End gamer anonymity, end the harassment

Wil Wheaton writes "“On the Internet,” says the iconic New Yorker cartoon, “nobody knows you’re a dog.”
It’s a joke, but it’s also a problem. More venom than ever before is flowing from behind the cloak of anonymity, where people remain entirely unaccountable for their words and deeds. Recently, random men used the anonymity of a huge city like New York to harass actor Shoshana Roberts while she walked the streets of Manhattan. Unnamed users of bullied a British 18-year-old until she killed herself last year.

This is especially true inside the gaming community, where female developers like Zoë Quinn and Briana Wu were forced from their homes by credible, anonymous threats. Feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesean has canceled public speaking engagements thanks to anonymous threats of violence. And activists from #GamerGate are hiding behind user IDs to terrorize women like my friend Felicia Day."

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Kenshin_BATT0USAI1454d ago

Funny because I recall Felicia Day specifically calling out anti-GG for these issues earlier this month. Guess what she thinks is irrelevant to what this guy wants her to think. IMO 3rd wave feminism is all about oppressing people.

JsonHenry1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

I couldn't think of a worse way to handle this than forcing people to use a RealID when on the internet. First off anyone can fake you if they want to frame you. Secondly its a total loss of rights to the individual. Being anonymous on the internet is no different than having a pen-name, writing a letter to the editor without giving a real name, or refusing to give your name to strangers. Who can then use it against you for expressing an idea no matter how innocent or insidious.

You think this whole bullying thing is bad now? How bad would it be if people knew your real name?!

-Foxtrot1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

He only gave a shit when Felicia Day was "attacked" know when she suddenly decided to speak out about it. She once said "I don't want to talk about GG as I'm afraid of being hacked"...moments later he account is hacked and she's "abused"...GamerGate is automatically blamed straight away. I mean being hacked and attacked just after you said you were scared of speaking out about it...seems fishy to me. Besides Felicia Day is a fake in my opinion, she uses the gaming industry to keep her self relevant as her acting career isn't the best and since she's seen as this "Geeky goddess" to most she decides to play on it to keep herself known. Can't blame her but it's annoying.

Will, like most, doesn't have a clue what he's talking about and is trying to become involved like how Adam Baldwin was to the pro side....except Adam got involved because he was actually interested in the situation

"Briana Wu were forced from their homes"

Did she really leave her home though? Did Zoe? I mean after Briana was caught out I wouldn't be surprised if Zoe was lying aswell

"to terrorize women like my friend Felicia Day"

See...he's speaking out over something he knows nothing about just because it's his friend. Least if I was defending my friend I'd look at the entire picture.

freshslicepizza1453d ago

you didnt even touch upon the subject at hand which is anonymity and the impact of those who use it to their advantage. put a face behind the comments and i guarantee you people would think more before saying stupid things. of course it wont remove it all as weve seen even with famous people over twitter and such but it would remove the hateful and threatening comments by quite a bit.

i truly believe people like to act out and almost live as a different persona online. as though their own life is so boring or they feel ignored in real life so they feel like over-compensating and being a troll.

Truthandreason1453d ago

I used to think if you could put a real name and face to a comment that people would act better, but then Facebook proved to me that it doesn't matter. People say outrageous **** all the time on there.

Kurylo3d1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

U know what.. i actually prefer anonymity for 2 reasons. One because big brother is always watching .. and 2.) Because its real.. when its anonymous people say whats really on their mind.. and act like who they really are and really want to be. Its sad, but its truth. At least u cut through the bull sh**. Anonymity is good if your boss for instance is a republican and u want to vent about republicans cause your a democrat. There are bosses that would fire u over political differences. But at the same time its just sad to know the truth.. the truth that half the people out there are still racist.. sexist.. and homophobic horrible people.

Oh and lets say we all had to reveal our identities.. how many hackers are out there that are gamers.. that would make your life a living hell financially because u beat them in a video game and laughed at em. No thx... lol.. In a world of hackers, pedophiles, and hateful people... id rather remain anonymous.

freshslicepizza1452d ago

i think most of us enjoy our anonymity. i was just elaborating what some of the downfalls are when you are dealing with disturbing individuals who use it for their advantage.

sure some people might not express themselves as freely because they are worried about the repercussions but at the same token if it helps curb idiotic behaviour then i am supportive of it in some cases. allow people to express themselves freely while also being held accountable meaning the site itself can ban individuals if need be.

can you imagine dealing with those who cannot be tracked that only create accounts to troll or agitate others or even worse, make threats? there has to be some form of civility on forums.

