Whiteness as a Social Construct: Gamergate Hero Edition

How many white people are in this picture: one, two, or zero?

How many white people are in this picture: one, two, or zero?

It’s interesting how whiteness is assigned to people. It should be simple, yet so many exceptions exist. For example, Barack Obama is considered black, although he’s half-white. Rachel Dolezal was outed for being secretly white, after altering her appearance and telling people she was black. White people in antebellum Louisiana followed the one-drop rule, meaning if you had any black ancestry, you too were black; and they had all kinds of delicious names for the various shades of blackness that resulted from miscegenation.

Sometimes, the only difference between white people and non-whites is that other white-labeled people acknowledge them as white. For example, two people could come from the same country, immigrate to the US, and one might be labeled “white” by his peers while the other is designated as non-white.

On the left is Eron Gjoni. Most people in Gamergate agree that he is a white guy.

On the right is Anita Sarkeesian. Many Gamergaters believe (or used to believe, or, at the very least, claim) Anita is not white, but Jewish or Latina. Some Sarkeesian-obsessed wingnuts have claimed Anita only pretends to whiteness: i.e. “she bleached her skin“, or learned to smile “like a white person”.

In fact, Eron and Anita have just one thing in common: both are children of Armenian immigrants. Gjoni even spent a significant portion of his early childhood in Armenia. (Sarkeesian, for those interested, was born in Toronto.) But when #Gamergaters acknowledge Sarkeesian is Armenian, Armenians themselves lose their white status, becoming “palette-swapped Jews”.

So who is white: Gjoni, Sarkeesian, both, or neither? Because from here it’s starting to seem like the only reason Eron is designated as white and Sarkeesian is not is to polish the reputation of the former while disparaging the latter.

Edit: added some more quotes from Gamergaters discussing the whiteness, or lack thereof, of Armenians as a people.

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Eron Gjoni, Hateful Boyfriend

Eron Gjoni, your number is up.

Eron Gjoni in a rapidly descending elevator, I presume. (Artist: Sarah M.)

So, there’s this indie game I bought recently, called “Hatoful Boyfriend”. It’s a Japanese PG-13 dating simulator, except that the rest of the student body besides you are man-sized birds with human characteristics. The player spends the entire game building romantic relationships with pigeons, doves, quails and one demented partridge. The player character, seemingly the only human woman left on earth, lives in paleolithic conditions in a cave in the middle of the countryside, like some kind of outcast from bird society.

Spoiler Alert: as you might have guessed, the special new game + ending gave me the idea for the title of this article.

I’ve covered Eron Gjoni and his ugly breakup before; starting with Gjoni’s tell-all AMA in #burgersandfries. I’ve also written of the dishonest blog post he published downplaying his involvement in harassing Zoe Quinn, and Eron’s successful efforts to get the #gamergate rage mob to pay his legal fees, because he keeps violating his restraining order. I’ve even written about his unusual and timely friendship with Mike Cernovich, part-time attorney and full time juice bro.

But somehow in writing about this duplicitous 24-year-old from Massachusetts I’ve failed to capture the forest by describing the trees. There are still people who think that Quinn abused Eron, instead of the other way around; who think he engaged with #gamergate in the interest of quelling the harassment against Quinn instead of using it as his personal army/fan club. Granted, many of those people are his stalwart allies and I don’t think I can change their minds. Those tools would rather not contemplate the hand which wields them.

But to those who assume Eron wouldn’t lie about being abused, or that there are two sides to every story; I would like to present the side the evidence is on. Because this story is not a he-said, she-said. It’s not even about Zoe Quinn. This story is about a hateful boyfriend, who, once denied a relationship with Quinn committed himself to ruining her life. And today, I’m going to publish the pictures of him doing it, going all the way back to August. I’ll put a summary at the end of this post, supported by the evidence I’m about to present.

Part 1/5: “Set Odds of Harassment at 80%”

Eron filled his zoepost with salacious details about Quinn’s sex life because he knew it would be the best way to get 4chan’s attention. He admitted that Quinn was likely to be harassed as a result of these postings.

oddsofharassment

Eron Gjoni, admitting that his retribution fanfiction was banned from two of the three communities in which he promoted it.

From the very beginning, Gjoni wanted to make sure his zoepost would connect with a large base of people. Here, he shares a screencap of him workshopping thezoepost on Facebook with his friend, Rachel. (Note the date, August 6, about a week before he published it.) He posted this screengrab in October, well after Quinn filed a restraining order to try and shut him the fuck up.

