What are the members of gamergate like?
One of the few things that is generally agreed upon regarding Gamergate is that it is not an organized movement. There is no “leader” or “manifesto.” The only qualification to become a part of the movement is to simply 1. use #gamergate and 2. there is none. That is it. This open group is ridiculously easy to join, and as far as I can see, everyone is welcome.
But what about the people using #gamergate in a negative way? I’m not talking about the “anti-GGs,” but the people who have been harassing/threatening others under the name of #gamergate. The majority of gamergate supporters will say that “they’re not a part of Gamergate.” However, this again goes back to the fundamental problem of being leaderless. No person has the right to determine who is or isn’t part of the group. There is no official stance of “only those who use our hashtag in a positive way are considered members.” A fundamental flaw is that based on the organization (or lack thereof) of Gamergate, these individuals are just as much a part of Gamergate as anyone else.
There is an important distinction to be made here. Many doxxers/harassers have already been confirmed not to be a part of Gamergate. Though they have attacked both sides, they seem to particularly focus on anti-gamergate supporters. My guess for this is because anti-GG are more likely to assume they are attacks from pro-GG and not investigate further.
Still, lets look at the facts. According to both Newsweek’s data and my own analyses, a little over 4% of all #gamergate tweets have Sarkeesian, Wu or Quinn tagged in them.
* these tweets also include their own tweets, their supporters’ tweets, and any retweets.
According to Newsweek, roughly 8% were categorized as “negative,” which brings it down to .3%, rounding up.
* “negative” can range anywhere from a death threat to “I think you are wrong about *insert topic*.”
This means that about 3 out of 1,000 tweets are used as “negative” tweets towards these women. And this is not taking in the individual aspect to these tweets. It is very possible that people sending in negative tweets have sent in multiple from a single account, which helps make the low number even more impressive.
Still, out of so many tweets, almost 3 million now, this still means that these women have received thousands of negative tweets. This is not unimportant or something to be hidden. This is something very real for these women that should be considered.
Many harassers are indeed part of Gamergate. With gamergate’s open policy, it’s impossible to say conclusively that they aren’t. With this in mind, I would also like to turn my attention to another generally ignored act from the individuals of Gamergate: Charity.
As of 10/30, these are the existing numbers (according to gamergate.me)
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION GAMERGATE CHARITY: $5,540
PACER CENTER NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION GAMERGATE CHARITY: $16,612
#GAMERFRUIT/#GAMERGATE – HELP THE HUNGRY: $890
From GamerGate to UNICEF: $1,305
GAMERGATE CHARITY DRIVE V3.0 (Multi-charity): $1,078
GamerGate having a charity stream! Extra Life 2014: $6,591
The Fine Young Capitalists – Women making Video Games For Charity: $71,496
– Not a charity, but will be donating the bulk of any money earned to charity.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM #GAMERGATE AND #NOTYOURSHIELD: $220
– Raising money as a birthday present for Leigh Alexander, one of the journalists involved.
Altogether, that is $103,732 raised out of goodwill.
Now, this does not excuse the harassment or death threats. Nothing does. However, it does show that Gamergate is not all about harassment or that every person supports it. Gamergate is full of so many different types of individuals that to try to put any label on it is impossible. BUt people keep trying and this is wrong. Both sides are guilty of this. The Antis who focus on the harassers and ignore the charitable and the Pros who focus on the minorities and ignore the MRAs. Trying to hide/ignore any part of Gamergate is like lying and will only serve to make the other side not believe your words. If Gamergate is to be judged by the acts of its individuals, then judge it by the sum of ALL their individuals.
– The males
– The females
– The caucasians
– The minorities
– The transgendered
– The harassers
– The charity donators
– The MRAs
– The egalitarians
– The feminists
– The gamers
– The non-gamers
– The journalists
– The developers
Very opposing factions are still coming together and working together for a common goal. Somehow, I really doubt that it’s all for “oppressing women in the gaming industry.” If you are going to judge Gamergate based on its individuals, then don’t cherry pick which. Either accept them all or accept none of them. This is equally important for both sides to keep in mind.