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The guy who inspired Gamergate ignored his mother's advice to 'cool off'

The guy who inspired Gamergate ignored his mother's advice to 'cool off'


"[W]hat you put on the internet is for eternity."

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In August, Eron Gjoni published a 9,000 word screed on his personal Wordpress, detailing the private relationship he shared with game designer Zoe Quinn. The post catalyzed a movement that would become known as Gamergate, an ongoing internet protest that claims to be about journalistic ethics, but is fixated on suppressing progressive voices, particularly those of minorities and women. The group strategizes on the internet, but members have made threats in the real world, including doxxing Quinn and other designers and requesting advertisers pull campaigns from publications that publish coverage the group does not agree with. This week, critic Anita Sarkessian was forced to cancel a lecture at a Utah University after receiving threats of a "massacre" of her and other feminists.

Buzzfeed News spoke with Gjoni about the movement he inspired. The profile is enigmatic. The 24-year-old man seems to be both disgusted by and proud of the Gamergate movement. Ironically, Gjoni claims "I don't like, have a passion for games or anything."

But perhaps most interesting are the details about the conversation Gjoni had with his mother, a human resources manager, before publishing the original post, which made revealing claims about Quinn's sex life. From the piece on Buzzfeed:

Gjoni also consulted his mother, a human resources manager who asked that her name not be used. Gjoni's mother, who trains workers in harassment avoidance, preached caution. "I advised him to cool off and not make a decision based on emotions," she told BuzzFeed News. "I was not very happy that he made the decision to publish. As a parent my feeling is that what you put on the internet is for eternity."

That final sentence rings especially true this week, which marks two months since the beginning of Gamergate. The story has only grown since August. Today, the group's threats on women were documented on the front page of the New York Times in a piece called "Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats."