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Talk:Gamergate controversy

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New York Times piece 5 years on

Seems weird to say this was 5 years ago, but apparently it was. The New York Times has done a look back.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/15/opinion/what-is-gamergate.html

Could be a useful source.

Yaris678 (talk) 18:19, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

I'm not going to add that (been staying away from this article purposely) but saw that NYTimes linked from this appropriate article as well that should be incorporated. The Verge. --Masem (t) 17:50, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I saw it, but was a bit hesitant since it's an opinion piece. It could be worth mentioning, though. It and the Verge ref capture some of the long-term culture war changes that have been discussed in relation to the topic, at least. --Aquillion (talk) 21:10, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
    It's actually multiple pieces, just published under a large umbrella by the opinion desk. Individual parts of it should be taken at their own merits.--Jorm (talk) 21:16, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Pronouns for Quinn

Quinn uses they/them pronouns, so the article needs to reflect that. JDDJS (talk to mesee what I've done) 13:01, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

I've fixed some of the improper pronouns, but I'm not sure if I got them all. More eyes appreciated. Would have posted this earlier, had some trouble with an edit filter. PeterTheFourth (talk) 03:42, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I think all are fixed so I removed the tag. starship.paint (talk) 09:26, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

"The blog falsely implied"

This line seems to be incorrect: "The blog falsely implied that Quinn had gotten a favorable review of Depression Quest because of their sexual relationship with Nathan Grayson, a video-game reviewer for the website Kotaku." The blog post doesn't mention reviews or even coverage. Mracidglee (talk) 19:02, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Please see the “EDIT” section under TL;DR towards the very top. There the author essentially agrees that this was a plausible reading of the foregoing version. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 19:24, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Looking at that, he does say that a certain timeline could have been inferred. However, the blog says nothing about reviews - probably because none existed. So I don't see how the author in good faith could be construed as implying that. Mracidglee (talk) 20:05, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
We have to rely on the interpretation of secondary sources (and the line you're objecting to has five academic sources, so it's one of the most well-cited lines in the article); your personal opinion on "how the author in good faith could be construed as implying that" can't be used to contradict those. --Aquillion (talk) 20:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I see. Nevertheless, when a clearly readable primary source is available and the secondary sources do not themselves provide references to or quotes of the claimed implication, shouldn't BLP still dictate the removal of this accusation? Also, I count four sources, two of which do not seem to have gone through any sort of academic filter. Should those even be included? Mracidglee (talk) 21:13, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
"To be clear, if there was any conflict of interest between Zoe and Nathan regarding coverage of Depression Quest prior to April, I have no evidence to imply that it was sexual in nature." That is not the same as saying it's untrue, nor is it an absence of implication (intentional or not). Koncorde (talk) 21:30, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
It is very much the same as saying he doesn't know. And the original post didn't mention anything about conflicts of interest. My suggestion for improved language: "A typo in the original blog post led some to incorrectly infer that Quinn had gotten a favorable review of Depression Quest because of their sexual relationship with Nathan Grayson, a video-game reviewer for the website Kotaku." Mracidglee (talk) 04:56, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I would oppose that. It's not what is found in the reliable sources (to my knowledge), and the typo was with regard to timing--I think this language doesn't accurately capture what happened. Consensus could certainly be against me. Cheers! Dumuzid (talk) 05:03, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
"I have no evidence" suggests that there may be evidence, but he doesn't have it that there was a sexual nature to a conflict of interest. His couching of the phrase as "If" vaguely hand waves refers only to prior to April. This is the dictionary definition of an implication, especially when taken in the context of the wider Zoe Post which references things such as "that means she was having sex with Josh Boggs right before he hired her". Most sources and even the opinion of the wider Gamergate movement was that Gjoni was implying that there was something unethical going on. Koncorde (talk) 07:10, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I believe the reason for mentioning April is that the last thing Grayson wrote about Quinn was on March 31. Mracidglee (talk) 00:26, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Except his words say "I have no evidence". Not that there is a lack of it, or that it wasn't, just that he had no evidence. The implication is clear, and indeed it is what the secondary sources picked up on and it ended up being central to a lot of the Gamergate "ethics" mixed with 5 Guys diatribe. Koncorde (talk) 07:51, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Nevertheless, when a clearly readable primary source is available... No, because WP:NOR is a foundational policy, and reading primary sources in a way that contradicts secondary sources fails NOR. The whole "verifiability, not truth" line. Guettarda (talk) 12:07, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Note that WP:NOR does not say "never read primary sources". It says, "A primary source may be used on Wikipedia only to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge.". Just as we can ctl-F on the Declaration of Independence and see that it doesn't mention kumquats, we can ctl-F through The blog post and see that reviews aren't mentioned. Moreover, we can look at the secondary sources to see that no review of Depression Quest by Grayson ever existed, and consequently there was no reason for Gjoni to make that implication.Mracidglee (talk) 00:24, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Cool story. Come back with a reliable source that supports your interpretation and maybe something can be done. Until then, this is waste of time.--Jorm (talk) 00:40, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
First of all, you are extrapolating from a lack of something in the source, which for me, runs afoul of WP:SYNTH. But perhaps more importantly for me, we have an apology there which basically says "hey, the blog could have been read in manner X" and reliable sources that say "the blog said X." For me it's not a close call. Reasonable minds may differ. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 01:04, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
