Wu, who is running for Congress, said in an email that she is “fairly livid” because it appears the FBI didn’t check out many of her reports about death threats. Wu catalogued more than 180 death threats that she said she received because she spoke out against sexism in the game industry and #GamerGate misogyny that eventually morphed into the alt-right movement and carried into the U.S. presidential race.
It sounds like the FBI either couldn’t trace the threats or they didn’t think they were serious enough and eventually closed down the investigation. In the aftermath of the shooting at the Québec City mosque we need to take the threats of trolls more seriously as Anita Sarkeesian did when she was threatened with a “Montreal Massacre style attack” before speaking at the University of Utah. Yes, only a few act on their threats, but threats piggy-back on the terror to achieve their end. Those making the threats may justify it as just for the lulz, but they do so knowing that some people act on their threats.
On another point, having just given a paper on Palantir I was intrigued to read that the FBI used it in their investigation. The report says that “A search of social media logins using Palantir’s search around feature revealed a common User ID number for two of the above listed Twitter accounts, profiles [Redacted] … A copy of the Palantir chart created from the Twitter results will be uploaded to the case file under a separate serial.” One wonders how useful connecting to Twitter accounts to one ID is.
Near the end of the report, which is really just a collection of redacted documents, there is a heavily redacted email from one of those harassed where all but a couple of lines are left for us to read including,
We feel like we are sending endless emails into the void with you.
I’m watching Nintendo Treehouse Live with Nintendo Switch™ which follows key presentations and hands-on sessions in Tokyo and elsewhere. This are all part of Nintendo’s major promotion of the forthcoming Switch system which will be released March 3rd at a cost of $299.99 (otherwise known as $300) according the web site. I assume that is USD.
As I watch(ed) Shigeru Miyamoto and others were talking about and playing the new The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Switch. I am usually bored by live public relations presentations, but this one was nicely handled with translators sitting with the others. It was a bilingual conversation where the translators seemed comfortable adding thoughts.
Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.
Thanks to Bettina a link to the Never Again pledge not to help build databases to manage people based on their religious beliefs.
We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin.
The web site neveragain.tech includes information about how the pledge was developed. (The group that developed it reject “tech solutionism.”) There is also a page of resources and a page on how to take action.
I, Geoffrey Rockwell, hereby commit to the neveragain.tech pledge. Please stand with me and hold me to it.
I just came across a great French project called Transcrire. The Huma-Num Very Large Facility has built a system for the crowdsourcing of transcription of archival materials. It looks like they have built infrastructure for crowdsourcing (or citizen science) in the humanities. Playing around, it looks very professional.
I finally got around to downloading and playing Rez Infinite on the PS4. This is an upgraded (hi-res) version of the original which SEGA released for the Playstation 2 and Dreamcast in 2001. The game is a beautiful rail shooter and a music game which produces trance like electronic music (and vibrations) as you play. There is a traveller mode where you don’t die and you can just make music and travel through the spaces. I found myself wanting to repeat levels to continue the beat.
The new 2016 version for the PS4 support VR (though I don’t have it). It also has an extra level called “Area X” which, while more sophisticated, lacks the charming Tron-like graphic imagination of the rest. It would be interesting to map all the references to Tron in Rez – it too places you as a hacker going through a computing landscape.