#GamerGate: Interest Groups Want To Take Online Harassment To Senate


Today, there was a general assembly taking place in Washington, D.C. It was a panel discussion involving Katherine Cross, Sociologist and writer at Feministing, Stefan Hankin of Lincoln Park Strategies and Shireen Mitchell of Women’s Media Center. The panel was moderated by Allyson Kapin of Rad Campaign and Women Who Tech. Some of the people who attended the panel included notable individuals such as Paula B., from Workplace Fairness, Elle Cayabyab Gitlin from Ars Technica and Ally Palanzi from Vox Media, just to name a few.

The purpose of the panel? To discuss online harassment. The panel was called “Celebgate and Gamergate: A New Culture War.”

Allyson Kapin, co-founder of Rad Campaign commented about the panel discussion in the press release, saying…

“There is a cultural war erupting,” ... “We are witnessing the horrifying real-life effects it's having on women, whether they are famous or not. It's critical that we come up with viable solutions to fight this harassment because right now there are no clear laws, legislation, or social media policies addressing this issue effectively."

The press release cites a poll that claimed that 66% of Americans are calling for tougher laws to “crack down” on the “largely unregulated arena of online harassment.”

I reached out to the firm handling the “Celebgate and Gamergate” event in Washington, asking if the panel was going to address or bring these particular issues of harassment to the senate, and if this panel would be a precursor to eventually push to get legislation in place. According to Naomi Seligman from Seligman Consulting…

“The answer is yes – and they will also be discussing the upcoming US Supreme Court case Elonis
VS the United States and the potential implications on online harassment.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Elonis Vs the United States, the case involves a certain Anthony Elonis who made some very disturbing and threatening comments on social media about his ex-wife and a female FBI agent. A detailed article on Slate from Dahlia Lithwick – who was also kind enough to disclose in the article that she also serves on the board of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, which happens to be one of Elonis’ lawyers – lays out that online harassment is only taken seriously when the contents of the threat are considered a “True Threat”.

So what is a “True Threat”? According to the Slate article…

“a “true threat” requires the speaker to communicate an intent to commit violence.”

It’s further stated in the article that…

“The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, looking at the facts in Elonis’ case, held that if a statement causes a reasonable person to fear for her safety, that’s a true threat.”

Some may see the parallels between this case and some of the accusations levied at the consumer revolt known as #GamerGate. There have been numerous anonymous individuals sending death and rape threats to various groups whether they supported or were against #GamerGate, but this very act is being used to vilify #GamerGate, regardless.

As it was noted in mainstream pieces by CBC and ABC (amongst many others), the facts that identify people supporting #GamerGate receiving death or rape threats aren’t important or have been purposefully omitted to suit a specific media-biased agenda. #GamerGate is always the bad guy.

The panel discussion that happened in Washington, D.C., would use the Elonis case as a means to help further tackle the online harassment topic in the political scene, mostly in hopes of getting something done in the senate.

One of the things that may have some people on edge is that the Elonis Vs United States case isn’t just about acts of violence potentially being carried out, but as noted in the Slate article, deterring “real fear” is also a factor…

“The Justice Department supports the 3rd Circuit’s test, arguing that the law must not only prevent real violence but also deter real fear.”

There’s really no telling how far the discussions will go in the senate or what sort of bills they will aim for that don’t directly impede on the First Amendment, but anyone who thought that this was just a small issue contained within the gaming sphere – hovering over the topic of sexism in video games – will be in for a rude awakening as things continue to escalate.

(Main image courtesy of Feminist Frepuency)


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

94 thoughts on “#GamerGate: Interest Groups Want To Take Online Harassment To Senate

  1. Basically, it’s a bunch of feminists within the panel? They’re not going to get anywhere. I hope they get laughed at like clowns (if not already).

  2. The SJWs’ argument can basically be boiled down to this: “People are making fun of me on the internet! There should be a law against it!” If they do try to bring this shit to congress, we’ll bring it down the same way we brought down SOPA.

