Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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Well, you're keeping this fiscal, whereas I was pointing out that some developers may simply avoid certain design decisions entirely due to not wanting to have to engage or deal with mob mentality... you kinda dodged my question, or I suppose your answer is that, in terms of the potential chilling effects on speech, things only matter if they can be clearly traced to $$$?

When dozens to hundreds of people are simultaneously shouting at you, yes, it's still free speech... but it's more about a contest of wills than the conveying of information & discourse.

Yeah, the jist of my opinion is that some people tweeting at you is basically not a big deal at all. The thing is that game developers routinely get so much shit - the vast majority of which has nothing to do with 'social justice' issues - that I just find it absolutely not credible that any developer would feel censored by some people on Twitter.

To put it in perspective, one of the designers behind Call of Duty reported that he received "death threats and promises of violence against his family" because of a patch that tweaked some weapons in-game. You can find this sort of insane reaction in any playerbase. Blizzard games have it especially bad. Their forums are notorious for being full of players who complain relentlessly about anything Blizzard does.

A good developer reads this kind of feedback, considers it carefully, and decides whether or not the game would benefit from changes based on that feedback. A lot of it is simply ignored (after all, you can't please everyone). I don't see why or how social issues raised by audiences should be any different at all. If anything developers should feel LESS pressured to respond to feedback from those who haven't even purchased the game and are simply criticizing it based on videos or descriptions from other people.

That being said... I agree that to some extent it's not that meaningful to compare the two and maybe I'm just getting sidetracked. I don't think writing to advertisers should be illegal even if I do think it skews things.

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To put it in perspective, one of the designers behind Call of Duty reported that he received "death threats and promises of violence against his family" because of a patch that tweaked some weapons in-game. You can find this sort of insane reaction in any playerbase. Blizzard games have it especially bad. Their forums are notorious for being full of players who complain relentlessly about anything Blizzard does.

Just pointing out something interesting, to me at least - you CAN find this sort of insane reaction in the more enthusiast gaming communities, and you're kinda dismissing it as being par for the course, but on the other hand, (some of) the same people making (some of) the same threats against Zoe, Anita, etc. are taken deathly seriously & given the full weight of their potential implications.

If the same sorry lot that send death threats over CoD patches also send them to Anita, is it the different audience/context that dictates the legitimacy & publicity?

That being said... I agree that to some extent it's not that meaningful to compare the two and maybe I'm just getting sidetracked. I don't think writing to advertisers should be illegal even if I do think it skews things.

I just think that you might see similar campaigns against advertisers coming from the other "side" at some point, objecting to sexism, racism, etc., and the justification will be similar, so damning the method now is probably setting yourself up for disappointment when it is employed by those you otherwise might agree with.

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Just pointing out something interesting, to me at least - you CAN find this sort of insane reaction in the more enthusiast gaming communities, and you're kinda dismissing it as being par for the course, but on the other hand, (some of) the same people making (some of) the same threats against Zoe, Anita, etc. are taken deathly seriously & given the full weight of their potential implications.

If the same sorry lot that send death threats over CoD patches also send them to Anita, is it the different audience/context that dictates the legitimacy & publicity?

The reaction of the targeted gives them publicity. Ideally we'll never determine that any are legitimate, and none of us have enough information to determine if any of them are.

You don't keep generally hearing about death threats made against people in large corporations for these issues because the response is mundane: there is no conversation or voice given to the attackers, their account(s) are banned from services, posts deleted, and authorities notified.

I would argue that in general, attacks made against people in large corporations are taken more seriously by the attacked than threats made to independents. The large corporations have full time legal staff who know who to call, what to document, and how to generally deal with ridiculous situations like this. The small independents don't have that kind of support, and are more likely to act emotionally and give voice to their attackers.

You see the same thing in less serious issues, like discussing potential or ongoing litigation in public.

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You're going to need a pretty big citation on that one.

Leigh Alexander's repeated racist tweets are a matter of public record, as is Steve Sawyer (Revenuemage) getting beaten by a violent mob and forced into homelessness because they found out he supported gamergate.

Why do people - like you - insist on ad hominem? Besides the fact that such a theory is baseless (lest we forget, Anita was writing about these topics as a college student), people like Dave and many others have done a great job of deconstructing and arguing against her videos without comparing her to anti-semites or accusing her of being "in it for the money". Her motivations are wholly irrelevant to the content of her videos and her arguments.

So just to be clear do you also have a problem with the people screaming racial slurs at women and minority gamergate supporters, calling them klansmen, worse than ISIS, and the like or is this a double standard? Also metaphors are not ad hominem, nor is questioning whether someone is just a con artist or not after they bilk people for over $150,000 and then have a handful of largely inaccurate, misleading, and repeatedly plagiarized videos to show for it.

