Category Archives: threats

7 Tactics of Highly Effective Harassers: How A Voice for Men’s Internet Hate Machine works

A Voice for Men mocks the fears of one of its targets of harassment

A Voice for Men mocks the fears of one of its targets of harassment

The self-described “Men’s Human Rights” site A Voice for Men is a hate site trying — admittedly not very hard, or convincingly — to pose as a human rights organization. In reality, as I and various other writers have documented in considerable detail, it’s an organizer and amplifier of hatred, directed at feminists and women more generally.

Much of this hatred is directed at specific targets, mostly though not always feminist women who have offended A Voice for Men’s founder Paul Elam. The aim is generally to terrorize feminists into silence.

I’ve written at length about AVFM’s campaigns of vilification and intimidation in the past; for a recent example as well as numerous links to discussions of past examples, see here.

Today I will  look at some of the specific tactics that AVFM uses against its targets – providing, in each case, a recent example.

This, in other words, is how AVFM’s Hate Machine functions. [TRIGGER WARNING for abusive language, discussion of abusive tactics]

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Why are #GamerGaters so quick to excuse an anti-Semitic caricature of Anita Sarkeesian that’s literally derived from Nazi propaganda?

The other day, I posted a screenshot of an 8chan comment featuring the drawing above, a crude caricature of Anita Sarkeesian that’s a not-very-subtle variation on a racist and anti-Semitic cartoon that originally ran in a neo-Nazi newspaper.

Here’s the original, in all its crapitude:

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7 Totally Awesome Last Minute #GamerGate Halloween Costumes

This could be you!

This could be you!

So you waited until the last minute to pull together your #GamerGate Halloween costume. And you’re lazy as crap.

Well, you’re in luck! Here are seven totally half-assed, no-effort #GamerGate costumes you can pull together in a few minutes with stuff you have around the house!

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On Friday, Anita Sarkeesian called out “toxic masculinity” on Twitter. Here’s what happened next.

Anita Sarkeesian's Twitter notifications (Artist's conception)

Anita Sarkeesian’s Twitter mentions (Artist’s conception)

What a surreal life Anita Sarkeesian must lead, in which virtually everything she says and does becomes grist for the Great Internet Lady Harassment Machine, Sarkeesian Division.

Take the latest blowup, which followed a few comments Sarkeesian made in the wake of Friday’s school shooting in Marysville, which may have been triggered by the shooter’s angry response to a romantic breakup. On Friday, Sarkeesian posted a few thoughts on the matter on Twitter:

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A Voice for Men has set up a phony White Ribbon website to coopt the international anti-violence campaign of that name [UPDATE: Real WRC responds to AVFM]

Beware of cheap imitations

Beware of cheap imitations

[UPDATE: The real White Ribbon Campaign has responded; I’ve added excerpts at the bottom.]

Apparently, A Voice for Men is just itching to be sued.

Paul Elam and the gang over at everyone’s favorite Men’s Rights hate site have just launched a new website — — that seems pretty clearly designed to undermine and co-opt the real White Ribbon campaign, a long-running international initiative to fight violence against women.

The REAL White Ribbon campaign has a number of websites, reflecting its international reach — in Canada, where the initiative originated, as well as in the UK, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand. and other places. But apparently the organization didn’t buy up all the related domain names.

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#GamerGaters boast “We found Anita’s harasser.” Uh, guys, THERE’S MORE THAN ONE

#GamerGaters are on the case

#GamerGaters are on the case

Over the last several days, the #GamerGate hashtag on Twitter has been speckled with self-contragulatory Tweets by Gators boasting that they have “found Anita’s harasser.”

Who, this guy?

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A Voice for Men offers proof that it was a feminist who threatened Anita Sarkeesian. Minus the proof.

Snidely Whiplash, actual cartoon villain

Snidely Whiplash, actual cartoon villain

“Andy Bob” of A Voice for Men has decided that the recent threats against Anita Sarkeesian are fake because … they’re too melodramatic.

In a rather remarkable bit of logicking titled “Anonymous feminist provides Anita Sarkeesian with a potential new source of revenue,” Andy Bob quotes this line from the threat email:

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The threats that shut down Anita Sarkeesian’s talk come from someone who seems to be deeply steeped in the misogynstic Men’s Rights subculture

The threats directed at Anita Sarkeesian are intended to silence women's voices

The threats directed at Anita Sarkeesian are intended to silence women’s voices

Reading through the luridly threatening email that forced Anita Sarkeesian to cancel her talk at Utah State University, originally scheduled for today, I found myself wondering, a bit dumbfounded: just where does this kind of hate come from?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself again and again in recent days as I contemplate the ongoing fiasco that is GamerGate. How on earth have all these people gotten so angry, so worked up, so willing to dox and harass and threaten women (and some of their male allies) over video games?

How exactly does someone reach a point where it makes sense to them to threaten – and perhaps even to seriously plan – a “Montreal-style Massacre” because they don’t like a few videos pointing out sexism in video games?

Even after years spent tracking and trying to understand the misogynistic online culture that’s given birth to GamerGate, I don’t have an answer. And I’m not sure where to get one.

And so, as a kind of preliminary step towards finding an answer to this question, I thought I would ask a simpler and more empirical question: where does the language of hatred found in the threatening email sent to Utah State officials come from?

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Anita Sarkeesian Cancels Talk at Utah State After Receiving Threat of Another “Montreal Massacre.” [UPDATED with more info from Sarkeesian]


Utah State University has just announced that Anita Sarkeesian has canceled a talk she was scheduled to give at the school tomorrow after receiving a threat of a “Montreal Massacre-style attack” by someone promising ““the deadliest school shooting in American history” if the cultural critic was allowed to speak.

Here’s the official announcement:

Anita Sarkeesian has canceled her scheduled speech for tomorrow following a discussion with Utah State University police regarding an email threat that was sent to Utah State University. During the discussion, Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue. Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue.

Emphasis added. That’s right: the school received threats from someone promising to shoot people at a public event, but because of Utah’s gun laws, authorities would not be able to prohibit audience members from BRINGING GUNS to the talk.

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#GamerGate activist: Media coverage of death threats against Brianna Wu means “they’re now taking us seriously.”


Click to enlarge

The screencap above shows a discussion on the still-active #burgersandfries IRC channel about the media coverage of the recent death threats directed at indie game devveloper Brianna Wu.

Apparently any publicity is good publicity, even if your “movement” is getting media attention for being the likely source of death threats against a female developer.

Before some stray GamerGater comes by to inist that this guy “isn’t really a #GamerGater because that’s on IRC,” this seems to be the guy’s Twitter account. As you can see, @Thidran regularly Tweets and retweets comments using the #GamerGate tag or the abbreviation GG; he’s also obsessed with Zoe Quinn. BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT HER WE’VE ALL MOVED PAST THAT.

H/T — r/GamerGhazi for the screencap.



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