    1. This actually is a censorship issue. Harassment is a slippery slope issue: Either everything is or it isn’t.

      I’m pretty sure we’d get a lot of allies if talks of legislation happens since it would be challenged as an attack of free speech.

  3. I dearly hope that by “real fear” they mean reasonable fear. If that’s not the case then anyone can be charged for any act.

  4. They want to conflate everything to harassment of women to promote censorship.

    This is nothing more than trying to control the narrative.

    1. Just another Dhimmicrat excuse to try and regulate the internet. Funny that this started right as the government is trying to dig their filthy mitts in through FCC regulations. Typical progtarded incrementalism. They honestly don’t think we noticed the manipulation of the narrative.

  5. Frankly, I’m okay if an independent body actually does investigate death threats.
    If we could remove the toxicity from both sides (Gamergate Trolls and Militant SJWs), then maybe we can actually have a proper discussion that doesn’t devolve into arguments ad nauseum and bitter name calling.

    Our primary targets are the people behind GamesJournoPros. We shouldn’t stray from that, no matter how vitriolic the SJWs are. Our goal are the smug cowards hiding behind them, staying quiet to feign ignorance and innocence.

    And honestly, I wouldn’t mind if the trolls using our hashtag get their comeuppance.

    1. If we could remove the toxicity from both sides (Gamergate Trolls and
      Militant SJWs), then maybe we can actually have a proper discussion that
      doesn’t devolve into arguments ad nauseum and bitter name calling.

      Here’s the thing: they don’t want discussion.

      The only person who really engaged in discussion was Stephen Totillo from Kotaku, and when TotalBiscuit started drilling him on the hard questions Totillo either shut-up or came close to spilling his spaghetti.

      Like, what is there really to discuss regarding the collusion, nepotism and corruption from people like Ben Kuchera? There’s nothing really for them to say, which is why they won’t engage in discussion.

      We’re beyond discussion for some of these topics and they know it. The only thing they can do is continue to plug their ears and attempt to go to their senators to force censorship since they have nothing consumers want (on the media front).

      As for the trolls? Well, they’ll always be there… trolls will be trolls. It feels like a complete waste of resources to go after them. Giving them attention will only bring rise to other attention-seeking trolls.

      1. Jesus fuck, when I said that this whole bullshit was Harrison Bergeron come early, I didn’t mean for them to take it literally.

      2. Silence in itself, can be an admission of guilt.
        As long as we keep blowing our trumpets and maintaining vigilance, people like Totillo and Kuchera will always have their credibility tarnished, unless they can prove otherwise.

    2. Toxicity my backside! There are psychotic feminists pitching fits because we caught on to their crap, angry gamers who want the non-gamer SJWs to leave them and video games alone… and there are trolls trolling. I don’t know anyone on the Gamergate side who desires violence. The feminists couldn’t be happier if they could commit violence by proxy via the government.

    1. Prison requires a trial, trials requires facts to be presented by the accuser …they can have fun trying to prove harassment.

  6. They started the war, clearly – GG took off thanks to the “gamers are over” media campaign.

    And now gamers will get the whole blame, while (allies of) those who started the war rides in to save the day.

  7. So they are essentially trying to give SJWs the power to say “I feel threatened by this” and get everyone in trouble with the law. And these SJWs can twist anything into a threat. Hell, they said “Go jump off a cliff” was a threat. This would be completely unconstitutional in every way because it would make speaking in a certain way a criminal offense. I don’t think these congressman realize how quickly people would shoot this down if they actually tried to pass it.

  8. Hopefully, while #shirtgate is still fresh in the public minds, any sort of feminist agenda pushing will be seen with a critical eye.