Here is is with his friend Rachel, dicussing how to make the post entertaining.

Here he is with his friend Rachel, dicussing how to make the post entertaining, like a Tucker Max story or a Penthouse Letter.

He spent weeks crafting it and sharing drafts with close friends of his, weighing the pros and cons of this course of action. His mom even told him not to post it, although Eron didn’t take her advice.

Gjoni knowingly shared the so-called “zoepost” with 4chan hours after it went live. I know this because the post originally contained this welcome message for 4chan traffic. Eron’s since changed his TL;DR; this is the original header to his tell-all post.

The original header for thezoepost. Note the welcome message for readers linked from /r9k/.

TL;DR welcome 4channers, if you’re coming here from the thread I made on /r9k/

This directly contradicts Eron’s later narrative that 4chan simply happened to find his postings. He promoted them on the site; I know how this works because I own a blog myself. To be clear, this is the OP of the 4chan thread Gjoni’s talking about:

TLDR Zoe Quinn, a rabid feminist SJW GAMUR GIRL who made a shitty non-game called Depression Quest, just got outed for BRIBING THE MEDIA INTO LIKING HER SHITTY NON-GAME WITH HER VAGINA BY cheating on her boyfriend with 5 other guys, including Kotaku staff members who defended her online and reviewed her game and HER MARRIED BOSS. She is a manipulative liar and a sociopath.

At this point, 4channers were digging into every aspect of Quinn’s life, to see if they could shake loose another humiliating detail to add to the thread, for example, nude photos of Quinn, or the name of the wife of one of the men with whom Quinn allegedly had sex.

As if a post welcoming 4channers to his site wasn’t enough, Eron also joined the 4chan discussion to give the mob more material about his ex-girlfriend’s sex life and whereabouts. Here’s a picture of him entering the 4chan thread:

Eron Gjoni, discussing Zoe Quinn's sex life and whereabouts in one post on 4chan.

“Eron here: Yes she was in Virginia during January… still though, super shitty if she fucked you in January, because that would mean [ZQ] fucked you two weeks before confessing she was in love with me.”

To prove he was the real Eron Gjoni, he posted this note on his blog, linking to his 4chan post number. The only reason I can see why Eron would so definitively prove his identity was to certify to the fomenting mob that his ZQ gossip was the straight poop, so that he could obtain control of the harassment he had engendered against Quinn.

It’s important to note that Zoe Quinn had been harassed by channers in the past. Eron knew this had happened, which encouraged him to seek out this community as an audience for his writings. His intent with thezoepost seems to have been to destroy Quinn personally and professionally as an act of revenge. This next message (which Eron posted on Twitter and later deleted) suggests he even wanted to break her psychologically.

"No. Has been in correct proportion to meet all goals. Except the goal of getting Zoe into therapy." - Eron Gjoni

Harassing ZQ over the internet is how Eron shows how deeply he cares about her mental health.

Part 2/5: “I’m Zoe Quinn’s Ex, Ask Me Anything!”

Once it was clear that thezoepost had hit its mark, Eron began to bask in the sweet e-fame and e-sympathies of other angry, entitled men on 4chan, Reddit, and the IRC channel #burgersandfries. At the time, he was confident he would never face serious blowback for his actions.

eingj3

To keep his readers coming back for more, Eron made sure to lay on the cheesecake in his AMAs: details about Zoe Quinn’s sex life made available for public consumption. He began calling around at hotels Quinn had stayed at, trying to gather proof she had stayed there to commit infidelities, and wasn’t simply traveling for business. He didn’t find any proof of that, but he kept saying she slept with folks while travelling anyway.

Eron Gjoni, inquiring about his ex-girlfriend's whereabouts with certain hotels for 4chan's benefit

Eron Gjoni, inquiring about his ex-girlfriend’s whereabouts with certain hotels for 4chan’s benefit

Eron, unable to confirm that ZQ cheated with some rando in a Comfort Inn but keeping 4chan entertained

Eron, unable to confirm that ZQ slept with some guy at Comfort Inn, but keeping 4chan entertained

It didn’t even matter if the stuff Eron was telling them turned out to be false in the end. So long as he was stirring the pot (and maintaining a veneer of “plausible deniability”) he was getting positive attention while Quinn was being pilloried. It seems like Eron wanted to reassert control over her life by using 4chan like a hundred cats-paws; puppets whose reward in this was a voyeuristic intimacy in Zoe Quinn’s life. That would explain all the porn about her.

Eron started using anon accounts for “plausible denaibility.” He didn’t find any evidence that Quinn stayed at Comfort Inn on the day he thought.

