If you needed any kind of legitimate, peer reviewed proof that #GamerGate wasn’t a harassment campaign based on the claims centered around the blocklists, the Women Action Media! organization has released a detailed report proving just that: #GamerGate is not a social media movement to harass women out of the tech industry.
Over on the Women Action Media! website – designed to work closely in connection with Twitter to get immediate action taken against reported harassers on Twitter – a PDF report was released, which you can view right here, indicating that most of the reports on harassment were on behalf of others. In fact, only 43% of the people who received harassment actually reported it. 57% of the bystanders and delegates were the ones who reported the harassment. Even more than that, few of the reports about harassment had anything to do with #GamerGate at all.
In section 1.2 of the WAM! harassment report on page 24, it’s stated that “Most Alleged Harassers Were Unconnected With GamerGate.”
Only 12% of the people reported as harassers to WAM! had any connection to the ggautoblocker list . Most of the times, according to the data, only one account was reported an inordinate amount of times, where as two or more accounts were infrequently reported. This means that it was mostly one person at a time exercising a lot of the so-called harassment in the Twitter space.
As mentioned in the report….
“The GamerGate controversy, notable for its connection with harassment on Twitter, was ongoing at the time of data collection. To check the influence of GamerGate on these findings, the authors investigated the proportion of WAM! reports that could be linked to GamerGate. Reports to WAM! constitute a much wider range of harassment than the GamerGate controversy alone: 88% of allegedly harassing accounts [n=538] were not linked with GamerGate.”
In other words, majority of the reports about harassment that WAM! received — even in relation to the GG Autoblocker — were not associated with #GamerGate.
Furthermore, the report states…
“Among the 317 genuine harassments reports submitted to WAM!, hate speech and doxxing [releasing private information] were the most common, with 19% of cases representing reports that didn’t fall neatly into any of the categories offered.”
27% of the harassment was hate speech consisting of sexist, racist or homophobic content, while 22% of the harassment was doxxing related.
In relation to #GamerGate, the WAM! report examined Randi Harper’s ggautoblocker, which consists of 9844 accounts. And despite #GamerGate being one of the most 100 used words in many of the 172 stories printed in the media about WAM! – making the word “GamerGate” the seventh most used word in many of the reports about online harassment and WAM! – the reality is that the stats don’t match up with the media narrative. That’s not to mention that #GamerGate had an ongoing harassment patrol to weed out and dwindle down any attempts at harassment that occurred with the hashtag.
If #GamerGate was such a disruptive force of harassment against women why was 88% of the harassment reports unconnected with #GamerGate even when measuring the data from Randi Harper’s autoblocker?
Another visual breakdown of the data was also compiled in an image here, courtesy of Jasperge107:
So the stats seem to verify that maybe, just maybe, people are using the GamerGate hashtag in a fight for ethics? Does this mean the media will finally stop printing blatant defamation against anyone using the hashtag? It was already proven a while back that #GamerGate failed as a harassment campaign, but that hasn’t changed the media’s narrative all that much.
Also, if #GamerGate is the harassment campaign that sites like Wikipedia are claiming it to be, either Wikipedia editors have access to data that WAM! doesn’t, or they’re purposefully misleading people with misinformation in an attempt to defame #GamerGate. Take your pick.
[Update:] For clarity purposes, the report from WAM! was peer reviewed using the following process…
“This report was reviewed by five academic reviewers in a double-blind, revise-and-resubmit peer review process chaired by Zeynep Tufekci, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.”