    1. It’s worse. If the ‘test’ remains unchallenged it means guilt is not established in the intent of the perpetrator but in what the victim thinks, even if it’s factually unfounded. That’s an inverse thought-crime by definition – someone could have anyone arrested at the mere thought of their being harassed. Basically the test requires proving a negative and that’s pretty dangerous ground to tread.

  9. I think a look into how to treat the underlying factors that contribute to harassment wouldn’t be a bad thing. That is, if the question of whether government intervention is indeed necessary is left open for debate. I’m afraid, though, that the current media hysteria and gender focus will only favor the fear mongers, and the political opportunists will be all too happy to oblige them.

    1. Exactly. If you look at the feeds of some of these people claiming “harassment,” it’s mostly just criticism with only a couple insults. Yeah they are receiving hundreds of mentions at once, but there is no way to stop that and it’s not really fair to call it harassment. If you do something stupid or say something stupid you’re going to receive criticism. Adversity is how people learn and grow. People just need to learn to handle it with a bit more grace and dignity. When people exaggerate harassment all the time to deflect or shut down criticism, it hurts people who have actual harassment to deal with as people aren’t going to take it as serious and the authorities end up wasting resources on trivial “harassment” claims.

      These people are abusing women’s issues in an attempt to push their social/moral agenda on people through fear mongering tactics. How can you say men and women are equal when it comes to the positive stuff, but as soon as something negative happens to women we need to be appalled and treat them like children who need protection from society. These women aren’t for equality, they are for using any means necessary to manipulate people into getting their way.

    2. Jews control the media, the government and the education system. Everything thus is rigged in the SJW’s favor. The culture war which GamerGate has begun anew needs to expand. We need to create more allies of the general public as well convince fence sitters to join us and this battle needs to be politicized yesterday already. We need to marginalize the weak, timid, wishy washy and milquetoast GamerGate supporters away from leadership roles such as MundaneMatt types while promoting more ideological hardliners that are not open to compromise or backing down to the SJW scum in any way until the other side finally makes some massive concessions of their wrongdoing and firings of tainted individuals such as Nathan Grayson and Zoe Quinn occur.

      1. Jews control the media, the government and the education system.

        Oh, I have a question.

        You know how us Jews control the world?

        Doesn’t that make us the master race?

      2. You are without a doubt the master parasites of this world. Race? Not so much. In the grand scheme as the National Socialists have so brilliantly stated you are a hygiene problem and nothing more. When enough of the white race decides its time to get clean we will collectively have a bath and you’ll be ethnically cleansed right down the drain. 😉

      3. As long as your plans consist of:

        1. Assume you are superior.

        2. Invade Russia during the winter.

        3. Don’t pack any blankets .

        4. Assume everything will work fine because you have declared yourself superior.

        5. ???

        6. WORLD DOMINATION!!11!111!!1

        The world has nothing to fear.

      4. The Germans sacrifice on behalf of the white race and Europe was akin to the Spartan 300’s sacrifice at Thermapolye. As times get worse by the parasitic machinations of you Jews and your white liberal useful idiots more and more white people will begin questioning the events of the second world war and whether the things said about Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists were indeed as true as they initially thought. This process infact has already begun. We are in Weimar America and Britain stage as I type. America Erwache and Britain Erwache are not far off. The Turner Diaries becoming a non fiction novel is not far off. So celebrate while you can parasite. Time is not on your side.

  10. When they said they didn’t want to censor video games, what they meant was, they were going for the much more ambitious goal of censoring the entire internet.

    1. Yeah, I love how they always bring that up as something gamergate got wrong.

      Most unfortunately, we got it right – they want to censor video games, but you know as just one part of the internet. I mean seriously, groups like WAM (which is supported by Sarkeesian) are totally censorship, and nothing more.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if that was why #gamergate tweets have been cut in half, especially since WAM said they would go after accounts that hadn’t even violated Twitters TOS. (Meaning they weren’t harassing anyone.)