 

Note that Gjoni doesn’t condemn harassment of Quinn at all at this point. Throughout August he was basically just giving them information, without comment on the harassment he knew was taking place. (Those are my 4chan source threads, which are misogynist as fuck.) As late as September 7 he was harassing Quinn over Twitter directly.

Look what I found! A vengeful asshole!

Look what I found! It’s Eron harassing Quinn directly on Twitter.

The veracity of Gjoni’s claims were irrelevant because the purpose of these accusations were to keep up return traffic to Eron’s threads. Splashing specific details and innuendo about Quinn’s sex life around was how Eron kept people interested and convinced 4chan that this battle was worth fighting for him. Essentially, it was a price paid to get #gamergate to rally to Gjoni’s cause. The more details he could release, the better. For the people he was aggregating, violating Quinn’s privacy was part of the thrill.

Naming her friends, sex partners.

Naming her friends, sex partners during an AMA on #burgersandfries.

The anons on /r9k/ were 0nly too willing to humor Eron, and act as his tools. They hated Quinn already, and went out of their way to follow the trail he marked for them, straight to her nude pictures and identities of her friends. Gjoni laid it out like a trail of breadcrumbs; like he does here with Lawfag. Eron does this so he can skirt responsibility for his actions.

eingj2

Basically Eron used the anons on 4chan as cat-paws, to harass Quinn for him. He maintained an illusion of control over the mob by sending them tips, like this one publishing an old username of hers or this one, about her history in the adult entertainment industry. Here is is on Reddit doing just that: (qrios is his screenname, by the way)

It is known that the best way to quell an angry mob called together against one's ex is to discuss how to obtain erotic photographs of her she made for money.

Confidential to the tool who spent $10 on Zoe’s nudes: Eron should reimburse you for the expense.

As you can see in the sceencap above, Eron was lavished with sympathy by the mob; and he still is. His claims that he was walking into a “hatebox” to calm the harassment against Quinn is just so much lies. They treated this guy like a prince and were hanging off his every word, which undoubtedly stoked Eron’s ego. If anything #gamergate is a mirror which, to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, reflects Eron at twice his natural size.

Lesbian Innuendo

Eron Gjoni, discussing Zoe Quinn’s alleged sex partners with Camera Lady, certified lesbian and internet stalker.

What was in it for these anons was a chance to enjoy watching Quinn be pilloried for a variety of transgressions; which range from infidelity, to ‘sleeping her way to the top’ of her industry, to dyeing her hair the wrong color. Eron was only too willing to encourage & embolden them, because he desperately wanted to restore his control over Quinn’s life, even if that meant harassing her into killing herself. He was willing to engage with the literal scum of the Internet to get his way.

Here, he’s chatting with indefatigable internet detective and serial catcaller Camera_Lady, one of Quinn’s most tireless stalkers. As recently as last Tuesday Camera_Lady was stalking Quinn, discussing her “infidelities” on a new Twitter account (CL’s evading a Twitter suspension for harassment, but she and Eron are still in contact.)

"Okay, so, since she left the indie scene [Zoe] has slept with 90+ people" - Eron Gjoni entertaining his mob

“Okay, so, since she left the indie scene [Zoe] has slept with 90+ people” – Eron Gjoni entertaining his mob

This is like one of those big fish stories. C’mon Eron, how many was it, five guys or ninety people? From August 11- September 5 the number kept increasing, like you couldn’t keep your story straight or started embellishing it for the crowd. You’ve even admitted that some of the alleged infidelities occured when you two were broken up.

Of course in Eron’s mind, Zoe deserves this, his revenge quest to obtain control over her life by any means necessary. He’s even equated the harassment he engendered with the income on Quinn’s Patreon, as if it’s some perverse gift he’s giving her, instead of a seemingly never-ending and very dangerous situation.

"It's okay that I did this because Zoe's making money on Patreon"

“Professional Victimhood” logic at its tersest.

Part 3/5: Coaching the Mob, Denying Personal Involvement

I doubt Eron thought anybody outside of 4chan’s /r9k/ would ever know he was involved in shaping the harassment campaign which eventually named itself #gamergate. So when Zoe Quinn published some of her own screengrabs in the first week of September, he began to distance himself from the harassment campaign, writing mealy-mouthed tracts on his blog about how these people harassing ZQ were only “human” and he was basically still a nice guy, and also that Zoe was a public danger, like a runaway truck.

Excuses, excuses.

“It’s not revenge, she’s a danger to all of videogames!” Yeah I really believe you, Eron.

