GamerGate Update: Female Video Game Reviewer Sued For Telling Mothers About Their Sons’ Online Threats
According to the 21-year-old, the threats were prompted by her game reviews posted on YouTube. Some viewers responded negatively on her reviews by posting sexually abusive messages on her Facebook account.
"As soon as I started reviewing games in the public eye...I immediately started getting comments that were to do with sexual harassment," Pearce told BBC. "Strangers being very specific about things they'd like to do with me, which is really not very nice to read. I had a couple of rape threats as well."
In response, she decided to conduct her own investigation on her male abusers and discovered that many of them are aged 10 to 15 years old.
"It turns out that mostly they're young boys and the problem is they don't know any better, so responding to them rationally didn't resolve the situation," she said to The Guardian.
"It got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable," Pearce added.
To solve the issue, she decided to contact her abusers' mothers to tell them about what their sons have been posting online.
One mother responded by forcing her son to write a handwritten apology letter to Pearce.
However, some of the abusers, with the help from their mothers, have filed a lawsuit against the game reviewer on grounds of defamation.
One of the boys said the threats were only meant as a joke and should be ignored. He then stated that he is more mature than Pearce because of how he would have handled such a situation and even accused her of being a tattle tale.
"Our so-called 'threats' were just small pranks, and not much different than things you see on the Internet every day," he said. "If I was receiving these death or rape threats online I would have just brushed them off because I'm clearly more mature than her."
"But she crossed the line, though, by telling my mom about it," he added. "Something you learn at a very young age is to never be a tattle tale. She obviously missed that important lesson."
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