#NotYourShield-Not Good Enough

As has been previously mentioned the most visible place that the Gamergate can be observed is kotakuinaction. It serves as a central gather place for the Gamergate movement. What is much less obvious is Gamergate’s presence on 8chan. This is where the movement began and the more hardcore elements remain. Kotakuinaction is meant for a wider audience, is user friendly and well organized. 8chan on the other hand is well definitely not those things. What is demonstrated by individual subreddits and 8chan boards on the issue is a clear and obvious culture gap. One which is further mirrored in the fundamental differences between the two and Facebook/twitter.

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Kotakuinaction in many ways is just like any other subreddit. It has the same basic functionality and layout, it has the same community guidelines and it seems to draw on the same community. Although there are certainly women on reddit the clear and obvious gender gap cannot be ignored. In a male dominated environment alt right and mra subreddits can thrive. With the structural similarities and convenience cross colonization of boards is pretty easy which results in things like kotakuinaction’s core gg section to sift out the cross chatter. Now one can take issue with any one of these subbreddits for various reasons but there exists key commonalities. These boards exist to collated information from a wide variety of sources for community discussion and most importantly serve as a platform for political/organized action and partisanship. Of course there is also the obligatory adorable animals for which reddit is famed.

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8chan on the other hand is its own beast. A product of an older younger internet 8chan grew out of the more well known 4chan.  It was created as a response to 4chan, home of deviant art, being perceived as too authoritarian. The underlying technology here is the same across boards but unlike reddit it is hardly user friendly. Furthermore even though boards share the technology they operate as their own distinct fiefdoms with the only rule being don’t violate US law which was instituted after some boards were repeatedly reported for having child pornography. 8chan is credited with the genesis of the Gamergate movement but its two most popular boards /gg and then /gamergate are now effectively defunct. There is, however, one gamergate board that they point to that is alive and well. Ok maybe not well as it continues to boggle the mind. It certainly would not be tolerated anywhere else.

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When it comes to twitter and Facebook a whole different story emerges. With a ubiquitous userbase with a low or non existent gender disparity the stuff that slides on 8chan is quite frankly not allowed and the stuff that makes up kotakuinaction are certainly not encouraged. The Gamergate Facebook group collapsed after it was exposed particularly because with Facebook you lack anonymity. Nobody wants to be THAT guy, or gal. In this way Facebook and twitter are viewed as Other by the Gamergate movement; Giant technology corporations based out of San Francisco ‘pushing a liberal agenda’. The alt-right famed for its baseless and harmful conspiracy theories and distrust of the ‘liberal media’ feed into the Gamergate movements critical lens towards gaming journalism. As Facebook and twitter evolve they have shifted from media platforms to in many ways news media platforms. In this way they become the object of suspicion amongst Gamergate supports who suspect them of collusion. This is primarily how Facebook and twitter show themselves to us in places where Gamergate supporters assemble with things like twitterbullshit being a tag. In this way Gamergate’s choice of platform seems to belie the narrative of #NotYourShield.

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