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FeepingCreature said on July 31st, 2014 at 4:21 am

Statistics I’d Like to See: Rate of email/comment death threats per upvote categorized by subreddit.

(Other Statistics that Could Be Useful: Chance that an Internet Death Threat will be followed through on. Might help people who get anxious.)

Also note: if I go to /r/TIA, the top voted submission from that blog has 173 upvotes and 158 comments. (Sadly, Reddit doesn’t show the number of views.) Not exactly a mob, that. From the post, it seems people followed her around without her knowledge or consent ….. at a con she had a panel at. Um. Personally I think this speaks more of the self-reinforcing damage (via anxiety, fear etc) that persistent internet harassment can do than genuine physical danger.

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Carlos Futino said on July 31st, 2014 at 7:31 am

@FeepingCreature, it doesn’t matter how many death threats are followed through on. The threat itself is an act of violence. It’s an attempt to shut down someone you disagree with without actually arguing (or even considering) their points.

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mygif

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that everything can be made better by a guy coming in and explaining how death threats aren’t really a big deal because hardly anyone ever follows through and women should just get over it, and anyway she totally deserved to be stalked for daring to appear in public.

Thanks FeepingCreature, you are a true hero of the internets.

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FeepingCreature said on July 31st, 2014 at 8:36 am

> women should just get over it

> implying only women get death threats online

> implying I said anything of the like

> implying I even implied anything like “just get over it”

Yeah, no. To clarify: I don’t disagree death threats are shitty – but I get the feeling from the blog post that this person is genuinely concerned for their safety, and an awareness of the actual risks could help with that.

> @FeepingCreature, it doesn’t matter how many death threats are followed through on.

Yeah it does? If I get a death threat, I want to know if I’m in danger. This is pertinent information.

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Zifnab25 said on July 31st, 2014 at 9:07 am

Christ, what is wrong with people?

Why is it so hard to just play something other than whatever this game is, if you hate it so much?

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mygif

This is fucking awful. Like, indefensibly fucking awful.

Shit like this further reinforces my belief that anonymity on the internet should be a privilege*, not a right.

*Namely one that can and should be revoked when you start acting like a four-year-old with a flamethrower.

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mygif

“Christ, what is wrong with people?

Why is it so hard to just play something other than whatever this game is, if you hate it so much?”

Wait, is this about a game? I have a shit ton of trouble deciphering Reddit threads.

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mygif

@FeepingCreature. What you’re doing is basically a variety of “Concern trolling”, by focusing on a side issue, you’re dismissing the actual point of the post and the problem.

For those playing at home, here’s a rundown of what is happening.

POC: Hey, if it’s not too much trouble, we’d like to see some diversity in historical films and such, there were actually POC living in Europe in the middle ages and Renaissance, so it’d be nice to have a character or two in historical dramas and maybe games.

Internet assholes: STFU, Europe was all white, deal with it.

This blogger: Well actually you can get a decent idea of how many POC were in Europe by their depiction in artwork and writings of the time. Here’s a bunch of art that depicts POC going abut their lives in Europe in the Middle ages and Renaissance.

Internet assholes: STFU or get raped to death.

The issue IS NOT how many internet death threats are likely to be followed up on, it’s that they occur at all, ever. They are an attempt to silence debate and opposing views and are completely unacceptable. If you move away from that point and start saying “Well now, let’s look at this rationally, what’s the real chance of anyone trying to kill you?” You are by necessity saying “Because if the threats aren’t real, they can be dismissed.” IE, telling her to get over it.

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mygif

Any chance of legal action being taken?

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FeepingCreature said on July 31st, 2014 at 10:22 am

Cool, so my opinion has a name.

> The issue IS NOT how many internet death threats are likely to be followed up on, it’s that they occur at all, ever.

Can’t those both be issues?

[edit] In case it was unclear, I am not affiliated with or read TIA or any similar subreddit, I consider them a cancer on the site, and I have no opinion on the state of colored people in medieval Europe. (Though some whitewashing would not surprise me.) That said, imagine if internet death threats were regularly followed through on. Then this would be something that would be very important to know when you received internet death threats. Similarly, if there was a checklist like “if your death threat hits these three points, you may be in danger”, that would also be vital information to avoid dying. Internet harassment is an issue, and I do not want to detract from that. But internet harassment prompted murder could also be an issue, to varying degrees (possibly a more severe one! murder is bad!) and if it was, that would be important to know, and if it wasn’t, that would also be important to know.

People are scared of death threats because murder is a very very horrible fate. If death threats do not imply murder, then they can still be harassment… I don’t know. If I felt I was in danger, and then somebody told me that I actually wasn’t, I would feel better. Is that so unusual?

