First came Gamergate. Then came Comicsgate. Now there’s Animegate. What exactly is Animegate? It sprung up when sexual harassment allegations surfaced against voice actor Vic Mignogna. He’s known for his English voice-over work of Japanese anime shows that were dubbed for English-speaking viewers.
People who are pro-Animegate contend there’s no evidence Mignogna sexually harassed anyone. They created the #animegate and #istandwithvic hashtags.
I strongly disagree with Animegate. I think Vic Mignogna is a creep.
These photos are from Anime News Network and they feature Mignogna posing with a 14-year-old girl at a 2014 convention:
Funimation conducted an internal investigation concerning Mignogna’s behavior and announced they would no longer work with the voice actor. Rooster Teeth did the same. How could they not? All they had to do is look at the three above photos posted by Anime News Network. Why would any company want to work with Mignogna? Generally, reputable businesses don’t want to work with creeps like him.
Ordinarily, I try to see both sides to a controversy before making up my mind. Before I was against Comicsgate, I was for it. I thought comics were too expensive and the books were delving too much into identity politics. Eventually, I could not ignore the underlying base of hatred and bigotry the hashtag movement attracted and fostered. In retrospect, I wish I had noticed it sooner.
Animegate is one hundred percent wrong
I’m having a hard time seeing both sides when it comes to Animegate. This is about as cut and dry as you can get. People who are supporting Mignogna must not have looked at the photo evidence. That, or they don’t see a problem with a 51-year-old man putting his hands and lips on a 16-year-old girl.
In conclusion, I think anyone supporting Vic Mignogna needs to reassess their position. In this case, the sooner the better.
Former child actor and Internet social activist Wil Wheaton decided to leave Twitter. The reason? Because Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey refused to ban Info Wars host Alex Jones, someone Wheaton didn’t like.
I’ve got to admit, I enjoy the comedy stylings of Alex Jones, although not directly from the man himself. I like him best when his foolishness is pointed out by others and then ridiculed for it. I was sad to see Jones get kicked off YouTube because it made it harder for people to mock him.
If YouTube allows someone as repulsive as Boogie2988 to remain on their platform, it stands to reason they’ll allow anyone to remain. Or so I thought.
A day that will go down in Twitter infamy
Wil Wheaton left Twitter on August 17, 2018. Twitter could continue doing what it wanted to do, it just couldn’t do it with Wheaton still on board.
I didn’t know this, but there’s a fake version of Twitter called Mastodon. Instead of using a centralized server like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other similar services transfer information, it uses smaller decentralized networks and computers to do it. Much like you can send email to people who are not using the same email server as you, Mastodon messages can be read by other Mastodon members.
Wil Wheaton joined Mastodon to fill the massive void created by not having Twitter in his life anymore.
Mastodon has a large trans user base. Many of the trans users on Mastodon didn’t like Wheaton and have even claimed to feel unsafe by his mere presence on the service. The reason? Because back in the days of Gamergate, Wheaton endorsed GGAutoBlocker, the Twitter blocklist created by Randi Harper. She created a block list based not on the actions of people, but because of who people followed.
Randi Harper is a terrible human being
I was listed on the GGAutoBlocker. I harassed or attacked no one. How did I end up on the list? Because for a time I followed Milo Yiannopoulos, a one-time leader in the Gamergate community. I followed him not because I agreed with him (I didn’t), but because I was interested in the stupid things he said and did. For as long as I can remember, I’ve appreciated listening to the voices of people I didn’t agree with. I’ve found it helps me better define what I believe in and even more importantly, what I do not believe in.
As it turns out, not only was Randi Harper adding people to her blocklist she deemed to be pro-Gamergate (I was not), she was also adding known trans women because she personally didn’t like trans women. Or something. I don’t really know the specifics and I’m too lazy to go to Ask Jeeves and find out.
It all came to a head for Wil Wheaton when he blocked a trans woman for pulling a prank on him that involved the old “deez nuts” joke. This person then rallied other trans people and as a group demanded Mastodon remove Wheaton. Unlike Twitter’s response to Wil Wheaton’s demand to remove Alex Jones from the platform, Mastodon was more than happy to comply with the demand to remove Wheaton.
Wil Wheaton is no longer on the decentralized platform.
So there you have it. Wil Wheaton finds himself without Twitter and fake Twitter. It’s a sad tale. People like Wheaton rely on Twitter as a mechanism to share their virtue. I actually feel bad for him. What good is it to want to punch Nazis if you can’t broadcast that fact on social media? I guess he’ll just have to start actually punching people he decides are Nazis and let people find out about it from police reports and TMZ.
