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Zoe Quinn founds anti-harassment network Crash Override

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Hack the planet!

In response to the wave of harassment in the videogame industry, Depression Quest developer Zoë Quinn and freelance game producer Alex Lifschitz have formed Crash Override: a network of anti-harassment crusaders with experience in PR, law enforcement, counseling, and more. The network is designed to combat harassment on a large scale, as opposed to attacks from a single abuser.

"We're not a company, just a formalized group of people who have learned how to support others through coordinated online mob harassment," an anonymous Crash Override representative told Destructoid in an email exchange. "We're focused on producing educational materials and helping victims who have reached out to us, but we also plan to engage in more significant outreach to platforms and cultural arbiters in video games and elsewhere to better prevent this kind of stuff from happening in the future."

According to the network's site, they are not a "vigilante group," and they "do not take retaliatory actions against abusers." Crash Override's services include both an immediate crisis control center and post-crisis counseling services to help victims cope with the events. The group's response infrastructure is under construction at press time, giving priority to victims of ongoing harassment.

There are also plans to use the network's Tumblr blog as a method of delivering online safety lessons, including a post about how to preemptively combat doxing.

As for the reasoning behind Crash Override, the group credits GamerGate as being the primary motivator, although combating the movement doesn't seem to be Crash Override's modus operandi. "It was originally Gamergate that brought so many of us together," the representative said. "but in terms of scope, our group was formed to assist victims of any kind of coordinated online mob harassment."

So even if your particular case has nothing to do with gaming's largest controversy, the network will provide assistance. "Many of the people we hear from are targets of much older campaigns, some still active," the representative said.

In the event that a GamerGate supporter is the victim of mob-based harassment, Crash Override will offer the same level of care, according to the group's representative. "We aim to assist victims of online mob harassment regardless of their ideology or prior affiliations, even Gamergaters, providing that they are approaching in good faith."

Since the network launched just over a week ago, the response has been "substantial," according to the Crash Override representative. "We're branching out into areas of online harassment we hadn't planned for, and growing our network of experts accordingly to make sure we do it correctly."

If you have recently found yourself a victim of organized mob harassment, you can email the Crash Override network via [email protected] Hack the planet.

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Mike Cosimano
Mike CosimanoSenior Reporter   gamer profile

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