A rebuttal to ‘The “moderate” pro-#GamerGate And why you shouldn’t trust him. A guide’

Originally posted via twitlong, 20 Sept. 2014



I’m in no particular mood for rhetorical flourish in this matter, so I’ll go straight to the point. I’m a fan of Sam Harris, notably in this case his argument against religious fundamentalism and extremism which I feel is extrapolated all too easily to social and political movements. His argument is, found in ‘End of Faith’, put simply:

Fundamentalists and extremists in [religions/movements] exists, and it serves no one’s purpose but the extremists’ to deny this. Moderates have a tendency, when extremists are under criticism, to take the criticism as levied against themselves, circle the wagons around the extremists, and defend their [religion/movement] as a whole. In doing so, and for failing to denounce extremism when and where it occurs, legitimizes extremism, enables further extremism, and makes moderates complicit in the acts of extremists.

Whether one wants to admit it or not, harassment and threats do occur, from within #gamergate and without. This is not a subject up for debate. #gamergate has since its inception acknowledged the existence of harassment and denounced it as part of its general platform, and to preclude criticism against the movement from without for engaging in and supporting harassment. Now, for the past few days, what we are beginning to see are individuals such as he who made the initial post and like-minded individuals, engaging in implicit denialism of abuse and harassment (by changing the subject when it arises rather than denouncing abuse and moving on) and going so far as to imply (or outright call) those who would self-police #gamergate concern trolls.

Some have gone so far as to harass or abuse #gamergate posters for decrying abuse — I’ve certainly received that treatment, and I know others have who shall in this post remain anonymous.

That, to me, as someone who has participated in this consumer revolt days before the #gamergate hashtag was born, is an absolutely intolerable situation. This is because, going back to Harris, denialism of harassment (or participating in it, humorously enough, in the name of “self-policing”) legitimizes harassment and shields those who engage in it. #gamergate becomes a movement that implicitly condones harassment, and opponents’ criticisms are thereby validated.

That is what #gamergate opponents do. It is a brazen, transparent, hypocritical, extremist position, and so is ours should we choose to comport ourselves the same. If anything will kill #gamergate, it won’t be “concern trolls” or “false flags”. It will be the movement eating its own in the name of purity until so few remain it cannot be sustained.

You, the reader, would do yourself extraordinarily well to consider that before engaging in the same purity-driven inquisitions as our enemies. Personally, I cannot help but distrust the sincerity and motives of individuals who would engage in harassment of those who decry abuse within the movement.