In mid-October, I was approached by some Gamergaters who wanted to show me something important. They had bagged a big one, they said. They said they had tracked down one of the people who was sending death threats to feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian.
I didn't know how to react. Members of Gamergate—an amorphous campaign that has been going on for months now—had themselves long been accused of harassing and doxxing outspoken critics including game developer Brianna Wu and actress Felicia Day. Though many Gamergate supporters had publicly denounced that sort of activity, the movement's anonymity and lack of leadership has made it impossible to hold the entity called "Gamergate" accountable for anything. Anyone in the world can declare themselves part of Gamergate. As mainstream media from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone drew links between Gamergate and death threats, the movement's outspoken supporters complained that they were being misrepresented, and that in fact they denounced all forms of harassment. But those who have been harassed see the campaign as the culprit—when Sarkeesian cancelled a planned university speech following a terror threat, she pinned the blame on Gamergate.