#GamerGate: CBC Contradicts Ethics Principles While Denying Impropriety


CBC

The CBC Ombudsman has made a declarative position on whether or not the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was in breach of their ethics policy during their lopsided coverage of #GamerGate. According to the CBC Ombudsman, Esther Enkin, the CBC has not committed any breaches of journalistic impropriety in their coverage of #GamerGate.

Ombudsman Enkin recently reviewed a case about the CBC’s National segment about #GamerGate and deemed that the coverage of the prime-time news segment was ethical. A concerned reader sent over the report today, on January 5th, 2015. The CBC Ombudsman will make a public version of the PDF report available at a later time on the CBC’s website. I’ll get to some of the details of that report later.

Previously, Enkin responded to a complaint back on December 11th, 2014 regarding the coverage of #GamerGate on the CBC’s community news blog. Enkin explained to the reader how the original article published back on October 17th, 2014 did not breach CBC’s ethics policy.

Enkin also stated there are multiple aspects to #GamerGate that are being discussed that some people may not like, writing…

“The fact that you reject the negative narrative does not mean it should not be discussed.”

No one is saying that a “negative narrative” should not be discussed, but a negative narrative founded on lies and the misappropriation of facts only helps muddy the truth and influence the public with false information.

Enkin goes on to say…

"You reject the negative connotations of GamerGate because it does not apply to you as a gamer. That doesn’t make it wrong to talk about the fact that some negative things are now associated with it.”

A leaderless consumer movement can be defined by majority rules. Kotaku in Action is a hub for the consumer revolt with clearly defined rules that are represented by more than 23,000 individuals. Having the media define the group by undocumented cases of sporadic harassment from unknown trolls and being unable to name or identify said harassers is libelous against people who do identify with the hashtag as a consumer revolt against corruption.

Unless the media can properly identify their claims that harassers are prominent enough to co-opt the hashtag, they are propagating libel. To this day the media have yet to provide documented proof that #GamerGate is a definitive harassment campaign.

According to the CBC’s own “acts and policies” under their programming and journalism ethics standards, it states…

“We seek out the truth in all matters of public interest. We invest our time and our skills to learn, understand and clearly explain the facts to our audience. The production techniques we use serve to present the content in a clear and accessible manner.”

According to Lauren O’Neil’s piece on the CBC community news section, she states in one section…

“Canadian-born media critic and blogger Anita Sarkeesian has become somewhat of an inadverdent poster girl for targets of GamerGate-related abuse recently after suffering months worth of harasssment at the hands of internet trolls.”


[…] “it's Sarkeesian who's got the world buzzing over GamerGate today — and many online, both within and outside of the gaming industry, are saying enough is enough.”

If Anita Sarkeesian has nothing whatsoever to do with ethics in journalism, why is her name even stated in the same sentence with #GamerGate? The article focuses on harassment, and in this case, conflates Sarkeesian’s harassment with #GamerGate. However, as pointed out, O’Neil and none of the other CBC journalists have properly identified #GamerGate harassers.

This is the same as racists saying “some blacks are known for being violent, therefore a lot of violence happening in our society is because of blacks”. It’s false equivalence, circular reporting and guilt by association. Claims like the aforementioned example and the one about #GamerGate  are spread based on anecdotal hearsay, and therefore it positions the CBC for perpetuating libel; unless they can provide evidence for their position. This would require the CBC to report harassment taking place prominently under the #GamerGate hashtag and from known consumer advocates using the hashtag. Until this happens, they are in clear breach of not seeking the truth in all matters, especially since they have yet to provide documented evidence of #GamerGate being a harassment campaign.

Furthermore, Enkin claims in the December 11th report that…

“Since the arguments about gaming, gaming identity and the role of GamerGate appear to be ongoing, I have no doubt that CBC News will be addressing this area of popular culture again. They will be mindful of the need to provide a range of perspectives. The blog did so within the context of the issue it was addressing. There was no violation of CBC policy.

However, executive producer of CBC’s The National, Mark Harrison, actually did have a different take of conflating Anita Sarkeesian’s harassment with #GamerGate in the piece that ran on the prime-time news program, given that there has been no evident link between the two. In the latest January 5th report from Ombudsman Enkin, Harrison was quoted as such…

“There is a relationship, of course, but we didn't explain what it was and shouldn't have used the #GamerGate tag so broadly, and should have given a bit more context.”