Fruzsina Eordogh is a freelance reporter. She wrote an article for Forbes about John “TotalBiscuit” Bain. In the article, she wrote things that were not true and factually not correct. For example, in the very first sentence, she wrote TotalBiscuit died from cancer “about a month ago.” He died on May 24, 2018. Forbes published the article on July 10, 2018. That works out to be 47 days. On what planet are 47 days “about” a month? It’s closer to two months than one month, but since when do facts matter?
The article goes downhill from there.
Fruzsina Eordogh falsely claimed TotalBiscuit was connected to harassment
Eordogh spends a lot of the article connecting TotalBiscuit to the GamerGate movement, which would be fine, except she repeats the same old canard that GamerGate was an organized harassment campaign against women.
The reason Gamergate will always and forever be characterized as a sexist movement and not a genuine ethics in video game journalism crusade, despite long-standing shadiness in video game related media and Bain’s efforts, is precisely because the ethics issue flew under the radar for many years … until it involved a woman. Who happened to be a feminist… being accused of sexual misconduct by an angry ex, no less. It was the actions of the mob, engaging in a sexist agenda, that made headlines, not that a developer slept with someone — that’s not news. The hashtag #Gamergate was coined by a conservative actor reacting to the previously mentioned slut-shaming video — changing its meaning to something after the fact is impossible. If the ethics issue had been raised in any other way, Bain wouldn’t have been crowned the king of an infamous harassment campaign and committer of all the crimes associated with it.
The developer didn’t sleep with someone. She slept with five people, including a video games journalist from Kotaku, a video game news website owned by Gawker.
The birth of GamerGate
GamerGate was born after leaked transcripts from a private game journalist email list showed journalists discussed what they would collectively report on. The transcripts showed they agreed not to report on the supposed sexual misconduct of the developer. In fact, they agreed they would do what the could to help the developer.
You might think game journalists wouldn’t report on claims of sexual misconduct. You would be wrong. On September 6, 2012, Kotaku published an article accusing Stardock CEO Brad Wardell of sexual misconduct towards a former employee. The accusation of sexual misconduct was false. Brad Wardell later wrote the following on his blog:
Within days of the article hitting, forum posts, follow-up articles and abuse started flooding the net. I received numerous death threats including one so specific (it was clear they had driven up close to our house) that we called the police. The death threats included rape threats against my wife and disgusting vile threats against my children.
For the past two years since, not a week goes by where someone doesn’t send me a hate message or ensure that one of our products or services being covered somewhere doesn’t get tarnished with the disgusting allegations that were made. Any time I speak on a given topic, this comes up.
In 2013, the case was dismissed with prejudice and the plaintiff had to issue a public apology. By any reasonable standard, this should have been the end of it. And yet, years later, I still am expected to somehow prove a negative.
Why would video game journalists report on one case of supposed sexual misconduct, but not another? Because they colluded together and agreed not to, that’s why.
GamerGate was never about harassment
GamerGate was about harassment as much as the Civil War was about state’s rights. Repeat it enough and people will begin to believe it.
Why has no one connected to GamerGate ever been charged with a crime connected to harassment? Why has no one connected to GamerGate ever been sued in civil court for harassment? The burden of proof in civil court is far less than criminal court. Ask O.J. Simpson about that.
If you insist on claiming GamerGate was an organized harassment campaign, you’ve got to admit it was weak and ineffective. If GamerGate was truly a harassment campaign against women, I would expect to see some arrests and criminal convictions. I would expect to see lawsuits filled in civil court.
None of that happened.
GamerGate was always about ethics in game journalism
I thought GamerGate was kind of silly. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe game journalists were unethical, I just didn’t see how they were any more unethical than other journalists.
Reporters report things they know are not true. They have inappropriate relationships with people they report on. Opinion pieces are disguised as news stories. Reporters lie and they commit plagiarism. Are they ever held accountable for these unethical acts? It depends on what you think being held accountable means. Reporters are rarely fired for their unethical acts. Most only receive suspensions.
Fruzsina Eordogh’s article in Forbes is very much an opinion piece pretending to be a news article. She reports her opinions as facts. She’s entitled to her own opinions, but not her own facts. If she wants to report that GamerGate was a sexist harassment campaign, she owes it to the reader to substantiate that claim with facts.
That’s not to say Fruzsina Eordogh’s article doesn’t serve a purpose. It’s a good example of unethical journalism. It serves as an example of what not to do. If you want to besmirch a dead man, it’s important to substantiate your allegations with verifiable facts. She didn’t do that.
