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Thunderf00t rebuts charges he commands a hate mob by unleashing a hate mob on a woman who made this charge

Thunderf00t: Pleased with himself
Thunderf00t: Quite pleased with himself

Phil Mason, better known online as Thunderf00t, is a scientific researcher and YouTube bloviater who’s turned his hate-crush on video game critic Anita Sarkeesian into a surprisingly lucrative part-time job; his seemingly unending stream of YouTube videos attacking Sarkeesian, many of which have drawn hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, have without a doubt contributed mightily to the harassment directed against her by the online mob known as #Gamergate.

Now Mason is trying to defend himself against charges that he has become the de facto leader of a vast hate mob that harasses Sarkeesian and other women … by encouraging his followers to harass a woman who charged him with exactly this.

And a good number of Mason’s 400,000 YouTube followers have taken him up on this challenge, flooding the Yelp page of the business the woman runs with her husband with fraudulent one-star reviews and besieging her and her family business with angry and harassing phone calls (at least one of which the perpetrator has put online).

The story of this particular debacle began this past January when the YouTuber who calls herself Laughing Witch sent a letter to Mason’s employer, accusing the YouTuber of harassing Sarkeesian and other women and repeatedly suggesting that he and his followers were a bunch of Nazis. Her email was part of a letter-writing campaign by a number of feminist Youtubers who hoped their letters would get Mason fired from his research job.

Mason, who apparently faced no repercussions from the letter-writing campaign, decided last week to retaliate against Laughing Witch — real name Jennifer Keller. He posted a video about Keller’s letter, following up with a second video posting her name as well as screenshots from the web page of Porcelain Tub Restoration, the company she runs with her husband.

While Tunderf00t didn’t explicitly command his army to harass Keller and her husband, he suggested to his supporters that they post their thoughts about her on the business’s Yelp page — and they did, cratering the company’s rating with literally hundreds of fake one-star reviews.

Yelp has been removing the most obviously fake ones, as well as those referencing her letter about Thunderf00t, but many remain up as “not recommended” (in other words, questionable) reviews, including a number of clearly trollish ones accusing Keller of being a Nazi.

1.0 star rating 10/22/2015 When they came to remodel, i noticed their dismay i had a menorah, i ignored it and told them where my bathroom was. At first i thought it was my paranoia, but then...they starting putting the tiles in such a manner that swastikas were drawn in between the tiles. Then they dropped a very expensive soap and it broke, when i reacted, a short haired woman said: 'What? Is that you granma?' When they finished the work in the bathroom i was less than pleased, i wanted them to leave my house. They proceded to where my menorah was (I should mention i'm not jewish, it seemed practical for a quake or something) and the short haired elderly woman broke it and groped me, saying 'I haven't eaten kosher for a while'. At this point i told them to leave, and the woman exposed herself to me while yelling verses of mein kampf, saying Hitler had a point, but he should have killed all men as well, she refered to Hitler as the feminist who never was, a lonely tear drop running down her face. They left, well, she defecated on my garden and then they left. It would have been fine but the tiles were a bit bent, so 1 star.
Click for larger version.

These negative reviews, as ludicrous as many of them are, have apparently hit the business hard. Keller and her husband have set up a FundAnything page in an attempt, they say, to make payroll in the wake of the attacks on their and their company’s reputation online. On the FundAnything page Keller’s husband, Paul Burns, writes:

We are getting slanderous lies about our services and people posting deplorable images on review sites, as well desecrating our star ratings and customers calling. No one clicks to a service company with 1 star rating. 

According to Burns, the 26-year-old “family based service business with 14 employees” may be forced to close “because of a brutal mob attack on our social review sites.”

Mason’s response to this campaign being waged in his name? Another video, in which he declares that “Karma [is] ONLY A BITCH, if you are one!”

Except that this isn’t “karma,” a supernatural force that Mason, a self-avowed “skeptic,’ presumably doesn’t believe in anyway.

This is an organized harassment campaign, instigated and encouraged by Mason himself.

While I’ve enjoyed Laughing Witch’s videos in the past, I think the letter writing campaign was wrong. Writing employers is a low blow. And despite Mason’s many flaws as a thinker and a human being, he’s no Nazi.

But the wave of harassment he’s brought down on Keller — and which he has not made even the slightest attempt to rein in  — is indefensible.

And it’s getting worse by the day: 8chan’s Baphomet forum, a haven for malicious doxers and harassers, has now jumped aboard this harassment train, targeting not only Keller but her supporters as well. They’ve doxed one other YouTuber already, and are working on doxing others.

In a Baphomet thread, one anon happily reports that the attacks on Keller are causing her great distress:

Anonymous 10/21/15 (Wed) 20:11:27 No.98799>>99454 File (hide): 1445476287252.png (84.73 KB, 623x808, 623:808, 1.png) HOLY SHIT ATTENTION ATTENTION FELLOW BAPHIES!!! POSSIBLE SUICIDE MIGHT HAPPEN REPEAT SUICIDE MIGHT RESULT! Pic related but read this twitter thread for more context https://twitter.com/kflogan/status/656987823195693056 Apparently being triggered to near deadly levels, Kevin the cuck is apparently begging for Thundiecuck to delete his videos exposing laughing bitch. Thundercuck has finally been promoted to ThunderpossiblynotmuchofabitchthanIthought after saying he won't do it unless she does it first. She's having a nervous breakdown and her company may actually go down!