Even so, Gjoni couldn’t really stand to be separated from the movement which lavished him with so much sympathy and attention, and his ex with the harassment he believes Quinn deserves. So Eron moved his involvement behind the scenes, searching for a way to still be in control of his ex’s harassment without appearing that way.

I mean he is the "pope" of #gamergate (no offense, @Popehat)

I mean he is the “pope” of #gamergate (no offense, @Popehat)

To better conceal the reality of the harassment he engendered, Gjoni began coaching those following him so that their harassment of Quinn was as “plausibly deniable” as his own, to use Eron’s words for it. For example, he shared his derailing tactics with the #gamergate mob on reddit and in #burgersandfries. That’s why they’re known for rattling off “it’s about ethics in games journalism” like Catholics say Hail Mary, even though Gjoni’s post had nothing to do with journalism, and Gjoni’s admitted as much. 

Eron Gjoni, offering pointers on "ethics in games journalism."

Eron Gjoni, coaching people on Reddit to talk about “journalism” when confronted with criticism about the movement’s focus on Quinn.

When he thinks women can see what he writes, Eron’s strategy has been to paint himself as a poor nice guy whose personal blog post somehow fell into 4chan’s hands, so that Gjoni really had no choice but to involve himself in their discussions. It’s very important to Eron that he not appear like an angry stalker, so he peddles this tale of trying to de-escalate the harassment of Quinn once it begun; giving any reason but the truth about why he was in those threads, doing those AMAs.

They just listen to me, I'm not their leader or anything

They just listen to me, I’m not their ‘leader’ or anything

In Gjoni’s twisted reasoning he kept back just enough information to protect ZQ from “undue harassment”, and all the specific details he did release about her (like her weight) were fair game. According to Eron and his reality-distortion field, Quinn should be thanking him right now for his discretion. But in reality he gave 4chan all the information they needed to dox her, dropping hints when he was afraid that just coming out and stating the facts would leave him legally responsible for incitement.

"Heck -- Zoe Quinn isn't even her real name."  Eron's idea of "protecting" ZQ from an angry doxxing mob

“Heck — Zoe Quinn isn’t even her real name.” Eron’s idea of “protecting” ZQ.

I’ve said this before, but if Eron tried to draw a line here with regards to how much information was too much to release, he missed it by a country mile. I suspect that Eron’s desire to “protect” his ex from harassers extends only as far as he might be legally culpable for what happens to her; and that the more pressing reason he represents himself as a “victim of abuse” on Twitter is because he’s the kind of guy who wants revenge without appearing in public like a vengeful asshole. He certainly seems to bristle at any depictions of himself in the media which are less than flattering.

Eron Gjoni

Apparently this is a contest for “pity points”

At times it almost sounds like Eron’s jealous of Quinn for taking up so much of #gamergate’s attention; and angry that his plan to shame her out of the industry backfired. (Eron’s currently unemployed, having been asked to resign after his employers learned about thezoepost.) He seems bitter that he’s consistently portrayed by the media as a hateful boyfriend, whereas Zoe gets invited to interview with the BBC about #gamergate. Gjoni even blames 4chan for ruining this for him, since the average anon is not nearly as clever as he:

"I didn't fan the flames! I only gave them information  with which Zoe *couldn't* be hurt!"

Eron Gjoni expected 4chan wouldn’t be so harebrained with their conspiracy theories; which tells us a lot about Gjoni.

Part 4/5: Eron Gjoni vs. The Restraining Order

Courtroom illustration of Zoe Quinn (Credit: Scott Pilgrim)

Courtroom illustration of Zoe Quinn, evil ex-girlfriend (Source: Scott Pilgrim)

On September 23, Eron Gjoni began crowdfunding a legal defense to combat a restraining order Quinn filed against him, which included a gag clause to prevent him from discussing her online. He sourced these monies from the same people who tried to get Quinn investigated for tax fraud because of her previous success with crowdfunding.

Eron Gjoni, begging for money so he can continue talking shit about his ex online.

Eron Gjoni, begging for money so he can continue talking shit about his ex online.

Eron promised to post everything in the court case if he should win, as a reward for his backers. He was going to make it “amusing”, just like he did for thezoepost.

