Quick Update: Alanah Pearce interview

Background: Alanah Pearce, a video game journalist, tracked down some of her online harassers. They turned out to be young boys and she decided to report them to their mothers. She posted the reply from one mother on her Twitter, which garnered a lot of attention.  The source of the harassment has connected to Gamergate in multiple online publications. Is this accurate?

Personally, I found Pearce’s story to be fun and entertaining. The actions of children acting in such a disgraceful manner SHOULD be brought to their parents’ attention. Discipline starts from home, and I believe that mother will be definitely keeping a closer eye on their child’s online activities. [1]

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However, there is criticism from Gamergate on what they perceive to be a blatant agenda on the author’s end. The main article/statement in question is

TheGuardian: “…. Peace*, who believes the harassment she’s been receiving is directly related to the Gamergate controversy.”

Other publications have re-published the article, including Gamergate’s supposed involvement. At this moment, I would like to commend Jezebel’s journalist, Isha. When the Pearce made her previous statement, she offered to update the article to remove the Gamergate implication. [2] Pearce declined it. [3]

https://twitter.com/Charalanahzard/status/538502490925191168

The controversy started with Pearce stating on Twitter, in regards to the harassment from the boy, “… I’m not comfortable suggesting that this is related to GG. There’s no indication of that.” [4]

Gamergate has taken Pearce’s words as indication of a journalist projecting their own beliefs in their article rather than their subject (a big no no) They have taken other tweets as proof of the interviewer having asked her leading questions and then misquoting her answer. [5] [6]

https://twitter.com/Charalanahzard/status/538508274094456832

Everett True, the journalist from The Guardian, insists there is no misrepresentation (quote taken from comments section). [7]

“At no point in this article have I lied, or misquoted Alanah.
I have been in constant contact with her tthroughout today, and a few minutes ago she just sent me this statement.
‘Alanah believes that the increase in rape threats or sexist comments she has seen recently, including this one, is directly related to gamer gate, but is not comfortable suggesting that it is as there is no solid proof.'”

So, this is what we’re left with, according to True and Pearce.

  1. Pearce believes that Gamergate is responsible for the increase of online harassment but does not want to suggest it from lack of proof.
  2. And yet, wouldn’t saying she “believes the harassment she’s been receiving is directly related to the Gamergate controversy” explicitly suggest Gamergate’s reponsibility?
  3. Furthermore, wouldn’t saying “… I’m not comfortable suggesting that this is related to GG. There’s no indication of that.” also then contradict #2?
  4. Pearce has stated that “…I said it could be directly related to GG…” However, there is a huge difference between someone saying “it COULD be directly related” and someone saying “believes […] IS directly related.”
  5. Finally, in regards to the other publications, Pearce has stated “No, the Guardian is not at fault. People RE-publishing based on one small statement are.” [8] She followed up with “Guardian didn’t technically lie, just removed extremely important context. Others have lied.” [9]

Adding to the situation are the reactions from journalists.

Everett True, the journalist who wrote for The Gaurdian, claimed to be receiving abuse from Gamergate for the article. [10] However:

  1. There were only between 10-20 tweets in roughly two hours that mentioned both @everetttrue and #gamergate before he made that claim. [11] The vast majority of those tweets were critical of his article, but criticism =/= abuse.
  2. He claims he was receiving abuse for mentioning #Gamergate. He did not receive a single mention from Gamergate until Pearce made her “… I’m not comfortable suggesting that this is related to GG.” comment.

Another journalist facing criticism is Tom Bogionni from Raw Story whose article featured the headline “Gamergate victim strikes back at male stalkers with a brilliant new ploy: Telling their moms.” [12] Rather than trying to correct or explain his article, he instead chose to antagonize his critics. [13] [14]
The article has since been updated with a different title “Game reviewer strikes back at male stalkers with a brilliant new ploy: Telling their moms.” [15] They also included an Editor’s Note: “Pearce previously said that Gamergate activists were behind her harassment, but then told the Guardian that she changed her mind about that. We have changed the headline to reflect her change of heart.” Pearce was unhappy with the note [16]

This situation seems unnecessarily confusing. I have reached out to Pearce over Twitter in hopes of fully clarifying what exactly happened. I will update if I receive more information.

*The misspelling of Pearce was taken directly from the article.

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