Opening the Floodgate

“On the night of Aug. 15, 2014, Zoë Quinn was out having a drink with some friends in San Francisco when her phone began to blow up with messages. Something was exploding on the internet — a strange, incoherent maelstrom of outrage that would take over her life. Ms. Quinn, a 27-year-old video game developer, lived in Boston and was in San Francisco only to visit, but the visit turned into exile. ‘I never went home from San Francisco,’ she told me.” In many ways, the social promise of the internet hasn’t come home either. Many of the internet’s creators hoped it would open pathways for communication and bring people together in new ways. It did those things. Just not in the way we imagined. To understand how the silos of hate and bile bubbled over and oozed across the net, you have to look back at GamerGate. The NYT does just that in a multipart piece. Everything is Gamergate.

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