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mygif

“If I felt I was in danger, and then somebody told me that I actually wasn’t, I would feel better.”

I don’t think it’s so much the threat, but the fact that such things are said at all, particularly in response to a simple opinion or belief.

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mygif

I don’t like the word “privilege” because it has connotations and meanings that don’t simply disappear because some people want to co-opt it for something else.

I don’t object to the concept, but that word has got to go.

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switchnode said on July 31st, 2014 at 11:10 am

Medievalpoc is also Girljanitor, who is fairly well-known in fandom circles for, among other things, having told a depressed blogger to kill himself for being white.

(The “other things” include rolling with Riley, Genderbitch, and so-treu (death-threat senders par excellence), terrible historiography, and lying about her heritage in order to shout down actual members of the ethnic groups she’s discussing. Over and over. I’m not saying that this couldn’t have happened, or that harassment is ever OK, but if MPOC said that water was wet most of the people I know would double-check.)

Seriously, I wouldn’t touch this one with a ten-foot pole.

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mygif

Huh. Well that’s another layer…

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Found this for reference: http://failfandomanonwiki.pbworks.com/w/page/76624829/GirlJanitor

Still, fuck trolls.

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mygif

I think it’d be great if a post about people being assholes wasn’t called “Dear fellow white males”

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Archie 5 said on July 31st, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I don’t know, maybe this is me just being politically correct, but even if you have a problem with somebody on the Internet, maybe calling them a nigger isn’t the best strategy in the world?

But hey, that’s just me. Maybe it’s a really great way to add legitimacy to your argument and not make you sound like a horrible crazy asshole!

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mygif

“I don’t know, maybe this is me just being politically correct, but even if you have a problem with somebody on the Internet, maybe calling them a nigger isn’t the best strategy in the world?”

Each argue according to their ability. Those with no ability shit into their hand and throw it at their keyboards.

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@JoshR “If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that everything can be made better by a guy coming in and explaining how death threats aren’t really a big deal because hardly anyone ever follows through and women should just get over it, and anyway she totally deserved to be stalked for daring to appear in public.
Thanks FeepingCreature, you are a true hero of the internets.

JoshR said on July 31st, 2014 at 8:02 am
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that everything can be made worse by a guy sarcastically coming in and acting offended and superior because he insisted on ascribing the worst of motives to someone despite their comment being largely neutral, and anyway the irony and hypocrisy of attacking someone when the topic is baseless internet attacks isn’t lost.
Thanks JoshR, you are a true hero of the internets.

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FeepingCreature said on July 31st, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Let’s call calm down. I don’t think anybody here is not a basically well-meaning person. I think we can all agree that harassment is bad no matter who does it? And also that death threats are really terrible.

And also personally I’m glad that I live in a world where people don’t commonly follow through on death threats, so I think maybe we can be thankful for that too.

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switchnode said on July 31st, 2014 at 4:45 pm

So what? So, you’re exactly right: personal attacks and harassment and threats are never justified. And we will instantly latch on to the outrage-high of shitty behavior by people who don’t share our politics, and we will probably never even hear about shitty behavior by people who do.

Please don’t take this to be accusatory; it isn’t. I’m just… tired.

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mygif

@FreepingCreature: I don’t think anybody here is not a basically well-meaning person. I think we can all agree that harassment is bad no matter who does it? And also that death threats are really terrible.

No argument of any kind there.

And can we agree that, when something posts something that you many not totally agree with, a knee-jerk reaction that you totally disagree with it doesn’t really help things?

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mygif

I think it’d be great if a post about people being assholes wasn’t called “Dear fellow white males”

Because it makes you feel uncomfortable to be identified with the demographic responsible for this behaviour? How unfair it is to get singled out on the basis of race and gender!

Oh, wait…

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mygif

“Because it makes you feel uncomfortable to be identified with the demographic responsible for this behaviour? How unfair it is to get singled out on the basis of race and gender!

Oh, wait…”

I think the main point he was making was “people being assholes.” As in human beings, irrespective of race, being assholes. This was ascribed to white males, which seems to fit in this case, but I don’t know how constructive it is to focus on the racial element rather than the “stop acting like children you regressive scumbags” element.

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@Marionette

Do you honestly believe that it’s good rhetoric to say to a potential ally, “Since I was treated shitty it’s ok for me to be shitty to you in a way I’ve just told you is the same as what I’m complaining about”?

It’s just tu quoque, and regardless of your cause, it’s shameful. In a thread where the whole point MGK was making was “he did it first is a bad excuse” it shows a stunning lack of self awareness on your part.

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mygif

“It’s just tu quoque, and regardless of your cause, it’s shameful. In a thread where the whole point MGK was making was “he did it first is a bad excuse” it shows a stunning lack of self awareness on your part.”

