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Disclaimer: this is solely a response to the Rewriting Ripley article titled “In Plain Sight: How White Supremacy, Misogyny, and Hate Targeted the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy and Won.” Nothing more than that. I urge anyone reading this to not even INTERACT with the article’s authors whatsoever. Anything that can even be remotely interpreted as potential harassment does NOT represent my intent with this response. Also the Q crowd are a bunch of lemmings, and the Capitol Riots SUCKED because it unleashed a censorship hell world.
I worry Ripley made it a point of being so long on purpose. By their own admission “most people just read headlines.” So they could easily have hoped nobody would bother sifting through it all. The main takeaway from Ripley’s piece is that they want more censorship. She wants to silence particular Star Wars YouTube channels because they have different politics than her.
Rewriting Ripley wields GamerGate as a boogeyman. I can demonstrate this through two quotes from her. 1.) “In other words, as diversity moves into pinnacles of Western culture like Star Wars, white supremacists like Thompson believe that its intention is to destroy the “dominance” in culture held by white people.” 2.) “This is why we must take these people seriously. Underneath almost every angry YouTuber who could be dismissed as a troll or a disgruntled nerd, there is a powerful system of hate and oppression that resides at the core of the most racist institutions in the United States.”
That’s alarmist rhetoric that will do nothing but further escalate tensions.
Ripley shows no room for compromise. She tries to connect run-of-the-mill YouTube channels with outside political figureheads on the far right. Sometimes these connections are as loose as mentioning the same hashtag once or twice.
Hi. I’m Nick Monroe. That guy Michael Malice recently praised on the Tim Pool podcast for being good at calling out lies on the internet. I’m proud of that I got the chance to reinvent myself.
Before I was Nick Monroe, people called me “Fart.” This was seven or so years ago. I have long since stopped even recognizing this name.
But for once it’s important. I was there at the beginning of GamerGate and am in a position to properly dispute Rewriting Ripley’s piece.
For proof I can provide two pieces of evidence: Randi Harper made a GamerGate auto blocker tool that labeled thousands of people problematic. The only crime these people committed? They followed certain accounts on Twitter, including mine.
The other piece of evidence is Zoe Quinn’s “Crash Override” group. In leaks of files from the Trello platform they used for organizing, Zoe Quinn’s people signaled me out and said they were going to get a Gawker hit piece done on me.
“Allow him to make peace with what’s going to happen.” Very spooky! If anything I would be a better scapegoat for whatever agenda Ripley has.
Nobody in the Star Wars YouTube community even comes closer to replicating GamerGate. Not Quartering, not ClownFishTV, not Vito, not That Star Wars Girl, not MauLer. Ripley dehumanizing entire swaths of people as “entitled nerds” is a way to start though.
Ripley accuses other YouTubers of putting people into boxes, but her piece is doing the exact same thing. They depict the healthy and thriving communities with millions of subscribers as some kind of other invader against the new Star Wars media.
The great thing about media being open to interpretation is that it deradicalizes people. If audiences take away different messages or themes, they discuss that with one another and learn about different viewpoints that way.
The main idea behind my rebuttal to Rewriting Ripley is that the world is much more complicated than she makes it out to be. I hope you enjoy.
(Note 1: For reference whenever I use the term “Fandom Menace” I’m referring to everyone and anyone that Rewriting Ripley’s article attacks as a group.)
(Note 2: I recommend watching Aydin Paladin’s takedown of Rewriting Ripley’s piece. It helped me fill in some blanks in my write-up.)
(Note 3: the way my response is organized is that I numbered the quotes from Ripley’s piece that I’m responding to. Along with a hyperlink that will take you to that exact part of the original piece. These responses are all self-contained that way, too. FEEL FREE TO SKIP AROUND AND NOT GET LOST ^__^)
1.) “To the majority of people who decide to spend two hours invested in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, the Star Wars sequel trilogy films are likely fun popcorn flicks that added little to the saga overall. In the end, the sequel trilogy is an ode to the past — a chance to recapture the energy of 1977 and reclaim the heroes of a time that the world is quickly passing by.”
A glorification of the transition from George Lucas to Disney’s company control. Allow me to reframe the dilemma in a metaphor.
Although one doesn’t normally expect Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” to be considered a hallmark of cultural deterioration, the argument can be made for that. The problem combines both the song’s age and the fact its still so successful in 2021, after a few decades, and no real musical innovation for Christmas music in-between.
Our current cultural battle is over the reinvention of old ideas, whereas political correctness intends to infect the depiction of the modernized version of such concepts. There’s people who want to preserve the old Christmas music, and those perfectly happily with the liberal Left have their “new” styles however they wish.
It’s when the Left attacks the old Christmas music is more the problem entirely.
2.) “The Last Jedi forged an ambitious path forward in a time when governments around the world were regressing into fear and hatred, spurred on by the growth of progressive politics and rise in minority populations.”
December 2017 was a golden age compared to the locked-down era that we’re now experiencing. Ripley’s characterization of the era is disputable centering around how Brexit and the election of Donald Trump happened in 2016. A more accurate way to describe the times where Europe was in the midst of a migration crisis, and a series of terrorist attacks (e.g. 131 victims in the November 2015 Paris attacks or the 22 dead in the May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing) caused a surge in nationalist and populist political support.
Donald Trump’s presidency was mostly sabotaged by radical left zealots who accused him of conspiring with Russia to rig the 2016 election, ultimately crippling Trump’s autonomy while in office. Meanwhile, with Brexit, tensions rose in the years after the UK’s 2016 vote approving it in the first place. Politicians took their sweet sweet time negotiating the details.
3.) “In the film, Johnson questions the beliefs and principles of the saga’s legendary heroes and lore. The journey of each character is defined by a failure that could have been avoided if characters from different races, genders, and age groups simply communicated with one another. In one scene, he sends iconography of the past up in flames, only to imply that the parts worth saving would be passed on to the next generation.”
The only real overt discrimination that ever takes place in the Star Wars series is the droids. Also worth pointing out that the 2016 death of Carrie Fisher (never addressed in Ripley’s piece) set up higher than usual expectations, seeing as this would be the last significant outing for the acclaimed actress. To, as Johnson coined, “subvert expectations” at such a fragile moment for the movies was a massive mistake in regards to Carrie Fisher alone. There would be no do-overs if Rian Johnson’s experiment went wrong, and very wrong it did.
In April 2019 Mark Hamill got Star Wars fans angry because he posted a fan-made reunion photo that had him, Han Solo, Leia, and Lando Calrissian properly together. At no point in Ripley’s piece does she contemplate the emotions Mark Hamill might’ve had. Instead, they’re focused on those screeching “You know this image comes from one of the alt-right portion of the fan base, right? Bad look sir” at Mark Hamill.
4.) “This next generation includes a woman whose strength and resourcefulness are attributed to her lived experiences and not a power from her lineage; a resilient fighter, played by British-Nigerian actor John Boyega, who had fought against all odds to free himself from an oppressive regime; and the next leader of the Resistance heroes, played by Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac.”
Saying the word “next-generation” comes from an American-centric viewpoint with no acknowledgment of the international market situation. The one that shrank John Boyega on The Force Awakens movie poster in China.
It wouldn’t be the last time this happened for Boyega. In September 2020 he stepped down as a global ambassador for perfume brand Jo Malone because the company replaced him with a Chinese actor.
Meanwhile, Disney was happy to release their live-action remake of Mulan using scenes filmed in Xinjiang, China, where anywhere from 1 to 2 million Uighur Muslims are imprisoned in concertation camps. Disney as a company is more effectively racist than the Fandom Menace crew could ever come close to being.
5.) “At the beating heart of the film is a courageous mechanic Rose Tico, played by Vietnamese-American actress Kelly Marie Tran. Rose’s ceaseless compassion and drive to dismantle inhumane powers around her culminate in the most critical line of the film: That to truly defeat those who seek to subjugate you, your true power is saving what you love, not destroying what you hate.”
It’s worth noting that The Last Jedi was Kelly Marie Tran’s first major role on the Hollywood big screen, ever. It’s a huge life change to adapt to. As Kelly Marie Tran gets other work in the years to come we’ll be able to better debate whether or not it was her acting that was to blame, or The Last Jedi‘s writing, for people’s reaction. But according to a recent Hollywood Reporter article Train pulled herself up by her bootstraps and got back to work. That’s a happier ending.
Get ready for a limited data set, a massive number of NEUTRAL and POSITIVE YouTube videos in comparison, as well as a generous definition of “alt right” that stretches way beyond meaningful limits.
7.) “We need to discuss how the leaders of hate mongering against the film are radical conservatives including Ben Shapiro, founder of right-wing website The Daily Wire and former editor-at-large of Breitbart News. Breitbart is notably responsible for pushing alt right ideology mainstream.”
The BuzzFeed article Rewriting Ripley links is a good piece. However, Ben Shapiro is not mentioned at all in it. Ripley tries conflating Ben Shapiro with Steve Bannon, and Shapiro’s tweets debunk that.
- (1:51 PM – 4 Jan 2018) Report: Breitbart News Board Considers Dumping Bannon. They’d Be Fools Not To Do So.
- (4:44 PM – 9 Jan 2018) Breitbart News Just FIRED Steve Bannon. It’s A Good Day For Andrew Breitbart’s Legacy.
- (11:25 AM – 11 Jan 2018) Our story is an accurate telling of your exchange with Bret Stephens. Please point out the falsehood. I’ll point out one of yours: calling me a Bannon protege is absolutely batshit insane.
As a bonus: Andrew Breitbart is responsible for pushing radical leftism to the mainstream because he also helped launch the Huffington Post.
8.) “We need to discuss that the racist #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag aimed at The Force Awakens actor John Boyega was started by members of an organization designated as a hate group by a leading United States civil rights organization, yet was written off as mere internet trolling.”
John Boyega himself is happy to be free of Star Wars and Disney. “I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.” — John Boyega, September 2020, GQ Interview.
9.) “We need to talk about how this so-called “fan backlash” is part of a larger movement to change and control culture put into motion by former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, in 2014. And it was a movement that successfully lead to far right governmental shifts in the United States, the UK, India, Italy, and Africa.”
Ripley is conflating GamerGate with the Cambridge Analytica situation. The latter could’ve still happened without the former. The GamerGate hashtag was first used by Adam Baldwin on August 27th, 2014. It simply linked the two videos made by Internet Aristocrat talking about the Zoe Quinn scandal. Within these videos nobody talks about controlling culture or overthrowing governments. Zoe Quinn wrongfully filed a copyright claim against YouTuber MundaneMatt’s video talking about it just so she could suppress TheZoePost story. The censorship of the story is what made it blow up.
Internet Aristocrat simply pointed out the games media cabal running cover for an indie developer’s drama. He called out the slow decline of the game journalism industry and railed against old media in general. Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson extensively covered a controversy about how Zoe Quinn destroyed an indie game reality TV show project. Quinn was a source. Stephen Totilo acknowledged this to be the case in his public statement on Kotaku about it all. Furthermore shortly after Kotaku’s editor-in-chief made the concession that Patreon support between game journalists and the indies they covered should be disclosed.
The games media went after Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity for his abusive relationships. But Quinn? Off-limits. What happened was Zoe Quinn claimed a collective of depressed burnouts called WizardChan harassed her. An Imgur album outlines how Quinn dragged the imageboard into it so she could generate buzz about her game Depression Quest.
The only gateway from GamerGate to the topic of Donald Trump is that the media loved lying about both those things.
GamerGate managed to last a year in decent shape. The SPJ AirPlay event hosted in August 2015 was the movement’s real last big moment. A bunch of the most prominent people gathered together and held a conference event to discuss the issues of ethics in gaming journalism. It was a victory for GamerGate’s legitimacy in the eyes of the people themselves.
It’s a matter of coincidence that the timing of this was when the 2016 US Presidential campaign season began getting underway. Milo Yiannopoulos moved on from GamerGate onto the Trump bandwagon as more or less his next “project.” People thought for themselves. People chose whether or not they wanted to support Donald Trump, or at the very least be against Hillary Clinton.
10.) “This article is an analysis of the closely connected networks that enable hate to spread from influential white supremacist groups to mainstream YouTubers. It is a warning about the dangers of apathy and lack of education around organized hate in highly evolving technological spaces that will only continue to develop at a faster rate. But, most of all, this article is a plea for any entity that has enough power to control a narrative — whether it be major corporations like Disney or entertainment journalists at Vanity Fair — to be aware of how hate is designed to manipulate those narratives without most people ever realizing it.”
The intent of Ripley’s piece is to demand stricter narrative control. Also, it’s a recycled idea. In September 2018 Becca Lewis of Data & Society published a bunk paper about a so-called Alternative Influence Network. She put a target on the backs of any remotely right-wing political YouTuber and accused them of being guilty of hate if they so much as interviewed someone else with raunchier politics.
The motive for Becca’s work is to get people censored. That’s it.
By January 2020 Becca Lewis dropped all pretense and said all of YouTube was a rabbit hole, not just the site’s algorithm.
When it comes to GamerGate the “plea for narrative control” cost one Wikipedia editor his position. Their name was Ryulong. This polarizing editor routinely removed crucial facts (like proven collusion via the GameJournoPros group) and campaigned to add irrelevant slander. Ryulong’s agenda was that GamerGaters weren’t allowed to be victims, only demonized. Ripley characterizes GamerGate as an army of white men because Wikipedia editors like Ryulong erased the movement’s female and minority support from the record.
When Rylong faced Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, our infamous editor fell apart. Even people on the moderate anti-GG side confronted Ryulong about misrepresentation, in response they were shrill. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had to tell Ryulong to step away from his crusade.
In the end, Wikipedia’s “ArbCom” voted to oust Ryulong from editing on the site over his anti-GamerGate editing war. Leaked chat logs later showed Zoe Quinn previously made requests to Ryulong to make favorable edits on her behalf.
11.) “In 2018, revelations about the UK-based data firm Cambridge Analytica revealed that the firm had used data from 50 million Facebook profiles to target users with personalized and politically driven advertisements. The ads were often racist in nature, fueling the spread of white supremacy and racist fear into the mainstream and successfully manipulating presidential elections in Africa, India, the UK, and the US.”
At no point in this essay does Rewriting Ripley relate to the Cambridge Analytica stuff. It doesn’t add anything to the main topics discussed and the article wouldn’t lose anything if Ripley took it out.
The only time it’s ever brought up again is when Ripley mentions IDRLabs. There she says “I don’t have enough information to conclude whether or not anti-feminist opinions about Star Wars and negative The Last Jedi sentiment were used to push people to personality tests that built machine learning algorithms for Cambridge Analytica.”
I can make a comparison to what Ripley tries to allude to. Years ago there was this chat message app called Candid. A bunch of YouTubers in the “skeptic” sphere at the time were paid to promote it on their channels. A guy named Harmful Opinions investigated this app and situation further. He discovered that the person behind this Candid company purportedly wanted to harvest data from user conversations to create some smart-censoring algorithm.
Ripley doesn’t provide any evidence that anything remotely close to this sort of scheme is happening. Facebook hunkered down on the app data access rules that allowed Cambridge Analytica to happen in the first place, too. The majority of their article deals with the clash between particular Star Wars/Disney staff with regards to their social media presence and the actual movie/tv show products.
12.) “Christopher Wylie, a data scientist for Cambridge Analytica, states that Bannon was interested in the firm “because [Bannon] follows this idea of the Breitbart doctrine, which is that if you want to change politics, you first have to change culture.” He stated that Bannon wanted “weapons to fight a culture war.””
“Hersh did not believe that Cambridge Analytica’s approach was successful at persuading people to vote differently during the 2016 presidential election. “It’s hard to move people. It’s easier to mobilise or demobilise than it is to persuade people,” he said. Wylie agreed, but noted that Cambridge Analytica had a treasure trove of “dense and valuable” data compared with traditional marketing approaches that allowed it to create a “precise algorithm”.”
If we’re talking about the matter of what Wylie himself believed, that cancels Ripley’s own implications out. Yes Cambridge Analytica took advantage of data, but did it meaningfully change anything in the end?
13.) “Bannon found the key to enacting political change in online gaming communities, which would become the stage for Bannon’s so-called 21st century war on culture. More specifically, he found the base he would need to fuel traffic for Breitbart in the infamous attack on women in the video game industry known as Gamergate. Bannon tells author Joshua Green in his book Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency, “You can activate that army. They come in through Gamergate or whatever and then get turned onto politics and Trump.””
I won’t even deny how groundbreaking this quote from Steve Bannon was. It certainly came as a shock to me. As someone who was a part of GamerGate from the get-go, this was never front and center to the movement. Milo Yiannopoulos only had like 20% of GamerGate’s attention overall. GamerGate was a stepping stone for Bannon if anything. To imply any sort of attention more than that would be inaccurate.
Bannon didn’t SEIZE much. The opportunity was presented to him after the deluge of “Gamers Are Dead” articles. Between August 28th to August 31st, 2014 the litany of games media outlets all attacked the gaming community: Gamasutra, Kotaku, Polygon, The Daily Beast, Financial Post, BuzzFeed, VG247, Destructoid, Ars Technica, Vice, GamesONnet, Eurogamer, and Gamespot. Steve Bannon didn’t do that.
The overall conversation at hand was what were gamers as an identity and as a general audience. That’s something relevant with regards to what Rewriting Ripley might’ve been trying to convey in their piece. What they describe (past their political rhetoric) is the clash of desires expressed by either Disney or Disney’s consumer base.
The thing that solidified GamerGate as a formal movement beyond and separate from the Zoe Quinn discussion were (and CENSORSHIP of said discussion) the GameJournoPros revelations. A full section of my website is dedicated to sharing the entire years-long collection of conversations confirming that members of different outlets came together to privately talk and agree on an agenda. The Zoe Quinn situation being the climax of that. Games media outlets conferred together on an agreed narrative of how to report the Zoe Quinn situation in August 2014. The gaming community was up in arms about that. Not Zoe Quinn’s sexual conquests in of itself.
I can make that clarification bold but there will be those who continue to willfully ignore it, all the same. GameJournoPros is what made GamerGate a formal movement. Not Steve Bannon.
The people of GamerGate knew to think for themselves, too.
I can say for certain that Steve Bannon didn’t have a carte blanche over GamerGate, thanks to YouTuber TotalBiscuit. Mr. John Bain spent the final years of his life as he battled cancer to still stick to his principles. He was a solid rock for the gaming community. He preached the importance of ethics before GamerGate ever began.
What pushed him over the edge was when a Dell Executive compared the gaming community to a roving band of terrorists. Bain hated the fact that people were being maligned so intensely.
He had to weigh the importance of the public dialogue against the claims of harassment constantly being levied back at him. At the start of 2015 TotalBiscuit retweeted a small charity stream so it’d get more attentions and donations. The streamer freaked out.
TB explained: “Today you may see Storifys floating around trying desperately to prove that I maliciously ruined a charity stream (for a charity I am partnered with). These Storifys will not include the initial reaction of the streamer in which he flipped out and insulted me and I doubt they will include many if any of the 300+ people who within the hours following, sent threats of violence, insults and as many wishes as possible that the cancer get me quickly. They will I’m sure include the tweets in response in which I call them crazy and stupid for these threads and their reaction. I stand by those statements 100%. These are people who have constructed a narrative in their heads in which I am a villain.”
TotalBiscuit wasn’t fringe. He wasn’t alt-right. No. John Bain was 2014’s Trending Gamer of the Year at The Game Awards. The pinnacle of his efforts had to have been when Bain had an hour and a half long conversation about ethics in games journalism with Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo.
14.) “As the attacks against Quinn spread online, Gjoni continued to post personal information about her whereabouts. At one point he anonymously posted on 4chan reports of the hotels Quinn had stayed at. He also gave the legal complaint Quinn had filed against him to “Roosh”, an online personality described as a “male supremacist extremist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The legal complaint was used to attack Quinn on his website “Return of Kings.””
Framing Roosh as even remotely terrible is going to fall flat. For the past few years, he has been a born-again Christian.
Now. As for Zoe Quinn? Pull up a chair.
To say Zoe Quinn is a bastion for inclusivity would be a lie because even before GamerGate began, Quinn and the indie dev clique pushed away outsiders. Consider the story of The Fine Young Capitalists. In February 2014: Quinn and her friend Maya “legobutts” Kramer ganged up on The Fine Young Capitalists because the two took offense to what TFYC meant as identifying as a woman, made accusations about the contest rules, among other smears.
Quinn and Kramer crashed the TFYC website. “oops we DDOS’ed something on accident,” replied Quinn. Ironically, Quinn attacked them, considering The Fine Young Capitalists were trying to do a project dedicated to helping women get their feet wet in the game dev scene.
This is the Reddit post from TFYC’s lead organizer that caught the gaming community’s attention.
Zoe Quinn then deflected the blame on cohort Maya Kramer and distanced herself instead of apologizing. An apology would be fitting, seeing as Quinn publicly took credit for helping Maya Kramer attack TFYC in the first place.
Hear from The Fine Young Capitalist’s organizer themselves about what happened. It was GamerGate that saved the project and helped it get funded.
The Last Night incident of E3 2017 showed Quinn continuing to hold a grudge about GamerGate years after it died down. It was a game that wowed people with impressive visuals. Some didn’t like that it was getting so much attention. Unprovoked, Zoe went into a tirade against the game’s developer Tim Soret because a third party found old tweets of Soret’s where he expressed support for GamerGate’s cause. Zoe Quinn caused an internet harassment campaign against this person.
At least Tim Soret survived. Night in the Woods composer Alec Holowka did not. In August 2019 Zoe Quinn decided to “Me Too” him on social media, the rest of the Night in the Woods team ousted him fairly quickly, and then Holowka killed himself. Quinn said in a statement they don’t accept responsibility for causing Holowka’s death.
An outstanding question lingering over Quinn’s reputation is a failed Chuck Tingle Kickstarter project. As of February 24th, 2021, it had been 910 days (since August 30th, 2018) since she last updated backers. The games media helped plug the crowdfund when it first came about, but none are willing to hold Quinn accountable when it comes to failing to deliver. It raised $85,448. All we know is that Zoe claimed to run out of money at one point, while also somehow managing to vacation in Japan.
