Death threats for talks about sexism in video games

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http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/10/14/anita-sarkeesian-cancels-talk-at-utah-state-after-receiving-threat-of-another-montreal-massacre/

What throws me off is that the majority of harassment towards women in the industry comes from those outside the industry. Its not fellow coworkers. Its the scum douche bags on the internet.

This whole thing makes me sick and i am so glad this woman is continuing with her mission even after all these threats. Im betting most threats are coming from the same people screaming they are going to kill you over voice chat in games. Or screaming something about your mother. All talk. just morons angry at life taking it out on whoever they can.

But for the small chance its someone with a serious mental issue that will actually do something.... im glad she was smart enough to cancel where they werent able to take proper safety measures..

absolutely disgusted by this...

Replies

  • NegevPro
    That is pretty fucked up, I seriously hope the police treat this threat as 100% real and use their resources to find this psycho.

    I haven't been following Sarkeesian's talks too much but nobody deserves to receive threats like this, it just gives all gamers and probably all game developers a bad name in the eyes of people who know nothing about gaming or this industry.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 6
    While I don't agree with her point of view, this (death threat) is not the answer we should arrive at as a society.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    NegevPro wrote: »
    That is pretty fucked up, I seriously hope the police treat this threat as 100% real and use their resources to find this psycho.

    I haven't been following Sarkeesian's talks too much but nobody deserves to receive threats like this, it just gives all gamers and probably all game developers a bad name in the eyes of people who know nothing about gaming or this industry.

    totally agree. I've not been following this issue too closely. But whatever makes it to the media sounds more like "news from taliban country" rather than anything that should happen in western society. Even less in a seemingly harmless industry like video games. I still can't quite believe this shit is happening.
  • seth.
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    seth. polycounter lvl 8
    I have received death threats from making toy soldiers. People are fucking idiots. Twitter allows people to vocalise their idiocy...joy.
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    The internet has allowed the world to connect like it never had before, but also give horrible depraived people a voice they never should have been granted. And they use that voice to threaten, harass, and terrify.

    This particular instance hits really close to home. It implies that this psychopath lives within a reasonable driving distance to me and my family.

    If anything, though, it's a sign that these scummy people are threatened and terrified of what is being spoken. Or they are sick trolls that think this crap is hilarious.

    I'm sure it'll be just as hilarious in a padded room.
  • Leinad
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    Leinad polycounter lvl 4
    When you have over 3 billion anonymous users online, it's no surprise that a statistically small portion of said user-base accounts for what seems to be rampant attacks towards PEOPLE. This is not just a women's issue, every human being experiences harassment online.

    While I do find that the inequalities women face is unacceptable, I feel that giving attention to the trolls is simply not addressing the issues. The real question to ask is how can we get more women interested and working in tech/software development. I don't think creating a hostile us vs them mentality is the answer.

    Unsurprisingly, a lot of the sites that I enjoy visiting for tech news have directed their frustrations of inequalities of women towards the gaming industry as a whole.

    I remember watching an Oculus keynote recently when a woman asked a question to the team and I really felt that John Carmack gave an elegant answer.

    She asked:
    "“What is Oculus’s approach to their clear gender gap and how you’re not going to port that into VR?”"

    He responded:
    “We are having a hard time hiring all the people we want. It doesn’t matter what they look like.”
  • almighty_gir
  • mats effect
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    mats effect Polycount Sponsor
    The entire situation is screwed up and I blame people on both "sides" to be honest.
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 13
    in before "US gun laws are stupid".
    I'll just sit here and think it really hard instead.

