In response to our recent story on Sexual harassment for female players in Starcraft2 thread, reader mOnion commented:
I have an incriminating recording of one of the mods from the site saying to a young lady “bitch make me a sandwiche, I’m busy playing starcraft”
if you’d like a copy of the .mp3 just followup this comment
I was skeptical, because, you know, how do you get a sound recording of something an online admin said? It struck me as far-fetched, but I wanted to see where it went, so I emailed mOnion with what I suspected a plant would consider the proper amount of enthusiasm:
I’d love to hear your MP3 of the moderator you mentioned on The Hathor Legacy. Do you have any way to authenticate it – prove that it’s who you say it is, and all that? Because I would not mind taking these guys on if I had the right ammo.
mOnion wrote back describing difficulty finding the Mp3 because “its buried amongst my music and porn sry”.
Today one of the TeamLiquid forum admins emailed me a screenshot of my email to mOnion, presumably for the purpose of intimidating me into silence. But the screenshot just proves that mOnion was indeed a plant trying to get a response that would cast doubt on my trustworthiness. As I described in the original article, attempts to cast doubt on the veracity of women seems to be the standard TeamLiquid method for silencing them. The possibility that a poster claiming to be a woman might be a man or an “attention whore” (see the original article) concerns them greatly. The possibility that a poster claiming to be a man might be a woman doesn’t even rate a glance, as evidenced by the number of women at both TeamLiquid and my original story claiming to use exactly that strategy to avoid being harassed endlessly.
I suspect if mOnion and the admin had gotten the “incriminating” response mOnion hoped for, they’d have just posted it on their forum and ripped me to shreds – and fair enough, actually. But I know a thing or two about both journalism and trolls. I asked for authentication and gave no hint I’d move forward with anything about the mp3 unless I got authentication. That’s a higher standard of journalism than the mainstream press bothers with these days. My story was comprised of quotes from the TeamLiquid forum, which all of you can go verify for yourselves unless they delete or edit the thread, and some clearly demarcated non-factual opinion commentary. And yet the TeamLiquid admin’s email calls the story a “hack job” lacking “much needed context” and invites me to a public debate somewhere other than my site because he won’t have his side of the story “edited or deleted.”
mOnion posted a derogatory lie about TeamLiquid on Hathor, and TeamLiquid thinks we’ve wronged them.
Before the admin triumphantly posts a screenshot of my email response to him, yawn, here it is:
And why do you think I asked mOnion to authenticate? Because I had wondered from the start where one obtained a sound recording of an admin who probably lives a thousand miles away saying anything. And you guys worry about women being liars.
So this kind of half-ass deception is how you guys handle things, yet you think by simply quoting your site (facts) and sharing a clearly non-factual interpretation of them, I’ve somehow wronged you?
Rich. Very rich. The story is perfectly valid, and you know it. You are tolerating misogyny publicly on your website, but indicate it’s unfair for anyone to point it out publicly? But I should trust you to engage in a public debate? Gee, I think that would be unwise on my part.
When you’re reporting on sexism, one thing you never have to do is make stuff up, because there’s so much of the real deal available. TeamLiquid has the legal right to tolerate misogyny and even rape jokes on their forum because women are not recognized as a group against whom “hate crimes” may be committed in the USA. But other sites certainly have the right to criticize TeamLiquid.
This elaborate (though not very convincing) little ruse from the boyz at TeamLiquid raises an interesting irony: while they’re busy worrying that every poster claiming to be a straightforward woman/girl who games might not be what she seems, these guys are proving themselves liars and deceivers.