As to motivations that's an oversimplification. Factors like this are VERY relevant when someone is specifically (and almost totally) relying on holding themselves up as a moral crusader who should be viewed as a pillar of justice and moral righteousness. That person's history of plagiarism, theft, and dishonesty are all directly tangible issues in cases where they're creating a cult of personality through the manipulative use of social justice rhetoric.

Really, when you post things like that it just enforces the (perhaps well-deserved) stereotype that many pro-gamergate folks care more about attacking women like Anita than actual issues of ethics in game journalism. Anita isn't a journalist. She's a person that shares opinions on feminist issues in gaming. Jack Thompson is a guy that actually, literally tried to get the government to censor games... this is the actual definition of censorship.

Anita/McIntosh have repeatedly shown they believe videogames make people both violent and misogynist and want to get rid of them as well. The only difference is where Jack Thompson sought to get the government to do it Anita/McIntosh and her ilk are relying on blacklisting, yellow journalism, and vicious mobs to get it done.

The argument that she's "not a journalist" is right up there with the constant shell game of these individuals claiming alternatively to be bloggers or journalists depending on whichever is more convenient at that moment.

As far as "attacking women" goes that's ironically a statement born of misogyny. It's been repeatedly statistically disproven, and with gaming journalists being overwhelmingly white males what you're actually doing is paternalistically demanding that women simply be off limits.

I find it ironic you present yourself as caring about women given the obscenely disproportionate number and severity of attacks inflicted on women (and minorities) supporting gamergate. The situation is so absurdly lopsided as to be comical if it weren't so terrifyingly similar to how blood libel works.

Going after advertisers is simply an entirely different beast. It's bypassing the public sphere entirely. It has a much more chilling effect on free speech because it's disproportional to the number of people that actually care about the topic at hand. If 5000 people total theoretically would not buy a game because of an offensive character, then at most, Twitter shaming can only expedite the process of informing those people.

But there isn't really a limit to the damage that can be done by email carpet bombing advertisers & sponsors. 10 million people can read a site and all but 500 might have no problem with the content. 500 out of 10 million don't approve of a viewpoint, that means 9,999,500 DO approve (or don't care) - and normally we would expect that those 500 people would simply not visit the site, which would have a negligible effect. On the other hand, if those 500 people carpet bomb advertisers they can cause damage FAR far exceeding the normal impact that 500 visitors/readers would have.

Calling for an advertiser boycott IS the public sphere acting, and is a tactic which has been repeatedly publicly supported by those purporting to be on the side of "feminism" and "social justice". But potential double standards aside if you really want to talk about chilling effects and disproportionality lets talk about a handful of individuals that own and operate those websites using them as tools to carry out blacklisting and bullying, as confirmed through the leaked GJP emails. Lets talk about a handful of individuals leveraging such disproportionate institutional power that they can make or break entire careers through racketeering and collusion.

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Leigh Alexander's repeated racist tweets are a matter of public record, as is Steve Sawyer (Revenuemage) getting beaten by a violent mob and forced into homelessness because they found out he supported gamergate.

Not really interested in getting too involved with this debate but I need to reply to this because I've seen it happen elsewhere on this forum and other places.

When someone asks you for a citation with regards to some argument you're making, it's not enough to simply just say "it's a matter of public record" or that a quick Google search will yield the results a person is looking for. You can't assert something and then say "just look it up yourself, you'll find it." You're making an assertion that something is true, and someone is calling that into question, so it's on you to provide links to credible sources that verify your assertions.

Edited by DarkeSword

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So just to be clear do you also have a problem with the people screaming racial slurs at women and minority gamergate supporters, calling them klansmen, worse than ISIS, and the like or is this a double standard?

Of course I do. I've condemned it in this very thread.

Also, what Darkesword said.

Just pointing out something interesting, to me at least - you CAN find this sort of insane reaction in the more enthusiast gaming communities, and you're kinda dismissing it as being par for the course, but on the other hand, (some of) the same people making (some of) the same threats against Zoe, Anita, etc. are taken deathly seriously & given the full weight of their potential implications.

If the same sorry lot that send death threats over CoD patches also send them to Anita, is it the different audience/context that dictates the legitimacy & publicity?

I'm not dismissing it... I think it's abhorrent that people would send death threats over balance changes in a video game. Or more recently, there was a developer at Bungie who was "swatted" - a SWAT team and helicopter were sent to his house after a fake hostage threat was sent. These actions represent the absolute worst of the gamer community and should be condemned at every opportunity.

I brought it up to illustrate that developers have to deal with some truly awful stuff from their audience, and that in comparison, controversies surrounding their games on Twitter or Tumblr (etc) are inconsequential.