I’ve found that tone counts for shit around here, and that an attempt to talk about it garners accusations of trolling, insults, and other incredibly stupid and awful shit.

Though, to be fair, tone counts for shit pretty much everywhere on the internet, particularly as regards topics that lend themselves well to emotional response over objective analysis.

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mygif

“‘ I think it’d be great if a post about people being assholes wasn’t called “Dear fellow white males'”

He’s not talking about you. You’ve done nothing wrong except get a little defensive over nothing.

Seriously, if death threats on the internet have been scientifically proven to be no big deal then logically speaking you have no reason to be upset right now.

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@Archie

I have not gotten defensive. Taking issue with phrasing is not by its nature “being defensive”.

The second paragraph doesn’t even relate to what I said.

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mygif

@Tom (& others), way to miss my point. I was saying “if it makes you uncomfortable to feel that you’ve been lumped in with a horrible stereotype purely on the basis of gender or race, you might want to consider what that’s like for people who get it every day.”

Anything else you are reading into it is entirely your own creation.

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mygif

This is not acceptable. Period. Anyone who thinks any of the harassment this blogger got is OK can NOT be friends with me.

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@Marionette

It seems like you didn’t think about what I wrote and instead just have stock responses to “someone doesn’t totally agree with me”.

I have already thought about how someone who gets treated that way feels, I agree that it’s shitty, I agree it should stop. What is accomplished by being obnoxious again (as you did with your tu quoque response)? Your most recent post claims that your tu quoque response was a deliberate choice to teach white dudes who aren’t on your side how being treated shitty feels.

But that totally ignores what I said. I am on the side of “women are treated shitty a lot and it should stop”, so being rude to me and passing it off as a deliberate tactic is at best pointless and at worst a disingenuous attempt to excuse your lashing out.

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mygif

Ugh…
I’m not for government interference/meddling usually, but at this point can we please get some sort of Internet Content and User Oversight group established to eliminate (or corral at least) this behavior from horrible people?
Otherwise I can guarantee things like this will continue to devolve and drag us all down with it.

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mygif

@Tom:

Loudly claiming to be a potential ally while trying to shame a woman and police her tone when she talks to you is not a particularly good way to be a potential ally.

The contents of the original post are very much about a bunch of white men being assholes in the context of their whiteness and masculinity; your initial complaint about it did not come off well, and nothing you’ve done since has particularly made me want you as /my/ ally.

If you’re serious about supporting people who are trying to overcome systems of oppression, your first job is to close your mouth and listen, which is, because of those same systems of oppression, a nontrivial task for many white men.

I encourage you to try.

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@Liz

That’s very good satire, I had almost finished my response before I read “police her tone” again, combined with you calling what I wrote “loud” and saw it for what it was.

Honestly, this isn’t a joke, I’m impressed. It’s an imitation of an SJW that is just over the top enough and has the hypocrisy not be too severe but still obvious. I enjoyed it.

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Cookie McCool said on August 3rd, 2014 at 4:07 am

I wonder if there’s a comments section anywhere on the internet where any possible consensus turns into everyone trying to score points off each other like it’s Scrabble For Jackholes.

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FeepingCreature said on August 3rd, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Surely not.

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Every time I see someone post something about privilege, I see a bunch of other people putting the shoe on and loudly proclaiming it fits…

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mygif

The blogosphere always make a big deal about death and rape threats against individuals who belong to those designated by the blogosphere as ‘protected’ groups, but there was exactly zero outcry about the death and rape threats directed at Rick Remender following the ‘rape scene’ controversy. This moral outrage demonstrated by guys like MGK and others is disingenuous, arbitrary and offensive.

Never mind that the individual who runs MedievalPOC has engaged in death threat style attacks herself, and is now crying foul once she has taken a dose of the same medicine. Never mind that. We have to show outrage because this woman has been targeted by the big evil white man, while all the other creators and bloggers who fall outside this protected groups, who suffer the same bombardment of death, rape and mutilation threats, they can just suck it up and ‘be a man’ about it.

I’m sick of this outrage parade that selectively illuminates only the episodes that best fit their agenda of ‘evil white guys bullying defenseless innocent women’.

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mygif

There was plenty of outrage/derision at the Fire Rick Remender controversy. Maybe you weren’t paying attention but the “What is this bullshit?” posts far outweighed the “fire this guy” posts.

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@Tom; for someone who claims to be an ally, you spend a lot of the time belittling and sneering at women’s opinions.

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@Evan The response/dismissal to the Remender controversy came long after the opening salvo of personal threats and violent language, and completely glossed over the violence exhibited towards both Rick Remender and his supporters who were engaged in the conversation in its early stages in that response. Not once was it mentioned the personal threats of violence that was leveled against him. All they were accused of was ‘overreaction’ and ‘passionate language’.