While Mason at first suggested that he would call off the attack if Keller apologized to him, he has since refused to accept her apology, and seems positively gleeful about the pain he’s caused her and her allies.

The internet has officially hit another new low.

I’ll post more on this as it develops.

NOTE: Thanks to Daily Kos blogger idlediletante (Margaret Pless), who provided me with a number of tips on this story. She’s written three posts on the subject so far:

Family Business Brigaded on Yelp by MRA YouTube Stars

Phil Mason is Working With Baphomet to Ruin DC Business

How it Feels to Be Targeted By An Internet Hate Mob: One Man’s Story

 

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John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@Bryce

I think it’s a situation similar to this one, wherein it’s difficult to specifically pin that down because of semantics and Mason’s careful choice of words, as much as what he’s NOT explicitly saying. What I’ve noticed, is he will make a video about Sarkeesian (say, for example, implying she’s a disingenuous con artist and committing fraud) and this will have the desired effect of enraging his viewers, so the cycle of insults and harassment has another spin at her all over again. I saw a tweet from her once, where she talked about how anytime a new hit piece video is released, there’s a new resurgence of hate that floods her social media and other forms of contact.

Making such videos also tends to bring in the most monetary gain, since such a hate machine will bug you for more food as soon as you already start to feed it, like a stray kitty. Because of this, Mason will cram Sarkeesian where she doesn’t belong, such as the “Sarkeesian Supporters Tried To Get Me Fired” video.He could have said “Feminists”, “SJWs'”, “YouTubers”. Any one of those would have made more sense, been more apt and more relevant. However, his methods for even bringing up Sarkeesian are two-fold. One, more money and two, it stokes the fires and reminds his viewers that she still exists and they should still be mad about that. This will generate future content and future revenue, as she’s something of a cash cow for him.

Ironically, these folks hate her and yell at her for “having opinions on the internet.”

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Bryce,
What John Pavlich said. Basically he uses dog whistles.

For anyone not familiar with the dog whistle tactic, here’s a bone chilling video about the “southern strategy.”

CW: racial slurs
https://youtu.be/MAPeFRNtTP4

Iris Scanner
Iris Scanner
6 years ago

So Mason uses Anita Sarkeesian in the same way that Futrelle uses Paul Elam.

Agreed.

Still not harassment, in either case. Vigorously criticizing a public figure, even to the point of ridicule — as both Mason and Futrelle routinely do with their targets — simply is not harassment.

I’m sure Paul Elam feels harassed by Futrelle’s relentless criticism and mockery. But it isn’t harassment, just criticism. And neither is Mason’s criticism and mockery of Sarkeesian harassment.

It is special pleading of the highest order to complain about Mason ridiculing Sarkeesian while on a site that is dedicated to ridicule as the highest form of argument (and that expresses glee every time Paul Elam complains about the barbs).

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Iris Scanner:
Well, you might have something if anybody was saying just making a video criticizing them is harassment. Or that him making fun of her is. There is more to it than that. But you like to remove details until you have something meaningless. Then pretend to have some moral high ground when ultimately you’re saying nothing.

Read what people are saying please.

happyelf
happyelf
6 years ago

@littleknown For what it is worth just because I don’t think it was a dox, it doesn’t mean I would have done it. As for judging if he was right, I don’t think it was cut and dry but I would have preferred him not to – at least not like he did at a minimum. I think he toed a line, and stayed on the side that never crossed into illegal in the end. My sympathy is with anyone innocent, but I think LW has as much to do with bringing this on them as anyone. This was always a possibility in some way even if it had not come from her “enemy”. It is a risk she exposed her business to.

I don’t have a great amount of sympathy for LW, I have complete sympathy for all innocent workers (they were potentially getting screwed anyway with LW using all of this to hide/blame their debts and potential bankruptcy), and although I don’t believe Tf did something directly wrong or illegal, I don’t think he did something right either. It is more something that he can do, and I do think he can, but probably should find a better way even if it was just to protect himself and help his own cause from the fallout of a worse way.

It is all a bit of a mess and the added hatred of two sets of supporters, on various platforms, doesn’t really help.

I’ll read any reply you want to give and then leave it at that – unless you want to ask anything specifically but otherwise have a good one.

Iris Scanner
Iris Scanner
6 years ago

Tessa,

Well, you might have something if anybody was saying just making a video criticizing them is harassment. Or that him making fun of her is. There is more to it than that.

Do tell. What specific actions has Phil Mason taken against Anita Sarkeesian that should reasonably be called “harassment”?

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

@Iris

Well, I’m not quite bored out of my skull yet, so I will attempt to explain. And I’ll type slowly and use small words so it’s easier for you to understand. If you insist on being willfully disingenous on every single point, I’m going to treat you like a small child.