    On the up side, this is probably the point where the lunatic fringe of Gamergate has gone too far and the authorities will have to start paying attention. This is, after all, quite literally a terrorist threat, even if in all likelihood it's made by some milk sop sitting at his mum's PC.
  • stickadtroja
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    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 6
    slipsius wrote: »
    What throws me off is that the majority of harassment towards women in the industry comes from those outside the industry. Its not fellow coworkers. Its the scum douche bags on the internet.

    what makes you so sure about this? does somehow working in the industry exclude you from being a scum douche bag on the internet?
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    So she is not willing to risk her life for her cause. Interesting... I mean obviously I don't support death threats or any kind of unequalities in this life, but c'mon. For me, if you're not willing to risk everything, including your life, then you don't really believe in your own ideas.

    I've always suspected that all this activist bullshit is mostly about money from sponsors, now its just grow bigger.
  • rollin
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    rollin polycounter lvl 13
    I'm with "we are all idiots, just some of us are more reasonable".

    linkov wrote: »
    So she is not willing to risk her life for her cause. Interesting... I mean obviously I don't support death threats or any kind of unequalities in this life, but c'mon. For me, if you're not willing to risk everything, including your life, then you don't really believe in your own ideas.

    I've always suspected that all this activist bullshit is mostly about money from sponsors, now its just grow bigger.

    well... wtf are you talking? You never know how real a thread is.. I wouldn't deal with this carelessly myself. There are really some strange people out there.
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    rollin wrote: »
    You never know how real a thread is.. I wouldn't deal with this carelessly myself.

    Noone ever knew if death threat is real. Imagine Abraham Linkoln after he won the election, saying something like - um.. well I won, but I've received a death threat, so I'm not going to Washington. Nope, nope, nope!

    I'm not saying that people who receive death threats should be careless. Just take your own weapon, hire a bodyguard or whatever. If someone so easily scared, thats just means they shouldn't be involved in the process of changing our society.
  • Cay
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    Cay polycounter lvl 3
    linkov wrote: »
    Noone ever knew if death threat is real. Imagine Abraham Linkoln after he won the election, saying something like - um.. well I won, but I've received a death threat, so I'm not going to Washington. Nope, nope, nope!

    I'm not saying that people who receive death threats should be careless. Just take your own weapon, hire a bodyguard or whatever. If someone so easily scared, thats just means they shouldn't be involved in the process of changing our society.

    I don't think this one missed talk will have big consequences, it's more of a slow change that people go through over the years when constantly reminded of a topic. They start thinking.

    Apart from that.. there are things worth risking your life for, but this one isn't. So don't demand something that stupid.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    linkov wrote: »
    So she is not willing to risk her life for her cause. Interesting... I mean obviously I don't support death threats or any kind of unequalities in this life, but c'mon. For me, if you're not willing to risk everything, including your life, then you don't really believe in your own ideas.

    I've always suspected that all this activist bullshit is mostly about money from sponsors, now its just grow bigger.

    Oh piss off. Having a belief and spreading awareness of an issue doesn't mean you need to be willing to die for it.

    I'm OK with n-gons on models but I'm not willing to weather death threats over it.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir polycounter
    WarrenM wrote: »
    Oh piss off. Having a belief and spreading awareness of an issue doesn't mean you need to be willing to die for it.

    I'm OK with n-gons on models but I'm not willing to weather death threats over it.
    I DON'T BELIEVE IN TRIANGLES
  • Baj Singh
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    Baj Singh polycounter lvl 8
    I DON'T BELIEVE IN TRIANGLES


    ....noob.
  • almighty_gir
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    d5og31d.jpg
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    linkov: She initially was going to go to the talk anyway, until it was made clear that the university police were going to be pretty much worthless in deterring a real gun threat. It's not just her life, dude. It's everyone else there. Think about this like a normal human being with a sense of not just self-preservation, but also concern for other people.

    And if you are going to say "hmm, interesting" and dismiss everything because she doesn't want to die, I expect to see you lay down your life for what you believe in. Would you willingly walk up to a podium after a detailed, long, horrible threat of a massacre, knowing full well that the on-duty security can do NOTHING to deter someone shooting you in the head?
    Of course not, because that would be stupid.
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    Cay wrote: »
    Apart from that.. there are things worth risking your life for, but this one isn't. So don't demand something that stupid.