May 2015 is when Twitter made Zoe Quinn’s Crash Override a trusted resource. Which amounts to the site’s official endorsement of Quinn. “We’re real proud to be working with Twitter directly and enthusiastically” — Alex Lifschitz, co-founder of Crash Override.
Fast forward to August 2019 and Zoe Quinn makes a Twitter thread throwing Crash Override co-founder Alex Lifschitz under the bus for his abusive behavior. “Alex Lifschitz, cofounder of an anti-harassment organization, allegedly took photos of a girl during sex without her consent.”
According to this testimony from someone who volunteered at Crash Override, it’s alleged that Zoe Quinn used trans people as slave labor.
Quote 1: “All of this came at a huge toll to everyone’s mental health and personal safety, which Quinn was quite aware of, generally keeping up everyone’s spirits with constant promises of sharing the absurd amounts of donations rolling in through Patreon, providing everyone with quality psychiatric care, safe housing for everyone who had been doxxed and was being subjected to extreme dangers like SWATing and becoming the focus of Breitbart hit pieces. Even promises of formally forming an organization that would give everyone full salaries and health coverage.”
Quote 2: “Most of the people these promises were being made to were desperate unemployed trans women a step away from homelessness, who had been rendered absolutely unemployable due to the attacks being delivered by Gamergate.”
Quote 3: “Nobody other than Quinn ever saw a single cent.”
Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency also endorsed Zoe Quinn’s Crash Override group.
15.) “Sarkeesian is most known for her YouTube channel “Feminist Frequency,” where she critiques video games through a feminist lens. Her platform primarily calls for less sexualization and murder of women in games. These critiques led to bomb threats against her life, which required her to cancel public speaking engagements at Utah State University.”
When Anita Sarkeesian first arrived on the scene in the gaming community in June 2012, the story was “feminist raises $120,000 amid harassment campaign.” However GamerGate didn’t start until August 2014, so back then someone else had to take the boogeyman blame.
When it comes to the Utah State University bomb threat, they signed YouTube Daniel Sulzbach’s (Mr. Repzion) name on it. So the FBI showed up to his house. Even though the threat was bogus, it landed Anita an interview on The Colbert Report.
In mid-2017, Sarkeesian sat on stage at a VidCon panel. Her longtime detractor Sargon of Akkad sat in the audience with his pals to watch. They behaved. However, Anita recognized Sargon and called him out, referring to him as a “garbage human.” She came off as a very secure person by confronting someone in the panel audience, unsolicited.
Sarkeesian should be grateful for GamerGate’s “ilk,” as without them she would still have a convicted pedophile as their Twitch moderator. Ethan Ralph has a full report confirming the linkage between the sex offender named Promise Delon Redmond, and “Valis77” of Anita’s Twitch channel being the same person. Ralph’s article further details Valis77’s online activities being inappropriate towards minors.
Her background includes Teleseminar Secrets pyramid scheme style training to get other people to push her agenda on her behalf. You can call it a grift because even though Anita alleged to audiences to have been playing video games since she was a kid, she’s also been recorded as flat out saying elsewhere they didn’t even like video games. These pieces of evidence are what led many people to conclude Anita had bad intentions.
“Nobody is here to take away your video games,” Sarkeesian promised back then. Time proved she was lying as now Anita Sarkeesian is vying to censor the video game Six Days in Fallujah.
They were an ideologue who came in and made a video series with “borrowed” art/video assets. The latter of which goes back to the “Anita hating video games” charge, seeing as she couldn’t even bother playing them when possible with Tropes vs. Women.
What contribution has Anita Sarkeesian made to the Star Wars community? Her forgettable Mandalorian boob armor critique? It’s not people like the Quartering’s fault if they take the time to make a video responding to Anita.
16.) “Other women attacked included Brianna Wu, a game developer who posted a meme mocking the group of gamers who were threatening women’s lives. After threats against her life, she was forced to go into hiding.”
Rewriting Ripley’s effort to paint GamerGate as savages is unbecoming. In February 2015 the head moderator of r/KotakuInAction, TheHat2, hosted a lovely conversation with Brianna Wu about their game Revolution 60. The only real tension to speak of was the fact Brianna had to give a disclaimer that the meeting was not to be taken as “an endorsement” of GamerGate. Something Wu was somewhat pressured into saying because of the backroom fickleness of Brianna’s anti-GamerGate peers.
Nevertheless, GamerGate people behaved with the utmost civility and treated Brianna Wu with respect here. Something they deserved in this case because Wu was willing to be different from Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn.
I’ll give Ripley credit for acknowledging Brianna Wu poked the GamerGate bear first. Like the others mentioned so far, they too are of course guilty of social media boondoggle. In January 2018 Wu got Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell “#metoo’ed” enough that GDC decided to not give him an honor they originally planned for him.
Brianna Wu was different because they managed to break GamerGate out of the gaming community “bubble.” Wu brought the movement to mainstream attention. To paint Brianna as a victim does them a disservice because they ran a campaign for public office. Which is respectable and more impactful than what can be said of anything Sarkeesian or Quinn ever did since GamerGate’s heyday.
If nothing else, the “Samus is Trans” debacle proved Wu wasn’t afraid of being confrontational.
Now I could sit here and debate whether or not Brianna Wu posted their own dox to 8chan to get public sympathy. Instead I will take the opportunity to address my own mistake from all those years ago.
Back in December 2014. Some people speculated based on video clues that Brianna Wu never “fled” their home like they were claiming. Back then I saw it as a fun challenge to debunk/prove.
So I managed to compile enough evidence to show Brianna Wu was indeed at home whenever the media interviewed them, back in October of that year (note: I blocked out all address numbers/text info). Brianna Wu even admitted to this in response on Twitter. Yet I didn’t “win” that day. Years later I better understand how stupid it comes off as being, to bother to do something like that.
It was still weird.
It wasn’t GamerGate’s problem though. It was mine. Thankfully I made it right. Years later (2019) on my own accord I decided to email Brianna Wu to apologize for what I had done. I felt comfortable with doing that because Wu in the past had screenshotted “GamerGater apology emails.” Who knows whether or not those other ones were legit. But mine was. Wu both accepted my apology but distinctively made it clear they were doing only that. Brianna also made it clear that there was no way we could be “best buddies” or friends and promptly told me to buzz off.
So that was that. I urge Rewriting Ripley to explore the topic of forgiveness in any small way they can in their own life. It’s the only solution in today’s broken world.
When it comes to Brianna Wu I’m glad she forgave me.
17.) “This event developed the current playbook of how to weaponize the internet to carry out mass threats, doxxing, and abuse against women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The goal of these tactics is always to stop unwanted progress of diversity into culture that these groups have identified as their territory.”
One of the big scores Milo had was an expose series on anti-GamerGate critic Randi Harper. Quotes like this one are why. “Those debt collectors called again. I told them what I did. I told them if they didn’t fix it, I’d release phone numbers of his family” tweeted Randi Harper back in 2011.
If anti-GamerGate thought doxing was bad, why did they repeatedly try to identify prominent GamerGate supporter Mombot? The answer is anti-GG thought doxing was justified to attack members of the GamerGate community. If we follow the Ripley standard of viable proof, this December 2014 tweet ought to do it. “p.s. I know all of @P1_Press_Start’s personal info so if he harasses you over #gamergate let me know and I’ll get you in touch with his mom!”
I could dig up more attacks on GamerGaters but it’d be more effective to show testimony the movement rallied against that sort of thing. October 2014. “Someone is trying to dox a bunch of journos and… credit where it’s due: Lots of Gamergaters are rallying on Twitter to report it.”
80 to 90 percent of the “mass threats” or line-crossing behavior was done by third-party actors. Opportunists who saw a chance to make a splash and have some fun at other people’s expense. Generally remnants from the days of Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street. All I have to do is quote this headline: “A violent, delusional Gamergate psychopath is actually a comedian’s terrible hoax” and I made my point.
Is it still bad? Yes. Always was. It just doesn’t fit the framing that Rewriting Ripley’s article wants it to be. One of these notable third parties was the Bill Waggoner Crew. A member of their group wrote an article going over exactly how their people trolled during the height of GamerGate.
“When GamerGate kicked off in August, the BWC wasn’t initially interested in being involved in it. Sure, GG was going against an old enemy of ours, but most of the voices in GamerGate were actively against doxing or harassing SJWs beyond talking shit at them on Twitter or sending concerned emails to advertisers. It just wasn’t our fight…until we all got drunk on a group Skype call made it ours. We spent several hours that night creating sock accounts and doxing several hundred SJWs and GamerGate supporters. We went after everyone who used the #GamerGate or #StopGamerGate2014 hashtags, we went down the staff list of every video game publication we could think of, and we even went after a few of GamerGate’s e-celebs (including the one hosting this piece).”
Meanwhile: GamerGate regularly did charity efforts. Unfortunately, archives of the fundraising pages weren’t made in all cases (i found one for World Wildlife Fund, UNICEF, and a Toys for Tots tweet). But thankfully one surviving ledger exists, listing off some of the movement’s various crowdfunds. The cumulative total of this alone amounted to $114,858 USD.
The phrase “weaponize the internet” by Ripley is unoriginal. They aren’t the first to make such a claim. “GG has even managed to weaponize charity. Their efforts are all predicated on spite and harassment of their critics,” said Zoe Quinn’s former beau Alex Lifschitz in October 2014.
18.) “Vox describes these “angry internet mobs” as “mens’ rights activists, white nationalists, and neoreactionaries” that Gamergate united “around indignation over the inroads that women and minorities had made into video game culture, previously dominated by young white men.””
#NotYourShield was an accompanying hashtag to #GamerGate specifically established to fight back against the narrative the movement was just a bunch of white guys. Oliver Campbell (BLACK MAN! Since that matters) made private the video showcasing all the women and minorities who were real people in GamerGate. A prime example of #GamerGate people at their best was when (FEMALE! since that matters) Jennie Bharaj took up the mantle of doing media interviews with people like David Pakman. Bharaj even tried her hand at launching a games community website, to contribute something constructive in the long term. It didn’t work out, but at least an attempt was made.
Ripley demonstrates why #NotYourShield was necessary, despite how frivolous it might’ve came off at the time. There’s still plenty of proof it existed, even being complimented in a Daily Dot article. Tim Schafer publicly mocked #NotYourShield just to let you know for sure how much he cared about minorities. HuffPost interviewed three female gamers way back in 2014, more than enough to counteract Rewriting Ripley’s assertion.
19.) “One of the best examples of this is the rise of male supremacist ideology in gaming spaces during Gamergate led by Mike Cernovich, a 1st amendment lawyer who became associated with the event after he offered legal services to Gjoni.”
Someone asked Mike Cernovich why he got involved in GamerGate, during a Reddit AMA. His response: “I came for Eron’s free speech rights and stayed for teh lulz. Actually, I stayed because fuck bullies and fuck Gawker!”
Technically, it was when he challenged Anita Sarkeesian to show a police report regarding a harassment situation that everyone in the community condemned in the first place. What caused that confusion was Milo Yiannopoulos emailed the relevant authorities and while they had records of a March 2014 incident, at the time of Milo’s email they needed to “investigate further” with regards to any August 2014 call.
Sarkeesian soured about the local police response. “The local police departments I have talked to this week have little to no idea how to deal with credible threats made via online channels.”
Again like all things GamerGate it’s shades of gray. Mike Cernovich was targeted by Margaret Pless in December 2014. Pless posted Mike’s address in what he explains was revenge by Zoe Quinn for Cernovich getting involved in helping Mr. Gjoni. Harassment to the State Bar, pictures of his home, police calls and other threats were made against him.
As it would seem on Mike’s part he overcame this episode and managed to move on in life. But if we’re to humor Rewriting Ripley’s outlook on the world, Cernovich has a right to hold this grudge forever.
20.) “Cernovich went on to push the “pizzagate” conspiracy, a conspiracy created in the lead up to Trump’s 2016 election as President of the United States that democrats were operating a child sex ring inside a DC pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong. The conspiracy developed into domestic terror threat QAnon, a conspiracy theory, which alleges that Satan-worshipping pedophiles hold high positions of power within government and threatened former president Donald Trump.”
Even though Mike Cernovich became a modest family man, he still faced harassment from the hands of depraved individuals. Vic Berger used Cernovich’s child as troll fodder. Twitter and Facebook reportedly did nothing to police this behavior even though it crosses moral lines.
When it comes to using Twitter to incite violence, in January 2018 a former member of the Clinton White House broadcast the location of a party Cernovich threw in New York. In the leaked email itself, it says he kept the address secret so people on the Far Left wouldn’t harass the venue. “Please DO NOT share this address with anyone” is the very first sentence for a reason. Mike was concerned about something like Antifa attacking the guests.
That’s exactly what happened. As reported by NY Daily News, a 56-year-old man who attended Mike’s party was assaulted and taken away via ambulance. “I saw him hit the old man,” said a witness. “One hit. He swung hard. He hit him hard. The old man’s head hit the curb.”
21.) “Cernovich was not the only alt-right associated leader to rise in power during Gamergate. Milo Yiannopoulos, an infamous provocateur known for shameless misogyny, anti-semitism, and racism, was given the green light by Bannon as an editor at Breitbart to use the anti-feminist sentiment growing within gaming spaces to increase traffic for Breitbart’s far-right agenda.”
The SPLC report cited by Ripley about Milo Yiannopoulos is a close contender for being worse than the actual mistakes Milo Yiannopoulos has made over the years. By any (actual) reasonable standard, Milo Yiannopoulos hasn’t been a “problem” since he resigned from Breitbart in February 2017. Defending either of them would be a moot point.
Back before the political side of Milo fully came out, he exposed anti-GamerGate member Sarah Nyberg as a racist pedophile groomer. Nyberg is quoted as calling their then 8-year-old cousin “little girlfriend.” At the time, most fascinatingly, other anti-GG figures publicly defended Nyberg. By weak excuses like “I was a teenage edgelord” and “those chatlogs were fabricated.” They never stood up to scrutiny. “Breitbart is in contact with both of [Nyberg’s Cousin’s]’s parents. They confirm the facts of our story but have declined to comment on the record.”
What matters most here is correcting Ripley’s characterization of GamerGate.
I find it an interesting choice that Ripley cited Matt Lees. As back at the start of GamerGate, it was this person who suggested GamerGate boycott advertisers in the first place. Which ended up being one of the movement’s most effective protest tools. Also, Matt Lees praised the person who assaulted The Quartering outside a bar at GenCon. “Honestly, a hero. I’d do it myself in a heartbeat.”
As for Milo Yiannopoulos? You overstate how easy his role began. All he had to do was walk into 4chan and say hi. The incompetence of the games media cabal did the rest.
- Patrick Klepek of VICE: “Every day, it’s clearer GamerGate was ground zero for our current hellscape. Too many of us failed to do the right thing. We were cowards.”
- Ben Kuchera revealed how Penny Arcade did business when he worked there: “I don’t know what’s going to happen after saying that, but I feel a lot better having made it public. The Penny Arcade Report was the only outlet where my bosses told me I couldn’t report on certain things because it would hurt their ability to make money.”
In this alone, we have enough standing to say GamerGate wasn’t totally to blame.
When it comes to anti-feminist sentiment, Christina Hoff Sommers would like a word. GamerGate’s main revolt against politics in that sense was against the corrosive third-wave feminism that Ripley alludes to as societal “progress.” Christina Hoff Sommers is a leading feminist and was involved in the GamerGate conversation, and she released a series of videos making a distinction between the modern feminists vs. the activists who fought for women’s equality. Christina Hoff Sommers provided a counter to Anita Sarkeesian’s claims of video game sexism. GamerGate loved her, but Matt Lees called her scum.
But GamerGate specifically had no leaders. If you were to look harder into it you would find not only did Milo Yiannopoulos coincidentally score some runoff for the Trump movement, but YouTubers like shoe0nhead managed to lead people leftward into “BreadTube” territory.
22.) “Arguably, nothing bad did happen. Mainstream coverage around this event varied from a critical discussion around misogyny and culture wars on MSNBC to a dismissive interview with Brianna Wu by CNN. Ultimately, threats on women’s lives were given a slap on the wrist and Gamergate faded from public attention.”
Did you miss the part where Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian went to the United Nations to make their case? When it comes to appeals to authority, that’s the highest of international bodies on the planet. It’s not GamerGate’s fault that Quinn’s and Sarkeesian’s written report was sloppy and poorly cited. The point being, Quinn and Sarkeesian were in the most effective place to make a meaningful difference. They didn’t follow through and do the work.
Elsewhere, Twitter did a ton of legwork. Prominent anti-GamerGate critic Randi Harper had a personal connection to Del Harvey of Twitter’s Trust & Safety.
On one March 2015 occasion, she was able to get games blogger Leigh Alexander unsuspended “in about ten minutes.” Was it appropriate? Years later Leigh Alexander admitted to deliberately antagonizing people: “I think to some extent I deliberately antagonized them, but I was genuinely disgusted with the low point in our community that the whole thing represented. The very idea that they were concerned about “ethics” was laughable to me; it was an excuse to bully Zoe. So I figured if they wanted to supposedly have a conversation with the media, about the media, I would step in.” It’s completely inaccurate to say nobody paid attention. Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian did a talk at Twitter headquarters in February 2016. As in Del Harvey invited them.
Fast forward a few years (October 2020): Zoe Quinn wished Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got COVID because she was mad about “all the times I brought casework to [Jack] as a trained, trusted partner in your own internal processes that you ignored or handwaved would like to have a word with you…”
23.) [Here Rewriting Ripley tries to link a December 2014 MSNBC video about a chlorine bombing at a furry convention to a September 2017 VICE report about “Nazi radicalization in the furry community.” Upon review there’s no sufficient link visible between those two things. Never brought up again elsewhere in the piece, either.]
24.) “Indeed, alt-right radicalization within fandom spaces is typically not discussed as a major threat to society, whether it be small, zealous communities of gamers, furries, or science fiction writers. Yet, this extremist radicalization is an important variable in explaining how the United States in particular experienced an attack on democracy in early 2021. This is partially because society still looks at people in fandom communities as inconsequential nerds. This is also because actions of white men are protected. “Boys will be boys,” as we have always said.”
Rewriting Ripley is trying to imply some sort of link on a large group scale about how radicalization happens. Their jumbled mess tries to draw lines between GamerGate and the Alt-Right as movements that don’t exist. The reality of the matter is that such a thing is individualistic. I know of one extreme case that proves my point. His name was Lane Davis, also known as Seattle4Truth. His story had a jumping-off point during the events of GamerGate, yes. However, I can’t stress enough that Lane went in his own radicalized direction. His chaotic train of thought, and the breakdown thereof in his mind, areunique.
That is to say: if Rewriting Ripley’s described assertions were correct, then everyone in GamerGate would’ve ended up stabbing their father.
It’s rare for me to praise BuzzFeed. But in this case, Joseph Bernstein’s article on what happened to Lane Davis is definitive. “But none of those people, the ones who called him Seattle, the ones who called him a friend, had met Lane in person. None of them knew, nor would most of them know for months, what he had done to his father. And none of them had any idea what this man they spent all day online with was capable of.”
A bonus: Joseph Bernstein admits to sometimes using Lane Davis as a source. So by Rewriting Ripley’s twisted logic, Bernstein’s body of work is all-in-all tainted. Lane had tried getting a job under the wing of Milo Yiannopoulos. He ended up working for TheRalphRetort instead.
“Lane was as gifted at creating new theories as he was at regurgitating old ones. His breakthrough came in the form of a three-hour, 20-minute video titled “#GamerGate: Actually, it’s about…” The May 2015 video, which cuts from talks at tech conferences to journal articles to Twitter screenshots, advances a mind-bogglingly complex theory linking the geopolitics of the late Bush and early Obama years to a plot by elite institutions to take control of the American education system through an open source gaming console called the Ouya.”
A quote that in itself demonstrates while Lane Davis was a part of GamerGate, he had own madness. Something that was well hidden to others online because many often plays a character in their public profile. But that’s also the problem. Online. The more Lane Davis absorbed himself in that world, he lost touch with reality offline. Political polarization undid Lane’s relationship with his father. And I consider that the better term for “radicalization” as a descriptor because it can be more universally applied. Especially beyond GamerGate.
The closing of the BuzzFeed article says this, and it’s a closer description of the debate we should be having. “The source in the public defender’s office warned me that to link Chuck Davis’s killing too closely to online radicalization would be a mistake. This was a case, this person told me, about family dynamics and undiagnosed mental illness — no more, no less. Those family dynamics were real. But the way Lane expressed them — calling his parents leftist pedophiles, of all things — was the unmistakably specialized discourse of his Manichean subculture.”
What Rewriting Ripley gets wrong is their dehumanization. To say “white men are protected” and “boys will be boys” strips any nuance worth exploring. Seattle became Seattle more than he was Lane. He felt more alive as Seattle than he ever did as Lane. It had nothing to do with GamerGate. If you could blame it on anything, it would be the Internet itself.
25.) “And in October 2015, as the anti-feminism built up in Gamergate raged on in the pages of Breitbart, the right-wing’s organized attack on progressive culture was about to enter a new battlefield.”
Eron Gonji published The Zoe Post with the blessing of his female friend who concluded Zoe Quinn was the abusive party in the pair’s relationship, based on observing it fall apart first-hand. So “anti-feminist” is doubtful.
The gaming community consumer-focused movement known as GamerGate that was dedicated to fighting for better ethics in gaming journalism hasn’t been a formal thing for many years. We can say that with confidence based on three accomplished goals the group carried out:
- Taking down Gawker media. This was done guerilla-style through the boycotting of advertisers and cost Gawker “seven figures” of damage. Gawker Media was finished off by Hulk Hogan through a lawsuit that crippled the financial backbone of the company.