So, you see, sweetie, the difference is that Mr. Elam here does not actually have to deal with hundreds of threatening and demeaning messages being sent to him every single day! He doesn’t have to sift through death and rape threats over his morning coffee every single day. When Paul Elam organizes a speaking engagement, he doesn’t have to deal with people promising to come to his talk and shoot him. Because the people who criticize, on the whole, Elam AREN’T evil shitheads who get their jollies by hurling anonymous abuse at the people they disagree with. Isn’t that just so weird?

But Ms. Sarkeesian does have to deal with all of that. TF might be one of the people who fires anonymous death and rape threats at her, and he might not be. That’s what the word ‘anonymous’ means, did you know that? But in either case, he sure as shooting is aware of at least some of what she goes through. And by mocking, criticizing, and otherwise drawing attention to Ms. Sarkeesian without clearly condemning the abuse she goes through, he gives his subscribers reminders to keep their hate alive and throw more abuse her way. He makes money off of the perpetual rage machine that he assists in keeping alive by feeding them more reasons to attack her.

Is that a bit clearer, honey, or are you still confused about proportional response and what actually consists of harassment? Because, you know, there’s this fantastic thing called google.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Iris Scanner: Him directly? As in direct contact? Probably none, but I don’t know if he’s emailed or tweeted her. But there is a such thing as inciting harassment. And one would have to keep the audience in mind. And I’m sure you consider yourself a rational and logical person, and I imagine you don’t think of Thunderf00t as stupid, so I want you to be honest and direct about this:

Knowing his audience, for example their response in this particular event, and the history of Gamergate and their response to Sarkeesian, do you honestly think Thunderf00t is baffled at the response his audience has? Do you believe he didn’t expect it? Or count on it? If your audience had a history of harassing your enemies, and you didn’t want it to happen, wouldn’t a responsible person call out the behavior? Or ponder why this was happening and try to prevent it? What do you think Thunderf00t did?

So the main question here Iris: Logically, would you agree that engaging in an action you know will end in many of your fans harassing someone make you also responsible for said harassment?

Before you bring up David. His audience doesn’t have a history of harassment. He calls out harassment, and not in a wink wink nudge nudge “oh, harassment is wrong, but here is all the information I dug up on .”

And before you bring up the Patreon post from earlier. This is what I was talking about above about boiling everything down to meaninglessness.

Thunderf00t broke the rules of Patreon, and reporting him is not “going after his patreon income” as you said, but alerting the company that he is using their platform to hurt others when it’s against the rules. It’s a prompt for an investigation and they decide. He is using the service they provide.

Even the letter LW sent was more of an alert, and asking them to examine his actions on their own, providing links.

Thunderf00t’s fans harassed her and her family directly. They also lied about being customers and posted it on Yelp, giving fraudulent reviews, at the suggestion of Thunderf00t, pretending to be customers, and urging actual potential customers not to use their business. (This is also against Yelp’s rules.)

Do you not see the differences here? You boil all to simply “going after income” while ignoring methods and motives. But since you have stated Thunderf00t’s response is the best one you could conceive of, I doubt this post will do much good.

Iris Scanner
Iris Scanner
6 years ago

Catalpa,

You state as fact that Sarkeesian receives threatening and demeaning messages to a greater degree than Elam does. How do you know this to be true? Do you think Paul Elam would say he does not get harassed? That, for example, his conference did not get its original location shut down by death threats sent to the hotel? Do you hold David Futrelle responsible for those threats?

Do you think Paul Elam would not say something like “Every time that asshole Futrelle writes an article about me…” and complain about the “harassment” he and AVFM receive?

Even assuming that Sarkeesian feels a greater level of harassment from critics than Elam does, which we do not know to be true, how is Phil Mason connected to this? You generously allow that Mason “might not be” sending anonymous death and rape threats to Sarkeesian, so I will just as generously allow that David Futrelle might not be sending similar threats to Paul Elam. (In fact, both seem like extremely distant possibilities to me.)

You draw no connection whatsoever between Mason and harassment of Sarkeesian until you point to his failure to condemn those who do harass her. That failure to condemn harassment by others is apparently tantamount to harassment in your mind. Is it your experience that people like David Futrelle and Phil Mason regularly express sympathy for the targets of their ridicule? Does Futrelle ever do anything but cry crocodile tears when Paul Elam complains about his troubles? What world do you live in?

It should be obvious that Mason has no obligation to condemn harassment of Anita Sarkeesian by people who are not Mason — especially if he doesn’t know if that harassment actually even occurred. You say that “hundreds of threatening and demeaning messages” are being sent to Anita Sarkeesian “every day.” But you just made this up, having no idea whether it is true. And you expect Phil Mason to hop to and loudly condemn it. Otherwise, he’s guilty of harassment.

If David Futrelle fails to hop to and condemn Paul Elam’s persecutors the next time Elam complains, is Futrelle also guilty of harassment?

I asked, “What specific actions has Phil Mason taken against Anita Sarkeesian that should reasonably be called ‘harassment’?”

You’ve got nothing.

Bryce
Bryce
6 years ago

@Tessa

“Before you bring up David. His audience doesn’t have a history of harassment.”

No, but there those who seem to want the right to “alert” the employers of people they disagree with, that disgust them, and under some pretty flimsy pretexts such as concern for colleagues or the organization’s reputation (which is clearly not what it’s about.) It’s that aspect that is frightening and has wider implications.

