A curious case of manufactured controversy, perhaps to hide another issue?
I've searched through Chelsea Cain's mentions on Twitter going back to October 16, and there are only a few unkind tweets among thousands of encouraging messages. Others have searched and have also said they've found little evidence of "a slew of hostile tweets." I and others have asked people who have participated in the #standwithchelseacain hashtag for screenshots of the abusive tweets that forced her off Twitter and have not received any.Now what's going on here? A case comes up on a prominent social media site where vicious harassment is claimed to have taken place, and nobody took any screencaps of the offensive messages supposedly posted there? As dishonest as the commentator Anita Sarkeesian was, even she presented screencaps of the abuse she may have gotten, though some could argue she might've faked at least half of it (and from the observations I read in the past 2 years, that's very likely). Another writer, Robert Kroese, said that none of the articles he found bringing this up featured any pictures of the abusive tweets, and:
By this point, I was getting pretty suspicious. How can you write an entire article about someone being chased off Twitter by harassment without giving a single example of this harassment or backing up your claim in any way? The authors of all these articles were pretty clearly on Cain’s side; wouldn’t it have been in their interest to include some of these nasty tweets to demonstrate how awful these trolls are? Why didn’t they?Having taken some time to think about this, I can't help but wonder if this was all manufactured to draw attention away from the persecution of J. Scott Campbell for committing a thoughtcrime. And who knows, I may be right.
the Gamergate campaign.
From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to have been any harassment of the level they're claiming. But if there was, the people pushing this accusation might want to consider that some of it could derive from the same thought patterns various male writers in the upper echelons of publishing go by. There are some very bad apples out there in comics fandom. But not everybody is that demented, and if there's no evidence to back up the harassment claims, then this is apparently an attempt to smear the best of comic book fandom as much as any decent video game player.
No less disturbing is how many sources in the comics press have been buying into and pushing this narrative without research. As the above writers/bloggers noted, when they tried to ask for screenshots to serve as evidence, nobody would help them, and a few even blocked them on Twitter. This suggests it was all pre-planned. If that's the case, the press are doing a great wrong to fandom by painting all fans of superheroes and other comics with the same brush, to say nothing of tarnishing the art form's representatives.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most unqualified opportunists have been commenting on the issue, such as:
Some days I think all this harassing-women-out-of-comics could drive me out of comics. And then I realize that where I’d go is into...— I Am Zzzutak! (@KurtBusiek) October 27, 2016
Straight from the guy who sees nothing wrong with intimidating women out of public bathrooms. He's pretty much in the same boat as those who throw their core fandoms under the bus too.
As far as I can tell, along with the other guys mentioned, this is all a non-troversy that must've been cooked up deliberately by the same people who haven't even apologized to Campbell for their defamation efforts. They've only demonstrated perfectly why the medium is collapsing.