PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

A Question To Pro-GamerGate Folks

on September 24, 2014

via @IAmNidoking

My experience with the #Gamergate hashtag has been fairly limited, and most of what I know about it comes from various articles on the subject, but I’ve engaged a few of the people using the hashtag directly and would like to tell you what I learned and what my own concerns have been, since the questions in your article didn’t seem to address them.

The people who use the hashtag presuppose that there are problems with ethics in journalism – that’s the reason the hashtag exists, so they claim. But it’s easy to say that a problem exists – “There is a problem with x, what are you doing about it?” They can put the emphasis on the question portion of the question without actually backing up the statement that leads it. The fact that people aren’t doing anything to combat ethics problems, in that formulation, proves to them that the problems must exist. What I haven’t heard are any actual examples of the problems they claim to be against – at least, not from #Gamergate people. Journalists have pointed out a number of possible issues with ethics that #Gamergate has been avoiding, as far as I can tell, but from #Gamergate itself, I’ve only heard two answers. First, “Their coverage of #Gamergate was one-sided and didn’t give our side equal coverage.” That, in essence, says that they started the movement in order to create the problem that they were going to complain about. The other was along the lines of certain journalists posting their personal opinions on their Twitter accounts or in op-ed columns. Basically, they not only believe that journalists can’t hold opinions in their professional capacity (already a rather ludicrous proposition), but that they can’t hold opinions at all. Unless we can invent computers that can gather information, play games, and write reviews and articles, that’s impossible. That’s why I suggested asking #Gamergate people for actual, concrete examples of the ethics problems they’re trying to eliminate – aside from the mentions of Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian that so many people using the hashtag want to say that their movement is distinctly NOT about, I don’t think you’ll get many answers that relate to actual breaches of ethics.

As a related topic, I recently saw a manifesto that, if not actually from the people of #Gamergate, seems to address their issues. I wish I’d bookmarked it, but it listed such rules as “Any journalist found to be breaching ethics WILL be removed from their position. Any editor found allowing this to happen WILL be removed from their position.” It was all written in passive voice, transparently leaving out the detail of who would be enforcing these rules. So my question for #Gamergate is who would be in charge of policing ethics, and what guarantee would there be that that person or group would itself act ethically? It’s easy to proclaim that there’s a problem, but without proposing a solution as well, there’s no benefit to anyone. Except, of course, that it provides an opportunity for some people to harass other people over the supposed existence of the problem without solving anything.


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