"I’m Sarah Nyberg, and I Was A Teenage Edgelord."
September 14, 2015 7:29 PM   Subscribe

"​I got out, and it’s not too late for you." - Sarah Nyberg on being the subject of an online hate mob. Meanwhile Zoe Quinn talks about sympathy for her abusers, and actions turned out to have consequences for internet troll Joshua Goldberg.
posted by Artw (244 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just finished reading this not long before it got posted on here. I swear, somewhere, in an alternate universe, there's an Edgelord version of me, leaking dox, harassing women through Twitter sock puppets, and rubbing my hands with glee. I outgrew the possibility of it happening before 4chan became a thing, but I remember learning very clearly, and not surprisingly, that my old IRC buddies were all /b/tards. There's a reason I don't hang with those folks anymore. Many reasons, really.
posted by SansPoint at 7:40 PM on September 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


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posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:42 PM on September 14, 2015 [23 favorites]


That's the thing with the internet, shit you do always comes back to haunt you. I'm glad that I wasn't a teenager when Facebook was around or I'd probably have had many posts of me flashing my bra or writing status updates on LSD. BUT I am not surprised that people are reacting strongly to the disgusting content that was on there, whether it was trolling or not. I don't get why these people are always victims and not ever instigators.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:49 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hazelsmrf I don't get why these people are always victims and not ever instigators.

People grow up, people change, people learn that they did stupid shit when they were younger, and make it a point to learn from their mistakes. It doesn't help anyone for people with a grudge to dig up the documentation of those mistakes and try to destroy someone else's life.
posted by SansPoint at 7:54 PM on September 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I acknowledge that, as I said I did stupid shit too. But they didn't just go after her, she's very aggressive on Twitter and goes after other people claiming pedophilia and racism and misogyny, so when people found that in her past, I am not surprised at the result.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:58 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm kinda glad that most of my previous stupidity has been largely lost to the sands of early internet obsolesence. Sure I'm sure someone sufficiently motivated can probably discover evidence of me being obnoxiously edgy at some point in time but for the most part I realized early on that internet anonymity was anything but even if you are hiding behind 7 proxies.

It's a shame that the internet trolls can't turn their apparent copious amounts of free time towards more constructive activities. If they spent even a fraction of the time building things up instead of trying to tear things down the internet would be a brighter place.
posted by vuron at 8:01 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hazelsmrf Sarah's been exposing the background behind the year-plus of constant harassment faced by women in the gaming industry. It's a way, perhaps, of atoning for her own sins, but because of that aggressive exposure, she's now a victim. As are her family and friends. It's a completely disproportionate response, for one. She's owned her actions from her past. She doesn't need to be blamed for the consequences of doing the right thing today.
posted by SansPoint at 8:02 PM on September 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


“Hundreds of them chanted my deadname ”

What does this mean? (Not, I’m assuming, that a bunch of people spoke her old name as part of some eldritch ritual.)
posted by Going To Maine at 8:05 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Going To Maine: "Deadname" refers to the name used by a transgender person before their transition. (Don't feel too bad, I only learned this myself fairly recently.)
posted by SansPoint at 8:07 PM on September 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


The reality is that confronting structures of privilege often creates an extended period of cognitive dissonance while your mind tries to process the idea that maybe the world doesn't work in the way that you previously thought.

For many people this period can be quite extended and be marked by truly obnoxious behavior. I'm not just talking about the standard privilege denying behavior but actively harmful (and edgy) behavior which acknowledges that other people might feel differently but goddammit they are fucking wrong and you are going to tell them (and the rest of the world) how fucking stupid they are.

Sometimes at the end of that long journey people turn into allies or even crusaders attacking the communities that they came from in an attempt to reform them but yeah at least some percentage of activists are going to have skeletons in their proverbial closets. The reality is few of us were angels when we were younger and we almost always have incidents we regret. I think it's important to acknowledge that at times we are going to be less than perfect.

I tend to ignore most of the gamergate nonsense altogether but it seems like Nyberg at least is willing to own up to some past bad behavior and say that yes I was stupid but I got educated and so can you.
posted by vuron at 8:13 PM on September 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Going To Maine: "Deadname" refers to the name used by a transgender person before their transition. (Don't feel too bad, I only learned this myself fairly recently.)

No, not the deadname bit - the “chanting” bit. They’ve obviously been referencing her on various fora; that’s throughout the essay and seems to be the unfortunate norm in these situations. But I’ve never seen that called “chanting”, so was wondering if that was something else.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:14 PM on September 14, 2015


That is, fundamentally, what this is all about: I’ve become fair game for destruction by virtue of speaking against a culture I was once a part of.

This seems slightly off. Nyberg is being targeted because she’s been a vocal gamergate critic; the fact that she was once on edgelord seems incidental, even if it has personal resonance to her. Her history has given them ammunition, certainly, but they can always find ammunition - or, failing that, make some up.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:16 PM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't care how loudly Nyland accuses people of racism or misoginy on twitter - nothing she's said or done can possibly justify outing her trans status. Nor can I see a justification for dredging up old conversations and sending them to her friends and family. If these shitlords were calling up Nyland's family and accusing her of saying mean things to them to them on twitter, that would be a more justifiable course of action. But their tactic appears to be, "See, she was just as bad as we are!" As if that's a real defense and not an excuse for harassment.
posted by muddgirl at 8:16 PM on September 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


Going To Maine I'm guessing that's a bit of poetic license on Sarah's part. It's really quite cruel to refer to any Transgender person by their deadname, though, and the Gamergate types seem to relish the cruelty of it. That's why they do it so very often.
posted by SansPoint at 8:17 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


My escape from the pain of that life was the internet; trolling, stoking outrage, and defending the indefensible in an attempt to cause drama. Being hated online was an escape, and an excuse to avoid the reality and pain of life

I kind of think a lot of people may feel that way. When you are hated, at least it means people are paying attention to you.

But a recent leak from an online chat room owned by Nyberg reveals Nyberg’s disturbing past. In 2005, Nyberg described herself as a pedophile, revealed how she was obsessed with her young cousin, who was 8 years old at the time and whom we will refer to as “Alice,” defended white nationalism, and orchestrated a cyberattack against a rival’s website.

But I think that is taking it all to a pretty serious extreme. Not really the type of person I would ideally follow on a social justice campaign, even if they have grown up.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:17 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


muddgirl: I find it interesting that the same sort of people who were once all up in arms, protesting Scientology (search "Project Chanology" if you're not familiar) are now resorting to what is basically the Scientologist silencing tactic of screaming "WHAT ARE YOUR CRIMES?" at people who disagree with them. And then doxing, or making up crimes to pin on them.
posted by SansPoint at 8:19 PM on September 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's always important to remember that Anonymous is an extremely heterogenous group of people (basically, anyone can claim to be part). This makes it hard to generalize behavior across the group.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:22 PM on September 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Drinky Die But I think that is taking it all to a pretty serious extreme. Not really the type of person I would ideally follow on a social justice campaign, even if they have grown up.

One of the points of Nyberg's post is that, at least in *chan culture, claiming you're a pedophile, a Nazi, and a hacker is kinda par for the course. The goal is to shock and horrify your fellow channers, who, in turn, try to shock and horrify you. Basically, teenagers playing "Never have I ever," only inverted into a game of pure one-upsmanship. There's no way to prove, one way or the other, that the claims made about Nyberg claiming to be a pedophile are true or false, owing to both the nature of chan culture, and the manipulability of chat logs.

The judgment call I'll make is this: I'm more inclined to believe the person trying to pull back the curtain on the serial harassers than the serial harassers who want that curtain back.
posted by SansPoint at 8:26 PM on September 14, 2015 [25 favorites]


when people found that in her past

well, there's a hint. she's discussing things that are happening right now - things people are doing in the present that are actively today harming others...and they react by pointing out she was shitty in her youth. it's not really equitable and it's distressing that so many people think it is.
posted by nadawi at 8:27 PM on September 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


But I think that is taking it all to a pretty serious extreme. Not really the type of person I would ideally follow on a social justice campaign, even if they have grown up.

Eeeh. I think “follow on a social justice campaign” is a bit of an overstatement. Nyberg’s “campaign” was heavily engaging with gators on Twitter & keeping track of their doings, plus writing the occasional medium piece. (If she’s done something else, please correct me.) It was some good angry truth telling, but not the sort of thing that seemed like a “campaign” - just a vigilante Twitter user with time on her hands who cares about this. Those remarks are over the line, certainly, but hardly harmful in the same way as, uh, everything that’s been done to her.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:28 PM on September 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Not really the type of person I would ideally follow on a social justice campaign

I'm curious what you mean by "follow" - do you mean it in like a Twitter sense of "read her posts," or do you mean that Nyland was a leader of a social justice campaign that you now have qualms about supporting?
posted by muddgirl at 8:29 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


muddgirl: Nyberg, not Nyland.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:30 PM on September 14, 2015


I need to go to bed, but for those not up on this, it's not like GamerGate operates in anything close to secrecy. All you have to do is just look at their very public boards on places like 8chan to see this in action: https://8ch.net/gamergatehq/

(I'm not linking that. You'll have to copy and paste. Bring vomit bags.)
posted by SansPoint at 8:31 PM on September 14, 2015


Eeek! It's right there in the title bar! Thanks for the correction Going to Maine.
posted by muddgirl at 8:34 PM on September 14, 2015


One of the points of Nyberg's post is that, at least in *chan culture, claiming you're a pedophile, a Nazi, and a hacker is kinda par for the course.

I mean, there are chan boards that host content for actual pedophiles, racists, and hackers. The real is as part of chan culture at this point as much as any ironic stuff is.