If there is a relationship that isn’t explained or defined on a national news program then what is the average viewer supposed to take away? This is a direct violation of the CBC’s own impartiality sub-section in their “acts and policies” ethics guide, which states…

“We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate.”

Harrison admits they made a statement of relationship without defining it regarding a matter of public debate. This rings especially egregious for people unfamiliar with the event. This means they opted with a particular point of view to push the angle. This also means that on two separate occasions the CBC had reports conflating Sarkeesian with #GamerGate without properly defining the relationship other than mimicking hearsay.

This is no different than Ben Kuchera’s sloppy report on Brad Wardell regarding the sexual harassment allegations, or Kotaku’s poor reporting on Max Tempkin being an alleged rapist based on hearsay. Libelous and damaging reports without facts are prime examples of why media needs reformation.

Nevertheless, Ombudsman Enkin stated in the January 5th report that…

“The fact that some women don't agree that [#GamerGate] stands for harassment is interesting, but doesn't change the fact that it has been linked with a range of bullying and threatening behaviors.”

Citation needed. There has been documented evidence that those against the consumer revolt and aiming to protect corrupt practices have been bullying people fighting for better ethics. In fact, this is what led to Gawker losing some advertisers with professional journalists partaking in actually bullying their readers.

Furthermore – and if there were ethical journalists working at the CBC covering #GamerGate – it would have been reported that the issues of harassment have been happening against women and minorities using the hashtag since August. There is irrefutable evidence of this harassment, documented in a lengthy 20 minute video.

If the CBC wishes to stand by the sophistry of the harassment angle, the least they should do is cover both sides of the harassment angle – the kind that’s happening against women, men and kids who stand with the consumer revolt.

What then is the excuse for not covering the harassment happening to women who identify under the #GamerGate tag to support ethics reform, if harassment against women is the angle that interests the CBC? Nothing about prominent feminist Christina Hoff Sommers and the ridicule and attacks she’s received for standing with consumers under the #GamerGate hashtag, as reported by Gamesreviews?

According to Ombudsman Enkin in the January 5th report, the CBC National piece was not in violation of their ethics policy. However, the piece was still only one-sided against the harassment angle they chose. So what’s the excuse for continuing to breach their own policy of balanced reporting by not even balancing out their reports regarding the harassment?

If you feel the response from the CBC Ombudsman was not satisfactory and you feel as if the coverage of the CBC has not been fair or balanced, you can get proactive.

Twitter user Lunar Archivist shared an e-mail that helps define what you can do after receving a response from a member of Parliament. In the e-mail, Francis Scarpaleggia, a Liberal Caucus member of Parliament stated…

“As you may know, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is the public regulatory agency that oversees matters relating to broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada. The CBC falls within the CRTC’s purview. I therefore invite you to contact the CRTC with your concerns about the CBC’s journalistic practices”

You can contact the CRTC over on their official website  or through their online complaint form.  Even those outside of Canada can use the complaint form to address the CBC’s biased coverage. Feel free to contact them if you’re unhappy with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s coverage of #GamerGate.

[Update: It’s also possible to contact the Canadian Heritage Ministry by visiting the official website.]

[Update #2: You can also use this form to directly make a complaint with the CRTC, even if you aren’t Canadian.]



About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • Andrew ‘Wolfie’ Woolford

    And they just ignore the positive side because it fucks with their negative narrative and means people will be after them next. Then again, maybe it’s about time people woke up to the bullshit all news has become.

    • Ms_Fortune

      NotYourShield alone destroys their entire narrative, of course they’ll never talk or acknowledge it.

      • Dr. Science Wizard

        They acknowledge it, but only insofar as to say that it’s “interesting”, while totally ignoring the greater implications of women and minorities participating in an alleged hate movement that’s supposed to be dedicated to harassing…women and minorities.

        They’re so clueless that I find it to be easy to buy the possibility that this person sincerely believes that no ethical breaches were committed. Like…the quality of journalism has slid so far down the fuckery flagpole that they actually see the lazy, irresponsible reporting they did there as being a-okay. We fight for better journalism precisely due to lackadaisical bullshit like this, and they’re not even capable of recognizing the problem.

        Hell, I’m actually offended by how defensive and blind this shithead’s response was, and by how completely out of touch it was. Just…man, these people are fucking lost.

