tbh, before I read this book, I figured at least writing a review would be quick I was well aware of what Quinn had been put through, and I was worried that saying anything critical at all would help the haters hate some , so I figured I would be saying something like yay standing up against bullies , boo to misogyny and that would be it.I couldn t have been wrong.Because this book is GOOD, and perhaps importantly, it comes at a time when there are a bunch of conversations we as a society need to have, and it raises all of these issues in smart, analytical, hectic, informed and passionate ways It goes way beyond Quinn s own experience and into the messy questions facing anyone who cares about the world going to crap.The first half of the book is interesting, horrific as anyone with even a passing familiarity with GG would expect and anger making, but it is in the second half that is most worth reading Through the lens of online organised hate crime my words, not Quinn s , Quinn raises pretty much every major issue that progressive communities are grappling with in the face of the rise of the alt right neo nazi brigade.The book, like Quinn, is far from perfect, and swoops between very strong strengths and irritating weaknesses Quinn fires off analysis with impressive and often invigorating smarts, but the approach is scatter gun and contradictions appear without synthesis at times Her writing is wonderfully comedic, and Quinn packs a great turn of phrase, but the editing feels sloppy at times and grammatical errors slip through often than they should Like many gaming designers, Quinn is best at analysing and deconstructing systems, and is clearly motivated by getting something working, and solving problems through activities she can control and manage In the book, she is tackling something without solutions that neatly fit that approach You get the sense of the different angles she has come at the problem from, but also of a weary frustration at the underlying sense of not making a difference despite her smarts, hard work and persistence The book bounces a bit between immediate actions to assist, and bigger systemic issues that her analysis is wonderful on, but solutions thinner on the ground You certainly get a sense of just how damn good she is at what she does, both in game design and in Crash Override, but you also get a sense of what the latter has taken out of her as she has made a difference to thousands but not, to quote her quoting a Baroness, healed the wound at the centre of it all And the thing that makes this book so pertinent right now is that the wound is bigger than games and online harassment without GG, it is arguable that Trump wouldn t have happened While in the end, the rabid mob who participated in GG didn t stop the evolution of game diversity, they did succeed in mobilising a wider community around a set of ideas most of us thought had long been eradicated Breitbart was catapulted into a much bigger community by GG Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon became overnight stars, from which they built a powerful base This isn t just misogyny, it s a cocktail of white supremacy homophobia trans hatred Islamaphobia and multiple other anti diversity violence.So the first really attention grabbing part of the book for me dealt with the issues swirling around identity politics and intersectionality Quinn charges headlong into this conversation, which anyone involved in supporting diversity is grappling with She points out strongly in the book, that while the most prominent victims of GG were cis white women, the perpetrators had been targeting African American women for years, and trans women for even longer.As Black, sotreu and thetrudz and many, many other Black women pointed out, misogynist trolls are White supremacist racist trolls are GamerGate trolls, and they practiced cut their teeth, if you will on trans and Black women Quinn hands her narrative to other activists for sections of the book, arguing any real solutions to defeating hate have to be led by those who are most targeted by it, who mostly don t look like her This is a context which is often missing from these conversations it is the right who have a unified ideology of hate I realised, reading some of the sections from Shafiqah Hudson, that this is the real argument for centering the experiences of those most under attack It is only that way we built a response as unified as the neo nazis are White Feminism, or any other movement, which tackles only a specific manifestation of this ideology, divides and weakens both the understanding and the resistance to what is going on Those at the heart the intersection of the abuse generally have a better critique, and are seldom able to express it Quinn is particularly critical of viewing online abuse as just a problem for women pointing out that many of the victims have been non white men, and that the constellation of identities comes into play.It is worth acknowledging that you don t have to read books by white cis women to learn about this, but Quinn does navigate this space with an awareness of the contradiction, and a determination to use the platform that she has been given.Quinn also does include material on the difficult topic of calling out, which I ve rarely read put better If you re still figuring all this stuff out and god, who isn t , it s important that you understand that you re gonna fuck it up I m gonna fuck it up We re all gonna fuck it up It s key to