I don't think it's even worth picking a side besides being against harassment no matter who the target is. The chat logs suggest that she sent a nude image of an underage girl to the chat room. I don't think "I was trying to be an edgy channer, this doesn't hurt anybody, right?" is a particularly good excuse for that.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:35 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


as SansPoint's link points out - searching twitter for xoxofest shows how disgusting the gator brigading is and how much they don't actually give a fuck about anything nyberg said. anyone who is supporting them in this campaign is either disingenuous or being taken for a ride.
posted by nadawi at 8:36 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


unironically linking milo yiannopoulos, for real?
posted by kagredon at 8:40 PM on September 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also, mods, if you feel like you should nuke that URL from my previous comment, you're right to do so. I don't know if anyone visiting has something to auto-link bare URLs, or something that can link back to MeFi, and have us pop up in the referrer logs. Do what you feel is right.
posted by SansPoint at 8:41 PM on September 14, 2015


My husband has a lot of gamergator followers on Twitter, and he's had some conversations with Sarah Nyberg, so my views are obviously going to be different. I keep being in awe of how different I can be from the average Mefite in regards to this one subject, it's jarring. I mean we're on completely different planets because I really don't view these people as well as you do.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:41 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hazelsmrf Just... go look at their board on 8chan, and see if you still view them the same way.
posted by SansPoint at 8:43 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


your husband supports a hate group. i hope he stops that and i hope he doesn't adopt their ideas about women for your sake.
posted by nadawi at 8:45 PM on September 14, 2015 [68 favorites]


The chat logs suggest that she sent a nude image of an underage girl to the chat room. I don't think "I was trying to be an edgy channer, this doesn't hurt anybody, right?" is a particularly good excuse for that.

No, it isn’t, but if you’re telling me the Gamergate story and then bring this in as the B C D E F G plotline I just can’t, can’t bring myself to care. Boo on Nyberg for being a crappy person back when, good on her for owning it now, and that’s all the vitriol I can muster.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:45 PM on September 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


The Joshua Goldberg article is making me feel physically ill. He incited violence and praised murders, drawing attention to himself using sock puppets, under the name of free speech. He even made accounts claiming to be other people and putting horrifying words into their mouths - under the name of free speech. How the Hel is impersonating people in order to destroy their reputations free speech????
posted by Deoridhe at 8:46 PM on September 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Hazel I think you're really misinformed with the entire situation and I hope you can take the time to educate yourself as to what has actually happened in the history of GG being awful before you start talking about it all again.

You should probably ask your husband, too, how much time he spends talking about GG, and ask how much it is dedicated towards abusing all of GG's various targets.
posted by flatluigi at 8:46 PM on September 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


But that's just the thing, 8chan is not their forum. It's like Anonymous, it's a friggin hashtag that anyone can jump on. 8chan is disgusting. Kotaku in Action is not nearly that bad. When someone says stupid shit there at least people are quick to tell them that it was stupid.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:46 PM on September 14, 2015


Deoridhe How the Hel is impersonating people in order to destroy their reputations free speech????

Because vidya gamez, apparently. And lulz.
posted by SansPoint at 8:47 PM on September 14, 2015


My husband has a lot of gamergator followers on Twitter, and he's had some conversations with Sarah Nyberg, so my views are obviously going to be different.

If you want to bring that perspective to the thread I think it might be interesting to hear. On the other hand, I also think that you’re reading the room correctly, so do bear that in mind; it won’t be a sympathetic audience and I can understand wanting to nope away from that.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:48 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


My husband is not a Gamergate supporter, he just has a lot of supporters who are Gamergate. It's pretty different. They like what he says, that does not mean that he agrees with all of what they say. And they are all individuals. Keep in mind that my husband works at Ubisoft so they follow him for gaming stuff, not for the harassment part of it. I mean if you read his twitter you'd see that nothing that he says is at all harassment or bad.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:48 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


KiA is certainly disgusting enough. 8chan was pushed explicitly as a place where harassment of zoe quinn could continue unabated, which is the undeniable genesis of gameygators.
posted by nadawi at 8:49 PM on September 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hazelsmrf: " it's a friggin hashtag that anyone can jump on."

And it's just so weird that the people who do are 99% horrible people, or who signal boost horrible crap.
posted by boo_radley at 8:49 PM on September 14, 2015 [42 favorites]


Hazelsmrf: 8chan is their forum. IRC is their forum. KiA is their forum. When even the founder of 4chan is booting your group from the site, there's a clear sign your "movement" is problematic as hell. You can't "no true Scotsman" this. The same person who posts a polite and measured tweet at your husband can have a second Twitter account that tweets vile garbage at Sarah Nyberg and Brianna Wu, and brag about their exploits on 8chan. That's part of why this group is so vile and pernicious.
posted by SansPoint at 8:51 PM on September 14, 2015 [24 favorites]


KiA is the vaguely acceptable PR front and still utterly terrible, and about the nicest thing I'd say about anyone who hangs out there is some of them are just gaslit chumps rather full on trolls.
posted by Artw at 8:51 PM on September 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


Going To Maine, I would be glad to bring that perspective to the thread, I've asked my husband if he would address it as a neutral middle ground but things always get so muddled so quickly. I mean I haven't even said much and he's already a hate group supporter and I need to watch out for what he thinks about women. You can't really have a dialogue when it starts like that.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:52 PM on September 14, 2015 [22 favorites]


and -- just speaking as a random dog on the internet -- it would be super awesome if this doesn't become about Hazelsmrf's husband.
posted by boo_radley at 8:52 PM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


[Yes folks, this needs to not get personal among people in this thread, and maybe best if everybody drops the particular thing about Hazelsmrf's husband specifically. Plenty of other stuff to talk about with this.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:54 PM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hazel, 8chan is their forum. It's got dedicated areas for the discussion of GG shit right alongside the dedicated areas for the child porn, and the siterunner ("Hotwheels") defends both on the regular.

And it is not like Anonymous, as there are many people publicly and unshamefully using GG as a platform for their abuse, including the aforementioned Milo who prompted this latest attack on Sarah that prompted her response linked in the OP.

Again, you should probably work to be better-informed.
posted by flatluigi at 8:54 PM on September 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Maybe one day former gators, like Nyberg and Quinn, will admit that their actions have been needlessly hateful and destructive to themselves and others. It won't be today, and tomorrow's not looking good either.

In the meantime, I have to give the people defending others and themselves from gators mad props. I joined the block list long, long ago, and the number of cool people I see in my feed fighting back against tweets I can't read boggles my mind.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:55 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Cease the husband stuff, please.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:55 PM on September 14, 2015


Maybe one day former gators, like Nyberg and Quinn

what?
posted by nadawi at 8:56 PM on September 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love that if I don't agree with you it must be become i'm uninformed.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:56 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe one day former gators, like Nyberg and Quinn

what?


I think it was meant that a coming to light moment for them would be like Nyberg or Quinn.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:57 PM on September 14, 2015


infinitewindow: "Maybe one day former gators, like Nyberg and Quinn"

I don't think Quinn or Nyberg were ever gamergaters. Like, especially not Quinn.
posted by boo_radley at 8:57 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think infinitewindow meant, "like Nyberg and Quinn, former gators will reevaluate their past actions"
posted by kagredon at 8:58 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean you're talking about untrue things while making incorrect references to others, so I think "misinformed" is a charitable and accurate adjective
posted by flatluigi at 8:58 PM on September 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yes, exactly, Drinky Die.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:58 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think infinitewindow meant "former gators, in the manner of," etc. Not that Sarah and Zoe have ever been GG people.
posted by angeline at 8:58 PM on September 14, 2015


I love that if I don't agree with you it must be become i'm uninformed.

It's not the disagreement, it's that you are making claims that are demonstrably false and digging deeper anytime someone corrects them.
posted by kagredon at 8:59 PM on September 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


I think they meant that gators could come forward, like Nyberg and Quinn did.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:59 PM on September 14, 2015


woof. what a sentence.
posted by boo_radley at 8:59 PM on September 14, 2015


Oops. Jinx times a billion.
posted by angeline at 8:59 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love that if I don't agree with you it must be become i'm uninformed.

people don't think you're uninformed because you disagree but because you really seem uniformed.

thanks for the clarification, infinitewindow.
posted by nadawi at 8:59 PM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm confused where the evil harrassers of 8chan end and the innocent and pure Gamergate begins. Is Milo Yiannopoulos part of 8chan, because he used the doxxed data from that site to write the article? Or is he part of GamerGate, because he is widely admired and praised on /r/KotakuInAction? For example, this highly-upvoted post which reminds /r/KIA to defend Milo from those evil SJW.

And where does voat fit into this?
posted by muddgirl at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hazelsmrf But if they have a polite tweet conversation with my husband and he likes their tweet, and they have a horrible one with Sarah Nyberg, is that his fault? Because it's like he's guilty by association even if he has no idea what those people might be tweeting from other accounts.

The problem is that "oh, it's just a few bad apples," argument doesn't hold any water, and it's been trotted out for over a year now. The entire thing started with a post on 4chan by Zoe Quinn's ex-boyfriend, basically inciting the mob to harass her. The "ethics in gaming journalism" was a red herring from the very beginning, and shows clearly in their choice of targets: Zoe Quin, Anita Sarkeesian, Katherine Cross, and Brianna Wu to name a few---none of whom are journalists, I might add. That there are two, huge, densely populated 8chan boards dedicated to the charade should be proof enough, to say nothing about the sustained attacks that have gone on for this long and show little sign of abating.

I'm going to bed. For real this time.
posted by SansPoint at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Untrue things and incorrect references, by all means please correct me. I said 8chan was a horrible place, and that KIA wasn't as bad, that is opinion. I also said that in my opinion Sarah Nyberg and Zoe Quinn etc aren't all that. I'm trying hard to watch what I say because in the past I was accused of sealioning and I'd like to avoid that.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 9:02 PM on September 14, 2015


I'm honestly not a huge fan of Nyberg but nobody deserves the abuse she's gotten at the hands of GG and Nero and their ilk.

Meanwhile, the amazing Gita Jackson is moving on from games writing because the environment has become such a shitshow. I know she's going to be doing great work wherever she ends up though.
posted by kmz at 9:04 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that even if Nyberg is a pedophile, she does not deserve to be outed as a trans woman, nor does she deserve people wishing that she was raped, murdered, or committed suicide.
posted by muddgirl at 9:04 PM on September 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Previously
posted by flatluigi at 9:05 PM on September 14, 2015


nothing nyberg, quinn, wu, sarkeesian (and the list just keeps going) have done justifies the treatment they have received. it worries me that you think being abrasive is equal to the constant harassment they have been victim to. victims don't have to be perfect to be victims and it's dangerous to assert that they do.
posted by nadawi at 9:06 PM on September 14, 2015 [31 favorites]


I am not asserting that they have to be perfect, obviously they don't. But if you even hint that you dislike these people all of a sudden you're a monster, I mean how can you not love Brianna Wu etc? If you don't love them you must be some monster.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 9:09 PM on September 14, 2015


This is the first I have heard of Nyberg as I don't follow anything related to Gamergate, but I find Joshua Greenberg fascinating in horrified way. Earlier this summer, I had looked at Reddit's r/Coontown and saw that they were dealing with controversy after learning one of their mods was Jewish.