  • Erthwjim

    The guy’s a member of parliament? Also, I wouldn’t really expect the CBC Ombudsman to find in favor of something against CBC, call me skeptical, but there’s a reason third parties exist to do things like this for many industries.

    • “The CBC investigated the CBC and found the CBC innocent.”

      Screw that. It’s time to go to the CRTC.

      • Elilla Shadowheart

        Skip the CRTC. You want the CBSC(Broadcast standards council) and you want to contact the Heritage Minster and Industry Canada.

      • Hm, duly noted. Added a link in there and updated the link. Thanks for the heads-up.

      • Elilla Shadowheart

        I’m not a real fan of the CRTC because it’s packed with industry insiders who are there to basically “protect their buddies” the CBSC is kinda in the same boat, but if people hammer them plus the two ministers in question they’ll note that something is up.

      • lunararchivist

        I looked into the CBSC in greater detail and my concern is that our window of opportunity may have closed:

        https://www.cbsc.ca/english/complaint/index.php

        The form states that we need to file a complaint within 28 days of broadcast, a deadline which is long since past since the last CBC GamerGate hit piece aired on November 14, 2014. On the other hand, it took nearly seven weeks for my complaint to go through CBC’s official channels, so that might make us exempt from that requirement.

        I’m going to call the CBSC tomorrow to ask. In the meantime, anyone who’s interested in brainstorming can go the following Reddit thread and contribute ideas:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2rs66h/gamergate_vs_the_cbc_where_weve_been_and_where/

        Usher, you’re more than welcome to join us there. 🙂

      • Javier Vega

        Why don’t you show them the Gamergate Facebook page as evidence?

      • They don’t care about evidence. The reporter from the ABC was also shown ample amounts of evidence by several people and still chose “muh soggy knees”.

        The whole point of this article is to demonstrate that this has nothing to do with facts, truth or ethics from media.

        Use the actual facts to contact the appropriate individuals with the forms/info included in the article or that Lunar Archivist tweet and get the suits on Parliament hill to take action (even if you’re not Canadian).

        We’re going to the top and we’re going to have to bring the whole house down if they don’t want to do right by their own ethics policy.

      • lunararchivist

        When I requested that the CBC ombudsman review my case, I wrote an EXTREMELY lengthy letter to her outlining GamerGate’s case that I posted in its entirety on Reddit’s KotakuInAction subforum here:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2rhgcd/the_cbc_officially_denies_misrepresenting/

        Notice how many of the points I brought up were never addressed and outright ignored.

        Also, for bonus points, CBC journalists, reporters, and staff members openly mocking GamerGate and NotYourShield’s concerns:

  • DynastyStar

    damn it! why does the “share” have to be in a different place on every site!

  • aRunning_Maniac

    “Since the arguments about gaming, gaming identity and the role of
    GamerGate appear to be ongoing, I have no doubt that CBC News will be
    addressing this area of popular culture again. They will be mindful of
    the need to provide a range of perspectives.”

    Well, seeing how they already established a narrative, one which heavily asserts that GamerGate is somehow responsible for the harassment of women, then I seriously doubt they’re going to backpedal from that in the future.

    I swear, it’s like we’re living in the fucking Twilight Zone at this point. Approaching a story with as much objectivity as possible is a foreign concept it seems, at least when it concerns gaming culture. The media would much rather attempt to cause public outrage by taking leaps of logic, misappropriating or ignoring information, and then screaming: “Breaking news! Harassment and sexism is rampant within #GamerGate and gaming culture! Oh, and don’t worry, we don’t have to provide you with any proof of this. Just take take our word for it!”

    John Carpenter or Paul Verhoeven could make a movie out of this shit.

    • Man, it’s like they came in backwards and wrong and now have to hunker down and protect their backwards and wrong positioning by saying “This is true because we say it is.”

      It’s literally insane.

      John Carpenter or Paul Verhoeven could make a movie out of this shit.

      https://giant.gfycat.com/BasicCourteousClumber.gif

      • aRunning_Maniac

        Oh, man, that gif is awesome. I would have just posted that had I known it existed. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 🙂

  • handsomejack47

    Looks like the CBC took a page out of FIFA’s playbook when it came to investigating itself, eh?

  • Hey guys,

    I’m a writer in the media and would like to offer my perspective in what’s happening with GG coverage.

