#GamerGaters have been spending a lot of time lately trying to convince the world that they’re really quite reasonable people, actually, and that the “movement’s” reputation as a hotbed of hateful bullying is undeserved.
Today on 8Chan’s /gg/ board, for example, one enterprising anon announced the start of “OP FIREHEART,” a combination of “Operation Firefly + Operation Lonely Hearts.”
Operation Firefly, you may recall, is GamerGate’s attempt to flood Tumblr with Tumblr-fied versions of their standard propaganda. Operation Lonely Hearts is a more recent “op,” an attempt to hijack a new meme started and spread by people critical of GamerGate, in which Twitterers and others replace their avatars with heart-shaped icons to indicate their support of a diverse gaming world open to all. GamerGaters have appropriated these heart-shaped icons and are using them to spread their own terrible message.
Op FireHeart aims to take these GamerGated hearts to Tumblr.
The weheart.io heartpix we made are amazing and powerful. But we can take them one step further, and use OP Firefly to help them spread on Tumblr and Social Media. They are the type of post that Tumblr can’t get enough of. They’re artsy, fun and minimalistic.
Here’s the plan- we make a lot more of those memes, but we use popular anime and vidya characters along with people from superwholock /homestuck /mlp etc. Include hot guys and gals and load up on those pop culture references.
See guys we like anime so therefore we can’t be all bad right? NO ONE WILL SEE THROUGH THIS CLEVER RUSE.
Really, anything can be made into a fireheart meme. Pictures of food, alcohol, parties- make it fun and spreadable.
We post the images in those tags (where the character came from), with one simple message underneath: #Gamergate loves you. It’s a show of support and outreach, nothing else- but it will make a lot of neutrals curious.
Even aside from the fact that this propaganda campaign is, you know, transparently cynical and obvious – if you’re going to try to dupe the world it’s generally a bad idea to let the world know about it first – there’s one giant problem with Operation FireHeart and the RebuildInitiative and all of GamerGate’s attempts to win the PR war by pretending to be nice, and that is: WE CAN SEE YOU.
Evidence of your bad faith and bigotry is everywhere; you can’t wash it away with a letter-writing campaign or heart-shaped anime avatars.
Oh, you want evidence? Well, look no further than this thread from yesterday on 8chan. After one anon posted screenshots of an actual polite Twitter conversation they had with a woman GamerGaters have been going after lately, the thread quickly degenerated into a transphobic nightmare after one anon declared that the woman in question was “a man, baby.”
Some, er, highlights of what followed. Oh, and Trigger Warning for some really horrible transphobic crap.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that heart-shaped anime avatars aren’t going to dig you out of the hole your’re continually digging for yourself.
Oh, but there’s more.
That last comment is what passes for a “moderate” voice in this thread. It helped to inspire this, er, debate.
There’s not enough perfume in the world to make this shit smell sweet.
For more on this thread, and on “reasonable” GamerGaters, see “Polite” GGers – A Case Study, an excellent Storify of some recent Tweets from @alexlifschitz, which is what alerted me to this toxic thread.
And in other depressing news, some 4channers — remember them? — are launching a new “op” of their own … designed to drive trans folks to suicide. See here and here for more details. (Neither is a link to 4chan.) I can’t even.