Vidcon and Polygon Failed

Vidcon 2017 has come and gone, but not without controversy. For those that know what happened this will be a bit of a brief to get people up to speed.

Anita Sarkeesian is a popular Youtuber with various feminist groups and she explored the implications calling for the supposed need for feminism in modern society. She often claims to be the voice of disabled and the supposed marginalized without facts or figures and this will come in to play later.

Sargon of Akkad is another Youtuber who is what can be best defined as a social commentator they take things found over the world and give their two cents using a combination of numbers, experiences, and personal opinion.

They both went to Vidcon and Ms. Sarkeesian was in a panel where Sargon and many other social commentators some of which with wildly varying opinions sat down in the first three rows as a group to properly listen to a different point of view. Video backs this claim as there was no insults thrown by the group, none of them were being rambunctious and some may even say including myself they were being model citizens in the situation. This can be fact checked against the hundreds of minutes of footage of them and not one video being able to produce evidence of anything but what was described.

During the conversation of the panel Ms. Sarkeesian has claimed “if you look up my name on Youtube, you get shitheads like this dude.” before gesturing to the man behind the channel of Sargon of Akkad. Continuing on commenting that people including Sargon “make dumbass videos that is just the same shit over and over again.” Now, for those who are not familiar of these conventions let me make clear that all conventions make it clear that any harassment is not allowed. None whatsoever, normally being called out in such fashion may anger you especially when you gave part of your time to learn someone else’s opinion in an honest fashion. Going on to call him a garbage person the normal set of actions if this was anybody else would be to remove the offending party or parties.

Claiming that these people were there to “intimidate” which was proven incorrect not only by the video footage once again numbering in hours that anyone can see, but she claimed it was then supposed to put her on edge. According to her actions, it seems that she is always on edge and that these people had nothing to do with it. What is funny is that Ms. Sarkeesian was also on a panel about bullying where other panel members noted Ms. Sarkeesian’s aggressive nature.

This tale ends not with a bang nor a whimper, but a question. There were no actions done about this until afterward and that is only when the convention founder released a statement. It started talking about mobs before moving to the main matter, which I will quote directly from the debrief here.

Our founder, Hank Green, talked with our panelist and said two things:

  1. He told her that her comment had violated our policy, but that he understood that there was a broader context (which to be clear, we were blissfully ignorant of until this weekend, and remain inexpert in.)
  2. He apologized to her for not having been more aware of and active in understanding the situation before the event, which resulted in her being subjected to a hostile environment that she had not signed up for.”

Here is the full debrief, but here is where we go deeper.

https://medium.com/@VidCon/vidcon-debrief-e6bb4e187a28

Not one person in the group that was sitting in those rows has communicated that any contact was made between either of the founders to their side of the matter at hand. So that means that without any evidence in data, video, or first-hand testimony from anyone in that panel except for Ms. Sarkeesian that we need to figure how valid is her statement and it is clear that she is completely incorrect.

Before going any further let us classify harass and I will do it using the Merriam-Webster Law definition which notes it as, to subject persistently and wrongfully to annoying, offensive, or troubling behavior.

That is the definition that is the standard so we will stick with it. This whole incident is not wrongful by any measure, as once again can be proven by the many videos taken, first-hand witnesses, and any data from that event in any other form. Nothing supports her statements to this incident, but let us also take a look at Sargon of Akkad more in depth to see if there have been any past waves of videos that fulfill the definition. In his interview with Joe Rogan, he clarified that over four years he has referred to her about 30 times and my own investigation uncovered by description and thumbnail that the video targeted the beliefs of Ms. Sarkessian specifically numbered even less than that. She has only been prominent in the thumbnail of the video only two dozen times with specific videos about her rhetoric numbering to just over half of that at fourteen. Three videos did that but were not made by Sargon and he only ran them as a way to get some time off or work on other projects it seems. Using the number of 780 videos and taking to account that fourteen videos were specific to her in some form or fashion whether it be statements about Gamergate, his own views on the feminist movement, or the current Vidcon debacle. We add the three videos from others that specifically target giving us seventeen. That accounts for just over two percentage points. This is far from the broad statement given and even if we add the ones where she is only been lightly referenced in the video, we get a grand total of the three percent that was commented by Sargon on the Joe Rogan show.

Two percentage points do not count as all of Sargon’s work. It does not count as most of the video library, and certainly is not a majority. Taking the seventeen videos by the four years that the account has been up and figuring the two leads us that on average one video where her work is the major crux of the video happens just less then every three months. Is it persistent? The argument can be made, yes. Sargon’s views on providing data and Ms. Sarkessians more emotional style of debate will obviously cross and there will be some exchange there. Is it wrongful, no. In every video she has been the heavy crux of specifically it has been a disagreeing of her opinion, the question of what data supports it, and his own opinion in counterpoint. There have not been any major persistent personal attacks from this channel. If you do not believe me then go check for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SargonofAkkad100/videos?sort=p&view=0&flow=list

It is also noted those videos are not even the most popular work from the channel with only one of the top ten videos having a thumbnail referencing her, but none specifically her work. Laci Green is someone whose work has been featured multiple times in Sargon’s most popular responses and overall videos has been noted three times in the top ten and twice specifically her work was where the majority of the social commentary in that video was targeted.

