, then to blocklist of people who dared to disagreed with Harper once.

        Which is why she wants to label list as “harassers” instead of “people who disagree with me”. Because the goal is to push those people opinions out of public space by convincing third parties that do not necessary share her views that they are harassers.

        You disagree with identity politics, you should remain silent. It is not that I will not listen to you, I will try to make you unemployable by lies and blocked by people who have no idea why they are really blocking you – because they think people on lists send death threats.

        There would be considerable less deal about blocklist if it would be called what it is from the get go. Of course, it would not had the potential to be adopted by third parties which seem to be more important goal.

        • John Henderson

          March 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          Can you actually tell who most of the people are in that list, if you bother to look them up? They’re just anon randos to me. Like you. I couldn’t deny you anything if I tried.

    • It’s also not really accurate to say that there’s a ‘huge disconnect’ between the different ‘factions’ of gnomes. Racists are typically MRAs and many of both groups hang out on 8chan and read Ralph. NYS was founded by guys from /pol/, one of whom was actually black.

      In general, the small fraction of gnomes who are minorities are well-aware that many of the people they are coordinating with are ardent racists and don’t mind so long as the Evil Feeemales are brought down.

      • UriahOlathaire

        March 20, 2015 at 9:53 am

        The last interaction i remember with RalphRetort was joining some NYS in criticising him for making the IGDA Kate Edwards article entirely transphobic rather than concentrating on financial details and leaving the irrelevant fact about gender out of it. This ended up damaging the argument.

        Ralph chose to use identity politics over evidence and a fiscal/legal based argument and failed utterly in his goal of attacking the IGDA.

        Ralphs point was further argued against by support of Derek Smarts (!!!!) reasoning behind the issue. Derek again chose to use facts and reasoning rather than just point and shout silly little names and insults.

        • I believe you when you tell me that the Nachos were worried that someone hadn’t fabricated the most-damaging attack they could come up with to go after a woman they wanted to silence.

    • Gah, should have read this first. You are repeating the lie about “5000 abusive messages” here too then! OK, briefly, there was one tweet that all the news stories link to … one… From someone who was not a “trans activist”, but an anonymous account, and rightly told off for their tweet that they hope to be tweeting about Peter T’s death soon. Although not a direct threat, it is pretty unpleasant. No idea who that person is.

      Peter T directly accused a block bot blocker @auntysarah ** of sending him some of this “abuse”. Easily checked for yourself… https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=from%3Aauntysarah%20to%3Apetertatchell&src=typd

      ** As I noted in the other post, @AuntySarah has stepped down as a block bot blocker because of the harassment she has got from GamerGate and some football loving transphobes. The police issued a harassment warning to one particular GamerGat’er, a permanent record that will appear in any enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check on him. So much for their claim that what they are doing is not harassment, the police took one look and took this step. If he contacts her again in any way he will be straight up before a magistrate and likely have a criminal record.

      • I’m sorry, I believe Peter Tatchell more than you. He stated 5000 abusive tweets and attacks, not me.

        Once you have 30 years of campaigning and activism behind you, once you have achieved real goals in changes in society, legislation and attitude through your work, and indeed, 30 years of being physically assaulted in the name of your cause, then I’ll believe you.

        Peter might not be perfect but the activists of the 70s and 80s have achieved something, the millennial slactivists achieve nothing other than damaging their cause through trivialisation of the issue and a policy of personal attacks, name calling and mobbing.

        • The claim that he got 5000 tweets within a few hours is provably false:


          In fact you haven’t said one single thing tonight that wasn’t provably false.

          I feel like I’ve wasted my time arguing with someone for whom facts just aren’t important so long as he can find a way to hurt people who don’t share his reactionary politics.

          • Date range? Yours starts a week after the events.


            “A colleague estimates that I received 4,000 to 5,000 mostly hostile comments from Saturday to Monday. They ran from 8am to midnight, continuous and relentless. At peak times, there were 30-40 comments a minute.

            Some were fine: critical but polite and fair. Many were hateful and abusive: homo, foreigner, misogynist, paedophile, nutter and so on. Others were threatening: “I would like to tweet about your murder you f*cking parasite.”

