#Gamergate OP deleted from Github the official reply to "why?"

Yesterday a repository called "Gamergate OP" was deleted from collaboration-site Github, for the moment you can see see it via Google Cache. I emailed Github to get clarification as to why. I asked the following questions:

There's a screenshot online that shows you as explaining why it was removed as "the repository was a central point for organising a harassment campaign"
Is this your official statement and can I use that quote in an article?
Do you know what was in the repository? What part of the depository constituted harassment? Was the harassment directed at any specific individuals? I'm assuming you're leaning on your TOS G.7 but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I got this reply to all of my questions from the github press team, a.k.a a GitHub spokesperson.

We've taken the repository in question down for multiple reasons including our determination that the repository was being used as a central point for organizing harassment campaigns.
As additional background, we do not actively moderate the content that people share on GitHub, but when we receive reports of content that may be in violation of our Terms of Service, we investigate it thoroughly and respond as appropriate. In this case, we determined that the repository was being used as a central point for organizing harassment campaigns. We believe strongly in building a safe and inclusive community, and we will not knowingly allow harassment campaigns to be organized on GitHub.

I note that there's no response on if the harassment was directed at any specific individuals. The difference between Gamergate boycotts and the boycotting of Shell Oil, and the boycotting of Chick-fil-A... is what, exactly? The advertised depictions of Kit Kat consisting of orangutan finger as they use palm oil in their chocolate, is that harassment of Kit Kat? Can a brand or a corporation be harassed? Is it the bleed between celebrity blog/journalists and their output that has confused the line between the person and the brand? When all journalism has become op-ed, where will people turn for simple facts? We all are "brands" now on social media, but if we are brands, can we be harassed? Previously: Insulting consumers shrinks the market. Intel has gamers inside - pulls advertising from Gamasutra Intel Clarifies - we are not anti-woman

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Adam's picture

I suppose they're just spamming everyone that asks them about this with the same form letters rather than answer any questions that might betray their ignorance on the subject.

Dabitch's picture

Very likely. This is why I keep telling people working on gaming clients that they should have a plan, and they should have had it last month. Reactive things like this can cause more trouble.

There has been several consumer boycotts over consumer goods in recent years, more than I mentioned in the post, but more recently there's been another type of boycott. CEO of Godaddy, famed for their sexist super bowl ads, had to watch a few customers leave due to his big game hunting hobby. Brendan Eich, creator of the JavaScript scripting language and co-founder of Mozilla, had to resign from the position of CEO at Mozilla over a $1,000 political donation Eich had made in 2008 to the campaign for California Proposition 8. Similarly, the Jellybean boycott came about because Herman G. Rowland Sr., the chairman of the board of Jelly Belly Candy Company, Inc., donated $5,000 to "Privacy for All Students".

Sport's picture

Yes that looks like a form letter. This is the wrong way to handle this. They're not answering any questions at all.

fringenerd's picture

As an outsider in the industry, i.e. someone in video games but not in America, the past month or two keep pointing to deeper problems with San Francisco in general. There seems to be a big ego problem that's starting to interfere with people's ability to do their jobs properly.

Tru Dat's picture

And? So far the GamerGaters have managed to produce a whopping Zero cases of so-called corruption in gaming journalism. What they have managed to do is issue a lot of rape threats while simultaneously claiming that sexist video games have no effect on behavior.
Good riddance.

Daniel Thomas's picture


Well there is this so that's more than zero, and at least one there's plenty more, like that sleeping with developers and PR reps is so common among games journalists that it's an injoke

If we're going to hold people accountable for other people's actions, then the PR spin gaming journalists decided on to deal with #gamergate was one of escalation resulting in extreme levels of harassment, on both "sides" of the issue, we're talking doxing stalking death threats, and yeah rape threats.

People on the #gamergate side at least tried to call this out, the journalists didn't even though they had the megaphones because it would damage their PR narrative to admit that their side was doing it too

That's kinda corrupt in and of itself