I've been sick for a few days and I'm a little fuzzy right now, so please forgive any typos and so forth. I find when I'm not feeling well and need to occupy my brain with something is the best time to ponder about big ideas and events and the meanings and possibilities thereof, and I actually have the time to put fingers to keys and try to make sense of such things with my typical walls of text. I'd like to address several things here, so let's get started.
First off, is a postmortem of the Wiki Month celebration for #GG's 5th anniversary. I'm proud to say that most of my "big ideas" have lead to success in one degree or another over the past half decade, but this was not one of them. Apart from our resident hero u/Mikisayaka33
and a few others, turnout for the #GG Wiki party was very small. This is mitigated by several factors including:
The deplatforming of 8chan and scattering of the #GG community there The split between KiA and KiA2 absorbing a ton of the Reddit community's creative energy The banning of Mombot and with her the last major central node in the old #GG Twitter network
With so much going on, I couldn't expect that many people were going to take a great deal of time to do the fiddly, exacting work needed to make good articles on a Wiki about troubles in the world of interactive Mongolian flipbook paintings. Nevertheless, good work has been done there. Hopefully it will continue to pay dividends.
Secondly, let's talk about 8chan. As many of you are doubtlessly aware, 8chan was taken offline by Cloudflare around August 10th, as we were in the middle of planning for #GG's anniversary events and shitposting away. Almost simultaneously, the Reddit community 8chan
was shut down and a huge schism erupted here over the board staff's behavior, leading to the explosive growth of KiA2. In the month of August, almost on top of the 5th year anniversary, an entire #GG hub community found itself scattered to the wind and another fractured in half. Shortly thereafter, the last BIG #GG voice on social media was suspended. To top it all off 8chan's previous owner, Frederick (Hotwheels) Brennan, pulled a face-heel turn and went on a crusade against 8chan. He went so far as to team up with corrupt journalists on Twitter to put pressure on the site owners, to such an extent as to file paperwork to get the owner's citizenship requests revoked in the Philippines. He has alluded to using the substantial Bitcoin donations that 8chan users once contributed to him to pay for DDoS attacks on the site, threatened to write and release an open source flood script to keep it offline, completely reversed his stances on Internet censorship and free speech, and recently came out as a furry.
It's been a rough four months for the goodguys. Maybe by design, as #GG as a whole seemed to suffer a "perfect storm" of events that disrupted us in ways very convenient for certain parties.
All that being said, 8chan is finally back online and recovering at its new address of 8kun.top. /gamergatehq/ has returned as well, addressed in the customary fashion. The site is working out a few minor bugs, but the communities are finally starting to recover, and the site now has its own in-house DDoS prevention software that is keeping the jackals mostly at bay. Our large communities survived in the interim by turning to the darknet as well as a self-healing clearnet Webring of "bunker" sites. The second largest of these bunkers is still online and holding a significant part of 8chan's old userbase, and it remains to be seen if they will be coming home or staying put. For #GG's part we should be recovered enough to get some things done within the coming weeks, probably after the Christmas Stalingrad season. Related to the subject of 8chan and #GG, I think its finally time for me to weigh in a bit on the KiA meta issues in a public manner. Lord knows I don't have to tell anybody
here, mods or users, anything about the problems your board is facing. I have my private thoughts on that and I've made them known to the staff already. But what hasn't ever been addressed amounts to a pair of elephants in the room, and I would like to spare some oxygen to talk about them.
The first thing is a brief reminder of who your allies are. When #GamerGate kicked off, the pro-#GG side began as a huge coalition centered around three hubs: The imageboard community, KiA, and Twitter Front. Each served a different purpose: Small and classically nasty, 8chan did most of the planning and think-tank work, and had an informal network of people (including yours truly) carrying information back and forth between the three hubs and helping everyone coordinate. Huge and mild-mannered KiA could throw weight of numbers behind operations and served as a fantastic recruitment ground on the normie Internet. And chaotic Twitter could raise hell, apply social pressure, and grant massive public exposure to our efforts. A great system that we all collectively leveraged to great effect. There's just one problem: KiA seems to have forgotten who the 8chan hub is made up of. 8chan #GG was comprised of three factions. A hidden hub (/v/ #GG), a public "honeypot" hub (/gg/ - /gghq/), and the "Shekel Shoah" operation (/pol/).
Yes, THAT /pol/
Not to put too fine a point on it, but your allies in this thing from day one, including the minds behind Operation Disrespectful Nod, have been /pol/ in all their warts and triumphs, and to this day 8chan #GG remains a joint /pol/-/v/ project. How this was common knowledge in 2014-2015 and has somehow slipped beyond the veil of the obvious here beats me. You already know, in your heart of hearts, why I'm bringing this up. As a moderate lurker with intimate knowledge of the hub communities it has become quite apparent to me that the KiA of today has manifested something beyond the "agree to disagree" deference that signified that branch of the alliance for the first few years. There is a certain visible intolerance of "/pol/-types" on the part of both the mods and the community that has taken root here, that was not here in the first two or three years, and that is (at least in my opinion) fueling a good portion of your community fracture. /pol/, for their part, has never
liked Reddit, but have always been happy to work together with this specific community in accomplishing a common goal. It is with high irony that I can state that they are more tolerant than you are, at this point. Those are sharp words, but they're sharp for the sake of honesty and not for the sake of insult. In the beginning we all set our political and cultural differences aside and became one community. Now something has elevated political differences in importance and we are fracturing as a result. From my experience, KiA2 resonates with more of the original "attitude" that once defined KiA. A certain moderated rowdiness and willingness to disregard our differences that I can't quite put to words. And yet it still feels like it is missing something from the absence of respectable viewpoints and personae that remain cloistered here. Pause and give that some thought if you will, before you read into the next paragraph.
