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Inside #GamerGate's super seekrit plan to take over Tumblr with cute cat pics and Vivian James

Actually, it's about ethics in cynical Tumblr takeover plots
Actually, it’s about ethics in cynical Tumblr takeover plots

GamerGaters claim they’re on the side of truth and righteousness, but they sure do love monologuing like cartoon villains.

They claim to be shocked by alleged evidence of journalistic collusion, yet they happily plot strategies and “operations” together both in secret and in broad daylight. They claim to be about ethics, but regularly employ not-so-subtle subterfuge to try to disguise their carefully coordinated propaganda campaigns as spontaneous uprisings.

This week, GamerGaters on 8chan launched a new “operation” to win over the hearts and minds of the masses on Tumblr. And it’s as ethically bankrupt as anything they’ve ever done.

Operation Firefly, as it’s officially known, is an attempt to take the GamerGate “fight” to a “new frontier.” Tumblr.  As the originator of the initiative explains it in a somewhat less-than-stirring manifesto:

In recent weeks the revolt has been getting bogged down in a stalemate. Useless drama and e-celebrity happenings are sidetracking us and sapping our strength. We’ve become demoralized and are losing momentum. …

Time for a new frontier, a new fight, a new chance to spread the truth.

Apparently, the GamerGaters are beginning to realize that their current strategy of being dicks to people on Twitter isn’t paying off quite as well as they had hoped.

While Twitter can be considered an important part of the movement, it is one of the worst places to focus our efforts. Too much time, energy, and attention is currently being wasted there. … The only things twitter is good for are out-of-context quips and angry outbursts.

Twitter is wearing us down, and it’s becoming a red herring/albatross around our neck. It’s time to use our limited resources where they will be more effective.

So they’re Tumblr-bound.

As a group we’ve done a horrible job at reaching out to others and spreading our message. That’s a problem. Instead of waiting for people to come to us, we need to go to them. That’s why we need to go to Tumblr. Going forward, only 25% of the people who are currently on Twitter should continue to post and debate there. 25% should redeploy to fight on Youtube and defend our home turf while the other 50% should go to Tumblr.

But isn’t Tumblr full of, you know, girls? Well, yes, but even this obstacle can be surmounted with some calculated pandering.

Most users on Tumblr are teenagers between 12 and 20, and most of them are girls. They are very interested in fandoms, anime, and other memes. … A good idea would be to use popular anime characters and pokemon to get the #Gamergate message out. Another idea would be to create crossover fanart with Vivian James in it.

That’s right: use an imaginary girl to win over the real girls. Just try to avoid being too logical, because, as everyone knows, girls don’t logic.

Tumblr enjoys appeals to emotion. While rational debate is important, make sure you are making it personal.

And remember to use GamerGate’s “female and minority” members as your shield! Oh, sorry, as your totally not a shield.

A major effort will be spent on pushing our female and minority voices to the forefront via #notyourshield. the goal is to discredit and debunk the narrative and shut it off at the source.

Operation Firefly doesn’t have to limit itself to the GamerGate hashtag on Tumblr. Go ahead and flood all discussions of vidya games with your propaganda. Just don’t make it too obvious, guys!

In order to be effective, you must also talk about Gamergate in other relevant hashtags, such as popular video game titles like “Mario”.

And make a bit point of pretending to be a victim. Sorry, not pretending. Authentically being a victim.

Tumblr is a different place than what you’re used to, so take time to lurk if you must. You are the victim in order to gain sympathy and support.

Remember to support your comrades!

Any time you see a pro-gg post, you need to follow the poster and reblog it in order to signal boost. This increases solidarity and cohesion. Build numbers and stay in contact with each other.

Just don’t lay it on too thick with your propagandizing, lest the Tumblrites catch on to the fact that you’re part of an invading propaganda army. Maybe reblog some kitten pics too.

It’s important to be a real person and not some faceless nobody. This means you should round out your blog by reblogging interesting content you like from other, non gamer-gate related things.

And try to lay off the scary skull imagery.

[T]umblr enjoys relatable and homely things. Consider when conveying your opinions to produce approachable and likeable art pieces. Look at the “art motivation” comics, high reblogged and non sexual fan art, cute stories and the like. …

Don’t be afraid to turn Vivian James into Hello Kitty or a pony.

When cynically setting up a throwaway blog to spread GamerGate propaganda, try to avoid looking too much like a GamerGater cynically setting up a throwaway blog to spread GamerGate propaganda.

[H]aving a profile say why you love video games, why you’re a decent person and concluding with “I am a person and I support gamergate” will show you’re human. … If you are making a new account, don’t choose a name that has anything to do with video games or gg.

Yeah, the “Tumblrinas” will never be able to figure out what’s going on.

Oh, and do your best to not make it too obvious what a hateful dickweasel you really are.

