Censorship of GamerGate on 4chan

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The censorship of Gamergate on 4chan refers to the mass wave of censorship occurring on the imageboard website 4chan in September 2014, when threads discussing the controversy were deleted en mass and users are getting banned just for talking about the controversy. Despite that there're many claims about why founder of 4chan Christopher "m00t" Poole would allow such an act, the most likely reason is that he underwent the censorship in order to pander towards SJWs. The incident resulted in a surge of popularity of 4chan's rival site, 8chan.

Mass Deletion

Starting in mid September, when the GamerGate consumer revolt was going in full swing, threads discussing the controversy were being deleted in massive sweeps, reposting the threads only resulted in further deletion. Attempts in contacting the mod team, or even m00t himself, for resolving the issue ended in failure. Users were being banned for discussing GG. And even the feedback page was removed to prevent further discussion. On September 17th, YouTuber Dr. Layman revealed that all users from Germany were IP banned from posting on the /v/ (video games) and /pol/ (politically incorrect) boards.

At first, people believed it to be the action of one or several rogue Ryulong-like mod and started to question the integrity of 4chan's moderation team. Borads like /v/ and /sp/ (sports) started to spam images of John Morris (the school janitor from the cartoon Arthur) with the phrase "He does it for free".

However, when m00t returned from the xoxo convention, his behaviour became somewhat suspicious looking: he made all kinds of excuses not to answer questions, mass deleted his Twitter content and made lots of excuses of why the threads were being deleted. Needless to say, they weren't very well received.

Log Leaks

Just then, anonymous users (supposedly ex-mods) started to post a series of chat logs of dubious origins on the site, they detailed how m00t has been triangulating towards SJWs by cleaning up the site and replace any mods who disagrees with him with feminist cronies. Some also claim that m00t has became friends with Anita Sarkeesian and that his new girlfriend is also a SJW/feminazi working for Gawker.

Then came a set of leaked logs showing m00t communicating with several of his new moderators.

However, the legitimacy of these chat logs cannot be verified, as they lack screen captures. But m00t's various excuses and actions later on seems to prove the credibility of the leaks.

Gone Too Far

The main factor that make the leaks look truthful is that how they claim m00t is going full CON and attempt to dox and threaten supporters of GamerGate, something he eventually did. Just a couple of days after the leak, multiple members of GamerGate were doxxed and harassed.

Instead of being scared off, however, the GGers only took screen caps of the evidence and posted them online, flaunting them like badges of honour with commentaries like "Now who's the harasser?".

Some of the perpetrators also attempted to dox Adam Baldwin and Milo Yiannopoulos, which of course, worked "very well". They've also attempted to hack The Fine Young Capitalists and DDoS The Escapist.

It was said that m00t also tried to take down Encyclopedia Dramatica, which deactivated the site for a couple of days, according to ED, the attack happened just a day before the article about this incident was scheduled to be featured on the front page. ED blamed it on their mods for being lazy and incompetent. and stated that "This would have been impressive, were it not for the fact ED is down about twice a month."

Worst of all, one of the people they tried to dox happens to work for the US Department of Defence.[1] It ended as well as one could expect: the perpetrators were tracked down and interrogated by the FBI.[2]

In short, m00t's plan backfired spectacularly, not only did he and the SJWs lend credit to GamerGate, but also earned accusations of foul play.

Exodus to 8chan

After the mass censorship and harassment campaign, many supporters of GG on purposely got themselves banned and moved to rival site 8chan, ran by Fredrick "Hotwheels" Brennan. Users then began to mockingly refer to 4chan as “halfchan” and sarcastically lamented the site’s demise with the expression “4chan is kill.” Supporters temporarily gathered under the board /gg/, but soon fled to a new board titled /gamergate/ after experiencing a general disagreement of moderation practices that were executed by the original owner of the /gg/ board.

Speculations on why m00t did it

Girlfriend Manipulation

A highly likely reason, as its often claimed that m00t's girlfriend at that time was not only pro-SJW but also works for Gawker media.

Blackmail & Threats

Speaking of Gawker, it wasn't the first time they've tried the blackmailing tactic. Some say that the girl who committed suicide during the 4th of July Tumblr raid is a niece of a publisher of Gawker Media, that claim however, is highly doubtful.

Some others may claim that Cracked.com may have threatened m00t with a smear article. That's unlikely to be the cause as controversial sites 4chan tends to receive numerous negative coverage, fair or otherwise.

According to leaked Skype logs, m00t expressed concerns about a feminist group who is said to have threatened to dox, hack or even murder him. That's also likely to be an excuse, as A: no one has been able to hack 4chan yet and B: even popular YouTubers receive death threats all the time, and m00t as an owner of a controversial site, most likely received more.

Bribery

Bribery is also something Gawker has once attempted. This speculation was built on the fact that numerous Gawker employees have interacted with m00t on Twitter, hanging out with him at parties and calling him their close friend. It's also said that some of Gawker's men are financially supporting m00t, and it won't be easy to imagine that they will pull the plug on him if he doesn't help in taking down GamerGate.

Sick of Internet Drama

It's also possible that the recent series of events has finally driven m00t to breaking point.

First there's the 4chan's raid on Tumblr on Independence Day, where 4chan users posted highly NSFW images using popular hashtags like #feminism, #fatacceptance etc as a retaliation for #ShutDown4Chan (which is most likely started by trolls). Some say a girl on Tumblr committed suicide because of this (highly unlikely as no news reports of casualty ever surfaced), m00t was far from happy about that and demands that his mods ban anything anti-Tumblr on the site.

The came the Tumblr DashCon event which ended in massive failure, this time some of m00t's mods outright defied his orders of censoring threads discussing DashCon.

Finally there's The Fappening, when large amounts of celebrity porn was leaked on 4chan, m00t ended up having them deleted and deploy a new DMCA content removal system. m00t will even go on calling this and GG "most stressful month of his life" and the reasons why he resigned from 4chan.[3]

Reference

Read More

m00t & mods' chat log

[9/18/14 12:06 AM] moot: Why the fuck didn't you react sooner
[9/18/14 12:06 AM] moot: I guess it was my fault, but you could have done this without me
[9/18/14 12:06 AM] [REDACTED 1]: sorry m8, i was not sure what to do
[9/18/14 12:07 AM] [REDACTED 1]: but like
[9/18/14 12:07 AM] [REDACTED 1]: they would, like the angry fucks they are, rage because "MUH FREESPEECH" kek
[9/18/14 12:07 AM] moot: I JUST WANTED TO DOX A GIRL BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T SUPPORT HARASSING GAME DEVELOPERS
[9/18/14 12:07 AM] [REDACTED 2]: Moot, I hate to break it to ya, but it's not working
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] [REDACTED 3]: I fucking wish it worked but there are so many fucking people, it's too hard to stop them
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] moot: It's pissing me the fuck off too, believe me
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] moot: Where the hell are the other moderators? They don't display as online
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] [REDACTED 1]: mods are kill
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] [REDACTED 4]: It's late, moot, so excuse me if my posting is a bit sloppy
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] moot: This meeting is one of the most important we've ever had, EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE HERE
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] [REDACTED 2]: We've had like 800 discussions since Gamerhate started
[9/18/14 12:08 AM] [REDACTED 5]: ----'s gonna be late. he told me his computer BSOD'd
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] moot: It's fine. I called in 20 people, he's pretty much nothing more than an ally
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 6]: IS THIS ABOUT GAMERGATE, OR JUST MORE BORINGASS TECH DISCUSSION
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 2]: Gamergate...
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] moot: I told you in the email it's about Gamergate
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 7]: is this all this is?
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 7]: are we seriously getting up in arms about a bunch of stupid fucking nerds making posts about some game dev
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 8]: Ayyyyye lmao
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 3]: aye m8
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 6]: I'm glad we're addressing the issue in a hostile way, they don't respect us otherwise
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 4]: Who gives a fuck about respect? This is about ending all harassment and bad reputation going to 4chan
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] moot: It used to be about that
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] moot: Now, we're fighting an army of stupid fucking nerds instead of just a bunch
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 7]: i've been kind of out of it since that bomb threat
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] [REDACTED 9]: hi
[9/18/14 12:09 AM] moot: I feel for you. It's hard to ignore Gamergate to me, when I'M GETTING FUCKING DEATH THREATS
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 1]: why would anyone want to threaten mootsan my lord and savior
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 6]: I got a death threat too, but the person sending it lived on the other side of the world, like wtf lol
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] moot: Fuck this waiting, I'm shaking, I need to tell my unfiltered thoughts NOW
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 3]: You sound distressed
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 10]: I ARRIVED IN TIME OMG
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 2]: It's been 5 minutes, Christ
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 4]: Dammit I fucking hate those nerds
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] moot: I'm gonna gather up everything that's happened, and info dump you all
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] moot: Everyone else, just stay idle until I give the "head's up"
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] moot: I'll be back!
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 10]: I just got here and already moot's gone ;_;
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 9]: he'll be back
[9/18/14 12:10 AM] [REDACTED 3]: Perfect time for me to take a shower if Moot's preparing a speech or whatevs
[9/18/14 12:11 AM] [REDACTED 5]: I think we can leave until Moot gets bafk
[9/18/14 12:12 AM] [REDACTED 2]: It's such a travesty when out fellow brothers gets depressed
[9/18/14 12:12 AM] [REDACTED 6]: Well damn
 