I just think that you might see similar campaigns against advertisers coming from the other "side" at some point, objecting to sexism, racism, etc., and the justification will be similar, so damning the method now is probably setting yourself up for disappointment when it is employed by those you otherwise might agree with.

Wellll OK you make a good point there. In the past I've been supportive (or at least not un-supportive) when people have contacted advertisers of folks like Rush Limbaugh after they've said outrageously racist/sexist stuff. Fair enough! That's not to say there isn't some nuance, though. Cumulus Media, which AFAIK syndicates Rush's show, pulls in a billion dollars per year... an advertiser boycott is simply not going to affect them to the degree that it would affect Gamasutra, which is (again AFAIK) largely volunteer run and probably pulls in <$50k a year, if that. The context matters a whole lot.

Edited by zircon

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An important thing to realize is that this "equality" goal GG participants have, on either side, is perceived relative to the person. So "equality" on its own is really just something each side claims is their goal/resolve... even though their means to get to that end are polar opposites. Maybe that's where they get their idea of their being superior to the other side. :whatevaa:

Very good point. I agree, "equality" is such a difficult term to precisely define (obviously the mathematical definition doesn't apply), I can easily see it leading to the dual-sided "we're the victims of inequality" mindsets you're talking about. That why I like the term "equity". It acknowledges that strict mathematical equality is impossible, and "equity" brings with it the idea of fairness, which seems a lot more negotiable than inherent, righteous, god-given, fight-to-my-death equality.

To tangent a bit:

What worries me most is how willing social groups are to antagonize one another, and not to attempt to heal that rift, but instead to pile on and drive it wider. Many of the most ardent GamerGate supporters are men who already feel antagonized by feminism, some by women in general. Why does anyone on the SJW side think that dehumanizing their opponents will help this? By enlisting the support of fellow men, SJWs arguably further antagonize and isolate this group. Doesn't anyone think this might make some of those men more dangerous, not less? Really, when's the last time that a group became better socially-adjusted after being cut off from society, rather than immersed in it?

To be clear, I'm not implying that SJWs deserve any of this potential danger. What I'm saying is that their actions seem unwise given their stated goals. And there's a large difference between "unwise" and "deserving".

SJWs need to check their members when they dehumanize their opponents, just as GG "champions" need to effectively discourage their own side's death threats and dehumanizations. Otherwise we'll just see an expanding rift of vitriol between sides which become ever more certain that they've been the ones attacked.

It's also worth noting that "ethics in gaming journalism" isn't quite all the GG movement is about. I was talking to a gay male acquaintance, and came to realize he saw Zoe and Anita merely as crying wolf and milking the reflexive "protect females" reaction. He didn't want anyone's head, he was just concerned that they were getting undue favor simply because of their gender. He sent no death threats, no venomous insults. He's a minority, possesses a grad degree, and yet is lumped into "sad white misogynists".

Are we to believe that all women, simply by being women, are full of virtue, honesty, and credibility? That would just be stupid. (And super-patronizing.) At the same time, I think the GG crowd has been overly vicious in implying the opposite. Basically, we need to treat whatever comes out of someone's mouth with appropriate skepticism, man or woman. And remember we're humans all: flawed.

Edited by Moguta

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an advertiser boycott is simply not going to affect them to the degree that it would affect Gamasutra, which is (again AFAIK) largely volunteer run and probably pulls in <$50k a year, if that. The context matters a whole lot.

No.

http://tech.ubm.com/

Their 2013 annual report indicates the following:

In total, they generated 794 million pounds sterling.

Their news division (obviously not exclusively gamasutra) generated £201.8m.

Their technology division (of which GDC is given first billing) generated £150.2m.

This is not a tiny corporation that needs your sympathy to survive.

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That might be true for the parent company but I highly doubt Gamasutra itself generates anywhere near that much, and it's definitely a separate property from GDC etc (i.e. I'd wager Intel's withdrawal from Gamasutra did not carry over to their presence at GDC for example). It's a pretty niche site (being dev-focused as opposed to consumer-facing) and as far as I know the compensation for the guest writers is low to zero.

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That might be true for the parent company but I highly doubt Gamasutra itself generates anywhere near that much, and it's definitely a separate property from GDC etc (i.e. I'd wager Intel's withdrawal from Gamasutra did not carry over to their presence at GDC for example). It's a pretty niche site (being dev-focused as opposed to consumer-facing) and as far as I know the compensation for the guest writers is low to zero.

Don't move goalposts. Your comment about Cumulus Media was directly mentioning the parent of a specific media entity.

Aside from that, I would be very surprised if they didn't pull in at least an order of magnitude more than $50k/yr just from their job board.

Guest writers at all new media companies ranges from low to zero. That's part of how they work.