@John Pavlich

You’re right, Mason’s channel can’t be considered harmless. There’s a pattern of focussing on Anita rather than her arguments or talking points, something that indicates extreme immaturity, disregard for another or malicious intent. IMO it’s difficult to say what repercussions he should expect for his videos.

zarathustratheserpent
6 years ago

We all remember how Tf00t was banned from FTB and than used his back-channel email to subscribe to get to the mailing list and the emails.

Isn’t that a felony? I’m surprised no one took legal action against Thunderf00t.

Many people don’t have a problem on calling LW out on her actions! Most people seem to condem it (including David in his article).

But Tf00t’s minions would never question or condemn the actions of their vile/zero-empathy master.

I saw this exact problem on YouTube. So many people were putting all the blame on Laughing Witch but tried to excuse Thunderf00t’s actions whenever they could. And they used all the typical stock arguments debunked in this thread. (“She started it.”, “she doxxed herself”, and “she tried to get TF fired so it’s OK to viciously retaliate” were the most common.)

YouTube shows the worst excesses of a pure democracy. It’s mob rule.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Bryce: Ah, I see you removed all context and it’s now “they disagree with” and “disgust”. What if I disagreed with someone’s long videos about how they believed all their coworks should be shot in the face? I would find that disgusting… and I would have concern for their colleagues, I probably wouldn’t care about the company’s reputation, but I would imagine the company itself would be… Since you’ve made it all 100% black and white Bryce, I guess you’d be against anybody alerting anybody… Or else we have a slippery slope.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

Oh, sweetums, I ain’t gonna do your work for ou. But here’s a little experiment you can try at home. Go onto Twitter and see if you can find a comment addressed to Paul Elam that describes how the twitterer would like to rape him. Or google: “anita sarkeesian harassment’, and see what comes up.

And considering how fucking fixated you’ve been on David condemning the actions of LW and blaming him for sending his army of mamotheers to report poor TF’s violation of patreon TOS (which he never actually did), it’s pretty rich that you’re demanding that we provide explicit proof that TF has been DIRECTLY harassing Anita Sarkeesian, and saying that he doesn’t need to condemn the horrific treatment she’s been dealing with for YEARS.

Bryce
Bryce
6 years ago

@Tessa,

That’s an easy case to make – but what if you were “concerned” for the colleagues of some youtuber who takes occasional potshots at feminism, or an Incel who blogged incessantly and bitterly about how women want nothing to do with him? Not everyone is reasonable or fair minded; some will do this for no other reason than they think their target deserves it.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

*for you.

Also, I’m bored now. Tedious troll is tedious. I vote we summon the dark lord.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

What still isn’t clear is whether there’s any evidence to validate LW’s claims about Phil Mason orchestrating a harassment campaign against Anita Sarkeesian.

Why, for all we know, the “Harassment” could be completely made up! Damselling! </sarcasm> Copypasta #GG talking points are boring.

No, but there those who seem to want the right to “alert” the employers of people they disagree with, that disgust them, and under some pretty flimsy pretexts such as concern for colleagues or the organization’s reputation (which is clearly not what it’s about.) It’s that aspect that is frightening and has wider implications.

Actually, shiteater, I genuinely am concerned for their colleagues. MRAs have a long and storied history of murdering women. Murdering their coworkers, murdering their classmates, murdering women who turn down their catcalls, murdering everyone indiscriminately…

Yes, I consider TF to be dangerous. I consider all MRAs to be dangerous. And if we don’t call attention to it, if we continue to let them do whatever the hell they want online without even the slightest threat of repercussions offline, the body count will continue to rise. You can call it censorship, but I call it saving lives.

sbel
sbel
6 years ago

@Bryce. You said:
“No, but there those who seem to want the right to “alert” the employers of people they disagree with, that disgust them, and under some pretty flimsy pretexts such as concern for colleagues or the organization’s reputation ”

I have 2 responses to that.

1) People do have that right. It’s called Freedom of Speech. Why are you objecting to someone’s Free Speech?

2) I feel like you’re not arguing in good faith. You are ignoring or dismissing all the reasons people gave for why they might report someone for “opinions.” Like I said in my first response to you, you’re ignoring the damage that “opinions” can cause.

I’m not going to reply to you anymore now that you’ve made it clear that you’re not listening.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@Iris Scanner

So Mason uses Anita Sarkeesian in the same way that Futrelle uses Paul Elam.

That’s a mighty fine Straw Man you’ve constructed for yourself. Excuse me, I’m going to go find some matches.

All kidding aside, yours is not a very well reasoned analogy. For one, (as far as I know. Maybe David can weigh in on the definitive) Futrelle doesn’t contact Elam and notify him every time a new blog post of mockery goes up. Mason consistently tweets Anita and folks like her with links to his slanderous videos. I’ve seen him do it. Hell, he screen caps these actions to display in his own videos, as if it’s something to be proud of doing.

