#Gamergate – Documenting SJW Harassment

CPp5wtQWIAAagGnWith the news that SXSW is now going to host a day-event to discuss online harassment, this having previously cancelled a harassment panel and one about the political/ethical climate of gaming. The cancellation having been due to what appears to have been third party trolls making threats related to both panels. Despite the SavePoint panel not really having anything to do with harassment, their inclusion and position as previous supporters of Gamergate demonstrates what the unwritten assumptions about the situation have been.

Leaving aside that the harassment panel has at least one out-and-proud harasser on it (continuing the trend from both UN and Google meetings about online harassment, consulting harassers) it’s obvious that the existing narrative is entirely one-sided. It is widely believed that the gamers who want uncensored games and an ethical games media, lacking corruption, are the ones harassing people.

Many of us know that this isn’t true and we have suffered quite horrific levels of harassment from the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ from people going after our livelihoods and jobs to wild accusations of things like misogyny, rape apologia, racism and so on. Reputation destroying nastiness.

My own harassment at the hands of these people has been fairly well documented. Back in 2012, long before Gamergate was ever a thing I wrote a blog article defending the use of nasty events and traumatic experiences in fiction (In Defence of Rape) and ever since then have been harassed, demonised and subjected to a level of scrutiny that Big Brother would be ashamed to engage in. This contributed to a long battle with depression and two suicide attempts, the second during the first year of Gamergate when old wounds were re-opened and even celebrities saw fit to try and shame me for my participation in the defence of free expression.

The point is, that many of the people complaining about harassment etc online are some of the worst offenders. The community that is supposedly pushing for diversity, tolerance etc is one of the least diverse (in terms of ideas) and least tolerant.

Apposite to the situation at the moment are two key incidents. The young artist Zamii has been turned on by the Steven Universe fandom of ‘progressives’ on Tumblr, and driven to a suicide attempt by that degree of intense online bullying, and Thunderf00t had his reputation and employment attacked by a group of ‘progressives’ within and around the atheism community – though this backfired spectacularly.

Many of us do not take online harassment very seriously. We know what trolling is and we know to ignore it. The character of this kind of abuse though, driving fragile people to suicide, pursuing people offline, is something much different. Much worse. Those of us on this side are often unwilling to make a huge fuss about the harassment we get and maybe it’s time we did start talking about this, documenting it, getting our experiences down and letting them be known, rather than brushing them off.

I know there’s many of you out there who have suffered. Please join me in telling your stories. Comment below with links to your stories or post a short summary of what happened to you and I’ll append the links and stories below. We can help define what actual online harassment is (going after people for real) and provide fodder to show that our opposite numbers are – at least somewhat – engaging in what they claim to decry.

If you’d rather have your experience documented anonymously, email me at GRIM at POSTMORT dot DEMON dot CO dot UK.

An account of Harper’s abuse

SJWs fuel censorship in RPGs 1

SJWs fuel censorship in RPGs 2

Man loses job due to SJW harassment

A previous attempt to document SJW harassment on social media

The Tim Hunt affair

Zak Smith, Walk Outs, Censorship and SocJus insanity

GamerGhazi Harrangues and Erases

More Documented Harassment

Targeted Harassment of GG Supporters

Famous ‘victim’ as harasser.

The Silencing of Gamergate, with documented harassment cases.

Linklist (many expired links, but much of use)

Goodreads Review harassment One, Two, Three, Four, Five

The Insoluble American Gun Probem

gun_control030413Another day, another massacre. As many people have noted, including the president of the United States, this has now become grim routine.

So have the arguments.

America is uniquely set up to have a particular problem with firearms. It has a mythologised cowboy culture of self-reliance and individualism – taken to a ‘toxic’ extreme. Misinterpretations of the constitution (in regard to this issue) now enshrined in law. A stubborn belief, despite the statistics, that guns help, protect people and solve problems rather than cause them (or make them worse).

The USA’s culture further worsens the problem by being so militantly against things like universal healthcare or government provision and social investment. Things that are know to be effective in reducing crime and violence and in the case of medical care, better mental healthcare provision would doubtless cut such incidents significantly.

Even these basic facts, and the fact that gun control works in every other nation, are contentious in America. There is absolutely no way that the public, or the Republican Party, nor much of the Democratic Party will ever be persuaded to pursue an effective gun control (or banning) agenda, nor any way such would succeed. Such a change would be incredibly hard to enforce in the USA anyway and would not really begin to bite for a long time – longer than an electoral cycle.

If any solution is to be found here, it’s going to need to account for the intransigence of American politics and the utter hostility towards the best known measure – gun controls and bans. It’s also going to need to work around the hostility to increased social provision and investment.

Innovative and lateral-thinking methods of addressing the problem will need to be come up with if any progress is to be made.

My idea, which I humbly submit for consideration, would be to treat guns more like cars. To combine and extend current basics and to introduce a new controls and methods of minimising harm.

  • Guns need to be licensed, controlled by age similarly to cars – which we also recognise require responsible and careful owners.
  • Gun licenses, perhaps, should only be issued to those able to pass a basic test. A written test on proper storage, conduct and safety. A practical test of safe control and target shooting.
  • Licenses should be restricted from being issued to people with certain mental or physical issues and those guilty of certain crimes  (and should be revoked if these develop).
  • Licenses are compulsory and cost money, yearly, not unlike UK Car Tax. Per weapon.
  • There should be compulsory gun insurance, similar to compulsory car insurance. Insurance for each weapon (group rates) which pays out should your gun harm or kill anyone, or be used in a crime. It doesn’t go to compensate you of course, rather it compensates the victims. You can act to minimise risks and costs, or you can pay more.

The most important and innovative part, I think, is the last. Insurance companies don’t care about anything but the bottom line. They would be motivated to do factual research so that they can do effective risk assessment and set levies appropriate to the cost. Insurance companies may even deny insurance to high risk clients, which would take a ‘ban’ out of government hands, or bankrupt organisations like the NRA which might, initially, insure the uninsurable until they run out of money.

The additional costs that would introduce into gun ownership and the additional tools it would provide for arrest and legitimate confiscation should have a good effect. Especially in poorer communities where gun violence is a larger risk. It should work to depress the number of weapons owned, while allowing those that absolutely insist on owning firearms to still have them. It would encourage safer behaviour and measures taken to minimise risk (lower power, lower capacity, properly stored and high tech safeties) which would reduce premiums.

The additional tax revenue would allow more government programs to tackle related issues – if the political will could be found – and the non-tax revenue involved would provide a boost to business.