Regarding ending the #GamerGate hashtag

EDIT: To be clear: this is an idea that’s been floating around, not an ‘effort’ as I originally said. It’s more of a discussion that has yet to take a solid grounding. Either we all go, or we all stay.

So… judging from Sargon’s livestream, that DM imgur floating around is not faked. There is an idea amongst various high-profile GG members for an endgame for the hashtag.

The short of it is that the hashtag pulls off one last constructive Op, and then we declare the tag done. Go out with a bang, so to speak, and then move on. What, specifically, we’d move on to is a little less clear. But the idea is to retire the label, not the group.

I respect a lot of the people who are pulling this, and don’t think any of them are being malicious. And I am no one worth noting in the hashtag – the most I do is put up a morale post every now and again, argue with trolls and signal boost.

That said, imho, this plan is bad. REALLY bad.

The whole idea is to throw off the #GamerGate label and identity. But #GamerGate has tried that on multiple occasions, especially in the early days. And every time, that new group got painted with the #GamerGate brush, and the narrative that SJWs push relentlessly continued. I have seen people ask for ethical practices, get labelled #GamerGate, and then be confused about what #GamerGate is. The label will still exist and still drive people away, we’ll just have lost the communication network that the hashtag gave us.

Further, I guarantee that even if our big names leave, a lot of people who have used GG will stay in the tag. A hashtag movement isn’t something you can just close off. There will still be posts to the tag. People will still make images of Vivian James. Some will still try to organize meetups. There are so many aspects to #GamerGate as a group that you really can’t kill them all.

Something that really disturbs me about this plan is that it feels more like a surrender of the narrative on #GamerGate than an attempt to “retake it.” #GamerGate is still referred to as a terrorist misogynistic harassment campaign, and SJWs/Anti have made it very clear that they want to turn #GamerGate into a scarlet letter – have it burned into our skins (metaphorically, I hope) and never forgotten. Which means that if we abandon the tag while it’s still seen as a harassment campaign, everyone associated with GG will be labelled as such by the media. Trying to distance ourselves from the tag before THAT narrative is won is just going to make it impossible to dispute with any real clout.

The big constructive op? That, I can get behind. #GamerGate has been a bit listless lately, it needs to rally around something more constructive than Butts being a pedophile. #OpSockPuppet is the last Op I really remember, and I don’t know if that one even got anywhere.

I’m not worried, though. Even if #GamerGate the hashtag does end (which I find highly unlikely, given that the hashtag is largely built on individual initiatives) it will continue in spirit. We’ve rallied a lot of gamers together with #OpSkynet, and I know that many of us will continue to fight the good fight even if there’s no tag behind us.

I’m just saying, the stated reason for ending the hashtag (that it will let us retake the narrative) has been proven false over the last year and frankly feels dumb.

5 comments on “Regarding ending the #GamerGate hashtag

  1. MrMadWriter says:

    Thing with this was it was very hush hush and unveiled at the worst of times. Everyone is paranoid about this or that. So this really hasn’t helped there.

    But it’s a necessary discussion because it gives us a chance to refocus our approach. I do think our ops could do good in tackling journalism outside gaming.

    I don’t think we should just abandon the tag though. It would solve nothing.

  2. Cirsova says:

    It would have been nice to see gamergate get behind something like this; even though it has more to do with tabletop, it DID start with gamergate.

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