Second, people like to claim that anything and everything Mason and others like him are doing is nothing but criticism. “Criticism is not harassment.” This is true and if that’s all anyone was doing, none of us would be here, having this discussion. In fact, this entire blog possibly wouldn’t even exist. The problem is not the “criticism”. If Phil Mason, or anyone else wants to offer a reasoned, respectful and calm counterargument to Anita Sarkeesian’s perceptions of say, Hitman: Absolution, they should and I would gladly hear them out. The problem, unfortunately is EVERYTHING ELSE these folks are saying and doing that does not fall into the category of criticism in any way. THAT’S the stuff that dilutes any sort of insightful points these people MIGHT have had at one time or another. It gets lost in a sea of ad hominems, straw men, derailments, dog whistles and mostly, complete misunderstandings of the original point Sarkeesian and others are trying to make. Like, they don’t even truly know what the hell they’re even mad about, much of the time.

If you want to complain about people (of their own accord) donating THEIR MONEY (read: not your money) to support Anita Sarkeesian, long after her Kickstarter reached its goal and closed (we do it all the time as general consumers, by the way. It’s called Voting With Your Wallet), I GUESS you could do that but what would be the point? Where’s the relevance to the argument that she misrepresents or misunderstands a certain video game? What does it have to do with suggesting conscious or unconscious sexism within a given game?

I feel like you’ve missed the entire point of this thread, as well: It’s not specifically about Mason HIMSELF harassing someone. It’s about his deliberate intent to have OTHERS do it FOR HIM, so that he can keep his hands “clean”. However you slice it, he’s INVOLVED and he’s RESPONSIBLE.

I know this thread is actually about Mason’s treatment of Laughing Witch but I think his history with Anita Sarkeesian does connect to this, which speaks to a larger pattern of his behavior and tactics. I’m going to give you a couple examples of people who ACTUALLY challenge Sarkeesian’s arguments in intelligent, thought-out, charitable and mature manners, so that you can hopefully see the BIG DIFFERENCE between people like them and Phil Mason. The first is a YouTuber named, KiteTales:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJihi5rB_Ek&w=560&h=315%5D

While I think KiteTales mostly raises some valid points, I have issues with a couple of her premises. First, she sometimes misrepresents a few of Anita’s viewpoints with a Straw Man, in regards to Anita’s intentions and positions on the topic. Second, she misses (or ignores) the parts in Anita’s videos where she talks about being critical of something you otherwise enjoy. In short, it’s the headline of that great, AV Club article: “If you like Return of the Jedi but hate the Ewoks, you understand feminist criticism.” http://www.avclub.com/article/if-you-return-jedi-hate-ewoks-you-understand-femin-224765

The other example and my favorite, is from a YouTuber named ToolTime:

The sad fact of the matter is, I’ve yet to find more examples like these and instead, am mostly faced with shrill, condescending character assassins who just want to yell down at Anita, from their self-appointed pedestals, through bad faith and then complain when she doesn’t take them seriously.

Smearing sour grapes all over the place doesn’t help anything or anyone. It just makes a mess for someone else to clean up.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

@Tessa,

That’s an easy case to make – but what if you were “concerned” for the colleagues of 1)some youtuber who takes occasional potshots at feminism, or an 2)Incel who blogged incessantly and bitterly about how women want nothing to do with him? 3)Not everyone is reasonable or fair minded; some will do this for no other reason than they think their target deserves it.

1) Define: Occasional potshots. What’s the job? How separate is his job and his youtube channel?

2) Way too vague… Is he using violent imagery? What about Elliot Rodger?

3) So you want to make a blanket rule that ignores context?

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

@Iris:

You state as fact that Sarkeesian receives threatening and demeaning messages to a greater degree than Elam does. How do you know this to be true? Do you think Paul Elam would say he does not get harassed? That, for example, his conference did not get its original location shut down by death threats sent to the hotel? Do you hold David Futrelle responsible for those threats?

There’s petulance and then there’s wilful ignorance, and you have just crossed the line. This is the point at which I have to reluctantly conclude bad faith on your part.

You’re here to defend your heroes. I get it. You’re standing up for someone you like, in this case Dr Mason, and have come to this website to ensure that his name is not vilified. However, in order to do this you’ve had to invoke some pretty weak and bad-faith arguments. Again, I get it: he’s important to you and you’ll try to win by foul means if you can’t win by fair, because of how important victory is to you.

Before you say it: No, you’re not “just asking questions.” You’re not “just raising reasonable concerns.” All the questions and concerns that you’ve raised in this thread have been to defend Dr Mason’s conduct at all costs, even on minor charges. These are not the actions of a person interested in good-faith discussion.

Now start being funny. At this site we tend to tolerate bad faith as long as it’s funny; which you sadly have not been until now.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Wow… that quote should have “bryce” above it. not me. That’s pretty epic to attribute the quote to myself. (I put the blockquote tag in after of bryce’s @Tessa instead of before… Bah.

Oh but John Pavlich (@johnpavlich):
I’m not at a place to watch youtube, if it won’t be too deraily can you give a cliffs notes versions of one of those people’s arguments that were valid?

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@Tessa

Gah! I really, really wish I could but I’m not sure I have the ability! ToolTime’s links are of two playlists, so there’s a lot of content. Lemme try to break down a specific point from KiteTale’s video: She suggests that Anita unfairly represents Princess Zelda as objectified property to be won by Link. She suggests that in this instance, Zelda is a wise leader who is clearly much more than a damsel in distress and that it’s not about being a victim who must be rescued, but about struggling and persevering through such an endurance trial, so that she can regain her position of political power and rule the land once again through the support of one of her commoner townspeople.

See? I’m pretty sure that sucked. 🙂

Regardless, whether KiteTales is right or wrong is open to debate but I’m fascinated by this perspective. It’s one that I’ve never considered before and I think it leads to important and interesting conversations, which is very much how I feel about many of Anita’s videos, too. Like, why do these detractors care so much if she’s right or wrong? Shouldn’t it matter more that it’s at least got us TALKING ABOUT THIS STUFF?

occasional reader
occasional reader
6 years ago

Hello.

Organization’s reputation and concern for colleagues are pretty flimsy pretexts ?
So, when a policeman brags about how he hates POC, nobody shall alert the administration ? So much for the equality in enforcing the law, then ! But, yeah, equality of rights is such a petty argument.
A priest does something i prefer not to state explicitly on a child ? Do not be mean, do not alert the Church.
If a friend of you sees an unknow person enter your house when you are supposed not to be at home, you do not expect him to alert police ?

On the Mr Mason case and the “he does not harrass her (Mrs Sarkeesian) directly”: sure, pouring oil on an already existing fire does not make you the lighter of the said fire. But it surely makes you an accomplice. Especially when you are doing it on purpose.
And if Mr Elam feels threatened by Mr Furtelle’s articles, he has the right to fill a complaint at the police station. Does he have done so ? I do not think so. Because no real reader here has threatened him with physical violence and the like.
So trying to put the harrassment on Mrs Sarkeesian and the “harrassment” on Mr Elam on the same line, giving them the same weight, is so ridiculous and biased.

Have a nice day.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich):
Ugh, I hope you misrepresented that, because that’s horrible on several levels. I’ll have to try to watch one.

Bryce
Bryce
6 years ago

@Tessa
There’s already one person here who’s pretty much stated she wants anyone involved in the manosphere, or aping the rhetoric subject to repercussions offline.

The point of those examples is to discuss where the line should be in the absence of explicitly threatening content (relating back to Phil Mason since he doesn’t appear to use violent rhetoric). So no violent imagery is employed by these hypothetical individuals, no Elliot Rodgers.

There are some obvious situations where certain people shouldn’t hold certain positions: racist faculty members, sex offenders teaching and the like. Those situations are clear enough and there’s a consensus.

What isn’t fair is using supposition, guilt by association style reasoning, subject to personal bias, to attribute violent behavioural tendencies to others without much basis. An example would be the blog author who endlessly complains about the sexual marketplace being unfair to men etc. Making the giant leap that his female coworkers are in danger and “informing” his boss is a form of harassment in itself. It’s a terrible MO and not the kind of power people should be casually exercising.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

Talk to me, not about me, you blithering cockbite.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Bryce:

The point of those examples is to discuss where the line should be in the absence of explicitly threatening content (relating back to Phil Mason since he doesn’t appear to use violent rhetoric). So no violent imagery is employed by these hypothetical individuals, no Elliot Rodgers.

Before we continue, what about implicit? Like what if someone walks into a store and tells the shopkeeper about how dangerous the neighborhood is, and how it’d be horrible if something happened? They were just offering a warning, and you know, offering to help keep anything from happening. Would you consider that threatening? They didn’t explicitly threaten. Right?

And also hypothetically, let’s say someone online posts videos about another person. And the target of these videos is harassed by a portion of this audience, an audience the video maker actively seeks to alert about his or her new videos on the subject of the person being harassed. Do you believe the video creator shares some contribution for the ongoing harassment? What is your personal opinion about someone profiting on the harassment of someone else? Do you believe the person does not know what’s going on? How about when they implicitly target someone else, and lo and behold, the fans start harassing the other person? Would this be evidence that the creator knows the harassment of the typical target of hisor her video is related to the videos?

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

@Tessa

How about when they implicitly target someone else, and lo and behold, the fans start harassing the other person?

This is a good point. No one can really argue that TF has NO IDEA that his fans tend to be awful, rabid abusers when he actively uses them as a weapon to target someone who has irked him. Someone who mysteriously didn’t have to deal with harassment on anything approaching that level BEFORE TF opened his mouth.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

The short version since my last comment got eaten.

It’s really easy to dismiss misogyny as just an opinion if you’re a man because it doesn’t threaten you. I wouldn’t feel safe or comfortable working with an MRA or gamergater and Bryce, it is not your place to say a woman is wrong in feeling that way.

Take several seats.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

I don’t know why but “take several seats” made me laugh just now.

Anyway, I like occasional reader’s “oil on existing fire” analogy and I think treehugger has gotten to the root of the problem: It’s a bunch of people (usually defending the actions and viewpoints of Phil Mason) coming HERE and telling US how to FEEL and what to THINK.

I mean listen, if you really want to rationalize and justify Mason’s behavior, I’m open to hear you out and consider your perspective. I don’t know what GOOD it will do you but as long as you’re not an ass about it, we can totally have a trade-off in the “marketplace of ideas”, as Phil likes to often say (for some reason).