I will publish the affidavit, as well as the evidence in my defense [this will be public record, after all] in an amusing write-up or heavily auto-tuned whatever. And if that doesn’t convince you just how terribly low LW is willing to stoop, or just how much she doesn’t at all believe in the values she claims to uphold — then I give up. – Eron Gjoni, Sept 23

Oh, to be sure, he asked for nobody to harass “LW” Literally Who, a.k.a. Quinn; but only so he wouldn’t find himself legally imperiled by said harassment, which he knew was continuing apace. These weak denunciations of the harassment he knowingly engendered read like an effort of Gjoni’s to cover own his ass while he violates his RO.

The second is that no one harass LW over this…. In this particular case, harassment on anyone’s part would basically allow LW to claim that my simply asking for help with legal fees constitutes a violation of the order. She might claim that it constitutes a violation even if no one harasses her, but whatever. (I’ve already gotten a call from a concerned and sympathetic police officer for supposedly violating the order presumably for just doing a podcast interview, because as worded, I guess it just means LW is god and can call whatever she wants a violation). The lawyer I intend to hire disagrees, and says I shouldn’t worry about it, because of like, the constitution or whatever, but I won’t get into that.  – Eron Gjoni, calling his ex “Literally Who” while violating his new RO.

Obnoxious double standard aside, Gjoni raised about $2500 on GoFundMe in a matter of hours, violating his restraining order on the GoFundMe page and also by appearing on a podcast hosted by KingofPol a few days later. In that podcast, Eron discusses Quinn’s new relationship and shares tons of details about the new guy, Alex Lifschitz. Listen here, Eron enters the discussion around the 39:00 mark.

Eron also had a friend, Ben Hitov, write about his court hearings on Reddit; to prove to his backers their money was well-spent. I covered this back in October, and Eron admitted to me he’d instructed this person to act as his cat’s paw:

Using 3rd parties to violate his restraining order is a common Gjoni tactic.

Using 3rd parties to violate his restraining order is a common Gjoni tactic.

Eron, or maybe his friend Ben, also posted a picture of his RO to 8chan. I can say that because Hitov offered to share that same RO with Mike Cernovich. Does that sound crazy and stupid to you, too? Well, here’s Hitov telling Cernovich he would do just that on Twitter.

using his friends as tools

Juice Bro Lawyer & Hitov, who Gjoni’s been using a a tool. Some friends you got, Ben.

And do you remember that time I doxed Cernovich back in October, and he responded by screaming Zoe Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops of the internet? Well, Eron RTed that too.

B1Rg8UeCcAEx127

Eron has violated his restraining order repeatedly, showing a callous indifference to the law as well as Quinn’s safety. I imagine it gives his realspace lawyer migraines, even as Mike Cernovich (part-time lawyer, full-time stalker) assures Eron he’s in the right. However I think Eron will find he’s writing his own ticket to unemployment and criminal indictment, just like Mike’s dealt with.

 

Part 5/5: Eron Gjoni, Self-Made Man

"... you loved me, did you not?" > Yes     > Yes     Yes

Writer’s conception of Eron Gjoni’s endgame

Despite all of this, Eron Gjoni would desperately like to believe he is a nice guy. And he wants us to believe he’s a nice guy, too. That’s why he goes on these extended, reality-bending PR campaigns, that’s why he claims he’s a feminist on his Tumblr. As the chances of his triumphing over Quinn grow increasingly remote, Eron would like to distract us with anything he can, so that he don’t see him as he really is. Unfortunately, the evidence is everywhere.

He’s not even sorry for causing all this trouble for his ex; Eron thinks Quinn’s been adequately compensated.

""Professional victim" implies I profit from my victimhood. I don’t. In fact, my victimhood costs me quite a bit of money. For professional victim — see ZQ. Who is literally making $4k a month for getting harassed. " - Eron Gjoni

“”Professional victim” implies I profit from my victimhood. I don’t. In fact, my victimhood costs me quite a bit of money. For professional victim — see ZQ. Who is literally making $4k a month for getting harassed. ” – Eron Gjoni

In the classic logic of someone backed into a corner, he even claims this is somehow good for him, even though his revenge quest has backfired in most of its objectives.

No regrets, no remorse.

No regrets, no remorse.

One of the weirdest things about following this whole scandal is how many times I’ve told Gjoni what he’s doing is a bad idea and that he should stop. And I’m not the only one, yet Gjoni continues. Here, he curtly rebuffs the advice of one of my readers:

"It's not too late to avoid your destiny as a r/mensrights all-star." Except, sadly, when it is.

“It’s not too late to avoid your destiny as a r/mensrights all-star.” Eron was told this in October, but persisted anyway.