break in chat, for the next 30 minutes there are only 4 posts, pointless to leave in
 
[9/18/14 12:41 AM] moot: My speech is done. Horrifying revelations have been revealed.
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 11]: OH SHIT
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 1]: MUH GAWD
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 2]: I'm ready!!!
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] moot: This cannot get out. They will be fucking pissed beyond belief if it gets out
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 4]: Moot, what happened to the other mods. There are only 12 of us online...
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] moot: Timezone issues I assume. I'm not going to fault them, but I told them about this last night
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] moot: They could've just said "I can't come" instead of leaving me hanging. Oh well.
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 5]: We're listening, man
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 3]: I haven't been this anxious since the Chris-Chan debatacle ffs
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] moot: Chris-Chan was some weird autistic kid. This is nowhere close to that.
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 7]: it's weird how just a month ago we were all like "huh well isn't this interesting"
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 1]: hurry up with the speech moot
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 2]: I'm anxious too m8
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] moot: Hold the fuck on, damn
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 7]: but now it's become so enticing, a disgusting perverted issue that is a war between rational people who just want to support women, and lanky disgusting fucks who can't stand the idea of a woman having sex
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 1]: you know what they say
[9/18/14 12:42 AM] [REDACTED 6]: I arrived just in time wtf
[9/18/14 12:43 AM] [REDACTED 1]: dumbfucks gonna dumbfuck
[9/18/14 12:43 AM] moot: Read this thoroughly before responding, don't post while I'm posting:
[9/18/14 12:43 AM] [REDACTED 2]: It's habbnin'
[9/18/14 12:43 AM] moot: Cracked sent me an email a few days ago
[9/18/14 12:43 AM] moot: The same day Zoe issued her article, to be exact
[9/18/14 12:43 AM] moot: They told me they are strong supporters of the Social Justice Movement, and are through sitting behind while the harassment goes on
[9/18/14 12:44 AM] moot: They said if I didn't stop Gamergate on 4chan, they would write an article that "exposes" 4chan for the "true cesspit" it is. They're also going to basically get feminists to hack in and take down my site.
[9/18/14 12:44 AM] moot: And coincidentally, I got a letter that threatened to lynch me in the streets, from a group of hackers who strongly support feminism.
[9/18/14 12:44 AM] moot: A day before this, I went to see Anita speak at XOXO, and she was absolutely lovely. Behind the scenes, I got to have a word with her. We hit it off perfect, and we're now friends through online communication.
[9/18/14 12:44 AM] moot: I told her my situation, and her advice was to get my mods to delete everything Gamergate on site.
[9/18/14 12:44 AM] moot: I was reluctant, but after that day, I did what she said. You all remember the day I told you to delete Gamergate shit, we were convinced it would work.
[9/18/14 12:44 AM] moot: But it didn't fucking work.
[9/18/14 12:45 AM] moot: That hacker group is real btw.
[9/18/14 12:45 AM] moot: They've been sending more letters to my house, and emails to my personal address.
[9/18/14 12:45 AM] moot: Funny thing is, I still support them more than I do Gamergate.
[9/18/14 12:45 AM] moot: So, that's why I'm so worried. I got Cracked making threats and a group threatening to take down my site.
[9/18/14 12:45 AM] moot: The two are very powerful, and can get done what they say they want to get done.
 
