Threats against video-game developer Zoe Quinn

17:56 Sep 9 2014 New York, NY, USA

Earlier this month, an anonymous message was posted to the discussion-board Web site 4chan. In it, the author threatened to hurt the video-game developer Zoe Quinn: “Next time she shows up at a conference we … give her a crippling injury that’s never going to fully heal … a good solid injury to the knees. I’d say a brain damage, but we don’t want to make it so she ends up too retarded to fear us.”

For the past eighteen months, the twenty-seven-year-old Quinn has received a cavalcade of similar threats, which have created an ambient hum of menace in her life, albeit one that she has mostly been able to ignore. But at the end of August she was “doxed,” a slang term for document tracing, which is when a person’s personal details—home address, phone numbers, bank details, and, in some cases, social-security number—are made public on the Internet. Doxing carries with it a tacit invitation to harangue and harass the subject. After the developer was doxed, the prank calls, threatening e-mails, and abusive tweets intensified to such a degree that Quinn, fearing for her safety, chose to leave her home and sleep on friends’ sofas. She is now working with authorities to find the faceless attackers.
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