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#gamergate 8chan empathy deficit

Randi Harper, GamerGate critic and anti-online-harassment activist, was SWATted last night

So, this happened:

Last night, around 10:20 PM, I received a knock at my front door. I live in a secured building, and it’s rare that I have visitors, so it wasn’t any huge surprise to me when I opened the front door and 6 officers from the Oakland Police were standing outside.

Randi Harper, who posted the above on her blog today, was the victim of an attempted SWATting late last night. That is, one of her online enemies contacted the police, pretending that they were in her apartment holding someone hostage, in hopes of literally sending a SWAT team to bust down her door. Luckily for her, she had herself contacted the police some months earlier and warned them that someone might do this.

Had she not warned the cops in advance, more than six police officers would have shown up. In all likelihood, a literal SWAT team would have shown up, guns drawn, at her door. Instead, her encounter with the police, while nerve-wracking, was peaceful. (I’ve bolded some of what follows.)

Leo, my golden retriever, followed me to the door, so I only opened the door partially and was blocking him with my body to keep him from rushing out to make friends. One of the officers asked me if I was OK. I told him I was fine, and I immediately followed that up by asking if a SWAT threat had been called in. They confirmed this, and I told them I had a police report filed documenting that people were threatening to call in fraudulent reports.

I told them my dog was friendly, and I asked if I could give them this report. They said yes, and they asked if they could come inside and make sure everything was OK. I agreed. Four of the police stayed outside, and two came in. I was asked if anyone else was here, if I was living alone, why someone would call in a false report, and other various pertinent questions by one of the officers while the other took a look around my apartment.

After they had asked all of their questions and were sure that no one was being held against their will, I was informed that someone had called the police “from an iPad” stating that there was a ransom situation at my address, and they wanted $10,000. When I had opened the door, all guns were holstered. I was told that had I not filed a report back in January documenting these threats, that would not have been the case.

What usually happens when someone gets SWATted? Well, take a look at the video below, which Harper posted on her blog, featuring actual footage of a number of gamers being SWATted while in the middle of streaming video events. That is, they were playing games online, others were watching them playing, and some of those watching decided it would be hilarious to send a SWAT team to visit them while they were playing.

So, yeah, that’s what whoever called the hoax in was hoping would happen to her.

For more details, some documentation, and advice on how to approach the police if you are worried that someone will try to do this to you, see her post.

We still don’t know who called in the fake report. Given that she’s been repeatedly targeted (and doxxed) by the not-so-good folks on the baphomet board on 8chan, a lot of people think that’s who it was.

Of course, there are many GamerGaters who think her story is a hoax, and complain that she hasn’t posted an official police incident report detailing what went down. According to Harper, the police told her she wouldn’t be able to get hold of one for at least two weeks.

I believe her. But I guess we’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks, huh?

In the meantime, Leo the dog is hunkering down in the bathtub.

And Leo’s owner is just glad she was wearing pants during the whole ordeal.

 

 

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mayimoktoo
mayimoktoo
5 years ago

That puppy has the same look on it’s face that I do. I’m so glad to hear that things were as good as an incredibly ugly situation could be. Randi is super brave and super smart.

Also, hey Gamergaters – That dog could have been shot. Now can you consider the idea of being the bad guys?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

I read her blog about this. My heart goes out to her, and I’m glad that she’s helping get the word out.

Have you guys heard about Zoe Quinn and a few other people putting together an anti-harassment network called Crash Override?

https://twitter.com/CrashOverrideNW

They help people who are being harassed, and give people tips on what to do if they are.

Lady Mondegreen
5 years ago

Also, hey Gamergaters – That dog could have been shot.

The human could have been shot.

.

(Never mind. That wouldn’t bother them.)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Not enough “W”s in my computer to go “Awwww” as much as I want over that pic of Leo.

The hoax call is disgusting of course; but that’s just axiomatic. There people do realise that they’re going to be responsible for a death one day. *Sigh* of course they do; what was I thinking?

Podkayne
Podkayne
5 years ago

Fuck those fucking fucks sideways.

boogerghost
boogerghost
5 years ago

Fucking inexcusable. You’re supposed to learn not to do things like this after your guardians catch you prank calling the pizza place at the age of 10. You learn that disrupting ONE pizza shop employee is pretty fucking inconsiderate. You never even THINK about needlessly dialing emergency services after this because you know that even if you never get caught by the law, the moral repercussions of taking help away from people who actually needed it will haunt you. And then to go and turn a waste of time and resources into a violent, invasive attack… that’s the moral compass of an adult who grew down instead of growing up.

boogerghost
boogerghost
5 years ago

By the way, advice for stream viewers who really, really need to see their actions impact the streamer on camera: send a Mariachi band or something. At the break. And pay for it yourself.

