Game dev Brianna Wu on what it's like to be forced from your home by sexist hate


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Christ, what assholes.


In the face of the seeming impossibility of police actually finding and prosecuting those making criminal threats, is possible/practical to at least kickstart a security system for her and her family?


Today seems to be my day for semantic quibbles of little value.

But that being said, I hate seeing the word “forced” used like that. When Joseph Priestley was forced out of his home and fled to America, he was literally being sought by armed mobs, who had literally burned down his house. With real live flames and real live weapons, not with anonymous threats.

I would prefer the word “driven” for this particular malfeasance, rather than “forced”. She was driven from her home by threats, because nobody used physical force. And if you read the linked article, she uses exactly that word - driven - I don’t know why people keep hyperbolizing this to forced. Do they think being driven to flee your own home is somehow OK? I think it’s not, even though I don’t equate it with actually using physical force.

You may now all go back to more meaningful commentary.


@Spacekatgal Thanks for staying strong and standing up against this. You’re a true badass for fighting back.


Purely hypothetically. If one of these brave female game designers who gets driven from her home by death threats is discovered to have faked the death threats to gain attention to her cause or herself… would any of you pause to reflect and reconsider any assumptions about your ideological opponents, allies, or positions? Or would you just think 'yeah, but it COULD have been real. It’s TRUTHY if not truthful! or some such excuse not to think?

I’m not saying that’s what’s going on, yet. Just asking who would reexamine things and who would change the subject and press on to defeat The Regressive Other.


Or what if we’re actually all just brains in jars hooked up to computers? How would that change your outlook?


Purely hypothetically, if you were not casting baseless, indiscriminate aspersions like so much distraction confetti, I would take your hypothetical point more seriously.

But not hypothetically at all, I’m asking if you would like to reexamine things and not change the subject and press on and to defeat The Actual Regressives here.


This is the same basic argument Republicans use to rant about voter fraud. Fact is voter fraud occurs in such small numbers that it’s not worth spending the energy creating voter ID laws to prevent it. The real goal of voter ID legislation is preventing already disadvantaged/disenfranchised persons from voting.

Similarly consider the overwhelming amount of sexual violence and misogyny endemic in the tech and gaming community, it’s astounding. Even if there were a few people who lied about being harassed it wouldn’t alter the overall reality of the situation. It is appalling how much harassment a women faces in these communities, and there is little that can be said to defend that.


I find it extremely easy to believe that someone on the Internet made rape threats against a woman who said something he didn’t like.

In fact, it happens so goddamn often that what I find much harder to believe is that somebody would go to the trouble of faking it when she almost certainly had plenty of horrifying tweets and emails to choose from.

But to answer your hypothetical: if you found some hard proof that any of the recent published threats were staged, then that could potentially discredit the single person who was their target. It would not, however, discredit the claim that boy, people sure do make a lot of horrifying, graphic rape threats against women on the Internet.


But I’m not casting aspersions on anyone. I don’t know any of these developers and threateners or claiming to. What I AM seeing is that these female developers who announce that they’ve gotten death threats get all sorts of attention, increased name recognition, sympathy, and all sorts of offers for support (jjsaul’s talking about a kickstarter security system 20 min. ago for example). And while I’m not saying it’s happened yet, if this keeps in the news it is only a matter of time until some Baroness VonMunchausen sees the sympathy, attention, etc. these developers get and fakes her own death threats to get the same. I’m sorry that people like that exist who would lie for attention but they do. NOW what happens when everyone rallies around the Baroness and someone opposing you in this shows that she faked it. Proves it after you’ve been screaming and rending garments over it. Have you thought about what happens after that? Now the ball is handed back to all the developers claiming threats with “see, they are just all attention seekers faking it.” And if you’ve been uncritically rabidly seizing each of these to make a point when a Baroness blows up in your face what are you going to say to show you have credibility and exercised good judgment and just aren’t one of those people who freak out over stuff Snopes debunked years ago? Can no one play this game?

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That’s a lot of thought for such an unlikely scenario.


When it happens, we’ll deal with it. In the meantime, you and I are both just playing the stupid hypothetical game. I’ll concede the point to you on this round though - way more distracting than my brain in a jar scenario


Meh. There’s been no climate change posts for a while, so C11’s branching out…


Given the number of female software developers who have received death threats and other abuse from anti-feminist men, I’d want to see a lot more than one isolated incident turn out to be faked before I started wondering if death threats to women were really a thing.

Purely hypothetically, if you actually interacted with female developers and talked to them about their experiences of abuse, do you think it would cause you to reflect and reconsider any of your assumptions and hypotheses?


The word you’re looking for is compassion. They are being shown compassion. Because shitty people did a shitty thing to them.

It really isn’t, and you either know this and are trying in bad faith to topic-shift, or you don’t know this, are a sad, suspicious, delusional little person who can’t see the real human that is being really hurt here for some imaginary fear you’ve given yourself.

I can honestly say the fear of someone faking their own gamergate martyrdom for fame is so far down my concern list, it is lower than video game journalism ethics, and if it’s not that low for you, you perhaps should re-evaluate your values.


Considering the FBI is investigating the matter, it would be pretty stupid to fake threats from Gamergate just for a little sympathy.


Please stop begging the question of “what if it’s fake?”. She’s not going to fake things if she got the FBI involved. The end.


I’m glad BoingBoing is covering this issue thoroughly. Thank you.


You seem to have trouble with the simple concept of “stay on topic”. So, I will helpfully remind you the topic is what happened to Brianna Wu. If you have some evidence to doubt her claims then, by all means, post that evidence.

Waste my time arguing with a troll who is grasping at the edge of reality? No thanks.