John Oliver delivered a righteously satisfying segment last night about online threats and harassment against women. Here is a word he did not use, once, at all, ever: Gamergate. And yet for some unfathomable reason, many Gamergate fans are unhappy about the segment, believing it to be unfair and one-sided and besides, online harassment isn’t real anyway. Oh, word?
Oliver didn’t mention the Gamergate perpetrators at all, focusing a good chunk of the segment on revenge porn and the difficulty victims have in getting it taken down. The segment does, however, briefly feature clips of interviews with Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian, two of the three women relentlessly harassed and threatened by fans of ethics in gaming journalism. Also, Oliver had the temerity to suggest that white men have a different, less threatening experience on the Internet than anybody else.
Even before the segment aired, Gamergaters were getting ready to respond, almost as though they assumed any program about online threats might feature them prominently:
And as soon as the segment went up, GG supporters started tweeting at Oliver and flooding the YouTube comments of the video, scolding him for his bias — even though, again, he didn’t actually talk about Gamergate:
Even the pro-Gamergate Ralph Retort noted that the segment wasn’t actually about Gamergate: “They just spin it as an attack on GamerGate, which the segment really wasn’t. They were careful not to mention GamerGate, actually. So maybe they wanted to cite those two, but without going in on us. Either way, it would have been a lot better to have just left them out altogether.”
But over at Kotaku in Action, the subreddit devoted to all things Gaming Ethics, there’s a lengthy thread about how Oliver has clearly been taken in by those melodramatic SJWs, all of whom are “professional victims” and big fakers:
I’m not buying this narrative and you shouldn’t either. They’ve fucking perverted the word harassment first of all. Look up the definition of harassment, it’s not what you’d think it is listening to these professional victims. Next, what the fuck even is “online harassment”. Like holy shit some people on the internet said something mean. Turn the fucking computer off and walk away. Real life harassment (actual not imagined) is a problem. “Online harassment” is something professional victims made up so they can control and bully online spaces to be more to their liking.
A few were already mad at Oliver for mentioning last year that the wage gap between men and women is a thing that still exists in many industries:
Seriously, between this and his dumbass stance on the “gender wage gap” (nevermind that women fared better during the recession than men or that women are actually out-earning men in the same age brackets this days), has made me question if he’s worth watching anymore.
Couldn’t get through the video. The instant he brought up white male privilege I was like “fuck it, I’m done, this is just as ignorant as his “gender wage gap” video” and turned it off.
The Kotaku in Action commenters also assured each other that all they had to do was hit “dislike” on the YouTube page, spurring Oliver’s team to make a new, better segment:
With the amount of dislikes that video has, he is most likely going to do a follow-up segment. Hopefully he would have done more research by then.
Sarah Nyberg and Alex Lifschitz, two people who’ve been personally threatened by Gamergate, pointed out that GG’s ardent hatred of this segment was...kind of funny:
Again: not all Gamergaters are harassers, according to Gamergate. But apparently Gamergate is willing to stand up for all harassers, and even risk missing True Detective’s second season in solidarity with them.
Good job, guys. This went great for you.
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Screengrab via Last Week Tonight/HBO