LightDiego1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

That's true, she is really annoying. And Wil Wheaton pretending to be a white knight warrior like a lot of people who doesn't know what GamerGate is about. Harassment always existed on internet, it's not exclusive to Anita's Day Wu.
I lost the count of how many people are pretending to be a victim on the gaming industry.

SaveFerris1453d ago

It's all human nature. The internet gives people an outlet to act like a bully, a jerk or whatever because they feel like it and because they can do it anonymously.

You can enact laws to prosecute people for harassment, but people will still continue to be harassed everyday because human nature is much harder to change.

annoyedgamer1453d ago

Did you care when threats were sent to Gabel? No. How about when Rotten tomatoes had to shut down comments because of death threats? Blah that's nothing.

But a "strong" woman? END THE PATRIARCHY

Again these movements are all to enact tyranny upon the masses. To track down enemies of the state.

-Foxtrot1453d ago

There's been a crap load of male figures in this whole GG thing who have been attacked and abused online but nobody gives a shit.

For example Milo got a syringe and a knife sent to him by mail telling him to kill himself....yet nothing.

Anon19741453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

When Milo received those threats, was that related to his support of Gamergate or was it from one of the people and firms he defrauded when he headed up "The Kernel"?

Or perhaps an upset gamer who objeedct to Milo referring to gamers as rapists in response to the Elliot Rodger shootings?

Or perhaps it was in retaliation for another of his transphobic rants? Or maybe one of his offensive, racist tinged articles?

Really, when trying to figure out who might have a beef with Milo there's quite a line that's formed over the years.

Or hey! Maybe it's Gamergate turning on him for one of his clear, journalistic ethics breaches, like either lying about Brianna Wu being transgendered or attempting to out her (either case, a gross violation of journalist ethics). Or when he recklessly revealed personally information on Zoe Quinn. Again, a clear ethical breach of journalistic standards.

Maybe he's simply lying to garner attention before he launches his book on Gamergate? Or is reporting this type of harassment just an attention ploy when it happens to people you don't agree with?

Not saying for a second that I agree with harassing this person, though.

FriedGoat1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

Hey look, an Anti Gamergate person threatening to shoot someone.

But darkride66 says the guy deserves is because he supports gamergate and darkride66 loves to push his crappy agenda onto everyone.

That's ok then /s

The mind set that a person matters more than another is what causes people to become scummy activists or SJW in the first place.

Blacktric1453d ago

"When Milo received those threats, was that related to his support of Gamergate or was it from one of the people and firms he defrauded when he headed up "The Kernel"? "

When Sarkeesian was harassed that one specific time, was that related to her support of anti-GG agenda or was it from one of the people who will never get that 10 dollar donation back?

You see, I can make sh*t up with the "you can't prove I'm wrong" mentality!

annoyedgamer1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

Darkride is using SJW terms again. "transophobic" the fact that that he even felt it necessary to bring up missused "phobia" continues to show his position.

According to liberals/SJWs anyone sho disagrees is an ofensive transophobic, homophobic, islamophobic, racist, sexist, misogynist, cis, white male.

What must be done with these "dangerous" and offensive haters? They must be silenced. How do we silence them? Well at the moment the laws put in place by our forefathers stands in the way but if we can find out their place of employment we can get him fired and ruin his life because he is dangerous. Sound familiar? It was the thought process used in Hitler's inner circles to figure out how to deal with the "Jewish problem" prior to rewriting the laws.

Most do not know this because history is barely taught in schools anymore especially the history of the rise of the Third Reich. You know why? Its no mistake.

Godmars2901453d ago

"Really, when trying to figure out who might have a beef with Milo there's quite a line that's formed over the years."

And yet when the likes of Wu and Quinn receive threats, despite their feminist positions well before GG, they are only being threatened by GG? Not some anti-feminist?

