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Wu offers $11K for harassment conviction

Giant Spacekat dev also setting up legal fund for other victims

The family of software engineer Brianna Wu and an anonymous donor have put together a reward of $11,000 to help track down those responsible for the death threats sent to her.

Wu received a disgusting amount of harassment for speaking out against #gamergate supporters and after death threats was forced to leave her home.

Wu is also setting up a fund to help other women who have been harassed and attacked.

"I am in the process of setting up a legal defense fund for women targeted by Gamergate," Wu explained on her blog.

"One of the biggest ways Gamergate operates is character assassination. Well, we have laws protecting you against that. I'm not a lawyer, but the fund will pay lawyers to find cases on libel and defamation and prosecute them in civil court. These cases might be mine, or they might be other women targeted by Gamergate. It will be cases the legal team feels they can win."

"My suggestion to anyone in Gamergate is to think very carefully about saying something libelous or defamatory about the women you target."

Latest comments (18)

Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
I really hope this pays off. Most of the toxicity on the internet is something you would never encounter in any circumstance where any form of punishment could reach the perpetrator. Using threats to silence others is not "freedom of speech".
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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
Kroll are an amazingly skilled group of people - but I'm not sure how they'd legally get access to Twitter's logs etc in this situation.
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Why Brianna Wu, and many others, are so adamant on spreading the same speech that all those involved with the GamerGate movement are offenders?
At this point, the only people 'involved' or claiming affilation with GamerGate are the abusers sending hatred and threats to people like Brianna, and the people enabling those abusers to continue operating(whether with good intentions or bad, it doesn't matter) by constantly deflecting any criticism of the hashtag with facile 'not all gamers!!' protestations.

One cannot simultaneously be involved with GamerGate and wash your hands of the vitriol, hate and disgusting threats being made by its loudest proponents - especially when you're spending your time endlessly trying to defend your 'movement's image rather than actually trying to stop the abuse or help its victims.
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Show all comments (18)
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
Jessica you have been spreading misinformation for as long as the topic has been covered by gamesindustry.biz.

Please stop. Either be honest or don't participate, you are doing everyone a disservice.

Developers are on the side of gamergate. The amount of negative tweets is infinitesimal in comparison to the sheer amount of GamerGate tweets. The vast majority of tweets "aimed" at the 3 women that apparently make up the entirety of women in the industry (80-85%) are RTs. RTs are tweets signal boosting original tweets from the 3 "harassed" women.

There has not been one threat that has been confirmed to be authentic, let alone connected to GamerGate.

Finally the amount of actual threats that have come with actual doxxing (real information) and actual threats (knives, syringes, toilet paper sent to actual people's houses, people losing jobs) is by far larger towards GamerGate.

If you can't provide one single credible threat, please refrain from spreading misinformation.

Please review the following and stop spreading misinformation, it doesn't help anyone:
http://imgur.com/a/2dEot

This was first proved with the information from the Newsweek article, which while alleging that gamergate is about harassment, could only come up with a maximum of 5% negative tweets.

I know you might think that being 95% wrong is enough for you to connect people with vitriol, but seriously, come on: you are off by 95% (easily). Do you lack any sense of honesty?
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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
Also to note, 5% of a sample of 500K tweets, was negative, not aimed at women, it was the total negative.

The amount of misinformation is ridiculous.If something is 95% not what you say it is how can you say that it is 'only' about this.

Seriously?

Being over 95% wrong, but still supporting that opinion makes me wonder.
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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
I understand it is easy for the women initially in the center of this to construe this as an attack on them or on all women (though the second is quite the extrapolation), it is simply disingenuous to say that a movement/group/consumer segment is misogynistic, simply based on the fact that a lot of tweets criticized their work or work ethic.

It is also worth mentioning that the men in involved in the initial incident have simply refrained from using the hashtag and engaging GG supporters on twitter, as a result they have largely gone under the radar. If all you do is talk about GamerGate and then your followers RT you, how is this about misogyny?

Finally if you can answer the following for me:
- why 'target' 3 pretty unknown women in the industry? (2 of which interjected themselves and initiated contact with GG)
- why use the guise of ethics in journalism if it is all about hate? what does it really accomplish?
- which makes a better click bait soundbite: misogyny in gaming or corrupt journalists (some of whom we are friends with)?
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Charles Herold Wii Games Guide, about.com3 years ago
why 'target' 3 pretty unknown women in the industry?
Yes, why is that? Why is it that gamergate focused on false accusations of journalistic corruption involving an incredibly obscure female indie developer? There have been much more clear and egregious examples of poor journalistic ethics in the game industry for years, yet none of them resulted in a big, angry movement. How did the actions of peripheral women result in this wildfire of outrage?

You ask a lot of questions, but answer your own. Why are obscure women being gone after instead of high profile men?
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz3 years ago
@Konstantinos, I don't know what devs you're talking to but saying that devs are on the side of Gamergate seems pretty far fetched to me. Regardless of your opinion of what GG was initially intended to represent, the fact is it's become about misogyny and harassment. Jessica isn't spreading misinformation, and your accusing her of "lacking any sense of honesty" is hostile and against our house rules (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-10-20-our-house-rules)
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Brendan Sinclair North American Editor, GamesIndustry.biz3 years ago
Hey Konstantinos, I'll take a shot at answering those questions.

1) Because they are women who are speaking up about the treatment of women and minorities in games and trying to change the industry to be more welcoming of those groups.

2) Because it's considered better PR than an openly vile and hateful platform, and would attract more followers than something overtly about harassing women out of the industry.

