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The Economist claims GamerGate is a "coming out party" for white nationalists

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  • The Economist claims GamerGate is a "coming out party" for white nationalists

    So many ridiculous claims in this article, from GamerGate being "mostly white men," right-wing, misogynistic, a "coming out party" for white nationalists and more.

    Article: https://archive.is/gV7cY

    GamerGate Mentions
    A few months after the “Euromaidan” protests brought down Mr Yanukovych, a less widely noticed story provided a more disturbing insight into the potential political uses of social media. In August 2014 Eron Gjoni, a computer scientist in America, published a long, rambling blog post about his relationship with Zoe Quinn, a computer-game developer, appearing to imply she had slept with a journalist to get favourable coverage of her new game, “Depression Quest”. The post was the epicentre of “Gamergate”, a misogynistic campaign in which mostly white men keen to bolster each other’s egos let rip against feminists and all the other “social justice warriors” they despised in the world of gaming and beyond. According to some estimates, more than 2m messages with the hashtag #gamergate were sent in September and October 2014.

    The campaign used the entire spectrum of social-media tools. Videos, articles and documents leaked to embarrass enemies—a practice known as doxing—were posted to YouTube and blogs. Twitter and Facebook circulated memes. Most people not directly involved were able to ignore it; crucially, the mainstream media, when they noticed it, misinterpreted it. They took Gamergate to be a serious debate, in which both sides deserved to be heard, rather than a right-wing bullying campaign.

    Looking at the role that social media have played in politics in the past couple of years, it is the fake-news squalor of Gamergate, not the activist idealism of the Euromaidan, which seems to have set the tone. In Germany the far-right Alternative for Germany party won 12.6% of parliamentary seats in part because of fears and falsehoods spread on social media, such as the idea that Syrian refugees get better benefits than native Germans. In Kenya weaponised online rumours and fake news have further eroded trust in the country’s political system.

    ... ... ...

    In the mid-2000s members of 4chan, a messaging board first used to share manga, anime and pornography, started to explore new ways to manipulate nascent social media. They took particular pleasure in generating “memes”: funny images—often of cats, combined with a clever caption (a genre known as LOLcats)—which could spread like wildfire. They gamed online polls such as the one organised by Time to find the world’s most important people. Ms boyd describes the ways in which such hacks turned political. On and around 4chan, groups which had mostly been excluded from the mainstream media, from white nationalists to men’s rights activists, developed the dark arts they would use to further their agendas. Gamergate was their coming-out party.
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