This is going to be an upbeat post. The Witchfinder is pleased to note that people are listening to reasonable persuasion from GamerGate as well as other sensible, moderate voices. The battle against the unhinged, out-of-control left, the so-called ‘Social Justice Warriors’ can be hard. When there are setbacks or things seem to be going badly it is worth reminding ourselves of our successes.
No matter how much the left-wingers who infest the media try to talk it down, from their perspective the truth is grim. Moderate and Conservative voices in the gaming industry and more generally in society outnumber them vastly.
Before the internet, it was possible for the entryist left to conceal their small numbers and marginal views – the behemoths of the old media enabled a small group of people to frame the political narrative. The nature of online organisation and the growth of social media have changed all that. At its simplest, /r/KotakuInAction/ (KiA) has nearly 32,000 subscribers. The left wing mirror to KiA, /r/GamerGhazi/ (Ghazi) has a little over 6,000.
The enormous consumer power of Gamer Gate as a gently right-of-centre political movement cannot be denied and the technical and gaming media have quietly begun to acknowledge it. With the recent layoffs at Polygon we now know that at the very least loathesome @BenKuchera will be ‘taking a break’ (perhaps even a ‘forever’ break) whilst equally hateful @TwitGera is now confirmed ‘freelance’ (which is a nice way of saying unemployed).
These things did not happen by accident. The polite, reasoned emails sent into Polygon explaining the disagreements so many core gamers have with Mr Kuchera and his past, um … ‘outspoken’ comments, not to mention his comments on child protection could not help but be received and read. The controversy Mr Kuchera has courted may seem a great deal less clever now that any future employer can Google his views.
Ultimately, no matter how left wing they are, the publishers of Polygon need readers and they need those readers not to be running boycott campaigns against their advertisers. Recent changes reflect those realities.
It would be simplistic to say that GamerGate got Kim Crawley fired from InfoSec. The more nuanced reality recognised by commentators such as the Ralph Retort is she brought it on herself. The extreme politics favoured by those of the ‘Social Justice’ crowd are not the politics of her employers and certainly not the politics of InfoSec’s audience.
Whilst the complaints from GamerGate supporters were a factor the reality is that polite written complaints are how we are supposed to do dissent in a democratic society. The leftist term ‘Sea Lion’ attempts to stigmatise appropriate democratic conduct. InfoSec listened, Crawley lost.
Word is @kim_crawley is still looking for a new job, and rather than get on with it decided to distract herself by criticising her acquaintance Liana Kerzner on Reddit, thus creating further controversy and alienating a person (Liana) who had been kind to her in the past. Ever measured and kind @RedLianaK on the other hand, has been snapped up by the Escapist. Attitude is a very real things to employers and to society at large.
Speaking of Sea-Lions, Wikipedia leftist Mark Bernstein (@eastgate) has been blocked from Wikipedia (suspended) again for a month and lost his appeal. Wikipedia is a complex and highly bureaucratic organisation that is reluctant to take action against anyone. They rightly see themselves as focused on running an encyclopaedia not as fighters for the right or the left. Sometimes however, enough is enough.
The ArbCom case over GamerGate was not a victory for right-wingers but rather a legitimate victory for courtesy and civility. The ongoing slow but successful work bringing common sense back to the world’s most used reference material is being documented with typical hysteria by SJWs over at ‘Sea Lions of Wikipedia’. No matter their enthusiasm the blog fundamentally documents their slow losses as their key player Bernstein is subject to ever more severe sanctions.
Perhaps, before long it will be time to move towards greater balance and in particular, if the Guardian and other politicised sources are valid we can make the case, courteously and reasonably, for Breitbart to be included as a reliable source to help make Wikipedia more reflective of society.
No matter how much they have ridiculed and attacked GamerGate, Gawker and Nick Denton’s family of charmless websites have been unable to weaken the movement. Instead it is Gawker who are now engaging in a ‘exercise in self-definition’. That is where we come in.
A few months ago Gawker, in a particularly despicable piece of clickbait, decided to develop their very own in-house robot designed solely to spew out quotes from Mein Kampf onto the internet. In response I proposed ‘Operation Kindness’ which would write to politicians and try to persuade them to get involved in condemning this conduct.
Three politicians were asked to comment for an article. Interestingly, of those one has now responded. Grant Shapps, via his spokesperson emailed your Inquisitor as follows – “Grant thinks that obviously Nazism and anyone sympathising for it is simply unacceptable. Britain’s strength lies in our freedom, our steadfast commitment to tolerance, respect for the individual and parliamentary democracy. Grant is very proud that this Government has consistently ensured that intolerance is robustly challenged and extremist views and behaviour marginalised.”
Now, your author certainly does not think that Gawker per se are goose-stepping Nazi sympathisers but it is pleasing to see that cabinet rank ministers are starting to take on board concerns as it is doubtless unlikely to make Gawker’s advertisers any more comfortable.
The Witchfinder feels that Operation Kindness could achieve more. If we can encourage more politicians to condemn those whose writing stigmatises the vulnerable we can start to draw clear public lines for our society with the worst offenders of the social justice left on the other side.
I personally have not taken an active hand so far in managing Operation Kindness but it would be nice if we could clean it up and redouble our efforts. @GrantShapps can be reached on Twitter and perhaps he deserves some positive comment. It would also be good if someone could remove any vandalism from the project page such as the anonymous edits threatening scrutiny of his businesses.
Reaching Out to Twitter
If GamerGate can engage politicians and community leaders we can help to make the case to Twitter that it is a reasonable movement and it is our opponents whose conduct is unacceptable. For example your author had never interacted with Randi Harper (@FreeBSDGirl) until I received, out of the blue, a string of foul-mouthed self-aggrandising posts about a parody post.
There are those who feel that Randi has received special treatment from Head of Safety Del Harvey. In reality it is more likely that Twitter is acknowledging its problems with harassment and reaching out and trying to be reasonable to those who complain.
The solution to that problem is not to demonise Harvey but instead to set out clear evidence of, for example, Randi harassing opponents. Here is an archived example of Randi’s charm.
The Witchfinder intends to organise precisely that dialogue and would like to receive from followers, by the email on the ‘About’ page, evidence of unacceptable and discriminatory conduct by core opponents. This includes Harper and member of the Block Bot team. Evidence could include –
- Blocking someone then tweeting to or about them
- Any remark about disability, race or religion
These can then be formed into a dossier and dealt with in an appropriate and methodical way.
In the meantime, the Witchfinder asks all of us to remember that together, we can make a difference and we are.