3) I've been writing here for a few years and I think the most clicked article I ever wrote had corrupt press in the headline. (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-03-21-entitled-gamers-corrupt-press-and-greedy-publishers) Corrupt journalists are excellent clickbait. In fact, if you don't think GamerGate's longevity is a testament to how messed up the industry's treatment of women is, then surely it's a testament to just how compelling the idea of corruption in the press can be.

I will admit that misogyny may be better troll bait, though. But we really don't have a ton of incentive to attract trolls. Even with our gated-off comments policy, moderating the behavior of trolls is an exhausting process.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brendan Sinclair on 4th November 2014 8:31pm

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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
@Konstantinos Giatillis

The stats in your imgur post as rather misleading, though. The information on where the actual threats and harassment originate comes from reading the tweets. The existence of other tweets on the subject is irrelevant.
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Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief3 years ago
@Konstantinos I have not met a single developer on the side of Gamergate. I am happy to say that I am opposed to Gamergate. I am, on the other hand, all in favour of ethics* in games journalism :-)

* but not objective reviews. Because there is no such thing.
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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
@James:

When someone is simply lying about something and I call them out it's hostile?

Look I understand how it is easy to disregard everything and just claim it's about harassment, but when the numbers are as clear as: 95-5, well sorry, but it's ridiculous to pretend it is about harassment.

When I see people clearly ignoring the facts making sweeping statements it's ridiculous.

When people say that devs are not for gamergate, when they are threatened to be blacklisted if they do, it's ridiculous to hide behind the excuse of harassment.
Because at less than 5% (this includes any type of negative tweet), it's an excuse to not talk about the real problem highlighted here: which is cozy relationships between indie devs and journalists.

Just because the example that lit everything on fire featured a women, it doesn't mean everyone gets a free pass hiding behind the misogyny labeling.

Just look at your own tone. I call someone out who has been commenting on every single post about the issue, with the same 'non-information' based claims and you call it hostile, clearly implying that my tone will not be tolerated. See where I am going with this? If people want to make broad generalizations, they should expect to be called out on them, not defended and allowed to perpetuate falsehoods.

Of course it's your site, so you can do what you want. Which has been the attitude that led down this path in the first place - if you have been paying attention.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Konstantinos Giatilis on 4th November 2014 10:15pm

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Developers are on the side of gamergate.
What was that about 'spreading misinformation' and making sweeping statements? This is quite patently untrue and/or a maaaaaassive generalisation. I know hundreds of game developers, and all of them are against GamerGate.

Clean up your own house before you try slinging mud at mine, thanks.
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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
@Brendan:

1) Disregarding that one of them literally took down a fundraiser for women in gaming, one of them creates videos with false information painting the industry as inherently misogynist, the third made a game with characters that would put barbie to shame. How exactly are they trying to make it more welcoming to others? By creating false narratives that make the industry sound hostile?

2) So your scenario is that some people who hate women, want to attack women and decide to do that, they randomly pick a person who has shown unethical behavior and then spend 3 months on a campaign to harass them. All of that when after a few tweets they all left their house? Wouldn't that be mission accomplished?

3) This site has an audience of professionals in the industry. It's neither mainstream, nor aimed at gamers.
Misogyny is clearly the better story for every outlet, but this one (and others like it). Whereas game devs are interested to know how they can get exposure and if there is something fishy going on.

I want to know if I have to be part of a clique to get exposure and awards, don't you?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Konstantinos Giatilis on 4th November 2014 10:15pm

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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
@Bonnie:

No one said that harassment doesn't exist. Of course, this thing happens every day on the internet, but to call everyone posting under the hashtag a supporter of a hate campaign, when clearly the hashtag is overwhelmingly a discussion is dishonest and an attempt at deflecting from the actual issues that are being talked about.

Even the fact that only a fraction of the posts mention these three women should be telling. If the majority of the conversation is about something else, how can you - in good faith - classify it as a harassment campaign?

Just because someone sent some ridiculous threats you push the whole thing under the rug? It just doesn't compute for me.

If the numbers where something like 75-25, or 85-15 well ok, but damn it's less than 5% of total negative tweets. With a fraction of that aimed at the women getting the coverage.

You could do that with any subject, find a fraction of people that do questionable things and paint everything the whole group does as the questionable thing.

Ridiculous.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Konstantinos Giatilis on 4th November 2014 10:16pm

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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
@Nicholas:

Of course you haven't. When people call things misogynist, coming out in support is equivalent to professional suicide. Do you know how much flack people get for even saying that: you know maybe this isn't about misogyny?

100% objective is not, but striving for objectivity isn't as ridiculous as you think.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Konstantinos Giatilis on 4th November 2014 10:16pm

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Konstantinos Giatilis NA 3 years ago
@Jessica:

Really, you know hundreds? Brianna Wu said something to that effect as well. Or was it: I know them all.

You don't comment on the numbers, yet you try to attack the weakest part of 3 posts. Interesting.

Especially since you know - since you have participated in this behavior in this very thread - that calling everyone who supports GG part of a hate campaign. This is exactly why a lot of people don't comment.

Trust me, a lot of people aren't talking, especially when they can be painted a misogynist by a random person on a forum post.

I just think it's ridiculous that you are pretending that this is about misogyny, when the numbers are so completely telling another story.

Edit: basically your smearing of people who support gamergate, is exactly the reason you aren't seeing people come out in support and instead of seeing the self-fulfilling prophecy you are creating, you just continue spreading false information.
While you avoid the whole point, which is: do I have to be in a clique to get exposure?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Konstantinos Giatilis on 4th November 2014 10:21pm

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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz3 years ago
You're really trolling this thread Konstantinos and you're being needlessly aggressive towards Jessica. You can think it over during a temporary ban.

And I'm closing down this thread. It's just more rehashing of the same arguments over and over and over.
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