Now I wonder if that mod was Greenberg. R/Coontown was banned, so I can't look back at those threads. Apparently, Greenberg had multiple Reddit accounts to argue with himself, and Reddit banned some of his accounts, but not all of them. Which is consistent with Reddit admins being inconstant in moderating their site.
posted by riruro at 9:09 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It worries me that you think being abrasive is equal to the constant harassment they have been victim to.

Nobody has said this.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:11 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


no one is demanding you love anyone. you asked why "these people" are the victims and not the instigators as if being mean on twitter is comparable to being outed, swatted, driven from their homes, parents harassed, etc
posted by nadawi at 9:14 PM on September 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm sorry, can we go back to how anyone is referring to a Milo Yiannopoulos column as anything but scraped-together lies and slander? This is the guy who pasted together a bunch of disparate chatroom/forum postings under different names in an attempt to prove that someone he didn't like was actually transgender, and therefore crazy. He is a lying disingenuous disgusting shitstain of a human being and if he told me the sky was blue I'd assume it had changed color.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:15 PM on September 14, 2015 [39 favorites]




You're coming across as if you think their previous indiscretions somehow justify their current harassment. If that's not the case, please back off. They are victims because they are being victimized. There is not ANYTHING that anyone has done that should result in that kind of treatment.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:17 PM on September 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Nobody has said this.

yes they did.

But they didn't just go after her, she's very aggressive on Twitter and goes after other people claiming pedophilia and racism and misogyny, so when people found that in her past, I am not surprised at the result.
posted by nadawi at 9:17 PM on September 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


A thing really worth noting is that gamergate has successfully introduced the idea that "anti-gamergate" is an organized and coherent group all working against them in solidarity -- instead of it just meaning 'anyone not in gamergate.'

I don't like Brianna Wu, personally, but trying to present her as a reason why "anti-gamergate is wrong" as I've seen many times before is pretty hilarious given that the only reason why she was in it all to begin with is that gamergate targetted her. She was an easy target and an even easier scapegoat to point to when GG wanted to justify their abuse.
posted by flatluigi at 9:18 PM on September 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


@shakespeherian: apparently it's a shoved-together summary of an encyclopedia dramatica article too, as if it wasn't even more laughable
posted by flatluigi at 9:19 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


To be fair Nadawi, I wasn't objecting to the aggression but to the hypocrisy.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 9:20 PM on September 14, 2015


no one is demanding you love anyone. you asked why "these people" are the victims and not the instigators as if being mean on twitter is comparable to being outed, swatted, driven from their homes, parents harassed, etc

I believe that hazelsmrf was referring to the fact that the chat log contains some very gross stuff, something that Drinky Die also mentioned, including the young Nyberg possibly circulating some child porn. If true, that’s serious business. I tend to be a little eh about this given all the sources, Nyberg’s youth & life, etc., but that certainly isn’t nothing.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:20 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


nothing nyberg, quinn, wu, sarkeesian (and the list just keeps going) have done justifies the treatment they have received.

I've never heard of Nyberg outside this FPP, and only vaguely know who the other people are, but those tweets she reproduced -- nothing justifies that treatment, right? I don't need to know how big of a troll she was -- I don't care! Even if she still were a giant troll, I don't care! The most racist, hateful, ungenerous, manipulative, misogynistic creep in the world doesn't deserve to be stalked, doesn't deserve to have their family brought into it, doesn't deserve to be outed against their will, doesn't deserve to be told to kill themselves in public every day for a year. I can't understand how the people who do this find a way to tell themselves they're fighting the good fight.
posted by escabeche at 9:20 PM on September 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


Watching the attempts to "own" the XOXO hashtag over the weekend was just the smallest peek into the abuse that Anita, Randi, Brianna, Zoe, and others have to deal with every single day for years. Last year a dude came to the event and started harassing women, this year it was a bunch of script kiddies targeting people who just mentioned how great a time they were having. Their existence lingered in some of the events, as if somebody had stepped in the dog crap in the park next door and tracked it into the room. (The fact that one of them was arrested on terrorism charges did not go unnoticed, either.)

Though I think maybe one of the worst bits was Anita Sarkeesian describing one of the achievements in God of War 3 during her Q&A after her most recent Feminist Frequency short was screened—that developers thought it would be a great idea to code, QA, and release such a thing said quite a bit, that people want to defend that shit as "gaming" makes it even worse.

The XOXO attendees will go back to relative anonymity. Meanwhile, those targeted by these abusers will have to have security, live in places and not tell people where they are, and put up with the most incredible vitriol every single day. I'd like to think that some of these people can be redeemed eventually, but there will always be a new crop of fresh abusers.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:20 PM on September 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. In the name of this not being one-person-vs-everybody, I'm officially asking for this to back off being about Hazelsmrf; and Hazelsmrf, please take a step back; and folks can steer the thread around to be about the articles/events. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:22 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


the chat logs include some very troubling stuff, yes, i agree, and were only hunted down as part of a harassment campaign. "well, they were bad too! many years ago! and we only found it because we were actively trying to find more ammunition for harassment! and they owned up to it while discussing how they're atoning for it!" isn't actually a good defense for bad behavior.
posted by nadawi at 9:24 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


These people have consistently been threatening violence (sexual and otherwise) towards people,
have been attempting to get people fired,
have sent SWAT teams after people in attempts at murder-by-cop,
have directed bomb/mass-shooting threats at speakers,
have sent dead animals at people,
have supported admitted rapists in harassing people and encouraging their rape,
have outright supported white supremacists and Neonazi publications,
have driven multiple people from their homes due to targeted death threats,
have stalked people at their workplaces in person,
have used Gamergate/ /r/KiA as a "Gateway to white supremacism",
and myriad other things.

I've been caught on the periphery of the periphery of this, and it's still more than anyone should have to worry about. They are a hate group. No equivocation, no "But it isn't *that* bad", nothing. The SPLC has categorized them as such, the FBI is realizing what's going on, Congresspeople are recognizing what's going on. Jimmy Carter wrote an article for The Lancet on systemic violence against women with Gamergate as a key example. Anything they touch brings abuse and harassment with it. There is literally no justification possible for any of this.

I would no more tolerate socializing with Gamergate followers than I would white supremacists. Tolerating them is tacit support of their behavior, if not willfully looking the other way to feign neutrality.
posted by CrystalDave at 9:24 PM on September 14, 2015 [72 favorites]


eventually twitter will have to come to terms with the fact that it's an enabled for some of the worst abuse around.
posted by boo_radley at 9:27 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


My favorite recent bit of spin from GamerGaters (the so-called real ones from /r/KotakuInAction) is that the articles about Goldberg reveal that he was "trolling both sides!" and therefore not "one of them." Even though, as far as I can tell, his anti-"SJW" posts at ThoughtCatalog were done under his real name, not under a persona, and his most GamerGate-relevant troll was to construct an anti-free-speech, transbigoted straw-feminist Tanya Cohen who apparently outed Brienna Wu. Ooooh, you really burned those Gamergate folks with that one!
posted by muddgirl at 9:31 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that's not even remotely plausible.

Lots of frantic tweet deletion and spinning and repositioning over the weekend from the Breitbart camp.
posted by Artw at 9:33 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's because selectively disavowing people (and forums) that really start to get light shone on them in mainstream conversation is a tactic that gamergate has used extensively.
posted by kagredon at 9:36 PM on September 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Jimmy Carter wrote an article for The Lancet on systemic violence against women with Gamergate as a key example.

“Patriarchy and violence against women and girls” (starts on page four of the PDF)

Man, it’s great that I don’t have to think of Jimmy Carter as “The President“ and just as “the best ex-President”.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:37 PM on September 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


eventually twitter will have to come to terms with the fact that it's an enabled for some of the worst abuse around.

Hah! No, it won’t. (Well, unless by “eventually” you mean “in the next ten years” then, maybe. And assuming that by “coming to terms” you mean apologizing or something. I mean, I imagine Twitter is more concerned about banning ISIS accounts than GG at present.)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:40 PM on September 14, 2015


To shock and test boundaries you might tell a few racist jokes - not host child model photographs on your website and talk endlessly about how much you want to fuck your 8 year old cousin. I don't think that's really "edgelordery", that's legit pedophilia, and in most cases that seems to be a fixed dimension to the psyche. Absent any evidence of Sarah acting on pedophilic urges I suppose it doesn't justify a harassment campaign but it's not something to just brush under the carpet; that makes you seem like an out-of-touch ideologue, someone who'll accept any compromise as long as it's in support of people on the "right" side.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 10:07 PM on September 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Absent any evidence of Sarah acting on pedophilic urges I suppose it doesn't justify a harassment campaign

So... there are things that would justify a harassment campaign?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:12 PM on September 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


That Goldberg guy... what a tremendous amount of chaos caused by one asshole with a laptop.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:21 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pedophilia and the other accusations are serious and probably should be investigated by the authorities, you know the people with the authority and training to do something with the information. Based upon the legal system that we enjoy in this country I'm reluctant to condone internet vigilantes acting against anyone based upon IRC chatlogs. Two wrongs doesn't make a right.

However now that the information is out (whether accurate or not) it's probably incumbent upon Nyberg to address the accusations whether or not it's fair to use them. The reality is that the genie cannot be returned to this bottle and the viability of Nyberg as an anti-gamer gate activist is probably irrevocably damaged by this information.

That isn't to say that this sort of behavior by GamerGaters is acceptable by any means but the reality is Gamergate is willing to engage in all sorts of shitty behavior as a way of somehow legitimizing their actions.
posted by vuron at 10:26 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


But if you even hint that you dislike these people all of a sudden you're a monster, I mean how can you not love Brianna Wu etc? If you don't love them you must be some monster.

If someone is the target of a year-long harassment campaign that digs up her personal information, even sending threats and abuse to her family and friends, and your contribution to a discussion of that harassment is to mention some things you don't like about the person or some things you think she did wrong, that's going to sound like you approve of the harassment, whether or not that is your intent.
posted by straight at 10:27 PM on September 14, 2015 [24 favorites]


I whole heartedly do not approve of any harassment, from either side. The whole swatting etc is horrible and I do hope that they prosecute those idiots to the full extent of the law. The digging up of personal information though, meh... if you are aggressively seeking people out on Twitter and they look for dirt and find it, that's a different thing than the threats and the abuse of the family. I can say that I think she was an adult when she was saying this stuff, it's not like we're talking about a 13 year old acting out. She was an adult when she said it, and saying sorry does not make it so it didn't happen. It does not condone violence done to her but pointing out the hypocrisy there is fair game I think.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 10:42 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just to get credentials and so on out of the way, anti-gg sjw type here but I didn't actually like Nyberg's piece. It was a whole lot of "the people who dug up my chats were horrible to me, also I was in a horrible place, things aren't what they used to be" and so on.

