#GamerGate: TFYC Was Doxxed By A Games Writer, Not Zoe Quinn

The Fine Young Capitalists have been through a heck of a lot throughout this whole ordeal (you can read up on some of the hurdles the pro-feminist Game Jam faced right here). A lot of their problems started when they were accused by Zoe Quinn and friends of being transphobic, accusations that were spawned from misinterpretation and knee-jerk reactions. Twitter. Professional model Dane Halo provided an explanation to Kramer, Quinn and the rest of The Fine Young Capitalists’ antagonists by explaining that TFYC’s policies involving trans-contestants in the Game Jam  were based on the guidelines rolled out by the official Human Rights Commission of Ontario.

Nevertheless, those accusations came with a heavy price, as the supervisor of The Fine Young Capitalists had his private information broadcast to the public; putting him in the cross-hairs of unstable individuals who sent death threats and abuse his way.

Zoe Quinn and Silverstring Media PR rep Maya Kramer were originally accused of being responsible for doxxing The Fine Young Capitalists’ supervisor, Matthew Rappard. Quinn mentioned in an e-mail to The Fine Young Capitalists that she was not responsible for the reprehensible act, and in a way, that is true.

Rappard had written in the failed peace treaty that…

“Regarding our grievances with Zoe Quinn, an associate of hers, posted my Facebook information. Zoe did not add any information to the post, nor did she post my phone number or email. The subsequent death threat I received via email was not orchestrated by Zoe. Nor was the DDOSing of our website or the banning of us from Twitter. She was simply the most famous voice in a choir of people that did not understand the project.”

Kramer and Quinn were only involved insofar as spreading awareness of the doxxing – they were not the ones who actually outed Matthew’s name and location; it was a games writer. Well, he’s a former games writer now.

The GamerGate.me wiki editor, with the help of 8chan’s #GamerGate denizens, managed to discover that the original doxxing came from a Twitter account called Aerox47. The account is still up, as of the writing of this article. There were two pieces of information posted by Aerox47, one of which included Matt’s full name (which is now public knowledge following the outing of his information earlier this year) and the region of his location. As you can see in the censored screen grab below from back on February 28th, 2014.

It was noted by 8chan and the #GamerGate community that Kramer wasn’t the original sender of Matt’s information but – as noted in the screen grab – she was simply favoriting and re-tweeting what Aerox47 was putting out.

So how was it found out that Aerox47 was a games writer? Well, the GamerGate.me wiki editor ran his Twitter information through the Bioischanged.com website, where it was revealed that Aerox47 used to have in his description that he was an “occasional writer at Destructoid”. As noted below.

Given that the Twitter account Aerox47 had the name Jonathan in the profile, I decided to check out if there was anyone who went by the name of Jonathan or Aerox47 at Destructoid. It is true, there is a profile there called Aerox. He’s done plenty of high-profile reviews for Destructoid.

I found out that his full name was Jonathan Ross from the Good Reads website, where he has a profile noting the kind of books he likes to read. In his profile he also notes that he was a contributor to Destructoid, and his profile name on Good Reads is Aerox.

I decided to reach out to the owner of Destructoid, Yanier “Niero” Gonzalez to find out if he was a paid employee or just a contributor. Gonzalez was very helpful, as he just wants to put a lot of the bad air behind him relating to the recent Destructoid scandal, noting that…

“Ross was never an employee, just a smart guy from our community who pointed out typos. He was active a long time ago, maybe 5 years ago.”

Actually, according to Aerox’s profile he was active just last year, in November. A few months before Matthew was doxxed.

8chan and the #GamerGate community discovered a deleted Ask.fm by Ross, which gives a hint about his current employment.

After tracking down additional info, I was able to find out where he worked and contacted his place of employment directly about whether or not Ross intended to out Matthew’s information. His actions resulted in death threats and abuse sent Matthew’s way from people who were misled in thinking that The Fine Young Capitalists were transphobic. I also reached out to Ross through his Twitter account.

At the time of the writing of this article, neither Ross nor his employers  have responded.

I was also curious if Matthew Rappard, from The Fine Young Capitalists, intended to have any of his information made public. According to a response from The Fine Young Capitalists…

“He doesn't like being involved as the face of production in period. His name does not appear on the website, it does not appear on the Indiegogo for this reason. He wanted to be a silent partner in the production and focus on Lola and the winner as that was the focus of the production.

“Finding out it was a reporter releasing the information, really doesn't change much. As they've certainly been jerks to him since the production began.”

Turns out that due to Matt’s name and location he’s very easy to find, and Ross making that information public to have people ridicule him and the Game Jam made Matt an easy target for harassers, abusers and for trolls to find out where he lived when his last name and phone number were spread around.

