BullyHunters, a "collective" to combat female bullying in games, seems to be little more than an advertisement for SteelSeries headsets

#1
This is currently gaining steam at the moment on Twitter/Twitch. https://twitter.com/hashtag/BullyHunters

There's a website and Twitch/Facebook channel by the name of BullyHunters, where female gamers can call upon "Bully Hunters" to hunt their bullies in-game (because, you know.. it happens in every single round /s). Their inaugural broadcast was a little over an hour ago.
Full discloure: I didn't watch it (wasn't aware of it until the hashtag started blowing up on Twitter), but here's a short summary of what happened, according to the hashtag link above as well as r/LiveStreamFails:

Yesterday, a female mental health researcher raised some concerns over the validity of the statistics that BullyHunters was raising ("3 million women have stopped gaming altogether because of harrassment"), and asked if they would share their source for the data:
Be sure to read through the followup tweets in that thread.

Anyway, fast forward to the inaugural broadcast, and here is but one example of the "harassment" their live gamers was subjected to.
Seems legit.
But wait, anyone who has played CSGO in the past 2 years may have raised their eyebrow. "Isn't that the old glock sound?", you say? Sure is.
Another question that may have entered your head: "How is the bully hunter going to join mid-game in that mode?"
Yet another question: "How can she even hear her opponents voice chat??"

Surprise, it's staged! "therosethorn" was one of the gamers subjected to the bullying, but she called upon "BULLY HUNTER_77" for help.

Oops.
Twitch chat quickly became aware of what was happening and they cut the stream short and deleted the VOD (though clips were saved before they were able to).

So, what's the takeaway here? I'm honestly not sure, but I have to agree with the second Tweet here:

But be sure to preorder the Special Edition BullyHunters headsets from SteelSeries!

What organizations exactly? -shrugs

Bonus clip: something something patriarchy

Edit: FCB Chicago (an advertising agency) partnered with SteelSeries for this:
https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/317490/fcb-chicago-seeks-to-fight-gaming-bullies.html
 
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#6
Saw this and thought to myself, yeah, this is a cashgrab. If this was just a twitch stream in their house, it'd be different. The fact that it was in what looked like a studio with an audience, let me know what it was all about.
 
#7
Wow. It's almost as if they had no comprehension that the interwebs will check things. I like my man Erik Kains response: -


Also, it's been years since I played CS etc but if some numbnuts turns up and then presumably starts TKing teammates to bully the harasser then they're just going to end up getting themselves banned surely...
 
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#9
Full episode of this 'show' here -

It's about as cringe as you'd expect, probably more. The stream drops out but I can't find another version of it that's better.
 
#10
The whole idea that you can fight online harassment with harassment is ridiculous. I also reported their twitch channel for this.

Also I find it irresponsible that sites like pc gamer wrote an article about it praising this form of coordinated mass harassment.
Reckon PC Gamer will write another article about how the Twitch stream was a setup scam? I bet they don't. I bet pretty much none of the gaming press reports on the actual facts of this story.
 
#11
I've played World of Warcraft on a RP-PVP server, in most high level zones players could attack other players.
In my guild about 5% of the members (we accepted everyone speaking Russian) were women.

"Ganking", so typical for PVP players, happened from time to time. In cases, it was happening against female guild members, nearly entire guild would rush for help.

Avatars of all genders (most female avatars belong to males) were attacked, but female players seemed to be feeling particularly bad about it.
 
#12
Who thought that was a good idea?

At the very least you are trying to get rid of "bullies" (which it seems you dont even need evidence for) and then bully them until they leave.


Ladies AND Gentlemen, if someone tells you they fucked your mom and its bothering you please do the following:

A) Mute them, let them talk into the void.
B) Block communications with the account if they are persistent. (via messages thru psn/xbox live etc)
C) Report the account (this depending on how they are acting should go with B but I rarely do it so I just put it down as C)
D) If its a game which it really doesn't matter like Rocket League go ahead and leave and look for a new match. This is the worst choice just because now you have to wait for matchmaking again because someone was being a dick.

E) If the game does matter to you, for example is a ranked match in CSGO then mute and block the account and play out your game, you wont hear them anymore so unless they start team killing (which will kick them from the game anyways) you wont be affected. Next, once the game is over go and leave, wait a little bit and matchmake for your second game to try and make sure you aren't matched with them again.

You dont need and never will need some fake "hitman" to do shit for you. You have all the tools needed to avoid them.
 
#16
My goodness. this was hard to watch. Did they really think people wouldn't get behind what's really going on with their nonsense??? just pathetic.
 
#17
I've played World of Warcraft on a RP-PVP server, in most high level zones players could attack other players.
In my guild about 5% of the members (we accepted everyone speaking Russian) were women.