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And you want to try to play the "I'm afraid" card? People have lost their jobs to racist harassment campaigns and even been beaten and driven into homelessness because of the smear campaign spearheaded by a blatant racist that just so happens to have publicly called for exactly this kind of violence against black men before.
Leigh Alexander's repeated racist tweets are a matter of public record, as is Steve Sawyer (Revenuemage) getting beaten by a violent mob and forced into homelessness because they found out he supported gamergate.

Expanding what's being cited here (for zircon in particular I guess):

Leigh Alexander has said some unfortunate things on Twitter: talking negatively about "hood" people a few times and an "Irish people drink a lot" joke (sorry that Encyclopedia Dramatica is somehow the best reference for this). The tweets are 2+ years old and I'm honestly unsure if there are any more recent remarks than those, but every time I've seen a "Leigh Alexander is a racist" comment it's been referencing one or more of those five tweets.

About Steve Sawyer (@RevueMage): http://i.imgur.com/qsUhEWX.jpg. He was crashing with his girlfriend a few days while looking for his own place, and by his own admission the relationship was not going particularly smoothly. About a week later, he's physically forced out of the apartment by his girlfriend's friends because they found his Twitter account, decided he was a misogynist due to GG activity, and wanted to remove him from his girlfriend's life. He doesn't think they're involved with opposing GG in any way, but were acting on whatever they found. He's said he was going to file a police report.

I find it ironic you present yourself as caring about women given the obscenely disproportionate number and severity of attacks inflicted on women (and minorities) supporting gamergate. The situation is so absurdly lopsided as to be comical if it weren't so terrifyingly similar to how blood libel works.

Can we not compare anything that's happened around GG with nine hundred years of rumors that Jewish folks murder children and harvest their blood? That would be swell, thanks.

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Don't move goalposts. Your comment about Cumulus Media was directly mentioning the parent of a specific media entity.

Aside from that, I would be very surprised if they didn't pull in at least an order of magnitude more than $50k/yr just from their job board.

Guest writers at all new media companies ranges from low to zero. That's part of how they work.

I'm not moving goalposts. Rush Limbaugh has a deal DIRECTLY with Cumulus and NOT a subsidiary.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/23/rush-limbaugh-cumulus-deal_n_3805674.html

Email carpet bombing advertisers on Gamasutra is not the same scenario as boycotting Rush's advertisers in terms of scale, scope, etc.

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I'm not moving goalposts. Rush Limbaugh has a deal DIRECTLY with Cumulus and NOT a subsidiary.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/23/rush-limbaugh-cumulus-deal_n_3805674.html

Email carpet bombing advertisers on Gamasutra is not the same scenario as boycotting Rush's advertisers in terms of scale, scope, etc.

It feels a bit like splitting hairs, still, though... my only point was to be wary of situations where you're making value judgments about methods/tactics that either side of an ideological schism might ultimately employ.

What's interesting to me is that motivating a collective response to these occurrences seems difficult... once an advertiser has become convinced that it should distance itself from a publisher due to their ideological stance on a topic, how do members of a competing ideology attempt to dissuade them of this notion? Has anyone organized an outreach to Intel to try and make a case?

Are we to believe that all women, simply by being women, are full of virtue, honesty, and credibility? That would just be stupid. (And super-patronizing.) At the same time, I think the GG crowd has been overly vicious in implying the opposite. Basically, we need to treat whatever comes out of someone's mouth with appropriate skepticism, man or woman. And remember we're humans all: flawed.

I don't have anything to add/ask, I'm just quoting this to say: VERY well said.

I just got into it a bit w/ Star Salzman on Facebook over whether "SJW" is EVER a valid insult/label....

He thinks that it isn't; I think that it is. I think there ARE people who fetishize the taking of offense, whose skins are phyllo dough-thin, who white knight at the drop of a hat, and who define themselves too much by what they can object to on any given day of the week. I think that as both a label and an insult, it CAN be accurate/descriptive of a certain personality type that the Internet has encouraged & emboldened, semi-legitimized by the pseudo-academics of bad sociology.

That being said, as with almost any label, it CAN also be abused & applied far too widely. In other words:

  • If you think that EVERYONE arguing for equality or social change can be dismissed as an SJW, you're full of shit.
  • If you think that EVERYONE arguing for equality or social change is being reasonable, honest, and not making hypocritical and/or bad faith assumptions, you're ALSO full of shit.

Thus the need for, you know, like, analysis. And stuff. "For a brighter, less-full-of-shit tomorrow!!"

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Don't labels like "SJW" just contribute to the identity war that you've decried several times in this thread? It's not so different from calling someone a racist or sexist, which I think you've also said was too vague earlier on. So other than for convenience--i.e. laziness--why would you ever use a vague label when you can attack specific ideas?

