Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Alison Rapp is Now Being Severely Harassed


Alison Rapp, the woman who was fired from Nintendo after facing months of harassment because she was blamed for a localization decision that she had nothing to do with, has now been doxxed and is dealing with multiple family members being harassed and doxxed as well, including extended family members, because there is no length that these people won't go to to terrorize, intimidate, and silence people. These are domestic terrorists we're dealing with. They may not deal in explosives (not yet, but they do make bomb threats), but their aim is to terrify people into doing what they want.

And by "people" I mean "women" and by "what they want" I mean "their silence."

Why is she being harassed now? They got what they wanted. She was fired. If this had been based on any kind of real moral outrage or protest, they'd leave her alone. Especially since she didn't do anything wrong.

But this isn't about moral outrage. This is about locking onto a vulnerable target and making the person's life as difficult and miserable as they can. These "trolls" as people call them, that's their aim. They have lists of targets shared on the seediest of online message boards, and there they coordinate their attacks and even offer rewards for proof of harassment. I'm not kidding. If you want to see for yourself, you can start on 8chan, which is like 4chan only infinity times worse. 8chan is literally where the people who are banned from 4chan for being horrible go to continue being horrible. Again, I'm not joking. That's the entire reason 8chan was made. And a large section of 8chan flies the GamerGate flag.

There's a significant group of people, mostly young men, who dedicate their free time to this particular activity. Harassment includes calling the phones of the target and target's family members to make threats, sending obscene or threatening letters or emails, and making fake complaints to the police (which is definitely illegal).

I do not know why they're continuing to complain to Nintendo if she no longer works for them, but claiming a person is a pedophile and spreading that idea as much as possible is another tactic these people go for, and a very popular one with GamerGate.

Another tactic is to either claim a woman has engaged in sex work or to hyper focus on her previous sex work. I mean, either way they hyper focus on it, as evidenced by the photo and username of the person who made that forum post bragging about harassment. A claim has surfaced from the pit of 8chan that Alison Rapp is an escort - a full service sex worker - based on screenshots and archives of a website of a supposed escort compared to Alison Rapp's photos. They're also claiming that the "exif data" from the photos on the escort site match that of the data from Rapp's DeviantArt account on which she posts photos of her cosplay.

If you don't know, and I didn't until recently, "exif data" is the data that attaches itself to photos uploaded to the Internet. It contains all kinds of data, including the model of the camera used and the serial number of the camera lens. That people can easily access this is creepy as fuck. I've also read that cell phone camera exif data can contain personal information like the location of the photo taken. This is how people get doxxed. Creepy.

But 8chaners and the GamerGaters latching onto this narrative have no qualms about people's privacy and so they supposedly compared the data to a supposed website that's now down to the data from the DeviantArt account and it supposedly matches down to the lens serial number.

I have zero faith in anything that comes out of 8chan. Actually, that's not true. I have faith that the shit that comes out of 8chan is bullshit. Their ability to manipulate, photoshop, and hack, and their absolute lack of integrity means that they can and will do anything to assault the reputations of their targets. They don't care.

But even if it wasn't true, I wouldn't care, because I'm not a monocle-dropping hater of sex workers. Any person should be allowed to do anything they want with consenting adults, and actually, a lot of GamerGaters agree with this (albeit probably for gross reasons). Yet notorious GamerGate sites are spreading this rumor like wildfire, stating it as fact with no concern that it came straight from 8chan. And why should they be concerned? 8chan is a GamerGate haven.

So we're left with this. GamerGate says they don't harass and they say they're supportive of sex workers, yet they're spreading personal information, spreading whorephobic and sex shaming posts, and as this has spread, Alison Rapp has seen an exponential increase in the harassment of her and her family. At the very least, GamerGate is complicit. It's no secret that whorephobia is used to severely intensify hatred of women and to justify their harassment. By spreading this 8chan shit, they've guaranteed that she'll become a huge target, much more than before.

It's bad enough to spread anything that comes out of 8chan, which is an unabashed base for harassing people. But to spread an unverifiable claim that a woman is a sex worker in an intensely whorephobic society, when women have already been intensely harassed due to similar claims, and all when you claim to think that sex work should be legal anyway?

Way to go, GamerGate, for contributing to the hatred of sex work and the harassment of yet another woman somehow involved in video games. You can't claim innocence on this one, but I'm sure you'll try.

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