    First of all the news doesn’t care about one side, nor does it actually care about Anita, GG, etc. News has become, to quote South Park, a “bastardized quest for ratings”, and they will use whatever’s popular and spin it in a way that gets most views.

    That being said, writers and anchors who confabulate and actually report on the news can often become biased in favor of GG or anti-GG sentiments.

    What were seeing (and what we saw with the laughable MSNBC/HuffPost interviews, and other mainstream media) is simply major sites cashing in on a side of a story that guarantees the most views.

    They want to rile people up. This is how they hook you in, and control your emotions. Sadly, rather than reporting on actual facts, they sensationalize every aspect of a hot story to make it hotter.

    I feel it’s less than spinning a narrative than finding a way to get views with cunning and subterfuge.

    Also gamers are not defended in any measure against their own industry, and thus they can be freely picked on by the news sector. That’s how they see it–theres no one to jump in and mitigate things, as there is with other advocacy groups.

    But you are right to say the news is skewed and slanted. It is very leftist and Liberal, and if you think politics aren’t involved, you should investigate how the media has reported news in the ages of Dan Rather et all

    When it comes to things like this, we’ll never get fair reporting because pain and blood is gold to newscasters.
    They are bloodhounds, they seek strife out like perverse human vampires.

    But the worst part is that they try to hide this aspect by appearing to be caring and supportive, when really they’re simply using people like Brianna Wu and Anita to get views.

    In their current state, the news itself is terribly unethical. And it’s been this way for so long before GG arrived. I hope it changes, but there is a huge dynasty in place that’s been doing this for half a century, so….

    • draconian139

      I disagree about them taking a side as I feel like they are protecting their own interests. I do think they care about GG, if we were actually successful in stamping out biased inaccurate reporting in games journalism it could inspire people to go after regular journalism next and this would hurt their ability to generate revenue through the sensationalist method you mentioned.

    • Mighty No. 56008

      Wow at Enkin totally missing the point. I don’t think we have issues with reporting on the “negatives of GamerGate” (whatever that is), but they totally ignore the other side of the story.

  • Mephisto

    I have watched the CBC turn to shit in the last year, I no longer watch any of it.

  • Jared90

    Is it true that legal libel has to target a specific individual in order to be prosecuted as such? This has come up several times since the initial media blitz, and I am still wondering if we could have a case, here.

    • draconian139

      I’m unsure of other countries but in the case of the US the most common interpretation is that it must be targeted to an individual, yes.

      Here’s a good link on the subject:https://uscivilliberties.org/themes/3884-group-libel.html

      Something to note is that the current interpretations were made before the rise of call out culture. “This common-law rule is grounded in the rationale that such a general condemnation could not reasonably be construed as targeting each individual member of the group, and the disparagement is too diffuse to create a realistic likelihood of reputational injury to any individual member.” Since its arguable that this rationale no longer applies, considering the number of people that antis have targeted in an attempt to get them fired, we could attempt a challenge to this but it would be a direct challenge to legal precedent and interpretation and would likely need to go to a higher court. This would require considerable funds and a lengthy campaign measured in years.

    • Pedantic Nerd

      To add to what Draco said, the functional inability of a group to sue for libel is precisely why the antis always lump us together whenever they make a wild claim about us. They know what they’re doing, and they know exactly how fucking effective it is given our collective inability to do much of fuck-all about it.

      It’s when they start libeling people on an individual basis that shit becomes a little more rocky for ’em, and I for one would love to see the people whom they’ve dragged through the mud take whatever legal action is afforded them under current laws.

  • Ricardo Lima

    They treat ethics as buzzword to be ignored at their convenience. While we cant change all media in a day we should not forgive nor forget until changes and amends are made #GamerGate.

  • marcusmaximus04

    You said, yourself, that KotakuInAction is a prime spot to look for real Gamergate views. And then, later, say that Anita Sarkeesian has nothing to do with it. And yet, I’ve seen countless posts to KiA specifically about her. I don’t claim to be on either side of this issue, but you’re denying reality to paint your movement in the best possible light. Sure, the other side is doing the same thing, but that hardly excuses this behavior.

