Showing posts with label Society of Professional Journalists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Society of Professional Journalists. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Anti-GamerGate activists threatened to blow up my mom

My mom was at an awards ceremony tonight for journalists in Miami. She was one of the first women in news radio in the South, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a staunch feminist. So you can imagine my surprise when she told me that this afternoon she was escorted out of the awards ceremony after a series of not one or two but FIVE bomb threats were called in to the venue [EDIT: some people are saying it was up to ten].

The bomb threats weren't called in by ISIS or Al Qaeda or white supremacist militias. Apparently the threats were called in by anti-GamerGate activists. I guess somewhere in the same building was an event called SPJ AirPlay, which was targeted.

Someone threatened to explode my mom over video games.

Josh Wieder Pat Beall mom
This is my mom. I think she played Angry Birds once.
I have to admit I am not very familiar with GamerGate. I guess it has something to do with a couple breaking up very publicly and a nasty blog post accusing video game critics of some sort of malfeasance? And I guess also its about women in video games? And somehow "social media" became involved?

Whatever GamerGate is about I would like to humbly suggest that just maybe its not worth blowing people up over. Specifically - I would like to suggest it isn't worth blowing up my mom over. It also isn't worth shouting fire in a crowded theater (or bomb in a crowded hotel as the case may be).

My mom took this picture as the police cordoned off the area several blocks around the venue. Notice that peoples homes are within the cordoned off area. Presumably they had nothing to do with GamerGate, either.
I have come to the realization that there is almost never a good reason to engage in or threaten violence. Hurting people is the worst thing you can do. I admit that when people say things you might think are dumb, it sucks, but that's never a good reason to hurt them.

Maybe when people say things you disagree with, the best thing you can do is to try to convince them otherwise. Maybe the solution to bad speech is good speech. One thing is for sure: blowing up my mom is not the solution.

[EDIT: There seems to be some confusion about the event and what was going on. The building targeted for the bomb threat had been rented out for the Society of Professional Journalists for a conference. Its my current understanding that SPJ AirPlay (SPJ=Society of Professional Journalists) was one of the several talks at that conference, which also included an awards ceremony. My mom did not attend AirPlay.]

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