Bloomberg Businessweek has a cover story about Anita Sarkeesian, written by Sheelah Kolhatkar. The article is strange; it correctly states that Sarkeesian is the gaming industry’s greatest adversary, but then it also incorrectly connects the GamerGate revolt to threats made against Sarkeesian and other people in and around the game industry.
Too bad Kolhatkar didn’t do research.
GamerGate is a leaderless consumer revolt against unethical video game journalism. You don’t join GamerGate. You aren’t admitted into GamerGate. You cannot be kicked out of GamerGate. Anyone who believes in and supports ethical gaming journalism can use the GamerGate hashtag. Contrary to what some journalists have reported, GamerGate is not a hate group. GamerGate does not support, condone, promote, or encourage threats to anyone. Even though anyone can use the GamerGate hashtag, not a single reported threat to Sarkeesian or to anyone else, has involved GamerGate, yet it’s constantly being connected to these threats, usually by the very game journalists accused of unethical behavior by proponents of GamerGate.
To prove just how unethical gaming journalism is, you only have to look at the recent case of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) promoting a Twitter blacklist that blocked 10,425 people accused of being the “worst offenders” on Twitter. People were labeled this way not because of anything they posted on Twitter, but because of who they followed on Twitter. If you followed two or more people listed on an eight-person master blacklist, you were blacklisted too. I followed four of the eight people on the master blacklist, so I was placed on the “worst offenders” blacklist.
I’ve never harassed anyone, not on Twitter, not anywhere.
Not one of the major gaming news websites wrote about this stupid, poorly created IGDA blacklist. Not Kotaku, not Polygon, not PC Gamer, not Ars Technica, not Gamasutra, not any of them, covered the fact that 10,425 people had been placed on an IGDA promoted blacklist, labeled as the “worst offenders” on Twitter, solely because of who they followed on Twitter. It’s almost as if these gaming news sites work together, secretly deciding what they will and will not cover.
These same gaming news sites have seemingly acted in collusion to portray GamerGate as a hate group, responsible for threats levied against people like Anita Sarkeesian. They repeat this unsubstantiated claim, this lie, over and over again. They repeat it enough so that people begin to accept it as fact, even though they should know better.
Sheelah Kolhatkar should have known better.