, 23 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Okay, let's talk for a moment about anonymous accusations, whisper networks, and the like.
I RT/signal boost/publicly warn people about abusers in the game industry when:

-it's a victim naming an abuser
-it happened to me
-it's from an actual news source

Anonymous accusations are very easily weaponized, so I'm leery of them.
There is no reward for naming your abuser publicly, other than the catharsis of being heard, and feeling like you've warned other potential victims or corroborated other existing victims.

There is a TON of downside: harassment, blacklisting, etc.
So given that the rewards are highly abstract, and the downsides--at least for marginalized people--are dangerous, intense, and not at all abstract, I tend to believe any woman/enby/trans man/POC/LGB person who publicly names an abuser.
After all, the only reward is catharsis, and you don't get that if you're lying.
So, that's fairly cut-and-dried for me.

Hearing from people who aren't willing to go public, or hearing anonymous reports through a whisper network, are a much tougher ethical call.
Here's the crux: whispering something into a whisper network carries a lot less risk than speaking up publicly, and therefore a lot less disincentive to lie/exaggerate/etc.

It's my personal policy to believe anyone who tells me directly, but I have been burned that way.
That said, it's still my policy to believe anyone who tells me directly that something happened to them, even if they're saying don't tell anyone else, because overwhelmingly, it gets confirmed eventually. The cases of people exaggerating are the exception, not the rule.
And so if someone tells me something privately, I might warn other people about the person they accused, without using their name or details.

When it's something anonymous I hear through the whisper network, I tend to be wary about the person accused, but that's it.
But more importantly, as trans women, enbies, and WOC especially have been saying for fucking EVER, whisper networks leave people out. Many vulnerable people don't have access to them.
And there's the problem.

The safety net has giant, gaping holes through which the people who need it the most are falling.

At the same time, the consequences for speaking up are horrendous even for the most privileged women out there.
Like, look:

Most women in games--even white, cis, straight women in management positions--are just trying to *survive* the industry.

And when you see female politicians, female lawyers, female movie stars, etc.--the most privileged women out there--going through hell...
...for speaking up--when you're looking at what happened to Dr. Ford--choosing not to speak is, I think, a legitimate reaction, especially when you're dealing with trauma yourself.
And that pits the interests of more marginalized people, who I think absolutely have a legitimate position in saying, "whisper networks leave us out, and we need to be warned" ...
vs. less marginalized women saying--also, I think, legitimately--"No one gets to demand that I destroy my own life going public about abuse on top of having actually suffered the abuse in the first place."
So anonymous public accusations might seem like a good way to reconcile those two positions.

They're public, so they're not leaving out the people whisper networks don't reach, and they're not destroying people's lives the way non-anonymously naming your abuser does.
At the same time, there's very, very little disincentive to lie. The nightmare scenario, of course, is that an abuser gets wind that someone they abused is about to go public and attempts to DARVO that by accusing their victim anonymously first.
So what's the solution?

I don't think there's a good one.

I think the most healthy solutions are:
1) Protecting victims who name abusers publicly so that there's less risk in doing so.
2) Ensuring that marginalized women/NBs/trans men, especially POC, are included in networks.
(This needs to be read in the context of the surrounding thread): I don't think anyone should be "canceling" anyone named anonymously. What we should do is take it as one data point, and then start pinging our networks for confirmation.
Taking an anonymous accusation to your network, in a locked-down environment, often times results in a lot of people who are willing to speak up in private circles coming forward and seeing each other.
And that can lead to multiple victims being willing to speak publicly and corroborate each other, when they weren't willing to speak before, because they thought they'd be alone.
So I think those anonymous accusations can be useful, but I don't think, on their own, that you should make business decisions/social decisions/etc. based on them.

Again, they're too easy to weaponize, and we've already seen channer ops targeting progressive games people.
But honestly, I feel like maybe those of us who are relatively privileged need to start hosting quarterly cocktail nights/tea parties/etc. where we invite all the marginalized people we know who are vulnerable to abuse and do info dumps of the stuff we can't share publicly.
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