...mostly just reiterating and people reacting for the next few minutes, nothing noteworthy.
here's where the real dirt begins:
 
[9/18/14 12:59 AM] [REDACTED 2]: The Internet Aristocrat's real name is ------ - ------- and it turns out he has a real job at ------------. Maybe, we could call him at work and get him fired because of his shameless support of harassment?
[9/18/14 12:59 AM] [REDACTED 3]: Holy hell, how did you find that?
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 2]: A friend who used to know him. The Aristocrat's a disgusting human being, he deserves it.
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 10]: We have dox on a lot of Gamergate supporters.
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 10]: Nero and MundaneMatt among others.
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] moot: While I don't advocate doxing, maybe this could play into our advantage.
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 5]: Couldn't we just scare the supporters off?
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] moot: Scaring them off could take work.
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 6]: Tell them we got dox because they posted in /v/
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 8]: What the hell, you're not legitimately considering this are you?
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 8]: They could find out it was us.
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] [REDACTED 1]: we can use firewalls, lol
[9/18/14 1:00 AM] moot: I'm reluctant, but not unwilling to try that.
[9/18/14 1:01 AM] [REDACTED 8]: Fine, but what about the people using proxies?
[9/18/14 1:01 AM] [REDACTED 5]: There are more people without proxies than people with proxies.
[9/18/14 1:01 AM] moot: ^ We can get rid of most of them.
[9/18/14 1:01 AM] [REDACTED 5]: I'll work on the idea. Maybe, get in one normie supporter so it looks legit.
[9/18/14 1:01 AM] moot: Nice. Sometimes hostility is the answer. Not all the time, but sometimes.
 
it all gets kind of un-noteworthy after that, but the last thing i mentioned...
 
[9/18/14 1:31 AM] [REDACTED 5]: What about that new site you mentioned earlier?
[9/18/14 1:31 AM] moot: I got Tumblr's support on the project. I'm still brainstorming though...
[9/18/14 1:31 AM] [REDACTED 1]: any ideas?
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] [REDACTED 8]: Tumblr? You're not going SJW on me are you?
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] moot: Fuck off. Speak with me in IM. I've got a word to have with you.
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] [REDACTED 7]: you can support social justice without being from tumblr, dipshit
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] moot: In response to ------, I have no current ideas.
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] [REDACTED 1]: what about 4chan?
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] [REDACTED 3]: #BurnDown4chan
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] [REDACTED 5]: 4chan's ride never ends. It just gets more disgusting and disturbing as you go along
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] moot: I'll have to rebuild it from the ground up, or I'll sell it to someone else.
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] [REDACTED 7]: Why would you be worried about hackers taking it down if you yourself want to take it down?
[9/18/14 1:32 AM] moot: I said sell it, not shut it down.
[9/18/14 1:33 AM] [REDACTED 7]: Either way, can you make sure to permanently ban everyone who's posted in Gamergate threads?
[9/18/14 1:33 AM] [REDACTED 4]: Yeah, if you want to rebuild 4chan, the first step is banning EVERY. SINGLE. GAMERGATE. SUPPORTER.
[9/18/14 1:33 AM] moot: It'll take a lot of work, but I'll probably do that.
[9/18/14 1:33 AM] moot: Don't know yet.