"Ganking", so typical for PVP players, happened from time to time. In cases, it was happening against female guild members, nearly entire guild would rush for help.

Avatars of all genders (most female avatars belong to males) were attacked, but female players seemed to be feeling particularly bad about it.
My experience of women in guilds is that 98% of the guild's men will fall over each other to serve their every whim. And the girls know it and play into it. It's sort of why I've always found the notion that women are "oppressed" in online games silly. They've clearly never played an MMORPG whilst in a decent sized guild.
 
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#19
When is this shit going to end. If people react like this because someone is nasty to them etc. online. How do these people actually survive one day in the real world. Seems like everyone wants to get outraged at something or actively go out looking for something to offend them or get outraged about
 
#22
First, thanks to the OP for the summary. I really hope Steelseries isnt behind this.

Second - for everyone saying JUST MUTE JUST MUTE. While I agree that will put an immediate end to the problem is that a real solution? For me no, because why cant someone enjoy a game with interaction and chatting as teammates without fear of being bullied?
 
#24
So let me get this straight. Steelseries decided to market their '1337 h4xx0r g4m0r gear' by painting their own customer base as misogynist bullies by only focusing on female harassment. To do so, they hired an e-sport gamer girl who's not only very rude on twitter herself, but also threatens to DMCA every video that is criticizing their show. They stage a live-show with pre-recorded livestreams, where they basically harass themselves and cram it full of ads by spreading false data and monetizing a serious issue that is related to mental health.

Self-promotion on the back of mental health for financial gains is bad enough. But engaging in more bullying, by escalating conflict through a faked show that demonizes its playerbase is on a whole new level of stupid. They deserve every ounce of criticism that is coming their way. In fact, let me add to that well deserved criticism of that promotional dumpster fire of a show:

Their 'study' is flat out bullsh*t:



When a mental health researcher on twitter asked for the source of their claims that '3 million female gamers have stopped playing online due to harassment', the host of the show had this to say:



The own host of the show engages in pretty rude behavior herself oftentimes calling people 'c*nts', 'f*ggots' and comparing her boobs to other streamers. She also likes to sh*ttalk a lot and sling mud at other people. When people found out that the harassment on her show was fake, she replied with this:



Oh and not only that, but her own bullyhunter squad likes to engage in some pretty abhorrent behavior (here & here):




And everybody who is criticizing these supposed bullyhunters is now being threatened by DMCA claims from the show's own host while she is, of course, crying 'harassment':



In case anybody still doubts this was fake, just look at this crap:



In both cases, they are not even on the same map when the supposed bullying occurs and when the 'bullyhunter' shows up. In the first clip, look at the screen at the beginning, then look at what she's playing on the 'feed'. In the second clip, the chat occurs on de_dust2, but the feed from the bullyhunter shows him playing on de_dust.

Good job engaging bullies to deal with bullying... this is the pot calling the kettle black. And all of this was sponsored by Steelseries. My goodness, what a literal sh*tshow. This is nothing more than capitalizing on recent buzzwords and a desperate attempt at self-promotion. What a scam!
 
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#25
I only saw a snippet of this on LivestreamFails and was pretty shocked it was real. From the small clip I saw it was horribly acted, and looked like they were playing on the wrong maps multiple times. I mean, yeah, online bullying sucks, especially when it's in games that utilize and enforce team communication. I really wish the "problem" could be fixed, but it really does feel like muting is the only way to make it work in most cases. It's a shame. :(
 
#27
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#28
Geez, that ZombiUnicorn is certainly getting off rails in those push back tweets. If she really DMCA's other youtubes or twitch streams for using footage to talk about it, that's sad.
 
#30
How do you miss the very first lines in a script?
They shouldn't have even tried to make it seem like real live bullying. This is some lowest bottom of the barrel reality tv crap. Just look at their promotional video, it's so sad I don't have the words to describe it really.

Oh and by the way, their website claims that the proceeds will go to "victims of in-game harassment":



When in reality, all donations will go to TIMESUPNOW:



Of course they are blaming the 'patriarchy':


And all criticism is simply dismissed as 'internalized misogyny':



At least the psychologist on their 'show' is an actual psychologist, but he is actually an expert on diabetes:



(Source)
 
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#31
How do these people actually survive one day in the real world.
To be fair, people generally don't get called a n****r f****t for going about their everyday business. I get why people don't like this, in fact I think people have a right to not get insulted whilst playing but things are already in place, all of this is nonsense.
 
#35
Crazy stuff.