So we have a convention that backed a harasser when she tried to get a rise out of someone in the crowd, and nothing happened. That is not what some of the biggest pieces of coverage about it has even attempted to show.

Now I tried to write this piece here but I need to do this as well because this is past tilted to blatant propaganda levels of idiocy. This is where I will be a bit biased myself not because of the opinion but simply the style of writing is so poor, the effort so minimal, and the bias so amazing that it any editor who looked at this thinking it was a journalistic piece needs to add some yellow.

https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/6/27/15880582/anita-sarkeesian-garbage-human-vidcon-interview

We are going to correct some things here because Polygon is not known for political work, and it shows.

Carl Benjamin is a British YouTube personality in his late 30s. He has spoken vituperatively, many times over many years, about Sarkeesian and her work. Some of his videos are thumbnailed with ludicrously Photoshopped imagery of Sarkeesian. At the time of writing, his Twitter page is bannered with a picture of Sarkeesian.”

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vituperative

The fourth paragraph seems to note one Carl Benjamin (Sargon Of Akkad) speaking in vituperative fashion. Vituperative in this case is defined as ”uttering or given to censure :  containing or characterized by verbal abuse” Unfortunately, no evidence has been found making that line useless as he has asked for data and sources so he can learn about it to see if he is correct. Also, at time of writing the banner is of him and Anita photoshopped over Beast and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately, that is not a proper description so we need to remove that and if we do so we are left with this.

Carl Benjamin is a British YouTube personality in his late 30s. Some of his videos are thumbnailed with ludicrously Photoshopped imagery of Sarkeesian.”

Colin Campbell is the writer for this piece and on the same day about writing this piece Campbell tweeted “I hope to continue writing mainly about people I admire.”

colincampbellx

Colin Campbell, I hope you do so too, however the work needs to get better, I will edit this section for you just to see where some improvements can be made with your style in case you wonder why some people are not amused with it. The three paragraphs before hand are world building that you do not need to do as you reworking from sources in reality. Boil down the fantasy lingo to one paragraph. Let us work from the second paragraph, dump the first and third which leaves us with this.

After so many public appearances, Sarkeesian has grown accustomed to speaking in front of a few hundred people. But today she feels a certain intimidation. A crowd of her most vociferous critics, including YouTubers, sit together in the front rows, their phones pointed at her.”

This needs some work though, vociferous is used incorrectly as it is “marked by or given to vehement insistent outcry “. Since we all know the asking for data is not along vehement outcry we must remove that word. You also do not want to start a sentence with the word but, because usually. that makes it sound like either it should be part of the previous sentence, reworked, or added to make a complete sentence. Funny thing also the videos show that the entire group did not actually have phones out, a detail surely missed by the author here so let us correct it let us take this down to what it needs to really be.

After so many public appearances, Sarkeesian has grown accustomed to speaking in front of a few hundred people. Today, she feels a certain intimidation as a crowd of her most well-known critics sits together in the front rows.”

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vociferous

Good, four paragraphs down to about two, let us continue.

Benjamin has made his name dismissing her feminist documentary work such as Tropes vs Women in Video Games, which details the cultural biases of video games. He is a hero for many in the hate group GamerGate, a rough assemblage of misogynists, racists, conspiracy theorists and right-wing ideologues who have spent years harassing Sarkeesian and anyone who publicly supports her work.

Most of his YouTube videos follow standard reactionary protocols, excoriating the supposed evils of political correctness, shady liberal elites and the media. His most frothy content is reserved for feminism, a hot topic for men who feel afraid and threatened by progressives, who they dismiss as “the regressive left.” He has more than 600,000 subscribers on YouTube. He makes more than $5,000 a month from Patreon.

Today, he is surrounded by a group of his supporters, who have planned to come in force and take the front seats of this VidCon panel, which is focused on the lives of women online.

Unfortunately, here we have a lot of problems, no worries though. Benjamin started by dismissing some of her work, but his name was not made on it as proven above by the sources. Him being a hero unless it is proven just rings as an attack of character and without evidence just smacks of holier-than-thou sentiment. Adding the evidence previously found it just makes you look like an idiot the fact that you tried to use excoriate in such a fashion which is defined as “to censure scathingly “ without any evidence. In fact, evidence of Sargon’s work proves just the opposite with the few videos talking about Ms. Sarkessian’s work asking for data. The remaining parts of the sentence need to be reworked. The comment about feminism also smacks of not knowing the subject matter, but no worries I have your back. Campbell. Before we rework this, let us go over the last portion of writing as the comment about “his supporters” is trying to dictate a mentality that this is a simple two-party issue when the issue is far from two party. This is where that majority of that work not being in politics is starting to play against you. That is okay, you are trying we just need to cut some fat. Basically, if you are going to say it then you need to have data or experience or explain in some fashion why it is the case otherwise it needs to be cut. Here is what we have after all that.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excoriating

Benjamin had started his channel dismissing her feminist frequency work. His most frothy content is reserved for modern feminism. He has more than 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and he makes more than $5,000 a month from Patreon. Today, he is surrounded by a group of other critics of Sarkessian’s work, who have planned to come in force and taking the empty seats in the front three rows of this VidCon panel, which is focused on the lives of women online.

