Who is Gamergate? Analysis of 316K tweets


Waxy took a deep three-day sample of #Gamergate-tagged tweets and did some great analysis to uncover the composition and patterns of participants on both sides of the debate.

One important takeaway is that a huge proportion of the pro-Gamergate traffic is generated by a small number of established accounts that are then retweeted by an army of brand-new accounts. As Waxy notes, this doesn't necessarily mean that Gamergate is a smoke-and-mirrors chorus of sock-puppets -- many 'gaters say they signed up for Twitter because that's where the debate was.

As you’d expect, there are two large communities contributing to the #Gamergate hashtag, and who they choose to follow and retweet are very, very different with little overlap.

For example, in this three day period, 1,673 users retweeted Anita Sarkeesian, while 2,240 users retweeted Blocker (aka Mr. Fart), one of the most prolific Gamergate tweeters. (Yes, the most retweeted person in #Gamergate is named “Mr. Fart.”) But only 79 users retweeted messages from both accounts.

Contrast that with the 1,138 users that retweeted messages from both Blocker and Gamergate proponent Milo Yiannopoulos in the same time period.
The top RTed users are pro-GG, the top RTed tweets are against.

The list of most retweeted users is dominated by Gamergate proponents, with only a couple critics in the top 20. Former NFL player and gamer Chris Kluwe pops up in #2 after a string of popular anti-Gamergate rants, but even Anita Sarkeesian only appears in 15th place.

The most retweeted tweets, however, look very different. The top 10 is entirely Gamergate critics and satire, with only five pro-Gamergate tweets in the top 20.

Why would that be? One obvious reason is the sheer number of #gamergate-tagged tweets being posted by supporters, while critics tend to post far fewer, possibly to avoid getting sea lioned.

72 Hours of #Gamergate [Andy "Waxy" Baio/Medium]