Anon19741453d ago

"Bu..bu...Gamergate are victims too! How dare this actor respond to the harassment of a friend and not comment on the harassment of people he doesn't know?"

Do you guys even hear yourselves? Wheaton shared an opinion on how the anonymity of the internet brings out the worst in some people. He's 100% correct. But of course it would kill you guys to pass up an opportunity to play the victim too, even when someone brings up an excellent point that applied to everyone.

@FriedGoat. Yeah, I specifically stated I don't agree with Milo being harassed, I DID NOT state he was deserving of harassment, nor have I denied that GG supporters have been on the receiving end of harassment. Nice try at putting words in my mouth. Google "Strawman".

@Blacktric. Exactly my point. Thank you. It's ridiculous, isn't it? Unless you know exactly where the threats are coming from, what good does it do to point the finger at one particular group?

@annoyedgamer. Again, straight to the Nazi references. You know you don't have a strong point when...
Milo has made his views on transgendered people very clear over the years and uses every opportunity to bash them as sick individuals who need psychiatric help. This is a matter of fact. But way to use this as an excuse to bash "SJW" and try to link them to Nazis. Nice work there.

@GodMars290. See my response to Blacktric. :)

But like I stated above, a hearty "way to go" for completely missing the point of this article (which I'm sure none of you read anyway) while finding another excuse to paint Gamergate as some persecuted minority. Complete with a comparison to Nazi treatment of Jewish people.

Have you guys started thinking of which actors will play you in the Speilberg movie about the injustices you faced during your GamerGate persecution?

Godmars2901453d ago

" Unless you know exactly where the threats are coming from, what good does it do to point the finger at one particular group?"

You're pointing the finger at one particular group. You've only been doing that when it might be GG involved.

Anon19741453d ago

@Godmars290. I've never said that. In case you missed it all the other times I've flat out said this: I'm 100% against online harassment in any form. GG supporters harass. Anti-GG supporters harass GG supporters. Back and forth it goes. I think it's all wrong and I condemn this behaviour.

In case you feel that I've personally been unclear on where I stand on this issue, I hope this clears that up for you.

If you wonder why I'm not posting news stories about GG's who're receiving harassment and it's always the other way around, check the internet. There aren't news articles about GG's who receive harassment. I'm always looking for pro-GG articles to help offer a balanced view of the opposing viewpoints but let's not kids ourselves here.

Those articles are few and far between. I'm not going to sit here and take responsibility for the lack of pro-GG articles on this site when I'm not the only contributer to the site and articles of that nature are almost completely nonexistent.

I also want to plainly state, I think issues regarding ethics in game journalism are important and should be discussed. I have a long history on this site of calling out game journalist behaving badly. What I am is anti-harassment, and that applies to everyone who'd use harassment as a tool in an attempt to stifle conversation.

Godmars2901453d ago


One of the major GG issues is that anti-GG, extreme feminist, Marxist and pseudo-intellectuals, have gotten their hooks into gaming media, a majority of forum boards, and control the narrative. That for year they've been exerting their and blackballing anyone who they feel don't share their ideologies if not just social preferences. Aren't a part of their klick.

And you're somehow surprised that you can't find stories concerning anti-gg harassing gg.

Maybe you should try looking at some of the newer site which are trying to apply ethic codes. Not old standbys like Kotaku, who have pretty much openly stated that they're entitled to express their opinions as fact.

Anon19741452d ago (Edited 1452d ago )

@Godmars. I don't know how many times I have to say this before it will sink in.

I don't write these articles. I'm fully aware there are more articles against GG than for. I'm simply sourcing these articles from Google and not picking and choosing. If you see reputable , proGG articles, send them to me and I'll happily post them or give them a preview and my approval.

You want to see more pro GG articles, step up. I'm actively looking for articles from both sides to contribute. Are you? It's that simple. You want more articles from new sites submitted? Seriously, what's stopping you?

Godmars2901452d ago

I am commenting here, taking the stance that I am, because I have noticed you not only submit articles such as this, but defend them along with the likes of Wu and Sarkeesian as if they are were not only innocent of any wrong doing, but righteous. I am also pretty certain that I got into a rather pointless argument with you regarding shirtstorm where you repeatedly kept using some pseudo-intellectual that suggested he'd done it out of willful unconscious intent while ignoring and dismissing that the shirt had been made and given to the man by a woman.