Unfortunately, games journalists have done nothing to rectify this problem after some helped slander The Fine Young Capitalists and refused to report on the full story, even after Jason Schreier from Kotaku had been in contact with Matt. Schreier previously mentioned…

“None of the “fake doxxing” or Wizardchan stuff struck me as particularly newsworthy – again, because Zoe Quinn is not a public figure whose life we should be covering extenstively.”

Now that Zoe is no longer attached as the prime culprit of the “fake doxxing” of The Fine Young Capitalists, perhaps Jason will rethink his position?

Games media continues to refuse to investigate some of these cases, but if it involves fellow games journalists and writers committing legally questionable or inappropriate acts, we’re now starting to see why they are refusing to do their jobs or report on #GamerGate with honesty and factual accuracy.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

24 thoughts on “#GamerGate: TFYC Was Doxxed By A Games Writer, Not Zoe Quinn

      1. Oy! He is a good goy… Making public information freely available. Thanks very much Phil Kollar goy…

  1. “Kramer and Quinn were only involved insofar as spreading awareness of the doxxing”. It’s not the digging up the information that is doxxing, it’s the spreading of that information, by for example: retweeting the information to all my followers.

    Maya, Zoe and this other fellow, all doxxed him.

    1. They’re absolutely responsible for spreading the information.

      However, it was one of the media’s own that committed the initial act. Certainly not absolving them of responsibility, but maybe the media should take a closer look at their own ranks before pointing fingers about #GamerGate and their claims about harassment.

      1. The article states that they only “spread awareness” of the personal information, but that literally is doxxing. The article makes it sound as if they did not in fact doxx.

        Hope I don’t come off as hostile.

      2. It actually isn’t. When it’s already been made public, making it further public isn’t doxxing. That’s a bullshit definition that journalists have tried to strongly shoehorn into it because they can use it as a scaremongering buzzword, when the actual definition requires malicious hacking to obtain the information, not simply deep investigative journalism for already public information.

      3. I have a couple ideas for stories I don’t see covered since you seem to be writing about all of it.

        TechRaptor was a small tech website that was reporting on this from the beginning. At the end of August, after the Gamers are Dead articles were written, they wrote a counter article saying that We aren’t seeing the death of Gamers. Afterward their website was taken down possibly by the host. They had to change hosts. Their subreddit on Reddit was deleted due to the articles. I think it had something to do with one of their articles on Quinn, but not sure. Also the owner was shadowbanned from Reddit around this time. Seems like there might be a story there, as a host refusing to put up a website for an article they wrote seems illegal.

        Another story, TFYC had a Soundcloud posted way at the beginning of this where they said they originally couldn’t get any press unless they had an oppressed woman to talk about or something. I don’t know if this was before or after they were attacked and doxxed. You also have Jennifer Daww @gmshivers on Twitter who said in one of the GG streams that she had multiple interviews where as soon as she was asked if she was discriminated in the industry due to being a woman, she replied no. The interviews would end soon afterward and were never published. If you can find a few more examples of journalists ignoring women who were never discriminated in the gaming industry and journalists refusing to publish those stories on that basis, it might be worth writing about.

        I’m just suggesting here, I don’t know how realistic it is proving some of this stuff.

        Personally, I think we need to figure out a way to get all this info condensed and together and send it to mainstream media so they stop pushing these stories of harassment and threats against women. It’s getting tiresome. Anita just lied to Stephen Colbert’s face last night.

      4. That’s a good suggestion.

        I’ve been following the Techraptor story — one of the counterpoints to their sub-Reddit being shutdown was that it went against Reddit’s policy of “spam”. While it fits the nature of Reddit’s censorship over #GamerGate material, they can utilize their policies as a sound argument against the sub.

        As for the host shutting down on them… I’ve follow that one as well. Unfortunately there’s no actual evidence tying the host issues to #GG. From what I’ve seen there’s been no statements from the server host about it specifically (if there is a comment/statement from them, feel free to point me to it. I would, of course, have to interview the good folks at Techraptor to find out exactly what the server hosts have said.)

        As for TFYC and Jennifer Daww… I did listen to that Soundcloud and I’ve only lightly heard about Daww’s story. The main idea is that when attacking the media you want to ensure that you have something (at this point anyway) damning enough to make them look like fools.

        He-said/she-said can help with the perception of #GamerGate when handled properly, but aiming to find indisputable proof to showcase the media as the liars that they are feels a bit more substantial.

        But you’re right, those are things worth looking into… I’ve been trying to follow a lot of different leads lately so if I have time I may check into them as soon as possible.

      5. I did a bit of digging and it appears that at the time the host refused to mention why they deleted TeckRaptor’s IP. I don’t know if this has changed since then. They changed hosts. It appears a parody account was pretending to be a Reddit admin and saying they removed their subreddit due to the articles.