Edited by Ab56 v2 aka Ash

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Don't labels like "SJW" just contribute to the identity war that you've decried several times in this thread? It's not so different from calling someone a racist or sexist, which I think you've also said was too vague earlier on. So other than for convenience--i.e. laziness--why would you ever use a vague label when you can attack specific ideas?

Labels can describe. How & where & when they are applied, and by whom, contributes to an identity war. If you call an action racist, you've got an obligation to explain why it is racist. If you call a person racist, you've got a much larger obligation to show a pattern of behavior. "SJW" can't really describe an individual action, per se, as it is almost always applied to people, not actions/statements. This is bad news, because it makes it less likely to be employed specifically, as you've pointed out. The obligation is larger; you'd need to show a pattern of hypersensitivity & knee-jerk reactions & going from 0 to 60 on myriad issues and conflating someone's worth with how much they agree with you & characterizing all of your opponents as biased, backward bigots without arguing the points.

I think that demographic phenomenon does exist, just as I think real, actual, 110% certified racists and misogynists exist. I'm not really speaking to the productivity or counter-productivity of employing the label in conversation, I'm saying I think it DOES describe a certain cross-section of the population. Its usage is often every bit as lazy, if not moreso, than the overuse of identifying anything & everything as misogynist or patriarchal. I think we basically agree; these are charged, difficult words that are often counter-productive and applied without due diligence. The only difference is that, while almost everyone seems to agree that hardcore racists & misogynists exist, some folks seem to think that the construction of the "SJW" identity is completely fabricated. I do not.

I don't think it's possible to attack someone's ideas without attacking their identity

It depends on both parties - it depends on the "attacker" keeping things on topic and refraining from ad hominem attacks, and the defender being fair & not conflating their own identity with the topic. It's difficult but not impossible; I think we've seen it happen on this thread, which is something to be reasonably proud of.

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Not really interested in getting too involved with this debate but I need to reply to this because I've seen it happen elsewhere on this forum and other places.

When someone asks you for a citation with regards to some argument you're making, it's not enough to simply just say "it's a matter of public record" or that a quick Google search will yield the results a person is looking for. You can't assert something and then say "just look it up yourself, you'll find it." You're making an assertion that something is true, and someone is calling that into question, so it's on you to provide links to credible sources that verify your assertions.

Even in the top levels of academia there are limits to what is reasonable expected to be cited, and even then a citation does not hold your hand to the point of spoonfeeding you... you're given the name of the particular journal article and you are expected to do your diligence in actually procuring and reading it. What you are arguing right now is the equivalent of claiming, in a thread specifically discussing the debate on recent healthcare reform in the US, that mentioning the Affordable Care Act by name is not a valid citation. A citation is a reference. It's YOUR job to go and check out that reference when it's given.

There needs to be a new informal fallacy named for the recent trend in disingenuously demanding ever more exhaustive and unreasonable efforts under the guise of "citations" before finally terminating them with the "that source disagrees with me therefore it's not credible" line.

Edited by Shadowe

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Even in the top levels of academia there are limits to what is reasonable expected to be cited, and even then a citation does not hold your hand to the point of spoonfeeding you... you're given the name of the particular journal article and you are expected to do your diligence in actually procuring and reading it. What you are arguing right now is the equivalent of claiming, in a thread specifically discussing the debate on recent healthcare reform in the US, that mentioning the Affordable Care Act by name is not a valid citation. A citation is a reference. It's YOUR job to go and check out that reference when it's given.

There needs to be a new informal fallacy named for the recent trend in disingenuously demanding ever more exhaustive and unreasonable efforts under the guise of "citations" before finally terminating them with the "that source disagrees with me therefore it's not credible" line.

No, that isn't true. If you said, "Obamacare is ineffective. Go read the Affordable Care Act. You'll see why, I'm telling ya. Everyone I know has said that.", I wouldn't go look. You would have to find the part of the ACA and specify what part you are referring to. One gaping problem: it's over 11000 pages. I already did a 9-page essay on it, got a nice grade on it from my professor, and it still confused the both of us (and I didn't even read the whole thing; I just found sources of people who might have, though they probably didn't). No one's going to sift through it or any other complicated source (or diverse set of sources from the wide-as-hell internet) finding what could possibly support your statements; that's your job, if you want to make your argument stronger. There are some things you can say without proof, like self-explanatory ideas, deductive logic, and things we should know as citizens of our own nations, among other things, but what you had been saying was desperately in need of sources. There's a reason why when putting citations of academic journals in research papers, you're supposed to specify the exact pages. I just don't get why CHz had to jump in and find 7 sources just to support your 2 one-sentence claims, but what a nice guy. :grin:

A citation is a reference, but no, it's not someone else's obligation to strengthen your argument, it's yours. If you don't want to support your argument, it becomes a mere opinion, and one that doesn't really need to be taken seriously in the midst of other strong, well-supported arguments. If someone calls your source a weak one due to its irrelevance, poor writing, or otherwise, that's fair. It just means your argument would then be either weak due to poor support, or too hard to support due to its unreasonable scope (or other alternatives that I may have missed). Either way, it would be a huge fallacy (burden of proof) to say "your source is weak. If you can't back up your argument, it's wrong." All the other person ought to think is, "your source is weak and not credible, so I currently don't think I should believe your argument. Are there any other sources that you want to go find, or should I just move on and not believe you?" (calling an argument wrong and calling it weak are not the same thing). If someone does indeed ask for citations of your claims, then they're giving you a chance. Take it, to your benefit.

Edited by timaeus222

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No, that isn't true. You would have to find the part of the ACA and specify what part you are referring to. It's over 11000 pages. I already did a 9-page essay on it, got a nice grade on it from my professor, and it still confused the both of us. No one's going to sift through it or any other complicated source (or diverse set of sources from the wide-as-hell internet) finding what could possibly support your statements; that's your job, if you want to make your argument stronger. There are some things you can say without proof, like self-explanatory ideas or things we should know as citizens of our own nations, but what you had been saying was desperately in need of sources. There's a reason why when putting citations of academic journals in research papers, you're supposed to specify the exact pages. I just don't get why CHz had to jump in and find sources for you, but what a nice guy. :grin:

Since you like fallacies you should consider the fallacy of the Straw Man, which you've just given a great example of. I said "mentioning the ACA", not citing a specific paragraph. If I were to point out the ACA by name as one of Obama Administrations major legislative acts and a major legislative act pertaining to healthcare that is a sufficient citation. What you've just come up with about 11000 page documents is a straw man.

As is...

A citation is a reference, but no, it's not someone else's obligation to strengthen your argument, it's yours. If you don't want to support your argument, it becomes a mere opinion, and one that doesn't really need to be taken seriously in the midst of other strong, well-supported arguments. If someone calls your source a weak one due to its irrelevance, poor writing, or otherwise, that's fair. It just means your argument would then be either weak due to poor support, or too hard to support due to its unreasonable scope (or other alternatives that I may have missed). Either way, it would be a huge fallacy (burden of proof) to say "your source is weak. If you can't back up your argument, it's wrong." All the other person ought to think is, "your source is weak and not credible, so I currently don't think I should believe your argument. Are there any other sources that you can find, or should I just move on and not believe you?" (calling an argument wrong and calling it weak are not the same thing). If someone does indeed ask for citations of your claims, then they're giving you a chance. Take it.

...your thorough and well written attack on points I never actually made. I did not, at any point, say it was someone else's job to support my argument. What I said was it's someone else's job to actually take a citation and go procure and read the material cited. To what lengths each person is expected to go in this situation depends on the context. In a thread specifically about a specific topic which is itself an ongoing current event citing major relevant aspects of that ongoing event by specifically naming them is reasonable. If you were to tell me "X major thing happened to Y person yesterday morning" it would be my duty to take that citation and procure the material it cites. Now you seem to be having extreme difficulty responding to what I actually said. Perhaps you're being disingenuous, or perhaps you simply can't understand me. In either case I will restate the point I ACTUALLY made for you on the chance you are posting in good faith:

There needs to be a new informal fallacy named for the recent trend in disingenuously demanding ever more exhaustive and unreasonable efforts under the guise of "citations" before finally terminating them with the "that source disagrees with me therefore it's not credible" line.

I was specifically referring to a dishonest tactic of making increasingly unreasonable demands under the guise of asking for "citations" and then, having had everything exhaustively spoon fed to them and every hoop jumped through, the demander declaring sources or citations unacceptable by fiat because they disagree with the information presented or who is presenting it.

To rephrase it in a third way: It is increasingly common for people to make bad faith demands for "citations" which are in fact nothing more than a means of attempting to exhaust someone by forcing them to comply with increasingly arbitrary and difficult demands. First references to something by name are dismissed as insufficient, then direct references to content are insufficient, then direct links are either insufficient or dismissed. If not dismissed and someone goes to the trouble of reformatting and representing the excerpted information it is finally dismissed as invalid due to arbitrary reasons.

Expanding what's being cited here (for zircon in particular I guess):

Leigh Alexander has said some unfortunate things on Twitter: talking negatively about "hood" people a few times and an "Irish people drink a lot" joke (sorry that Encyclopedia Dramatica is somehow the best reference for this). The tweets are 2+ years old and I'm honestly unsure if there are any more recent remarks than those, but every time I've seen a "Leigh Alexander is a racist" comment it's been referencing one or more of those five tweets.