- The FTC formally added disclosure requirements when it comes to mainstream social media-based advertising. If an “influencer” channel or profile is being paid to endorse/highlight a particular product, said influencer has to label it as an ad. GamerGate was responsible for pushing the FTC to take meaningful action.
- When it comes to Eron Gonji and Zoe Quinn, who were the initial sparks of what ended up causing GamerGate in the first place, it culminated in a lawsuit where Zoe Quinn placed Gonji under a gag order for the duration of the proceedings. Eventually, Gonji was freed from this legal nightmare after winning in an appeals court and that was that. Quinn accused Gonji of harassment, a judge cleared his name. This situation was the extent of what GamerGate supported Eron Gonji about. Not misogyny.
Zoe Quinn once complained a scene in a Paper Mario game was about her. Nintendo had to release an official response that it wasn’t. Not exactly a battlefield by October 2015.
26.) “On October 19th, 2015 4chan trolls and members of 4chan’s /pol/ board, a Gamergate forum, began the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag. A self-appointed troll under the username DarklyEnlighten (now suspended) tweeted that “the new Star Wars movie (#StarWarsVII) barely has any whites in it. #BoycottStarWarsVII.” The tag was meant to direct hate towards people of color cast in the upcoming film The Force Awakens including Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, and John Boyega, with the brunt of the attack focused on Boyega.”
This is another occasion where Rewriting Ripley’s own words are enough of a response. In a self-defeating admission Ripley says “Analytics firm Fizziology reported that 6% of tweets were considered racist and even then they were simply ‘trying to get people mad.” Mashable concluded that the tag wasn’t an “actual racist movement.””
It’s very rare for a hashtag to become a movement. Over the 2010 decade, I can only think of Black Lives Matter and the Me Too crowd as having the same GamerGate level of lasting cultural impact. #BoycottStarWarsVII ain’t it, chief.
Also, 4chan wasn’t a GamerGate forum for a long time at that point. Site founder Moot declared it taboo and set the norm.
27.) “On October 20th, 2015, Michael Thompson (who operates under the pseudonym “Paul Kersey”), a noted white nationalist and founder of the blog “Stuff Black People Don’t Like” published an article* claiming credit for the hashtag. This article was published to VDARE, a designated hate group by the SPLC. VDARE is most noted for using Breitbart to spread anti-immigration sentiment with the goal of achieving public approval for White House advisor Stephen Miller’s Trump era immigration reform.”
There are reasons why people doubt SPLC as a reputable source. They have a documented history of baselessly slandering people to stay relevant. SPLC co-founder Morris Dees (who was fired for misconduct) brought up the organization primarily on a fundraising basis. They’re motivated to censor the internet to make money. At least for a time, Twitter publicly distanced itself from them.
When it comes to the Southern Poverty Law Center, they were found guilty in a June 2018 lawsuit for falsely labeling Maajid Nawaz as an extremist. At least Nawaz made $3.375 million out of it.
They apologized: “After getting a deeper understanding of their views and after hearing from others for whom we have great respect, we realize that we were simply wrong to have included Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam in the Field Guide in the first place.”
Flashback to August 2012 and Floyd Lee Corkins II ambushed the Family Research Council with a shooting spree. “He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the [SPLC] website for ideas.”
28.) “This image would also appear on the website* of white nationalist podcast and banned Youtube channel Red Ice. Similar to Thompson’s article on VDARE, the white supremacist site claimed that “#BoycottStarWarsVII has opened minds to the concept of White Genocide.” The site continues with anti-semitic conspiracies claiming that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being called ‘anti white propaganda’ and Twitter is ablaze with users calling J.J. Abrams a ‘Jewish activist.’ Abrams, and most of the cast of Star Wars, are Jewish. Does Star Wars propaganda connect with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?””
If this is the standard Rewriting Ripley is willing to establish, I want to mention how The Daily Stormer (The World’s #1 Wall Street Journal Fansite) praised The Wall Street Journal back in early 2017.
Why would Ben Fritz of The Wall Street Journal making holocaust jokes? I ask in a completely serious fashion.
According to Rewriting Ripley, I’m supposed to take The Daily Stormer at hundred percent face value. There’s no room for interpretation in the below screenshot.
What you’re looking at is a Wall Street Journal reporter fanning the flames of extremism.
We need to talk about the toxicity of The Wall Street Journal community since The Daily Stormer talked about them.
29.) “The boycott would also draw the attention of Holocaust-denying publisher Chuck Johnson on the former site Got News* where he wrote, “is the very white Star Wars being culturally appropriated by the Jewish J. J. Abrams?…Star Wars is a productive [sic] of a white America whether or not we want to accept it. The action figures that made George Lucas a billionaire were purchased by suburban white families.””
Rewriting Ripley’s point here is nullified by the fact that Chuck Johnson has disappeared off the face of the Earth when it comes to his former way of life, here. Since even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey maintains a “cordial correspondence” with Charles Johnson, this point by Rewriting Ripley is a non-issue
30.) “Less than a year after supporting the racist hashtag on Twitter, @AngryGOTFan would be sitting next to neo-nazi figurehead Richard Spencer, VDARE’s founder Peter Brimelow, and Jared Taylor, founder of the white nationalist group American Renaissance, at the 2016 Republican National Convention.”
One of the things Rewriting Ripley links to an SPLC article about Richard Spencer having a private mental breakdown (with lots of racism) in the aftermath of his dumpster fire event at Charlottesville in August 2017. The leaked audio came via Milo Yiannopoulos. Such a betrayal goes against Ripley’s narrative that Milo and Spencer were butt buddies.
To cut to the chase, Rewriting Ripley’s piece implies this “Alt-Right” they describe all get along with each other. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are regular episodes of infighting and cliques fracturing. This in turn very much gets in the way of the notion that all right-wingers are a unified cultural fighting force (the closer answer is that these different subgroups all have a common understanding about the encroachment of cultural marxism).
This is the wonderful moment where I get to summarize the very public falling out between the “Alt-Right” and “Alt Light.” A massive weakness in Ripley’s piece as the common catch-all term used nowadays is “Far Right” exactly for this reason. Flashback to July 2017. People like Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich had a falling out with Richard Spencer because of a planned rally for free speech. “I’m not sharing the stage with an anti-Semite,” Laura Loomer said. The article goes into the background of where “Alt-Right” as a label first came from. To put it bluntly: even though for a short time it seemed like “Alt-Right” would be a catch-all term? There’s demonstrable proof of disavowment and separation. Something that Laura Loomer has been able to get media outlets to forcibly correct whenever they mislabeled her as Alt-Right.
31.) “It should also be noted that Posobiec would establish a direct connection to Thompson during the publication of No Campus for White Men: The Transformation of Higher Education into Hateful Indoctrination. No Campus for White Men is a book written by Scott Greer, a friend of Thompson’s, and former editor and columnist at The Daily Caller. The book’s forward is written by Yiannopoulos while Cernovich takes center stage on the book’s jacket. According to Right Wing Watch, Posobiec and Thompson may have also been connected through MAGA3X, a group of white nationalists who tried to manipulate social media to influence Trump’s candidacy.”
This has nothing to do with the Star Wars community. At most, it’s a ploy by Rewriting Ripley to say that if you hated The Last Jedi, she wants to implicate you as some kind of political villain.
32.) “According to @RMTheLastJedi, the account behind the campaign to remake The Last Jedi, the film was bad because the creatives behind the film “lost their way from the hero archetype.” There isn’t much explanation on what this means beyond Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico failing to live up to this fan’s expectations of being a “badass pilot.” In fact, many complaints against the film are aimed at its female characters. One fan illustrated this when he released an edit of The Last Jedi with all women removed.”
Aydin Paladin did the hard work on this one for me. She reached out to @RMTheLastJedi and got them to comment on their political leanings. Rewriting Ripley wrongfully labels them as alt-right.
See here. “We are still here and we are the opposite of “alt-right”.”
This is a bad thing as we get into Rewriting Ripley’s data. As a bloody amateur, feel free to skip my layman’s approach and just watch Aydin Paladin’s video that focuses on this.
The Twitter Data
Rewriting Ripley’s hypothesis was that there’d be a 1:1 divide between positive and negative sentiments for The Last Jedi tweets/videos. But when it came down to it, the amount of positive outweighed the negative throughout both methodologies (tweets by volume and tweets by engagement) Ripley used.
The most important thing to vote is differences in data samples. Method 1 uses over 100,000 tweets. Method 2 uses just 955 tweets with > 1000 engagements.
So that leaves their initial word cloud test as deceiving: “I was looking for words that were used more than 10,000 times. In order to accept my hypothesis that the positive to negative sentiment ratio would be 1:1, I expect to see a word like “love” used as often as a word like “hate.” However, that is not what I observed in the sample.”
“Most-used positive keywords make up 143,548 total tweets while most-used negative keywords make up 67,246 tweets. This is a positive to negative sentiment ratio of 2.1:1, meaning that conversation about The Last Jedi on Twitter likely leans positive.”
The overall point of Rewriting Ripley adding this Twitter section of the analysis is to serve as an excuse of how they end up signaling out the “Fandom Menace” crowd of YouTubers later on. They do this despite their data working against her.
“Data” Part I
Here we have Rewriting Ripley’s tweet cloud. I assume they did this to reconcile their switcheroo of sample size data. They say here: “the two visualizations below show all tweets mentioning “The Last Jedi” with top positive keywords (Visualization A) and top negative keywords (Visualization B), respectively. The tweets have been separated into two groups: 1) Tweets that are at or above the number of average engagements per tweet and 2) Tweets that are below the number of average engagements per tweet. There are no statistically significant differences between average engagements (replies + comments + likes) per tweet for top positive vs top negative keywords. Both keyword groups have about 10 average engagements per tweet.”
The only thing I need to do here is quote Ripley’s own words (bold emphasis added): “Tweets with negative keywords consist of a handful of tweets that have engagements significantly above total engagements of other tweets. The majority of these tweets are not negative towards The Last Jedi, but instead are mostly tweets in defense of the film that contain negative keywords.“
The tweet charts looks nice but is ultimately a waste of space. If anything there’s more positivity.
“Data” Part II
Rewriting Ripley tries classification again. This time they switch to 955 tweets with over 1000 engagements. “In this second method, I manually classified sentiment for tweets with > 1,000 engagements. In this group of 955 tweets (if that sounds like a low number to you, remember that 80% of tweets are driven by 10% of users!), I would expect tweets with the most engagement to be both positive and negative if this film is truly polarizing.”
Here’s that. Again the results don’t show an overbearing toxic fandom.
Again I quote Rewriting Ripley’s own conclusions (with bold again added by me). “However, there are more positive tweets in the sample vs negative tweets with a positive to negative sentiment ratio of 3.4:1 (213 positive tweets vs 62 negative tweets). This means that tweets with the most engagements mentioning “The Last Jedi” are positive.“
So then what in the world are we doing here? In the methodology section, they at least recognize there are tweets already deleted via a suspension ban by the time of Ripley’s analysis. But that’s also good for them because it means Twitter as a platform is doing its job. When it comes down to this whole discussion Ripley presents, that’s the best we can hope to achieve.
When saying “80% of tweets are driven by 10% of users!” Rewriting Ripley lists an outdated April 2019 Pew study. In the October 2020 update from Pew, they now say the top 10% of tweeters create 92% of all tweets.
Also, 69% of the top 10% of tweeters lean Democrat. Which flies in the face of the scaremongering Rewriting Ripley is trying to do.
Beyond this point the presented data denies Ripley going any further. If it comes to the topic of general toxicity on social media, that is. The amount of negative tweets is too minuscule to warrant going any further.
“Data” Part III
Rewriting Ripley takes the data from Part II and makes a chart classifying the professions of the accounts behind positive and negative tweets. “I also wanted to know who was behind these negative or positive tweets. I found that across both positive and negative groups, accounts belonging to journalists and news publications drive conversation. Almost a quarter of positive tweets and ~20% of negative tweets are tweeted by accounts associated with journalism.”
Here’s the chart.
Now the hat trick. Rewriting Ripley alienates the (fewer) negative tweets from the (larger) positive tweets.
“Positive tweets are driven more by average fans or people who did not associate with a profession in their bio (noted in this classification as “other”) than negative tweets (23% of positive tweets are classified as “other” vs 16% of negative tweets). Almost 40% of negative tweets are from accounts with a gaming YouTube or Twitch profile in their Twitter bio or profile vs only 10% of accounts tweeting positive things about The Last Jedi. When combined with accounts who link back to their YouTube channel, but are not associated with gaming, almost half of all negative tweets are from accounts who direct Twitter users to a YouTube or Twitch profile vs only 15% of positive tweets. This suggests that a considerable amount of hate against The Last Jedi is generated on YouTube.”
Yoink! Here’s the rub. 1.) As Rewriting Ripley themselves stated, it’s 213 positive vs. 62 negative tweets. 2.) The journalism and other categories first off take up 46% of the positive side. 3.) There are 32 on the positive tweet side for the”YouTuber” gaming/non-gaming side vs. 29 on the negative side for this same category.
The usage of percentages is simply meant to manipulate. The same goes for the further pigeon-holing by Rewriting Ripley them on. What does Ripley define as alt-right?
Down in the methodology section, we’re made aware. The first two bullet points go together.
- “The majority of the account must have been dedicated to pushing right-wing political ideology that included characteristics of alt-right or radical right wing spaces including anti-feminist rhetoric and targeting of female creators, targeting of people color or use of “anti-white” language, conspiracy theories, and/or excessive use of Gamergate era terminology such as “SJW.””
- “Must be embedded in an alt-right/radical right network”
Their definition is wrong because “Alt-Right” is a trademark owned by Richard Spencer. Given a 2017 schism between himself and the rest of the right-wing movement, the media shifted to usage of “Far Right” as the catch-all thereafter.
Ripley carves out a separate “OR” classifier.
- “Must identify primarily as a radical right-wing account, be a known right-wing personality (e.g. Ben Shapiro) or identify as a member of “The Fandom Menace.””
Yes. If you identify as a member of “The Fandom Menace” you are immediately alt-right in Ripley’s eyes.
The most to glean from this, potentially, is that “alt-right” only hated it and did not like it after Ripley introduced that label? Ripley leaves room to doubt, given this footnote: “It should be noted that top engaged negative tweets against The Last Jedi also include two left-wing accounts (3% of total tweets) including Will Menaker, a co-host of socialist comedy podcast Chapo Trap House, who has been involved in sexist controversies of his own.”
A more balanced report from Rewriting Ripley would’ve elaborated on the leftist influencers and sphere of influence. Unfortunately, the main focus is almost exclusively on what this “alt-right” crowd says, and Ripley doesn’t give us the fuller picture of the leftists (it’s mentioned in one other chart but that’s it). This would be optimal given the greater contrast of positive tweets vs. negative.
33.) “Aside from the Twitter account seeking to remake The Last Jedi, alt-right or radical right accounts also include Rubin Report host Dave Rubin, whose show has platformed racist alt-right guests, and Ben Shapiro.”
To call a homosexual man who used to be a Golden Girls superfan has to be a joke. Instead, I’m going to suffer taking Rewriting Ripley at face value. With roughly five minutes of research, I found sufficient evidence proving Dave Rubin is not alt-right.
- (10:17 AM · Jul 20, 2018) “In which the @thedailybeast calls me an “alt-right cheerleader.” More activism masked as journalism. I expect a retraction, @NoahShachtman.”
- (10:13 PM · Apr 15, 2019) “When people smear me, @benshapiro, @jordanbpeterson, and others as alt-right, they do a disservice to truth. This is the real alt-right which I assure you none of us want anything to do with…”
- (5:07 PM · May 14, 2019) “See this exchange. He calls me alt-right, links to Vox and Daily Beast then quotes me literally leaving out the previous sentence in which I condemn the racists. (Which I called out the original writer for, but it’s par for the course.)Now he will go silent. Rinse, repeat…”
There are more than three examples but in this case, that’s all I’m willing to waste my time on quoting to refute Rewriting Ripley.
34.) “Shapiro is known for denying human rights abuses, including his claim that members of the LGBTQ+ community do not face discrimination. He also believes that homosexuality and identifying as transgender is a mental illness.”
“In other words, if you label me alt-right, f*** you and f*** the horse you rode in on.” — tweet from Ben Shapiro.
Here it is in video form if Rewriting Ripley doesn’t get the message.
Mentioning Ben Shapiro in the piece whatsoever is an insult to those reading.
35.) “Other examples include hate against Rose Tico pushed by an avidly pro-Trump Twitter account and a writer for The Babylon Bee, a Conservative satirical site that has used the cover of satire to joke about the Capitol insurrection and make snide remarks against Black Lives Matter protests.”
The Babylon Bee is a satire site. I’m amazed that comedy doesn’t register with Ripley but not surprised. I asked the outlet’s Kyle Mann for comment: “Yes. We at The Babylon Bee would like to distance ourselves from Frank’s hurtful comments. As Rose was such a terrible character, she really should have been fed to sharks rather than painlessly executed as Frank suggested. We have asked him to commit seppuku for his failure.”
Using the precooked conclusions Ripley made from the Twitter section, they decided to explore YouTube’s range of The Last Jedi content. Their data constraint being the site’s algorithm. Ripley typed in “The Last Jedi” into the YouTube search bar and went from there.
If you take a look at the chart itself, you’ll see this massive orange area that takes up a majority of the picture. Rewriting Ripley failing to account for that is a problem. However, we can make our conclusions.
- The overwhelming neutral videos show you can find whatever you want online if you look for it.
- The Last Jedi in this sense wasn’t simply bad. Rather it was mediocre in the grand scheme of media works.
- The neutral videos put a massive damper on any impact both the positive and negative videos would have had on their own, otherwise. Working against Ripley’s narrative asserting The Fandom Menace is a blight on the Star Wars community.
If anything, Ripley could define the orange circles as green since they apparently meet their definition of what “acceptable” The Last Jedi YouTube videos are.
“I simplified the methodology for this analysis and looked at three affiliations: 1) YouTubers who make videos about games/gaming, 2) YouTubers who use their channel to push alt-right or radical right ideology or 3) accounts that do not meet the first two affiliations including media YouTubers, culture critics, or fandom personalities.”
Here’s the misleading chart.
Do you see all those tiny red dots that make it seem like the situation is bigger than it is? Yeah, that’s because when you look at Rewriting Ripley’s data, MauLer (who is not alt-right) pads out several places in the list. This is made worse when you factor in The Daily Wire and Critical Drinker being labeled as “alt-right” too.
That’s half of Rewriting Ripley’s “alt-right” list obliterated, and this is still being generous when it comes to the other half. A fundamental flaw in Rewriting Ripley’s data is their subjective definition of alt-right.
The WhatCulture YouTube channel (with 2.16 million subscribers) in itself is a team of people. Rather than the lone commentator sorts that Rewriting Ripley can depict as alt-right. A search of their content library reveals it’s not as simple as “one positive video, two negative videos.” Instead, the WhatCulture channel has a clear track record of following all Star Wars news closely with dozens of videos about it. As such there’s nothing out of the ordinary for them deciding to discuss The Last Jedi’s negative fan response. It breaks apart Rewriting Ripley’s intended point.
WhatCulture has a website where people write articles about pop culture and entertainment topics. Society calls this a “media outlet.” There’s no cashing in here at all.
37.) “PewDiePie, whose opinion on The Last Jedi is negative overall, hasn’t been without racist and anti-semitic controversies. In 2017, PewDiePie was called out for use of Nazi imagery in his videos, including a sign that read “Death to All Jews.” Later that year, he used the n-word to describe a player during a stream of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. “
First off, the point of the sign was that PewDiePie didn’t think those guys on Fiverr would go through with it. When I was on Twitter, Felix followed me after I helped expose the Wall Street Journal article done on him as a flagrant hit piece. The agenda behind pushing that was to get Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp outlets in both the USA and the UK to kickstart an advertiser boycott against YouTube. PewDiePie was the target for that reason. Ripley describes Felix as if he’s some kind of hate machine. But he’s not on Twitter anymore so a lot of the “controversy” involving him has stopped. In the aftermath of the New Zealand shooting, the angry mobs on Twitter targeted Pewdiepie’s “FOLLOWING” list. They successfully bullied Felix into unfollowing all the roughly 500 people on it. Somehow they decided it was a link to the Christchurch tragedy, even though the only connection to even Pewdiepie was the shooter saying the “subscribe to Pewdiepie” line. Another instance of Pewdiepie being bullied by the media came in December 2018 when he shouted out YouTuber E;R’s channel because Felix liked his Death Note review. But since E;R made jokes (in other videos) that people accused him of anti-Semitism over, Pewdiepie edited out his E;R shoutout from the video it was in.
38.) “Another example is YouTuber Vito whose negative review of The Last Jedi entitled “The Last Jedi: A Complete Cinematic Failure,” is one of the most viewed videos mentioning the film with 9.4M views. His political views vary from right-wing to leftist and he doesn’t like to associate with alt-right leaders like Jack Posobiec, who he has described as a “grifter” (even though he does indeed follow Posobiec).”
Vito Gesualdi responded to the Jack Posobiec accusation via Twitter. “I hate Posobiec with such ferocity that I only follow him on Twitter to troll him,” he says. Also, Vito provides 1, 2, 3 example replies to Posobiec he made in the past, that back up his point.
Now on to the video. Rewriting Ripley’s main problem is they don’t link to it. Here’s a link to Vito’s The Last Jedi review. Go watch it. His main thesis statement is that there was no sense of order in place in the film. That it came off as a game of “Mad Libs” rather than something properly planned. Vito is disappointed that the second movie failed at fleshing out the sequel trilogy’s main characters. That instead it was a narrative disaster where you have to assume all the characters are mentally and socially incompetent.
“J.J. wrote drafts for VIII & IX. Then Rian arrived and re-wrote [‘The Last Jedi’] entirely. Rian didn’t keep anything from the first draft of the Episode VIII script.” — Daisy Ridley.
Hmm. That’s way different than Rewriting Ripley saying Vito tried to make his critique of The Last Jedi a sexist anti #metoo thing.
