Gamer and actor Felicia Day has had her personal details posted online just minutes after making her first public statement about Gamergate – in which she expressed fear about saying anything at all, in case she was targeted as a result.
The publicising of her details was fiercely criticised by a former American football star Chris Kluwe who also criticised the group in the strongest possible terms this week, who pointed out the gender imbalance among those targeted.
The publication of Day’s details is being seen as further strengthening the criticism that Gamergate’s partcipants are pursuing an anti-woman agenda, which has seen female game developers and journalists harassed and threatened, while male critics have been almost untouched.
Day, who appeared in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, and rose to fame as the writer and lead of online gaming sitcom The Guild, had previously said little about the grassroots campaign against feminism in gaming, “aside from a few replies on Twitter that journalists have decided to use in their articles, siding me against the hashtag”.
But, says Day, who has 2.3 million followers on Twitter, “I realised my silence on the issue was not motivated by some grand strategy, but out of fear that the issue has created about speaking out.”
She explained that her major fear was being “doxxed” – having her personal information disseminated over the internet. “I have tried to retweet a few of the articles I’ve seen dissecting the issue in support, but personally I am terrified to be doxxed for even typing the words ‘gamer gate’. I have had stalkers and restraining orders issued in the past, I have had people show up on my doorstep when my personal information was hard to get.”
But just minutes after her post was made, a commenter with the username “gaimerg8” posted what they claimed was her address and personal email in the comment section below the post. The comment, and the entire comment section, have since been removed.
Many have pointed to the immediate doxxing received by Day to underscore the differing treatment experienced by men and women who speak out against gamergate. The former NFL star Chris Kluwe, whose own post against Gamergate went viral after he called members of the group “slackjawed pickletits”, “slopebrowed weaseldicks” and a “basement-dwelling, cheetos-huffing, poopsock-sniffing douchepistol”, made the point himself.
“None of you fucking #gamergate tools tried to dox me, even after I tore you a new one. I’m not even a tough target,” he tweeted. “Instead, you go after a woman who wrote why your movement concerns her.”
Software firm Adobe also waded into the gamergate controversy on Wednesday, distancing itself from US blog network Gawker over mocking tweets sent by a writer for the site.
The writer, Sam Biddle, had sparked the ire of the movement with a series of tongue-in-cheek tweets which his editor later described as “the tactical mistake of publicly treating gamergate with the contempt and flippancy that it deserves”.
A subsequent letter-writing campaign against current and former Gawker advertisers succeeded in encouraging Mercedes Benz to briefly pull ads on a network that sells to Gawker, and Adobe to ask for its name to be pulled from a list of former partners. A few hours after Adobe spoke out against Gawker, it clarified its position, seemingly to avoid being identified as pro-gamergate.
Intel found itself in a similar position in early October, after it pulled adverts from industry website Gamasutra after a letter-writing campaign aimed at the site’s editor-at-large (and Guardian contributor) Leigh Alexander. The company later clarified, in a statement released late on a Friday evening, that their action “inadvertently created a perception that we are somehow taking sides in an increasingly bitter debate in the gaming community. That was not our intent, and that is not the case.”
Max Read, Biddle’s editor, slammed both Intel and Adobe for what he saw as the “cynicism” of their results. “Releasing into the world a statement as vacuous as Adobe’s tweet, or as inane as Intel’s “apology,” demonstrates not that those brands stand against something (how else can anyone possibly feel about bullying?) but that they stand for nothing,” he said.