            Most tweets completely misrepresented what the letter said and my personal record of support for trans people for over four decades. It is one of the largest and most vituperative onslaughts in my 48 years of human rights activism.”

            OK, I should have added “mostly hostile” when quoting Peters statistics. I was inaccurate there.

            As a minority im used to be marginalised, demonised, disenfranchised and disempowered. Please carry on dismissing my evidence, which i note, “hurts” you. For that I apologise. I forget I’m entering your safe zone here.

          • @Dan, I gave them a link to a claim by Peter that was demonstrably false – that @auntysarah was abusive. Apparently his reputation can magically contradict reality … So there is little point in continuing to point out the lie!

            Although I will point out that this is a transphobic trope, violent and deranged “trans activists” attacking people on Twitter. So often gets reported that way by the clique in the UK who hate trans women. Who also call trans women on Twitter “violent men”… Very shocked to see Peter not be able to swallow his pride and realise the intention of the petition he signed was far from how it was sold to him. As he has been a good trans ally in the past and probably will be again, not that so many trans people will be supporting him now. Either way his claims of thousands of abusive tweets is clearly false as you demonstrated. Week out or not, not all of those tweets were “abusive”!

          • What is even more sad is that several trans people on the gators’ Enemies List actually do get around the volume of hostile tweets that Peter claimed to be getting, and they get it on a regular, ongoing, non-stop basis. And it’s all coming from people like Uriah here.

            So him invoking someone else’s experience with abuse as some kind of, uh, shield is really something else.

  9. “Supposedly, the Block Bot has cleaned up its front page to get rid of the nefarious description.” … One thing, that was done before this all blew up. We are in the middle of reworking things for a big announcement, but of course everything we do is all about the gate at the moment…

    One reason we are not “scrambling to hide the evidence”, as GG says, is that we were “sued” when I was on the BBC nearly two years ago, the descriptions were a lot more harsh then to say they least! It’s been changed a lot since… However the BBC’s lawyers got involved as there was talk of the BBC damaging peoples reputations by endorsing it. Something that is not at all arguable now as the storifies and blockbot page are only visible if you go looking for them – Google don’t index them even! We are bad at making a “blacklist”, the only people spreading the fact they are on @TheBlockBot are the people themselves, they are also high fiving each other and trying to get “promoted” to level1.

    At the time we got a definitive opinion from the BBCs lawyers that the people complaining had no grounds what-so-ever. Being put on a list cannot be defamatory, it is not a statement of fact but an opinion. Even if my opinion was that GG’er XYZ is an uncle f***ing d**h &^”*&”£ …. You get the gist …. It would not be libel or defamatory but my honestly held opinion. All of the blockers add people based on their honestly held opinion about what they have said on Twitter. Ironically their right to express that is part of their freedom of speech. These tweets are then saved in a Storify for transparency and reference. The Storifies are simply links to the statements made on Twitter, collecting them in a Storify doesn’t magically make the block bot “defamatory”, either the tweets linked to are defamatory or they are not. Given they are all still on Twitter, I’m guessing not.

    It’s weirdly ironic how thin skinned the GamerGate people are. I’m on Cathy Brennan’s hate sites for trans people and allies, she posts their dox alongside men who are rapists, paedophiles and murderers. I know for a fact that GamerGate people are spreading all sorts of libel about me … Big whoop, I consider all that an honour, especially Cathy’s homage to the block bot. I am not worthy to be there with all the real trans activists she attacks. Get over it GG, some people don’t like you and your “feelz” are not a matter for the law.

  10. UriahOlathaire

    March 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I think this is turning a bit heated, and unfair on someone elses blog comments, and much like the underlying issue, could go on forever.

    I thank Damion for allowing me to voice my opinion.

    Goodbye everyone. All the best.

    • Sure thing. I hope that our interaction will inspire you to be less dishonest with others in the future. As you grow up, you’re going to learn that people simply aren’t that gullible, and that willful misrepresentation and bad-faith arguments are just as rude as name-calling.

      Take care.

  11. Those 2 blogs spend a lot of words just to justify creating an echo chamber for themselves.

    Pfft. This industry is so fucking stupid sometimes I swear.

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