Last time I wrote about Gamergate, I covered the story of Sam Biddle a Senior Editor at Gawker. He was advocating for the bullying of a certain group of individuals— nerds. Proponents of GamerGate responded to this by donating to an anti-bullying charity, and since the time of writing have raised over $16,000. Two notable donators to this cause are John Bain (Totalbiscuit), a well known YouTube personality and FOV slider enthusiast, and a newcomer to the GamerGate discussion: Mike Cernovich.
Mike Cernovich is a trial lawyer who runs a website called Danger and Play, and a professed supporter of anti-bullying. In response to Biddle’s tweets, Cernovich directly issued a challenge: if Biddle accepts to engage in a one-time boxing match spanning three rounds with Cernovich, he would donate $10,000 to an anti-bullying charity regardless of the outcome of the match.
Cernovich was serious about this and even went on to make a formal video challenge outlining the terms of the agreement. When Sam Biddle did not respond to this challenge, Cernovich decided to toss his hat in the ring anyway and challenge GamerGate, tweeting that he would donate $10 dollars to the GamerGate anti-bullying charity fund for every email or tweet sent to Gawker’s advertisers.
GamerGate responded overwhelmingly— at the time they were already sending emails to Gawker advertisers en masse. As the number of reported screencaps fulfilled the $1,000 limit, Cernovich posted a screen cap of an email between him and Crowdrise confirming his donation. Cernovich later updated his Reddit thread calling on supporters to raise another $1,000.
Opponents of the GamerGate discussion criticized Cernovich’s actions as slacktivist— a particular comment suggested it was an example of weaponizing charities, or donating or sponsoring a cause with intent to spite critics.
Notably, John Bain (Totalbiscuit) took the time to record his thoughts on the notion of weaponizing charities and its implications in the GamerGate discussion despite recovering from his recent surgery.
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Editor’s Note: Since the time of publication, this article has been reviewed and edited for inaccuracies and perspective. (11/26/14)