The problem is that most of these “fans” are beginning from a foregone conclusion and trying so hard to apply it to every test sample. Phil Mason is a scientist, right? Well, what people are coming in here and doing is pretty much the definition of bad science.

If you try to validate Mason’s actions by pointing out how BAD Laughing Witch is, that’s kind of like counting the horse before the carriage AND robbing Peter to pay Paul, all at the same time. Most of us already know and agree LW didn’t put her best foot forward but that does not matter anymore. This is about Phil Mason and his reactions to all that and his implementation of his followers that he should be held accountable for.

katz
katz
6 years ago

I see we’re having one of those “If you were a robot built by aliens who had never interacted with a human being, these claims would seem completely baseless” conversations.

AIT
AIT
6 years ago

Quick update, I looked at the Yelp page, and they had this message up on the page.

Active Cleanup Alert

This business recently made waves in the news, which often means that people come to this page to post their views on the news.

While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events, we do work to remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.

As a result, your posts to this page may be removed as part of our cleanup process beginning Wednesday, October 21, 2015, but you should feel free to post your thoughts about the recent media coverage for this business on Yelp Talk at any time.

And so far it looks like the majority of flagged reviews are being removed, 228 so far. There was one I saw that tried to use someone else’s name, but the thing is the guy whose identity they’re trying to hijack there lives in the UK according to the twitter account they linked to. It’s also apparent from the converstaions he’s having with dunderfart and the youtube videos he has that he definitely wouldn’t be the type of person to be joining in on the whole mess.

Incidentally, does anyone know how to let the folks at yelp know that someone has used your name to try to validate their bogus review? Other than the simple coverall flag button?

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

@John Pavlich: Re: Sarkeesian critics

I’ll just take your word for it that KiteTales and Toolbox are more reasonable than others, but I’m just so tired of how many people on YouTube spend time specifically criticizing Anita Sarkeesian. I’d rather people actually took a note from Sarkeesian and, instead, made their own videos doing in-depth analysis of fictional narratives and the tropes associated with them. It’s why I enjoy Feminist Frequency and (despite their association with PennyArcade, who I’m not fond of) Extra Credits, if there’s anything YouTube needs less of – it’s these unbearably pedantic-yet-misinformed rants that can go on for an hour. I fucking hate talk radio as is and YouTube becoming the new version of such, except with far more obnoxious and reactionary pundits, is unbearable.

The worst part being that people like The Amazing Atheist don’t actually give a shit about videogames or at least their value as Art (he’s even admitted so himself). Then again, their audience is made up of a bunch of pretentious anti-intellectuals who don’t get Art anyway…

katz
katz
6 years ago

NickNameNick: I’m with you on this one; no matter how wrong they are, spending all your time criticizing another critic is just fundamentally not all that productive, because the most you can possibly prove is “this one person is wrong about some things.”

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

It’s really easy to dismiss misogyny as just an opinion if you’re a man because it doesn’t threaten you.

Yep, and it’s an easy way to downplay how repulsive that view is. ‘Cause, hey, it’s “just” an “opinion.”

This is why I dislike it when people say someone is “entitled” to their opinion: because, when called out, they act like they’re being judged “unfairly” over a “difference of opinion”. Rather than because, y’know, their views are just discriminatory and harmful to others.

I wouldn’t feel safe or comfortable working with an MRA or gamergater

Or a number of other people, like white supremacists.

The idea such attitudes need to be ignored is nonsense – especially if, say, that person’s biases effect management decisions and treatment of other employees. I’m pretty sure that’s why there’s a lot of job discrimination in the first place.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

I’m with you on this one; no matter how wrong they are, spending all your time criticizing another critic is just fundamentally not all that productive, because the most you can possibly prove is “this one person is wrong about some things.”

Plus it’s stifling overall creativity. I mean, you can put almost any kind of material up on YouTube and yet many people are using it to…complain into a camera about someone else, often repeatedly? It’s such a waste of a venue and shameful how ubiquitous it’s become.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@NickNameNick

I LOVE EXTRA CREDITS. I agree, they’re exactly what we need more of. I also like/used to love MovieBob’s Big Picture videos although lately, he’s too cynical and didactic for my tastes. I’m like, “Dude, what are you yelling at me for? I didn’t do anything! I’m on YOUR side!”

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

I still like MovieBob, especially due to his more recent “Really That Good” videos that examines popular films for deeper meaning and why they resonated with so many people. His one for Ghostbusters is spot-on, I think:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPoILjs6BYI&w=560&h=315%5D

Even his one for Independence Day gave me a new appreciation for it:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSAp-QCHj_A&w=560&h=315%5D

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

Whoops, wrong link! Here’s the right one:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcma0bKjJlY&w=560&h=315%5D

katz
katz
6 years ago

Plus it’s stifling overall creativity. I mean, you can put almost any kind of material up on YouTube and yet many people are using it to…complain into a camera about someone else, often repeatedly? It’s such a waste of a venue and shameful how ubiquitous it’s become.

Of course if one takes it too far this train of thought can turn into the old “if you don’t like something, make your own” line and become an argument against all criticism. There’s a balance in there somewhere between criticism and original work.