Vito goes against this “anti-female” description by presenting a meaningful way Captain Phasma’s character arc could’ve worked, and not be wasted by Rian Johnson, who unceremoniously killed her. I’ll repeat it. Vito railed on the lack of planning. At 7:45 in the video itself, Vito has an outright disclaimer that when talks about Holdo it’s “not an attack on diversity.” Given Rewriting Ripley’s characterization of Vito, leaving that disclaimer out is poor form indeed. Throughout the entire segment, you can tell by the tone of Vito’s voice he’s being intentionally ironic. No, he’s mad the “diverse” characters carried out a “plan” where countless people died unnecessarily.
It’s a roughly two-minute segment in a twenty-minute video. Again it speaks for itself Ripley didn’t link to this one.
39.) “Vito has also spread racism on his Twitter account. In a quote tweet of an article reporting that a podcast host had been suspended for using racial slurs, Vito insists that “I rap along to songs containing the n-word and I have never once felt bad about it.” He then proceeds to tweet the racial slur.”
The simplest way to respond to this is by asking Vito Gesualdi what he meant. So I did. He replied: “The intent was to point out that cancel culture is going too far and people need to put words in context. There’s an obvious difference between calling someone a racial slur and rapping along to a song. I would never use that slur to refer to an individual, and the idea that it’s “spreading racism” to post a rap lyric on my Twitter feed is absurd.”
40.) “Another 37.50% of negative videos are attributed to accounts whose channels actively push alt-right or right-wing misogynistic or racist ideology including a video by Bishop Robert Barron, who has been a guest on Dave Rubin’s Rubin Report. In his video, he asserts that The Last Jedi is a bad film because Rey’s characterization “occludes” the male hero, Luke Skywalker.”
Do you mean Dave Rubin the Golden Girls superfan who praised the sitcom for their take on gay marriage? He’s a married gay guy who was once part of The Young Turks crowd. Any claims of right-wing radicalization thrown at him are often motivated by the fact Rubin himself woke up to the far left dogma and walked away from it. For that, those leftists see Rubin as truly dangerous. Ripley pointing out one single podcast guest doesn’t give the full picture: Adam Carolla, Bridget Phetasy, ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Glenn Beck, Megyn Kelly, Ex-PayPal COO David Sacks, Ron Paul, and Ted Cruz.
There’s a whole bunch of different people out there. It’s not just a few individuals someone like Rewriting Ripley can put crosshairs on, in some map.
41.) “Ben Shapiro also has a negative review of the film on his YouTube channel for The Daily Wire where one of his critiques against The Last Jedi is that Johnson’s filmmaking is “nasty to [his] childhood.” This “criticism” is embedded in Shapiro’s central ideology that American society is moving further away from the Judeo-Christian values that shaped “The West” and any departure from those values will only make America a weak state.”
Ben Shapiro is also Jewish so the minute I bring up the Israel vs. Palestine debate, Rewriting Ripley is going to freeze up like a deer in headlights over the anti-Semitism argument.
Ripley forgot the other part being a lack of writing that makes it feel like the character earned their strength. See The Legend of Korra as a prime example of this. Sure, Korra is all-powerful right from the get-go. It doesn’t pay off either throughout the show. Seeing as the only way Korra has to go from there is down. And down it does go. On the flipside, Aang from Avatar the Last Airbender has a perfectly paced arc of character growth. Katara did too. That’s what made the series finale of that show so much more impactful. Much of this I learned from that “filthy racist” E;R.
So we come to the IDRlabs section of Rewriting Ripley’s piece.
Political theory analysis channels are a dime a dozen on YouTube. Why would Rewriting Ripley signal IDRlabs out? They aren’t even actively a part of the Star Wars community. Nor does the IDRlabs channel have any affinity with Steve Bannon, Breitbart, or a Cambridge Analytica scheme meant to harvest data.
Rewriting Ripley brings up the fact IDRlabs has personality tests on their site. That’s the closest link they’re able to make. Even so, Ripley concedes she doesn’t “have enough information to conclude whether or not anti-feminist opinions about Star Wars and negative The Last Jedi sentiment were used to push people to personality tests that built machine learning algorithms for Cambridge Analytica.”
For Ripley to have any credibility with mentioning IDRlabs, the channel would need to focus on targeting people. Instead in the presentation of (rather heavy) topics, IDRlabs more carefully restrains himself to the sphere of ideas. Even when discussing things said by Laura Dern or Daisy Ridley, the closest being IDRlabs referring to Daisy as lazy for holding on to a flawed understanding of the Mary Sue trope without looking into it further.
But that’s the only time this happens out of the eight videos Ripley spotlights from IDRlabs. The last time IDRlabs has uploaded to their YouTube channel was 11 months ago. One of their last videos asked if Baby Yoda qualified as a Mary Sue, too.
He calls The Last Jedi a postmodernist movie. I have to thank Ripley for listing “The Last Jedi vs. KOTOR2: A Study in Deconstruction.” Interesting watch and I recommend people check it out. IDRlabs brings up Knights of the Old Republic 2 as a well-written exercise in subverting expectations within a Star Wars story. It strengthens the argument The Last Jedi simply had bad writing.
While I would like to discuss the Cultural Marxism phenomena that pushed into various forms of media in the 2010s, we can’t.
In layman’s terms, Cultural Marxism was the description used to define the push by political activists for Far Left conformity within all pop culture media. It’s centered around the Marxist concept of Oppressor vs. Oppressed. It describes the changes people like Anita Sarkeesian hoped to achieve in the long term by accusing video games of being sexist. As it’s from there she snowballed into desiring that the video game industry “improve” their products by getting rid of any “sexism.”
It’s the ideological culmination of little complaints and nitpicks like someone saying Tracer’s butt in Overwatch was too thick. I am not saying that the person who complained about Tracer’s character model had an ulterior motive. Instead, a person like that has been led to believe through feminist ideologues that being “too sexualized” is bad, and demand Blizzard Entertainment tweak something as insignificant as that for a “greater good.”
According to Wikipedia Cultural Marxism is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that infers the Jewish people control the world. It parrots what the SPLC depicted the term as, back in 2003. Wikipedia used to have a neutral page about Cultural Marxism but because of GamerGate, they got rid of it. Essentially rewriting history.
Russell Blackford is a “longstanding editor and administrator” of Wikipedia. He explains what happened to the Cultural Marxism page:
“For that reason, I have been unhappy with a decision by Wikipedia – carried out on 30 December 2014 – to delete its longstanding article on the subject of cultural Marxism. This seems, itself, to have been an unnecessary and provocative action in the current culture wars. Indeed, as a Wikipedia editor and administrator in good standing I took part in some unsuccessful efforts to oppose or reverse the article’s deletion. As a further disclaimer, I have even assisted in some (rather futile) behind-the-scenes efforts to develop a better Wikipedia article on the subject.”
Why does Rewriting Ripley demand more “narrative control,” when cases like this prove her ideology already has it?
44.) “The center of alt-right and radical right-wing ideology in Star Wars fandom is on YouTube, a favorable (and profitable) home for indignation against non-white and non-cis male individuals built up on 4chan during Gamergate.”
Chris Poole could have left GamerGate alone on 4chan discussion boards. By doing that there’d be no 8chan.
The members of the movement were left to moderate amongst themselves. Elsewhere on the site, the QAnon board gained enough conspiratorial steam to spark whatever-the-heck that disaster is all about.
But that’s solely the fault of 8chan founder Fredrick “Hotwheels” Brennan (who first sold off 8chan to that Jim Watkins guy, and then Brennan went on to actively campaign against 8chan’s operations) and Christopher “m00t” Poole. Who himself stepped away from 4chan in disgrace in January 2015.
But that’s it. To try and conflate GamerGate with QAnon just doesn’t work. Go ahead. Say “GamerGate caused the Capitol Riot on January 6th, 2021.” Judge your sanity.
45.) “It would be unfair to say that these YouTubers are the exact same group of people who rallied behind anti-feminist figureheads like Cernovich and Yiannopoulos to harass women in gaming (even if they* still* are.*). The reality is far more terrifying.”
Yes. The reality is much more terrifying. Palmer Luckey was one of the masterminds behind Oculus and bringing virtual reality gaming to the modern age. His idea was smashing enough that Facebook bought the company for fat stacks of cash. Luckey had it made. That is until a smear piece in September 2016. The Daily Beast accused Palmer Luckey of being some sort of hateful mastermind bankrolling anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda in the lead up to the November 2016 election (in reality it was a single billboard).
The reason it spiraled out of control into the public eye is that it involved the r/the_donald subreddit. The MSM made a massive scandal of Luckey being a secret Trump supporter. Enough so that Mark Zuckerberg wanted Palmer to post a public apology Facebook cooked up.
When the dust settled, Zuckerberg fired Palmer Luckey from his own company over it. But that’s not the worst part. Back during the media kerfuffle, those heartless vultures in the blogosphere harassed a woman in gaming! Ironic, huh? Yup. Gizmodo dragged Palmer Luckey’s now-wife into the controversy because she was a GamerGater. At least one talking head accused her of harassment and had to apologize.
46.) “people who have been radicalized by what Gamergate set into motion. Whether they realize it or not, they are diligently carrying forward Steve Bannon’s master plan to change culture in order to change politics.”
There is no master plan as Ripley implies here. In 2021 people are self-censoring out of fears of being demonetized and/or deplatformed off of YouTube. The only battle being fought is people trying to keep themselves afloat and setting up channels on alternative platforms. What “GamerGate set into motion” is only being kept alive six-plus years later by people using it as a boogeyman/strawman. Before GamerGate the boogeyman lingo used was Men’s Rights Activist. But that died off as a smear years ago, thanks to GamerGate becoming the go-to replacement.
Calgary Comic Expo, April 2015. The initial charges. “There’s a gamergate booth at calgary expo, and they’re going to feminism panels with their female MRAs and starting shit with panelists. Their booth has the GG logo and is selling Vivian james art.”
This was the “problematic” booth.
In Amanda Marcotte’s narrative of events, the Honey Badger Brigade was allegedly disrupting the convention. Their main crime is having a GamerGate banner on display at their booth. Marcotte also wrongfully describes it as a “sci-fi” expo. The correct description of it is comics and entertainment. A small detail but it goes to show how much authentic interest Marcotte had in the scene. They were there to promote Alison Tieman’s comic and protest censorship.
This quote shows Amanda admitting the Honey Badgers had women in it. They were just the “wrong” type of women, politically. “A group that calls themselves the “Honey Badgers”—a group that exists to put a female face on movement misogyny, even though the group is half male, in an ill-fated attempt to pretend it’s not misogyny—showed up to troll the conference and got kicked out.”
Note that the go-to buzzword back then was misogyny rather than the overly used radicalization term excessively used today (although even back then references to white supremacists and nazis were used in Marcotte’s piece). Rewriting Ripley at a later point accuses a YouTuber of “othering” people in his videos, but with Marcotte here we have an appropriate example demonstrating her guilt of that. While Marcotte says Alison Tieman’s initial registration was deceptive, she leaves out the fact that by the time of the expo itself the Honey Badger Brigade was listed as such.
They accused Honey Badgers of “shutting down discussion” in a situation where the Honey Badgers own voice was shut out of the discussion.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell isn’t so much a cultural face thing than it is a formula. A standard of how to tell a story that flawlessly works. It’s the variations on this theme that create the masterpieces of our time. Off the top of my head, I can tell you the Godfather movies primarily work on this premise. Simply based on the premise that Al Pacino initially tried denying the life that his father Marlon Brando forced upon him. There’s a beauty in that reluctant transformation. Then I can skip you to modern times by mentioning how Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston gets into the drug empire. He’s initially reluctant and only in it to get enough money for his family as necessary. But then it becomes a quest for ego and power.
Both examples serve as proof of man’s wickedness.
48.) “The shared narrative across this group’s thousands of videos is simple: First, Kathleen Kennedy ruined Star Wars by allowing women to work in too many creative jobs at LucasFilm. Then, Rian Johnson ruined Star Wars by emasculating Luke Skywalker, creating the character of Rose Tico, and letting Rey win a lightsaber fight before going through an extensive training montage. And before all of that, Disney ruined Star Wars by hiring both Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson.”
Sure. Let’s humor all of this as true. That doesn’t mean MauLer and Critical Drinker will march on Washington DC over that. Something that Rewriting Ripley seriously implies could happen,
49.) “Due to this, there are three very important things we need to be aware of when discussing reactionary right-wing fandom spaces:
1. They are, indeed, nothing but a replication and continuation of Gamergate
2. They can be highly profitable
3. They play a considerable role in alt-right radicalization”
The media machine from November 2016 to January 2021 was obsessed with ragging on former President Donald Trump. To the existent that networks like CNN and MSNBC openly entertained conspiracy theories that proved bunk surrounding the notion of collusion with Russia. The recent routine of media layoffs regularly indicates that the reactionary sphere is collapsing.
SO when we talk about profitability and radicalization you’re not given the full picture. To try and section off the internet into bubbles is part of the problem. Did it used to be like that? Sure, up until roughly August 2014 when a convergence of discussion across several different social media sites and forums happened.
50.) “Just in case you haven’t put the pieces together by now — no, it’s not a coincidence that the top affiliation for negative comments against The Last Jedi on Twitter lead you right back to gaming spaces on YouTube. And, no, it’s not a coincidence that people in gaming spaces who don’t actively push alt-right agendas still spread racist, anti-semitic, and misogynistic ideology. And finally, it is absolutely not a coincidence that out of 13 unique accounts classified as alt-right or radical right who appear in the algorithm after searching “The Last Jedi”, 53% also make videos on gaming.”
Did you ever prove that Twitter comments were inspired directly by YouTube videos?
51.) ““Gamers” are a pretty significant segment of the general American population and by no means is the very online culture surrounding video games representative of all people who consider themselves “gamers.” Furthermore, online gaming communities are not a monolith. Communities around games like the Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy franchises work very differently than communities surrounding the Call of Duty franchise, for example. But even though most people who consider themselves gamers don’t actively spread hate, the events of Gamergate have given the online gaming space an undeniable toxic culture problem that has only gotten worse.”
GamerGate in the sense Ripley is what people on the Far Left use to describe any amount of online criticism and/or pushback. As it stands, the Geeks & Gamers corner of the internet is having to defend itself against an outside party that’s trying to inject toxicity into it. With a long diatribe on medium.
52.) “Now, it would be irresponsible of me not to point out that videos about gaming are generally popular on YouTube and are one of their top content categories. So, to better illustrate how Gamergate has never really died, I took the titles of all videos from 20 Star Wars and/or pop culture YouTubers who were 1) negative against The Last Jedi and 2) had the most viewed anti The Last Jedi videos or 3) had the largest volume of videos for a certain topic associated with The Last Jedi such as the search terms “Rian Johnson” or “Rose Tico.”“
None of this matters since in the data set presented by Ripley earlier she showed how minimal of a space overall the YouTubers in question actually had. That in turn is if we humored her reaching definition of what qualified as “alt right” in the first place.
53.) “In the titles of these videos, top words include words associated with gaming spaces such as “gamers”, “games”, and “Twitch”. More importantly, top used words consist of phrases and buzzwords associated with Gamergate and alt-right ideology including “woke”, “media”, “Comicsgate”, and “SJW.” “SJW” stands for “social justice warrior,” a phrase made common in alt-right and reactionary communities by Yiannopoulos during Gamergate. A “social justice warrior” is a catch-all term for any person who advocates for diversity in media.”
SJW? More like Airport’s Law. “Every day another goony beard-man gets the impression that a rainbow haired she-twink might let him cum in her if he attacks gamergate.”
A list of anti-GamerGate’s biggest losers.
- Matt Hickey, 2014: “Don’t be a part of Gamergate, people. It’s a bad gang.” January 2017: “King County Prosecutors File a New Rape Charge Against Matt Hickey”
- Jamie Kilstein, October 2014: “#GamerGate: it’s about sexism, not ethics in journalism” March 2017: “Progressive Performer Jamie Kilstein Ousted From Citizen Radio After ‘Disturbing Allegations'”
- May 2015, Juan Thompson: “The online racism directed toward Butler and other black writers is similar, in its scope and severity, to the online misogyny exposed by the Gamergate controversy last year.” March 2017: “Ex-Reporter Charged With Making Bomb Threats Against Jewish Sites”
- October 2014, Stuart Campbell: “Hey, #gamergate nutters! How much do you PAY for videogame journalism? Shut the fuck up, then. You’re owed nothing.” August 2017: “Stuart Campbell detained in Bath after woman complained of online harassment over past two years”
- November 2015, Michael Hafford: “Gamergate Abuse Memoir Coming To Big Screen” November 2017: “Vice’s former “Male Feminist” columnist Michael Hafford is facing multiple allegations of violent sexual assault”
- December 2017, Peter Bright: “there is no good faith interpretation of gamergate, because no part of it was ever in good faith. it wasn’t a legitimate complaint coopted by bad guys; it was bad guys trying to give themselves a paper thin cover.” March 2020: “Peter Bright attempted the basest type of crime, arranging to engage in sex with young children. Thanks to the FBI, Bright is in custody and facing serious prison time.”
54.) “Also appearing in the wordcloud is the word “Ghostbusters,” the 2016 all-female reboot of the 1984 film of the same name. This film was targeted by members* of the alt-right including Yiannopoulos in yet another attempt to push anti-feminist sentiment into mainstream culture.”
The biggest mainstream impact against Ghostbusters 2016 was carried out by the Angry Video Game Nerd. Who is very very far removed from the alt-right and any politics entirely. What AVGN did was different because he announced he’d not be reviewing the movie altogether. That means not even bothering to call it bad. He was purely motivated by his love for the 1984 original Ghostbusters movie, wanting the franchise to be treated with more dignity. Piggybacking on the 1984 version, the 2016 version used the same name and rode off its coattails.
A look at the comments: “Mentioned nothing about the cast being female. Media still threw a fit. James did nothing. James won. Be like James,” “Love how this man’s biggest controversy is literally him sitting there and not watching a movie,” and “Years later… the [movie] is forgotten and AVGN is still relevant.”
55.) “Other political keywords include the word “Trump,” where anti-The Last Jedi YouTubers criticize anti-Trump media or actors including Marvel actor Don Cheadle, Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley, and Leslie Jones.”
When Rewriting Ripley says this it makes it clear that this is just apart of the general larger cultural discussion. They talked about Trump. So what?
56.) ““Female” is also a top word used in these YouTube titles. These videos spread anti-feminist ideology similar to hate spread against Sarkeesian and Quinn during Gamergate. Videos express outrage over Hollywood hiring women to direct major blockbuster films and female characters given more prominent roles in pop-culture franchises including Marvel and Star Wars.”
What an outrage that Rewriting Ripley uses gendered language like “women.” Is Ripley a TERF? The correct term is “people who menstruate.”
Is this a bad time to bring up JK Rowling and how it’s somehow magically ok for the Far Left crowd to attack the Harry Potter franchise all because Rowling’s opinions on transgenders don’t 100% match the radical orthodoxy? They even do the book-burning thing.
A group of employees at Rowling’s publisher, Hachette UK, refused to work on her Ickabog book. Company management had to step in and say they weren’t allowed to do that. If Rewriting Ripley has problems with Rose Tico, what about Hogwarts Asian student Cho Chang? Surely people attacking Cho Chang in their social media commentary is wrong too? Or does Rewriting Ripley find JK Rowling an “acceptable target” since outlets like Vanity Fair openly smear the beloved author.
57.) “YouTuber Nerdrotic even suggests that Thor: Love and Thunder director, Taika Waititi, “wants to destroy Marvel mythos” by including a “female Thor” — the all-too-common narrative across alt-right spaces that suggests that women and minorities are destroying culture.”
The only thing Nerdrotic is doing when it comes to the “destroy Marvel mythos” line is quoting Taika Waititi directly. It’s not pushing a narrative when it’s just reporting what Waititi himself said. “I’ll ruin your mythos in a minute, baby.”
Here it is in picture form. Just to hit the point home that Nerdrotic wasn’t doing anything remotely nefarious. If anything Nerdrotic advocated that Waititi simply focuses on making a great movie instead of wasting time on Twitter.
There’s a difference in talking about what’s happening rather than pulling things from thin air. In that sense, Nerdrotic has the right to reply and talk about his opinions. He’s worried that the MCU will burn itself too soon banking too hard on political hubris and pandering.
In the other video Rewriting Ripley mentions, Nerdrotic responds to an update. “Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is Still the Star in Love & Thunder, Says Taika Waititi.” If anything him trying to sort out the mixed messaging and confusion put out by Marvel is a public service. Rewriting Ripley misrepresents Nerdrotic because he advocated for Marvel to put more effort into their lazy “sloppy seconds” and gender-swapping approach.
The collage of video titles following this sentence in Ripley’s articles doesn’t address the actual contents themselves. Just mentioning Brie Larson’s name is considered an attack. The Daily Beast article about Brie Larson that Ripley cites? It mentions Matthew Yglesias as a source to back up the article’s narrative about some kind of GamerGate style harassment campaign happening to Captain Marvel.
Matthew Yglesias is interesting because he later suffered the brunt of the far-left media establishment eating itself. Matthew’s definition of harassment has evolved.
When it comes to Brie Larson there’s more to the background than Daily Beast lets on. As described in a June 2018 IndieWire article: “Am I saying I hate white dudes? No, I’m not … [but if] you make the movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie and review your movie.”
“[Audiences] are not allowed enough chances to read public discourse on these films by the people that the films were made for. I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about ‘[A] Wrinkle in Time.’ It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what it meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial.”
Brie Larson is allowed to have her opinion just as much as the YouTube commentators Rewriting Ripley talks about. People got mad that Captain Marvel wore makeup in the Avengers: Endgame trailer. That’s fine too.
There’s more to it than “speaking out” about diversity. Larson used political stances to sell Nissan cars. What value is there to any political correctness if it’s done in the name of greed?
