Chris Mancil compares using an anti-harassment blockbot to McCarthy-era blacklists, acts like a tool

Electronic Arts game dev Chris Mancil posted a disingenuous load of shit on his blog today, but it was sort of a platonic ideal of the kind of disengenuous shit written by boring cishet men who think their opinions matter, so I’m gonna take that shit apart, alright?

I’m just not a fan of collective punishment, or guilt by association.

It is not punishment for people to protect themselves from harassers. Collective blocking is an attempt to keep assholes out of our mentions, because no one is entitled to our time.

These two tactics in real life usually lead to terrible results by stripping individuals of their agency and humanity. In warfare, dehumanization and ‘othering’ allows more flexibility for the troops, and their administrators, to you know – temporarily abandon ethics and morality, for the greater good, and other such mindless rationalizations. A dangerous but all too familiar historical phenomena in war, but also with strong roots in our entertainment history – such as the Hollywood Blacklists for communist sympathizers.

This manages to combine the first geek social fallacy with a conflation of the actions of private individuals and government. It’s something you see a lot with people who think they are entitled to audience because they have freedom of speech or that they should be free of the consequences of speech, such as getting fired from your job for being racist on the internet, which isn’t how free speech works. This is the same kind of logic that leads people to those conclusions.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a misogynistic, transphobicopportunistic  douchebag with shady business dealings working for an extremely unethical “journalism” website. Deciding to follow this dude, retweet him, or take his work seriously is a pretty big sign that even if you aren’t an outright misogynist, you really don’t give a shit about women, because this guy is awful about us. But even if you don’t care about sexism for whatever reason, he’s an unethical, shitty dude with really bad opinions who hates gamers, and both his jokes and his rhetoric are pretty stale, so it’s kind of a sign that you have pretty bad taste and/or judgement, which is a good enough reason to unfollow/block you.

The idea that a piece of technology that allows individuals to not have to block every gamergate sea lion and his 100+ sockpuppet accounts is comparable to McCarthy-era blacklists is ridiculous.

In any event, good-bye 2,355 gaming twitter followers whom I shall miss.  I will happily be buddies with all of you again, but I won’t unfriend anyone, to be a friend of yours. And I would never ask you to do the same.

It is a perfectly reasonable request to ask that people stop being friends with your abuser and to choose not to keep people in your life if they will not do that. GamerGate is an abusive movement and Yiannopoulos is one of its ringleaders; he has helped create and foster that culture of abuse.

I skimmed a bit more of Mancil’s blog and Twitter: unsurprisingly, he identifies as a libertarian, loved American Sniper, and I think it’s possible that The Scarlet Letter is the only book he’s ever read. His ex-followers aren’t gonna be missing much.

6 thoughts on “Chris Mancil compares using an anti-harassment blockbot to McCarthy-era blacklists, acts like a tool

  1. not to mention that he misunderstands how the blocker works. it won’t actually block anyone you’re already following
    “Block Together will never block an account you follow, even if it meets one of the above criteria.” (from https://blocktogether.org/)
    …so those followers he lost were all people manually mashing the unfollow/block button.

  2. casual reminder that douchebag is a sexist insult (i know, i’m sorry, this is what i’m here for). i was gonna get one from orcwanker but it appears to be down???

  3. I’ll personally avoid using it because obviously not all women or even all feminists agree, but it’s worth noting that there is some pushback against the notion that douchebag as an insult is sexist:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/11/16/in-defense-of-douchebag/
    “Douches exist only because women have been told that our bodies are unclean. Douches, and the bags that reportedly accompany them, are terrible, no-good products. Insulting douches doesn’t insult women — the existence of douches insults women.”

    also https://medium.com/human-parts/douchebag-the-white-racial-slur-weve-all-been-waiting-for-a2323002f85d
    “Douching is not only an anti-feminist practice pushed by male corporations on women using shame and insecurity as a weapon, but it is almost certainly dangerous to a woman’s health. And therein we find the link between the medical appliance, the outdated practice of feminine hygiene, and the men we recognize today as “douchebags.” They are both, it bears repeating, useless, sexist tools.”

  4. i guess it’s fine to reinterpret and whatever but it was definitely an insult initially bc of sexism and usually one deems such things sexist but *shrugs* like my stepmom totally thought douche was insult bc douches are bad and i had to explain that that’s not why douche is an insult…. so! that’s my context is explaining this to feminist folk who do not have english as a first language.

Leave a Reply