weev & Redditrolls Ascendant: SXSW Cancels Panels on GamerGate
Maybe this was predictable, but SXSW demonstrated in this instance that despite being the hipster venue of choice, they really don’t quite get the vicious nature of the Dark Side of the Web.
tl;dr version: smart women attempt to organize a panel at SXSW to discuss harassment of women online; harassers unleash coordinate online vitriol; SXSW fails to recognize irony & chickens out.
The thing about being “brigaded” by downvoters, as anyone from Reddit or YouTube or other sites with downvotes can attest to, is that if the vote has any significance whatsoever, trying to fight off the downvotes becomes exhausting.
And then there were the comments.
Shortly after the Reddit post went up, a representative from SXSW contacted us letting us know they were aware of it. They asked us if there was anything we could do. Short of closing the vote entirely, which felt like admitting defeat, I asked if they could close the unmoderated comments sections left on each PanelPicker page. If you’ve ever seen a comments section after r/KotakuInAction has linked to it, it’s not a pretty sight. It’s a quite useful tool, in fact, for downvoters to discourage upvoters from showing up by making even navigating to the page unpleasant and stressful, a way of signaling to everyone: “This is where the ugly controversy is.”
Makes you kinda grateful that this space here, at LGF, is an oasis of decency and sanity, where we can discuss hot-button issues without having crazy ALL CAPS SCREAMING, threats, doxxing and other tiresome sophomoric personality-disorder behaviors stinking up the joint.