    1. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have said just that. I just want to play games without having to worry that EVERYTHING will be construed as misogyny. I play games to escape the stupidity that is every day life in this retarded society. I really don’t have the time or patience for pissy whinefests about inconsequential or nonexistent bullshit.

  11. Tell me if any one of those special snowflakes ever got a package in the mail containing a syringe, a knife with a note to “kill yourself”, a dead animal, or was physically beaten out of ones house. All done to Gamergate supporters.

    Nope, just “I felt threatened, so I’m staying with friends. Please donate to my Patreon.”

    I’m telling you, online harrassment has been present for a long time but no one cared until it happened to well-connected liberal rich white women. And they’re only attempting to legislate protection for themselves only, forget people like Brad Wardell.

    1. What happened to Brad was disgusting. Apologies are forthcoming years after the event and the damage is done regardless. They should all be ashamed.

  12. “a “true threat” requires the speaker to communicate an intent to commit violence.”

    Allow me to clarify that as it stands. 12yo comments like “bitch if I saw you I’d beat the shit out of you” would result in criminal charges if the recipient felt afraid. That is bullshit.

    Why do these people keep pretending that they can’t report threats to the FBI as it already exists???

    1. That would require the lazy cunts to be proactive about their own safety. This isn’t about harassment, it’s simply about trying to control other people, using the force of government to silence their critics.

      1. Right..”I’d beat the shit out of you” is just a critique, nothing to get upset about.

        This is about threats of violence. Which should be flat out illegal, no matter what the medium. This is about requiring people to -think- before spewing their shit all over everyone else, or to actually take responsibility for their words.

      2. They’re already illegal, so what could this possibly be about? Creating another law that does the exact same thing as currently existing laws?

      3. As Nathan said below (above?), it’s already against the law to incite violence or have someone fear for their life. So what you’re asking for is very dangerous because it requires proving a negative (proving you don’t feel threatened) vs the positive (the person making the threat had intent).

      4. No, it’s against the law to make a serious threat, for whatever the hell a jury considers “serious”. That requires determining intent, which is the dangerous thing. I propose that we make -actions- illegal, not intent. It’s pretty straightforward to prove an action…nobody can prove what was going on inside either person’s head.

      5. What on earth are you talking about? That’s how the law has always worked, it requires the establishment of intent before being able to fully convict a person. As for “actions”. Again, the law already does that, but being caught in the act doesn’t necessarily equate to guilt.. which is why we have “beyond reasonable doubt” and have the requirement to collect corroborating evidence.

        What they want is to prosecute based on someone’s perceived feelings absent there being any intent or credible threat (which is counter to the way it currently works). If you don’t find that troubling at face value then we’ve already lost.

  13. It doesn’t seem to dawn on them that the Progressives are getting their @sses handed to them politically these days. I’d like to thing that rejection of SJW’s has had a part to play in all of this.

    Maybe an executive order?

  14. This issue is bigger than videogames. The issue is Team White Vs. Team Jew. Which side are you on? Team Jew is the team behind the SJW’s and all of Cultural Marxism. I’m asking you people do you want America to become a Communist nation because if you do then continue believing the MSM narrative that Obama or Bush before him had any actual real political power and believe in the Jew’s new puppets as well who will eventually replace Obama/Biden. If however you’d like to embrace reality for a change begin naming America’s Jewish enemies who control the media, the government and the educational system (especially the universities) that are churning out these brainwashed social justice warriors otherwise known in earlier times as useful idiots.

  15. “Harassment” and “somebody being a big meaniehead and triggering me on public forums where I can quite easily block them” are two very different things. Looks like America is about to have its free speech curtailed.

  16. Yeah, sure we brought down SOPA, but how many of our former allies, now Anti-Gamergaters, would gladly let SOPA-style legislation to pass if it meant they could take a swing at “The Patriarchy.” Probably far too many.

