[Air-L] #gamergate trolling attack going on now against a feminist tech movement

Zara Rahman zara at cihr.eu
Fri Oct 9 09:16:31 PDT 2015

Hi Gilad,

Thank you for your comments; to explain my initial email a little
further, the #takebackthetech community is a specific one that has been
mobilising online for at least a year, I think more. They focus
specifically on online violence against women and have coordinated a
number of campaigns under that hashtag (such as the 'feminist internet
principles)- and they have good reason to suspect they're being targeted
because of their upcoming twitter chat and their previous work.

I understand that other feminist communities have been targeted
(including a good number of my peers) - but I, and many other feminists
in this space, think it's important to make the distinction between
different feminist communities, and recognise that specific communities
are being selected as 'new' targets. The large majority of people in the
#takebackthetech community have never been targeted before - hence my
email to the list. I believe we have a lot to learn about, for example,
how they 'start' campaigns, how they select them, and how they hijack
previously well-established hashtags. Not to mention the community
response, which is ongoing.

Thanks, I hope that explains a bit better!



On 09/10/2015 18:06, Gilad Lotan wrote:
> #takebackthetech may be a new hashtag, but the community behind it,
> along with other feminist communities, have been gamergate targets
> over the past couple of months. 
>> On Oct 9, 2015, at 12:00 PM, Zara Rahman <zara at cihr.eu
>> <mailto:zara at cihr.eu>> wrote:
>> Hi Gilad,
>> I was writing about trolling the #takebackthetech community
>> specifically, and this *is* new, according to key members of that
>> community. They emailed earlier today to say it started today.
>> Best,
>> Zara
>> On 09/10/2015 17:57, Gilad Lotan wrote:
>>> This is not new. The “gamergate” community has been continuously
>>> trolling these issues online. 
>>> I just published an analysis this morning about the
>>> #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag, where the gamergate community is
>>> actively engaged against the different Feminist communities - 
>>> http://qz.com/520309/how-to-tell-whether-a-twitter-user-is-pro-choice-or-pro-life-without-reading-any-of-their-tweets/
>>> Gilad
>>>> On Oct 9, 2015, at 11:44 AM, Zara Rahman <zara at cihr.eu> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I thought this might be of interest for those of you studying trolling:
>>>> there is a (seemingly well-coordinated) Gamergate going on right now
>>>> against those using the hashtag #takebackthetech and (to a lesser
>>>> extent) #imagineafeministinternet.
>>>> Both of these hashtags started with the feminist organisation APC, and
>>>> they were/are planning an online twitter discussion tonight on the
>>>> impact of onlnie violence against women - but Gamergate trolls seem to
>>>> have picked up on it in advance.
>>>> The community is organising at the moment on how to respond, but if
>>>> you're interested in following/studying/archiving the attack - head to
>>>> #takebackthetech
>>>> <https://twitter.com/hashtag/TakeBackTheTech?src=hash>.
>>>> For reference: https://www.takebackthetech.net/
>>>> https://www.apc.org/en/about/programmes/womens-networking-support-programme-apc-wnsp
>>>> Thanks - if you end up working on this topic further, please let me
>>>> know! And, perhaps this goes without saying but please don't @/tag
>>>> me or
>>>> others in your responses if you choose to respond on Twitter. The
>>>> organisers of the twitter chat have already received abusive
>>>> twitter and
>>>> email messages.
>>>> Best,
>>>> Zara
>>>> -- 
>>>> Zara Rahman
>>>> Fellow at Centre for Internet and Human Rights
>>>> http://zararah.net | Twitter: @zararah
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