How to support women who are threatened online

Continuing the discussion from Yet another female game dev targeted with credible threats after speaking out on sexism:

Really, if you haven’t checked out BACA, please do. Is there a way we could use that model? Is there a better one that would achieve the same ends?


How about doxxing the trolls in order to determine whether they constitute an actual threat? Sort through and get an idea of who poses an actual threat versus who’s too useless to peel themselves off their sofa?

Follow it up by visiting their mothers with a printout of the offensive chat logs. See how that plays out. Or their bosses. Or find a way to link them to their online dating profiles.

Maybe there’s a company that makes web safety tools that could help somehow? Further securing victims’ personal info?

Fundraise to help with hotel/security costs when someone no longer feels safe at home?

What else? Something tangible with an actual demonstrable effect. Anyone?


I remember kids from my school who would give other peoples names and addresses when they were caught by the police. I expect that the trolls would do the same thing.

Something like the various White Ribbon Campaigns against domestic violence.

UK version.

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The short account I’d heard of how the left in the UK organized against racist skinheads and the BNP in the late 70s may be relevant. It started by recognizing that, like all effective lies, it was a half-truth: there was a social and economic crisis in the UK, leading to increasing unemployment and poverty among white working class youth – but this wasn’t the fault of immigrants or other minorities, who were suffering even more. So the response was a two-pronged approach: first, firmly and directly opposing the bigots, in order to expose them and isolate them from the community they were trying to influence; second, offering a better explanation of the crisis and a better model of organization, which emphasized solidarity between all groups suffering from the crisis.

By analogy, I think we want a two-pronged approach here: squarely confronting and condemning the misogyny and bigotry when we can; and building a campaign about confronting real issues in the gaming industry, explicitly linking it to issues of representation and thematics in games. That would involve highlighting really imaginative games by indie developers, and the really insightful critics who represent underrepresented voices – starting, obviously, with Anita Sarkeesian and Leigh Alexander, though we should make a point of looking for other good critics who deserve more attention.

Perhaps we could come up with a good hashtag: something like #GamesForAll ?

ADDENDUM: There’s a hashtag running now, #StopGamerGate2014.

I posted a message of support, and immediately got responses accusing that hashtag of being built up by ISIS.

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And a quick search shows that the only place that is claiming the link between the hashtag and ISIS is The Escapist forums. There is no link to the claimed tweet either.

If I was fucked up enough to be involved in gamergate I would at least have a fake ISIS twitter account for my false flag stuff.

That last sentence made me chuckle a bit.

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