What kind of abused person would continue on a self-destructive warpath to destroy the person abusing them? What kind of person needs to reserve the right to harass their ex online for months at all? Why put himself through more grief, now that the news is out and everyone knows the ‘truth’ he wants us to believe? What more could he possibly have to say about this breakup?

Indeed, Eron’s compulsion to talk about Quinn is telling. In his own mind, it’s like some titanic conflict; as if his love life is literally the most important thing on the internet.

In Eron's mind, Zoe's the face which sent a thousand angry emails to Gawker.

In Eron’s mind, Zoe’s the face which sent a thousand angry emails to Gawker.

I think Eron would like the endgame of this saga to play out with him somehow triumphing over Quinn. As that becomes increasingly unlikely he has become desperate to prove his revenge quest was justified. Instead, Eron’s reduced to writing increasingly psychotic blog posts on his Tumblr, blaming everyone but himself for his current situation while waiting for his next hearing date to come around. He’s a quote wherein he quite literally he wishes death on SJWs via surgical accidents as a result of his being dismissed over thezoepost.

Here’s a tip though. next time you go to the ER, make really fucking sure the surgeon has grey hairs.
Or better yet. Don’t do that, and let that surgeon go work on someone who actually deserves to live. Eron Gjoni, c. Nov 7 2014

The stuff I’m publishing now is just the tip of the iceberg; I could probably write five more articles with the material I’m sitting on.

I suppose I should detail one personal prejudice which disposes me against Eron. Over the course of writing about him in this space for the last three months, Eron has hit on me about five times; accusing me of liking him or offering to take me on a date. It’s gross, and he admits to doing that for that effect.

And of course he was doing it to gross me out, the tease.

And of course he was “doing it to creep me out.” What a card.

He also does it to other people, like Greenduch, a Reddit moderator.

And I'm not the only one. Eron also does it to mod who are critical of him.

“So you wanna go on a date?” – Eron Gjoni, hitting on a Reddit moderator right after a ban.

I have to say that being hit on when I back Eron into a corner logically doesn’t help me believe he’s not willing to lie through his teeth to save his hide. But that’s just an impression I get, as someone totally grossed out with his narcissistic, manipulative behavior.

 

Summary

1. Eron knowingly promoted his tell-all blog post about Quinn on 4chan, knowing it was likely to cause harassment.

2. Rather than try to quell the harassment (As he might have you believe), Gjoni actually basked in the attention, to try and stir up even more agita against his ex.

3. Once confronted with his actions, Eron tried to distance himself from #gamergate, and move his involvement of Quinn behind the scenes. Unfortunately we have evidence of this string-pulling.

4. Eron’s fight against his restraining order is merely a continuation of the harassment he was already engaging in. If he wins his legal battle he’s likely to post even more private info about Quinn as a reward for his backers.

5. Gjoni has essentially ruined his good name in pursuit of this revenge quest. He knows this, and it makes him bitter that his plans to sideline Quinn in her own industry have backfired so spectacularly.

6. Gjoni sexually harasses women critical of him; especially when caught in a lie or backed into a corner logically. I find this a telling clue about his real attitude about women, although Gjoni claims to be a feminist.

Five Ridiculous #GamerGater Myths about Zoe Quinn

Zoe Quinn, moments before forcibly shipping 20,000 #Gamergaters to Dubai

Zoe Quinn, moments before exporting 20,000 #Gamergaters to Dubai in shipping containers. (credit: Eden of the East Wikia)

What’s happening, friends? Ah, nothin’; just browsing the internet about this latest trending thing called “#gamergate.” These dudes really seem to hate this woman I’ve never met, they make her sound like a camp monster. I made a list of some of the dumbest things #gamergaters actually believe about her.

5. Zoe Quinn slept her way to prominence in indie gaming. 

According to #gamergate canon, allegations about Quinn’s sex life were the straw that broke the gamer’s back. Way back when Gjoni published thezoepost in August, the putative #gamergate read about Quinn’s relationship with Nathan Grayson, a Kotaku journalist and they all just flipped.

#gamergaters somehow believed Quinn’s relations with Grayson was tantamount to her sleeping with him to obtain a favorable review of Depression Quest. However Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, and never published anything about Quinn in Kotaku once their relationship began. If Grayson had written anything about Zoe Quinn after beginning their relationship, the ethically culpable party would have been Grayson. But Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, so no ethical breach occured.

Still, this spun out to create the wider myth that Zoe slept with more people (the “Five Guys” of which Eron wrote, and then even more people) as if each liason earned her Video Game Industry Points or something. I probably shouldn’t have written that though; in case someone makes a flash game.