"The sad truth is these are not all young people “trolling,” the way we used to, before the exercise came politicized and “trolling” became a cover for “systemic, malicious abuse,” unconscious as it may be. " (from the link) really rubbed me the wrong way. Particularly given the huge amount of problems with that 'non-politicised' trolling she used to do. It's bullshit to claim it was non-politicised for starters - sure it wasn't the GG level campaigning back then but it still ruined lives y'know? And pretending to be a paedophile is not exactly a neutral ground, and while I can see the steps she took they aren't actually reasonable ones, regardless of context.

Does she deserve the harassment? No.

Eliding her past with 'teenage edgelord' is...it really unsettles me. It seems like a vast understatement.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:48 PM on September 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


Eliding her past with 'teenage edgelord' is...it really unsettles me. It seems like a vast understatement.

If "discussing at length" counts as eliding, what are all of her detractors doing with respect to their own pasts?
posted by Earthtopus at 11:42 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Eliding her past with 'teenage edgelord' is...it really unsettles me. It seems like a vast understatement.

Especially since, according to the logs anyway, she was 21 at the time.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:50 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


[One comment deleted. Let's try not to make this all about Hazelsmrf, please. It's fine to discuss the articles and respond to anyone's argument or stance, but please do not make this about another member personally.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:55 PM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


If "discussing at length" counts as eliding, what are all of her detractors doing with respect to their own pasts?

She doesn't elaborate on the details, and is determined to frame 'pretending to be a paedophile' as something subculturally acceptable and laudable, which is why she did it. She doesn't discuss it at length, most of the essay is about the harassment she received, and her situation at the time. That is what I'm referring to when I talk about eliding.

And the fact that when I've come across it with supporters they've said she was engaging in 'ageplay' which is slightly different to what the logs show. That absolutely elides the reality of what she was doing and that pretending to be a rapist enables actual rapists to normalise their behaviour.

Her GG crew detractors probably are from that particular subculture so I can see how this might be somewhat more meaningful to them. But my past was not being a teenage edgelord pretending to be a paedophile, not when I was 21 either, and like I said, I'm uncomfortable calling it 'trolling' as well.
posted by geek anachronism at 12:00 AM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Has there been any independent authentication of these alleged logs? I haven't even looked at them because I'll be damned if I take anything on Milo Yiannopolous' (or any Breitbart-ian's ) word.
posted by mhum at 12:45 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, her article didn't exactly deny the logs were genuine. This website is looking at the evidence in the logs and looking at the authenticity. Claims not to be GG, but the author is anonymous so who knows.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:55 AM on September 15, 2015


Her statement about trolling not being politicized seems to me to just be a local blindness. But we don't know what she did, and I'm not going through GG's whatever to find out what she may or may not have personally done. I think I'll be fine only knowing that she's currently making serious efforts to admit her past and reform. Meanwhile, her opponents still think rape threats and misgendering are funny, valid tactics, or they have not really looked at who they're siding with.

I'll also point out that MetaFilter has discussed and criticized the feminist viewpoints of GG targets, such as Brianna, but we can disagree while also realizing that absolutely nothing is a valid reason for the harassment they've suffered.
posted by halifix at 1:25 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Drinky Die: "Claims not to be GG"

This... is not very believable to me. The related Twitter account follows four others: Encyclopedia Dramatica, GG King Shit Milo Yiannopoulous (who published the article about Nyberg), Roph (another GG person who was somehow involved in getting or verifying or hosting these logs, not sure which), and Medium, where a related article was posted. An article that refers to Milo Yiannopoulous as just "Milo" in the first paragraph. That links (approvingly) to r/KotakuInAction and (derisively) to r/GamerGhazi. That reacts strongly negatively to a Chris Kluwe anti-GG tweet. That actually includes the line:
"I’m a very left-wing cis woman with a short trendy haircut and big ol’ thick rimmed glasses, and I don’t even play video games let alone give a damn about any sort of mob or activist movement that’s spawned around gaming news site coverage."
Those are actual words in the Medium article. These do not seem like the words and actions of someone who is not neck-deep in GG.
posted by mhum at 1:30 AM on September 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah, you are right on that. I highly doubt it as well, but I haven't noticed any errors in her reporting on the logs. Felt like posting it with the disclaimer was the way to go.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:33 AM on September 15, 2015


Whether these logs are genuine or no (and she's not denying it, so I think it's reasonable to assume they're at least consistent with what she remembers):

But regardless, whether or not they -are- genuine, the punishment for "shared illegal pedophiliac pictures on the internet" is not "RAMPAGING INTERNET HARASSMENT MOB."

In fact, so far as I know, in our legal system, "RAMPAGING INTERNET HARASSMENT MOB" is not actually a condoned or official punishment for -anything-. This is doubly true given that the mob in question is condoning such tactics as doxxing, stalking, swatting, and death threats.

If there was, in fact, a crime: let the proper authorities deal with that, though one tends to doubt they'll be much interested in a years-old incident referenced only in chatlogs.

So my answer to the question earlier of "So... there are things that would justify a harassment campaign?" would be a very, very emphatic no.
posted by Archelaus at 1:53 AM on September 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Drinky Die: "I highly doubt it as well, but I haven't noticed any errors in her reporting on the logs."

I forgot to get to that part in my last comment. If I'm reading correctly, there appear to be three main points:

1) The fact that these logs don't appear on archive.org doesn't mean that they didn't exist because it's easy to get stuff removed/blocked from there. This is undoubtedly true but is not supporting evidence for the authenticity of the claimed logs.

2) In an earlier pastebin dump, there were a list of webcitation links that supposedly led back to the original logs on ffshrine.org. However, when I click on those links now, I just get an error message that indicates "the copyright holder (Sarah Nyberg) has asked us not to display the material". They certainly seemed to have formerly pointed to ffshrine.org pages owned by Nyberg but without their content, I'm not sure what more I can infer.

3) Sarah herself has stated on Twitter that GG hacked her server to get chat logs. This is also not supporting evidence that the claimed logs are authentic. In fact, in the very next paragraph, the anonymous author says that the logs were definitely not "hacked" but just downloaded off of ffshrine.org/logs. The point in question is not whether GG obtained certain logs off of ffshrine.org (whether by hacking or just regular downloading); the point is whether the files currently claimed to be those logs are actually are those logs.

The strongest (and only affirmative) piece of evidence was #2 and without those webcitation links, I basically only have the word of Gamergaters (particularly one who is not particularly truthful about their involvement with GG) to go on for this.
posted by mhum at 1:59 AM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bringing up the logs has (and is currently) serving is purposes which are to make the GG base feel their contributed harassment campaign is justified and (more importantly in regards to this discussion) making people focus on the logs instead of the harassment campaign. So reluctant props to GG for controlling the focus of the conversation., even here.

How about that Goldberg dude though? There's one screwed up, evil dude.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:08 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the validity of the logs is absolutely a question to ask - I am working from the premise that if they were doctored that Nyberg would have said that somewhere in the essay (given that she does talk about other falsified information spread about her and others).

My discomfort is based on her words about herself though - what she said in the essay itself about her behaviour.

Now Goldberg, he contributed to a nation-wide panic (still ongoing) about militants brainwashing our children over the internet, and actually contributed to terrorism.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:12 AM on September 15, 2015


If there was, in fact, a crime: let the proper authorities deal with that

There wasn't. FTFA:
If it puts anyone at ease, I retained a lawyer and proactively contacted the police. They saw right through the avalanche of bad faith reports, and under independent scrutiny, have stated they have no reason to believe any crime ever took place. All of this, no doubt, must come as dire news to the chorus of voices openly cheering for and pledging to organize my prison rape or murder. This was never about the law, and never about justice; if it was, I never would have had to worry. It has been, from the start, just another harassment campaign.
Perhaps we can move on from the gators' preferred narrative now? Anyway, I'm much, much more worried about Goldberg. Not only does it speak to an escalation of affairs in the name of "free speech" (or more truthfully, free speech extremism), but how the tactics are going to be honed going forward. It's especially telling that his harassing personas were aimed outwards at other people, while his "SJW" personas were all aimed at him, smokescreens to cover the horror that he was doing. We've seen this happen with the gators before, but never to the extent he took it.

I also feel like it reveals once again how fundamentally unserious law enforcement is about harassment and threats against anyone who isn't white, male, straight, and/or cis. Targets of a year-long harassment campaign based 100% on lies and including death threats and at least one threat of mass murder? Yeah, whatever, we'll get to it when we get to it. Justifiably angry black dude saying "KILL ALL THE WHITE PPL" on Twitter? We'll take that motherfucker down tout fuckin' suite. The longer this harassment continues unabated, the less I feel like the police and FBI are actually doing anything to shut it down. Perhaps it's me being irrational and impatient, but until we start to see these assholes being frog-marched out into the harsh light of the sun, it just seems like more of the same indifference or even hostility that has been going on for years.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:19 AM on September 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


If you still believe the authenticity of the entirety of the logs with Nyberg still free after 2+ weeks of an echo chamber screaming at everyone locally (and presumably state/federal legal bodies) about child pornography then I don't know what to tell you.

One of these things is not like the others: ACORN, Shirley Sherrod, Planned Parenthood, Nyberg. Oh wait, they're all the same style of nugget-o-truth-surrounded-by-a-web-of-deception Breitbart article.

My bad.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:16 AM on September 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


A chan popular with GG is openly publishing the same sort of child porn she is accused of right now and not getting in legal trouble, forget a decade ago. Lack of an arrest is completely meaningless here.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:21 AM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Having the accusation shouted to the heavens with someone's real name and address is not the same as a series of as yet anonymous people being accused.

This would have been the slammiest of Space Jam dunks. So until I see that? Its just another Breitbart drive-by.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:33 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not a crime to admit being a pedophile. The images could likely be illegal, depending on local laws, but I assume the links are dead since the narrative against her relies on reactions in the chat room to the images rather than stating what is in them based on the authors looking at them. There isn't anything to arrest her for in the logs.