But I doubt that balance leaves much room for criticism of other critics, which is just really obnoxious and pointless.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

Of course if one takes it too far this train of thought can turn into the old “if you don’t like something, make your own” line and become an argument against all criticism. There’s a balance in there somewhere between criticism and original work.

Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t go that far.

Funny thing you mention that: it’s a common refrain I hear made against Sarkeesian – that, if she doesn’t like these things in gaming, she should try making her own game. Even though many of the people who say that have never made a videogame themselves. It’s almost like they’re just finding another way to tell someone to “shut up”…

But I doubt that balance leaves much room for criticism of other critics, which is just really obnoxious and pointless.

Right, and criticism of criticism gets incredibly repetitive quickly. A counter-argument is one thing but “OH MY GAWD ANITA SAID SOMETHING I DIDN’T LIKE AND HERE’S WHY!” shouldn’t be the basis for that many videos. Especially when they’re all making the same exact claims, using the same weird brand of “logic” that can be either obtuse or incomprehensible.

I don’t see film critics do this – spending hours explaining why they hate, say, Peter Travers and disseminating every review he does. Most of them just offer a differing or similar view on those films. Armond White is spoken of with disdain not because of his views on movies as much as his behavior towards other creative people – even when it does have to do with his reviews, it’s because they’re badly written.

I’d rather someone just did their own review, than a review of a review which will then end up with a review of that review of the review and so forth…

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@NickNameNick Yeah, those are pretty solid, though I feel his RTG for Independence Day fails because “I’m not an idiot, Bob. I got all of what the movie was doing. I didn’t like ti because I feel it did it BADLY.” I think his Ghostbusters and Die Hard vids are the best, so far. Although, it infuriates me how he unnecessarily throws in that jab at Scream, saying he “won’t do one of these for Scream because SCREAM SUCKS.” That’s what I’m talking about when I say he’s become didactic.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

NickNameNick

Funny thing you mention that: it’s a common refrain I hear made against Sarkeesian – that, if she doesn’t like these things in gaming, she should try making her own game.

There was a brief rumor going around that Anita Sarkeesian was being brought in to consult on Mirror’s Edge 2. Her haters went absolutely APE SHIT over this. Alternatively, when she made that animated video of a proposal for her own original game, The Legend Of The Last Princess, they went to pieces over that, too. So, their whole argument is, once again, BS.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I was going to watch that Independence Day video, but not if it trashes Scream. I love that movie and Wes Craven general.

Not that everyone is obligated to like what I do, I’m just guessing we wouldn’t see eye to eye.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

Fair enough. I suppose I tolerate it because, on the occasion he uses it on something like Pixels or The Visit, it can be rather entertaining.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

There was a brief rumor going around that Anita Sarkeesian was being brought in to consult on Mirror’s Edge 2. Her haters went absolutely APE SHIT over this. Alternatively, when she made that animated video of a proposal for her own original game, The Legend Of The Last Princess, they went to pieces over that, too. So, their whole argument is, once again, BS.

Of course, because they keep moving the goal posts. It’s like when people hide behind their age and say “get back to me in ten years”; they’ll just come up with another reasons as to why you haven’t fulfilled their arbitrary prerequisites.

Even if you did exactly what they said – they have to come up with some reason why it “doesn’t count.” The reality is that they like a thing and see anyone criticizing the thing as being an insult to both the creators as well as those who enjoyed it. It’d make sense coming from a five-year-old, but it’s baffling when it’s coming from ostensibly adult males…

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

This is veering really off topic, but speaking of Scream, has anyone noticed a recent trend of people being too hip and edgy to appreciate horror movies everyone loved in the 90s?

Say what you will about Scream, Blair Witch and Sixth Sense, but those movies greatly boosted the genre. Horror was stale, unprofitable and pretty much finished until Scream in particular came along. Sure. Meta, found footage, and shocking twist endings are done constantly now, but between the mid 80s and mid 90s horror pretty much consisted paint by numbers slashers and cheesy Exorcist/Omen rip offs. Those movies people love to scoff at these days were fresh and exciting back then. Have a little respect, youths. I don’t want to hear your hot takes!

Okay. Sorry. Rant over.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

The thing that gets me is, I keep hearing this argument “if you don’t like it, go make your own!” in so many other circles outside of gaming.

I mean, I heard this argument when Twilight was still popular.

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

@WWTH

The Scream dig is in the Die Hard video, BTW.

I think Nick is absolutely right about the moving of goal posts and hiding behind one’s age. It’s this abstract appeal to authority. I always liked this line from the pilot of Community: “Can we stop with the pumpkins and the sweeties? Being younger does not make me inferior. If anything, your age indicates that you’ve made bad life decisions.”

Lithp
Lithp
6 years ago

“If you try to validate Mason’s actions by pointing out how BAD Laughing Witch is, that’s kind of like counting the horse before the carriage AND robbing Peter to pay Paul, all at the same time.”

It’s strange, because he keeps complaining about how “gleeful” Laughing Witch & her supporters were at the thought of harming his livelihood, & that this made her a “despicable sadist,” & of course shows “feminism’s true colors.”

He doesn’t exactly seem to be deep in mourning about the Yelp spamming campaign.