In the aftermath, the people who were attacking this man on a baseless accusation had the gall to continually play the victims. The victims of ‘mean industry professionals’ who were making the industry ‘unsafe’ for them by ‘rallying around a sexist, racist, homophobic co-worker’, and were even validated some what by industry commentator articles who refused to admit there was anything wrong or ‘problematic’ in their discourse. In fact, many defended the people who were publicly threatening to castrate Remender, claiming they were exhibiting a ‘passion’ and ‘new sincerity’ that should be ‘respected’ and lashed out at those who showed solidarity with Remender or had engaged in discussions in Remender’s defense as ‘bullying’ their opponents.

Men like MGK harp long and loud over the ugly side of the discourse presented to women online, and quite rightly so, but he has always been dead silent when these exact same tactics, language and level of overreaction are presented at male commentators and creators.

It is a blatant double standard, and made worse that he is defending in this moment a known liar who has stalked and harassed multiple civil critics online, has fabricated lies about harassment and threats put to her in the past to discredit critics, and has organised a ring of tumblr users to act as enforcers on her behalf to ‘shut up’ dissenting voices. That isn’t even going into the rather disgusting racist attitudes she exhibits.

It is hypocrisy in action and disgusting to see. It shows he has done no research on this individual, has done no research on the actual controversy, but has to wade into it ‘from one white male speaking to the rest of the white males’ as if he is a spokesman for that section of the population, or even has any knowledge on the issue.

This needs to be addressed, that a blind eye is being turned by self-imposed morality and decency guardians like MGK (and that is what he is making himself in these moments) to the behavior of one group to another. About what is and is not acceptable ways to communicate online. That they have one standard for this group, and a lower standard for the others.

You cannot brush this away with a dismissive ‘so what?’. Not if you are actually serious about issues of harassment and threats of violence in the online community. Because you are giving license to engage in vile tactics, so long as it is directed at this one particular group. You are not being responsible, you are not drawing attention to the fact that ‘no’ side is clean and that there is a fundamental problem that goes beyond ‘who has white privilege or not’ in online communities and are continually perpetuating the falsehood that these tactics are the sole domain of ‘evil white male trolls’.

There is a problem with internet communication, and it has nothing to do with the gender or race of the people on it. But no one is admitting this. No one is engaging in ‘that’ conversation. It is still just ‘do better white men’ which is only addressing a fraction of the problem, not the problem as a whole.

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mygif

“which is only addressing a fraction of the problem, not the problem as a whole.”

Yes, well, when that fraction is 99.999%, and is the part of the fraction with far more serious real life implications, I’m pretty okay with that.

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Cookie McCool said on August 5th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

What a jerk MGK is, I can’t believe he doesn’t write about every time someone is an asshole on the internet.

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cole1114 said on August 9th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I love tumblrinaction. They point out racists, holocaust-deniers, insane people, and laugh at them. Sending death threats to people isn’t really a thing there. Meanwhile, men are having the EXACT SAME death threats leveled at them, but it doesn’t matter because they have privilege so fuck them eh?

Concern Trolling/Tone Policing, bullshit and a half. These are terms used by people who think being transfat is a real thing and claim they’re “triggered” by people telling them they’re wrong.

Also, the internet is anonymous. How many of those people you’re calling “dear white males” were actually white males?

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cole1114 said on August 9th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Also, if use of violent threats isn’t justifiable, then how the fuck is the response to MPOC doing it “so what”

I mean seriously. At least be CONSISTENT.

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mygif

“Loudly claiming to be a potential ally while trying to shame a woman and police her tone when she talks to you is not a particularly good way to be a potential ally.”

Nope, sorry. I ask people to express their points intelligently, and without resorting to insults, snark, or other such bullshit designed to mask an inability to discuss matters objectively. I fail to see how or why this would be considered an unreasonable expectation.

I wouldn’t stand for that shit in person. I wouldn’t stand for that shit from a buddy. Why in the holy hell would I take it from some random on the internet?

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mygif

“It is a blatant double standard, and made worse that he is defending in this moment a known liar who has stalked and harassed multiple civil critics online, has fabricated lies about harassment and threats put to her in the past to discredit critics, and has organised a ring of tumblr users to act as enforcers on her behalf to ‘shut up’ dissenting voices.”

Eh, I agree that her bullshit doesn’t impact MGK’s larger point that death threats aren’t at all constructive or warranted.

“There is a problem with internet communication, and it has nothing to do with the gender or race of the people on it. But no one is admitting this. No one is engaging in ‘that’ conversation”

Honestly, I’d love to see a thread on this. I’d particularly like to see some of the more belligerent or hostile posters explain why they do what they do.

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