    I'm not demanding anything really. I'm just curious, because in this particular case at least one person is ready to die for his beliefs. And you just call him stupid. I don't know if he is stupid or not, or even if he is real, but if one person willing to die and take with him as many people as possible, then you can't argue like that. They will continue to threaten you and your ideas until you completely shut up and give up.
    WarrenM wrote: »
    Oh piss off. Having a belief and spreading awareness of an issue doesn't mean you need to be willing to die for it.

    well, I'll piss of, but noone is gonna take you and your ideas seriously then. sorry.
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    Makkon wrote: »
    It's not just her life, dude. It's everyone else there. Think about this like a normal human being with a sense of not just self-preservation, but also concern for other people.

    Actually, I thought about that too. She can just inform people that it might not be safe for them to go and listen to her speech, and let people decide for themselves if they want to risk their lives?
    Makkon wrote: »
    Would you willingly walk up to a podium after a detailed, long, horrible threat of a massacre, knowing full well that the on-duty security can do NOTHING to deter someone shooting you in the head?

    sadly we will never know, because I cannot imagine myself receiving death threats over the fact that I'm making games for a living.
  • stickadtroja
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    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 6
    linkov wrote: »
    sadly we will never know, because I cannot imagine myself receiving death threats over the fact that I'm making games for a living.

    well you better not be TOO interested in games, becuase that could lead to you thinking critical about them, questioning some aspects of them, about how to make them better, and if you share those thoughts on internet, say youtube, your in the same seat as anita sarkesian.
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    ...and if you share those thoughts on internet, say youtube, your in the same seat as anita sarkesian.

    did you even read that article? she got threats not for wanting games to be better. she is got it for being feminist. I can see how one is related to another in this case, but she is not involved with videogames production as I am, so I don't see how her story can be relevant to mine.
  • eld
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    eld polycounter lvl 11
    linkov wrote: »
    did you even read that article? she got threats not for wanting games to be better. she is got it for being feminist. I can see how one is related to another in this case, but she is not involved with videogames production as I am, so I don't see how her story can be relevant to mine.

    It's relevant in that you're both human beings.
  • stickadtroja
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    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 6
    being feminist IS wanting games to be better. being a feminist means wanting everything to be better, in terms of gender roles and womens rights.

    but, i will stop arguing now. please stop derailing the thread with your unsympathetic opinions.

    Edit: oviously not a reply to eld, but the one above
  • martinszeme
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    martinszeme polycounter lvl 8
    Even though I think its mental that somebody would even think of shooting, bombing certain people because they are annoyed by them or disagree with them I do think that she is one of the worst people to be leading the feminist movement, being spoke person in the gaming community. And AFAIK there are several feminists who are strongly against her way of treating gaming community and generalizing pretty much everything imaginable.
    Again, I think threats like that should be taken seriously and she has all rights to postpone the event and whoever did this should be prosecuted.
  • Skamberin
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    Skamberin polycounter lvl 7
    Nothing of value or importance has ever come out of Sarkeesian, but death threats are just dumb and childish on another level, it also shows obvious problems with the sender.

    I'm not sure how i feel about her giving it so much social media attention each time it happens though. The best way to go about it is to simply report it to the authorities and give them no attention, otherwise they get what they want and it shows other psychos that it works. And no this is not equal to "suffering in silence", it's simply about believing in your cause, taking the right actions towards your safety and giving the harassers nothing in regards to satisfaction.

    It might also be healthy to keep the internet harassment separated from your argument, otherwise it makes it looks like you're riding a wave of attention brought on by showing everyone how mean a minority of people are to you on the internet.