Mitchel
5 years ago

Hmm, hard to say if it happened or not.

It was actually quite corny when “gorilla alpha male” Mike Cernovich tried to pretend he was swatted. I just looked at Juice Bro’s twitter account and he’s quite entertaining to say the least. He’s just like Forney and tries to write “click bait.”

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Mitchel | April 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm
Hmm, hard to say if it happened or not.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up a second.

Are you seriously trying to imply that Randi, who has been doxxed, harassed and threatened repeatedly, would seriously make this shit up? When there’s already so much evidence of her being harassed all over the internet?

Why would she? She’s already been harassed. Why make up more? To make a point about how awful GamerGate is? Because the rest of the harassment already does that.

Even if she was somehow lying about this, why would you doubt that Gators, who have a history of doxxing and harassing anyone who doesn’t agree with them, would do something like this?

I feel like implying that she’s somehow lying about all of this is extremely out of line. She even asked for a copy of the report (and she’ll most likely get one too as soon as she can).

Mitchel
5 years ago

Well, I do feel it’s likely that it really did happen. You’re right that really is no reason for her to lie about this/make it up.

I guess I just originally thought of that moron Cernovich and his swatting fiasco.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Leo is adorable.

Mitchel, not so much. Remember folks, this is the guy who said Sluthate wasn’t so bad.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

“She even asked for a copy of the report (and she’ll most likely get one too as soon as she can).”

Of course then the GG lot will say she reported the hostage thing herself.

Kestrel
Kestrel
5 years ago

I wish I had enough money to pay white hats to find out who these chucklefucks are and see them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Also take away their ability to ever own a cell phone, computer, or even have primitive internet access. That might actually get these GG asshats to think about the consequences of their actions.

Kestrel
Kestrel
5 years ago

I forgot one more thing. They can NEVER play a game again. Not even Candy Crush, or maybe only Candy Crush. I am flexible about that detail.

lkeke35
5 years ago

I’m hoping and praying that this sort of bs behavior doesn’t crash headlong into a pit of racism and get some random PoC killed. I’m dreading the day this happens.

jaygee
jaygee
5 years ago

I hope the jerks that pulled this “prank” are caught and heavily fined/jailed/whatever. Not only are they terribly harassing someone, but also wasting emergency services. Don’t people that abuse 911 services suffer more consequences?

mayimoktoo
mayimoktoo
5 years ago

Kestrel, I’m ok with just Candy Crush.

Lady Mondegreen, yeah kinda my point. They pretty obviously don’t care about people. But hurt a puppeh and the darker interwebs go apeshit.

M.
M.
5 years ago

Hmm, hard to say if it happened or not.

How many fucking times do these women need to be harassed, stalked, doxxed, DDoS’d, sent rape and death threats, sent bomb and mass shooting threats, revenge porn’d, have their families harassed and threatened, have their workplaces spammed by requests to fire them, mailed dead animals, however you’d describe Brianna’s stalker-turned-troll fiasco and now SWATted before these fingers-in-ears “Both sides! Both sides!” dipshits finally believe that there may be something to this?

ſoǝ Klǝɯɯǝɹ (@JoeKlemmer)

WRT this being a potential hoax, the Redditers will be all over this. KiA where they’ve “proven” that she’s never been doxxed or harassed by anyone but herself using social puppets. They’ll regale you with “evidence” that she’s the biggest harassor on Twitter.

They’re so full of excrement. This whole GamerGate thing is making me seriously look at quitting tech.

Bunch of wankers.

M.
M.
5 years ago

Hey, Mitchel? Turns out Cracked posted an interview with Brianna and a few other harassed women yesterday. Go read it and tell me if they’re just making it all up.

(Bonus for non-assholes: Includes a feminist named Katie! I needed that smile after Mitchel’s turd. Just, y’know, don’t read the comments.)

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
5 years ago

Okay, um, shouldn’t the SWAT be logging who the hell called in these tips so they can bust any false reports like the regular police and firepeople do? And be put in jail because I’m pretty sure false reports are a crime? This SEEMS like this would be something prudent to do so at least the police can make examples of people who think they can waste state money like that, let alone fucking ruin people’s lives and livestreams.

The fuck.