@strange headache I do think that calling the Psychologist an "expert on diabetes" is misleading though as it somewhat dismisses his actual speciality and there's no mention of him being an Endocrinologists at all. He isn't an expert on diabetes, he's an expert on the psychology of decision making and he just happens to work with people with diabetes at the moment but as it says, he still works in the field of the psychology of decision making.
 
#36
@strange headache I do think that calling the Psychologist an "expert on diabetes" is misleading though as it somewhat dismisses his actual speciality and there's no mention of him being an Endocrinologists at all.
Fair enough, I should have been more specific. But it still makes you wonder in what capacity he's to be considered an expert on cyber-bullying. Be that as it may, I hold no ill will towards that guy. I really don't think he knew what he signed up for. To be quite frank, I'd be pretty miffed if I got lured into such a trainwreck of a show.

Furthermore it turns out the host was lying about the events in the show not being scripted. A day before the stream she had this to say:



Also on their steam group page they are now claiming that the criticism is a 'right wing troll attack' and that archived websites are fake, while repeating the same made up statistics:

 
#37
When you get found out, double down and then double down again. Throw a tantrum and blame everyone but yourself. This never ceases to amaze me with modern gaming culture.



What ever happened to being humble? The internet age has raised a bunch of immature, spoiled brats. It’s pathetic and sad.
 
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#38
Horribly inappropriate and incorrect generalization.
Feminists can't be humble. It's the job description that they need to fight back against all the men. They are going to be as extreme as they can be to get their point across.
 
#40
Man, sometimes I wonder if these marketing agencies are really that out of the loop on how the internet works today, or if they do this on purpose to see what sticks.

All this is so laughably pathetic.
 
#41
Second - for everyone saying JUST MUTE JUST MUTE. While I agree that will put an immediate end to the problem is that a real solution? For me no, because why cant someone enjoy a game with interaction and chatting as teammates without fear of being bullied?
Just like in real life. You interact with other people you are confortable with...right? Online there will always be a bully, a screaming kid, some idiot making loud sounds at the mic, another with music, etc. Mute+ignore/block and keep your interactions with the good people.

is that a real solution?
It's always been the solution. Harassers get fun from harassing others. Muting them stops instantly their fun, blocking them causes them to have less and less people to play and harass for each person that blocked them. Report them and some day they will get a ban and maybe they will stop that behaviour forever.
 
#42
When you get found out, double down and then double down again. Throw a tantrum and blame everyone but yourself. This never ceases to amaze me with modern gaming culture.



What ever happened to being humble? The internet age has raised a bunch of immature, spoiled brats. It’s pathetic and sad.
I would have thought that, growing up with the internet age, people would develop thicker skins. Instead people have become so thin-skinned, hiding in their own little echo chambers. They decry anything that even remotely offends them or makes them feel uncomfortable, because they can't deal with it themselves. Pathetic. What bugs me even more is that SteelSeries had backed this. Sure, they have since backed away - but this is not something I will ever forget. SteelSeries has lost a lot of customers thanks to this stunt.
 
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#43
Second - for everyone saying JUST MUTE JUST MUTE. While I agree that will put an immediate end to the problem is that a real solution? For me no, because why cant someone enjoy a game with interaction and chatting as teammates without fear of being bullied?
I don't really do MP these days (I have enough SP games to contend with in my burgeoning backlog), but I'd assume most current gen titles allow you to mute on an individual basis rather than across the board? I could be wrong about this though.
 
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#44
I don't really do MP these days (I have enough SP games to contend with in my burgeoning backlog), but I'd assume most current gen titles allow you to mute on an individual basis rather than across the board? I could be wrong about this though.
Yeah I remember playing Marble Blast on the 360 back in the day, like 10 years ago, and you could mute specific people.

Man the best online was the start of the 360's life, playing UNO online with like, stoned randoms and some really posho american lady who'd won millions in casinos - at the same game, very fun chatting and learning stuff.
 

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#45
Found on Reddit (courtesy of /u/King_Raxx)

He changed his name / profile pic and sent a friend request to one of the "Bully Hunters" that was they were matched with through this "service"



Absolutely disgraceful.
 
#48
Found on Reddit (courtesy of /u/King_Raxx)

He changed his name / profile pic and sent a friend request to one of the "Bully Hunters" that was they were matched with through this "service"



Absolutely disgraceful.
Well, uh, I feel like no one is stupid enough to fall for it, but Trump is president so...

I was watching Lirik stream and talking a bit about it, and his analysis was hilarious. He said that what if the bully was better than the bully hunters, so they are purposely baiting them to kill them, and then the bully hunters need to bring their bully hunter secret weapon to beat that bully, and then he talks about how people can use bully hunters on streamers, then he said he's going to send the bully hunters on chat. This whole thing is a joke lol.