I am not so much extrapolating from a lack of something in the source as I am pointing out an easily detectable lack of something in the source. I'm not adding anything extra. An apology and correction about a possible misinterpretation to me implies a lack of intent to imply something... and because of BLP, and the fact that the secondary sources are not known to be psychic, the "falsely implied" part should be removed. BLP does apply to Gjoni, correct? Mracidglee (talk) 06:05, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Gjoni has acknowledged that he intended to imply some kind of corruption: From DailyDot:"Gjoni claimed in one of the blog posts that Quinn had slept with a gaming journalist. According to what Gjoni says is an unedited transcript of the BuzzFeed interview, he originally added the journalist angle to the blog not because he overly cared about that fact, but because he knew gamers would.". They link to the transcript itself. Nblund talk 01:28, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Looking at that passage: "I dropped in that one of the people she’d cheated on me with was a journalist because of a vague discomfort with my observations of how close journalists were to devs in the scene. I’ve had to deal with ethical issues in journalism before, but games journalism had always struck me as too trivial to bother with, so it wasn’t in any way a primary concern at the time. More importantly, it allowed me another anchor to refocus discussion toward if things got too toxic. I knew it would be important to gamers, even if it wasn’t important to me." This seems much more general than the claim in the sentence we're talking about. BTW, should that raw interview be considered a reliable source? Mracidglee (talk) 06:05, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm not offering it as a source for Wikipedia, I'm offering it as a source for you. There is no other "ethical issue" to speak of. The implication was obvious from the post, which is why virtually everyone (including everyone involved in Gamergate) read it as insinuating corruption. If there were any lingering doubts about whether Gjoni just "accidentally" implied this, we have him admitting in an interview that he understood and intended that reading. He's said this more than once. You're entitled to extend him the unearned benefit of a doubt, but we defer to RSes here. Nblund talk 13:54, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Okay, here's one of the current RS's: "While Gjoni does not directly accuse Quinn of using sex to advance her career, he implies that her relationships with the man for whom she later worked and a gaming journalist may have been ethically murky. [....] gamers have accused Quinn of trading sexual favors for career advancement from industry professionals and positive reviews from gaming journalists. Despite the lack of evidence for either of these claims—again, Gjoni’s post never makes either allegation, and the gaming journalist he names never reviewed Quinn’s game, Depression Quest—the idea has taken firm hold within the gaming community." Also, here is Grayson on the subject: "That's the funny part: It didn't! people just kinda extrapolated that from, er, nothing [....] that guy is a liar for many other reasons, but not that one. I do not believe he ever said anything about a review." Mracidglee (talk) 16:38, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, he doesn't directly say that, but he implies it. The same author, less than a month later simply says he accused her of "trading sexual favors for career advancement". Subsequent coverage has found that Gjoni played a more active role in fomenting that conspiracy theory than he let on, and his complaints about journalistic ethics are incoherent without that accusation. Nblund talk 17:56, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Okay, so perhaps the language should instead be "The blog post implied without evidence that Quinn had traded sexual favors for career advancement."? This would resolve the nonexistent review problem. Mracidglee (talk) 19:26, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
The reliable sources seem to have come down on this claim (or implication, if you like) as "false," and not "no evidence" without a particular truth value. As such, I would disagree with that wording. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 19:55, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
EC That's just a more vague way of referencing the same allegation.The simple answer to the issue you've raised here is "this is what the sources say" and leave it at that. In fairness, if I actually believed that the RSes had it wrong, I might be open to sort of hedging a bit. But they didn't. The nonexistent review "problem" is only a problem if you operate under the implausible assumption that Gjoni was attempting to give an honest account of his relationship. His "typo" remained uncorrected for over a week while the allegations spread, he was an active participant in advancing the misconception, and he acknowledged that he was aware of how it would be read by gamers even when he was writing it. Nblund talk 20:10, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
The reason it's a problem is that you would have to believe that Gjoni implied the existence of a easily provably nonexistent review in his original post, even after reading the post and finding nothing about a review. The typo was regarding when Quinn and Grayson had (perhaps) first had sex; since no review existed before or after that, it shouldn't matter. WRT RS's accepting that it is possible to prove a negative, perhaps this could be accommodated by phrasing it thus: "The blog post implied that Quinn had traded sexual favors for career advancement, but it has been decided that this is categorically false." Mracidglee (talk) 21:29, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Again, the existence of the apology makes this a total non-starter for me; the author himself admits that an inference could have been drawn. Whether it was intentional or not is for the reliable sources, in my book. So I would keep the current wording. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 21:40, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
If we look at the listed sources which actually underwent peer review, we see that they do not have the missing review problem. The Race and Gender article says, "Gjoni insinuated that Quinn had received favorable press coverage", and the Crime, Justice, and Crime, Justice, and Social Media says "The clear inference of Gjoni's article was that Quinn's success as a developer was due to sexual favors." And again, the apology also doesn't mention a review. So if you are basing what the text should look like on Gjoni's apology and the reliable sources, then the word "review" should not be in there. Mracidglee (talk) 17:19, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd be fine with changing the word "review" for "press coverage", but the remainder of the sentence is consistent with those sources. Nblund talk 17:37, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Mracidglee, my apologies for reverting your change, and I understand why you made it. But the fact remains that if, as I believe, there was belief in a non-existent review, then the wording is appropriate, at least potentially. As ever, if consensus is against me, I won't complain--but I think this is one where you need to get something approaching consensus before making the change. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 20:02, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