M.
M.
5 years ago

… Unrelatedly, it’s really bizarre to think that the site that’s most vocally on our side is Cracked. Fucking Cracked, a site that only a few years ago was so embarrassingly women-amirite dudebro-centric it might as well have been CollegeHumour’s text version. I don’t know what kicked off the change, but it’s gone from being something I was ashamed for looking at on occasion to something I read every day and actively link to on feminist blogs.

And that’s pretty damn cool. =)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Mitchell

I believe her; and, in the unlikely event you’re interested why; I’ll tell you.

OK, first up I have no idea who this woman is. However I am certain she exists and also that she is, as described, someone who is involved in dealing with GG harassment. Why? Well, because I’ve found the postings on this site to be reliable. It’s an easily verifiable claim, and would ruin David’s credibility if shown to be untrue. So on these ans similar grounds I find that fact established.

Now, from previous evidence as to how GG operates, I find it proven that they indulge in harassment of their critics.

Having established that this woman is a GG critic I find it not only possible, but indeed highly likely to the point of certainty that she would be a target for such harassment.

As to the method, “Swatting”, I know this happens and the GG lot fit the profile of the sort of people who engage in this sort of thing.

So the whole scenario is not only plausible but highly likely.

As to whether it occurred in this particular instance, it is often said that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. This however is not an extraordinary claim. it is in fact a claim that an event we have already established is highly likely to occur has in fact occurred. The burden of evidence therefore to convince me that she is telling the truth is very low.

Bearing in mind that most complaints of criminal behaviour, which this is, are true I put the level of evidence on a par with that I would require for someone claiming that they had been caught in the rain. I wouldn’t insist on them showing me their wet clothing, I would be content to take their word for it.

It’s the same in this case. If she says it happened, unless and until compelling evidence is forthcoming that it didn’t, it happened.

I believe her account.

Mitchel
5 years ago

Like I said though, after thinking about it more, I now believe it too. I had just instantly thought of that one Cernovich had,,,supposedly anyways,

Olive O'Sudden
Olive O'Sudden
5 years ago

If the police ever track down who called in this fake ‘hostage call’, I hope they prosecute him for both terrorism and send him the bill for the cost of their visit to Ms Harper’s home.

That picture of scared Leo in the tub makes me want to hurt the people who’ve been harassing Harper.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

You know you’re the bad guys when you have a scared dog bunkering down in a bathtub because you’re too full of shit to leave a woman with an opinion alone online. Fucking piss puddles…

PussyPowerTantrum
PussyPowerTantrum
5 years ago

Awww poor doggie. If I weren’t allergic I’d be all over him petting and hugging.

(Am I a terrible person for wondering what would happen if I turned on the shower while he’s hunkered down in the tub? Yes. Yes I am.)

As mayimoktoo pointed out, the police are known to shoot dogs during raids, even little ones that pose no threat. Leo is a large dog who might well have acted to protect his human from big, shouty men with guns. Randi may have saved her dog’s life by acting with smart forethought, and whoever attempted the SWATting is a pathetic turd who should be ashamed to look in a mirror.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

Even if she was somehow lying about this, why would you doubt that Gators, who have a history of doxxing and harassing anyone who doesn’t agree with them, would do something like this?

It’s always stupefying when GamerGaters, despite all evidence, claim the harassment is just “made up.” Moreso when they then claim the “other side” is “just as bad” when it comes to harassment. So, yeah, it’s a little weird they expect people to believe them given their dismissiveness of other people’s harassment.

Being somewhat off-topic: I’ve come to the conclusion that Know Your Meme has been completely compromised as a source of information.

I went to their page on sea-lioning and this is the kind of shit they wrote (emphasis mine):

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning

The term was coined in September 2014 by anti-GamerGate Internet users to mock perceived online discussion tactics employed by GamerGate supporters.

First of all, there is no “anti-GamerGate” and I’m sick of people acting like it is. As Dr. Nerdlove put it – there’s GamerGate and there’s everyone else. You may as well use terms like “anti-pedophilia” to describe someone…except you’d be referring to 99.7% of the population anyway. There’s no “anti-NAMBLA” that came about in response to NAMBLA, because the vast majority of people hate that group as is.

Second, there’s nothing more mealy-mouthed than describing that tactic as “perceived” – as if such a thing hasn’t been on display in numerous online discussions. It’s a form of concern trolling and, having been in such debates, it’s pretty aggravating. Why? You could give them all the evidence in the world and they still wouldn’t give a shit, continuing to “just ask” questions that have already been answered. Because it’s not about learning anything or finding common ground – it’s just weaponized insincerity for the purpose making others look bad.