[T]alking like a cunt can be really fucking hostile even if it sharply nails the point. I get some of you guys enjoy the shitslinging language and the fuckyouisms of the prominent youtuber, but it’s not inviting. That’s not to say you have to read like a Disney script, but the language you use will be one of the deciding factors in who you appeal to.

Sounds like a foolproof plan!

On 8chan, some of the regulars put forth suggestions of their own.

off1 off2 off3

CUTE KITTENS ASSEMBLE!

off4censored

Meanwhile, another 8chan anon tried to convince the GamerGate invaders to ix-nay the ane-Bay memes, at least on Tumblr.

So, y’know how Bane is basically the mascot of GamerGate in the chan community? He’s a good fit: A brutal revolutionary and since he’s a Christopher Nolan character, he’s automatically a man’s man, which for some reason appeals to a community defined by their love of a sedentary hobby. …

Bane will not work on tumblr. He’s a bad guy. He’s all big and beefy and while some subset of tumblr’s mostly female audience will like him, most prefer dexterous pretty boys (hence the neverending love for Benedict Cumberpatch and David Tennant).

So what can GamerGaters do to get around the Bane ban?

[O]ur tumblr mascot needs to be Katniss. She’s in an upcoming movie which means even tumblrites with extremely short attention spans know about her. She’s a revolutionary fighting against a corrupt government. She’s a teenage girl which makes her easier for the average tumblrite to associate with her. On tumblr, GG is Katniss.

Uh oh, nobody tell Vivian James she’s got some competition.

So how is the invasion going? Well, if you go to the GamerGate tag on Tumblr, you will indeed see a bunch of GamerGate spam in it.

So by GameGate standards, I guess they are WINNING.

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Pithy Pseudonym
5 years ago

My favorite comment from that tumblr thread:

Well, I can’t speak for everyone but my mind has been changed.

tinyorc
5 years ago

Its mainly attention whores who die their hair
Jesus this isnt hard.
Also yea and Nikki minaj made a video making herself out to be fuckin’ hitler I dont see you guys flipping a shit over it.

LOL. Dude, you had ONE JOB.

Also, throwing a shit fit about dyed hair and Nicki Minaj? GGers known even less of Tumblr than I originally thought.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

Also, I might get a bit annoyed with my hair’s refusal to cooperate sometimes, but wanting it to die seems a little excessive.

Kim
Kim
5 years ago

So this was in my Tumblr feed today

http://staff.tumblr.com/post/102296171875/this-is-huge-today-president-obama-himself-has

This is huge. Today, President Obama himself has come out in favor of a number of clear, specific, and firm net neutrality rules that will keep the internet free and open. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Give yourselves credit for this one. Tumblr users have been out in front of this issue all year. 130,000 of you called Congress in a single day. You showed Washington and the FCC what democracy looks like—it looks like the internet. You made your voice heard, and the president was listening.

Which shows the people of tumblr are far more effective than gaters could dream of being. For gaters to think that tumblr is just a bunch of naïfs ready to be swayed by their ludicrous antics is just laughable.

Also, net neutrality! yay!

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Its mainly attention whores who die their hair
Jesus this isnt hard.

They think everything is about them don’t they? Not everything is done for male attention. Sometimes we die (sic) our hair because we like the color. Some do it to cover grays. Some get their hair done to look good for an event like a wedding. I’ve dyed my hair on an impulse before.

Kim
Kim
5 years ago

You know what *is* hard? Apostrophes.

sparky
sparky
5 years ago

Wow. More surreal-ness.

Random question: Even if a woman did dye her hair “rainbow colors” for attention, so fucking what? It’s not like she’s hurting anybody. It’s not like it’s a crime to want to stand out or look unique or change your hairstyle to suit your taste. I just don’t see anything wrong with that, and I just don’t understand these people.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
5 years ago

It is quite possible that they are carrying on about colorful hair extensions and don’t realize what they are.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
5 years ago

Women can’t win, though. I don’t usually wear make-up or pretty clothes, and I haven’t dyed my hair in well over a decade. So, no “attention whoring” here. Instead, I get randos telling me how pretty I’d look, if I tried a bit.

Devin Parker
5 years ago

This is, without a doubt, the funniest thing I’ve read in the last two weeks. GG is like a living Saturday Night Live sketch, complete with having no idea how to make it end.

Seriously, you call your ideological enemies “SJWs”, and you think you can stir up allies on *Tumblr*? These people are sitcom characters.

And to further echo: Yay, net neutrality!

Kris Moonhand
Kris Moonhand
4 years ago

I love how they tell people to reblog from sixpenceee, when sixpenceee is persona non grata on tumblr due to being a thief and an asshole. Reblogging from them is about the fastest way to get unfollowed, seeing as even if someone tried to tell them that “Hey, you’re new so you probably don’t know this, but sixpenceee is kind of a huge jerk.” Then the gators would go off on them and reveal their true colors (which weren’t even hidden that well in the first place.)

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