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2017 Early this week NBC News publishes a video claiming the gaming communication service Discord, Gamergate and the gaming community as a hole are part of the alt-right political machine. No citations to claims with altered evidence. NBC Slanders Discord & The Gaming Community As Alt-Right, Uses #GamerGate & Edits Evidence NBC Slanders Discord & The Gaming Community As Alt-Right, Uses #GamerGate & Edits Evidence
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Article NBC Slanders Discord & The Gaming Community As Alt-Right, Uses #GamerGate & Edits Evidence
gaming • VideoGames

Christopher M
November 01, 2017, 12:00amEDT
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Updated on 11.08.2017

"Gaming culture has always been racist, has always been sexest but the Internet has sort-of allowed us to sort-of see what has always been there." This is just one of the highlights from a NBC News video that was released this week, titled How Discord Became The Alt-Right's Favorite Organizing Platform: How Gamers Are Facilitating The Rise Of The Alt-Right. A video trying to connect the dots between neo-nazis, alt-right, Discord, and the gaming community as a whole.

"Before white supremacists, neo-nazis and white nationalist marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, they were organizing behind the computer screen. And a lot of that organizing happened through a messaging service called Discord. Which was originally created to connect video game players to one another. This is just the latest in a long running shared history between the gaming community and the alt-right."

Image From NBC's "How Gamers Are Facilitating The Rise Of The Alt-Right" Video

The first "source" brought up is Emma Vossen, a student from the University of Waterloo who's studying, "how sexest seeded in gaming is replicated in the real world." Vossen was who claimed the quotation stated at the beginning of this article. The video explains that Vossen's study is based on Gamergate, which they explain was, "a movement that began with intimidating and harassing female gaming journalist under the disguise of fairness in video game journalism."

This statement or definition of Gamergate is factually incorrect, and shows how much real research went into this. Gamergate was and is the outrage of the gaming community to the corruption, collusion and lack of any ethics in gaming journalism. Financial connections between gaming journalists and game developers were found. Word quickly spread causing an uproar in the gaming community about the conflict of interest between gaming journalist, who review video games, and the developers that build them. Prompting one developer to tweet, "i wish videogames was a building so i could burn it down with all you people in it." Later deleting that tweet.

Developer Zoe Quinn tried to spin the movement into a narrative of harassment in order to play victim as she scams YFTC, calling anyone who criticizes harassers, doxing and industry blacklisting them. Most of the Gaming media and traditional media believed her every word. Branding Gamergate and the gaming community as a whole as sexest and misogynistic.

Now the FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigated Gamergate back in 2015 as a "harassment movement". According to the FBI Closed #Gamergate Case Due To No Actionable Leads, Evidence article from oneangrygamer.net, "The FBI managed to investigate several accounts of harassment that was brought to their attention, and those forms of harassment either turned out to be false flags pointing to a YouTuber, anonymous pranksters, or a joke carried out by youths." Later stating, "While there was some finger-pointing at several Twitter accounts, and some people accused users of SomethingAwful.com being the culprits of harassment (along with members of the Baphomet board on 8chan) nothing concrete came out of the FBI's investigation."

Back to the video at hand, several tweets appear on the screen as they falsely described Gamergate. Editing the usernames to those tweets to say "#Gamergate" while blurring out their Twitter handle. These exact tweets were found to be from a screenshot posted up by Anita Sarkeesian on the Feminist Frequency Twitter account. All the shown tweets came from a single account named Kevin Dobson (@kdobbsz). Nowhere in the tweets was the term gamergate used or even referenced. Yet the tweets are used to show how sexest the gaming community as a whole when attacking "female" gaming journalist.

Update (11.08.2017)
Anita Sarkeesian's tweet that shared the screenshot of the "Kevin Dobson tweets" used by NBC News was posted on August 27, 2014 at 3:52pm. The first ever use of "#Gamergate" was by actor Adam Baldwin in a tweet posted on August 27, 2014 at 6:22pm. That's a two hour and thirty minute difference. Meaning the "Kevin Dobson tweets" were posted before Gamergate was ever created.

"According to Vossen, the gamers and the alt-right share common ground. 'As people who are marginalized, are fighting for equality, those who traditionally had privilege, you know especially white men, feel that they are being oppressed by these people who are trying to just be treated as equal.'" Vossen is trying to create an image that only while males are allowed into the gaming community or play video games in general. An image that these white male gamers are teaming up with the alt-right in order to stop anyone who is not white nor male from playing video games or join the gaming community. An image that is highly corrupt, politically charged and blatantly false! Vossen doesn't back up her claims with any factual evidence or any creditable sources.

Image From NBC's "How Gamers Are Facilitating The Rise Of The Alt-Right" Video

"So what happens when these behaviors move from the gaming world to the real world? Keegan Hankes studies the progression of the alt-right on the web. 'Discord, as a platform, kind ya had a New York rise in the alt-right. Now I think many of the members of the alt-right were actually aware of it because they were also members of the video gaming community, many of them are. Discord became almost a requirement for a lot of these people if you wanted to be actively involved with them.' Discord is anonymous and lightly monitored. Which allowed the alt-right to control communications and access for thousands of users."

The notion that Discord allowed the alt-right to take over, censor and control the entire platform itself is completely deranged. Expanding upon someone who thinks that many of the members were part of the alt-right, without any citations to back up their statements. Blaming Discord of not spying on and censoring all of their users as the cause of all of this. So you, NBC, are advocating that companies need to secretly monitor all of their users communications as messages, emails, texts, video chats, etc.? Censor any communication that could remotely be deemed as wrong? NBC is owned by the telecommunications company Comcast, I see a major conflict of interest right there.

Image From NBC's "How Gamers Are Facilitating The Rise Of The Alt-Right" Video

NBC News then blames Discord for the Charlotteville riots stating, "Discord service play a substantial role in fomenting the riots that led to the death of Heather Heyer." Seeing a big picture here, NBC is trying to blame Discord, Gamergate and the gaming community itself for the rise of the alt-right. Pinning the death of a person on a communication service and an entire community of people who play the medium of video games. The video finishes off with the old fashion connection that video games cause violence. "Perhaps not surprisingly James Alex Fields Junior the white supremacist charged for Heyer's death was no stranger to video games. In 2010 his mother filed a complaint against him, claiming he struck her in the head and locked her in the bathroom because she told him to stop playing video games."

Now this entire video brings up some serious questions, was this the first time NBC reported incorrect information to their millions of viewers? Using information that has been proven time and time again to be false? Is this really just a case of not fact-checking before green lighting the publishing of the video? Or was this not caring about the facts in order to push a political agenda. Either way this can put NBC's journalism ethics into serious question. This breaks so many journalism "Code of Ethics" set by the Society of Professional Journalists, which includes;

  • Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.
  • Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
  • Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
  • Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label illustrations and re-enactments.
  • Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.
  • Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.
  • Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
  • Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.
  • Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.

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