    GamerGate is NOT just a consumer movement against poor ethics in journalism. That’s in there(and is the most positive aspect) but so is: demanding that perceived sexism/racism/whatever the asked gamer specifically doesn’t find important never be mentioned in reviews, rabid anger against feminists(Sarkeesian in particular), feeling generally insulted by certain opinion pieces. So long as you continue to pretend that none of these other factors exist(while simultaneously continuing to write/complain about them), nobody is going to take you seriously.

    • Sarkeesian is part of it now because of false reports like the one from the CBC.

      The media made Sarkeesian part of it, so now GG has to deal with her and McIntosh. It’s no different than Brianna Wu interjecting into the whole thing when it had nothing to do with Wu.

      The media conflated Sarkeesian’s harassment into the narrative out of no where. That’s my point, though. Where is the evidence that Sarkeesian had any attachment to GG before the media put her into the picture? They never provided any and still haven’t.

      • marcusmaximus04

        That makes sense if the mentions of her are purely in the realm of what the media is saying about her and whether is (knowingly) false. But it doesn’t really explain caring or talking about anything else she does, as she’s not a journalist. Same goes with Wu and Quinn.

        Still, I keep seeing posts on KiA, here, and the Ralph retort talking about them and what they’re doing(another good example would be the article going into depth to prove that Wu didn’t leave her house for very long after being evacuated). They matter or they don’t. If they don’t, stop talking about them entirely. If they do, own up to the fact that they do.

      • They matter or they don’t. If they don’t, stop talking about them entirely. If they do, own up to the fact that they do.

        I think part of the problem is that too many people have had to revert to defense mechanisms against the attacks levied at them and the movement because they were forcefully interjected into it.

        A lot of people have said to just ignore them, and I think that’s the best thing. However, there’s still the measure of the journalists using lies to push their agenda — so in a way, they’re tied to the journalists who say things like “Wu had to leave the house” and then people try to go through extreme lengths to disprove this.

        Or like when the journalists said that McIntosh and Sarkeesian weren’t here to take away our games, even though that’s kind of what it looks like when some games are being called on to be banned from shops and distributors. So if the journalists are giving these people platforms based on lies, and some people in GG are calling them out, then yeah… they become an issue even when a lot of people didn’t want them to be.

        Keep in mind, though, that — as I mentioned — they only became an issue because the media made them one. It wasn’t as if people were talking about Sarkeesian and Wu when they were trying to get Kotaku to answer for Grayson’s impropriety. The media made them a talking point and now it’s kind of hard for some people to let it go because of the intricate lies that are now starting to look like truth.

        Even now, you’re assuming that GG made Anita, et al, are the fascinations of GG when they were first the fascinations of the media and conflated to GG, making them forced talking points. Some people will have a hard time letting go of that.

    • Dr. Science Wizard

      You’re a case study in the effect that irresponsible journalism has on the weak-minded. Well done, sir. Well done.

      I mean, fuck, is it too much to ask that folks engage their damnable brains? I mean…is it really? Should we stop expecting that you people will think for yourselves? Because you never seem to do any of that shit. You just parrot a false narrative and wag a self-important finger in our faces as if you’ve got something meaningful to say, and in the doing make it very clear that you’re probably the least qualified people to be talking about…well, pretty much fucking anything at all, ever.

      • marcusmaximus04

        Almost all of my information on GamerGate is via this blog, KiA and the Ralph retort(with occasional references to some of the blogs GG has targeted via links from those sources), and it’s content there that I’m basing everything in my comment on.

        I notice that your comment makes absolutely no claim against anything I said, but, rather, attacks me personally(presumably, because you’ve assumed I have a side in this fight?), but do you have anything in particular that I said that was false?

        Has there been absolutely no outrage from GamerGate over things like, say, a review of a game pointing out perceived(whether rightly or wrongly) sexism as a mark against it? Has there been no anger whatsoever directed at feminists(in particular, “third-wave” feminists) by the GamerGate community? Has there been no anger about opinion pieces some gamers found to be insulting? Because not one of those has anything, whatsoever, to do with ethics in journalism.

      • lunararchivist

        I’ll take a shot at answering some of your questions:

        1. Feminism isn’t some kind of monolithic entity. Much like anyone can post under the #GamerGate hashtag and do horrible things – as journalists love to point out – so, too, can any self-declared feminist do horrible things in feminism’s name. (Funny how you never hear anyone bring that up, though.) In general, GamerGate supports equity and sex-positive feminists and opposes radical, gender, and sex-negative feminists.