On November 20th, the anti-GamerGate blog Simplikation published an article titled “Why Sealioning is Bad,” which argued that responding to “demands for evidence and answers to questions” was an “insidious trap” to waste people’s time.

Again, nice try in acting as if “anti-GamerGate” sites are a thing – especially a singular personal blog – along with the obvious use of scare quotes that are (of course) out of context. The actual article, in full? Here:

http://simplikation.com/why-sealioning-is-bad/

That oh-so-terrible quote? Here, unabridged:

The biggest reason why people hate sealioning is because responding to it is a complete waste of time.

It’s an insidious trap. Responding to questions asked reasonably is, of course, a natural thing for people to do. I like to do it myself; educating others is generally pretty entertaining, especially if they are receptive to learning. Dismissing those questions can appear condescending or rude, especially if you actually are condescending or rude.

Of course, these questions are not asked because the person genuinely wants to know. If they did, they would do their own digging based on your statements, and only ask for obscure or difficult-to-discover information. This is the “debate principle”; when you go to a debate, you educate yourself on the topics at hand, and only request evidence when a claim is either quite outlandish or unflinchingly obscure.

No, these questions are asked to make you waste your time. It works, too; I’ve responded to sealions before, answering all their questions and claims for evidence, only to be greeted by even more willful ignorance. It’s a way to force you into responding to questions phrased neutrally but asked in bad faith.

Boy, that’s…completely non-inflammatory and completely reasonable sentiment about such.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot – not validating GamerGaters constantly is akin to emasculation to them…

M.
M.
5 years ago

Being somewhat off-topic: I’ve come to the conclusion that Know Your Meme has been completely compromised as a source of information.

Well, Know Your Meme is an offshoot of Cheezburger, and Cheezburger is one of the very few remaining #GamerGate strongholds outside of Reddit and 8Chan, so I don’t think it was ever a viable source of information.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

I wish I was aware of that sooner – now I feel I’ve been continually duped.

Aerinea
Aerinea
5 years ago

@M. The transformation of Cracked into an ally has been so strange and so awesome to watch. I’m not sure what happened, but I’m so happy to see the change.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

Guess that’s what happens when other people don’t bother to look into what the source of their information is, because then they share it and trick people into thinking it’s somehow legitimate.

Aerinea
Aerinea
5 years ago

Know Your Meme was better when it wasn’t part of the Cheezburger Network.

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

Well, Know Your Meme is an offshoot of Cheezburger, and Cheezburger is one of the very few remaining #GamerGate strongholds outside of Reddit and 8Chan, so I don’t think it was ever a viable source of information.

Not only that, but KYM had connections to imageboard culture even back in the Rocketboom days.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
5 years ago

Ugh. I’m glad Randi is all right, but that has to be terrifying.

Gamergate has done me a small bit of personal good–it introduced me to Katherine Cross on Twitter, who introduced me to Gravity Ghost:

http://boingboing.net/2015/04/03/gravity-ghost.html

Which is amazing, though I may have to mute the sound track to play it for long periods. Nothing wrong with the sound per se, but it is really melancholy and causes me feelings.

Also, it runs on a Macbook Air, so whatever you are packing, you can probably run it, and you get a code to share with someone else when you buy it.

Aerinea
Aerinea
5 years ago

I don’t know if KYM would have been as plugged into those things without the connections to imageboard culture. Many of the earliest internet memes come from imageboard culture. Having past connections to imageboard culture isn’t a problem in and of itself, it’s an unwillingness to move beyond that. The SCP Foundation was founded on 4Chan, but is actually a pretty awesome, welcoming place. OTOH, I still think of Deadmau5 as the image macro posting fool I met online back in the early 2000s. He had been asked to do some remixes for a band I was working for and brought his imageboard culture attitude with him. I have not seen any evidence that he has grown up.

Also, remember that Cracked was such a dudebro website several years ago, and now they regularly post progressive articles. Places can change.

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
5 years ago

It saddens me how little I’m even surprised by this. My sympathies to Randi, and seriously, fuck Gamergate for still pulling this shit.

Seconding everyone on Cracked. They’re not perfect; I feel like in their certainly very noble pursuit to promote a more open-minded and reasonable Internet, they can sometimes come across as having a “more-informed-than-thou” vibe, does that make sense? But yeah, its hardline stance on Gamergate when most game outlets weren’t even reporting it was when I went, “No, MRA commenters, they’re not just ‘conforming to the SJWs’–they actually really care about this.” And I agree, that’s pretty damn cool.