        Owner of TechRaptor’s twitter

        I understand about looking for better leads with indisputable proof. Those should come first. I just figured we were out of them since we haven’t had any big news lately.

        On the subject of female devs not getting coverage unless they are discriminated against, I just figured if there were those 2 cases there were probably at least several more. Figured people would want to know about their hypocrisy in only reporting on women negatively in the industry instead of positively. But you’re right he said, she said can get a little hairy unless you have a lot of examples.

      6. Actually, it completely and totally absolves them of any responsibility so long as newsworthiness is found in the information. If not, they aren’t protected by that clause in the Publication of Private Facts sections of law.

  2. This article gets dangerously close to doxxing itself. Maybe remove some of this “his location and employer are easy to find” Under no circumstances start harassing this guy or calling his work.

    That said, Destructoid again, huh?

    Also, if you favorite a tweet that doxxes someone, you’re doxxing someone, so Maya Kramer is absolutely guilty, and likely Quinn as well.

  3. A comment that was found on this medium article: (https://medium.com/message/72-hours-of-gamergate-e00513f7cf5d)

    I just completed focus groups on cyberbullying in various social media platforms and the 157 undergrads overwhelming report a RT is an implicit approval of a tweet.

    And I agree completely. Although some people do retweet things not as approval but to point something absurd out, although I doubt that’s what ZQ was doing in her case.

    1. I found it easier to put directly into my bio that my retweets are not equal to endorsements, and that I will Tweet about or retweet things I find interesting, even if they are controversial or I don’t personally agree with their content.

      Hell, I’ve been known to retweet those Grumpy Cat parody accounts if they say something I find amusing.

      1. But would you retweet someone’s doxxing information? Also if someone tweeted out a death threat or harassment would you retweet that? And let me get to the main point, and I’m not sure if you’re pro or anti-gg, but let’s say someone calls for the people of gg or anti-gg to be thrown in concentration camps and be ruthlessly murdered. And say you have a dislike for this same group that this individual is calling out, and this is visible through the history of your twitter post, although you’ve never personally called out for this group to be murdered, your followers know you dislike the group as well. Now if you were to retweet that tweet about throwing the group into concentration camps, what would you call that? Because as far as I see, if someone has a history of disliking a group, and then retweets something asking for that same group to die, it kind of feels like they agree with the tweet, especially if they don’t follow up with another tweet saying they don’t condone that type of extreme tweet and behavior.

  4. Holy moly does that quote stink from Niero. It’s like he’s not even trying.

    I’d mention Ross was in the virtual newsroom on a daily basis (mostly to chat), joined staff at major industry events, and so on — but even the public can see he reviewed major titles from as recent as 2013.

    I didn’t know Ross personally, so I can’t speak of his character.

    Didn’t some ex-Gawker employee recently tweet that he’d buy the info of Internet Aristocrat from someone who was trying to sell his private info on Twitter?

    So, two confirmed attempts at Doxxing tied to games media and these game outlets have yet to offer one name from the plethora of attacks toward Anita, Wu, and Zoe.

    Yeah, this stuff isn’t going to end soon is it? 🙁

    1. Didn’t some ex-Gawker employee recently tweet that he’d buy the info of
      Internet Aristocrat from someone who was trying to sell his private info
      on Twitter?

      Yes. It’s well documented. Funny how the media is doing everything they can to overlook their own unethical behavior.

      1. Mostly means not always. And I am curious are normal members of the ‘Community’ invited into the newsroom?

        “Ross was never an employee, just a smart guy from our community who pointed out typos.”

        Who also happens to write reviews. Some honesty here would be nice.

      2. Sounds like that whole “gawker interns do the work of employees but aren’t TECHNICALLY employees so don’t get paid” bullshit there, Niero… Just sayin’.

      3. And yet he showed up at industry events and REVIEWED games on your site in 2013? Drop the intellectual dishonesty already, Niero.

  5. I’ve published almost 600 writers over the years, I cant keep track of them all. I meant that Aerox was *very* active 5 years ago.

    There’s a notable crop of the “community blogs” banner in that screenshot of his work, by the way. Looks like our editors our community managers promoted some of his reviews. Is that illegal as well?

    1. I’ve published almost 600 writers over the years, I cant keep track of
      them all. I meant that Aerox was *very* active 5 years ago.

      That’s fine. I think most people assumed this anyway.

      There’s a notable crop of the “community blogs” banner in that
      screenshot of his work, by the way. Looks like our editors our
      community managers promoted some of his reviews. Is that illegal as

      Nope, not illegal.

      Only thing I was trying to confirm was what sort of position Ross held at the site or in what regard. It wasn’t a “gotcha” moment.

      Screenshot was just to show when Ross was last active. That’s it.

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