This will go quicker, no worries.

The panel’s first question drops. It’s about why feminism — online and in games — is an issue worthy of discussion.

Sarkeesian notes Benjamin’s presence and begins speaking.

“If you Google my name on YouTube you get shitheads like this dude who are making these dumb-assed videos,” she says. “They just say the same shit over and over again. I hate to give you attention because you’re a garbage human. These dudes just making endless videos that go after every feminist over and over again is a part of the issue of why we have to have these conversations.”

The crowd gives her a positive response, with some whoops and cheers.

On the front rows, Benjamin and his retinue rock back and forth, as if they are watching a comedy show. He yells back that he be allowed to debate with her.

But she won’t debate him. She understands that he’s not in the least bit interested in what she has to say.

Positive response as the article notes can be found to be not correct by the video. Benjamin did not rock back and forth, and really it is kind of sad I need to describe what happened in videos against someone who never saw them, but thinks they know more about it. What he yelled was akin to providing data and not debating, and the last portion of this section is just chaff clearly debunked by all that evidence above. Her supposed understanding would be coming off as paranoia which can be defined as “a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others” That leaves us with this.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paranoia

The panel’s first question drops. It’s about why feminism — online and in games — is an issue worthy of discussion.

Sarkeesian notes Benjamin’s presence and begins speaking.

“If you Google my name on YouTube you get shitheads like this dude who are making these dumb-assed videos,” she says. “They just say the same shit over and over again. I hate to give you attention because you’re a garbage human. These dudes just making endless videos that go after every feminist over and over again is a part of the issue of why we have to have these conversations.”

I just corrected the first section of this article shaving the bulk of incorrect information, political character assassinations, and misused words from it. This section alone was 514 words before my edits dropped to a nice 227 which you can find below.

After so many public appearances, Sarkeesian has grown accustomed to speaking in front of a few hundred people. But today she feels a certain intimidation. A crowd of her most vociferous critics, including YouTubers, sit together in the front rows, their phones pointed at her.”

Carl Benjamin is a British YouTube personality in his late 30s. Some of his videos are thumbnailed with ludicrously Photoshopped imagery of Sarkeesian. Benjamin had started his channel dismissing her feminist frequency work. His most frothy content is reserved for modern feminism. He has more than 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and he makes more than $5,000 a month from Patreon. Today, he is surrounded by a group of other critics of Sarkessian’s work, who have planned to come in force and taking the empty seats in the front three rows of this VidCon panel, which is focused on the lives of women online.

Sarkeesian notes Benjamin’s presence and begins speaking.

“If you Google my name on YouTube you get shitheads like this dude who are making these dumb-assed videos,” she says. “They just say the same shit over and over again. I hate to give you attention because you’re a garbage human. These dudes just making endless videos that go after every feminist over and over again is a part of the issue of why we have to have these conversations.”

It is amazing what you have left when you cut the crap. My suggestion is to continue to grow as a writer because this section was your work that I just edited. The first was flabby, emotional and unfocused, this tells you what happened. Keep going Colin Campbell I hope your writing continues to grow.

Taking that portion of the article to pieces and showing why it wasn’t the greatest piece of work in the world, but what could be done with it leaves us down to the issue of Vidcon. The stance of those in charge allowed someone to harass and embarrass someone who was a paying customer, who was respectful in the event, and who did not make any aggressive motions that can be backed up by any evidence found on this planet. I have never been to Vidcon, but as also a Youtuber this makes me wonder if I should provide the opportunity ever comes up. It is also a question I notice a lot more people asking. On the other side I have never run a con, but I do have some political experience so let me make something clear that I have found true. When you act in such fashions to take someone’s words at face value without checking the other side you make the other side believe their opinion does not matter so much. Ms. Sarkessian has not proven anything and not even taking the other side into the account has painted their opinion to be even more laughable. This may not be so much right now, but there are people who will look at this believing you are now politically leaning one way. Political identity is not something you want an event to have because as soon as you leave the center line you find yourself greeted by more and more extremist and less respect for the opposing side.

My plan would have been to get both sides, check the story, and stick to the code and unless there was something that changed the entire situation Ms. Sarkeesian should have been disciplined. The stance alluded to by this decision would have been fair by your own code, but since you have not done so I wonder what you think will happen when you start adding politics to exclusive opinions as done in this case I.E not properly investigating and then siding with Ms. Sarkessian. It will be interesting to see where this goes, but if those here do not listen then I ask you to think of what the road to hell is paved with. Good intentions can often be the most damaging, so please think before the next actions or you will find your social pools evaporating.

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