Posted on: April 19, 2016 Posted by: William Hicks Comments: 0

The startup that aims to create an online database of cyberbullies tied to their personal information has ignited an internet fight of epic proportions.

The latest is on unlikely grounds. Social Autopsy’s founder, Candace Owen, has accused self-proclaimed anti-harassment advocates, Zoe Quinn and Randi Lee Harper, of cyber terrorism. Meanwhile, Gamergaters, who loathe both women, are just sitting back and gleefully watching the fireworks.

The story goes like this. Last Tuesday, when Social Autopsy was just a fledgling little Kickstarter and had not yet received the ire of the interwebs, Owens got a message from one of her interns that a woman named Zoe Quinn wanted to contact her. Owens thought nothing of it and gave Quinn her personal info.

For those of you who don’t know, Quinn was at the center of the Gamergate controversy when it was revealed that a certain gaming journalist she was romantically involved with gave her game favorable press on a game she developed. Below is a quick recap of the scandal.

So emails lead to a phone call, where Quinn urges Owens to take down the site and give up on her project. Quinn warns Owens that she will be harassed by Gamergate, just as Quinn had in the past. Owens says that Quinn told her that even online harassers do not deserve to have their identities revealed.

“I thought this girl was either a troll herself or it’s Stockholm Syndrome,” Owens said.

So then, according to Owens, Quinn bursts into tears and ends the call with the cryptic message, “If you do this, it will ruin everything.”

After the call, Quinn took to Twitter to lampoon Social Autopsy.

And then the harassment started. Owens personal and Social Autopsy emails, as well as the Kickstarter, were bombarded with racist and sexually explicit messages.

Then comes Randi Lee Harper. She writes a post in Medium after the Social Autopsy Kickstarter was suspended, taking credit for stopping the fund-raising campaign and just generally talking trash about Owens.

You are a fucking idiot. So, gloves off. I’m going to tell you now why your idea is shit. I’m doing this as a public service, because I am terrified that more people are going to step up and make the same mistakes as they try to capitalize on an industry without having any clue what the fuck they are doing.

That’s just a little highlight of the long screed Harper wrote attacking Owens.

Owens believes that Quinn and Harper orchestrated at least part of the harassment as a way to shut down her site and stop Owens from stepping on Quinn’s anti-harassment turf.

Owens believes they are professional victims whose livelihood is tied to a network of bots that pound people with false flag harassment. You can read Candace’s full story here.

Pretty crazy, right?

While there’s no smoking gun, Owens claims that Quinn was the only person she had recently given her personal email to and that some of the harassment was sent to that personal email. Also the harassment stopped as soon as Owens agreed to do an interview with Ralph Retort, “exposing” Quinn as being behind the attacks.

So who wins in this epic flame war? Gamergate. The founder of a startup whose values are anathema to Gamergate is now fighting with Gamergaters’ arch nemeses, Quinn and Harper.

Since the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Owens has even gotten some reluctant support from a few Gamergaters.

So are Quinn and Harper running an elaborate cyber terrorism outfit? Will Social Autopsy survive the drama? What will Gamergate turn to next after the flames die from this controversy? Find out next time on another thrilling installment of internet drama fest.

Just kidding. The answers are: probably not, no and idk, something about boobs in video games.

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