Much has been said, including by myself, on the subject of "mission creep." We had no shortage of people pushing for #GG to be about more than just gaming media, even as far back as December of the first year. They were roundly, and loudly, and repeatedly, and rightly
told to stuff it by the majority. To paraphrase IA in the Quinnspiracy videos, "if all of us together can't even clean up something as puny as the gaming media, what hope does anyone have of fixing the bigger issues?" Keep focus. Stay on target. Keep digging. Send those emails. And damn if we didn't! Millions in ad revenue up in flames, Gawker torpedoed, enough corporate fear and fury to deluge us in hitpieces and hate articles and we just surfed the wave higher as we watched them sink all the while. Any suggested diversion from that path immediately reeked of shill tactics. An underhanded effort to unfocus the autism laser. Indeed we had a traitor faction within our own ranks create and propagate the "ethics cuck" meme specifically to split our community and drive us toward politics and anti-SJW warfare instead of fighting our war in gaming. I personally fought alongside many others to put a stop to that. That happened in 2015! But whereas our victories are almost universally counted in what we have destroyed, not much gets said about the culture #GamerGate created
Tech-savvy and Internet savvy meme connoisseurs Wide awake and aware of media propaganda and bias (redpilled) A developed taste for grassroots activism A developed hatred for censorship, whether in art or points of view
One quarter million people, with a reach of over three million. That's how big #GG was at our peak. Smaller forces have toppled governments. Now consider the state of the gaming media today, compared to pre-#GG. Yes, its still trash. But for years now the likes of Kotaku haven't dared
to antagonize and demonize gamers the way they did to us in 2014. They learned a very painful lesson. Undisclosed conflicts of interest are much more rare now as well. While they're still pumping out "woke" garbage articles and clickbait, the original cassus belli of #GG has largely gone away since the fight was never about their generic quality but rather their brazen collusion to attack and silence gamer culture. Its only if you're holding out for vindication of #GG, an apology for their past behavior, or engaging (as in my case with Kuchera) a blood vendetta against the few remaining figures in our rogue's gallery that #GG's original conflict really has any gas left in it. We've been in "watchdog mode" for nearly four years, and there has been comparatively little to watch. That isn't a judgement, but I think its a valid (and somewhat welcome) observation. We have no realistic power to make the games media good
, but we succeeded in hurting them as payback, and making them more ethical to prevent further big issues. For the main, basic, simplest goal that more or less everyone agreed with in 2014, #GamerGate has apparently won the war. Or at least reduced it to no more than an occasional mopping-up operation. Now all those SJW-aware, redpilled, Internet savvy gamers who hate media bias and censorship and have a taste for activism can just go home.
There is a fly in that ointment, however. Over the long course of #GG we learned something about our opponents in the media. Both in the games media that created the lies about us from whole cloth, and the mainstream media who happily backed their play to spin a narrative: We learned their motivations. Beginning with GamesJournoPros we learned that the major players and gatekeepers in the games media shared certain political sensibilities that justified everything they did.
When they colluded behind closed doors, it was with other people who shared their political sensibilities. When they circled the wagons and defended each other from criticism, it was on the basis of their political sensibilities. When they lashed out at gamer culture it was to direct others who shared their political sensibilities to attack us. When we appealed to higher authorities we were denied on the basis of different political sensibilities. When our voices were censored from seemingly the entire Internet, it was on the basis of not having the right political sensibilities. When Wikileaks took notice of us, they warned us that the corruption and bias we were seeing was "mirrored at the very top." And for #GG's culture who is now aware and sensitive to the presence of media bias and corruption and who have knowledge of these motivations, we can now see those same political sensibilities driving enormous problems at every level of life from local politics to Hollywood to Presidential elections.
And for people with a taste for activism, it is not something that can be dismissed as "not my problem" while still being true to yourself. There are four lights, afterall. With this state of affairs looming in the foreground, there is a very reasonable appeal in using the downtime resident in "watchdog mode" #GG to think and talk about the bigger problems stemming from the same sources, and perhaps eventually formulating some sort of activist solutions to improve the situation. In 2014, 2015, or in my opinion even 2016 I would argue that this would be "mission creep." Premature and dangerous with so much still up in the air. Today, five years hence and with so little on our plate, it now seems much more like a natural evolution of goals driven by the core culture of #GamerGate itself.
The community is changing its goals because it has grown into change, and not because its hand is being forced or manipulated. Take a moment to reflect on this, and then consider the events and attitudes that split your community in light of it, and perhaps things will become more understandable without the animosity. Its better to have strange bedfellows than to fight alone.
Finally I would like to address something that I think is sorely needed. The few of you who know me personally know I already have more project irons in the fire than I can handle on a given day, so I'd like to pitch this as an idea to the more Reddit-savvy technical folks here. I call the concept "Salvation." Imagine a custom fork of Gab's open-source Dissenter application, but tailor-made for Reddit. Allowing anyone to comment and reply to any Reddit thread via a third party overlay that the Reddit admins have no power to enforce against.
Imagine it. You could post whatever you wanted "on Reddit" again. The use of such an app could be integrated into a board's culture. On the surface where normies lurk you would see only the clean, advertiser friendly milquetoast nonsense of the Reddit administrators. Yet then established members of the community could go beneath and say what they really think with no oversight from Reddit's admin staff. Real discussions and activism could happen again, using Reddits infrastructure to build and maintain communities, and yet placing the dedicated members beyond the reach of Reddits Byzantine TOS and redname whimsy. Free speech could be restored sitewide for the cost of a browser app and a sticky telling everyone where to find it.
Thank you as always for reading. Cheers, KiA.
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