About Steve Sawyer (@RevueMage): http://i.imgur.com/qsUhEWX.jpg. He was crashing with his girlfriend a few days while looking for his own place, and by his own admission the relationship was not going particularly smoothly. About a week later, he's physically forced out of the apartment by his girlfriend's friends because they found his Twitter account, decided he was a misogynist due to GG activity, and wanted to remove him from his girlfriend's lifeHe doesn't think they're involved with opposing GG in any way, but were acting on whatever they found. He's said he was going to file a police report.

I wasn't aware there was such a short half-life on racist statements. Regardless of such a half-life however I would argue that her recent spearheading of a group of people who have gone out of their way to target minorities and women for everything from racial slurs to large scale harassment and so on is proof enough her views haven't changed much.

About Steve Sawyer (@RevueMage): http://i.imgur.com/qsUhEWX.jpg. He was crashing with his girlfriend a few days while looking for his own place, and by his own admission the relationship was not going particularly smoothly. About a week later, he's physically forced out of the apartment by his girlfriend's friends because they found his Twitter account, decided he was a misogynist due to GG activity, and wanted to remove him from his girlfriend's lifeHe doesn't think they're involved with opposing GG in any way, but were acting on whatever they found. He's said he was going to file a police report.

You realise that's the whole point, right? The sheer level hate and bigotry coming from GJP members and those supporting them is so great, the rhetoric so dehumanizing and inflammatory, that people have been incited to outright violence just from reading it. I'm Jewish mate, I've lived with racial violence before. I've watched as people spread lies that my people were behind the September 11th attacks, I've watched the hate grow, I've had to fight for my life when someone finally got pushed over the edge and came for me.

The underlying theme of all blood libel is that someone tells incredibly inflammatory lies, usually involving blaming us for some local tragedy, and stirs up a mob to violence.

I have seen this before. I have lived this before.

Edited by Shadowe

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Since you like fallacies you should consider the fallacy of the Straw Man, which you've just given a great example of. I said "mentioning the ACA", not citing a specific paragraph. If I were to point out the ACA by name as one of Obama Administrations major legislative acts and a major legislative act pertaining to healthcare that is a sufficient citation. What you've just come up with about 11000 page documents is a straw man.

You gave that example, so I took that example and addressed it. It's not a straw man. It's just going into specifics. If in fact that was irrelevant to your argument, then it would be a straw man, but because you said, "What you are arguing right now is the equivalent of claiming...", it was an apparently practical analogy that was incorporated to discuss the point of yours, that simply naming something that people should already know about is enough of a 'citation'. i.e. addressing it was sensible in bringing up the point that you shouldn't expect people to look into a topic in such a way that makes it of an unreasonable scope or a time-waster. Therefore, the 11000 pages remark was in the intended context, not irrelevant (though I will admit it is a stretch to presume you would want people to do that). It's not as easy as "oh yeah, it's a topic they should care about, so I'll let them read up on it on their own time before they continue their discussion with me."

As is...

...

...your thorough and well written attack on points I never actually made. I did not, at any point, say it was someone else's job to support my argument.

Not my point. You didn't even have to state whether or not you would consider it someone else's job to support your argument, because what I said was independent of a statement such as that one. It was merely advice for the problem where you had been making generalizations and other statements that you would need citations to say with such certainty, but you were sticking to ideas such as "I lived it", "this scenario has happened to people of this kind before", "it was something I experienced", "it's a matter of public record", "I'm pretty sure that...", and so on, i.e.:
People have lost their jobs to racist harassment campaigns and even been beaten and driven into homelessness because of the smear campaign spearheaded by a blatant racist that just so happens to have publicly called for exactly this kind of violence against black men before.
Leigh Alexander's repeated racist tweets are a matter of public record, as is Steve Sawyer (Revenuemage) getting beaten by a violent mob and forced into homelessness because they found out he supported gamergate.
While McIntosh may well believe his own nonsense, at least until he finds his next fad, I'm pretty sure Sarkeesian is mostly in it for the money. I'd recommend feminists like Aayan Hirsi Ali but her entire opinion about things like videogames and scientist's shirts can be summed up in her recent statement that it's "trivial bullshit" being obsessed over by "idiotic women".

You simply shouldn't say stuff like the above here and leave them there for us to peruse because they're your assertions. It may seem intuitive, or interesting enough to look up, obligatory for context, or however you want to label it, but some statements such as those are broader or more generalizing than they may seem when you first type them out (not to mention some parts of them are just attacks...). Hence, zircon calling you out on citations, and... well... CHz choosing to cite you.

