Gamers propose punishing Blizzard for its anti-Hong Kong partisanship by flooding it with GDPR requests

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/08/ddos-gdpr.html

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it can’t afford to offend the Chinese state.

Why not? It would just make less money. But it would still make money everywere else.

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I find this deeply satisfying.

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Trouble is, they’re a public company. Since stock price is predicated on increasing or at least maintaining revenue, the stock would go down, which makes every single owner of the company lose money. A private company can afford to just say “there’s still money coming in, so our wealth is increasing” but a public company will likely lose a big chunk of its total value. And if an employee/spokesperson/vp doesn’t do their part in keeping that stock afloat, they’re likely to lose their job.

Sucks to be a slave to the stock market.

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Because it would make less money.

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That GDPR can be exploited that way is really bad.
And how do you fulfill that email request? Is it enough to correlate the requesting email? In that case, not sure why it could not be automated. On the other hand, if you can add other ID information on the form, you have the problem that anyone could send phony requests on behalf of other people, which in itself would be a huge breach if the company simply responds with data about that individual.
Anyway, that GDPR can be exploited that way is really bad.

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How about everyone punish the NBA for their pro-Chinese, anti-Hong-Kong position!

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I want to watch this particular world burn.

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“Make less money” is a massive understatement.

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My point remains that “making less money” going forward is not the same as “losing money” (ie, it “costing” the company).

Companies often have this dangerous idea that they’re somehow owed a certain degree of growth, or even the ability to keep profits constant. Failing to repeat past performance does not constitute an actual loss.

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I’m downloading the hell out of Starcraft right now!

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Trouble is, they’re a public company. Since stock price is predicated on increasing or at least maintaining revenue, the stock would go down, which makes every single owner of the company lose money. A private company can afford to just say “there’s still money coming in, so our wealth is increasing” but a public company will likely lose a big chunk of its total value. And if an employee/spokesperson/vp doesn’t do their part in keeping that stock afloat, they’re likely to lose their job.

A public company has no legal obligation to support stock values inflated by investor speculation. The company does have a legal obligation to notify public stockholders of expected revenue and earnings. As long as the company provides clear guidance that revenue will likely drop due to a potential Chinese Government retaliation, they are good to go.

Furthermore, the investor only accrues a realized loss when they decide to sell the stock for less than it was purchased (as defined by IRS rules). They still own X shares and are eligible ago participate in their share of dividends if/when declared.

Sucks to be a slave to the stock market.

This observation, however, is spot on. Given that the majority investors are profit driven (at all cost), any management team that decided to make a stand that put principal over profit would likely be voted out at the next stockholder and/or broad meeting. Then again, perhaps a boycott (or expensive GDPR filings) by ethical minded customers might lead to an even greater drop in revenue. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation for management. Thus, “sucks to be a slave to the stock market” is indeed the correct observation. When investors place profits over ethics, we all loose.

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We have now reached the point where 150 characters destroy entire economies.

The internet could have been so much more but it as just brought normalcy of authoritarianism through surveillance and acquiescence to capitalism and a quick buck at the costs of human dignity and free expression.

I really wish there was a viable alternative to this planet with these people because I am so sick of humanity sometimes

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This is a ddos attack.

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But a perfectly legal one.

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It would appear gamers are more on the ball than bball fans.

(I suspect it won’t take long for the latter to join in the fun though).

Whatever the case, this gives me hope.

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It does seem like the end result of the great networking of humanity is that a handful of supernodes control everything. Once you are big enough, you really are functionally connected to everyone by only one or two degrees in all aspects of their lives. This is what we are seeing. China has gotten exceptionally good at leveraging their connections to the wider world to bend the entire world wide network on their direction. It’s even more terrifying inside of China.

Maybe the democracies of the world still technically have more power and influence, but their power and influence is all divided and being used against each other. China on the other hand is surgical and uses its power and influence with precise, but great force to get what they want. As we get a better handling networking everyone together and connecting up all of that information, data, and influence, it’s the authoritarians that are winning out.

It fucking sucks.

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So I don’t know what enforcement mechanism there is for these GDPR requests, but it’s gonna be waived, right?

Like, worst case scenario, they go to the EU High Commissioner for Whatever and say, “well, see, there was this reddit thread, and—” and the GDPR cops are gonna be like, “nah brah we know, it’s cool, just do 'em whenever.” And then 17 years later someone’s going to get a datafile with their requested info beamed into their cranial implant and think ohhhhhh yeah, that thing I did when I was mad about… something.

Right? And I hate to say it, but that’s probably how it should be. Because the most likely result is that you end up weakening a privacy law that people seem to think is… sorta good? without doing anything about China.

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Although some game companies owe their success to the Chinese market, Blizzard isn’t one of them. Surprisingly, all of the Asia Pacific market amounts to only about 12% of Blizzard’s income. Starcraft is so popular it is practically a public institution in South Korea, and fairly popular in Japan. World of Warcraft has some players in China, but they’re not playing through subscriptions but in internet cafes, so they don’t spend much money per player, relative to other markets, and Blizzard need to share revenue with Chinese partners (that are required to operate there). All that means that China’s contribution to the 12% of revenue is quite small. Alienating China right now has a pretty minimal impact on their bottom line.

However, apparently sales are down in all their other markets and Blizzard is hoping that China’s share will increase to make up the difference in future. It’s all about avoiding alienating what they think will be a major market sometime in the future.

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