Friday, 4 November 2016

An Open Letter to D.C. Douglas

Hello, Mr Douglas, I hope this open letter finds you well and in good health. I have written this in the hopes that you will see it and maybe think about what I have written as I was so disappointed to learn the other day that you had me blocked and we have never spoken, an apparent result of you using the blocking program which can be used with Twitter. I understand you started using it after mocking the Gamergate hashtag and had many people who used it come at you, some in quite a nasty manner and I can only shake my head at that and wish that it had not happened because those of us (yes, I was a supporter a while ago) who supported it for the cause of wanting ethical journalism in the gaming sector did so because we wanted exactly that, and not to abuse people online.

As a result of supporting this cause because of the August 28th articles (the most well known is linked), many of us were attacked and slandered by the media and only a handful of the online press actually bothered to get both sides of the matter. We have been called almost everything imaginable from "worse than ISIS" to "trolls", the list would go on here but you get the point I hope. From a personal point of view, I am blocked by a lot of people I do not know and nor have I ever spoken to them and this does not bother me as such, but when I discovered that you had gone down this road, I was especially disappointed and I will explain why.

Legion was my favorite characters in Mass Effect, I used him as a playable character as soon as I could because I loved the idea of his story, the way he spoke and the way he performed in the battlefield. I gave him my best sniper rifle and some of the headshots he pulled off literally made me stop what I was doing for a moment and think "damn!". His death in part three (I played the hero route) was my second saddest moment (first was Mordin's death) and left me upset because I really wanted to use him again just to see where the story took him. My only problem with the character was that he was not introduced in the story sooner because I think it would have been awesome. I was not aware of your Twitter account and did think about following it but then you used the blocking program, here we are, I know you have said that Twitter is not real life and so on, but I had wanted to ask you questions about voicing Legion and so on, but it looks like that will not be the case.

I saw that you had some criticisms of Gamergate and at one point called them "sexist, racist and douchey" and then expressed amusement when some of them fired back at you. When I was growing up, if someone mocked me I would mock them back, I'm pretty sure it still works that way these days but maybe you were unaware of that. To address what you said, however: you are wrong. I have met many of the other Gamergate supporters and many of them were women and black, in fact, it is arguable to say that many of the most high-profile supporters were as such, an example of each would be Oliver Campbell and Christina Hoff Sommers, I invite you to look up the others as there were people from every race, colour and background who supported the hashtag and its cause.

As for the "douchey" part, yes I will agree that there were a lot of idiots on the internet who used the hashtag as an excuse to go after people. One of them I know you have blocked already, this idiot, who harassed a friend of mine until she eventually blocked him, at one point she was even made aware he was attempting to mess with her in real life even though he lives in another country. Then there is this character, who runs this website. Words cannot describe some of the nasty things he and his friends post on this site but many in the Gamergate community washed their hands of him after he published this article, using the suicide of a young girl as a blunt weapon to attack someone else with. I tweeted one day in amusement how his Twitter account was verified and he and some of his followers/minions got into my mentions and insulted me for it, I blocked and muted them and moved on without a second thought. The point I am leading to here is that a hashtag cannot be controlled with regards to who uses it, I hope you think about that for a moment.

Those of us who supported Gamergate were subject to insults and harassment for supporting the cause, none of it was ever reported in the media and of course not, as it was the media we were criticizing in the first place. This blog, written by the above-mentioned friend, has cataloged a lot of it and I invite you to read it and see what is in there, such as racist and sexist insults as well as doxing of a few Gamergate supporters and again, this was never reported. I have to ask you how far you have looked into Gamergate and what it uncovered during the strongest parts of its time, the deepfreeze website has cataloged almost every ethical breach made by the gaming press with evidence to back it up, please take a look and read through some of them and you might grasp the scale of what was uncovered. Were you also aware that the supporters were given the chance to speak fairly at the Society of Professional Journalists in Florida back in 2015, just before the hashtag's first-year anniversary? The first session can be found here and the second, here. The first session was the more productive as just after the halfway mark of the video, the SPJ panel agreed with and essentially vindicated the hashtag with regards to unethical practices. The second one was cut short after about ten bomb threats were phoned in to stop it and forced all the attendees to wait outside whilst police searched the building. Finally, a lot of the hashtag's accomplishments have been summed up in this video, I invite you to take a look.

With regards to the users of the hashtag supporting Donald Trump, I have seen a mixture of those who do and do not, it is something I personally care little about because I am an Englishman living in the United Kingdom so I am not sure what I can say to you about that, each to their own I guess.

Now with regards to the blocking program you are using, I can only wonder at this point if you are aware of who it is made by and who she is as a person. Randi Harper has been revealed to be one of the biggest bullies on the internet, a woman who has gone after people she dislikes either on her own or with the help of her followers but again, this has not been covered by the mainstream media. The only place that took a look into her was the Breitbart website with this article, I know you may ignore it because of the fact that it supports Trump but I implore you to read the piece, especially when it mentions some of her victims. I have met two of them and I cannot tell you how nice they were but to people like Harper, they were good targets and nothing more. Harper is unemployed and is unemployable due to her online activities and has to survive off of a Patreon account, using that blocking program enables the real bullies like her to keep doing what she does. Think about that for a moment.

I hope this got through to you in some way but I suppose the reality is that you will ignore this and move on, who am I to lecture you, right? This blog was not written to insult, condemn, or harass you in any way at all but instead to ask you to reconsider your course of action, you most likely blocked a lot of fans without even realizing it by painting them with the same brush you used on those who insulted you. I have personally ruled out purchasing any Bioware games as it now appears that they employ a racist who has tweeted as such but gotten away with it, I can only wonder if you have him blocked or not. Finally, I wanted to leave you with two things: as you have decided to block the likes of me without even knowing who I am or even talking to me, if I am about to buy a game or film and find out you have a part in it, I will not buy it at all, this may be nothing more than a mild itch to you but I can only wonder how many others will follow suit.

Finally, as a fan of your work, I wanted to tell you that I am so, so disappointed in you and the choice you made. Take care Mr Douglas, good luck with your future projects.

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