learn how to apologize and grow from your fuckups without making them someone else s problem This can be hard to hear, and you might feel defensive, but try to listen Another powerful element to the book and one which is remarkable really given her ordeal is Quinn s strong orientation to acknowledging areas of grey and a commitment to what buzz speakers call safe to fail culture You can see here that being able to see this complexity did Quinn no favours as a target she has never been afraid to take risks, and has scant talent or interest in hiding risky decisions, mistakes and things she now regrets, providing plenty of fodder for sensationalist headlines and distortions As a contributor to change, though, it is an imperative value In one of the most courageous things I ve seen someone put in writing, Quinn talks about how her teenage self could easily have supported online abuse She looks at the dynamics of being an outsider, and how mobs can reward abuse with warm fuzzies, creating a strange situation where people get affirmation and acceptance by ever escalating violence against those outside the group We need a culturewide solution because individual change is difficult when online abuse is frequently a group activity It s harder to hear the voices of the people you ve hurt over the dozens of others cheering you on the mob is a place to belong and find acceptance it just happens to be built on someone else s suffering I could just keep summarising less wittily her points here, but it is one of the sections that most needs to be heard right now Quinn raises the implications of this for change knowing that expressing dissent to crappy ideas to your friends and family who think differently is significant than umpteen posting to those who agree with you She challenges the idea that mob shaming is ever a good thing and here she started to shift some of my own assumptions in ways I need to let sit How do you build resistance without isolation If your systems don t work at all, are there ways of using democratic processes without mob ignorant justice How does this work with collective mass action HOw do you get humans to work together in groups without persecuting outsiders It is here, in the discussion of the role of the community, that Quinn comes closest to an articulated solution She points out that The single best predictor of a better outcome that I ve seen in my casework isn t a useful response from big tech companies, or criminal charges being filed, or even the abuser moving on from being a dog turd with a clown nose on it it s community support.This of course, leads to the final part of what the book made me want to talk about Quinn s material on law enforcement, and its role, is valuable reading not only on the topic of cyberbullying, but to anyone grappling with hate crime, and activism against it Quinn s own experience is very pertinent here her use of law enforcement ultimately assisted in perpetuating her abuse firstly simply because her abusers got information from police reports, including the name of her boyfriend, who was promptly fired after a mob attack on his employer secondly because her ex used the restraining order process to stay in her life and attack her, until she, against his wishes, terminated the process this will be familiar to DV and rape victims the world over Tactically, she views legal processes as a dead end for victims of online hate, and is highly wary of calls for higher penalties, or stronger laws while she is equally passionate about empowering victims to make these decisions for themselves, and for support for those decisions As with other crimes, those most likely to be targeted are also those most likely to face police abuse and harrasment Much online abuse is also part of bog standard domestic violence Quinn s own case included and this conversation is part of a broader discussion around how to deal with DV.Well, for those who are still reading, I got a lot out of this book It is an important contribution to an ongoing discussion from a smart, funny, analytical and TMI honest game developer A lot of people will want to read this as an act of solidarity, and I hope, like me, they take some thinking points out of it I hope Quinn continues in this space in some way, she feels like part of a solution. You Ve Heard The Stories About The Dark Side Of The Internet Hackers, Anonymous Hoards Attacking An Unlucky Target, And Revenge Porn But They Remain Just That Stories Surely These Things Would Never Happen To YouZoe Quinn Used To Feel The Same Way Zoe Is A Video Game Developer Whose Ex Boyfriend Published A Crazed Blog Post Cobbled Together From Private Information, Half Truths, And Outright Fictions, Along With A Rallying Cry To The Online Hordes To Go After Her The Hordes Answered In The Form Of A So Called Movement Known As Gamergate They Hacked Her Accounts, Stole Nude Photos Of Her, Harassed Her Family, Friends And Colleagues, And Threatened To Rape And Murder Her But Instead Of Shrinking Into Silence As The Online Mobs Wanted Her To, She Has Raised Her Voice And Speaks Out Against This Vicious Online Culture And For Making The Internet A Safer Place For EveryoneIn The Several Years Since Gamergate Started, Quinn Has Helped Thousands Of People With Her Advocacy And Online Abuse Crisis Resource Crash Override Network From Locking Down Individuals Personal Accounts And Information To Working With Tech Companies And Lawmakers Alike To Inform Policy, She Has Firsthand