I don't particularly want to see pro-gg articles here, I'm just tired of the anti-gg ones.

Anon19741452d ago (Edited 1452d ago )

You didn't talk to me about shirtstorm. I haven't the faintest idea what that is.

And check my comments. I'm anti-harassment, and pro-game journalist ethics. My "support" of these people you mention usually consists of "perhaps you should inform yourself about these opinions so you can discuss rather then condemning points which have never been made." Do you find that unreasonable?

So often on this site I see people who simply aren't interested in keeping to the topic at hand, or even for a second considering points that aren't in lockstep with their opinion. And always with the labels and generalizations. Have you seen DragonKnight's nonsensical ramblings about "SJW"'s, "SJW Gods" and "Literally Wu" people (whatever the hell that is)? He treats anyone with a different opinion like this fantasy demon that exists only in his mind and can't stick to the topic at hand to save his life.

As for my personal opinions, of course there's sexism in videogames, just as they're in movies, television, novels, etc. I see no harm in casting a critical eye on our hobby in this respect, I just have no interest in screaming bloody murder about things that aren't even being said. The call is for more inclusive games, and if games like the new Dragon Age shows us anything it shows us that this is something that gamers seem to want. Where's the harm in talking about that? Where's the hurt in a future where my daughter has more games directed at a female demographic than exist today? It's not like it's going to happen at the expense of games directed at men.

As for agreeing with the likes of Brianna mean when she says things like "Please don't harass my friends. Please don't harass me. Please don't post pictures of my house. Stop stalking me," etc? Those are the views that you have issue with, because really...that's the only thing I've ever heard her say. Not that I pay any attention to her.

Just posted a pro-GG piece today about anti-gamergate from if you're interested in having a look. People keep asking for more pro-GG submissions. There you go. Approve away. If you can figure out what the hell they're talking about, please feel free to PM me as it's my last bubble and I probably won't be on her much until after the holidays.

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Godmars2901452d ago

First off, if you hadn't said that you submitted a pro-gg article which you didn't understand, despite the obviousness that you only posted it because of all the complaints you get for only submitting anti-gg articles, my vote for it would still be up, just removed it.

It was about how the anti-gg for all of its subversive posturing actually relies on mainstream for much of its bite.

As for Brianna Wu - the woman is an active agitator and professional victim. Someone who looks for a fight just so that she can beg for help and complain about being threatening being hit after she's threatened to hit someone.

rainslacker1452d ago


I didn't read the article, because honestly, Wheaton isn't an expert on what it would take to end harassment. He himself is no stranger to harassment on the net, not to mention a lot of negative comments about him because lets face it, he was annoying as piss on ST:TNG.

Wheaton himself also isn't exactly the pinnacle of virtue. Seriously, go google some of the stuff he's written on his blog, or comments he's made before he became entangled in gaming culture. Can you say hypocrite, because he is a perfect example of one.

Anyhow, his bias is because of his own experience, and there is no reason to believe that in a social network of hundreds of millions of people, that anything would change simply because we suddenly know the names of all the people commenting. Harassment still happens in social settings that use real names, such as facebook or non-anonymous forums.

In real life, when knowing people, we only tend to associate with those that we respect on a social level(outside work of course), and because of that, we don't see it in normal society as much, but it certainly does exist. When we see it, most normal people have the same reaction of disgust that we've seen from those speaking out against the harassment on both sides of GG.

On the internet, we are almost forced to associate with everyone, or rather, we choose to associate with everyone, so everyone has a voice. The only difference though is that when we see some a**hole in real life, we more often than not just don't confront them and think poorly of them, but outside of some bigots, rarely is that person's actions used to discredit a large group of people who may happen to be associated with that person in some loose way. Online we confront them, and speak harshly about how terrible it is for people to act like that.

Anyhow, using real names, many people may be a bit more respectful, but the trolls won't go away, because there are stupid people everywhere.

