Incredibly conveniently, Gawker decides to demonstrate just who the villains of the #GamerGate saga are by writing software to interfere with Coca Cola’s latest publicity campaign by causing it to spew out Nazi propaganda. The Witchfinder calls for a boycott of any business owned or operated by Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton until Gawker Editor Max Read is fired. Also undesirable is generally objectionable Gawker Writer Sam F Biddle who has recently apologised for joking about bullying.
Ethics in Journalism. A weighty phrase, oft-debated with varying degrees of cynicism. The members of #GamerGate say they back it. Some people think it is ethical to go through a politician’s trash. Some do not. Some people think it is ethical to hack phones. Some do not.
Your Inquisitor is going to go out on a limb and suggest that subverting a campaign by a soft drinks manufacturer to #MakeItHappy by writing a bot to cause it to spew out the text of Adolf Hitler’s infamous book ‘Mein Kampf’ is one of those things where most people ‘do not’. Yes Gawker did that – then they wrote an article about how funny it was.
Gawker.com has a history. For example in 2014 Gawker writer Sam Biddle was shamed for saying “Nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission.” After some advertisers pulled their advertising Biddle apologised for his ‘joke’.
In late 2014 Nick Denton reorganised the company to share managerial responsibility. However his is still ultimately the leadership. Denton sets the tone and the parent company website still lists him as CEO. It is unlikely, given the media coverage, that Denton is unaware of the ‘Mein Kampf’ story but even if he is, as the top man he bears moral responsibility.
Gawker also has an unfortunate history of ignoring the female voices who support the popular internet online campaign, ‘#GamerGate’. In a recent article, The Psychopaths of GamerGate Are All That’s Left . Aside from the use of a stigmatizing mental health term (see comments on ‘Psychopath’ from Psychiatric Bulletin), it seems remarkably disrespectful to the ladies below. The Witchfinder complained to Gawker.com about the language used in that article. Editor Max Read refused to change it and no response was received from the email to Nick Denton.
#GamerGate exists to criticise perceived corruption and unethical practices in games journalism and the messianic approach taken by members of the left wing media to supposed online ‘feminists’ in the gaming industry like Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency.
Various leftist outfits like the Guardian have claimed that #GamerGate is made up wholly or principally of misogynist white males. The total silence on the large contingent of women eventually led a number of enraged female developers and gamers to product a ‘wall of women’ and start a campaign called #NotYourShield .
Each of the women in the picture has written the #GamerGate and / or #NotYourShield slogan on a piece of paper to hold it up to prove they are not an eeevil cis-male white heterosexual conspirator. There are a number of neat videos too –
The left has always had an incredibly patronising attitude to women, ethnic minorities and LGBT people. They all ‘must’, ‘of course’ support the lefties against the eeeevil forces of Conservatism. As long as they go along quietly and do as they are told. It strikes the Witchfinder as being as incredibly racist – like saying “all them n*****s look alike”. Indeed worse – an implicit assumption that all women, gays and non-caucasians must think alike.
Do all white males think alike? Vote alike? Why should women? Gays? People of non-white heritage? “every woman I know in the industry is scared”, wurbles ‘feminist’ ‘game’ ‘developer’ Brianna Wu in the Guardian. Like most left wing newspapers the Guardian has emphasised the terror spread by the eeeevil misogynists in the #Gamergate movement who are said to hound and harass ‘feminists’ at every turn.
In reality, many have legitimate questions. A queer woman, for example, might question whether Brianna’s game is really all that feminist, insofar as it features a number of extremely well endowed women in spandex in a long, giant, er … purplish spaceship. A woman who is against rape and abuse might well be reluctant to vote Labour in the wake of the Rotherham scandal. For those of you outside the UK, Rotherham is a town in the UK where the Labour city council covered up the paedophile rapes of 1400 underage girls.
At the same time as the eeeeevil (yes I am adding another ‘e’ every time) misogynists of #Gamergate are eeeeeevil it is apparently OK for Gawker to joke about bullying, use stigmatising language like ‘Psychopath’ and automate the publication of passages from Mein Kampf.
The Mein Kampf incident was no accident, no stupid, one off comment. Coca Cola wrote a cool little applet that turned words into shapes. Whatever text was pumped in would be mixed up and returned as an ASCII art dog, or flower or whatever. The campaign was called #MakeItHappy.
