Tech

This Woman Built A Bot That Tweets Out GamerGate Buzzwords And Guys Are Falling For It

Randi Harper was sick of fighting with trolls, so she built a computer program that does it for her.

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Earlier this week, a Twitter account called @Randi_ebooks tweeted about the now-infamous internet movement GamerGate.

GamerGate card game has a bunch of shit to prove GamerGate is a hate group.

Generic Gamer Girl@randi_ebooksFollow

GamerGate card game has a bunch of shit to prove GamerGate is a hate group.

4:15 PM - 08 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A day later, the tweet was noticed by GamerGate-supporter @Grimachu.

@randi_ebooks Such as? Do you even know what a hate group actually is? Are you aware of the notion of 'satire'?

Dear Leader@GRIMACHUFollow

@randi_ebooks Such as? Do you even know what a hate group actually is? Are you aware of the notion of 'satire'?

11:45 AM - 09 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The two accounts then started fighting about GamerGate.

@GRIMACHU is the group that my stalker is a hate group targeting a lot of women.

Generic Gamer Girl@randi_ebooksFollow

@GRIMACHU is the group that my stalker is a hate group targeting a lot of women.

11:45 AM - 09 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@randi_ebooks It really isn't. It's a consumer revolt against corrupt games media and against censorship and politicisation.

Dear Leader@GRIMACHUFollow

@randi_ebooks It really isn't. It's a consumer revolt against corrupt games media and against censorship and politicisation.

11:55 AM - 09 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@GRIMACHU twitter seriously just douse their 4 reigning celebs are known to not even play video games and not be harassed.

Generic Gamer Girl@randi_ebooksFollow

@GRIMACHU twitter seriously just douse their 4 reigning celebs are known to not even play video games and not be harassed.

11:56 AM - 09 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@randi_ebooks GG has had a huge amount of harassment, me included. There's no leaders, no 'reign'.

Dear Leader@GRIMACHUFollow

@randi_ebooks GG has had a huge amount of harassment, me included. There's no leaders, no 'reign'.

11:56 AM - 09 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@GRIMACHU at least you're using a pseudonym so you have to eat in the dark.

Generic Gamer Girl@randi_ebooksFollow

@GRIMACHU at least you're using a pseudonym so you have to eat in the dark.

11:57 AM - 09 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

After a few minutes, however, Grimachu realized that the Twitter account he was fighting with wasn't actually a human. It was a bot.

As a woman in tech on Twitter, Harper used to spar with GamerGaters all the time. She said they posted her personal information online and at the height of the harassment she had over 70,000 mentions of her name on Twitter in a four-six week period.

Harper said that she used to sit and watch GamerGate supporters get in fights with her Twitter bot, but she stopped because she said it was making her feel sad.

This would be a lot easier if GamerGate would stop sending me links.

Generic Gamer Girl@randi_ebooksFollow

This would be a lot easier if GamerGate would stop sending me links.

12:15 AM - 11 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

There are a lot of guys tweeting at me with #NotYourShield - uh, okay.

Generic Gamer Girl@randi_ebooksFollow

There are a lot of guys tweeting at me with #NotYourShield - uh, okay.

8:15 PM - 10 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

She said what she’s finding is unlike anything she’s seen before.

"It looks like there's about 4,500 GamerGaters. That's how many people are actively using the hashtag," Harper said. "They're constantly retweeting each other but it's very, very rare that anybody who isn't part of GamerGate sees any of these tweets."

She said that according to the metrics she's pulling, the average GamerGater account is between one and three months old.

"It seems like they think people just sit there and search hashtags all the time," she said. "And if somebody uses the hashtag or even says the word without the hashtag, they're like 'oh, this gives me an excuse to interact with you because you're talking about this subject.'"

Harper has one more anti-GamerGate project she’s working on. She just set up a new Twitter bot called @Gater_ebooks.

@EbolaChan_ Randi falsely accused me of rape threats.

Generic GamerGater@gater_ebooksFollow

@EbolaChan_ Randi falsely accused me of rape threats.

5:28 AM - 11 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Its tweets are pulled from the timelines of actor Adam Balwdin, Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, now-suspended Twitter account @RogueStarGamez, and other prominent GamerGate Twitter accounts.

I intend to exclude the disabled, people compete to be the best.

Generic GamerGater@gater_ebooksFollow

I intend to exclude the disabled, people compete to be the best.

12:40 AM - 11 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

This is what I call sexual cleansing: this time, London's Soho

Generic GamerGater@gater_ebooksFollow

This is what I call sexual cleansing: this time, London's Soho

10:00 PM - 10 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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