In terms of immediate inaccuracies, the official Clownfish TV Twitter account objects to the labeling of alt-right by Rewriting Ripley. “They have us listed as “alt-right” when we’ve both voted mostly Blue, and neither one of is a Republican. (I’m a registered Libertarian and my wife is independent.) I don’t even know who half of our supposed “alt right bosses” are. Ridiculous.”
59.) “Furthermore, a considerable amount of hate is focused on Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, who the alt-right blames for making Star Wars too focused on diversity, inclusion, and feminism.”
60.) “In fact, 73% of top YouTubers by count of the number of videos they have made mentioning “Kathleen Kennedy” are from alt-right associated accounts including 40 videos made about Kennedy alone by alt-right YouTuber Geeks + Gamers.”
I found roughly the same number of videos with George Lucas featured in the title and thumbnail. Do I win a prize for figuring that out? No. That’s because it’s not surprising at all that these YouTubers talk a lot about the heads of the Star Wars franchise. It’s a part of the leadership position.
Also I wonder if Rewriting Ripley asked Geeks + Gamers black female secretary about this alt-right claim.
61.) “What these YouTube videos definitively show is that Gamergate’s playbook is very much alive and has been made accessible to anybody with a webcam. This not only increases visibility of harmful attacks against women and people of color, but also creates a way for people to profit from hate.”
GamerGate was so focused on ethics in gaming journalism they made a fully fleshed out website dedicated to critically analyzing the various writers in the industry.
This movement Ripley is working so hard to vilify made a Christmas album.
62.) “Like most figures in the alt right or reactionary right-wing space, the grift is never far behind, whether it be through merchandise, membership clubs, or book sales. It’s relatively easy to make money off of YouTube videos. On average, YouTube pays $3 to $5 per 1,000 video streams, but it should be noted that the amount of money a YouTuber makes can vary widely.”
Ripley fails to mention YouTube’s mysterious and overbearing system of demonetization. Something that grew so egregious that by July 2019 the fear of being demonetized left many to start looking for alternative platforms. Demonetization is soft censorship that has since developed as a means where YouTubers self-censor out of fear. It’s an agitation felt up to YouTube’s top channels like Joe Rogan (and part of why he left for Spotify). Google even runs ads on non-partner channels and hordes all the money for themselves. But to get to Rewriting Ripley’s point, the commentary genre of YouTube channels has long since been demonetized across the board. Someone as uncontroversial as Linus Tech Tips faces this problem on a regular.
63.) “Obviously, the more a channel rakes in in ad revenue, the more popular that channel is. And the more popular that channel is, the more visibility the channel has on YouTube. This creates an easy pipeline for alt right radicalization.”
Not necessarily. A quick look at the past few years has seen to that. Mid-2019 was the first time the “authoritative sources” shift of focus came up. That being YouTube’s artificial manipulation that boosts establishment companies on the platform vs. the independent content creators that built YouTube in the first place. The impact being mainstream media getting ten times more recommendations over the rest. How can people be radicalized on YouTube when there’s a company-wide commitment to reducing the visibility of “conspiracy theory” content? YouTube’s CEO even admitted that she knows people don’t like “authoritative” media channels, but is willing to boost their visibility regardless. With the 2020 Election being no exception.
Rewriting Ripley assumes that YouTube is still wild west. Ignoring the reality that they remove 100,000 videos per quarter (likely higher since September 2019) for “Hate Speech” violations. Excessively enough that even tabletop gaming content fell victim to the automation. The bottom line here is YouTube’s censorship is too much. “The platform has successfully deboosted problematic content to rock bottom! But they need to do more somehow!” announced researchers in March 2020. “Ok I will,” responded YouTube’s CEO in April 2020. Fast forward to August 2020 and YouTube admitted that cranking up the intensity of their algorithms caused a massive uptick in the removal of non-violating content.
In fact, if we take the example of Pewdiepie mentioned earlier on, there’s evidence that YouTube is happily removing its channel visibility from the platform when possible. The company themselves have confirmed humans curate the front page’s “Trending” tab. But an analysis of over 40,000 videos from November 2017 to June 2018 revealed what channels made the most of a trending splash. The answer? Traditional media. The researcher who studied this data then noted how weird the case of Pewdiepie is. Pewdiepie trended only 1 time in the United States but over 30 times in India (37) and Russia (39), and over 40 times in France (41), Germany (42), and Canada (45).
Rewriting Ripley should stop acting like there are no thumbs on YouTube’s scales. These days? The examples write themselves.
64.) “Americans in particular typically describe “radicalization” as some covert operation that happens discreetly in a remote part of the Middle East. However, this narrative is dangerously misleading (and typically racist).”
Defending radicalization in the Middle East is homophobic of Ripley. In at least thirteen different countries (as of June 2019) being gay is legally punishable with death: Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar (they have slaves there too), Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Morocco too. They hung a guy in Iran over it. ISIS (radical Islamists) routinely threw gays off of buildings. Is Ripley excusing that? The LGBT crowd is routinely arrested and tortured in Egypt.
Watching a few YouTube videos is not the same as the things pointed out in the above quote. What Rewriting Ripley is doing here is trying to equate mean words as being the same as real-life international humanitarian crises.
In December 2019 an academic paper was published that destroyed the “radicalization rabbit hole” narrative of YouTube. “To the contrary, these data suggest that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm actively discourages viewers from visiting radicalizing or extremist content. Instead, the algorithm is shown to favor mainstream media and cable news content over independent YouTube channels with a slant towards left-leaning or politically neutral channels. Our study thus suggests that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm fails to promote inflammatory or radicalized content, as previously claimed by several outlets.”
It wasn’t the first of its kind either. A few months prior, Penn State’s political scientists released a piece also concluding as such. People can visit recfluence.net to see how the flow of YouTube video recommendations works in terms of presenting political viewpoints.
YouTubers do not equal the anonymous 4chan crowd. They couldn’t be more opposite from one another. The freedom that 4chan provides means manifesting the power of common and unspoken opinions behind a cause. A luxury that YouTube personalities don’t have. Their track record is etched in stone per every one of their uploads.
The real conversation can be found in the Hidden Tribes report. A study whose main premise falls on the notion that when enough in groups of people get together, a uniform shade of opinion results. And in the end, it’s these different shades clashing against each other in modern times. They found most of the population are politically disengaged although the conservative bent quietly outweighs the liberal side of the scale.
It’s in this report I hope to correct Rewriting Ripley’s slanted view on the world.
- “Devoted Conservatives believe that individuals need to be raised to be obedient, well behaved and hard-working. They take pride in the Judeo-Christian faith and American culture. They believe that their traditional values can transform flawed individuals into people of self-discipline, character and responsibility.”
- “Progressive Activists, who are at the opposite end of the spectrum, are skeptical of traditional authority and norms. They see those values as being established by socially dominant groups such as straight white men, for their own benefit. Progressive Activists seek to correct the historic marginalization of groups based on their race, gender, sexuality, wealth and other forms of privilege.”
It’s a more complicated situation when, say, 82% of Americans abhor hate speech, but also 80% of Americans see political correctness as an issue. “The forces driving polarization have a variety of sources including economic insecurity, growing inequality, cultural and demographic change, and the weakening of local communities. Many people are feeling a loss of identity and belonging. Populists and extremists are exploiting these vulnerabilities by advancing us-versus-them narratives, often focusing on immigrants and refugees. Social media is heightening conflict in public debate and bringing extreme narratives into the mainstream.”
The problem is progressive activists being the only ones who are willing to burn themselves as an outgroup over insulating as an ingroup. How do you think that pans out if the progressive activists want to apply their methodology on an executive scale?
68.) “This is how the pipeline works: First, alt-right individuals who have already been radicalized from past organized hate movements such as Gamergate or Comicsgate establish a platform on YouTube. They sit in spaces with a highly accessible on-ramp like pop culture film franchises or video games. They then gain a following by emotionally appealing to their tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of viewers that they are being oppressed by a culture and society who wants to see them fail.”
It’s a war of ideas where the best ones win the hearts and minds. Again thanks to actual good journalist Brad Glasgow for conducting an in-depth survey of GamerGate members while the movement was still highly active. Contrary to what Rewriting Ripley claims, a fair majority of GamerGate people leaned left.
Since this will matter to Rewriting Ripley: in March 2020 Glasgow’s survey met the standards necessary to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
That’s what Ripley’s article in the first place is doing. When it comes to the Quartering there are several things working in his favor here. Even in the earlier years of his YouTube Career, Mr. Jeremy exposed an egregious issue in the Magic the Gathering community. The one about judges needing background checks, to make sure they weren’t sex offenders or criminals. It was a vulnerability where Wizards of the Coast inadvertently put minors in a dangerous spot. The fact that Quartering was a strong voice yet unpopular back in early 2018 allowed him to do something important that no one else could have.
In the end Quartering got Wizards of the Coast to enact meaningful changes to protect the MtG community.
- Section 5b: To protect players of all ages, to the extent permitted by applicable law, you agree to conduct background checks to meet your obligations under Section 15 on your Staff as well as those you engage with that interact with the public
- Section 5h: You will refrain from violating the WPN Code Conduct and you agree to display in your Retail Store and/or Event Locations, player and community policies as designated by Wizards from time to time.
- Section 15: You will not employ or otherwise engage Staff or other individuals who interact with the public on your behalf who (i) appear on a sex offender registry (or its international equivalent), and/or (ii) have been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for a violent sexual offense or a crime against children.
If anything Rewriting Ripley should be grateful. In the aftermath of claims made of toxicity against his channel, Quartering had a meeting with YouTube staff to make sure everything was square. Jeremy was happy to report that everything is fine and YouTube staff directly told him he wasn’t acting in a way that violated YouTube’s code of conduct. Shocker! Someone with over a million subscribers has acted appropriately for someone in their very public position. If anything YouTube staff are actively aware that Quartering conducts himself in the best possible way given his precarious position when it comes to campaigns of backlash.
In the end, I saw it best to just ask Mr. Jeremy Quartering if he grew up or not. This is what he had to say. “When I was young, I look back at some of my early videos and regret [how] emotional I got, there were times I was downright mean. I also learned over the years that while you can’t “control” your audience there is value in reminding them about how dogpiling etc. isn’t required in most cases to make a point.”
I’m obligated to highlight @desert_starr_57 of Clownfish TV publicly objects to being labeled “alt-right” by Rewriting Ripley. “I left you alone, but you don’t get to accuse me of being ‘Alt-right” over a movie. you do NOT get to associate me w/ terrible actions of others because of a film. I’m not even conservative! I’m just a fan who’s tired of being told what I have to like & who I am!”
I urge Rewriting Ripley to correct this.
The YouTube algorithm gives people more of what they want to see. A while back I decided to like pictures of golden retrievers on my Instagram on purpose to exploit this very thing. Now I reap the rewards of cuteness.
71.) “For example, watching any Geeks + Gamers video on how white men are being shut out of Hollywood or how women are ruining pop-culture can easily lead viewers to following the personal account of the Geeks + Gamer channel, DDayCobra.* DDayCobra’s channel is littered with radical right-wing videos that express support for Donald Trump’s presidency and Trump’s support of the Capitol insurrection. He also uses this channel to advance fascist ideology with videos titled “The Media is the Enemy of the People.*””
With Joe Biden as the President now it’s a moot point.
72.) “Seeking out videos pushing hate against Kelly Marie Tran’s character in The Last Jedi will lead you to a video* by YouTuber Timcast where the YouTuber argues that online backlash against the removal of Rose Tico from The Rise of Skywalker merchandise is a form of “moral authoritarianism” likened back to the puritans fleeing England to establish religious freedom.”
Tim Pool opens up by calling it a conspiracy theory that Rian Johnson wrote poorly on purpose because he wanted to destroy Star Wars. That sets the tone for the entire video, intentionally. To try and ward off fanatics. “I’m half kidding here,” Tim says to the viewer to make sure it’s clear and can’t be misinterpreted. Tim’s “hate” against the character and not the actor is because he believes she was poorly written. How clear can Tim be when he even says “I don’t agree” to the belief that The Last Jedi was an “SJW” film? Even so, Tim believes Disney knows The Last Jedi derailed the franchise and they were trying to mitigate the damage. He even believed the company should’ve owned the fact Rose Tico was a character, in response to the “Where’s Rose?” erasure of her from the merchandise. Thus, Ripley’s characterization of Tim Pool is dishonest. Moreover, Tim notes he doesn’t even like talking about Star Wars on his YouTube channel.
73.) “Timcast is not an alt-right Star Wars or pop culture channel. It is the YouTube channel of journalist Tim Pool who has ties* directly to Paul Joseph Watson, the editor of right-wing extremist conspiracy theory site Infowars who was banned from Facebook for hate speech.”
Ripley links a March 2017 video about Sweden’s migration situation that Tim Pool did with Paul Joseph Watson. Then links a May 2019 BBC article that discusses how PJW was banned from Facebook. Tim Pool is a pretty liberal guy who currently hosts a podcast with an equal opportunity given to mainstream/liberal/right-wing guests. Rewriting Ripley hurts their case by even mentioning Tim at all, given his reputation as a pretty sensible dude. The closest thing there is to controversy is a falling out between him and his former news team crew.
A more modern example of where Tim’s politics lay is in the August/September 2019 event that Pool (tried) putting on. The event was called “Ending Racism” and it had Daryl Davis as one of the headline speakers. Davis is famous for getting over 200 people to leave the Ku Klux Klan, back in the day. But here in modern times, Antifa protesting the event and threatening to burn down the original host theater, called Mr. Davis a white supremacist.
74.) “Infowars is responsible for pushing damaging conspiracy theories that led to the election of Donald Trump, including coordinating with designated hate group the Oath Keepers to organize the Capitol insurrection.”
If we’re to cite SPLC, I recommend Rewriting Ripley discuss their revelation that Alex Jones is on film in January 2019 admitting he was sick of talking about former President Trump all the time. If anything this is the best and most important insight into what the Trump era did to everyone in the media, in terms of fatigue. As for January 6th: That day Alex Jones told people to leave the immediate area of the Capitol and orderly proceed to the designated rally area. He even urged the crowd to not fight with the cops because it’d give the media what they wanted. In the aftermath of January 6th, Jones was cussing out the Q crowd. “You keep interrupting me,” said a caller. “BECAUSE YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT, THAT’S WHY” Jones responded. Alex went as far as actively warning people to avoid protesting Inauguration Day in January 2021. He did it as proactively as possible in his way.
75.) “In another example of how easy it is to be radicalized in spaces leading hateful sentiment against The Last Jedi, videos from ComicArtistPro Secrets often have plugs for 12 Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson.”
Peterson hired Ethan to do the illustrations on the book. Worst case scenario is that someone watches an Ethan Van Sciver video and one day learns to clean his room. Also for the sequel book, Peterson hired a female immigrant. So if we’re gonna play the game of woke, here, it evens out. Juliette Fogra “is an immigrant to New York after growing up in both Riga, Latvia, and Israel. She has worked as an art director in New York City for thirteen years and is now full-time self-employed.”
Jordan Peterson first rose to prominence after he publicly disputed Bill C16 in Canada, which would’ve forced compelled speech. Ripley’s main issue with that (and where their accusation of transphobia comes from) is that C16 would force Peterson to use someone’s “preferred” pronouns. Like someone wanting to be “tree” instead of “he.” Also, it’s not exactly a crime to give guidance to men. Especially at such a contentious time in the world where they’re being constantly demonized.
People aren’t allowed to be fans of things? Ripley should be grateful someone like Peterson is around for the so-called “far-right.” After all, Peterson has often brought up the dangers of radicalization in his talks, especially with regards to recent world history. If anything Peterson has helped a lot of people stay sane and grounded. What more do you want Jordan Peterson to do? When Faith Goldy interviewed with Daily Stormer in the aftermath of Charlottesville, in November 2017 Jordan Peterson publicly distanced himself from her when it came to speaking at the same Free Speech event. He explains that he did it because Faith Goldy was uncritical of Daily Stormer despite the fact Goldy labeled himself as a journalist (he says Faith herself offered to bow out).
This situation entirely discredits the twisted logic employed by Rewriting Ripley. Full stop. It shows a glaring weakness in Ripley’s political knowledge.
78.) “There are more paths to this designated hate group than through Peterson. Many anti-The Last Jedi YouTubers cite a blog called Disney Star Wars is Dumb. The blog is run by an unknown person under the pseudonym “ItchyBacca,” who, among publishing a slew of white supremacist articles on their blog, publicly supported the Proud Boys on their twitter account during the Capitol insurrection.”
ItchyBacca made a blog post responding to Rewriting Ripley’s accusations. The Proud Boys tweet in question being one of the things he explains. “I made that tweet when I first heard of the protests at the capital, and didn’t know that it would escalate the way that it did. I thought it would be another incident where protesters would eventually get their ass handed to them by police and security, because we’ve seen that happen before.”
Further: “Proud Boys have nothing to do with white supremacy. If you read their tenets, they clearly state “anti-racism,” and the organization itself is multi-racial. It’s a fraternal organization. The main tenet I disagree with is closed borders, because I support immigration. Again, not very white supremacist of me.”
79.) “In one article, ItchyBacca lays out a step-by-step “guide” (written in conjunction with ComicArtistPro Secrets and YouTubers World Class Bullshitters) about the “Phases of Geeker Gate.*” In the guide, Itchy discusses how to “effectively push back the SJW hordes” when media such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings begin to push established IP in a more diverse direction.”
Bacca: “They claim that my Geeker Gate article is about keeping diversity out of fandom, but it really has nothing to do with diversity or the lack of it at all. It’s about keeping a medieval mob mentality at bay, and most of those who subscribe to it are white themselves.”
In their remarks about Rewriting Ripley’s piece ItchyBacca says they decided to retire after Lucasfilm fired Gina Carano. So it begs the question what kind of threat whatsoever someone like Bacca presents in Ripley’s eyes.
Again in response to Ripley’s accusations, Bacca said: “None of this is about the matters on the surface. This is about the need for control over the lives of others. It’s ironic that those who give all of the lip service about evil “fascists” unknowingly engage in quintessentially fascist behavior themselves. Because that’s what fascism is; the need for control over others, especially their speech. They don’t have control of the conversation, and they’re angry about it.”
82.) “The article then goes on to list “countermeasures” including contacting shareholders, contacting merchandise management, boycotting and starting boycotts, encouraging inside leaking of information about the IP, pitting creatives and celebrities against each other and against fans, and monetizing hate.”
ItchyBacca says “I’m fine with people expressing perspectives that oppose my own.” Are Rewriting Ripley and I talking about the same person?
83.) “The blog also has articles comparing Lucasfilm’s alleged “hatred of straight white Christian males” to propaganda tactics used by the USSR. Additionally, the blog has an assembled timeline of over 90 articles claiming to catalog all instances in which LucasFilm was “hateful” towards “white males,” including articles that aided in the harassment of women of color employees at Lucasfilm, Justina Ireland and Krystina Arielle.“
I’m heavily quoting this blog because I knew nothing about ItchyBacca going into this write-up. It’s one of the last sections I’ve worked on. In doing so, almost for a moment, I thought maybe this would be a moment where Rewriting Ripley had a point.
But after finding Bacca’s response, I’m glad to see Ripley is still wrong here too.
“It really was only a matter of time before someone did a hit piece on this blog and attempted to falsely smear me as a “white supremacist” even though I can’t stand genuine racists, and have stated multiple times on this blog how science tells us that there isn’t any such thing as separate human races. That’s hardly a rallying cry for white supremacy. Racism and bigotry is always wrong, no matter who it comes from, or who its aimed at. But, people who criticize Disney Star Wars are routinely and falsely demonized by organized activists in the media and by those within Lucasfilm itself as racists, misogynists, and worse. They make claims of “harassment” when people respond to their public tweets, while simultaneously calling their own organized responses to others and mass flagging operations as “activism.””
84.) “There are several ways this happened and they include 1) an alarming media culture that puts profits over facts; 2) the use of socks, bots, and super users; 3) hashtags and boycotts; and 4) a lack of education about how to navigate online spaces, especially those under political attack.”
When we talk about hashtag campaigns, “#killallmen” predates GamerGate. Yet prestigious media institutions like The Atlantic still defended it. “A Twitter Hashtag Probably Doesn’t Prove Feminists Want to Kill All Men” they said. If we were to apply Ripley’s style of logic to #killallmen, that hashtag would’ve been seen as a violent campaign intended to harass males. The article says “Twitter feminists using #killallmen are not going to get MRAs — or Alex Jones — laughing. But maybe scaring them just a little is okay.”
My point being that whatever the media culture war is, there’s a much larger conversation to it than simply GamerGate.
The conflict over what constitutes journalistic ethics is at the heart of this situation. It’s something called advocacy journalism. An effort to redefine the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics to saying taking a subjective side is appropriate if it’s for a greater good. This being a subversion on the bedrock of objectivity that journalists classically strive for.
Take for example former Blizzard developer Mark Kern. In February 2015 he made a change.org petition to peacefully bridge the divide between the press and the GamerGaters. The media talking heads didn’t budge at all. “I can’t be any clearer: If you’re a part of that movement, I don’t want you reading me. I’m TRYING to lose you a customer. Go away,” said Polygon’s Ben Kuchera. That was the problem. VG247 even deflected blame back onto Mark Kern and refused to let him respond.
Fast forward a few months. “That is F()&#$%king it! I AM NOW #GAMERGATE !!!!!” tweeted Mark Kern.
85.) “The most infamous culprits of this are pop culture sites like ScreenRant and ComicBookResources, both owned by ValNet, a company that doesn’t produce journalistic integrity, but instead produces clicks.”
What Rewriting Ripley needs to understand is that if it comes down to either the “old guard” outlets like CBR vs. independent YouTubers? The YouTubers are the better option. On the grounds they make decisions for themselves.
Laura Kate Dale isn’t a contemptible person because they’re trans. They were a terrible journalist because their behaviors were inappropriate despite that. From the outset at Eurogamer Expo 2013, Dale went on an unhinged rant about how the Xbox One presenter somehow dehumanized them on stage. That the Microsoft employee treated them as less than human.
