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Astroturfing 'stand with women in gaming' #NoRoomForAbuse

kat · 1 · 10242

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Offline kat

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The 'politics in/of gaming' legacy in three images.

Sky tweet
Image #1 (above) : Sky Inc. is running a new campaign raising awareness of the abuse women and girls face online. The tweet includes a video of a gaming rig in the middle of a room with white, partially transparent, walls. Men's blurred silhouettes can be seen pushing against the walls while the voices of men can be heard reading abusive comments. The intent is to show "what it's really like to be a women in gaming"[1]. For more information the reader is directed to their profile (because they can't link from within a tweet?).

Sky's Twitter profile with disguised link
Image #2 (above) : their Twitter profile repeats some of the tweets content with a link to .find out more, and based on the URL text partially obscured it can be assumed it has something to do with the #NoRoomForAbuse campaign (i.e. Sky.com/broadband/noro... should be Sky.com/broadband/noro[oomforabuse]?).

Sky upselling broadband on the back of online abuse
Image #3 (above) : click that link however, and the visitor is taken to a page on sky.com (sky.com/broadband?DCMP=DMC-OCT10_Broadband_SK_broadband/noroomforabuse) upselling their broadband. Just to be clear, in case it isn't, sky is using online abuse as an avenue to upsell their broadband services, and are likely 'donating' to the #noroomforabuse cause to do so.

What, too, does that say about The Cybersmile Foundation lending their voice and credibility (for whatever that is) to Sky (https://www.cybersmile.org/news/cybersmile-sky-broadband-and-guild-esports-team-up-to-tackle-abuse-of-women-gamers) to enable this form of, what can only be described as, astroturfing (again) [2], to an issue they claims to be of serious concern, all for, probably, a large donation (likely in kind through exposure/reach across Sky's platform).

The cynic might say 'politics' being coercively injected into gaming and online life was never about gaming and online life, and always about money, power and influence, and you're a [pejorative] if you notice or point that out.

1: the reality of "what's it's like to be a women in gaming" is that 50+% of online abuse is perpetrated by women - given how little study has been directed at the type/sort of abuse women and girls perpetrate, that number may very well but much larger, and considering the research that has been done, that men and boys are more likely to receive abuse online, is always framed as "and who is doing that but men and boys".

2: other examples of astroturfing significant campaigns; "Article 13, YouTube (BigTech) & #SaveYourInternet astroturfing" (2018) and "Article 11 ss 15, Article 13 ss 17, EU Copyright Apr 2019 (provisional)" (2019)