        2. GamerGate is split on this, but I belong to the camp that believes that reviews should answer one question: is this game fun and enjoyable to play? The problem here is that the current crop of gaming journalists are unable to divorce their identity and gender politics from their game reviews and need to filter everything through that lens. As a professional, you should be able to do this.

        One great and widely cited example of how to reconcile the two can be seen on the Christ Centered Gamer website. Here’s their review of “Red Dead Redemption”:

        https://www.christcenteredgamer.com/index.php/reviews/60-console/playstation-3/5310-red-dead-redemption

        Each title is given two scores: a “Game Score” (related to technical merit) and a “Morality Score” (based on how well the game adheres to good Christian values). This allows readers to evaluate the game based on the criteria that are important to them as opposed to the criteria that the reviewer thinks should matter most (which is what the social justice extremists are doing). And even despite the fact that this website wears its biases on its sleeves and has a clear agenda, it still manages to review a title professionally, with verbally abusing the creators of the game or the people who enjoy it (another failing of the current crop of gaming journalists).

        3. As for Anita Sarkeesian, she’s brought up so much because she’s become the de facto poster child for these activism journalists and, ironically, the shield they keep using to protect themselves from criticism.

      • marcusmaximus04

        I should note that I’m not making any value judgments about any of those issues here. I’m just saying that there *are* these other aspects of GamerGate that don’t really have much, if anything, to do with journalistic ethics. I’ll leave whether or not certain ones are valid concerns for another discussion, but claiming they don’t exist is ridiculous to the same degree that your opponents claiming the ethics slant doesn’t exist is.

        GamerGate is, and has been, an issue of two sides talking past each other, cherry-picking which aspects to talk about and ignoring all others, while accusing the other of doing the same. If everyone can just be *honest* about all the issues at hand, we’re 50% of the way towards solving the whole thing.

      • lunararchivist

        “There is no ‘side’ to be on, there is no ‘debate’ to be had.” – Leigh Alexander

        That single line combined with the “Gamers are dead” articles set the tone for this entire conversation. (Or lack thereof.)

        The corrupt gaming journalists made it clear from the outset that they weren’t interested in meeting halfway, apologizing, or entering into a serious discussion. They just wanted to use guilt and shaming tactics to silence critique. Which brings us to where we are now.

      • marcusmaximus04

        Right, but that comes back to my point. Saying things like that in an opinion piece isn’t a breach of journalistic ethics. Its a valid opinion, regardless of how insulting or offensive it may be.

        It’s fine to be upset about these things, but then don’t claim that this is entirely about journalistic ethics. GamerGate, right now, is trying to have it both ways: throwing fits over things unrelated to ethics in journalism while simultaneously sending itself by claiming that it’s only about ethics in journalism(and yes, I’m aware of the extent to which your opposition similarly denies reality).

      • lunararchivist

        To paraphrase something Stephen Colbert once said, you have a right to your opinion, but not to your own facts.

        Alexander’s opinion piece hand no substance beyond her own delusional version of reality. And I’m pretty sure that her writing an article a week after her Gamasutra column for TIME magazine – one where she was asked to asked to explain GamerGate – is borderline unethical considering that she’s one of the main people responsible for starting this crapstorm up in the first place.

        Usher, care to weigh in on Alexander’s behavior? Was what she did journalistically acceptable or not? I’ve been wanting to get a definitive and/or informed answer about that for a while now.

      • She had every right to write a diatribe about gamers “not being her audience”. I may not agree with it, but on its own it’s fine.

        What isn’t fine is using the #GamerGate scandal and the consumer revolt attached to it to define what she thinks it means through another outlet. Especially if it’s based solely on her opinion.

        Conveying information as fact based on anecdotes and hearsay would be unethical.

      • lunararchivist

        Thanks for confirming. I always thought it was ridiculous how she basically gave Time Warner Inc. two black eyes.

        First, she insulted WB Games and Warner Bros. Entertainment’s audience with her Gamasutra article, and then she used TIME Magazine, part of their publishing arm, to spin things in her favor.

      • marcusmaximus04

        I was unaware of a TIME article(why is this not talked about more?). Do you have a link perchance? Or was it only in print?

      • lunararchivist

        I most certainly do have a link! Here you go:

        https://time.com/3274247/video-game-culture-war/

        As for why it’s not talked about more, your guess is as good as mine. I tried several times to bring this to the attention of relevant individuals – in fact, it was the subject of the very first pro-GamerGate complaint letter that I wrote! – but I never received a single response.

