Trapped in a hoax: survivors of conspiracy theories speak out -

  • DDoS is active again.


True & Honest Fan




As a developer of video games, Brianna Wu is well placed to judge the stakes involved when someone becomes caught up in the real-world fantasy that is a conspiracy theory. To her trained eye, the chances of prevailing within the maelstrom are passingly low.

“If you address the conspiracy theory head-on, you just amplify the message you are trying to disprove. If you ignore it you just get screamed at and harassed until your career is over. It’s a no-win scenario,” she says.

Wu, 41, speaks from brutal experience. “I will never forget the day it happened,” she says, recalling when she tweeted a collage of comments lampooning male conspiracy theorists in her industry. “My Twitter caught on fire with all kinds of threats and nasty comments. I knew I had a choice to make: I could sit down and say nothing, or I could take a stand.”

She did take a stand, and by doing so, propelled herself into Gamergate, the misogynistic conspiracy theory that ran riot through 4chan, its sister imageboard 8chan, Reddit, Twitter and other social media platforms.

The blow-up began in 2014 when fellow video game developer Zoe Quinn became the target of hundreds of anonymous male trolls propagating the false claim that she had sought to advance her career by having an affair with a video game journalist. The conflagration spread like wildfire, engulfing several other women in and around the gaming world. The bedlam could not have come at a worse juncture for Wu, erupting just weeks after she had launched her first video game, Revolution 60.

Wu believes that women are targeted by conspiracy theorists more frequently than men, and yet they’re rarely heard. “The cost of speaking out is so high for women, I understand why most decide not to. I’ve heard hundreds of times over the last few years women with children saying ‘I am afraid to speak up because I don’t want my children to be targeted’. That is an utterly rational position – many women are correctly scared to talk.”

Wu was scared, too. Her frivolous internet meme ridiculing the male trolls of Gamergate triggered an assault that continues to this day. At its peak, a woman turned up at her alma mater, the University of Mississippi, impersonating her in an attempt to acquire her college records. Someone else surreptitiously took photos of her as she went about her daily business. Wu was unaware of it until she received anonymous texts with pictures of her in coffee shops, restaurants, at the movies.


An accurate floor plan of her house was assembled and published online, along with her address and pictures of her car and license plate. And then there were the death threats – up to 300 by her estimate. One message on Twitter threatened to cut off her husband’s “tiny Asian penis”. The couple evacuated their house and took refuge with friends and in hotels.

Wu now devotes her time to running for Congress from her home in Dedham, Massachusetts. She sees her candidacy as a way of pressing federal authorities to take the problem of online conspiracy theories and harassment seriously. “The FBI employs about 30,000 agents in the US. As best as I can tell there’s no division that is specifically tasked with prosecuting extreme threats online – it’s simply not a priority for them,” she says.

Wu looks back on Gamergate and is torn over its legacy for her. On the positive side, “it did show me there’s a toughness and resilience inside myself, it gave me almost rhinoceros thick skin.” Then she quickly corrects herself. “Let’s not glamorize abuse. I came to a conclusion that having to read every day about people wanting to rape or kill me did permanent damage.”

Wu believes that women are targeted by conspiracy theorists more frequently than men

Oh, another fucking "women have it worse than men in EVERYTHING [citation needed]"

Zoe Quinn became the target of hundreds of anonymous male trolls propagating the false claim that she had sought to advance her career by having an affair with a video game journalist

And I bet she fucked you too.

many women are correctly scared to talk

Oh I fucking wish.


too gay to lift
True & Honest Fan
Ironic that the Guardian is perpetuating a hoax in an article about people who are victims of hoaxes.

Zoe doesn't talk about gamergate anymore so everyone always gets Wu, since she's a shameless self-publicist and has no relevance to anything outside gamegate. So rather than getting someone who's merely a cocksucking hack, they get someone who is actively lying about everything in order to promote themselves.
I guess nobody told them she lost her congress race.

So the person who claims angry gamers infiltrated the FBI to disrupt investigations to get president trump elected is the victim of a conspiracy hoax?

I see they're still pushing the long disproven lie that they fled their home, rather than went on a planned vacation.

Sissy Galvez

True & Honest Fan
With all the shit happening in the world someone thought this was a necessary article to print. Gamer gate article #476 on Brianna Wu’s unfortunate life where she owns two Porsche’s and has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in poorly thought out ventures and who also received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and spent them on apple gear “for the campaign”.

I feel so sorry for Brianna Wu aka John flynt, what a sad life, guys pity him please.