My reading is that the non-existent "review" and Grayson's March 31 story kind of got conflated in people's minds. "Favorable coverage" is broad enough to capture both. Looking it over, I think the "favorable press coverage" wording might obscure the more important part of the implication, which was that Quinn traded sex for favorable coverage from Grayson himself. I would suggest "The blog falsely implied that Quinn had slept with Nathan Grayson, a reporter for the website Kotaku, in exchange for favorable coverage of their game Depression Quest" Nblund talk 20:42, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
I like this. It's explicit and doesn't try to diminish or hide the truth while still being accurate to the sources.--Jorm (talk) 20:48, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Makes sense to me! I would self-revert, but I don't think that wording captures the quid pro quo aspect. Dumuzid (talk) 20:52, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Added to the entry. (and fixed my pronoun slip-up) Nblund talk 21:02, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

A section of how GG predicated/mirrored the rise of the alt/far-right

I feel that this would be a non-controversial element to add (in that it reflects RSes) relate to how alt-right/far-right & Trump-based politics were all mirroring the approach and events of GG. (I've been touching other articles and reminded me this keeps coming up within the sourcing I find). Sources in this include:

I'm sure there are others, but feel that given that alt-right calls out GG as the point of emergence of the alt-right movement, that there should be a bit broader section here (likely under "Social, cultural, and political impact"). --Masem (t) 20:27, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Woof. I think that's definitely a reach if only because it's approaching synthy levels extrapolating and conflating the Quinn related controversy with things like KotakuInAction, 8chan, Pol etc which while a reaction to such a thing and may have some.overlap are definitely not fundamentally the same thing.
If this article was about Gamergate the group, or named individuals, or referenced the specifics involved then maaaybe at a stretch some mention might be warranted, but I would be very wary of making this all mesh together like some uber-conspiracy. Koncorde (talk) 22:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
It's definitely something sources have commented on; I suggested adding it before, but there's more sources available now. The question is how much focus to give it, though my intuition is that it's only going to become more important to the topic as time passes (with the potential to eventually become the most important aspect - if it isn't already, which is a possibility if we just look at recent coverage.) By my reading, the key point in a lot of these sources is that it was the tactics that were used to make Gamergate blow up that became what would now be described as the alt-right toolkit (partially because many of the same figures were involved.) --Aquillion (talk) 00:25, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

I agree that the sources are there to write something on this. I think the best way would be to add a new subsection in "Social, cultural, and political impact". Once such a subsection has been created, I would encourage editors to work constructively to improve it.

Given that the topic is controversial, it is probably best if editors wait until some kind of consensus is reached on this topic in the body of the article, before adding a brief summary of that consensus to the lead.

Yaris678 (talk) 10:31, 19 September 2019 (UTC)