      • marcusmaximus04

        Thanks. I read through that, and it’s still pretty obviously an opinion piece rather than an attempt at factual reporting article(note that she doesn’t ever really report on any specific instances of anything). It’s interesting that, between that and her gamers are dead piece she’s pretty clearly anti-capitalist but I’m not seeing anything like an ethical breach in just writing another opinion piece that basically reiterates her earlier one on a different medium.

      • draconian139

        Yeah, to me GamerGate has grown beyond JUST being about journalistic ethics. Its undeniably a part of it but I also see it as a fight against moralistic censors attempt to get games banned from stores over content, such as the case with GTA and Target Australia and current petitions in Canada or Steam/Hatred.

        Sarkeesian definitely falls under this as both her and McIntosh want such games to disappear and aren’t coy about that if you follow their twitters.

        Wu is mostly immaterial other than her claims are false and proving them false dismantles much of the argument against us. This in fact does tie into journalistic ethics(though not gaming journalists) as it shows that journalists do not actually follow up on leads and take every claim as truth, a great example of this is the Rolling Stone UVA story.

      • marcusmaximus04

        Now for the value judgements.

        1. No contest. That’s absolutely true and equally abhorrent(well, other than that I HAVE seen articles in prominent publications recently pointing out the issues with extremists taking feminism too far w/ respect to the whole shirt thing, the false rape accusations, etc and calling for better restraint on the part of feminists going forward)

        2. I’m part of the crowd that sees a review as an opinion piece saying why the reviewer would or wouldn’t suggest playing a game, along with absolutely everything they have in that regard. That means some reviewers will focus more on story, some on pure gameplay, some heavily weight graphics, and, yes, some will have a hard time looking beyond what they see as sexist/racist/generally offensive content. All of those are valid critiques and people who don’t care about certain aspects can easily just ignore criticisms along those lines. That said, the current model of publishers using metacritic to decide bonuses and such is ridiculous and needs to end. But that’s not really the responsibility of the reviewer.

        3. This still seems inappropriate to me, and generally makes the movement look ridiculous. It’s hurting your side and adds nothing to your stated goals. Ditto with Quinn and Wu.

      • lunararchivist

        If reviewers want to focus more on story, that’s fine. Back in my day, game magazines had a total review score that came from several values put together. One example would be:

        1. Graphics
        2. Music/Sound
        3. Controls/Gameplay
        4. Replay Value
        5. Story/Theme

        If existing sites used something like this, then their social justice extremism wouldn’t gobble up more than 20% of the total score. And even if the game failed on SJW merits, then if it scored high on everything else, it would still get a good rating.

        As for Quinn, Wu, and Sarkeesian, if you can get them to disappear from the conversation, we’ll gladly stop bringing them up.

      • marcusmaximus04

        I definitely think there’s a place for reviews like that, but you have to recognize that this really comes down to personal preference, rather than some larger ethical standard. I have no issue with some reviews being structured that way, but I wouldn’t say they all should across the board.

        I’d also note that it seems unlikely to me that, for example, anybody who doesn’t care about sexy/whatever women in media read Polygon’s review of Bayonnetta 2 and was swayed to not buy it for those reasons. Further, even if any *were* swayed, it was either because they completely lazilly looked at the number without reading anything(in which case, shame on them) or they legitimately figured out that they wouldn’t like such things(in which case the review was a complete success). The only negative impact is due to the ridiculous use of metacritic reviews to determine compensation.

      • dsadsada

        If they want to bring up only their own opinion while ignoring the technical aspects, I don’t want to see that in a review. It’s a waste of my time and doesn’t deserve the hits/money that viewing the piece would generate. That kind of thing should be limited to their own blogs. Either that or a separate blog section the writers can write in far away from the reviews section.

        Conversely, if they gave a good review to something that was actually bad or nothing special while ignoring obvious faults like bugs, I’d still be annoyed because it could increase the sales of an obviously bad game which will only cause even more of those shovelware level games to get made because the suits that make the big decisions in companies mostly just look at sales numbers rather than user feedback. Even worse is when people are essentially being conned out of their money for a subpar product. Whether it’s their fault or not, the attempt itself is despicable. I never really followed the Assassin’s Creed Unity thing but if a reviewer made no mention of the obvious bugs that appeared in them that I kept hearing about until after the players had already spent for it then that right there is a problem.