What I said was [1] it's someone else's job to actually take a citation and go procure and read the material cited. To what lengths each person is expected to go in this situation depends on the context. In a thread specifically about a specific topic which is itself an ongoing current event citing major relevant aspects of that ongoing event by specifically naming them is reasonable. [2] If you were to tell me "X major thing happened to Y person yesterday morning" it would be my duty to take that citation and procure the material it cites. [3] Now you seem to be having extreme difficulty responding to what I actually said. Perhaps you're being disingenuous, or perhaps you simply can't understand me.

...

[4] It is increasingly common for people to make bad faith demands for "citations" which are in fact nothing more than a means of attempting to exhaust someone by forcing them to comply with increasingly arbitrary and difficult demands. First references to something by name are dismissed as insufficient, then direct references to content are insufficient, then direct links are either insufficient or dismissed. If not dismissed and someone goes to the trouble of reformatting and representing the excerpted information it is finally dismissed as invalid due to arbitrary reasons.

[1] One problem with that. If you don't cite anything other than its name and then say something to the effect of "oh yeah, you can just Google it or look it up somehow. You'll find it.", it's not really citing it. CHz having to cite 7 sources (some of which he knew were probably insufficient as well) simply highlighted the unusual scope of your two claims---and that was only two sentences. What about the other claims... right?

[2] If you and I discussed something, and you made a statement that you argue I should believe, and leave it at that, I don't know why I would look up information on it just so I would believe you. Why wouldn't you already have put up a source to back up that claim? This was indeed what I was thinking of earlier, when I said:

no, it's not someone else's obligation to strengthen your argument, it's yours.

By doing light (or heavy) research on what backs up your claim, in a way they would be ultimately strengthening your argument (really, they'd be furthering their contextual knowledge so that they better understand your argumentative stance, but... it's similar). In reference to the beginning of your post, apparently, what I said was not a straw man, because you just made it more explicit that it was relevant, even if you say you didn't say it earlier. By not citing sources for what you say, you make your statements remain as statements. If people choose not to cite for you, that's how the statements will remain. Whoops! :smile:

[3] And you know, that sounds just like an attack. Didn't zircon already talk about this? [/quasi-deja vu] :razz:

[4] Is it now? It appears to be something that is supposedly seen quite often! But wait! I don't remember the last time I saw that (I really don't, in all seriousness; it sounds quite underselling). Would you cite that, pretty please? :D (Of course I'm kidding, but you get my point, right?)

Anyways, can we get back to GamerGate? :mrgreen:

Edited by timaeus222

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If I split a single article, item, or tangible event into twenty links does that make it twenty citations or does it make it just one? CHx cited a number of seperate tweets made in a running string as part of a single event within a very short time period. I think more than anything else you've said so far trying to play that off as the "unusual scope" of "only two sentences" goes to show what I would interpret to be a disingenuous intent, for someone so obsessively concerned with semantics and form you've just profoundly misrepresented something. By your standards you may as well split up this post into one sentence per quote and claim you're quoting as many posts as there are sentences.

By doing light (or heavy) research on what backs up your claim, in a way they would be ultimately strengthening your argument (really, they'd be furthering their contextual knowledge so that they better understand your argumentative stance, but... it's similar). In reference to the beginning of your post, apparently, what I said was not a straw man, because you just made it more explicit that it was relevant, even if you say you didn't say it earlier. By not citing sources for what you say, you make your statements remain as statements. If people choose not to cite for you, that's how the statements will remain. Whoops!

You keep using that word, it doesn't mean what you think it means. I cited sources. CHx chose to take citation to the level of spoonfeeding and handholding. And you've now veered into the complete silliness of trying to represent taking a citation and viewing the cited material as "doing light (or heavy) research" for someone else. By your standards it's impossible to ever not do "light (or heavy) research" for someone else. The sheer absurdity of that speaks for itself.

You are right about getting back on topic though, we're getting bogged down in different academic schools of thought about citations rather than substantive issues here. Feel free to PM me if you care enough to keep going on that otherwise I think we're both going to just go in circles over metadiscussion. The FTC just issued updated policies on affiliate linking and advertisements in direct response to gamergate supporters' lobbying, so far Gawker's been going back and retroactively adding Affiliate Disclosures to at least some of their articles.

Edited by Shadowe

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[1]The FTC just issued updated policies on affiliate linking and advertisements in [2] direct response to gamergate supporters' lobbying, so far [3] Gawker's been going back and retroactively adding Affiliate Disclosures to at least some of their articles.

[1] http://www.scribd.com/doc/20798989/FTC-s-Final-Guides-re-Endorsements-and-Testimonials

[2] http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2njgyj/important_ftc_update_2_yes_the_ftc_is_going_to/

[3] http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2nlbuu/important_ftc_update_3_yes_we_hit_pay_dirt_gawker/

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Timaeus do you whip out a stack of papers or laptop and google scholar every time you have a conversation with someone about something and mention any current event relevant to that conversation?

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