    In any case, anonymity+people=shit and it always will, it's easier to get used to it than be shocked each time tbh :/
  • Aabel
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    Aabel polycounter lvl 3
    Thankfully the authorities were able to determine that the threats had no credibility. It was just a troll.
  • Goeddy
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    Goeddy polycounter lvl 6
    Skamberin wrote: »
    It might also be healthy to keep the internet harassment separated from your argument, otherwise it makes it looks like you're riding a wave of attention brought on by showing everyone how mean a minority of people are to you on the internet.

    i feel like this has been her strategy from the getgo, and it worked pretty well.

    like she only disabled the comments on her youtube videos when she got waaaay popular and people started actually speaking for her in the comments. doesn't make such a nice headline as "evil gamers wanna kill me!"

    anyhow i think the president of the us gets more deaththreats then anyone else on the plannet, and he doesn't stop fighting for his agenda.

    IMO all deaththreats are just idle talk.
    if someones realy wants to kill you, hes just going to do it, without announcing it, and there is nothing you can do about it.
  • Skamberin
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    Skamberin polycounter lvl 7
    Aabel wrote: »
    Thankfully the authorities were able to determine that the threats had no credibility. It was just a troll.

    Yeah that's usually it, oh well, NOTHING TO SEE HERE THEN
    Goeddy wrote: »
    i feel like this has been her strategy from the getgo, and it worked pretty well.

    On youtube yeah, on tumblr and twitter she announces and showcases it all the time like some strange trophy collection...
    Goeddy wrote: »
    IMO all deaththreats are just idle talk.
    if someones realy wants to kill you, hes just going to do it, without announcing it, and there is nothing you can do about it.

    Yeah, this. Best to just report and ignore.
    Like that CoD dev that got several death threats from people for changing the rate of fire of a gun, it just shows people throw out death threats all the time for the dumbest thing.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    anyhow i think the president of the us gets more deaththreats then anyone else on the plannet, and he doesn't stop fighting for his agenda.
    Might be stating the obvious but ... he also has a private security force protecting him, 24/7.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    IMO all deaththreats are just idle talk.
    if someones realy wants to kill you, hes just going to do it, without announcing it, and there is nothing you can do about it.
    The trouble is, can you afford to not take them seriously? If even one in a thousand is serious, that means people will get hurt.
  • Skamberin
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    Skamberin polycounter lvl 7
    WarrenM wrote: »
    The trouble is, can you afford to not take them seriously? If even one in a thousand is serious, that means people will get hurt.

    Well it's up to the individual whether they want to live in fear and restriction or report and move on.
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    You never know when someone is going to follow through, I'd never risk it because, like a normal human being, I have a strong sense of self preservation, aka I don't want to die.
    But yeah, reporting it, and going home and locking your freaking door is the next step.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 13
    *removing myself from the conversation - the weighty responsibility of mod status*
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    please stop derailing the thread with your unsympathetic opinions.

    oh, I'm sorry. I didn't knew that only sympathetic opinions are allowed here. You know what? You should write a letter to Anita and tell her to reply to that threat email, and ask this horrible person not to bother her anymore with his unsympathetic views of feminist movement. Because thats just how real world works! /sarcasm

    Just because you find my opinion unsympathetic, doesn't mean I'm not allowed to talk about it.
  • Skamberin
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    Skamberin polycounter lvl 7
    Should probably not insult people like that linkov...

    We're all polycounters here, it's okay to have different opinions without resorting to personal attacks :(
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 7
    Wow, Linkov... take a chill pill. Seriously what on earth.

    Back on topic, I'm not familiar with what exactly her arguments are or her philosophy, but I really don't get how anyone can be against feminism. The only people who are, are those who are really, really misinformed about it. Of course there are extremists, but their loud voices do not represent the majority of the movement.
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    Credibility gone, Linkov. But it started diminishing when you came in and smugly found a reason to dismiss the real troubles of another human being for a reason you yourself won't own up to.

