How Gamers Are Facilitating the Rise of the Alt-Right
On November 2nd 2017, NBC News' official Youtube uploaded a "news" video titled "How Gamers Are Facilitating the Rise of the Alt-Right | Think", which many people quickly caught on that it was nothing more than a one-sided hit piece attacking the gaming community, and further dampened the integrity of mainstream journalism.
Why This Video Sucked
- The news outlet outright tried to blame the Charlottesville Riots on gamers, and made loose connections to Discord. They also tried to connect gamers to the KKK!
- Just like the far, far, FAR left, it portrays the GamerGate Movement as a hate campaign against women in the gaming space despite all evidence proving otherwise. NBC conveniently left that part out. They even tried to make the connection between GamerGate and Donald Trump, and didn't give any evidence to the two ever being connected.
- They also consulted a PhD "candidate" as a source of the information in the video. Wouldn't it make more sense to talk to someone who actually has a PhD in psychology?
- Fear mongering; the video speaks in an ominous tone and uses a lot of eerie music and effects, as well as using all sorts of buzz words throughout the video.
- The video is loaded with screen caps of fake Twitter messages; the messages themselves were real, but no names are attached and "#GamerGate" was obnoxiously plastered along the top of the screen grab in plain Arial font, which isn't what a tweet looks like.
- There is a lot more to these tweets however: as shown by Rags, the tweets came from a burner account named Kevin Dobson, which posted 10 tweets in a span of 3 minutes; each one being perfectly spelt, and remaining within Twitter's character limit. Anita Sarkeesian, whom the messages were aimed at, screen capped the account's final tweet 12 seconds after it was posted, which is incredibly suspect.
- Furthermore, the person who screen capped the messages wasn't even signed in, so how on Earth were they able to stumble upon this burner account? Finally, this Kevin Dobson account, never mentions or even references GamerGate at all; an unrelated source that was tampered with, once again for the sake of agenda pushing.
- NBC is also guilty of shady research practices too; they took a video from another YouTuber named "AND I'M GONE" and used it without the original context, just to make Discord look like a haven for hateful gamers. The woman who did the research for NBC even asked AND I'M GONE if she can use it in the video, but Rags exposed (courtesy of AND I'M GONE) that she already took the video, edited it down, and planned to use the clip without AND I'M GONE's permission! Oh, and the video in question... was a troll video. Think about it; a mainstream new outlet fell for a troll video, and tried to use it to smear gamers...... to add insult to injury, AND I'M GONE wasn't even aware that NBC even used his content at all, until Rags asked him about it.
- It is worth mentioning that while NBC didn't need permission to use the clip, it is still poor form to use it without the creator's knowledge.
- The video as a whole is just a blatant hit piece with the sole purpose of pushing anti-gamer propaganda. From the fake tweets, unreliable sources, hyperbolic claims, misinformation, blatant lies, and everything under the sun to smear a large community of people, simply for enjoying a hobby!
- The ultimate irony is that in the video, the journalist claimed that Gamergate was a harassment campaign operating under the guise of fairness in games journalism, when this video exemplifies the type of questionable, unethical journalism practises the Gamergate movement was targeting.
- The segment attacking Discord was pretty disgusting too; called it a haven for hate speech and harassment against women and minorities. This is another blatant lie since gaming as a whole is very inclusive and generally shuns discriminatory behaviour in messaging services like Discord. NBC even had a member of the Southern Poverty Law Centre say some unflattering words about the service. (Keep in mind that this is the same organization that accused Ayaan Hirsi Ali (an advocate against forced marriage, child marriage, and female genital mutilation in Islam) and Maajid Nawaz, (an advocate against Islamic extremism) of being anti-Muslim extremists). While some rioters did use Discord to organize the riots, they did so more because of the service's anonymity, not because of their gaming habits. This is a clean-cut case of "guilt by association", in which NBC blamed gamers for the Charlottesville Riots, simply because some rioters used the same service that they used.
Unsurprisingly, reactions towards the video were unanimously negative, currently sitting (at time of writing) at 842 likes and over 71,000 dislikes, and comments were extremely critical of the content within the video, the context used, and fake screenshots used in a desperate attempt to make the gaming community look like hateful, sexist, and racist bigots.
Several YouTubers have made response videos trashing NBC for using a hobby as a crutch to push a political agenda. Alphaomegasin made a response to the video, disgusted that a major news outlet dragged a gaming messaging service into a political smear job against an entire community, going as far as hoping that Discord's owners sue NBC for slander. In particular, Rags tore the video apart by criticising NBC's deceptive, dishonest, and unethical journalistic practises, and stated that he had "never seen such an abortion of journalism in [his] life".
Troy Leavitt also criticised the video for fabricating evidence, misrepresenting Gamergate, and pushing identity politics. He even pointed out the fear-mongering in the video, noting the ominous music, sound effects, and tone in an attempt to strike fear into those who aren't caught up on gaming.
The hit piece ultimately showed that not only gaming journalism has lost all integrity, but so has the mainstream media at large.