Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Open Letter to Blizzard

  Dear Blizzard,

  Your support of GaymerX is in conflict with your Core Values of Play Nice; Play Fair, Every Voice Matters, and Lead Responsibly. 

  Ostensibly, GaymerX is made for everyone and everyone is welcome. They even shortened their nickname to GX, "to make it clear that everyone is welcome... We really mean everybody."(emphasis in original)(1) 

  At least that's what I read on their website. On Twitter, all I see is this: "You are blocked from following @GaymerX and viewing @GaymerX's Tweets." This is because GaymerX uses the Orwellian-named Good Game AutoBlocker, originally named GooberGabber AutoBlocker.(2) The intro to the Nov. 5th 2014 readme.md best explains the purpose of the blockbot:

  "Takes a list of the 5 major idiots of GG, looks at their follower lists. Generates a list of sheeple following more than one account, as well as a list of your followers that might be questionable.
This does not rank users. It doesn't look at bios, it doesn't look at hashtags. But GamerGate appears to be completely useless at figuring out github when it's not just a wiki explaining how to be shitheads, so they'll probably never read this README and figure that part out."

  Your own Matt Schnee suggested using the GG AutoBlocker list as an employment blacklist, called the people on it GoatGrabbers, and encouraged others to use it.(3) This suggestion was unfortunately taken seriously by others.(4) This isn't just unethical. It's illegal.

  It is not my goal to convince you that any given political position associated with the hashtag is correct. I certainly won't ask you to support GamerGate. I simply wish to point out how your company's core values are in conflict with supporting GaymerX so long as they use the GG AutoBlocker.

  It is not playing nice or fair to label tens of thousands of people "harassers" or "sheeple" based solely on who they follow on Twitter. It is certainly not fair to create an industry blacklist.

  Clearly not every voice matters to GaymerX. The use of a blockbot is completely antithetical the the idea that every voice matters.

  You have the opportunity to lead responsibly in this matter. I simply ask you to either reconsider your association with GaymerX, or encourage them to stop using blockbots.

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