That wasn’t the case, Dale had to disgracefully retract: “Laura Kate Dale and Fraser Millward have come to agree that the situation which took place at the Xbox stand at Eurogamer on Sunday 29th September was an unfortunate misunderstanding on both sides. It has now been made clear that Fraser did not refer to Laura as an ‘it’ or a ‘thing’ or a ‘he’, and these claims have now been fully retracted by Laura and she is sorry for the hurt this caused. Fraser caused offence to Laura on stage when he publicly misgendered her by addressing her as ‘this person’. Laura was also upset by statements which she saw as suggesting that she was not female. Fraser is sorry he said this, and for the pain he inadvertently caused Laura. Both parties wish to put the situation behind them and consider this matter now resolved.”
Fast forward to April 2019 and Laura Kate Dale’s article about an alleged “disability slur” in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is just as much of a disgrace. Kotaku UK’s editor-in-chief Rich Stanton had to clean up from Laura’s clown show. “We checked with Atlus who confirmed that the actual lyrics of the song do not include the word “retarded”.”
An embarrassment for the outlet.
86.) “For example, coverage on the season finale of WandaVision from The Washington Post and The Hollywood Reporter gave time to the disappointment from very online pockets of fans who were upset their theories were not included in the finale.”
Paul Bettany played directly into the fan theories by telling this to Esquire: “Truth is, of all of the characters we were trying to keep secret, a lot of them got out through leaks. There is one character that has not been revealed. And it is very exciting. It is an actor I’ve longed to work with all of my life. We have some amazing scenes together and I think the chemistry between us is extraordinary and fireworks on set.”
If anything it’s his own fault. When the big finale came he told Good Morning America: “They were guessing people like Benedict Cumberbatch or Patrick Stewart, I was thinking, ‘God, that’s a good idea’, they’re gonna be so disappointed when they find out it’s me.”
It was a harmless riff on the big Mandalorian Luke Skywalker surprise. Nothing nefarious whatsoever about any of it.
87.) “Morten Bay, a research fellow at the University of Southern California (USC), analyzed replies to tweets made by Johnson. Bay concluded that 50% of negative tweets towards Johnson were bots, trolls or sock puppets that were likely used for political purposes.”
As explained by Aydin Paladin, Morten Bay’s research conclusions fall apart when we consider his categorization methods for what constitutes bots/trolls/sock puppets. Their citation of the incredibly flawed Zannettou 2018 paper is the kicker, when it came to Morten Bay deciding what qualified as Russian bots or trolls. Zannettou using time zones as a factor in their analysis doesn’t work to prove much of anything conclusively. Morten Bay in turn working off of that faulty logic can only create tainted results.
But to quote the paper itself, Ripley is manipulating the numbers.
“Among the 967 tweets analyzed, 206 expressed a negative sentiment towards the film and its director, which is 21.9 percent or a little more than one in five fans. This number includes all negative tweets analyzed, i.e., also those who came from the 44 accounts identified as bots, sock puppet accounts and trolls. It also includes 61 users who showed clear political agendas in their tweets against the film. Thus, the number of fans whose tweets are purely motivated by a negative stance towards the film is 101 or 10,5 percent.”
“Overall, 50.9 percent of those tweeting negatively was likely politically motivated or not even human.” Rewriting Ripley says “50 percent” because that seems like a bigger value.
It’s important to also realize that the YouTubers Ripley is targeting in this article do as much as they can to not cause harm, especially in the year of our lord 2021.
89.) “In a study by University of Rochester professor, Bethany Lacina, an analysis of tweets from Star Wars fans concluded that conversation about Star Wars fans on twitter was increasingly abusive and harmful when talking about marginalized groups. She concludes that this hate mostly came from real people and not from bots.”
Again Aydin Paladin explains it best. Bethany Lacina published the paper on her own site and the odds of it being peer-reviewed are slim. “Negative tweets as share of all tweets: 73%” Lacina finds, in complete contradiction to Morten Bay.
Again Rewriting Ripley doesn’t show the numbers. In the most generous terms, the “offensive language” for only negative tweets talking about Rose Tico comes out to be 103.86. Out of 1516 tweets overall that’s a comfy balance.
Also can we talk about how male fan podcasters got more negative tweets (36%) than women (20%)?
90.) “Dan Murrell of popular YouTube channel [Honest Trailers] noted on Twitter that he’s “never seen a response” like the response he got on their “Honest Trailer” for The Last Jedi. He mentions that over 1,500 comments were flagged for being “aggressive or abusive.” These comments were likely real people.”
Implying that YouTube’s comment filtering systems are perfect. “Likely real people” Ripley says. Based on what? It seems contradictory to go from pushing bots to flipping the script.
91.) “The top user tweeting the hashtag is ItchyBacca, who tweeted the tag 612 times (vs the 278 times the blogger tweeted the #LastJediAwful tag). “Boycotts” are featured on Itchy’s list of “countermeasures” to combat the spread of diversity in media.”
If anything the only argument being made here is ItchyBacca personally got involved in these hashtags. It’s not indicative of a larger “ALT RIGHT” trend.
To counter the notion that “small and concentrated” hashtags are successful, I remember one case Ripley never heard about. It was called #StopGamerGate2014. Back in GamerGate’s first few months, the critics of the movement tried to make an anti-GamerGate hashtag. It happened immediately following the alleged bomb threat someone sent Anita Sarkeesian and Utah State University under YouTuber Mr. Repzion’s name. Anita could’ve shared that crucial piece of information back in October 2014. But instead, she let the FBI visit Repzion’s house months later, anyway. Jason Schreier of Kotaku said “thousands” rallied tweeting out this tag (bots artificially inflated the tag). I can’t believe Rewriting Ripley missed the #StopGamerGate2014 hashtag, as Daily Dot said it trended worldwide.
93.) “Esquire points out in a 2018 article that after the release of Solo, “Disney completely re-focused its future plans. While it would be a stretch to imagine that trolls directly affected the direction of a multi-billion dollar franchise, there’s no denying that the executives at Disney have taken note of this narrative.””
This is another point where Rewriting Ripley gives a successful counter. Disney CEO Bob Iger said this in a September 2018 The Hollywood Reporter interview:
“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.”
Ripley is so close to understanding the true cause and effect here. Kathleen Kennedy wanted the Game of Thrones guys to do their own Star Wars trilogy, for one. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were slated to do it. Until they later parted ways with Lucasfilm. The fallout from that was a disaster. The answer is Disney screwed up.
Ripley completely neglects to mention the fact Solo changed directors midway through the project. Ron Howard shooting 70% of Solo means there’s that other 30% by someone else. That causes cohesion to fall apart. Again this was the fault of people like Kathleen Kennedy. With Solo, the movie “production veered off the rails so spectacularly that it forced filming to grind to a halt after four months. With mere weeks left on the shooting schedule, producer Kathleen Kennedy fired directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and hired veteran Ron Howard to right the ship.”
95.) “However, instead of reflecting on how to balance the value of nostalgia with the need to branch out into new and growing movie-going demographics, it appeared that Solo’s box office was being blamed on hate against The Last Jedi.”
Appeared. Rewriting Ripley’s evidence is a single headline from CNET, which only points out the fact that Ron Howard made some tweets. When it comes to the infinite conversations of social media, Solo being connected back to The Last Jedi in one way or another was inevitable. However, what Rewriting Ripley fails to understand is that the negativity surrounding The Last Jedi wasn’t simply about the movie. Along with it came a moment of reflection on Disney’s actions related to that and the treatment of the license. It’s reasonable that people felt disappointed because they had the Lucasfilm years with the prequel and original trilogies to compare to. It doesn’t have to be a political spat at all.
But really how can it be a The Last Jedi thing when: a.) Josh Trank exited a Boba Fett spinoff project in 2015, b.) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story needed saving, and c.) Colin Trevorrow left working on Episode IX because of disputes over the script. There’s a pattern there. Now with Solo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller did too much experimenting. It got too off track.
Sam Biddle of Gawker remarked “bring back bullying” when talking about GamerGate. He said it justified that “nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission.” It was a gaffe that even the Columbia Journalism Review couldn’t excuse.
The notion of politically driven hate was unleashed on the part of the leftist media in November 2014. Imagine being Matt Taylor. Someone working at Europe’s version of NASA, who helped land a space probe on a comet moving over 100,000 miles an hour. A moment of triumph for his career. A moment that was tainted by political hate when social media chatter and bloggers accused Matt Taylor of sexism. All because he wore a shirt with beautiful ladies on it. Never mind the fact that a woman made the shirt. It was tailored together by Elly Prizeman.
“I don’t care if you landed a spacecraft on a comet, your shirt is sexist and ostracizing” wrote The Verge. “Thanks for ruining the cool comet landing for me asshole,” tweeted former Atlantic journalist Rose Eveleth.
Politically motivated hate looks like this. A tweet that says “I assume the lander is just saving its harpoons so it can hunt down that bearded idiot in the gross shirt.”
Two days later, Matt Taylor gave a tearful apology. It’s ironic considering he’s probably the only one who still remembers #ShirtGate to this day. The heartless social media commentators forgot about it a long time ago.
When it comes to “tailored” experiences, in late 2014 Randi Harper launched a GamerGate auto blocker tool. It allowed people to blanketly block thousands of people at the touch of a button. Several prominent GamerGate members were used as the source material. If accounts were following two or more of us “thought leaders” of GamerGate, they were added to Harper’s block list.
At the time Harper said: “This is not creating a “blacklist” to keep people out of the industry, you unemployed neckbeard (if you could grow a beard) cockwaffles. It is creating a “blocklist” so normal people don’t have to listen to your incoherent looneybin conspiracy theories peppered by whatever’s on your political word-of-the-day calendar.”
This is over six years ago that this happened. But if the accounts in question (blocker and blocked) are still around, they’re still in effect as of today. It’s a direct example of how social media polarization manifested itself. The potential for dialogue being shut down to a chance of near zero percent. That’s what Twitter block list sharing as a practice caused.
The fact that outlets praised Harper at the time is still somewhat shocking to me. It’s what started us down this ugly road of tribalism. What’s worse is that for several years (June 2015 to some point before June 2020) Twitter allowed this to be an official feature. Eventually, they removed it presumably over “healthy conversation” concerns.
Those concerns were well warranted.
Randi Harper’s GamerGate block bot was also an attack on diversity in the games industry. This is because it claimed victim Roberto Rosario. He was a part of IGDA Puerto Rico and someone who believed in a meritocracy.
For the crime of following certain GamerGate accounts, Rosario ended up on the blocklist. “I’m chairman of @IGDA_PuertoRico and have been tagged as a harasser by the @IGDA itself for using #GamerGate hashtag,” he tweeted.
The central IGDA group endorsed Randi Harper’s blocklist in their anti-harassment guide. They described it as: “a third-party Twitter tool developed to quickly mass block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment and also accounts that follow those offenders.”
Back in late March, The Daily Mail had the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop verified by a forensics experts company. Finally.
In October of last year, Facebook and Twitter stepped in to control the narrative around the Hunter Biden story. They limited the sharing of it based purely on speculative grounds about it being “hacked materials” and some kind of Russian plot. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later confessed to Congress that their censorship action was a “total mistake.”
Organized groups manipulated the narrative, yes. Just not the kind Rewriting Ripley is likely referring to. Chris Hayes of MSNBC recently demonstrated the mainstream media’s failings: “So, like, did we ever find out the actual deal with the Hunter laptop? I mean, maybe the wildly improbably story about it was …true? or maybe it was a cover story for a hack, but do we know?”
It was the pesky right-wing media that did all the heavy lifting! While NPR willfully ignored covering it at the crucial time of one month before the election. NPR recently acknowledged the doubts about Hunter Biden’s laptop’s legitimacy were fabricated. But the damage was done. Polling of Biden voters suggests that proper media coverage of the Hunter Biden story would’ve swung enough votes in Trump’s favor for the 2020 election.
99.) “For example, in April 2020 people in alt-right conspiracy communities attacked an ad for the Microsoft HoloLens, an augmented reality headset. The ad featured artist Marina Abramovic and her experience utilizing AR tech to bring her art to life. When the ad caught the attention of conspiracy networks who believe Abramovic to be a satanist connected to politicians who drink children’s blood in popular QAnon conspiracies, the ad was bombed with 24,000 dislikes.”
In the article linked by Rewriting Ripley, the fact that WikiLeaks emails between Abramovic and Tony Podesta are brought up. Yep. The conspiracy nuts will do what they do and that’s a shame. Rewriting Ripley’s depiction of the situation being nothing but speculation on the conspiracy crowd’s part, however, changes things. The mere existence of these emails in the first place and Microsoft’s decision to do an ad anyway despite the controversial baggage? That’s on Microsoft.
Quartering talks about whatever he wants to fill his daily upload schedule. On April 14th, 2020 that happened to be the Microsoft controversy. Something that other people were talking about was Marina Abramovic. It’s a story Quartering decided to talk about when covering the news like usual, running his business. In the video itself, Quartering seems more confused about what Marina’s art was about. He did the due diligence to show the HoloLens ad in question.
Most importantly there’s not any point in the video where Quartering praised a call to action to mass dislike the video. There was no “great job everyone” remark or anything remotely close to that. He questioned why Microsoft decided to do the ad with Abramovic but that’s about it. I even reviewed Quartering’s YouTube video library to see if there was a previous “call to action” video where he told his audience to raid the Microsoft ad. There’s not.
101.) “Mass downvoting tends to target women of color. For example, in February of this year, alt-right racists mass downvoted videos in a “Black Creativity in STEM” playlist on YouTube. The mass downvoting affected several creators that month, especially those who ended up on YouTube’s home page.”
Spoken like someone who forgets the YouTube Rewind disasters. I don’t blame Ripley for not mentioning those because they were very forgettable.
But symbolically speaking dislikes have a greater meaning than that.
102.) “This tactic has been used in Star Wars fandom, as well, to downvote videos from women of color and trans people of color that have been uploaded to the official Star Wars channel. The goal of this downvoting is to either increase harassment against the people in the video or to get the video removed entirely.”
President Biden is an old white guy. Yet people routinely dislike the videos put out on the White House YouTube channel. Dislikes aren’t racist. They’re a tool used to gauge public approval. Recently YouTube announced they’re toying with the idea of allowing only dislikes to be hidden. Many in the community were confused by this since YouTube already allows disabling the like/dislike bar. The responses made by some on social media remind us of the various purposes the dislike bar serves.
One of these examples is when a YouTuber makes an apology video. In this scenario where a personality responds to a controversy they got caught up in, the dislike bar is a barometer about how authentic said YouTuber came off in the viewer’s eyes. Another common use of dislike bars is to warn others of clickbait. If a title and thumbnail don’t match up at all with the contents of the video itself, seeing the like to dislike ratio is helpful. Lastly, there are the rarer occasions when someone makes a how-to video (i.e. putting together a computer) and gives bad advice. Seeing the dislikes on such a video would signal otherwise unsuspecting watchers to be more skeptical.
103.) “The best example of review bombing is The Last Jedi Rotten Tomato score that caused a flurry of controversy in the press and was instrumental in pushing the narrative that The Last Jedi was a polarizing film among fans and general audiences.”
There’s more to it than that. A report from The Verge revealed YouTube changed the algorithm in a more favorable way for the entire topic. By looking up Brie Larson during the heat of the Captain Marvel frenzy, YouTube sent users to the “News” bracket instead of the usual video results. What’s different in that case is “Authoritative Sources” are pushed to the top of the results instead.
104.) “Aside from alt-right Facebook groups claiming credit for the film’s current “rotten” audience score of 42%, the most obvious indication that The Last Jedi was review bombed was Rotten Tomato’s decision to overhaul the voting system and give the ability to review films only to verified users. These changes were made in the lead up to Captain Marvel after it became clear that the movie was being politically targeted by a boycott campaign.”
Rotten Tomatoes is free to do this of course. However, what is there to protect us from the actual critics who review bomb particular pieces of media that don’t agree with their politics? Take for example 2019’s Joker. Critics gave a massive thumbs down, audiences a huge thumbs up. The media establishment tried blustering up an empty controversy about a potential “incel” theater shooting. The only precedent they had for it is the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado at The Dark Knight Rises theater showing in 2012. Ironically there was an incident surrounding a Frozen 2 screening getting violent around this time. Machetes were involved. My rebuttal is further solidified by the fact that comedian Dave Chapelle’s Sticks & Stones special suffered a similar fate. Low critic score but sky-high audience approval. It turns out the media blogosphere didn’t like his jokes.
105.) “For example, in December 2020, Star Wars actor Mark Hamill unknowingly linked to a video by Echo Base Network, an alt-right YouTube account. In the tweet, Hamill referred to the YouTubers (as well as similar alt-right YouTubers who were exuberant over the return of Luke Skywalker in the finale of The Mandalorian’s second season), “true fans.””
Someone with political opinions can still be a Star Wars fan. If Rewriting Ripley is trying to say that people with different political opinions aren’t allowed to be Star Wars fans at all, her desire becomes straight-up gatekeeping. Considering how anti-Trump Hamill is, the fact that Star Wars is something that brings people of different political leanings together is crucial in today’s times.
Also bringing people together was the point Hamill was getting at. As there were two parts to what Mark tweeted.
- (9:27 AM · Dec 31, 2020) “#NoWords-Seeing fan’s reactions to Luke’s return is something I will cherish forever. Their anticipation seeing the X-Wing/Ep. 6 Robes/a lightsaber/a GREEN lightsaber/a gloved hand/an ungloved hand/a Force choke/R2-was OVERWHELMING & very moving to me-1/2”
- (3:08 PM · Dec 31, 2020) “I’m a fan myself, so I knew true fans would love it, but to see them thrilled beyond belief with the exuberance of children, whooping it up, screaming in ecstasy, the tears of sheer joy…it’s a rollercoaster of emotions I’ll never forget. #I_LOVE_UPFs 2/2”
If Rewriting Ripley thinks a black guy is an alt-right YouTuber? Wew.
“Dangerous” is not an appropriate term for Ripley to use here at all, as there’s significant history supporting the challenging of election results. It’s so routine that Democrat Rita Hart challenged the election results that gave Mariannette Miller-Meeks the win back in 2020. We don’t even need to reach back to the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy to make the point. Even though POLITICO called the race the “last American election that just might have been rigged for real.”
There was a definite recent precedent in challenging the election results after election night. The 2000 stand-off between George W. Bush and Al Gore was still fresh in people’s minds in 2020. Especially as it wound up in the Supreme Court.
When it comes to the January 2017 electoral college results, it was the Democrats who called it “rigged” within their objections. They questioned the voting machines. They alleged Russian hacking. They interrupted Vice President Joe Biden 11 times that day in the joint session of Congress. “Democrats objected to more states in 2017 than Republicans did [in 2021] but somehow we’re wrong,” said Jim Jordan with regards to the most recent electoral college objections. Newsweek‘s fact check ruled this statement was TRUE.
Anyway with 89 followers on Twitter and nothing of note on Parler, what threat does Echo Base Network pose, exactly? Please point that out.
This is another case where Rewriting Ripley’s own words are the only response necessary. In the very next line she goes on to say: “When 1/4th of tweets with > 1,000 engagements mentioning The Last Jedi are discussing or mocking the hate against the film, the hate becomes the narrative over the actual value and achievements of that film. This is exactly what people who organize this hate want.”
Dear Ripley: what do you think you’re doing by this ancient history up?
108.) “If we spend our time discussing why a film is so hated, we don’t stop and discuss why the film is so important to the progression in culture these organized alt-right fan groups are terrified of. And worse, we fall into the trap of making alt-right hate the story, which only increases the effectiveness of the alt-right radicalization pipeline.”
It’s not a progression in culture. It’s a regression fueled by those on the left that facilitate Cancel Culture against anyone who disagrees with the progressive dogma. For the crimes of following Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich, longtime MTG artist (since 1996!) Terese Nielsen was ousted from the community. She liked some edgy tweets as if anyone who wasn’t specifically looking at Nielsen’s likes would’ve noticed.
Nielsen undid the follows and likes. But the mob wanted flesh. In April 2019 she released a heartfelt letter explaining how much her MTG job meant to her and how distressing it was to see a culture of political polarization get in the way of that. It wasn’t enough for them. They demanded some kind of “I SUPPORT TRANS RIGHTS” statement from Terese Nielsen. In June 2019 they got their wish. Midway through a letter full of nuanced thoughts, Nielsen had this sentence in bold for the mob to see: “Just so nothing I have expressed thus far can possibly be misunderstood… for the record, I support human rights, trans rights, gay rights, as well as religious freedom and the sacredness of life in all its forms.”
Months later, Autumn Burchett (the first non-binary player to win a major MTG tournament) defaced two cards that Nielsen did art form in their tournament deck with messages like “NO TERFS ON GRUUL TURF!” Tournament officials asked Burchett to remove them.
Wizards of the Coast stopped working with Terese Nielsen by June 2020 and replaced her. Here’s what that looks like in practice.
Just look at the artwork yourself. Is moving from the former on the left to the new one on the right look like “cultural progression” to you? Sadly it’s the reality of the real toxic parts of the internet driving a talented female artist out of a job. The official Magic: The Gathering Twitter account had to confirm the “artwork” seen on the right is real and not a joke. The MTG subreddit had to tell people to stop reporting the post because the public believed it was a troll.
109.) “By the time the sequel trilogy is about to come to a close in December 2019, the only retaliation against the organized racist and sexist barrage against it has been a few tweets and a few articles crying out against hateful trolls and neckbeards.”
Because it doesn’t matter and people stopped caring. In general, there’s a saturation point to outrage culture and how often people are willing to even bother with reacting to it. By 2021 it’s safe to say that saturation point was reached.
People talk about movies and 99% of the time not looking to actively recruit people to go to war. Especially nowadays there’s not even the public willpower for such a thing.