But getting rid of anonymity will bring more problems than it would solve, and it certainly wouldn't solve harassment. The ability to exact retribution in some misguided noble cause of holding people responsible can be taken upon by anyone(and it will because people like to feel noble), instead of responsible parties which are actually purposed and trained for that task.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1452d ago
ginganinja1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

Maybe it's not that nobody cared when those threats were made - we know about them, therefore there must have been some coverage about them.
Maybe it's because most people agreed they were bad things. So, rather than trying to claim they were attention whores, asking the FBI to confirm the threats and other manner of BS, the stories faded away much sooner.

Blacktric1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

"End gamer anonymity"

Said the big mouthed rich mangina public figure, who's still living off of royalties from that one little role he had in Star Trek: The Next Generation...

Anonymity encourages fair discussion, since you do not know what kind of person you are talking to, thus can't use their race/gender/nationality/life style against them to take cheap potshots. But I shouldn't have expected some moron to understand this.

awi59511453d ago

Not a little role he was on there for years and he had shows that was focused entirely on him. Sounds like you are jelly to me.

Blacktric1453d ago

"Sounds like you are jelly to me."

I always love it when a random guy tries to defend a "celebrity" by using the "ur just jealous!" card. And yeah, I think I am jealous that he's sitting on his fat ass and earning more than most people while doing absolutely f**k all.

Oh wait no, he had his very own show which was cancelled in a short time due to horrid ratings... Well, at least he can still guest star in Big Zimbabwe Theory whenever he needs more money.

Mikefizzled1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

If you are using race/gender/nationality/life style to take potshots how on earth are you supposed to be having a fair discussion?
Wheaton isn't living off of royalties at all. But you seem to be holding a disposition towards him already. If you start calling people morons for being actors and media personalities I guess you enjoy your anonymity.

FriedGoat1453d ago

I think he's calling him a moron because of his stupid opinions, not his career. I would call anyone who wants to take away my internet freedoms a moron too.

Blacktric1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

" If you start calling people morons for being actors and media personalities"

I couldn't care less about his acting career. Hell, I own a lot of TNG related crap and didn't mind him in the show.

But when someone opens their mouth to talk about "ending gamer anonymity" just because their precious pseudo-celebrity friend felt threatened because of GG, that's when I get to call him a moron.

awi59511453d ago

Well sites need to start using ISP bans by making you sign up with your internet provider email to put a stop to the BS.

AKissFromDaddy1453d ago

@Blacktric You wrote that awi5951 is a random guy defending someone you disagree with you and whom you've titled a "big mouthed rich mangina public figure" behind your anonymity, but in the same breath write that "anonymity encourages fair discussion". It's ironic that you won't use your real name or photo(s), even on Twitter, to take ownership of the comments you're espousing, thus leading you to denigrate someone else who uses their real name and image to make their argument. Think about it.

It's embarrassingly disheartening.

jeeves861452d ago

He's still an actor, still works, writes, etc.

It's cool though, I'm sure he's got lots of haters.

Anonymity encourages dickotry.

rainslacker1452d ago (Edited 1452d ago )

Dude, this guy is misogynist as all heck. He is not as virtuous as he is trying to make himself out to be unless he's had some recent epiphany about how much of an a** he used to be.

Otherwise, I do agree with the second part of your comment overall, but I do feel that it also has the drawback that the arguments are often dismissed because people feel that the other person is just some random person on the internet.

Also, people still take cheap potshots, but mostly from those that can't form a cohesive solid argument.

Anyhow, some links to show why I don't think I should care about his opinion on the subject.


And pretty much anything he's said about GG which I feel he's using to just get more exposure. He's opinionated, which is fine, but he obviously doesn't call out people on an individual level, and would rather classify everyone as one thing or another.

It wasn't until about 2012 that he started becoming some feminist hero(I guess he's that in some places). before that he was just an offensive a**hole. If google didn't post all the crap he's said about GG above all the BS he's said before 2012 then I would have provided more links.

I'm not saying he's completely wrong in every facet of his feminist views nowadays, but he totally missed the mark with how he's reacted to GG, and how he's demonizing people instead of actually tackling the issue.

It's become readily apparent that shaming people isn't going to change a damn thing, so why not actually just approach the root of the issue instead. Whatever that root is is for another discussion though.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1452d ago