There are two possible ways to interpret these factually incorrect statements: either they’re an outright, direct lie or they are reckless misinformation being forwarded as fact without fact checking. In either case, they’re guilty of slander. There’s a reason actual journalistic outlets fact check and offer retractions.
- Zoe Quinn slept with people for reviews: never happened, no one she had a sexual relationship with ever reviewed anything she made.
- … Well, then, she slept with people for positive press: Still no. This was investigated and debunked by Kotaku. This was also confirmed to be impossible even by Zoe’s ex.
- Zoe Quinn launched a DDoS attack on The Fine Young Capitalists. The Fine Young Capitalists admits this never happened. Their website did accidentally go down after Zoe tweeted about it (via what is known as the Slashdot effect) but this is not the same as a DDoS attack.
- Zoe Quinn won an award at Indiecade because of her personal relationships. She never won an award at Indiecade, nor was she even a finalist for one of them.
- Zoe Quinn never donated a portion of her game’s proceeds to charity, despite claiming she did: this was proved completely baseless within 24 hours of the original accusation.
- Zoe Quinn is accepting donations for Rebel Game Jam, despite having no way to differentiate between those donations and personal donations to her through her own site: again, incorrect. You can find this out yourself live by clicking the donate button on the Rebel Jam site.
- Zoe Quinn created the Rebel Game Jam to benefit from the publicity over TFYC, as a direct competitor: Completely baseless, as can be seen from the description on the site itself. TFYC as a project where they’d make a game based on an idea from a woman. Rebel Game Jam is not woman-only, it’s not a contest, they don’t make the game for you, and the goal of the whole thing is to document the game jam process and upload videos of it to youtube in a documentary style. They literally have nothing to do with one another.
- Zoe Quinn’s criticism of TFYC was baseless and unfair: she had plenty of completely legitimate problems with how TFYC was being run and who was running it. You can disagree with her criticism of them, but there is no way you can say it was baseless– they’re not teaching women to make games, they’re making them for them, and these people have never made a game before, among other things.
- Phil Fish hacked himself to make #gamergate look bad: these kind of conspiracy theories are disturbingly common in #gamergate, but this one’s even more absurd than most. If he just wanted to make it look like he was hacked to make #gamergate look bad, he wouldn’t have released personal information of his employees. This would open him up to enormous lawsuits. All to… smear random people?
- Anita Sarkeesian lied about talking to the police. The reporter who made this original claim retracted it fully. She was dealing with the FBI this whole time, even as people were screaming “she lied! she never contacted the police!”
- Jenn Frank refused to disclose her patreon contributions in her article in The Guardian: She did disclose, The Guardian removed it. For this she was harassed out of the industry. The Guardian looked at the disclosure and determined it was not relevant.
- Maya Kramer colluded with IGF to get The Stanley Parable awards. The only award won was voted by the public.
- Anita Sarkeesian made up or faked the mass shooting/massacre threat: When a threat like this occurs, it is the job of law enforcement to determine of the threat poses a real, immediate risk to the public or not. Saying it does not (as was later determined) does not mean the threat was “faked” or made up.
- Anita Sarkeesian says all gamers are sexist and/or misogynistic: This is an issue with comprehension. She never says this, anywhere. Art and pop culture both reflect and shape pop culture, often in subtle ways. The thesis is never “if you play games you’ll become a horrible misogynist.”
- Jonathan McIntosh is the “real voice” behind Feminist Frequency: this is both absurd, unfounded, and insulting. Yes, he is a co-writer and a producer for the show. This does not invalidate that it is primarily Sarkeesian’s work. She wrote her master’s thesis on representation issues in geek portrayals of women in media; she clearly had an interest in the subject matter long before any association with McIntosh.
- Brianna Wu used a “serious autism picture” to mock #gamergate: This originated here despite being completely baseless. It’s a stock photo of a child throwing a temper tantrum. That stock photo was also once used in one site about autism.. That doesn’t make it a “serious autism picture.”
- “Game Journalism Pros” involved collusion among writers: People are confusing “collusion” with “people talking about what they write about, and the ethical considerations of their coverage.” There’s a reason only Breitbart picked up this story; there’s no substance to it. It was sensationalism, nothing more.
- “Gamers Are Dead” was a coordinated attack and the result of collusion: Leigh Alexander’s piece was the original (which was aimed at developers, not attacking consumers). The other pieces are direct responses to Alexander’s piece. In other words, this isn’t the result of collusion, but dialogue around an idea forwarded by her.
These are some of the absurd claims that have proven to be patently false upon even moderate inspection, yet they’re still being used to slander these people to this very day. These kind of baseless accusations are ruining peoples lives and invading their privacy.
Nevermind the incredibly bizarre preoccupation with people like Sarkeesian, Wu, and Quinn who have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with journalism.