The chan I'm talking about has very publicly had a lot of people shouting, and nothing has been done. I'd love to find out why the hell not.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:49 AM on September 15, 2015


A chan popular with GG

you know this points out another thing - whatever nyberg did or didn't do (and on twitter she has said some of the logs are faked) what we have here are pedophiles or defenders of pedophiles trying to destroy someone's life by casting them as a pedophile. this is like the attacks against shanley, where a straight up swastika tattoo sporting white supremacist accused her of being racist. the sources are not trustworthy and are not playing by the same rules as a large part of society. making things look true in a pile of shit is one of their pastimes. taking their word for anything is foolish.
posted by nadawi at 6:23 AM on September 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


Drinkie Die The chan I'm talking about has very publicly had a lot of people shouting, and nothing has been done. I'd love to find out why the hell not.

From my understanding, the server is not hosted in the US, and therefore is a lot harder for US authorities to deal with.
posted by SansPoint at 6:38 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


you know this points out another thing - whatever nyberg did or didn't do (and on twitter she has said some of the logs are faked) what we have here are pedophiles or defenders of pedophiles trying to destroy someone's life by casting them as a pedophile. this is like the attacks against shanley, where a straight up swastika tattoo sporting white supremacist accused her of being racist. the sources are not trustworthy and are not playing by the same rules as a large part of society. making things look true in a pile of shit is one of their pastimes. taking their word for anything is foolish.
posted by nadawi at 1:23 PM on September 15 [4 favorites +] [!]


Isn't this same point being directed at Nyberg?

That she has used accusations of pedophillia (and other sexual impropriety) against others all while having at one time described herself as a pedophile and apparently sharing child pornography.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 6:44 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Didn't the founder of 8chan specifically move to the Phillipines to escape US jurisdiction? There was a strip club sendoff and everything.
posted by almostmanda at 6:45 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


All this discussion seems to miss that Nyberg is fundamentally empathizing with GG. She used to do and say outrageous (possibly illegal) crap on the Internet. She says it's no longer who she is. Luckily brigading and Twitter and sort of mainstream media support were not a thing when she was doing this stuff. There but for the grace of God, etc. She believes she probably didn't hurt anyone badly but can't know. We do know people using these tactics now are hurting people.
posted by R343L at 6:46 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


against others all while having at one time described herself

therein lies the difference. current active pedophile supporters who have been harassing and threatening her for a year found something from 10 years ago they think they can hang her with. search the various tags and key words on twitter/reddit/etc right now and find lots of rape jokes about kids. i mean, to lead a story with a shirtless, pre-transition, underage sarah shows how much milo cares about the underage picture stuff. they straight up do not care about the charge, just that it can be used to harm.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 AM on September 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


All this discussion seems to miss that Nyberg is fundamentally empathizing with GG.

I call meh on this. I’ve read tweets by @srhbutts, and I can recall approximately zero that came across as empathetic to GGers. (To be fair, it’s been a while, so perhaps her tune has changed.) It’s a useful pose, but it’s also a novel one that deserves a little bit of a side-eye.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:56 AM on September 15, 2015


essentially the argument i keep seeing is "she's a hypocrite because she did xyz 10+ years ago and says 123 today!" from people who are doing xyz right this second while threatening to rape and murder people who say 123 today. these are not equitable things.
posted by nadawi at 6:56 AM on September 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


I can't get past the depravity of someone like Milo who latched on to gamergate, cheerled and promoted it with all of his might, and used his position at Breitbart to launch attacks at random private individuals who just screencapped gamergate tweets.

It is such a vile and transparent mission on his part, and his lapdogs howl in glee at every little thing he does. In some ways it is good that he long ago dropped the veneer of actually being a journalist, and you can easily auto-block anyone that supports him without second thought.

But the sheer STUPIDITY of what gamergate is, and how they've made it a game to try and destroy people's lives, will never cease to be sad and infuriating.
posted by Theta States at 6:57 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


against others all while having at one time described herself

therein lies the difference.


Not for me.

And if it wasn't for her opposition to gamergate I doubt if very many others would see a difference or offer her support.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:02 AM on September 15, 2015


so if she hadn't been the victim of a harassment campaign for a year people might see it differently? sure. maybe. but she has been, and that changes the motives of those coming after her and as such i can't trust anything they've released.
posted by nadawi at 7:07 AM on September 15, 2015


And if it wasn't for her opposition to gamergate I doubt if very many others would see a difference or offer her support.

If her words and actions and those of her harassers were 100% opposite of where they are now, everything would be completely different. Yes, brilliant analysis.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:08 AM on September 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


The pedophile accusations against Nyberg seem awfully close to the 'trans women are sexual predators' idea that's popular with transphobes.
posted by LindsayIrene at 7:11 AM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I've admittedly never read many of her tweets. Occasional retweets really. I'm basing it on this article which is quite empathetic.
posted by R343L at 7:15 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


so if she hadn't been the victim of a harassment campaign for a year people might see it differently? sure. maybe. but she has been, and that changes the motives of those coming after her and as such i can't trust anything they've released.
posted by nadawi at 2:07 PM on September 15 [+] [!]


In the linked article she doesn't dispute what has been released so you don't have to trust the people that released it.

She just spins it as having all been for the lulz rather than true.

You obviously believe her but the reactions of other people in those chat logs make it seem like her "ironic" pedophillia wasn't too different to actual pedophillia. It certainly seems to have involved sharing images at least one person described as "CP".
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:21 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


therein lies the difference.

Not for me.


Robert Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act in 1964, yet was given a 100% by the NAACP on his voting record forty years later.

So I guess what I'm saying is, if it wasn't for his opposition to racism I doubt if very many others would see a difference or offer him support.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:21 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


In the linked article she doesn't dispute what has been released so you don't have to trust the people that released it.

i linked above to her saying that some of the logs are faked.
posted by nadawi at 7:24 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm basing it on this article which is quite empathetic.

De gustibus, I suppose. I found it interesting, but not empathetic. (But perhaps that’s because of the additional context I’m bringing to it.)
posted by Going To Maine at 7:24 AM on September 15, 2015


She just spins it as having all been for the lulz rather than true

This is a pretty nasty warping of her words.

You obviously believe her but

Yes, many of us are inclined to take the word of a target of viciously misogynist, transphobic harassment over the viciously misogynist, transphobic hate group who is known for faking screenshots, running false flag operations, and creating sockpuppets for said harassment. Shocking!
posted by zombieflanders at 7:31 AM on September 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


i find myself nodding along with this take.
posted by nadawi at 7:33 AM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I mean, it's not as if these people started their crusade by completely falsifying stories about Zoe Quinn, or falsely claiming Leigh Alexander called for an "end to gamers," or lying about Anita Sarkeesian's videos and Kickstarter.

Right?
posted by zombieflanders at 7:34 AM on September 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


[One comment deleted. Folks, this is going to go a lot better if we can avoid equating "saying nyberg and her family shouldn't be subject to a no-holds-barred harassment campaign" with "defending child porn". ]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:41 AM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


i linked above to her saying that some of the logs are faked.
posted by nadawi at 2:24 PM on September 15 [1 favorite +] [!]


She said "people circulating faked tweets and logs."

She doesn't dispute the logs used in the story from three days ago in the article linked here. Which is obviously a direct response to that story.

Robert Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act in 1964, yet was given a 100% by the NAACP on his voting record forty years later.

Yes. And he was racist. It is for any individual or organisation to decide if they want to forgive or look past that racism. the NAACP obviously have.

If you are prepared to look past Nybergs pedophillia and sharing of child porn then you absolutely have that right.

But then others have the right not to.

I mean, it's not as if these people started their crusade by completely falsifying stories about Zoe Quinn, or falsely claiming Leigh Alexander called for an "end to gamers," or lying about Anita Sarkeesian's videos and Kickstarter.

Right?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:34 PM on September 15 [+] [!]


What has been falsified? What, specifically, is Nyberg saying was falsified about the story that was written about her?
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:43 AM on September 15, 2015


ahh so you're going to be hyper literal about it. we're only discussing one set of logs so what other logs do you think she's referring to when she says they've been falsified? and you go on ahead and believe a group who has been shown to be liars with just about everything that comes out of their mouths but i have the right not to.
posted by nadawi at 7:54 AM on September 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Part of why GamerGate has adopted the stance of accusing all their targets of pedophilia is that it's an accusation that short-circuits debate. If you defend their target, you're defending child abuse. In a way, it's amazing it took them this long to try it.
posted by SansPoint at 7:59 AM on September 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


She's already stated that law enforcement told her "they have no reason to believe any crime ever took place." So, claims concerning the possession and distribution of child porn would be false, for starters.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:01 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That can't possibly be stated as fact just based on that quote.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:02 AM on September 15, 2015


From my understanding, the server is not hosted in the US, and therefore is a lot harder for US authorities to deal with.

Law enforcement has a limited quantity of resources to apply to things. They can all band together and work to take down servers and confiscate domain names of places that foment hate and organize harassment and libel or they can apply that effort to taking down places that negatively impact the bottom line of big multinationals that make movies.

They can't do both so they have to make a choice. Why worry about Joe and Jane average when profits are on the line?
posted by phearlez at 8:05 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


anyone who takes anything milo "reports" on as fact are idiots or just as bad as he is, full stop.
posted by nadawi at 8:05 AM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


That can't possibly be stated as fact just based on that quote.

But the logs can? In a battle between her words and theirs, they have less than zero credibility.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:06 AM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


The twitter world would be a supremely better place if a twitter block meant you didn't see the blocked accounts on a hashtag search.
Something THAT SIMPLE would do wonders.
posted by Theta States at 8:16 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


we're only discussing one set of logs so what other logs do you think she's referring to when she says they've been falsified?

The article says:

Chat logs from an IRC room I was in nearly a decade ago were leaked to gamergate. To say the contents of those logs were not flattering would be putting it lightly. They are, in some ways, much what you’d expect from an early-2000’s chatroom of 4chan expats trying too hard to outdo each other for shock value. Even with that context, much of what I said was gross and disturbing, and I have no interest in defending it.

She confirms that logs from an IRC room that she was in were leaked.

She does so in the piece that is a response to Milo Yiannopoulos's story and she never says, in that piece, that the logs were fake or that the published parts of that log were falsified.

Yes she put out a tweet that said "people circulating faked tweets and logs"

And the most charitable way to read that is that she is referring to some other fake nonsense floating around the internet. The only other option is that Sarah Nyberg is struggling to keep her story straight which doesn't say much for her credibility.