  17. SJW – I’ve been harassed by this man on the internets!!
    Judge – This man has evidence that you harassed him instead, where’s yours?

    tfw all the SJWs end up in jail instead if this somehow goes through.

  18. And there it is, all is revealed right here. They’re gonna co-opt this Anthony Elonis situation and conflate a single incident to a global incident, the consumer revolt known as #gamergate.

    Essentially, they will attempt to make the case that the Anthony Elonis situation is a drop in the bucket compared to the “massive harassment campaign” of #gamergate and make the argument this is why legislation is needed to target harassment of women online.

    I assume how this will work is they will say, “Look at these poor women who were harassed in the Elonis case, #gamergate is far worse! doxxing and death threats!” then mention LW’s.

    Its very sneaky, its kinda the same thing when congress loads a bill with pork, they’re gonna ride on the co-tails of this case.

  19. This is of course an unproven speculation, but it needs mentioning anyway:

    DiGRA was partially funded by DARPA, the people involved in DiGRA have been censoring the internet, and now after being outed for their corruption, agenda pushing, etc. they are now starting activism to “stop online harassment” in the political sphere.

    I would not be surprised if this was an attempt to push another SOPA on the internet, using online harassment as a deflection of criticism.

    1. I’m glad someone brought this up.

      Sargon’s digging into DiGRA is actually pretty important stuff. He got a lot of flack for it and a ton of people said it was close to “touching the poop” because of how conspiratorial it all sounded.

      However, I think we may need this DARPA/DiGRA info depending on how this turns out. I’m sure that’s where a lot of the connections are between the academic scene and the political sphere. #GamerGate is nearing the final boss and it looks like it wears a name-tag called “big government.”

      1. Regardless of DARPA influence, the minutes they had on their website with extremist anti-capitalist, anti-free speech, peer-review bypassing rhetoric is enough to certify all these people as nuts.

        Anyone who says this is “touching the poop” as far as conspiratorial sounding stuff should have considered that they already call us all conspiracy theorists for no reason. “Conspiracy Theorist” used to be reserved for weird people like David Icke, Alex Jones, etc. But now it merely means anyone who has dug up inconvenient facts. (I mean for god’s sake, they had this information on their public website – it’s not like it was an unsubstantiated rumor or something)

        I’m not even sure the final boss is called “big-government” or if it is simply a group of opportunists in the government, but either way its definitely not good.

  20. How in the hell are you supposed to “deter real fear”?

    Seriously man, feminism is a horrific movement that has simply adopted the big brother policy of so many in the social justice movement. They are an integral cog in that mechanism. Their first instinct is to try to convince lawmakers to outlaw anything they deem harassment. There are already laws on the books for that.

    1. No one has a right to not become fearful. If they did, the hype-pushing mainstream media 24/7 news cycle would be shut down.

  21. The great irony of this is if the wording of the law they want is that broad, it can easily be used against anyone, including the snowflakes. Let’s not forget Geordie Tait’s proclamation to send people to the gas chambers if they support Gamergate or Kotaku saying to bring back bullying. Statements like that make me fearful, that means Im harassed, which means I can press charges.

    It would also mean that when they false flag death and rape threats, they could, nah HAVE to be reported and investigated. Any cries of “I got threatened” will immediately be met with “did you report it?” And they will, of course, answer no, cause those threats never occurred.

  22. To win this you guys are going to need to argue that existing laws are enough to deal with (real) harassment on the internet, and that it’s just that there hasn’t been enough effort to create institutions to enforce those laws on the internet.

    Invoking the first amendment by itself is not going to be a credible argument because it’s pretty well established that defamation (lying about someone’s character) and harassment are not acceptable under the law just because we have freedom of speech.

    The attempt here however seems to be to change harassment into something so overly broad that it can shut down discussions. That needs to be your focus.

    However I wouldn’t worry too much, because odds are high a bill would just get stuck in committee. Or become so overly watered down with amendments that it would be practically ineffective anyway.

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