4. Zoe Quinn exploits her supporters for personal gain. 

This one is a favorite of Lawfag’s and was a popular mission in the #burgersandfries chat room back in mid-August. The primary evidence cited in the logs (as I covered here) was some successful crowdfunding campaigns conducted by Quinn, some about games and others not (one was to replace a stolen pocketbook.)

Suspicious of her success at raising money, #gamergaters were eager to prove Quinn had embezzled donations… so they tried to get her audited by the IRS. But during his extended Q&A Gjoni didn’t have any evidence of financial misconduct on Quinn’s part, and was reduced to criticizing her for doing things like negotiating contracts and having industry friends I mean, arrogance and rank nepotism.

To date I’ve found no evidence that Zoe Quinn is somehow stealing the funds people give to her as donations. The semantics of that are essentially weird. And as Save the Queen noted on We Hunted the Mammoth, Depression Quest costs nothing on Steam. (You may donate money if you choose.) This is hard to reconcile with #gamergater’s conception of Quinn as greedy.

And it’s not just about money. According to this reddit thread from yesterday about my most recent exploits, Zoe Quinn is a manipulator and I’m her thrall.

Dammit, I knew I should have trademarked that one.

Dammit, I knew I should have trademarked that one.

Triple Score: reddit user Hells-Drunkard goes directly from calling me “easily manipulatable” to grousing about Zoe Quinn’s Patreon Account and “playing the victim.”

hmm

She is good at manipulating easily manipulatable people. Don’t give her so much credit.

All she has to do is tell her followers who to hate and they jump. They pay her 3k a month for playing the victim and making nothing of any quality.

 

3. Zoe Quinn fakes the threats she receives, thus playing the victim.

This is probably definitely not true, unless the entire 2,500-page, 10-point type bulk of the IRC chatroom #burgersandfries (which was dedicated to harassing the holy hell out of Quinn) is fiction.

Which it’s not; the entire log was posted by pro-#gamergate folks to try and exonerate them, or prove that these comments were cherry-picking when the whole damn log was like that. The interview Eron Gjoni gave for #burgersandfries shows that they thought ZQ made shit up even then; e.g. about being mugged or with regards to past cases of harassment.

For a few days after #burgersandfries broke, #gamergate also tried to pass off the screencaps Quinn published as fake; as if she’d fabricated them herself in IRC using confederates. #gamergaters believe Quinn is capable of such devious cover-ups because #gamergaters themselves use the exact same tactics to cover their own asses.

2. #gamergate isn’t about Zoe Quinn (anymore)

Even today in 8chan, everybody’s happy to start a bandwagon hating on Zoe Quinn. Here’s a thread from 8chan about a blog post written by part-time internet attorney, full-time beserker MRA Mike Cernovich; where he screams Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops of the internet in response to my posting a photograph of his house on the internet yesterday; so this is very recent.

Cernovich and the rest of #gamergate immediately attack ZQ for something I did; Cernovich by publishing more court documents, like I expected he might and #gamergate by discussing all the reasons they never liked Zoe Quinn anyhow.

meaculpa2

“purple haired landwhale”… “She looks photoshopped, I know she isn’t but damn girl u fat” – Anons (Source: 8chan/gg)

"This is why the nude photos of her younger and slimmer self were a favor to her. Was it worth it, Nathan?" - Anon, being a real creep (Source: 8chan)

“This is why the nude photos of her younger and slimmer self were a favor to her. Was it worth it, Nathan?” – Anon, being a real creep (Source: 8chan)

And lest you think I’m cherrypicking, or that hating Quinn is somehow unusual for #gamergate, the thread goes on in this vein. Posting pictures of Zoe Quinn, unflattering photoshops of the same, discussing her appearance, weight, how ZQ makes one 8chan anon want to “blunt a kitten with a sledgehammer.”; it’s all in there! But #gamergate lacks this self-awareness, and would like to think Quinn is so over, even as they spout bile about her at that very moment.

"Nobody cares about you anymore" except this guy, and all the other people in this thread and hundreds of others

“fuck off zoe. no-one fucking cares about you anymore. choke on my sage” – Anon, not caring about ZQ at all (Source:8chan)

 

1. Zoe Quinn killed a man

According to a photographer on Facebook, Zoe Quinn hired her to take pictures for a “softcore/ alt erotica” photo shoot in 2007. According to the photographer, whose name is Malorie Nasrallah, Quinn and she chatted; and during that conversation Quinn said she was attacked by a man and stabbed him in the face. There’s even a smoking gun:

The smoking gun: a redacted, undated email exchange. Allegedly Locke = Zoe Quinn

The smoking gun: a redacted, undated email exchange. Allegedly, Locke = Zoe Quinn (Source: Mallorie Nasrallah)

You’ll notice that I summed it up pretty quickly, although Malorie’s piece is 1,350 words long. That’s because most of what she wrote is actually Malorie grousing about Zoe Quinn as a client.

