Hello, my name is Kim Crawley. I'm a tech journalist who writes about information security.
Since August 2014, an online harrassment campaign called "Gamergate" has targetted many people: Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, Leigh Alexander, and the list goes on. Most of the lives Gamergate has tried to ruin belong to women who work in tech, game development, or those who dare offer constructive critique about gaming culture. Gamergate has tried to ruin my life as well.
(If Gamergate is confusing to you, a glimpse of RationalWiki's Gamergate timeline should make all of this easier to understand: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Gamergate
Most of us love video games. Some of us are game developers. Most of the rest of us spend much of our free time gaming. I've been playing video games since 1989, when Santa Claus got me an NES for Christmas.
Gamergate engages in information security attacks, such as "doxxing." ("Doxxing" is when someone's private information is leaked for the purposes of attacking someone.)
In February 2015, I wrote an article about Gamergate and 8chan for an information security news website, InfoSec Resources. I was motivated to do so for two reasons:
1. What Gamergate has done to Zoe, Brianna, Anita, Leigh, and other women makes me very angry. I think the information security community should be aware of what's going on, because knowledge is power.
2. Online bullying and harassment campaigns constitute blackhat activity, and it's a growing information security problem.
I was emotionally prepared to get harrassed by Gamergate. Ask any investigative journalist- engaging in their craft involves pissing people off sometimes. The truth isn't always flattering, particularly to criminals and sociopaths. If people like me avoided reporting on a group because they fear harrassment, it'd be very bad for journalism. The news would become 100% flattering press releases. Imagine for instance if political journalists avoided writing bad stuff about politicians.
Here's what I wasn't prepared for- InfoSec Resources being chickenshit. My article was on the InfoSec Resources website for a few hours on February 20th. Then, so many Gamergaters sent InfoSec Resources nasty emails that they did the cowardly thing and pulled my article.
If you're curious to read it, check out the web cache here: Google web cache
Or here, if the cache above doesn't work with your device/web browser: Archive.today web cache
At the end of my article is a long list of web citations. Most of my sources are from credible tech news websites like ArsTechnica and The Register.
My editor read my article and approved it. InfoSec Resources published it online. They only took it down once they got all of those emails from angry Gamergaters. How dare I say bad things about their nasty online harrassment campaign! Yes, everything I wrote was already mentioned on popular tech news sites.
The difference between InfoSec Resources and websites like ArsTechnica, The Register, and Wired is that ArsTechnica, The Register, and Wired aren't afraid to publish articles that hurt the feelings of vicious trolls. Whereas to InfoSec Resources, in their words, that's "bad for business!"
Every article I wrote for InfoSec Resources previously, as far back as 2011, is still online here: http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/author/kimcrawley
But they won't publish any of my future articles.
Keep in mind that my income comes from my tech journalism work, and InfoSec Resources was my main publication. What Gamergate did to me is a major blow to my finances. I need to pay the rent and buy groceries, and my husband and I don't get a lot of other income.
I will continue to write for other websites like CIO, CSO, and Computerworld, (some of those articles are here and here) but that other work is very infrequent and sporadic. My husband's income for doing digital forensics work is also infrequent and sporadic. And as contractors, we only get paid for the gigs we get. We have no salary or wage. Even when we do get frequent work, our income is "working class" at best, and Toronto is an expensive city to live in.
So, if you can make a small donation to my fund, it'd be greatly appreciated. I need to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, subway fare, and phone/ISP bills paid while I look for another publication that'll provide me with steady income. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking to raise $5000.00 in total, enough to get us through for a couple of months.
Thank you very much!