Gawker actually had discussions about this and then wrote their own bespoke software to mess with Coca Cola. To quote their article – “Gawker Editorial Labs director Adam Pash built us a bot to tweet the book line-by-line, and then tweet at Coke to #SignalBoost Hitler and #MakeItHappy”. The definition of malware includes “software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system”. Clearly Gawker’s script cause Cola’s #MakeItHappy system to perform unwanted (from Cola’s perspective) actions.
The Witchfinder often envisions Gawker editorial meetings as being a bit like an episode of Beavis and Butthead. A fictional skit to share his visions –
Max Read: Hur hur hur Coca Cola make funny shapes hur hur hur. Adam wanna wreck it?
Adam Read: Heheheheh Gonna write a bot script hehehehehehe
(Frenzied masturbation ensues)
Clearly the ‘Nazi’ incident is unacceptable and unethical journalism. Clearly Coca Cola have done nothing wrong at all. If a vandal spray paints ‘cunt’ on the side of a bus shelter that does not make the bus company misogynist, nor for that matter, the spray paint company. Gawker just spoilt a neat idea.
What next for Gawker? “Holocaust for the Lulz” t-shirts? A ‘super comedy’ underage porno photo-shoot? It strikes your Inquisitor that if ever anyone wanted to destroy their own business writing malware to spew out Mein Kampf might just do it.
What next for Gawker’s opponents in #GamerGate and #NotYourShield ? Well this is a golden opportunity to make Nick Denton and Gawker socially unacceptable. It is not enough to just cause a few advertisers to drop out. In 2014 the Daily Mail reported how actor Gary Oldman was ostracized for a few words in an interview. Denton’s Gawker does far worse and does it again and again. Let us make him a pariah in the New York socialite circuit.
Let us not just merely go to advertisers but get politicians to condemn him. It is no longer a #GamerGate issue but a wider issue about the accountability of the media just like phone hacking. Any sensible politician on the left or the right will back us on this.
The Witchfinder has selected some politicians and pre-written some tweets, along with preparing a Twitter graphic, which has been pre-uploaded. Just copying the text will make the relevant graphic(s) appear in your tweet.
The Chairman of the Conservative Party –
.@grantshapps Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for making a joke of Nazi text ‘Mein Kampf’ pic.twitter.com/Vw26a9mQfT #GamerGate
.@grantshapps Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for ignoring the Wall of Women Gamers pic.twitter.com/3a2A10ayzg #NotYourShield
Kindly, Decent Liberal MP John Hemming –
.@johnhemmingmp Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for making a joke of Nazi text ‘Mein Kampf’ pic.twitter.com/Vw26a9mQfT #GamerGate
.@johnhemmingmp Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for ignoring the Wall of Women Gamers pic.twitter.com/3a2A10ayzg #NotYourShield
‘Feminist’ Harriet Harman MP –
.@HarrietHarman Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for making a joke of Nazi text ‘Mein Kampf’ pic.twitter.com/Vw26a9mQfT #GamerGate
.@HarrietHarman Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for ignoring the Wall of Women Gamers pic.twitter.com/3a2A10ayzg #NotYourShield
Sun Journalist Louise Mensch –
.@louisemensch Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for making a joke of Nazi text ‘Mein Kampf’ pic.twitter.com/Vw26a9mQfT #GamerGate
.@louisemensch Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for ignoring the Wall of Women Gamers pic.twitter.com/3a2A10ayzg #NotYourShield
Barack Obama, presumably against Nazism –
.@barackobama Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for making a joke of Nazi text ‘Mein Kampf’ pic.twitter.com/Vw26a9mQfT #GamerGate
.@barackobama Please condemn @nicknotned of Gawker for ignoring the Wall of Women Gamers pic.twitter.com/3a2A10ayzg #NotYourShield
Pretty sure if companies like Adobe and Intel are against bullying they are also against the holocaust, white supremacy and jokes thereof too. The Witchfinder is looking to run an enhanced campaign against Gawker by petitioning Parliament in the UK and Congress in the United States and naming any remaining advertisers. The Witchfinder needs some support from members of #GamerGate and #NotYourShield – please contact the Witchfinder @MHWitchfinder or via the email on the About page to talk about coordination.