#GamerGate Harasses Brianna Wu After She Tweets About Her Dead Dog

12/02/2014 12:55 pm ET
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#GamerGate is going strong nearly four months after it began, and it's as virulent as ever, with certain supporters recently targeting a critic's dead dog.

Game developer Brianna Wu, who has received death threats for speaking out against members of the controversial group, claims she has been harassed about the sudden death of her 6-year-old dog Crash on Monday. She tweeted that pictures of mutilated dogs were sent to her corporate email address by people who identified as #GamerGate supporters. On Tuesday, she tweeted she was even concerned that #GamerGate supporters might have poisoned her dog because of the sickness it suffered, though tests apparently showed that not to be the case.

Wu has experienced months of abuse following her criticisms of #GamerGate, a movement that purports to call for more ethical gaming journalism, even as many of its most visible members propagate gender abuse. Wu has spoken out against #GamerGate for harassing women, leading to death and rape threats that eventually became so severe that Wu and her husband were driven from their home.

Reached for comment just hours after her dog's death, Wu told The Huffington Post she didn't want to get into a conversation about the abuse, but said "the worst stuff" was already featured in her Twitter feed.

The attacks against Wu show that tensions are still high in the #GamerGate debate. In recent weeks, Twitter teamed with an advocacy group to fight back against the harassment of women on the social-media platform. And last week, a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story featured feminist game developer Anita Sarkeesian, who like Wu has received violent threats from #GamerGate supporters.

It's difficult to pin #GamerGate harassment on any individual representatives of the movement. Its supporters are often anonymous, and popular #GamerGate forums on the ∞chan website appear to automatically label all posters as "The Leader of Gamergate" or just "Leader," in a nod to the lack of an apparent leadership structure.

The most vicious members are often written off as unrepresentative of the group by other #GamerGaters, while individuals listed as allies decry the abuse.

But it's impossible to separate the two sides of #GamerGate: On Monday, a thread titled "Brianna Wu whoring her dying dog to lash at #Gamergate" was posted to ∞chan. It's telling that two of ∞chan's biggest boards centered on #GamerGate, /gg/ and /gamergate/, appear to be at war with each other over how they're represented.

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