She's already stated that law enforcement told her "they have no reason to believe any crime ever took place." So, claims concerning the possession and distribution of child porn would be false, for starters.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:01 PM on September 15 [+] [!]


What Drinky Die said.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 8:16 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Drinkie Die It can't be taken as fact, but neither can the logs. When the choice of who to believe comes down to either the most notorious group of serial harassers the Internet has ever known, or someone who's made it a mission to reveal them, I know which side I'm going to take.

That we're even arguing this point is proof of the effectiveness of the GamerGate tactic of accusing its targets of pedophilia. Someone can always say "Why are you defending a child abuser?" and shut down the discussion. That is what GamerGate wants. They want their targets to lose their support, to go away, to shut up, to die. It's all there, for anyone to see, on their boards.
posted by SansPoint at 8:18 AM on September 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


"srhbutts-truth.tumblr ... /sarah-nyberg-is-a-pedophile-if-you-share-only-1"

Yeah that seems like a reliable url to click on.
posted by Theta States at 8:22 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the most charitable way to read that is that she is referring to some other fake nonsense floating around the internet.

That's more like the 2nd-least charitable way to read it.

The only other option is that Sarah Nyberg is struggling to keep her story straight which doesn't say much for her credibility.

Thanks for reminding us that you're attacking someone else's credibility based on the claims from (1) a writer--who is working in the US specifically to avoid the UK's more stringent defamation laws, BTW--sourcing his information from a guy instigating acts of terrorism; and (2) a group that is built on a series of lies, manipulation of public statements and articles, and sockpuppeting.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:23 AM on September 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


And the most charitable way to read that is that she is referring to some other fake nonsense floating around the internet. The only other option is that Sarah Nyberg is struggling to keep her story straight which doesn't say much for her credibility.

or that when you're at the center of a gigantic, year long spanning harassment campaign you might not put every single detail in every single write up you've done about it. it could be that to make her broader point - that she did things she's ashamed of and she knows how pain can influence griefers - she decided to not quibble over "this portion is correct and this portion is faked."
posted by nadawi at 8:24 AM on September 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


or that when you're at the center of a gigantic, year long spanning harassment campaign you might not put every single detail in every single write up you've done about it. it could be that to make her broader point - that she did things she's ashamed of and she knows how pain can influence griefers - she decided to not quibble over "this portion is correct and this portion is faked."
posted by nadawi at 3:24 PM on September 15 [+] [!]


So are you accepting that it could well be true that she described herself as a pedophile and shared child pornography but we just can't know because for some reason she decided to confirm the logs as a whole are legit but just didn't bother to point out which parts are faked.

That sounds absolutely ridiculous.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 8:33 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


That sounds absolutely ridiculous.

No, it sounds exactly like how decent people react when confronted by the shit-spewing and nit-picking and sealioning her harassers are famous for.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:35 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


are you fucking kidding me?
posted by nadawi at 8:38 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. We've got a tiny handful of people going around in circles here on the same point (faked logs), people have stated their views, maybe we can move the conversation on from this point?]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:39 AM on September 15, 2015


At what point does a year-long harassment campaign become a required punishment after we verify the chat logs (unearthed well after that harassment campaign began) as 100% accurate?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:39 AM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Reggie Knoble It's less ridiculous when you know:

a) In the last few months, GamerGate has started accusing all their targets as being pedophilies, or pedophile supporters. Just look in the mentions of any high-profile GamerGate target on Twitter
b) That GamerGate have had it out for Sarah Nyberg for a year, for trying to expose them
c) That GamerGate has the details of their operations in public on their chan boards, so it's not at all difficult to peek behind the curtain.
d) That GamerGate's use of pedophila accusations is explicitly designed to trigger the exact reactions you and Drinkie Die are having to them.

By giving in, you're giving them what they want.
posted by SansPoint at 8:40 AM on September 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


That can't possibly be stated as fact just based on that quote.

But the logs can? In a battle between her words and theirs, they have less than zero credibility.

Her words that you are relying on there aren't even a denial. They simply say what she claims law enforcement says. I think it would be a likely response to looking at even the full logs because if you can't see the images you have no idea if a crime occurred or not. The chan she allegedly linked too was a known pedophile haven, but that isn't enough.

But then there is also stuff like her posts on public forums in 2006 posting the same kind of pedophile apologetics as are present in logs. And other people from before gamergate calling her out for general creepiness on the topic. It's not just the logs and it's not just GamerGate. If the logs have been edited, it seems like they were edited with this pre-existing narrative in mind.

The fact that GG is 100% giant shitheads means skepticism is 110% justified, but you should still look at the evidence because it's a serious accusation that in this case seems somewhat plausible. I think some of you folks are being a little too dismissive. There is definitely smoke there, possibly not fire, but definite smoke.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:40 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The most charitable way to read it is that she doesn't remember what was real and what was fake. She knows that at least the chatroom was real and she was in it and said some bad things. She knows at least some is fake. And after ten years she can not be completely certain what she said - just remembering that some of it was awful.

Could you tell given a collection of statements you supposedly made ten years ago which were real? I wouldn't be certain I could - indeed I'd be almost certain I couldn't. It's been ten years and I'm a different person.

And even if I didn't already know about Gamergate it would tell me all I need to know when the argument is "Here. Look at this photo of a topless underage girl. Ten years ago she was pro-spreading child pornography."

Let me repeat. If Milo posted (as I think he did based on this thread) a picture of Sarah Nyberg as a topless teenager he was posting a picture of a topless underage girl. At that point you don't get to condemn others for spreading underage porn in the same article.
posted by Francis at 8:41 AM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


DD, is there any reason you're going on and on about whether Nyberg is guilty of what GG is accusing her of?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:43 AM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can't believe anyone is looking at Milo's body of work and believing in it. Wow.
posted by palomar at 8:47 AM on September 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


The only other option is that Sarah Nyberg is struggling to keep her story straight which doesn't say much for her credibility.

More generally, it’s worth remembering that there are about ten million possible explanations that Nyberg & GG could provide for all of these things, with varying degrees of specificity. Nyberg is -at this point in time- a small potatoes person being harassed who once did a thing. GG is -for all their bluster, harassment, and simmering, never-ending resentment- past the apex of its presence in the public eye and would love some validation. Everyone has a million reasons for saying anything.

The problem with internet seediness is that it almost always wraps up people who have touched that weird darkness in their own time. You have to roll with the idea that a lot of these people have skeevy past histories, because otherwise there wouldn’t be anyone to look at it. This is fundamentally distressing; it’s unfortunate to think that folks are getting off the hook because of prior bad acts, or that we’re going to see more mea culpas from other folks in the future, but it is what it is. I know folks who did what I would consider legitimately bad things in their youth. It’s not like society isn’t riddled with examples of folks who have done much worse bad things and have been let off the hook (or not!) for their actions. Internet fights put that dramatic closer to the surface because of virality, lots of jpegs covered with red circles, and armies of obsessives willing to document everything, but this tension is everywhere.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:03 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can’t believe anyone is looking at Milo’s body of work and believing in it. Wow.

This is perhaps the most distressing part of the story: that Milo gets to have a continued (tiny) audience forever because he panders to it. One can only hope that when he gets tired of the 8chan beat he has a devil of a time disentangling himself.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:05 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I guess I have missed the explanation of why it matters that this person was awful almost a decade ago. It seems obvious that people are being awful to her in the now. Either I accept that she's improved and there's a "side" that is awful and one that isn't or I decide she's still awful/tainted and both "sides" are awful.

So... so?
posted by phearlez at 9:07 AM on September 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


phearlez The "explanation" about why it "matters" is simple: She's an annoyance to GamerGate, and therefore, she needs to have her dirt dug up, her deadname revealed, and whatever it takes to get her to shut up and stop trying to expose GamerGate for the virulent online hate group it is. That's all there really is. There is literally nothing about the GamerGate side that is, in the slightest, not completely and absolutely terrible and horrifying, once you scratch away the micron-thin layer of "ethics in games journalism" and "consumer revolt" bullshit they cover their hatred in.
posted by SansPoint at 9:11 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


i mean milo is still crowing about how shaun king is white and about how abortion is like the holocaust and about how he's "trans-black" because he likes getting fucked by black dudes. it's hard to believe people i've considered intelligent get taken in by him.
posted by nadawi at 9:12 AM on September 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


I guess I have missed the explanation of why it matters that this person was awful almost a decade ago.

Well, as best I can tell, because the people here won't actually clearly outline what their points are, is that we should not actually be paying any attention to her story, because she did horrible things. So even if GamerGate is horrible people doing horrible things, decent people (us) should just look away. It's app very Victorian.

Otherwise, I am truly wondering about the end goal of this argument. What ARE we supposed to be thinking and doing about this? Are we supposed to ignore what's going on until we get a proper poster child for GamerGate harrassment?
posted by happyroach at 9:44 AM on September 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


happyroach Basically, it's "if we cover our eyes, maybe it'll go away," and you can ask any of the GG targets how well that's worked out.

I don't think GamerGate has an end game. They want this to go on as long as possible, to harass and abuse without oversight or consequence. The only way that things will change is if prominent members can be pulled into the light, and face consequences. Considering how hard it is to identify them, unless they pull something as utterly boneheaded as Joshua Goldberg, and how disinterested law enforcement is about "Internet trolling," this is going to not be so much an uphill battle as it is going to be an up-cliff battle.
posted by SansPoint at 10:07 AM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Me and Joshua Goldberg
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah I think it should be obvious to anyone who has read anything I have typed here that I'm well aware of why GG does this awful stuff. I'm just sort of surprised to see the back and forth here about it.
posted by phearlez at 10:13 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


phearlez Sorry. I have no idea who knows how much about GamerGate and their awfulness these days.
posted by SansPoint at 10:14 AM on September 15, 2015


Sorry, you can't hear tone in text. I'm not offended (how would you know?), just clarifying my intent.
posted by phearlez at 11:15 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, as best I can tell, because the people here won't actually clearly outline what their points are

From just reading the thread and the post: it seems the concern is that Nyberg's past as a self-admitted angry youth trolling and chatting online, and this apparent tendency of Gamergaters accusing their opponents of pedophilia, have allegedly hit an intersection of her having declared herself a pedophile and/or posting pictures of an underage relative in chats in the past.

