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This article argues that GamerGate, a critical hashtag event in the history of digital harassment, is key to understanding contemporary identity verification systems and digital labour. We build our argument from a comparative analysis of two case studies: (1) digital journalistic responses to GamerGate and (2) Twitter’s account verification ‘checkmark’ system from 2021 to 2022. These phenomena showcase the linkages between the gendered and raced policing of journalists and users during GamerGate and the rise of ‘authenticity’ as a key resource for journalists and other platformed creators in the present. We draw on digital games, journalism and critical media studies to analyse the work of ‘authenticity’. We argue that platform affordances such as identity verification badges are fundamentally implicated in the work of users to appear ‘real’, even as the visibility requisite for realness brings uneven risks for marginalised cultural workers.
Hewa, N., & Tran, C. H. (2023). Verified play, precarious work: GamerGate and platformed authenticity in the cultural industries. New Media and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231158387