Ever the beacon of journalistic excellence, VICE recently published a piece by Rich Stanton blaming GamerGate supporters for circulating a photoshopped image of a journalist and fingering him as the mastermind behind the recent terrorist attacks in France. The victim, Veerender Jubbal, had one of his selfies edited to look as if he was holding a Quran instead of an iPad while wearing an explosive vest, as well as a dildo sneakily added into the background. Twitter users @turd_wartsniff and @Bl4ptrep seem to have been behind the image manipulation and the two were quickly deemed supporters of GamerGate because of past tweets and participation in the movement’s subreddit KotakuInAction.
Of course, journalists are supposed to understand that you cannot paint an entire group by the actions of extremists. There is the general consensus that not all Muslims are terrorists, because of that exact reason. Even after so many attacks carried out by Islamic militants, people still understand that the majority of followers do not hold the beliefs that the perpetrators of these violent acts do.
If you’re the gaming press though, there is no room for such courtesies if a party does not hold the same fawning idolization for identity politics that you do. Which is why it is considered acceptable to publish such articles as Mr. Stanton has done. I’m glad that he was able to use this experience not to condemn this prank alongside GamerGate supporters, but instead blindly accuse a subset of gamers of being racist.
Although I don’t consider myself a part of GamerGate, I understand where they’re coming from. It’s articles like these which highlight the cognative dissonance shared by so many “progressive” writers which now litter the Internet with a lot to say about very little. I spend a large amount of time reading both sides of this topic and people involved in GamerGate don’t spend a lot of time discussing how to cause harm to people. It is simply not the majority and should not be treated as such.
I’ll wrap this up by pointing out that @Bl4ptrep even distanced himself from GamerGate months ago before these events unfolded. My adVICE? Try fact checking next time on a hit piece.