By time I arrived in Albany, Zoe had cancelled one of the three shoots we had planned. She lived in a tiny apartment with her boyfriend / spouse / lover (I did not ask personal questions) and her roommate. I had been assured I could over night with them, and that they had room to accommodate a guest, and room to shoot in. They had neither. We ended up doing an impromptu shoot in the extremely crowded apartment, in the middle of the night, to try to save the shoot.

– Malorie Nasrallah, grousing

I understand why this might be frustrating. That certainly does sound unprofessional. But it sounds like Nasrallah’s poisoning the well: because Quinn did not perform to her professional standards at a photoshoot, this is supposed to lend credence to the claim Quinn stabbed someone.

While we tried to plan a shoot for the next day Zoe, and Co. chatted with me. She claimed to have stabbed a man – attempted rapist – in the face, who had grabbed her. She relayed to me no less than three other accounts of alleged violent assault. I will not share the details here, I feel that would be fundamentally indecent. I was alarmed at this, and I admit, by the time she made the claim that she stabbed a man in the face with a knife* and ran away, I was skeptical as well. Two claims involved alleged workplace incidents, and were her prime explanation for why she could not hold a job. I was mildly disconcerted, because true or false, these stories have good cause to make one uneasy. She also claimed to have reported nothing to police, or management at her work.

That was not all we discussed, we talked about modeling, the websites, and erotica/porn in general. It was what we both did for a living, and candid conversation on the subject was not unusual.

I believe that being told by someone that they stabbed a man (who shall remain nameless) at some point in the unspecified past is hearsay. But there are other reasons the story bugs me.

For example, I try to beware of excessive details. They usually imply that someone is lying, adding more and more details so that their story seems credible. And 80% of this account is about Zoe’s softcore porn shoot (what is this, fanfiction?); complaints of how totally unprofessional she was, it’s mostly excessive details designed to make one think ill of Zoe Quinn.

Nasrallah even writes that Quinn still owes her money for the services rendered & clearly dislikes her. You might call that a “conflicting interest”; she seems to care more about her own interactions with Quinn than anything about this proposed murder. Still she offers herself up as a “character witness”; because people who hate Zoe Quinn will obviously only tell the truth about her.

Then are the factual things. According to Nasrallah, ZQ went by the name “Valentine Locke”, so in reality all the facts here are about someone who called themselves “Locke” at the time. Nasrallah came into contact with ZQ after the fact; (“When I realized Locke was Zoe”) and only comes out with the story now, post-#gamergate.

The smoking gun is a mostly censored email exchange between Nasrallah and Locke/Zoe. These weren’t the first messages exchanged between the two, and Nasrallah gives us no sense of context to Locke’s/Zoe’s words because most of her prompting message is censored. So when Locke responds by discussing killing someone in self-defense we have no context for this message, save the one Nasrallah is telling us.

So basically this is a rumor, with no evidence, no dead body and no time frame. Just an undated email written by ZQ under an alias, allegedly boasting about having stabbed a rapist in the face (in self defense.) I wonder what Malorie is leaving out when she blacks out text that says “here am I allegedly saying I should have let her be murdered? etc.” I kind of wonder if it isn’t some rape-apologetic handwaving about that poor nameless, mysterious man she wants to protect.

Eron Gjoni was promoting this libel on October 8, directly linking to Malorie’s accusations in this series of tweets.

Eron Gjoni, promoting the myth that Zoe Quinn is a murderer, false rape accuser. This is libel.

Eron Gjoni, endorsing the myth that Zoe Quinn is a murderer, false rape accuser.

This might be libel, since he’s CCing some of the popular names of #gamergate in these Tweets. And did Eron Gjoni just say Zoe Quinn makes false rape claims? Gross. Don’t let this guy into your social justice club; whatever he thinks theoretically, this is who he is when the rubber meets the road.

But hey, Mike Cernovich believes it. On Oct 18 he asked #gamergate if Zoe Quinn admitted to killing someone on Twitter.

#gamergaters reposting the facebook photo ad nauseam

#gamergaters repost the facebook photo ad nauseam

More on Mike Cernovich as he screams Zoe Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops like it’s a magic word. – ID