111.) “This is a lot to ask of companies who likely have little understanding of what is happening within their own fanbase and whose way of conducting business and creative decisions for decades has never had to consider things like coordinated aggression from white supremacists and anti-feminists.”
I’m happy to offer the FBI investigation into the GamerGate movement where the utmost pressing online threats were looked into. It took place during the Obama administration so there’s no “Trump” excuses. (As previously mentioned) the Utah State University threat against Anita Sarkeesian was a bogus troll that signed Mr. Repzion’s name on it.
Here’s an example of the “threats” from pages 16 and 17 of the FBI report. Let’s put a face on the vague fears that Rewriting Ripley alludes to.
It’s still terrible for the FBI and Sarkeesian having to waste their time with it. But there’s a clear distinction made between isolated incidents from third-party agitators vs. the myth that GamerGate was some kind of coordinated terrorist group.
Skip to Page 168. The FBI closes the case: “To date all available investigative steps failed to identify any subjects or actionable leads. San Francisco USAO indicated the San Francisco office of USA will not be able to prosecute any threats against victims or subject that are not located in the San Francisco AOR. It is requested that this investigation be administratively closed due to lack of leads. There are no items of evidence maintained by the FBI for this investigation. There are no currently outstanding leads for this investigation.”
That never stopped the media narrative about GamerGate though. In a very special episode of Law and Order SVU called “Intimidation Game,” a group of gamer terrorists physically kidnap a female game developer/Anita Sarkeesian knockoff. It was cheesy and over-the-top, which is why GamerGate’s critics and opposition hated it. The episode was a mirror of their drummed-up emotions reflected at them.
The deterioration is Rewriting Ripley’s team if this is a battle with two sides. We can easily prove this to be the case too if we point towards the Far Left’s Critical Race Theory circus they’re trying to implement into every aspect of society. Take for instance the “racial injustice” expert at The New York Times, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Her following description of what qualifies as white supremacy is a recipe for disaster that goes only in one direction. “Whiteness is not static and it is expandable when necessary,” Jones says. “A lot of folks we don’t think of as white think of themselves as white because the lines have never been entirely clear. That’s the beauty of white supremacy — it is extremely adaptable.”
113.) “In the end, the alt-right attack on Star Wars was successful, carrying with it considerable damage for creatives involved and for the myth of an entire generation that became unknowingly squandered to hate.”
The upcoming Disney+ slate would beg to differ. How did the Alt-Right win if Star Wars is going to get a Lando series from the creator of the Dear White People film/show?
I count eleven different shows in the works for the Star Wars universe. I’m optimistic that Ripley is wrong in saying the franchise is entirely tainted based on this diversity of possibility. There’s a solid chance that each one of these specific series has something to offer the different niches of the Star Wars community.
114.) “As Gamergate demonstrated, no caustic battle against culture is targeting simply the culture itself. There is always a human cost attached. Similar attacks experienced by Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and Brianna Wu happened to the creatives involved in the Star Wars sequel trilogy to various degrees including a film director, two authors, a show host, three actors, and an executive. This list is not exhaustive.”
Rewriting Ripley is trying to make the situation seem bigger than it is by vaguely saying “film director” instead of Rian Johnson and “an executive” instead of Kathleen Kennedy. It’s a shameful recycling attempt. However, for each title listed I can offer fresh examples of folks targeted by the far left. Film director: the ones attached to Glenn Greenwald’s failed Martina Navratilova biopic project. Two authors: Abigail Shrier and Ryan T. Anderson for the crimes of publishing “wrong think” about transgender people. A show host: Chris Harrison of The Bachelor for condemning cancel culture. Three actors: Chris Pratt, Kristie Alley, and Kevin Hart. An executive: Brendan Eich of Mozilla in 2014 for a donation against gay marriage made in 2008.
115.) “Any new creator or any woman, in particular, in a creative role that is hired by Lucasfilm who is likely to create content alt-right groups see as antithetical to traditional white Christian culture will become a target.”
Rewriting Ripley’s argument doesn’t sound as palpable if they were trying to argue “we need to defend women* (with left-wing politics only) from those nasty alt-righters!” As such, Gina Carano would like a word with you. People made death threats against Carano, so surely she’d qualify, right? First in August 2020 when the mob wanted Gina to blindly support BLM. One reply directly saying “say black lives matter and posts links and we’ll stop.” Then again in September 2020 when the leftist mob got mad that Gina Carano didn’t kowtow to demands of pronouns in her Twitter bio. Somehow changing your Twitter name to include “boop/bop/beep” constitutes a hate crime in modern times. Then finally with the days immediately following Election Day 2020. When the results were still be counted, Carano was crucified on Twitter for simply reminding people about the importance of stopping voter fraud.
Rosario Dawson (playing Ahsoka Tano in the Mandalorian) also faced pressure because at the time of her episode the actress and her family were still facing “transphobic assault” charges. A majority of which were quickly withdrawn.
116.) “A few of these attacks we have already discussed, including the racist attack against Boyega in 2015 and the attacks on Kathleen Kennedy (which have also included death threats by alt-right YouTubers).”
“Let the past die, kill it if you have to” is a quote from the movie. Gizmodo wrote about how much they love it. What Ripley posts here is Ethan Van Sciver tweeting “Let Kathleen Kennedy die Kill it if you have to” tweeted at Lucasfilm and Disney.
Yes. Twitter decided to remove it. They have automated systems and the odds of a human being the one who made that call are slim. Calling it a death threat? Only would work if Sciver said “her” in a court of law. The reason why is the tweet said “it” instead. Plus, by tweeting that directly at Disney, it’s a more reasonable conclusion Sciver meant Kathleen Kennedy’s management of the Star Wars license.
As for Boyega? I don’t think he gives a hoot. The Reylos went after John Boyega in December 2019 because the actor decided to DUNK on how ill-fated the Kylo Ren and Rey relationship turned out.
Boyega himself made this video to turn Reylo hater rage into his entertainment.
117.) “In 2016, actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, deleted her Instagram after receiving harassment for publishing a post against gun violence. Ridley has continuously stated she has no plans to return to social media.”
Recently Scarlett Johansson stated that actors should stick to acting and not get political. Would she too count on Rewriting Ripley’s list of bad people? That’s all this “Fandom Menace” crowd wants at the end of the day. Too bad. Scarlett Johansson could’ve been a great advocate for trans people back in 2018. She announced she’d star in a transgender movie called Rub & Tug in the lead role. But a leftist outrage mob ganged up on the female actress and pressured her to turn down the role, on the notion that Johansson wasn’t a trans person.
How tolerant! But there’s always more. The part of the Star Wars fandom called “Reylos” (people who shipped Kylo Ren and Rey) were so outraged against The Rise of Skywalker ending that they attacked J.J. Abrams on social media over it. They were made Abrams killed off Kylo. That’s it. For that, the movie director had to be punished.
118.) “Director Rian Johnson has commented that he has received multiple threats against his life on Twitter. Johnson, like Kennedy, is a popular target for alt right YouTubers. Of all videos mentioning “Rian Johnson” on YouTube that have received > 100k views, 45% of them are from alt right accounts. Additionally 60% of the top 10 YouTubers by number of videos mentioning “Rian Johnson” are alt-right accounts.”
The article about death threats against Rian Johnson specifies that he didn’t say where they came from. So for Rewriting Ripley to assume that it came from EVERY YouTube video that mentioned Rian Johnson in the title is a hell of a leap. Rewriting Ripley lists “Top 10 YouTubers Mentioning “Rian Johnson” by Number of Videos.”
But do these YouTubers say “kill him”? No. By this logic, I can blame Rewriting Ripley and the entire Reylo community for stalking Adam Driver and his wife. Not going to get into too much detail but this toxic and obsessive subsection of the Star Wars community crossed a line. Going after Adam’s wife, staking out his car, following pretty much his every move. I’d love to hear what Ripley has to say about that. But it’s nowhere in their big long article. Hmm.
This tweet disavowing the fanatics stalking the Driver family is perfect: “These people do not represent Reylo shippers and are in minority. In all honesty, I never came across posts like these, so I suppose you really made a special effort to find them.”
Wow! Someone tell Rewriting Ripley.
119.) “Other targets on YouTube have included Justina Ireland, author of Star Wars The High Republic: A Test of Courage, and Krystina Arielle, host of Star Wars: The High Republic Show, for tweets expressing their experiences as Black women in America. The tweets, which are critical towards white people, have been used to harass these women for being “anti-white.””
“It’s an angry white man, always,” said USA Today’s former so-called race and inclusion editor. We can say former because Hemal Jhaveri lost her job after making those remarks on the day of the Boulder Colorado shooting. Ten people died and the victims were all white. Rather than acknowledging the disrespectful insensitivity of her comments, Jhaveri claimed the “Alt-Right” bullied USA Today into firing her.
The recent carve-out by Merriam-Webster that being “color-blind” is potentially a bad thing, doesn’t change the fact that Justina Ireland has a pattern of being obsessed with racist rhetoric. This being the exact toxicity in the Star Wars community that Ripley is trying to pin down.
- (7:27 AM · Feb 5, 2020) “Just kidding, white nonsense never sleeps.”
- (2:18 PM · Jun 8, 2020) “It’s really hard not to be bitter about all of the white people in publishing regurgitating the things Black women have been saying for almost a decade like it’s new.”
- (8:43 AM · Jul 13, 2020) “Ain’t it wild how white people get to be children until they’re like 40 but if you’re Black people think you should be an adult at 12?”
- (8:42 PM · Sep 16, 2020) “Whew, not gonna lie every time I see a white YA author with a YA with a brown girl on the cover I cringe a little. Like a full body wince. Just waiting for the inevitable.”
- (11:55 AM · Jan 3, 2021) “I guess mediocre white men are still going to be On Here bragging about their mediocrity as though it’s a hilarious anecdote instead of pure assholery so thanks for establishing that baseline early, 2021.”
- (4:06 PM · Jan 7, 2021) “Let’s be real. The reason the police didn’t start shooting at the people breaking into the capital is because they mostly appeared white and they knew there would be ramifications for that, as opposed to shooting black and brown people.”
Rewriting Ripley’s opinion as to whether or not one can be racist against white people doesn’t matter. If the topic in general stokes controversy whatsoever, that’s all it takes. In Justina Ireland’s last tweet they’re objectively wrong. A capital cop shot a white girl and she died.
Now on to Krystina Arielle. Rewriting Ripley is deceiving readers by just showing one tweet each from both Arielle and Ireland. The problem is the frequency. With Arielle, we have ten example tweets out of many. Her Twitter bio says she hosts the Star Wars High Republic show. But these tweets scream to me Arielle is a run-of-the-mill political activist. Interchangeable with the rest of her kind. Black and White.
- (3:23 AM · Oct 8, 2016) “That makes him an impressionable child in the age of entitled white males”
- (11:51 PM · Jun 22, 2018) “The stereotype of people from the projects is this less than people. It’s low income housing. Not lesser people. People speak of it with this horror. I feel safer in the projects than I do in a room full of white people making me explain why I’m daring to exist around them.”
- (12:27 PM · Oct 20, 2018) “Absolutely not. Do you know who else was beaten for “daring to talk back” to white people? Slaves. And it was justified because they were seen as less than human. Less than white people and we live in a country where that treatment of citizens has been allowed to stand”
- (6:34 PM · Feb 7, 2019) “I talked to my sister earlier today about how conditioned we are from birth to tiptoe around white people just to save our own lives. Shits tiring. And they don’t even have to think twice about it. Then think their tears can wash everything away when they get called out.”
- (11:59 AM · Feb 10, 2019) “It’s the joke. That’s what white people do. They speak over you with things you know with the authority of someone that understands the gravity. They generally have no clue what they’re talking about”
- (5:11 PM · Mar 17, 2019) “Racism isn’t just an “adult element” it’s a real thing that affects people everyday. This isn’t a system that is of the past it’s still happening. And white people at a gaming table are not the group to handle it with nuance”
- (3:13 PM · Mar 18, 2019) “White people stop telling black people and people of color how to feel about racism. Stop having conversations about us without us when you have no frame of reference or experience. Try listening and hearing us instead of trying to make us accept your idiotic view.”
- (10:06 PM · Apr 12, 2019) “A post where a black person/ poc is venting about very real oppression and discrimination is not the place for you to make the situation about what you as a white person have suffered too. You can go five minutes without the narrative being centered on you.”
- (10:51 AM · Jun 18, 2019) “And stop derailing my point to talk about your white experience and understanding of racism and what you’ve seen. I don’t care. It’s not about you.”
- (3:54 AM · Aug 2, 2019) “When you stack these “diversity” panels with white people and two black or pics you create an environment for lived experiences to be downplayed and talked over. Do better.”
It’s not an accident that the minute these political correctness preachers showed up, that “toxicity” suddenly became a pressing issue. They go hand-in-hand.
All Jack Posobiec did was share this one article on the morning of January 22nd. He’s not the one who made Krystina Arielle tweet the things that she did. Yet somehow the fragile part of the Star Wars community accused Poso of waging a “harassment campaign.”
- (10:55 AM · Jan 22, 2021) “Star Wars: The High Republic Host Krystina Arielle Calls All White People Racist”
Rewriting Ripley cited exactly one tweet from Jack as enough evidence he was guilty. So I did the exact opposite and cataloged every tweet he made on January 22nd, 2021. The truth is Jack didn’t care about Arielle much at all. Several hours later after not even bringing it up again, Jack sees people making a fuss.
- (7:15 PM · Jan 22, 2021) “Yeah I posted an article reporting what she said but go off”
- (8:28 PM · Jan 22, 2021) “Weird how you didn’t include the link to all of her tweets”
- (8:33 PM · Jan 22, 2021) “Woke Twitter and toxic Star Wars stans losing it that someone would bring up Krystina Arielle’s actual words and comments You can agree or disagree, but you can’t say she didn’t say these things”
- (8:38 PM · Jan 22, 2021) “I shared one article about her tweets earlier and they all went on a complete meltdown over me. Didn’t even know until a friend mentioned it. Was hanging out with the family.”
- (8:44 PM · Jan 22, 2021) “No one was even tweeting at them, but they immediately went into their Outrage Victim Cycle. This is a pre-conditioned response triggered by oversocialization within their sect.”
With the Biden administration first entering the White House, Posobiec had a perfect alibi. But it’s nice that Jack directly said he wasn’t even around for GamerGate. Given this Ripley article.
121.) “Posobiec has pushed other harassment campaigns from alt-right YouTubers in the Star Wars space, most notably the firing of Chuck Wendig, an author who was a writer for Marvel Comics at the time of the incident.”
“Who was a writer for Marvel Comics at the time of the incident.” By saying that Rewriting Ripley admits that it was a brand-related incident where the company decided Wendig was too much of a liability. I don’t deny this increasingly routine reaction from companies like Disney is a bad thing. Yes, it’s bad when someone like Gina Carano gets fired over some social media posts.
122.) “In 2018, Wendig posted a viral tweet thread that criticized calls for “civility” when dealing with right-wing extremism that landed him in a video by ComicArtistPro Secrets (Ethan Van Sciver). Wendig was then harassed on his Twitter account by Sciver’s followers. Wendig was abruptly fired from Marvel following the harassment. Posobiec approved of the firing in a now deleted Periscope.”
Here’s what Chuck Wendig said. “There will be renewed calls for civility. Ignore them. They ask for civility as a way for you to grant them complicity in what they do.”
The theme of Ripley’s article is being against radicalization, yet she defends Wendig’s. Calling Star Wars fans white supremacists tends to attract ire. This is toxic behavior on Wendig’s part.
On October 12th, 2018 Chuck Wendig explained what got him fired. “Today I got the call. I’m fired. Because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark, the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.”
There’s evidence to back this up. In a June 2018 rant, Wendig urges left-wing ideologues to stop being polite. He tells people to be hostile towards any Trump supporters, using the word “fuck” over thirty times. As if that somehow helps his point. The Mary Sue pushed a conspiracy theory that Twitter bots got Chuck Wendig fired. So Rewriting Ripley has to make up her mind about which it was: Posobiec or a bot army.
Ripley didn’t mention the bots theory because it’d make her look like a nutcase. The truth is left-wing ideologues get fired in their industries for being rude to the public. ArenaNet fired producer Jessica Price in July 2018 for blasting a member of the community for simply disagreeing with her. As described in Paste Magazine’s write-up, Price went after: “@DeroirGaming, a YouTuber who’s a part of ArenaNet’s official Partner Program for Guild Wars 2.”
Ripley should mention the fact James Gunn was reinstated by Disney in March 2019. But let’s not pretend Ripley cares about “bad tactics.” It’s only “bad targets” that are off the table when it comes to bringing up old tweets or YouTube videos to go after someone.
The hate against Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was awful when it came to Jake Lloyd, who as a kid played the young Anakin Skywalker. While social media didn’t exist back then, Lloyd was still socially ostracized and bullied by the other kids at school. It’s safe to say these school children were too young to be Nazis. Almost as if the point here is cruelty is a universal thing that doesn’t have political limits. “They would make the sound of the lightsaber every time they saw me. It was totally mad,” Jake Lloyd said in 2012. From 2015 to 2016 Jake Lloyd battled schizophrenia. The illness at one point resulted in him assaulting his mother, and then he ended up in a high-speed chase in South Carolina a few months later. These incidents were how Lloyd ended up in a psychiatric facility.
Someone with literally no connection to the Star Wars community commented on the movie. Not exactly the mastermind of organized hate. However, we can make a point from this waste of a sentence. The ideology that Rewriting Ripley considers “progress” had a moment of weakness in the weight department. When famous musician Adele revealed her (fantastic) weight loss, the “body positive” crowd went into a psychotic tizzy. They made it about themselves. “I actually think the rhetoric around Adele’s weight loss has a lot to do with fat activism, fatphobia, and diet culture. And therefore a lot to do with me.”
126.) “Rose Tico’s Wookieepedia page was edited to read, “Ching Chong Wing Tong is a dumbass fucking character Disney made and is a stupid, autistic, and r — — — — love interest for Finn. She better die in a coma because she is a dumbass bitch.””
Wikipedia vandalism is a common enough hobby for people online that I’m willing to say it doesn’t even count as harassment anymore. The most awkward part about it are times when Google’s information box, which scrapes from Wikipedia to populate it, amplifies vandalism. It’s not like the actress playing Rose Tico even saw it. The site has a bot that gets rid of 99% of it. It would be more likely that a HuffPost blogger wanting a story went through a page’s edit history to find the “scoop” they wanted.
142.) “Searching “Rose Tico” on YouTube will instantly bring you to negative and hateful videos towards the character. Almost 60% of videos mentioning “Rose Tico” with > 100,000 views are from alt right channels. Almost half of the top YouTubers by the number of videos mentioning “Rose Tico” are alt right channels. Sciver published 18 videos alone on Rose Tico.”
Rose Tico is a character. Kelly Marie Tran is the actress playing her. The solution to this problem is that Rewriting Ripley needs to make a positive Rose Tico video that advocates on her behalf. Then get people to share that around enough. The problem comes back to how Rose Tico was written in the first place, of course.
127.) “Watching videos about Rose Tico from alt right/”The Fandom Menace” channels is unsettling, to put it mildly. You’ll often stumble upon people wishing death towards the character. YouTuber “MauLer” in his review* of The Last Jedi refers to Rose as “Shrek” and practically growls “Shrek didn’t even have the decency to fucking die.””
Yes. MauLer’s YouTube channel did initially take off thanks to their criticisms of The Last Jedi and other Star Wars movies. However, MauLer quickly expanded attention to Game of Thrones and other movies, both positively and negatively. My favorite video on his channel would have to be their “Unbridled Praise” of Avengers: Infinity War. I think they made logical sense of a lot of the emotional resonance I felt from that film. I wouldn’t even call MauLer a Star Wars channel primarily anymore given their regular podcast Every Frame a Pause. With a fresh roster of different hosts on the regular critiquing other people’s critiques? It’s easy to see why over time the show has gotten so popular.
MauLer even welcomes opposing viewpoints on the show. So if Rewriting Ripley reached out to them, I’m sure he’d have them on.
When it comes to MauLer’s The Last Jedi video, there’s no death threats made to Kelly Marie Tran in there. There are remarks made about how weak the onset of Episode VIII makes the backdrop setting of the Star Wars universe. No real threat of stakes since we don’t know the scope of The New Republic vs. The First Order whatsoever. Among many other things. MauLer doesn’t even have an unnecessary biased focus on Rose Tico in his remarks. So even in the tone of the video that way, it’s fair.
I think MauLer is the furthest thing from alt-right here. As in I’m sure he has no clue who Richard Spencer even is. Finally, the context to the “Shrek didn’t have the decency to fucking die” line is that Mauler was explaining how Rose Tico stole a moment from Finn to have a meaningful story arc by sacrificing himself for the greater good.
This video was made in jest. Also, the uploader pinned this comment up top. “R.I.P Rose This video is just for entertaining! Don’t take it too serious! Also: I’m not a Rose hater!” Another top comment: “We don’t hate the actress. We hate the character. The left wing media needs to understand the difference.”
The video’s depiction isn’t gratuitous. All the uploader did was change the scenes to black and white, add some slow motion, and put in a sad piano track. With 5000 views since January 2019, I’m surprised Rewriting Ripley was able to find this two years later for their piece.
129.) “The most disturbing video against Kelly Marie Tran and Rose Tico on YouTube is an hour long unboxing video* by ComicArtistPro Secrets where he seems to unbox dozens of Rose Tico action figures for one hour with no dialogue and only a soft piano track playing in the background. At points in the video, Sciver stops unboxing to stab and slice Tran’s action figures with knives and scissors. Sciver beheads the action figures several times.”
I sat through the video. That’s his right as a consumer after buying them. Giving money to buy the action figures in the first place is a form of support for Rose Tico and Disney. One would assume Ripley would be happy at such a generous gesture of capitalism. Upon review, Ethan Van Sciver makes no immediate threat of violence towards Kelly Marie Tran as an actress. This is entirely about Rose Tico’s character.