She says it was all for the lulz of the time, that it was wrong and came from pain. Gamergaters are apparently all gleeful that they might have accidentally scored a hit, and though they don't actually care about the truth of the accusation, it works better when it's less than completely unfounded.

And the idea that, even if just as an edgelord, Nyberg might have actually shared child pornography, doesn't sit well with some people who don't think that's the sort of thing that is as easily swept under the rug as youthful indiscretions which, really, her article would place it as.

Gamergaters are the most unreliable source, but that she's acknowledged that there's a lot of truth in that she used to say horrible, horrible things online is what's causing the friction, I think. Because it's not about supporting GG or Breitbart or any of the horrible liars and their deeply stupid, deeply offensive 'cause', let alone condoning any campaigns of harassment. But it seems some people think there might actually, despite the GG bullshit, be a nugget of truth to this one claim, especially based on Nyberg's acknowledgement, and that simply dismissing it out of hand as irrelevant or atoned for potentially allows some pretty disturbing and/or illegal behaviour a pass simply because the wrong people revealed it for the wrong reasons, and that with the information available it maybe can't be completely dismissed as standard GG lies, either.

I don't think that whatever the outcome of this one instance anyone could reasonably say that GG has suddenly gotten any validity as anything other than a hate group, but hey, it's a group made up of unreasonable people, I'm sure that's what they'd like to claim.
posted by gadge emeritus at 11:20 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


gadge emeritus: "And the idea that, even if just as an edgelord, Nyberg might have actually shared child pornography"

But that's the thing. For me, this "idea" is only that -- an "idea". It's also an idea that Nyberg was the mastermind behind 9/11. Since GG and Breitbart have substantially negative credibility at this point (i.e.: you should be inclined to believe the opposite of whatever they say, particularly about their adversaries), and since their one potential source of third-party-vetted evidence regarding the validity of the logs (the webcitation archive links) has vanished, I have no reason to accept any part of the premise whatsoever.

"But what about the fact that Nyberg didn't deny this or that strenuously enough?", (as some previous commentators have offered). Too bad. That's still not affirmative evidence of anything. The fact that this person didn't behave in the exact way you think they should behave in this situation adds basically nothing to the body of evidence, much less enough to take anything GG says seriously.

"Oh, but these are very serious accusations. Doesn't this behoove us to at least take it a little seriously?" Nope. If anything, because of GG's severe credibility issue, this would be exactly a case where extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, which they have not furnished (or if they once did, I was too late to see). If this were a story in, say, the NY Times or the Washington Post, I'd have to probably have to consider the possibility since those institutions are building on the vast social capital they've accumulated over the years; i.e.: they're far from perfect, but there are distinct disincentives to throwing out unfounded accusations like this. GG and Breitbart have the opposite situation: there is virtually no downside and only upside to tossing out these kinds of accusations. Because we're used to a world where people and institutions aren't full-on shitheads, we're used to taking serious accusations seriously. But this situation takes place in the shithead-filled world of Breitbart and GG.

Putting it another way, if Scientology released a document dump claiming that one of their critics (e.g.: say, someone behind Going Clear) was a pedophile, how much credence would you put in those claims? A lot? Some? Or none at all? Would you pore over endless pages of chat logs to vet their claims? Or would you just say "pfft. whatever you say, assholes"?
posted by mhum at 11:49 AM on September 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I’m taking Nyberg’s vague confession to (some unspecified number of bad things) in her past seriously, not the accusations against her. That lack of specificity is intriguing, and it will remain as such.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:58 AM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the idea that, even if just as an edgelord, Nyberg might have actually shared child pornography, doesn't sit well with some people who don't think that's the sort of thing that is as easily swept under the rug as youthful indiscretions which, really, her article would place it as.

Well then here's the real question- so what? I mean this in the very real sense of asking, what are we supposed to do with this information? How is this supposed to inform what we do or think about the harassment?

There's a nasty strain of selective empathy in American morality, where we're only supposed to care about the TRULY innocent or deserving. The obvious parallel, which this debate is sounding disturbingly similar to, is the debate about prison rape: "Yes, yes, of course we we don't condone prison rape, but honestly, these are criminals!"

If there's some other message I'm supposed to be taking from this, I'd very much like to hear it.
posted by happyroach at 11:59 AM on September 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


happyroach If there's some other message I'm supposed to be taking from this, I'd very much like to hear it.

No, that's about it. The entire premise underlying the insinuations that anyone who speaks up against GamerGate must be a pedophile, or a pedophile enabler, is to tap into that selective empathy, and turn the switch off. GamerGate doesn't give a fuck what you think of them, only what you think of their targets.
posted by SansPoint at 12:05 PM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is there a separate mefi thread about Joshua Goldberg? Because the amount of articles about him alone could keep a conversation going for a long time.
I get it's related because he was a gamergate supporter, and he fed info to Milo, but doesn't seem too relevant to the Nyberg discussions in general.
posted by Theta States at 12:11 PM on September 15, 2015


How is this supposed to inform what we do or think about the harassment?

It’s not. It’s bad. So is (whatever mysterious things she actually did that compelled her to write a sort-of-confession)

If there's some other message I'm supposed to be taking from this, I'd very much like to hear it.

Me, I take away that the bar for engaging in trolling GG on Twitter is pretty low-hanging fruit and easy to do, that people on the internet are pretty opaque, and that maybe Sarah Nyberg's name should maybe go on some kind of list for eventual investigation. Waaay down, and they'll get to it at some point after they've dealt with PressFartToContinue.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:12 PM on September 15, 2015


The Goldberg thing is way more interesting, honestly, and entirely unrelated.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:13 PM on September 15, 2015


(Like, you want to talk about internet trolls who’ll get the government to maybe move on this? Talk about the troll that worked with ISIS.)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:13 PM on September 15, 2015


i would love if people started discussing joshua goldberg in this thread since the fpp isn't exactly about just nyberg.
posted by nadawi at 12:14 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]






Speaking of people being edgelords in their youth: Milo used to go by 'Milo Wagner', wear an Iron Cross and pose with Hitler biographies.

Except it seems instead of looking back on his actions as a form of self improvement, he thought 'Fuck it, how can I be even more obnoxious?'.
posted by PenDevil at 12:45 PM on September 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


James Taranto Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal: “The Goldberg Variations”
posted by Going To Maine at 12:50 PM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]




I guess I am part of that crazy-loving left Walsh slams in the quote from that OpEd, since it doesn't strike me as all that out of bounds - or "obvious satire" to suggest that maybe it shouldn't be okay to discriminate against people based on hair color or weight.

I'm not sure why I thought I was going to get through a WSJ editorial page item without some nonsense left bashing.
posted by phearlez at 1:06 PM on September 15, 2015


The Terrifying, Pathetic Case of Joshua Goldberg

Neatly summarizes how far he got with his left wind sock-puppets - i.e. not very.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




Artw One thing that's been noticed about GGer left-wing sock puppets is that they're often transparent enough that if they were windows, they'd have birds crashing into them.
posted by SansPoint at 1:18 PM on September 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


On the subject of Joshua Goldberg and Reddit, this Reddit thread talks a little about what Goldberg was doing on Reddit, and this thread lists some of his accounts. (FYI: Both links go to Gamergate subreddits, if that is something you wish to avoid)

The names that stuck out to me are:

European88, Jewish_Neocon, & Jewish_Neocon1

I think European88 created r/Coontown, and was also a moderator for its predecessor, r/niggers. I may be wrong as I am going off memory of two deleted subreddits. Though European88 is the type of username that will stick in your brain.

Jewish_Neocon created 100+ racist subreddits and curated them under a multi-list called "The Chimpire".

Goldberg was behind just about every part of racist Reddit! It's small potatoes compared to what he was arrested for, but the amount of work he put into this--and grief he caused--is nuts.

Almost half the Chimpire subs are still up, but pretty dormant. It's weird that Reddit would delete most of those subs, but leave others up. But, again, Reddit is consistent in being inconsistent.
posted by riruro at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


riruro Jesus. No words.
posted by SansPoint at 1:58 PM on September 15, 2015


For a little bit of levity, David Futrelle: 17 completely wrong things about filmmaking I learned from The Sarkeesian Effect, the worst documentary ever made

Man, now I know that thunderf00t gets $3000 per video. Time for a drink.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2015




Man, now I know that thunderf00t gets $3000 per video.

Hey, now. That neck doesn't pay for itself.
posted by brundlefly at 3:30 PM on September 15, 2015


riruro: "Goldberg was behind just about every part of racist Reddit!"

What the shit? This one guy was all of those accounts? I'm just getting caught up on this Joshua Goldberg situation and it's truly mind-boggling. Let me see if I have this guy's resume right:
  • Picked up by the feds for inciting an FBI agent posing as an ISIS supporter to commit terrorism via pressure cooker bomb
  • Possibly inspiring or goading one or both of the men who shot up the Prophet Mohammed exhibition/provocation in Garland, TX
  • Caused a minor international outrage by posting violently anti-Palestinian blogposts on the Times of Israel blog under the name of a real Australian lawyer
  • Under the name of the woman who tried to get Grand Theft Auto banned in Australia, exploited Twitter's ad promotion service to target anti-transsexual tweets to self-identified transsexuals
  • Various sockpuppetry of his so-called opponents, including a feminist and a moderate Muslim preacher, in order to provide fodder for his main accounts
  • Establishing one of the earlier "not your shield" personas for Gamergate on Twitter, @MoonMetropolis
  • Under the @MoonMetropolis Twitter account, turned Milo Yiannopolous onto "evidence" or "sources" or something which ultimately led to the article where Yiannopolous falsely accuses black activist Shaun King of being not black at all
  • Under several Reddit aliases, created and/or moderated basically all of the biggest racist subreddits and introduced a healthy dose of racism into others
  • [TW: reference to rape in this bullet point] In addition to the racist subreddits, he also had time to indulge his violent misogyny by creating the (since deleted) subreddit and Wordpress blog called PhilosophyOfRape
  • Under the Michael Slay alias on the Stormfront site Daily Stormer, encouraged the Stormfront white supremacists to use Reddit as a recruiting ground
I repeat, what the shit? How the fuck was this guy just casually dropped into the end of this FPP like, "Oh, NBD. Just some guy, y'know?" The zenofdesign article quotes some Reddit commenter as referring to Goldberg as the "Forrest Gump of Reddit Trolls". No kidding. I'm not ruling out the possibility that he also rigged the Hugos this year and was somehow involved in booking Julien Blanc's Australian tour. The only way he could be more connected to the various tendrils of trolling, racism, misogyny, and assorted scumbaggery is if he turned out to be created in a lab from the DNA of Michael Brutsch (aka violentacrez) and Andrew "weev" Auernheimer.

