In an effort to support people who have been bullied and harassed online, makers of video games Alex Lifschitz and Zoe Quinn teamed up to launch a new support group. This Crash Override Network is designed by survivors for survivors and designed as an assistance group for people who are the target of web-based abuse.
Interestingly, Quinn was at the hub of the GamerGate controversy that erupted last year. As the developer of Depression Quest, she received a massive online backlash after a blog was written by an ex-boyfriend who made strong suggestions that in exchange for media coverage Quinn traded sexual favors.
Of course, she denied the allegations and although there was never any evidence to support the ex-boyfriend’s claims, the incident resulted in GamerGate supporters calling for “ethics in game journalism”. Unfortunately, that very effort led to female gamers, as well as their supporters, being harassed and bullied online.
Two women within the gaming community who suffered online abuse online included Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian. However, harassment was not confined to just gamers. The daughter of the late Robin Williams, Zelda, received some horrific comments on Twitter after her father’s suicide, prompting her to leave the social media site temporarily. In addition, Twitter established some tough rules about disturbing imagery being distributed. Even the abuse reporting and block options on the site were enhanced.
According to the latest statistics obtained by the Pew Research Center, roughly 40% of people who use the internet become victims of online abuse. In an effort to battle bullying and harassment, Lifschitz and Quinn founded “Crash Override”. With this, individuals have access to experts in several different genres to include threat monitoring, information security, public relations, law enforcement, counseling, and hacking.
As stated, before the actual launch of Crash Override many victims achieved incredible success in getting the help needed. Because of this, these people had the ability to take back control of life online.
There are three fronts currently being pushed by Crash Override, ongoing victim assistance, crisis center support, and community outreach. However, the founders remind people that this is not a group of vigilantes nor are any retaliatory actions taken against abusers. Instead, the focus is on security, safety, and recovery.