130.) “In response to Snyder’s remarks, Sciver states in a now removed YouTube video, “and to me, no, [Zack Snyder will] never stop me from killing Chinese people. Ever. I don’t care how many movies he makes.” Laughs are heard as Sciver speaks. Comicsgate supporter and YouTuber Jon Malin (who was also present on the livestream) echoes Sciver’s comments, asserting “we haven’t killed enough.””
With the fact the video is now removed there shouldn’t be any problem. It’s not like Ethan Van Sciver was just joking, of course. That’s illegal now online.
131.) “Before giving examples, it is important to note that the final installment of the Skywalker Saga was highly likely not any kind of malicious attack against progressive politics, nor was it some plot to appease white supremacists and anti-feminists.”
Then the reverse can also be true for The Last Jedi. I’d go as far as saying that Rewriting Ripley attached themselves to such an argument.
132.) “Additionally, the vast majority of movie going audiences will not have the faintest idea of the hate that occurred within the Star Wars fandom since the release of The Last Jedi. Enjoying the film does not in any way mean that one agrees with white supremacists, alt-right reactionaries, and misogynists.”
I wonder if Rewriting Ripley said this as a “Get out of Jail” free card for this guy.
Are Eric Butts and anyone like him the only acceptable form of response to any upcoming Disney media? What room is allowed for skepticism? That’s something that Rewriting Ripley doesn’t make clear in their piece. But they ought to have clarified that, given what they do say.
Does Ripley believe that if there’s something objectively wrong in terms of a movie’s quality, and it’s pointed out by anyone, movie studios must take that person’s political affiliation into account before choosing to acknowledge or ignore it?
134.) “Then there are the moments that are troubling, but not egregious such as Snoke having a shoe-horned back story after fan “backlash” that Snoke died in The Last Jedi before anybody could deep dive into his life story (remember the Dave Rubin tweet?).”
No, I don’t remember the Dave Rubin tweet. A link to it would be nice. As for shoe-horned backstory, I again can prove it’s more Disney corporatism than some kind of “alt-right” thing. I take you to Episode IX’s opening crawl. “The dead speak! The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of REVENGE in the sinister voice of the late EMPEROR PALPATINE.”
Seems like important information for the viewer, yeah? Well if you aren’t a Fortnite player you missed out on this. As for some profit-driven reason Disney and Epic Games decided to team up to sell this important story point as a marketing event. You could only hear the Emperor’s message if you hung out at a certain time in-game.
135.) “In another moment ripped from YouTube videos, Luke Skywalker catches his lightsaber after Rey throws it away from her and scolds her that “a Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect.” This is a direct response to online aggravation with Luke’s opening scene in The Last Jedi when he tosses the lightsaber over his shoulder. The Critical Drinker, who is in network with other “Fandom Menace” alt right YouTubers, has an especially popular video* on this “complaint.””
Rewriting Ripley glosses over a majority of Drinker’s overall point. There are two different build-ups of standards already in play: the original trilogy and The Force Awakens. In the former, we have a definitive personality already carved out for Luke Skywalker to work off of in the sequel trilogy. And as Drinker pointed out, in Episode VII the heroes of the original trilogy were elevated to a sort of mythic status in the eyes of people like Rey and Finn. Drinker’s main gripe is that even the portrayal of a heavy passage of time felt off. That audiences were robbed of seeing real emotion from Luke learning about Han Solo’s death. There’s a total disconnect between Luke and Rey throughout, and the idea that he’d even think of murdering Kylo Ren in his sleep is absurd.
It’s not online aggravation. It’s about restoring at least somewhat was right to Mark Hamill’s iconic character.
It’s clear from the remarks made by Mark Hamill in the afterglow of The Last Jedi‘s December 2017 release that he didn’t like Rian Johnson’s take on Luke Skywalker. “I said to Rian ‘Jedis don’t give up’. I mean, even if he had a problem, he would maybe take a year to try and regroup. But if he made a mistake, he would try and right that wrong. So right there we had a fundamental difference, but it’s not my story anymore. It’s somebody else’s story – and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective.”
Just the fact Hamill said the following at all justified a lot of the backlash to the movie. “That’s the crux of my problem. Luke would never say that. I’m sorry. Well in this version, see I’m talking about the George Lucas Star Wars. This is the next generation of Star Wars, so I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well”.
Mark Hamill soon after this tried to backtrack. But in his follow-up remarks saying he got behind Rian Johnson’s vision regardless, it doesn’t contradict Mark’s originally expressed feelings.
It’s a bad movie all around, darling. Disney edited out the gay kiss to appease international markets like Singapore and the UAE. Another point of evidence showing that the company themselves are more to blame for Star Wars online backlash than a bunch of random YouTubers.
137.) “What happens to Rey’s story is particularly unsettling. She ends The Last Jedi as a nobody who has been given the power to not just simply rebuild the Jedi Order, but to take the teachings of the Jedi in a new, enlightened direction. However, in The Rise of Skywalker, Rey no longer has power of her own. She is told that she has the power of her grandfather, Emperor Palpatine, one of the most recognizable and powerful villains in Star Wars canon.”
It’s not anti-feminist seeing as how Snoke himself suffered the same fate of being this vague blank slate for two movies, only to be retconned as CLONE by Episode IX. Also define “Enlightened direction” without projecting your own political beliefs onto Rey as a character. After two movies do you really have enough of a backstory for Rey to know what she could’ve done with the Jedi texts? What does Rey even politically believe?
138.) “In The Last Jedi, Rey confidently wields the Skywalker saber. There is a scene in the film dedicated to her understanding of how to use the saber’s power while a curious Luke Skywalker watches on. She later uses the saber to help defeat Snoke’s guards with the help of Kylo Ren. Her comfort with the saber acknowledges one of the most moving moments in The Force Awakens when the saber flies into Rey’s hand as the Force theme swells around her. All of this suggests that Rey is capable and worthy of one of the most iconic objects in all of Star Wars. However, in The Rise of Skywalker, Rey tells General Leia that she will “earn” Luke Skywalker’s saber, implying that she was undeserving of the saber the whole time.”
The dialogue in Rise of Skywalker involving Carrie Fisher had to be carefully worked with the leftover footage from The Force Awakens they had of her, for use. “It was a matter of reverse-engineering from there, building scenes around Leia’s existing dialogue rather than writing them linearly.” The visual effects people had their work cut out for them on making Leia happen at all.
Back in April 2017, Kathleen Kennedy herself wrongly said Leia wasn’t going to be in episode 9 at all. Another point that works in my favor about Disney’s poor planning.
The moment in question involving Rey, Leia, and the lightsaber was mentioned specifically by JJ Abrams in a Vanity Fair interview: “That moment where she gives Rey the saber and she says, “Nothing’s impossible …” [We wanted] those kind of handshakes, as much as we could, whether it was Leia walking in front of Rey, whether it was her handing her something, whether it was a moment of dialogue, anything we could do to not have it feel like it was too much like a binary thing. It felt like it was an interaction was important.”
Onto the scene itself: Rey hands it off to Leia and says the “I’ll earn this” line at roughly 13 minutes 30 seconds. At 18 minutes 40 seconds, Leia gives Rey back a lightsaber. Whether or not it’s the same doesn’t matter. The symbolism is there.
Not to mention the fact she’s flush with the Skywalker’s lightsabers at the end of the movie. But by then Rey stole the Skywalker name itself. She definitely didn’t earn that.
139.) “Furthermore, all work that The Last Jedi had done to bring the Jedi Order into a new era was discarded. Instead, the Jedi are treated like deities that Rey suddenly follows with no questions asked, even after spending The Last Jedi attempting to beat Luke Skywalker with a staff.”
I’m happy to acknowledge Rewriting Ripley’s concerns about Episode IX based on immediate substance. I think Rewriting Ripley’s entire article here has been painful from start to finish. But I want to reaffirm my belief that it has a right to exist. Up until the moment where Ripley and company try to assert that other voices don’t deserve to exist. Especially those that might counter what Ripley has to say.
140.) “All of these decisions attempt to answer backlash against Rey’s character that can be found in alt-right* and radical right-wing videos. In these videos, alt-right YouTubers claim that Rey cannot be as strong as she is in the force without intense training or a powerful force connection to a (male) legacy Star Wars character.”
The Geeks + Gamers video Ripley links is a response to what Disney decided was canon about Rey in The Last Jedi. The (official) novelization says Rey had taken a shortcut because Snoke’s “mind bonding” scheme between her and Kylo ended up giving Rey some of Kylo’s force powers and training. Disney validated the Mary Sue concerns before Rise of Skywalker.
It was the same for all the Jedi since the beginning. The reason for that wasn’t on the grounds of sheer power but the proper temperament to use those powers for the right reasons. Anakin Skywalker’s failure to understand this lesson was the entire catalyst for him falling to the dark side. Training and character development are why nobody has complaints about Ahsoka Tano. The whole Clone Wars series gave her the necessary time to properly flourish.
Kreia in Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords ultimately debunks Rewriting Ripley’s point. We know that she had to go under decades of training but we never saw any of that before Kreia became a master. Ultimately of both the good and evil sides of the force. Kreia’s story is a journey of morality about what exactly happens when someone makes it to the peak of their skills. It works because it takes on a double meaning with the story in KOTOR’s background. The Jedi fought in a massive war that ended with a majority of the ranks turning to the dark side of the force. They sealed themselves away in a temple. There they fought each other, amongst themselves. In KOTOR 2 a similar story plays out. The Jedi Exile (player character) serves as a blank slate for Kreia’s teachings to play off of.
Throughout the game, the player faces moral choices and situations where they have to go down a seemingly linear GOOD or EVIL path. However, every step of the way Kreia speaks doubts about what the embodiments of true strength and weakness are. Thus creating the synergy of both light and dark. However at the end of the game, Kreia reveals she was using the player to achieve selfish goals. She envied the player for being able to break away from The Force so strongly that it created a void in Force itself.
In turn, the dual plots of KOTOR 2 speak of the ultimate struggle of slave vs. master morality, and what it means to be a slave of ideology and having a belief system rule over you. Kreia on the surface appeared strong in the force. But in the end, she succumbed to the battle of inner morality all the same. There’s a difference between approaching situations from a right vs. wrong mentality, in contrast to completely embodying that lifestyle.
It’s the examination of this contrast that truly makes a grey Jedi. Master Kreia says “apathy is death” for a reason.
141.) “The Rise of Skywalker’s worst act, however, is reducing the screen time for Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose Tico down to about one minute. While screen time does get cut often for all characters in films, it’s difficult to ignore the character’s absence after years of racist harassment against Tran and death wishes to her character. Given that many moments in the film appear to be direct responses to internet conversations and the reason behind Tran’s exclusion becomes increasingly and dreadfully apparent.”
Rewriting Ripley is wrong about why Rose Tico’s character had less screen time. A Star Wars writing explains that they went through the work of fleshing out a story arc where Rose Tico and Leia worked together throughout the movie. The restrictive nature of having to rely on unused Leia footage from The Force Awakens got in the way.
From the Star Wars writer of Rise of Skywalker: “J.J. and I adore Kelly Marie Tran. One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie [Fisher]’s footage in the way we wanted to. We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together. As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for. Those scenes unfortunately fell out of the film. The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly – so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”
I’d be careful claiming honoring Carrie Fisher’s character is some kind of misogyny.
142.) “As I stated, all of these decisions were likely done without thinking about any of the potential consequences of the people that could be hurt or of the racist and sexist agendas these decisions inadvertently encourage.”
How are Ripley’s Episode IX complaints valid while the Episode VIII blowback was somehow not? Anita Sarkeesian said the following at the How to Be a Feminist Panel, All About Women (2015): “When you start learning about systems, everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic, and you have to point it all out to everyone all the time.”
143.) “However, whether we choose to recognize the truth of the effective political attack against the Star Wars sequel trilogy or not, the final film in the Skywalker Saga is a perfect example of how difficult it is to identify the differences between genuine fan concerns and full-blown culture wars. It also demonstrates how vital it is for businesses and creatives to understand those differences.”
The title of Rewriting Ripley’s article is “How White Supremacy, Misogyny, and Hate Targeted the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy and Won.” Ripley hasn’t shown how hate won at all. Fear won.
144.) “As it stands, the Star Wars sequel trilogy is an unfortunate testimony to the power of organized hate and the violent and vitriolic lengths that people will go to in order to stop cultural progress.”
Disney halted decades of cultural progress for the Star Wars universe when they decided to do away with the previously established expanded universe. Something that had time to be carefully and respectfully done out of love for the franchise. But Disney wanted Chewbacca alive, and this 1999 Star Wars novel killed off the character. The company determined to have Chewbacca staying alive was the more profitable decision, so that led Disney to burn down the whole Expanded Universe.
Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm almost didn’t happen because they wanted to guarantee George Lucas had no creative control over them afterward. They threw out the sequel trilogy blueprints Lucas had made. George gave them more ideas to work off of.
There’s an important distinction that needs to be made about “cultural progress.” A wise anon once said: using political themes for a story is not equal to jamming in “contemporary politics” to push an agenda. The aim for a good story is being a good story in of itself. If it doesn’t last in the public consciousness years later, what good was it?
If you recall: Star Trek Beyond had a gay Sulu. He had a male partner, daughter, and everything. Now on top of that, there was supposed to be a gay “welcome home” kiss that was cut from the movie. But it wouldn’t matter either way. Whether or not this kiss was kept in the film wouldn’t have stopped Star Trek Beyond from being a forgettable film.
Those are the true dimensions to this conversation going on. Let’s fix Ripley’s sentence. “The Star Wars sequel trilogy is an unfortunate testimony to the power of” corporate greed.
More like the sequel trilogy is forgettable on its own and people for the most part have moved on. There are not the pre-2018 levels of enthusiasm for the Star Wars license that Rewriting Ripley is implying. Nobody is seeking to censor The Last Jedi either. That disaster happened.
146.) “It’s very easy to roll your eyes and say that everything I have written here is overblown. These are simply movies. You pay your money, you have your opinion, and you go home. Rinse and repeat. But, the reality is that we live in a world where a few very intelligent people are counting on you to think that way. And they will use that complacency to build the world that they want.”
Present company included.
147.) “This was never about Star Wars, just as 7 years ago, it was never about video games. This plan of action will continue to move from one space to the next, hiding tactfully behind the illusion that these are just discontent fans voicing an opinion.”
Contradicts the point made about the general population largely not giving a damn. Also “discontent fans voicing an opinion” is exactly what it is because the alternative Ripley is alluding to is that somehow these YouTube channels are brainwashing the masses into becoming Culture War soldiers. Most people want to be left alone.
More people are being radicalized by Rewriting Ripley’s ideological bent. The saga of NeoGAF and its successor ResetERA is proof of that in practice. The NeoGAF crowd cost YouTuber Jon Jafari his voice-acting role in the Yooka-Laylee video game. “Wow, how scandalous, Steve King doesn’t want his country invaded by people who have contempt for his culture and people! NAZI!!!” Jafari had tweeted. The rabble-rabble of NeoGAF got their pitchforks together. They demanded punishment. Fast forward nine days, and a NeoGAF mod tweets at Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic Games. “Can you clarify whether JonTron is still in the game after his racist, white supremacist remarks? NeoGAF is curious.” Acting as a de facto internet cop. Jon Jafari’s Iranian heritage didn’t matter. Then there’s the psychological torture NeoGAF put Boogie2988 through for simply trying to discuss the GamerGate conversation on their forums. The site was adamantly against the movement but that didn’t stop Boogie from trying to debate. NeoGAF eventually devolved into harassing and bullying Boogie, before outright banning him.
NeoGAF had “clout” for being an insider-friendly speaking place to the games industry. The forum members lorded that authority propped up by a strict set of forum rules. But the people pulling the strings, the moderators, had a background of their own. This is in part what led to NeoGAF’s open embrace of far-left dogma. Most surprisingly in October 2017, the moderators and a majority of the politically inclined members of NeoGAF’s forums got up and left. This happened because a woman accused Tyler Malka of sexual misconduct. She was a film director and worked with him. But on one New Orleans field trip they went on together, Malka “followed her naked into a shower against her wishes.”
So ResetERA was born. Back to Rewriting Ripley’s point about radicalization, the moderation on ResetERA is infinitely more insane than NeoGAF ever comes close to being. ResetEra is a warning about what Rewriting Ripley’s goal of “utopia” on the internet looks like. Outsiders laugh at it like a zoo exhibit (thanks to @ReseteraTakes on Twitter for these examples) about the wide array of bans: “inflammatory commentary,” “false equivalence around bigotry,” “dismissive and antagonistic behavior,” “concern trolling,” “dismissing minority concerns across multiple posts,” “port-begging,” “drive-by trolling,” “misgendering,” “boys’ club behavior,” and “sexism and hostility over multiple posts.” Those being just the most common of incidents. The most egregious episodes include the banning of any positive Hogwarts Legacy discussions (because of JK Rowling’s so-called “transphobia”), and the refusal to allow them even after it was announced the game would cater to the transgender crowd. But a close second would be ResetEra’s reaction to the addition of a particular ARMS character to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In short, the moderators made it political by banning anyone pushing back against complaints about Ultimate‘s lack of “black or brown representation.”
149.) “Technology is moving ahead of us at a pace our evolution is not equipped to handle. This means that those who can figure out how to exploit our inability to keep up with those advances will hold power that they never would have held otherwise. This is combined with a long, grueling history of hate, racism, sexism, and bigotry that we consistently fail to acknowledge and learn from as a society.”
There’s no end goal to the social justice ideology, there’s never going to be a utopian moment of righteousness. Reaching that goal would put their political activism out of a job. It’s not technology in general. There’s a power unique to Twitter that Ripley needs to understand. On only Twitter, you can uniquely contact and potentially get in touch with some of the most powerful people in the world. The thing Facebook and YouTube have in common is that their primary forms of outreach are sectioned off. The odds of the common person reaching someone important are astronomically low.
The power of technology allows people to cancel each other. Before social media, there was an effort to censor the telephone. Before the telephone, people were accused of being witches and burned at the stake.
Healthy people can distinguish between fantasy and reality. Assuming that somehow the Star Wars community left unchecked leads to the collapse of America, or something is not healthy.
150.) “The danger presented here is what the “culture war” embodies. It is a swift and effective pipeline to hate and extremism that creates a larger resistance against progressive political change. If enough resistance is built up within society against progressive change, then that change will be blocked from happening. If the rights and representation of underrepresented groups are kept from culture, so it follows that they will be kept from politics. And, in the end, this is the goal.”
It’s the exact opposite. The power of social media subverted the power of the Fourth Estate. Our current climate of media polarization demonstrates itself by way of a recent Gallup poll. 73% of Democrats are confident in the MSM while only 10% of Republicans can say the same. Worth pointing out the reason the graph looks like this is because Republicans now flock to independent creators on YouTube and elsewhere. Freethinkers. In other words, not the “access” media who say what they need to maintain industry favor.
When it comes to Americans trust in mass media, the election year 2016 changed it all. Former President Trump won against Hillary Clinton by a landslide despite all establishment efforts to prevent that. It was a massive upset for Democrats who in the years following rallied behind MSNBC and CNN even though they chased baseless conspiracy theories about Russian collusion. The Big Tech companies of Google (YouTube), Twitter, and Facebook went through a similar transformation in that time. The outrage culture machine that mainstream media outlets became gave rise to the draconian and excessive censorship measures we all now suffer under.
151.) “I want to conclude this article with a quote from Deadspin written in October, 2014 that was included in an article titled “The Future of the Culture Wars is Here, and It’s Gamergate.” Kyle Wagner writes:”
By dating this article for October 2014 Ripley is referencing a time where the term “Nazi” had no meaning. There were no Trumps or Richard Spencer to use as strawmen.
This was GamerGate.
152.) “What’s made [Gamergate] effective is that it’s exploited the same basic loophole in the system that generations of social reactionaries have: the press’s genuine and deep-seated belief that you gotta hear both sides. Even when not presupposing that all truth lies at a fixed point exactly equidistant between two competing positions, the American press works under the assumption that anyone more respectable than, say, an avowed neo-Nazi is operating in something like good faith. And this is why a loosely organized, lightly noticed collection of gamers, operating from a playbook that was showing its age during Ronald Reagan’s rise to power, have been able to set the terms of debate in a $100 billion industry, even as they send women like Brianna Wu into hiding and show every sign that they intend to keep doing so until all their demands are met.”
What makes this quote ironic is that the hyperbolic language reminds me of what notorious former film critic Devin Faraci said about GamerGate back in August 2014. Even before the movement had a name. For one. “haha I have more respect for ISIS than the anti-Quinn people.” For two. “They’re zealots. ISIS with Steam accounts.” Back then it was inflammatory language. It still is inflammatory language today. But what became of the man who accused GamerGate of sending bomb threats to themselves? He got ousted for what turned out to be a lengthy record of both predatory behavior towards women but also just being terrible to people online in general. The people who had up to that point loosely aligned themselves with Faraci because he went after GamerGate, had then headed for the hills. Distancing themselves as far as possible. Devin lost his job not once but twice over his reputation.
But I possess something incredibly rare. Before GamerGate began as a formal “movement” after August 2014 I asked people to just film themselves saying “gamers live.” I forgot about this footage over time. But I see no better way of showing Rewriting Ripley as ultimately wrong. So if you click here you’ll see this compilation of clips. As you can see there’s not an extremist or Nazi anywhere to be seen. Just people who all wanted games journalism to be better.
153.) “In the time since this article was written, this event has not only replicated itself across every part of pop culture, but it has been used to help elect a dangerous bigot and bring a country to the brink of civil war. If we choose once again not to pay attention, in 7 years, where will we be?”
A migration situation on the United States border that’s spiraling out of control thanks to the Biden administration. Race riots every summer.
So that’s it. As you can guess, I’m all out of words to write. I don’t have any final thoughts to say, rather than there’s always hope for people to do better and be better. I urge Rewriting Ripley not to give up on them so quickly.
I wish Ripley all the best.