        And this is only with regards to reviews. There have been plenty of other documented cases of breaches of ethics that many of us in support of GG don’t appreciate.

        I have heard that Anita does a lot of talking about the portrayal of women in games but that her research, which is funded by donors by the way, is extremely lacking in data while using vaguely defined terms in order to attack the gaming industry as it is now. I can see people having a problem with that. For the most part, I really don’t care about her and whoever else though.

  • Dustin Geels

    lol go over their heads why didn’t we t hi nk of that in the first place

    • We needed to give them a fair opportunity to explain themselves.

      Now that we see that they can’t be reasoned with and have no intentions of changing, it’s time to go over their heads.

      • lunararchivist

        We actually went the extra mile by giving them TWO chances. The original December 11th review and mine from January 5th.

        As Usher said, we did everything by the book and within their system. Now we take it to a higher authority.

  • NorBdelta

    Sensationalism sells best

  • Roxie

    If GamerGate is just about ethics in videogame journalism than why, when you visit KIA or 8Chan, do you continually see threads about Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, Zoe or Randi? They can’t STOP talking about them and trying to dig up dirt on them, report them to the IRS, find ways to mess up their lives. Your argument would be more convincing if it weren’t easily disproved by merely visiting the sites where GamerGate is discussed and see how very, very little ethics is discussed compared to strategizing how to further injure and humiliate a few women they have chosen to target. It’s not just a relic from the “old days” (September) it continues to this day.

    Now this is where someone pipes in and says, “We can’t control who uses a hashtag, they don’t represent us, we have nothing to do with THEM, prove that there is a connection.” However this attempted defense always relates to bad things done in the name of GamerGate, not any good that comes from their campaign. You can’t claim KIA and 8Chan as your base and then disavow the conversations that happen here.

    And if it was easily proven who is behind death threats and those to shoot up a school, the FBI would have had those people arrested months ago. If the FBI, with their resources, can’t make a firm connection, how is the average blog commenter or social media user supposed to?

    I think that GamerGate has led to some positive changes like to ethics policies on blogs changing and becoming more clear. But those changes happened last summer. What GamerGate’s goal is now, is unclear. So, they are left pitching battles against their perceived enemies but there is no end goal. The battle itself has become their purpose and they will keep seeking new people to victimize in order to keep their “movement” alive. I wish it was still about ethics and was a “consumer revolt” but if you read the forums, that is just not what its advocates spend their time talking about. They don’t target unethical journalists, they are still attacking female game developers and those who support them and it has nothing to do with gaming journalism.

    • If GamerGate is just about ethics in videogame journalism than why, when
      you visit KIA or 8Chan, do you continually see threads about Anita
      Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, Zoe or Randi?

      Because the media won’t stop talking about them or purposefully making them targets. Some people have a hard time not touching the poop or taking the bait.

      You can’t claim KIA and 8Chan as your base and then disavow the conversations that happen here.

      Only the /v/ and /GamerGate/ boards are related to GamerGate over on 8chan. So unless you can explain how something bad happened on those boards it’s completely pointless to point to an unrelated board and place blame on GamerGate.

      KiA has conversations from anyone and sometimes bait-boards from the GamerGhazi group will get upvoted by trolls/lurkers/baiters. There’s a lot of strife and contention going on over at KiA with a lot of disparate opinions. Not sure what you would expect from people with widely different views aiming for a common goal.

      . If the FBI, with their resources, can’t make a firm connection, how is
      the average blog commenter or social media user supposed to?

      Then why is the average blog commenter attributing blame if they don’t have a firm connection? This explains their libelous intentions right here. Thank you for bringing that up.

      I think that GamerGate has led to some positive changes like to ethics policies on blogs changing and becoming more clear. But those changes
      happened last summer.

      FTC investigation just started this winter, and the GJP was just reported to the FTC this winter, and Gawker just updated their policies this winter. There are still ethics changes in effect and underway.

      They don’t target unethical journalists, they are still attacking female
      game developers and those who support them and it has nothing to do
      with gaming journalism.

      Didn’t know CBC, Ben Kuchera and Chris Kluwe were female game developers. Thanks for bringing this news to our attention. 🙂

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