An open response to @Sage_Bias on hashtag leaders

Original question

“Why is it that and other hashtags don’t choose people to be in charge of the movement? Without any leader, nothing gets done.”

This is untrue on several levels (you don’t need a leader to get things done) but I’ll try to explain why #GamerGate doesn’t want to have a leader appointed anyway.

The problem with having a leader is that you then have someone who is culpable and complicit in all activities associated with the movement, as well as a final arbitrator on what is or is not #GamerGate. Ultimately all that does is split the hashtag, and it doesn’t really get #GamerGate anything. The leader will get smeared with all the worst that gets associated with the movement, and either have their life ruined or get burned out very quickly.

It’s a lot easier to take out one man than one thousand.

In the real world, the benefit you get in exchange is that you have someone to speak for the movement publicly and to rally the cause. On the internet, though, most people in a hashtag can do so themselves. The benefits to having a leader for a hashtag movement doesn’t outweigh the cost.

GG’s greatest strength (and hashtag movements in general, really) is the fact that no one ultimately decides what gets posted to the tag – everyone posts what they want. Individual members respond to those posts as they will and often that leads to a collective goal being achieved (the Kunkel Awards, Kotaku and Gawker’s falling revenue, SPJAirplay, etc). Some people in GG fight for ethics, some against SJW ideology, some see the two as one and the same.

And the strange thing is, it’s very easy for the movement to get over their issues with each other and work towards a common goal. #GamerGate is rather infamous for its weekend drama, but it always comes together when something actually important goes down.

In short, #GamerGate and other hashtag movements don’t have an appointed leader because we don’t NEED to appoint one.

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