GamerGate target Zoe Quinn is taking her experience with online harassment and using it to help other victims of online abuse by launching Crash Override.
Crash Override is an "online anti-harassment task force" dedicated to helping those who've suffered from harassment from GamerGate or other online abuses.
Quinn is no stranger to online abuse, being the first target of GamerGate. GamerGate was supposedly started as a movement to promote ethics in journalism, but it quickly devolved into a personal vendetta against Quinn that resulted in threats of death and violence against her and other women working in the video game industry. It eventually became a full-on attack against women gamers, developers and media critics.
Quinn teamed up with game developer Alex Lifschitz, who has also seen online harassment, to organize Crash Override.
"Crash Override is a support network and assistance group for victims and targets of unique forms of online harassment, composed entirely of experienced survivors," says the Crash Override website. "Our network includes experts in information security, white hat hacking, PR, law enforcement, legal, threat monitoring, and counselling."
The idea is that Crash Override steps in when someone experiences abuse and helps those people lock down their private information, preventing that information from being released publicly online (doxxing). Crash Override also helps prevent SWATing attacks, which happen when harassers call in false criminal reports against a victim that result in a SWAT police force arriving at their house or place of work.
In the past month we have prevented several potentially deadly SWATings and secured more people against hacking and doxxing attempts.
— Crash Override (@CrashOverrideNW) January 17, 2015
We hope to continue to help those who unfortunately find themselves targeted and unsure of where to find help. — Crash Override (@CrashOverrideNW) January 17, 2015
However, Crash Override does not seek revenge on a victim's behalf. Instead, the group helps victims by teaching them how to pursue legal routes against attackers, as well as work with social media for making better policies that prevent online abuses.
"We do not fight harassment with more harassment," says the website. "We work with law enforcement, media, and social infrastructure to respond to threats, and encourage informed changes in policy and systems to proactively reduce future abuse."
As expected, harassment has followed the launch of Crash Override: the site has already been a target for hackers.
[Photo Credit: Official GDC]