Knowledge About Every Angle Of Online Abuse, What Powerful Institutions Are And Aren T Doing About It, And How We Can Protect Our Digital Spaces And Selves And Now She Wants To Share That Information With You Crash Override Offers An Up Close Look Inside The Controversy, Threats, And Social And Cultural Battles That Started In The Far Corners Of The Internet And Have Since Permeated Our Online Lives Quinn Uses Her Story As Target And As Activist To Provide An Accessible, Personal, And Human Look At The Ways The Internet Impacts Our Lives And Culture Through Anecdotes From The Eye Of The Storm To Practical Advice For Keeping Yourself And Others Safe Online, Crash Override Combines Memoir, Manifesto, And Map To A Better Future For Our Online Lives Quinn has taken the huge bushel basket of lemons she got by being a victim of a vindictive ex and the GamerGate mob and has turned it into lemonade for herself and other victims of online harassment Here she is brutally honest in her telling of that awful time, and how she has come out the other side to create Crash Override, a group that helps other victims I got this ARC at Book Expo Many thanks Zoe Quinn didn t need to do any of this.She could have just written down what happened, spit some insults at the vilest of the vile manchildren who caused it, and cashed a check She didn t have to draw a straight line from the hordes of unbelievably hateful GamerGaters to the richest tech companies on Earth She didn t have to call out everyone s favorite liberal, LGBT friendly personalities as sociopathic monsters who d rather let the world burn than hurt the bottom line She didn t have to toss every fancy new Silicon Valley partnership her newly minted fame gave her out the window by pointing out how they literally made money off the destruction of her life And she sure as shit didn t need to explain, in prose as clear and simple as it is heartbreaking, how all of this occurred first as farce and then tragedy how the same shitheads who chased GamerGate dollars sanded the words off their nametags and replaced them with ALT RIGHT, and how all of us helped create a climate where a pussy grabbing game show host could become the most powerful man on the planet.But she did And God bless her for it.P.S Laughing my ass off at some of the reviews on here Still spouting your conspiracy theories in TYOOL 2017 Get a fucking life, nerds. Amazing deeply personal but very informed Definitely much than a memoir it s a practical and knowledgeable guidebook on online harassment and what everyone advocates, journalists, non profits, law enforcement and just regular internet users can be doing better on this issue. Complete Waste of Time and MoneyGiving this blog in book form 2 stars only because it does highlight the abuses people endure when they are targeted by the hate machine No one should be subjected to that abuse.The second star is because this book reminded me why I read everything with a critical eye and do my own research in addition to information presented.The fact is that Ms Quinn made statements without presenting any evidence, which is a huge red flag For example, she claims that TERFs trans exclusionary radical feminists harass, threaten and dox transwomen However, evidence points to the complete opposite Search Jeremiah I punch TERFs Byrne just as one example Search the myriad of cases highlighting legitimate female concerns over transwomen invading female spaces restrooms, changing rooms, etc Hell, search the slur itself and you ll find example after example of rape threats, death threats and abuse against radical feminists by the Identity Politics mob If Ms Quinn was being objective and intellectally responsible, she would have done a quick search herself to discover this I mean, she seems to know her way around the internet Ms Quinn s slander against radical feminists is irresponsible, uneducated and self serving She is in a position to reach many ears she has a voice Quinn is a target of mob harassment herself, why on Earth would she set up another group of vulnerable people for the exact same harassment So, if Quinn is willing to slander one group of people to serve her purposes, this leads me to believe she may have lied about other events Yes, many of her claims are easily verifiable, but her account of other events are rather questionable I dug into The Ex s account of thier breakup and I found it far genuine.The man she labels as her abuser in this book was clearly the abused My heart really goes out to him, and I understand his hurt and anger even if I find his subsequent actions reprehensible I was a victim of narcissistic abuse, and as I read his account, I felt sick to my stomach I recognized in Quinn so many abusive, crazy making tactics that my ex used on me That in no way, shape or form excuses his sequential actions, as what he encouraged others to put her through was criminal And I am not implying Ms Quinn has NPD, but she is definitely not the model of moral loftiness she presents herself as So she loses 2 stars for intellectual dishonesty and irresponsibility.Additionally, her book loses another star because it is just poorly written I was looking forward to reading this book but when I actually dug in I was bored to tears I found my mind constantly drifting off and I noticed I kept checking book completion percentage I just wanted it to be over with so I could read something else I know I could have put it down, but I paid for this, so I m gonna finish it This