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Contents:


  1. Choosing to Respond with Goodness When Provoked
  2. Provoking good in a world full of outrage
  3. Journalists are routinely murdered around the world. They deserve outrage just like Jamal Khashoggi
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Choosing to Respond with Goodness When Provoked

Another YouTuber at the channel Downward Thrust , who publishes under the nickname Tone Loke, was one of the early pioneers of scripted gaming commentary videos. He posted his first video for the channel in before leaving his career in health care administration the following year to focus on YouTube full-time. Loke's original plan was to create video "essays" examining what made games good and bad.

He'd already created carefully edited videos dissecting different types of game difficulty , for example, while also giving reviews for games he loved , like the critically acclaimed Sony fantasy adventure game Shadow of the Colossus. His essay, discussing problems with the just-released Ubisoft battle game , attracted hundreds of thousands of views. To promote it, he created a promotional thumbnail with a crashing bar chart and the simple words "Did It Fail? From then on, nearly all the thumbnails for his videos took on that simple dramatic look, though Loke projects a calm and professorial demeanor in his videos.

Over time, he said, he felt pressure to be more negative, in part because other YouTubers were amping up the drama to stand out.


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Sometimes YouTube videos push past the bounds of aggressive game commentary and into personal attack. This is what happened in , when gamers ganged up on Anita Sarkeesian , a feminist media critic, for announcing a series of videos about women's representation in games. About a month ago, Jeremy Hambly showed himself on video sitting in front of his computer, surrounded by boxes of popular video game consoles. Before long, he was attacking a critic of Sony's Days Gone , accusing her of using a review she'd written to push liberal politics.

Days Gone, a game about living in a post-apocalyptic world filled zombies, received mixed reviews from some critics. The video, posted to TheQuartering , his channel, points Hambly's more than , subscribers to an online review of the survival-horror game that he says was influenced by the author's views about diversity.

He said she had given the game an unfairly low score and criticized a tweet in which she noted that all of the game's zombies were white. Hambly's target was Kallie Plagge , a reviews editor at GameSpot, a video game site. Plagge says she's used to getting attacked, often with comments by others about her looks rather than the content of her stories.

After Hambly's video was published, her social media accounts overflowed with insults from other users. Some people pored over her Instagram account looking for photos that highlighted Plagge's perceived physical flaws. It was exhausting, she says. Hambly told his audience not to " interact with " Plagge. He also said " I disavow " the online attacks.

Provoking good in a world full of outrage

Both actions insulated him from a YouTube policy against inciting harassment. He posted an additional three videos, each about the attacks. In one, Hambly claimed Plagge was making up stories about being harassed. Another bashed a fellow YouTuber for defending Plagge, a practice often called "white knighting. Hambly has in the past gone after people he disagrees with, particularly outspoken members of the gaming community and journalists, which he often calls "urinal-ists. Wizards of the Coast , which makes Magic, didn't respond to requests for comment.

Over the past six months, Hambly has also used his channel to call MeToo " a farce " and to criticize companies for their diversity efforts. He used a vulgar slur when referring to Brie Larson, the star of Disney's Captain Marvel movie , calling her "a cunt" during a now-deleted May livestream on his YouTube channel. On June 3, I asked Hambly for an interview to talk about the world of video game commentary.


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  • He also receives payments for ads that YouTube serves in his videos. GameFly, a video game rental service, said it wasn't aware its ad had appeared in one of Hambly's Plagge videos until CNET asked for comment. The company has since decided not to run ads on TheQuartering for an unspecified amount of time. Honda said in an emailed statement that ads run on Hambly's videos went against its "strict" guidelines on advertising placement. DeVry University, which also said it will no longer run ads on TheQuartering, says it relies on Google and YouTube to help ensure its ads appear in vetted "safe environments.

    Some gaming companies are working to make the culture more positive. EA and Microsoft are building networks of "ambassadors" among YouTube's popular gamers. They aren't meant to be cheerleaders.

    Riling up the crowd

    Instead, they're fans who encourage less divisive conversations. Microsoft has also posted its community standards , and committed to more moderation tools to help people avoid toxic players. Roblox , whose namesake world-building game is popular among children, wants to influence its younger generation of players to avoid the more toxic parts of gaming culture by communicating more with their friends and family.

    Part of it is teaching parents how to help foster better online experiences, she said, even if their kid is the one causing trouble. Watch enough YouTubers, and you'll eventually hear them talk about the increased negativity. The father launched after her and managed to hold her, but both were dragged by a strong current and drowned in the Rio Grande. Tania had to witness the moment when her husband and daughter disappeared into the water.

    Their bodies were found 12 hours later, on Monday, June 24, one kilometer from the International Bridge that connects Matamoros with Brownsville, where they tried to swim across. The bodies of the father and the girl were held by the black shirt that Oscar wore, who was found with right arm of the baby around his neck. Tired of waiting and full of despair, they decided to cross the Rio Grande.

    A situation similar to that experienced in other parts of the border, such as Ciudad Juarez, where the military detained migrants seeking to enter US soil. And Rep. Omar was indeed quickly upbraided by members of her own party. That led to her public apology -- also on Twitter -- which recognized the corrosive impact of her words: "I am grateful to Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.

    Those were the worthwhile steps to take, by both the representative and her Democratic colleagues. But they were hardly enough for many on the right, who, undoubtedly lacerated by a long, ongoing litany of accusations of bigotry against conservatives, sought to exact a bit of revenge. Nobody used the exact phrase, "Remember Steve King" a la the Alamo or the Maine , but the connection got made -- overtly.

    Why Virginia's chaos has deep roots. Vice President Pence decided to lead the charge by calling Rep. Omar's tweets "a disgrace" and her apology "inadequate. King last month. The right to free speech is never abridged in America, so Pence and the other voices on the right who have taken up the cause of making Rep. Omar a pariah -- like the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy -- are free to use the opportunity of her broad jump into the bear trap of anti-Semitic comments to try to even the score on "consequences" for bigotry. But the effort only opens the door to a full consideration of just how selective this display of moral outrage truly is.

    McCarthy himself has never apologized for a tweet widely denounced as redolent of anti-Semitism. The comparison to Steve King is the most obvious evidence of an egregious stretch. For his entire tenure in Congress -- and in his previous elected positions -- King has been repeatedly accused of engaging in bigotry.

    Journalists are routinely murdered around the world. They deserve outrage just like Jamal Khashoggi

    No stranger to charges of anti-Semitism himself the ADL sent a letter condemning him for smearing the Jewish Democratic donor George Soros , the list of his other dalliances with racist positions and white nationalist leaders is rather extensive. Yet it took the Republican leadership in Congress more than 15 years to condemn any of King's ugly views.

    In the intervening years, he was appointed a committee chairman, praised endlessly by Republican leadership and his endorsement was widely and warmly sought after by presidential hopefuls. Unlike Omar, he never apologized, not even for his most recent descent into bigotry: questioning why the idea of white supremacy should even be considered offensive. That question was the rhetorical last straw that led to the first bout of "consequences" he had ever faced from Republican leadership.

    Instead of any hint of apology, King scurried to hide behind the shopworn excuse of media bias as a defense; this week, rather than finding some path toward expiation, he was touting the support of religious leaders as reason to have his committee assignments reinstated. Omar's apology sets the right example.