    Justin: Wow, I hadn't heard about that one. But yeah, as you said, if you've been doxed, then it's a big deal when, not only do you get death threats, but they use personal information. Because at that point it's crossed the line of stupid troll to a real possible homicide.
  • linkov
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    linkov polycounter lvl 8
    Makkon, can you please explain to me, what it is wrong I'm saying? Because I honestly don't understand, how one person is allowed to have their opinion, and I'm not allowed to have mine, just because it goes against that other person opinion?
  • eld
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    eld polycounter lvl 11
    linkov wrote: »
    Makkon, can you please explain to me, what it is wrong I'm saying? Because I honestly don't understand, how one person is allowed to have their opinion, and I'm not allowed to have mine, just because it goes against that other person opinion?

    Someone pointing out your bad opinion does not rob you of it.
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    You're allowed to have your opinion just as much as the next person, but your right to have an opinion does not protect you from other people commenting, criticizing, correcting, or dismissing your opinion. In essence, it's an opinion of your opinion. Does that answer your question?

    You might find it interesting to know, but most people in this thread are not combating many other opinions simply because they are the same opinion. It would be counterproductive to intentionally argue against something that you believe to be reasonable or correct.
  • marks
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    marks polycounter lvl 9
    Makkon wrote: »
    It would be counterproductive to intentionally argue against something that you believe to be reasonable or correct.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_advocate
  • Makkon
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    Makkon greentooth
    I stand corrected, this article states that it is technically productive.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    It's something that can be useful to force people to see the other side of an issue. However, most people do it to be annoying.
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 8
    I'm not at all a fan of Anita Sarkeesian (doesn't have much to do with her message, I just prefer action over talking about action), but I think Makkon touched on one of the most important points earlier - it's not just her life Anita needs to think about when these types of threats come in, it's the lives of any attendees, or even just random folk who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time nearby.

    It's true that 99% of death threats turn out to be empty trolling or harassment. If it were only her life she was gambling on, perhaps she would've gone through with it. But really what it boils down to is trust and security. Security sounds like it was largely unavailable, which is a big issue on its own, but then you're just left with trust.

    Can you trust the bodies of police officers standing around as security to be enough to dissuade someone? Even if you thought it was bullshit, and announced prior to the event that such a threat had been received - and encouraged all attendees to "be willing to put their life on the line for their beliefs", can you trust that the (potential) assailant would be willing and able to target only those people? Can you trust they would not get frustrated, and injure other people when backed into a corner? It seems incredibly idiotic to think, "Alright guys, we've got threat of a massacre and no manner of effective security. But let's do this anyway, and hope the guy only hits relevant people with his bullets and pipe bombs, since we're the ones who are deciding to put our lives on the line and he surely will be an excellent judge of who we are." Even if the threat has a ridiculously slim chance of turning out to be true - is a public talk really worth it - especially when your words are readily available elsewhere?

    Yeah, threat was probably bullshit, but I think it was the right call. I would've done the same.

    Edit: Though, I will admit that while I probably would've done the same thing and canceled, I probably wouldn't tweet about it and try to use the threats as fuel for my fire.
  • Aabel
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    Aabel polycounter lvl 3
    Though the request seems to be deleted, here is the report that the threats were not deemed credible by state and federal law enforcement officials: http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=54179
    USU police, in conjunction with several teams of state and federal law enforcement experts, determined that there was no threat to students, staff or the speaker, so no alert was issued.
    The safety of our students and visitors is always the university’s first priority. At no time was there any imminent threat. The investigation is continuing.

    This was just trolling, and congratulations to the media you gave these trolls exactly what they want so we can look forward to the same thing happening again and again.
  • LRoy
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    LRoy polycounter lvl 6
    I've gotten worse threats by winning a call of duty match.

    It's ironic that all this guy did with the threat was make her cause stronger by basically turning her into a martyr.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir polycounter
    marks wrote: »
    usually when playing devils advocate it helps to tell people "i'm playing devils advocate here, blah blah blah unpopular opinion".

    otherwise you just come across as a troll
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