Also, it's faintly amusing to see all the GG'ers in r/KotakuInAction run as fast as they can away from this guy and declare that he was a "third-party troll" trying to make both sides look bad. Yeah, sure. Go ahead and pull the other one, it's got bells on. Such an utterly unsuprisingly pathetic reaction.
posted by mhum at 9:37 PM on September 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


Gee Reddit, do you think maybe letting people create unlimited anonymous accounts might be a bad idea?
posted by Drinky Die at 9:42 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm interested to see if there's any decrease in racist activity on Reddit now he's been arrested. Obviously he couldn't have piled up all that karma and up votes from his own sockpuppets so he has fans and likeminded people on Reddit. But without him to stir them up, will it trail off or will someone new take his place?
posted by harriet vane at 3:35 AM on September 16, 2015


2 unrelated thoughts:

1. What was the bee in his bonnet about Australia?
2. The Me and Joshua Goldberg link shared by ArtW before has an update with other email addresses he used.
posted by harriet vane at 3:43 AM on September 16, 2015


I can't help but keep reading this as troll Jonah Goldberg but it works for me about as well.
posted by phearlez at 6:25 AM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is perhaps the most distressing part of the story: that Milo gets to have a continued (tiny) audience forever because he panders to it. One can only hope that when he gets tired of the 8chan beat he has a devil of a time disentangling himself.

He'll manage it somehow. He started his career as The Catholic Herald's homophobic gay rent-a-gob, completely ballsed up at The Telegraph, fucked up spectacularly with The Kernel, moved on to cheerleading for GamerGate, and he's still popping up in the UK media as if he's a legitmate journalist with interesting opinions.

The fucker's an undrinkable human cocktail: two parts hatred, one part Teflon.
posted by jack_mo at 6:42 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


How the fuck was this guy just casually dropped into the end of this FPP like, "Oh, NBD. Just some guy, y'know?"

MetaFilter’s Gamergate coverage bias, trans coverage bias, and feminism coverage bias is stronger than its troll coverage bias. My assumption* (and Artw can correct me if I’m wrong) would be that the Nyberg article was the motivation. The Goldberg story still seems to be developing; I imagine there’ll be an NYT magazine story in a few weeks.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:53 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pretty much. I did consider a Goldberg FPP before the Nyberg article popped up but I'm pretty sure at that point it would have been an autodelete, probably would be too, and IMHO the other two links are far stronger and give some idea both of what the Goldberg's of the world might be thinking and of the effect they have on the world.
posted by Artw at 8:14 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, all three links could support their own FPP, but somehow I think this configuration still ended up a good way to go. Thanks for the post.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:17 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


You can start planning your future Golderg posts now. (Title: “Who is Keyser Tröllse?”)
posted by Going To Maine at 8:19 AM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can only imagine how sprawling the Goldberg story might eventually go. Pre-emptively faving that FPP.
posted by Theta States at 1:34 PM on September 16, 2015


I would guess part of it is that Australia doesn't enshrine free speech as a right, combined with our right wing government and the panic they've been whipping up about militants brainwashing our teenagers.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:58 PM on September 16, 2015


I have the luxury of not needing to have an opinion on whether Sarah Nyberg is a pedophile. I'm not looking to hire her as a nanny, nor am I on a jury for her trial.

Gamergate would love it if my position on Gamergate were contingent on every single critic of them being morally acceptable. Finding one of the many critics of them has done something reprehensible seems more likely than redeeming themselves on the actual merits of Gamergate.
posted by RobotHero at 11:39 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gamergate has doubled down on the Nyberg nonsense, eagerly awaiting anything new Milo might ask them to broadcast.
Everyone's just ignoring gg, and even members of gg are wondering what happened to their sad little movement that they devoted so much time and energy to.
#Gamergate has a good day on twitter if it reaches 2500 unique uses of the hashtag, and that includes people making fun of it and bots utilizing it.
There is even minor internal rumblings about how to change or wind down gamergate.

With a whimper.
posted by Theta States at 7:50 AM on September 17, 2015


From Theta States' link:
People began to enforce their own personal definitions of what GG is on to other people. By the way, this is the meaning of “ethics cuck”, not someone who cares only about ethics (as almost every “ethics cuck” was actually terrible at caring about ethics) but someone who tried to force everyone else to play the game the way they wanted it to be played. That is the reason it is being phased out in favor of “ethics scrub”.
Emphasis mine. That is the most pathetically GGish neologism I've ever heard.
posted by brundlefly at 11:04 AM on September 17, 2015


I guess some memes percolate through society regardless of whether they suck or not. Isn't this cuck nonsense also rolling around the republican community as some newer and more sexist variation on RINO?
posted by phearlez at 11:11 AM on September 17, 2015


ethics cuck

So they are full on GOP culture warrior assholes now?
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on September 17, 2015


Gamergate has doubled down on the Nyberg nonsense, eagerly awaiting anything new Milo might ask them to broadcast.

At the moment, Milo is too busy writing about how sex bots will save men from feminazis to command his GG minions.
posted by LindsayIrene at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


the fact that cuck is showing up in gg and the angry reactionary wing of conservatives isn't because memes are just percolating - it's because it's the same fuckin' group.
posted by nadawi at 11:16 AM on September 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


At the moment, Milo is too busy writing about how sex bots will save men from feminazis to command his GG minions.

I heard he promised a 3rd (4th) article about Nyberg? smh
I guess he's doing whatever he needs to do to keep that fire burning, but wow is it ever pathetic.
posted by Theta States at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2015


Milo is busy spinning the fuck out of his terrorist connections.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2015


ethics cuck

So they are full on GOP culture warrior assholes now?

I think we should probably call them “right wing” / “manosphere” rather than GOP.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2015


Cuck is a major GOP obsession of late though, at least amongst the more extremist/less media savvy portions, which probably means all of them in private.
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


cuckservative goes right back to rush limbaugh. the manosphere and gg aren't so much new as they are a variation on a theme. some might not want them associated with the gop but the gop has been letting their ilk have significant power in their party for a long time for them to try to distance themselves now.
posted by nadawi at 11:32 AM on September 17, 2015 [6 favorites]




They really are a charming bunch.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on September 17, 2015


Cuck is a major GOP obsession of late though, at least amongst the more extremist/less media savvy portions, which probably means all of them in private.

I think that cuck has bubbled up from internet reactionaries (aka GG types) into the GOP. Not vice versa.
posted by brundlefly at 5:12 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Christ.
posted by brundlefly at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2015


Yeah, the Breitbart/GG connection is leading to some...interesting cultural exchanges.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:16 PM on September 17, 2015


Yeah, the Breitbart/GG connection is leading to some...interesting cultural exchanges.

No matter how much crap you mix with poop, you still end up with excrement.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:29 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think of it as more of a vomit/shit exchange.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2015


Two butts, pooping back and forth, forever.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:18 PM on September 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Internet And Its Discontents
posted by Artw at 7:38 AM on September 20, 2015


I think that cuck has bubbled up from internet reactionaries (aka GG types) into the GOP. Not vice versa.

That seems to be the case. In the earlier "cuckservative" thread, we observed that the epithet seemed to be invented and promoted more dissident elements on the right. The term is used to slur and attack mainstream and "establishment" people and entities within the GOP, and within organizations and publications that claim to be "conservative".
posted by theorique at 3:08 AM on September 24, 2015


Google Ideas launches an anti-harassment campaign, includes several targets of gamergate in their announcement. I'm sure you all can predict how that went over with the totes ethics crowd. Google's response? "The replies to our last tweet are precisely why we are exploring ways to combat online harassment."
posted by zombieflanders at 7:32 AM on September 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ha just came here to post that. What a shitshow that was. The accusations were flowing wild and free, everything from "no these are the TRUE HARASSERS" to accusations of fraudulence, meannies, prejudice against white people, misandry, animal abuse, spousal abuse, the trading of babies for drugs, attacking TRUE feminists, etc etc etc
Even the spectre of PROGRESSIVISM!
It's like all of gamergate's misinformation campaign rolled in to one long thread.
posted by Theta States at 8:46 AM on September 24, 2015 [4 favorites]




Milo announced he's going to write a 3rd (4th?) article on Nyberg, because REASONS.
posted by Theta States at 6:02 AM on September 28, 2015


I really enjoy bringing up Milo's name and watching people go, "...who?"
posted by palomar at 6:10 AM on September 28, 2015


The United Nations Released A Report On Cyber Violence Against Women & Girls

Sarah Jeong at Motherboard: “‘I’m Disappointed’: Zoe Quinn Speaks Out on UN Cyberviolence Report” Honestly, a round-up of responses to the report could probably be its own FPP.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:35 AM on October 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Honestly, a round-up of responses to the report could probably be its own FPP.

Agreed.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]




Also: gamergaters harvested all of the data from the Patreon hack and compiled doxx on everyone who supported any of the "#gamergate enemies" like Randi Harper.
Some gg douchenozzle decided to email everyone a long email featuring links to Breitbart (!!!) articles, as support that they were now associated with "the vilest imaginable extremism". The email included threats to contact everyone's employer with claims they were supporting pedophilia.

Keep it classy, gamergate.


Recipients have responded to this nonsense by increasing their patreon support of Randi.
posted by Theta States at 6:43 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do you have any links for the story about the email, Theta? Googling for Patreon and Gamergate is just getting me a bunch of gamergate apologist sites.
posted by tavella at 9:12 AM on October 13, 2015


here is gamerghazi discussing it
here is kotaku in action
here is the guy who sent the emails defending himself and again
posted by nadawi at 9:28 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


So even a lot of the KIA crowd find that guy distasteful, (or at least the ones saying what they think out loud) though there seems to be disagreement whether it's
1. bad to use the hacked data at all,
2. only bad to use hacked data to spam the patrons, or
3. only bad when you spam them with threats to contact their employers



One quote from that last thread:
And again, we cheered when Nero did it, contacting Nyberg's editor for comment and her aunt and uncle after the "leak" of the "private" IRC logs.

Just an odd double standard. Lets not forget that Harper is a horrible fucking person.
I think he intended this as a defense of the spammer/blackmailer. But it can work as a criticism of their treatment of Nyberg.
posted by RobotHero at 6:33 PM on October 13, 2015




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