4chan Chronicle/GamerGate

On August 20, a Tumblr called the Zoe Quinn Post is made, by the aforementioned person’s ex-boyfriend exposing game developer Zoe Quinn as a liar and manipulator, having slept with at least five men in the gaming industry in order to promote her content. The situation escalates when Quinn pulls some favors and gets all mention of the event deleted in several forums, including the astounding axing of over 10,000 comments on a single subreddit. Surprisingly, no one in the gaming press speaks about it, and many, including Kotaku, IGN, and others, jump on her defense. This escalates extremely quickly as dozens of people give accounts regarding their experience with her and her group of friends’ abuse – sparking a massive Twitter war between e-celebrities and Zoe’s clique, among them Phil Fish and many important members of the indie games’ community and SJWs that believe Zoe’s claims of harassment. /v/, the games board, revels in the chaos like it always does: By pointing at it and laughing. Moderators take a semi-passive stance by letting the gossip die out naturally without letting it crash the board. The jokes were dying down when things took a strange turn: Quinn decided to blame /v/ as one of the main instigators of her Twitter harassment, going as far as pretending to be hacked by the board. This sparks /v/ to act and start an enormous crusade with the objective of exposing Quinn as a cheating whore. Their objective soon grows into a movement to clean the indie games industry of its blatant corruption.

The movement, being extremely reminiscent of /b/’s Chanology, is shunned by an important part of the board’s population. The tension escalates continuously, especially when /pol/ users convince the movement to back a pro-feminism studio, The Fine Young Capitalists’ campaign to make games conceived by women, after it was discovered that their project was sabotaged because Quinn wanted a project of her own to shine. This leads, as a bonus, to the creation of Vivian James as a reward for backing the Fine Young Capitalist’s kickstarter. Moderators seem indecisive regarding the issue, banning it but then allowing it again. It was later found out that the mods wanted to contain the whole subject to a single thread, but due to miscommunication with the janitors, all threads ended up deleted. The ongoing tension between both parties in /v/ reaches a boiling point when, due to 4chan’s design, the limited tactics the movement can employ (the zerg rush) interfere directly with 4chan’s moderation as they mass report posts. This leads to the final ban on GamerGate on September 16. Under the notion that it would give the users cause to rally against the staff, RapeApe, senior mod and Janitor manager (and then owner) decides against informing the site, in spite of a majority of staff members predicting that users would be even more upset, especially since the staff already gave a modposted ok for the threads. As predicted, this is felt as a betrayal by the pro-movement /v/irgins, which leads them to spam the entire site for weeks. moot later backs RapeApe’s standing under the notion that, given that the users are unreasonable, nothing they say can appease them and will probably be used against them. moot makes a sticky on /v/ declaring GamerGate against the “no raids” rule. This leads to the movement’s exodus to 8chan, a “make your own board” site led by Hotwheels, a heavily crippled 20 years old. From there on, the movement would get increasingly weaker as imageboards, by design, don’t allow much in terms of organization, given that the complete lack of centralization and power enforcement leads to users pretty much doing what they want, leading to crass doxxing and harassment, a fact that the opponents of GG used as a tactic to try and shun the entire movement through the media.

One of GamerGate’s consequences was that moot disabled all the mods from posting, officially ending all communication between the staff and 4chan. Another consequence would be that many Team 4chan members would go rogue and leak information on 8chan due to dissatisfaction with the ban. Leaks included two years’ worth of janitor #janiteam logs. Behind the curtains, being on the #janiteam during major shitstorms is now required for all janitors in order to properly coordinate containment.