Saturday, April 14, 2018

The "Bully Hunters" are a bunch of liars

The "Bully Hunters" is this new silly idea a small group of female pro gamers have had recently of forming a group that will take reports from gamers (female ones, of course) about being bullied in an online game, and will then proceed to enter said game and "grief" that particular player (ie. gang up on him and essentially make his playing as difficult as possible). In other words, a sort of revenge-bullying.

As many people have pointed out, this is one of the silliest ideas that anybody has came up in a long time, and if implemented, would be extraordinarily prone to abuse. (And that's not even going into the hypocrisy of fighting bullying with bullying.) After all, how exactly is this group of people going to distinguish between genuine and false reports? How are they going to make sure that when they receive a report, it's not just somebody either trolling them, or wanting to make them go after somebody that reporter wants to bully himself, second-hand? Perhaps he wants to play a prank on someone, or gets angry at someone in some online game, and thus does this kind of "soft-swatting" on him. (Granted, it would be several orders of magnitude less severe than actual swatting, which is one of the most heinous actual crimes in existence. However, it would still be people abusing a system to bully and harass other people.) And this doesn't even the address the issue that that player could just switch to another server, and this group would have no recourse against it. The whole thing would be quite petty and useless. Gamers would just laugh at it.

Anyway, this group released a video announcing this plan, and calling for volunteers. The video starts with this claim:

"Over 21 million female gamers have reported sexual harassment in-game."

That's a whole lot of reports. Where exactly have these 21 million people reported this? Are there 21 million reports collected and archived somewhere? Have all these 21 million reports been verified in some manner? What system is this, that has collected so many reports? On what is this claim based?

They helpfully provide a source for this claim. It's actually based on an online survey held on a random blog out there. Not like a scientific study. Not any sort of governmental or otherwise official study or survey. Not a study made by some institution, like a university or something. Just a random survey on a random blog out there.

And how many people participated in that survey? 21 million? No 874 people.

From those 874 people, 35% reported having experienced sexual harassment while playing online.

How were these reports confirmed (ie. that they weren't made eg. by trolls)? They weren't. Listen and believe.

But that doesn't really matter. Even if every single one of those 306 reports were completely genuine and factual, 306 is quite a lot less than 21 million, at least according to traditional math.

Note that the claim made in the video is not, for instance, "it's estimated that 21 million female gamers have experienced sexual harassment in-game". It's not even "21 million female gamers have experienced sexual harassment in-game", which would also be unfounded because of being a strong factual claim, but at least slightly less so than what it's being claimed, ie. that "over 21 million female gamers have reported sexual harassment in-game".

This is a completely false and deceitful statement. Such reports do not exist. This isn't even a question of extrapolating from a survey, because that would be an estimate of the number of people having had that experience. This is a strong claim about reported cases. With exactly zero evidence that even a small fraction of such reports even exists.

In other words, it's a barefaced lie, plain and simple.

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