Random thoughts on harassment data

Disclaimer: These are not real statistics. The sample pools are way too small to be taken seriously.

Today I wanted to look into the numbers behind the #gamergate tweets even further. We’ve all seen the Newsweek data (and if not, here you go) and I’ve already done some quick analysis here. 

I will be using Topsy for a lot of the data. Since Topsy only allows me to go back one month I will use a different set of data from Newsweek’s in order to remain accurate. I will also add in a couple more names so that we have an even ratio of males to females on both sides.
*Notes*This information was taken b/w 9/29 – 10/29. ( ) = gamergate, gamergater, gamergaters

Females against Gamergate

Anita Sarkeesian (@femfreq)- 28,088
Total tweets=196
Tweets including #gamergate = 20 (11)

Brianna Wu (@spacekatgal)- 26,894.
Total tweets=3,801
Tweets including #gamergate = 68 (93)

Leigh Alexander (@leighalexander)- 4,585
Total tweets=1,770
Tweets including #gamergate=10 (15)

Zoe Quinn (@TheQuinnspiracy)- 3,085
Total tweets= 4,501
Tweets including #gamergate = 28 (103)

Males against Gamergate

Max Read not included due to zero personal activity on Twitter. Could skew results

Chris Kluwe (@chriswarcraft)- 13,492
Total tweets- 924
Tweets including #gamergate- 139 (24)

Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle)- 7,834
Total tweets- 884
Tweets including #gamergate- 16 (13)

Max Read (@Max_Read)-2,864
Total tweets- 0
Tweets including #gamergate-0

Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo)- 1,587
Total tweets- 335
Tweets including #gamergate- 1 retweet (4)


The reason for all of this is because I want to examine the differences between the females and the males. The female opponents to Gamergate have definitely been tagged in more tweets overall. But numbers alone do not tell a story, there is ALWAYS context behind them.

Summaries of differences between the Females vs. Males.
Tagged in #gamergate tweets= 15,663 vs 6,048
# of total tweets= 2,567 vs. 536
# of all gamergate tweets= 87 vs. 49
Amount of followers= 80.3k vs. 72.9k

Overall, females were more likely to make their own #gamergate tweets. This can have two effects.

  1. By tweeting #gamergate they are actively engaging their opponents. Since it’s pretty safe to assume that their tweets are on the negative side, people then feel compelled to reply/defend themselves.
  2. Also, when they make #gamergate tweets, their followers/supporters are likely to retweet them, which also increases how often their name is tagged with #gamergate.

Out of the males, Kluwe’s statistics are the most similar to the females. He was tagged in the most #gamergate tweets. He also has the most followers, tweets the most and mentions gamergate the most. This could be used to support the relationship between # of tags and Twitter activity/popularity. (Support. Not Proof.)


I think it is interesting that there is such a high difference between the numbers for Sarkeesian(28,088) and Wu(26,894) compared to Alexander(4,585) and Quinn(3,085). There are many possible explanations for this.

  1. Higher prevalence on Twitter. Sarkeesian in terms of followers, 192k (more than the other three combined) and Wu in terms of both # of tweets, beaten only by Quinn, and # of tweets containing gamergate.
  2. Higher aggressiveness towards Gamergate. Sarkeesian and Wu are a couple of the most aggressive opponents to gamergate. And Sarkeesian thought aggression was a masculine trait? Bad joke. I apologize 😦
    1. I believe the attention increases two-fold through to their aggressive acts and then consequent claims of being victimized.
  3. They have also been the most publicized. Wu and Sarkeesian have both been in the media, within gaming and outside of it. They are putting themselves in the spotlight and then complaining when they get burned.
    1. I have a hypothesis that there may be a direct correlation between number of public appearances and number of tagged gamergate tweets. But that may come in a future post.

Overall, I believe there are many, MANY factors that affect the amount of attention each person is getting. These factors include publicity, aggression and twitter popularity. I really, REALLY don’t want to victim blame by saying they brought this upon themselves but…

Anyways, it is each person’s responsibility to NOT ENGAGE THESE WOMEN. They really do not want to talk to Gamergate other than to complain about it. They feel gamergate is harassing them and lets face it, they have reasons to believe that. We can say, oh, only .3% of gamergate tweets are used to harass them. To us, it’s only .3%. To them, it is hundreds and thousands of negative tweets meant to make them feel bad on some level, big or small.

Basically, leave them alone. It’s NOT WORTH IT. If not out of pity, then to help gamergate’s image.


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