As to what prompted the change: actually, I’ve speculated for some time that the explosion of MRAs invading comment sections disgusted writers who were already somewhat sympathetic to social justice (even some of their older articles would talk about racism and sexism, and David Wong pretty clearly despises the MRM) so much, they realized it was a bigger problem than they realized and adjusted accordingly.

@Mitchel: what everyone else said. Seriously.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
5 years ago

The thing about MRAs is that… well, a lot of modern sexism seems really subtle, and even the egregious stuff is normalized, especially if you’re a man. Microagressions, unconscious bias, “benevolent” sexism… They swim around the culture and everyone absorbs cultural misogyny to an extent.

And then the MRAs show up, and people go, “You know, this misogyny thing might actually be a problem. Some people clearly hate women. Look a the assholes infesting my comment section.”

Ktoryx
Ktoryx
5 years ago

What pisses me off is that they’ve been circulating a picture of a report Randi made in January and claiming that she’s been claiming it’s a report of the incident last night. She’s done no such thing. A few months ago, she made a report to the local police saying that she was at risk of being swatted – and that report is a big part of why the swatting went so much better than it could have. She circulated that report to let people know that this was an option that worked for her – warning the police beforehand.

Now that the swatting has happened, they’re using that report as “evidence” that the whole thing was fake. “She says the swatting happened last night, but the police report is from January! CONSPIRACY!” It’s so easily disprovable with like two clicks to see what she actually said. But the confirmation bias is so powerful, you just have to start a rumor and let it go with these loathsome types.

sevenofmine
5 years ago

Now that the swatting has happened, they’re using that report as “evidence” that the whole thing was fake. “She says the swatting happened last night, but the police report is from January! CONSPIRACY!” It’s so easily disprovable with like two clicks to see what she actually said. But the confirmation bias is so powerful, you just have to start a rumor and let it go with these loathsome types.

This is, IMO, the most insidious part of these online harassment campaigns. If the same bullshit gets disseminated far enough and fast enough, it doesn’t even matter what the truth is. The lie just keeps self-replicating.

Dord
Dord
5 years ago

Why aren’t they in jail? Fasely reporting a crime is a crime?

hekatesgal (@hekatesgal)

Cops can’t tell you who.made the report (even if they know) because I dunno you might take revenge? And they also don’t want to discourage reporting, I imagine. Just like in most places if an anonymous report comes.in about child.abuse, it has to be checked out. Period
And the person doing the reporting doesn’t have to.say who they are. But I would like to see false reports prosecuted.

autosoma
5 years ago

Perhaps now there could be some benefit to the NSA’s electronic surveillance and back trace those responsible. Especially as the intelligence community does monitor the gaming community as its a fertile recruiting ground for radical fundamentalist movements.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

If the same bullshit gets disseminated far enough and fast enough, it doesn’t even matter what the truth is. The lie just keeps self-replicating.

Sadly, true of pre-Internet smear campaigns as well.

Mitchel
5 years ago

I certainly apologize if my comment came off as rude or uncaring. It certainly wasn’t my intentions. I looked into it more, and do believe it really happened. As was already said, there’s no reason for her to make this up.

I would have to say I agree with some of the posters that this going WAY too far. Something seriously bad is going happen. I don’t wish physical harm to anyone involved. Yes, that even includes MASSIVE asshole Mike Cernovich. I would definitely like to see whoever was responsible for this punished by law though.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@ Mitchel 🙂

If something does happen and someone does die the GG community will go into immediate No True Gator mode. In public. Meanwhile they’ll shoot themselves in the foot by laughing about the tragedy on baphomet, forgetting that Reddit is fucking public as well. I just know it.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Sending anxious men with guns to a person’s house is trying to get them shot. These are people using our ridiculously trigger happy police state to assault, violate and and (let’s be honest) hopefully murdered. How traumatizing is it to know these men might send the cops to kill you, your pets, anyone who happens to be over at the time could be murdered at a group at a bigoted terrorist’s whim. These hate sites exist to encourage and lend animosity to terrorists who target women.

If my dogs were trained to bite work and I sicced my big ‘ol dogs on someone I would be considered an attempted murderer. I might as well point a gun and pull the trigger myself. This is a far more insidious version of that act. They are siccing nervous cops on women.

You just know they have a collective wank every time they do it too.

These people belong in prison. The Chans need to be shut down. Yesterday.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Murder, not murdered.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Mitchel ,
It wasn’t rude. It was misogynist. You aren’t hurting our widdle fee-fees. you are testing our patience with your continuously bigoted bullshit.