I hope her book wins the Hugo Award. I admire Zoë Quinn greatly. She’s a personal hero of mine. She was able to take an embarrassing episode in her life, engaging in sexual infidelity while in a monogamous relationship, and craft something positive out of it.
Not only did she turn lemons into lemonade, she turned lemons into the most expensive, hipster lemonade a person could buy. We’re talking about the type of lemonade that goes for $12 a glass in a Brooklyn boutique served by a lemonologist with a handlebar mustache.
At the very least, she deserves a science fiction and fantasy award for that.
Self proclaimed “Godzilla of Feminists” Brianna Wu is being accused of fraud by an anonymous Patreon supporter. The basis of the accusation is connected to the stated purpose of the Patreon goal. Here is what Wu posted on Patreon:
Here’s where you come in: If you appreciate what I do, please chip in so I can hire some help with the Women in Tech advocacy I do. I need someone to help me with the medial parts of dealing with my attackers so I can focus on my work, making and shipping games. I imagine we’ll also have them work on women in tech advocacy.
Wu’s Patreon supporters collectively give $2,184.70 each month. This helps with paying for the full-time employment of a person named Natalie O’Brien.
This is what the anonymous Patreon supporter wrote on Medium:
In various publications, Brianna has mentioned a woman named Natalie O’Brien. She has claimed that Natalie O’Brien is a pregnant woman who she hired as an administrator. I now believe that Natalie O’Brien may not exist and that Brianna Wu has simply pocketed the money for herself.
In my humble opinion, complaining about possible fraud on Patreon is a lot like swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and then complaining about getting wet. Fraud is always a real possibility with Patreon because there are no mechanisms in place to make sure money is actually going to the stated purpose.
Fraud becomes even more of a possibility because it’s connected to Brianna Wu. This is not be the first time Wu has been accused of not telling the truth.
My advice to anyone wanting to give to a cause and they want to make sure the money is going to that cause, stay clear of Patreon. Look instead for organizations who’ve been vetted by the IRS as bona fide non-profits. These organizations must file reports with the IRS every year that show how much money they take in and how they use the money. These reports are made available to the public.
By all means give money to people on Patreon if it makes you feel good. Just don’t expect any kind of verification or proof. That’s not what Patreon does.
RavenCon, a science fiction and fantasy convention, is taking place this weekend in Richmond, Virginia. One of the guests is Brianna Wu, iPhone game developer and vocal critic of GamerGate, the leaderless consumer revolt against unethical behavior in the video games industry. Wu claims GamerGate is a hate group and that she has received over 80 death threats from members of GamerGate.
That’s what she claims.
Brianna Wu conducted a panel Friday night at RavenCon called GamerGate 101. Before the panel officially began, she ordered event organizers to remove a prominent GamerGate blogger, Ethan Ralph of The Ralph Retort, from the panel. The reason? Because she discovered that he had taken her photo and posted it to Twitter.
She ordered convention organizers to remove him from the GamerGate 101 panel audience and to also have him removed from the convention. The organizers removed him from the panel, but not the convention. One of the organizers then announced to the remaining guests that there would be no recording or pictures taken during the GamerGate 101 panel.
I’ve never heard of photos not being allowed during a panel at a convention. I have taken photos at convention panels many times. The opportunity to take photos has always been one of the reasons I like to go to comic book and science fiction conventions.
If this no-photo rule was in place for the GamerGate 101 panel, why wasn’t it announced ahead of time?
RavenCon has no rules against taking photos. In fact, they have a rule that states they may use photos and other media recordings taken at RavenCon:
The rule seems to imply that attendees are more than welcome to take photographs at RavenCon. If the GamerGate 101 panel was under different rules, rules different from everywhere else within the confines of RavenCon, than they owed it to everyone involved to make this rule known.
I can understand that Brianna Wu doesn’t like Ethan Ralph. I totally get that. He’s been very critical of her and her positions on his blog. One might argue that he has been as critical of her as she has been about GamerGate. That doesn’t mean she should have the right to have him removed from a panel. Having someone removed from a panel because you don’t like things they have said, seems inconsistent with free speech. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Brianna Wu doesn’t believe Ethan Ralph has the right to express his views and opinions on his blog.
Instead of kicking Ethan Ralph out of the panel, imagine how much more educational the GamerGate 101 panel would have been if Brianna Wu had invited him to take part. If the goal was to educate the audience on GamerGate, something the name of the panel certainly implied, what better way than to have one of the more prominent GamerGate bloggers, someone who even lives there in Richmond, share his views and opinions too?