book reads like an unsophisticated blog Boring, and it appears like it was rushed and half assed Definitely not worth the 15.99 charged.Conclusion Quinn does address an important problem with regards to internet mob harassment I give her credit for that I also give her sympathy for the hell she undoubtedly went through and is still going through However, when this memoir is observed through the lens of objectivity, it is boring, self serving, dishonest and puerile Save your money. Part memoir, part ode to cyberculture Quinn shares her experiences as a game developer, professional, and victim of online abuse at the hands of Gamergate This book was thoughtful and raw I appreciated Quinn s honesty and solutions oriented take on the problem that is online abuse I think this book is important and I think it s something that everyone could benefit from reading There s a lot to learn, both about tech stuff online safety, as well as downright humility compassion Quinn s voice is important and being amplified at exactly the right time. I met Zo back in 2014, right at the onset of all this GG nonsense, when I was working at Twitter Between frantically trying to help escalate the egregious abusive posts, and dealing with my own stalker who used GG to help advance his own obsessive abuse of women in tech , I didn t have much time for my engineering work, so I left shortly after I ve been following her work and her story since then, and I find this book to be an approachable and accurate chronicle of the events of those few years Zo approaches her trauma with intelligence and wit, and does us the immense favor of explaining the systems and warped mindset that can lead a normal person to spend their time attacking and abusing strangers online Additionally she offers her expertise from her work with the organization Crash Override, which she founded to help folks that are attacked the way she was I personally have found their step by step guides for internet hygiene to be extremely helpful.Even if you re not a gamer or not in tech or not an activist, this book is an eye opener into the systems and characteristics that started with 4chan and continue with the alt right and white supremacists today in America and beyond Required reading for anyone who wants a vantage point into how those groups operate. I wasn t sure I wanted to read this as I thought it would be rather depressing, but I m glad I checked it out Internet abuse is a horrible thing to read about, and some really rotten things happened to Quinn, but I liked how she dedicated a large chunk of her book to prevention and suggestions of what to do if it happens to you I really appreciate her repeated points that internet abuse is never OK, even toward the deserving, like the abusers themselves, and that she called herself out on past abusive behavior of her own Her tips on how to support someone who has been the recipient of abuse were helpful and not always obvious, like not sharing anything without consent, even if it s to share something that happened in order to express outrage Another connected point was about how you inadvertently help spread toxic stuff by clicking on links to see what s being said by abusers Having just done some reading for a class on search engine optimization, this rang true By linking to abusive content or following links, we re adding to the legitimacy attributed to them by page ranking algorithms The author emphasized that giving unsolicited advice or pressure about how to handle abuse is not as effective as offering support, listening, and pointing to the positive things they do instead of just this horrible thing that happened to them Not defining people by the abuse they ve endured is an important piece I like how Quinn took a seemingly insurmountable problem and didn t stop at helping herself but contributed considerably to the fight against the larger problem to help others too Although she was pretty good about defining her jargon, I think the book would have benefited from a glossary of terms I had to stop a few times and look things up A valuable read, whether or not you re an internet whiz kid, actually probably so if you re not. A really wonderful treatise on what to do if trolls start attacking you on the internet, Crash Override tells Zoe s story of how her life and work were taken over by her ex to a horrific degree Already suffering from depression and a low self image, she managed to help herself and eventually others with a business called Crash Override and she offers tips to help everyone protect themselves from online bullying and having your information stolen Eventually, she even began working in her field again of creating games, because that is where her true love is To me, this is the best part of the book, because it recognizes that what you love, your art, can sustain you, and nurture you in troubled times A lot of women of color and trans women are attacked on line and gay men, because that is what bullies see as the weakest link They are attacked for their lives and who they are, and Zoe says the best thing to do about it, by caring people is to focus not on sympathy for these attacks, but by focusing and sharing the art and work of these people and offering a gentle nudge in the right direction to trolls, like, not cool, dude I admire her so much.
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- 256 pages
- Crash Override
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- 14 February 2018 Zoe Quinn