A Chronicle Of Misspelled Slurs — Except 'Fat,' 'Ugly' Or 'Slutty'

From the message that Xbox Live user ralphy305 sent a female gamer, it's clear the time he should have spent on his spelling and grammar was instead put to keying in a text representation of an ejaculating penis.

Give the devil his due, though, ralphy305's invective was also a hat trick hitting the titular themes of "Fat, Ugly or Slutty," a repository of hate speech directed at female gamers, which launched last month. "u should hopp off cod & go to the kitchen where u belong & cook ur redneck lesbian gf a cock meat sandwitch fuck u dirty slut no life fat bitch."

The casual racism, snarling sexism and random belligerence one encounters in online play, particularly in a first-person shooter over Xbox Live, is not at all a new phenomenon. It's sadly accepted as par for the course, in fact. But the three curators of "Fat, Ugly or Slutty," have chosen to archive it, not so much for a high-minded ideal, but to hold a mirror up to idiots worthy of ridicule.

"We started the site because we think these messages are ridiculous, horrifying, but above all, funny," wrote the editor known as gtz, answering questions emailed to her by Kotaku.

"The vast majority of responses have been from people remembering the exact same type of messages they have received and laughing with us," gtz elaborated.

That said, she and the other two editors, Jaspir and likeOMGitsFEDAY, see a potential contribution to the discussion of online behaviour, even if they aren't so idealistic as to say that Fat, Ugly or Slutty will end up being the agent of change.

"Some other reactions we've seen are A) 'This is part of gaming, deal with it,' and B) 'I am incredibly horrified, I had no idea it was this bad. Some A people are very publicly turning into B people from seeing the site. There's obviously an unexplored conversation to be had there," gtz said.

Public shaming is a worthy goal more easily met, too. "We think people should be held more accountable for their actions," writes the editor known as likeOMGitsFEDAY, a veteran gamer who has been in the PMS gaming clan for the past six years. "We're just helping it along by feeding their handles to Google."

Fat, Ugly or Slutty's shaming campaign stops there, though. The trio doesn't report obnoxious gamertags to Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network, recognising the due diligence required of an online service provider makes it prohibitive to ferret out every submission they get where someone's been called a bitch, or worse.

However, "Microsoft is aware of the site and did contact us before the rest of the Internet found the site," said the editor known as gtz. "Most of our submissions are from Xbox Live, but we have made it clear that we'll take submissions from elsewhere."

The site has a little more than 30 submissions, some of them audio, after coming into existence mid-January. Contributions are tagged "Sandwich Making 101," "Pen15 club," and "Death Threats," in addition to "fat," "ugly," or "slutty," indicating there's very little on the blog that hasn't been written, read or heard before. The difference now is it's not a private message.

The three editors have varying levels of exposure to and tolerance for this sort of thing. gtz says she games "in a friend-only bubble" and purposefully conceals her gender in many online situations "until I get a feel for the community." FEDAY and Jaspir roam among the masses. FEDAY, a member of the PMS clan since 2005, seems to relish dishing out the kind of asskicking that invites such clichéd misogynistic abuse. Jaspir simply loves online gaming too much to let trolls destroy it.

All three repeat what everyone has heard since grade school, but is admittedly difficult to internalize, that words only hurt if you give someone else that power. "It's hard to not have the initial reaction," says gtz. "It takes effort for me to just sit quietly and hope that the match starts soon - also hoping I don't automatically get moved to the team that isn't my friends."

They do see a purpose to Fat, Ugly or Slutty, but are under no illusions that they'll stamp out internet idiocy; they'll more likely chronicle it. "The site has a huge shock factor," says FEDAY, "Mostly from male gamers who wouldn't imagine sending the sort of messages that we post and who are shocked that people do. It may change a few perspectives, but I think trash talking will always be a part of gaming.

Jaspir is a little more jaded. "I don't think much will change," she wrote. "I think in the future, our site will be in the back of the minds of whoever is just about to hit send on a distasteful message, but they'll do it anyway."


Comments

    "It’s sadly accepted as par for the course, in fact."

    I dislike this statement. A lot. Anybody who says shit like this when I'm in a game, whether it's about me or someone else, gets reported.

    What an awesome idea.

    “Some other reactions we’ve seen are A) ‘This is part of gaming, deal with it,’ and B) ‘I am incredibly horrified, I had no idea it was this bad."

    Perhaps it is prohibitive to investigate and punish every instance, but at the very least Microsoft and Sony could promote efforts like this one to publicly name and shame people who spew out this stuff. It can hardly be said these companies didn't know it was occurring.

      To that point why can't they have certain words that are allowed in messages, but immediately come up on a censor list. Either the message should be reviewed and a punishment enforced (temp ban) if it is found to be particularly spiteful and racist/exist, or you could just have an automated system that if you used such words multiple times it would first warn then temp ban players.

      By allowing the words you stop people from using ascii versions of them that would subvert a censor. Some users would clue in but I imagine most would just stop sending hateful messages.

    What bothers me most... is the spelling.

    That is to say, people are idiots and should be reported, publicly humiliated and banned for life.
    But the spelling, grammar and syntax of some of these messages... really should be taken up with their parents and teachers. I mean, that shit just be ignant dawg.

    Good on them. If it makes even a few people think twice about dishing out that kind of BS, its a win. If it makes the people who receive it feel a little bit better, its also a win.

    It's also a good place for the majority of us, who are not hate-filled children to say so.

    Deal with it

    ralphy305 prepared to be attacked by spam, from all of the women you just struck a nerve on.

    For all the people that call this a part of gaming, I call you comparable to ralphy305. Abuse and derogatory comments ARE going to happen, but when it gets to this level you need to take a good look at yourself.

    It's only accepted behaviour so long as people do so.

    No more anger management classes ... Sentence of 30 days, to be held at a High School English class.

    I find it strange that they all seem to have 5 star rep ratings on XBL.

      Yeah! and my gamertag has a three star rating and I've never said a crossed word or sent someone a harrassing message in three years on Live.

    Oh damn, I was looking at this site over the weekend and I only just got what Pen15 club means. :-D

    I prefer to hope derogatory and disgusting insults, the kind of things that could get someone expelled from school or fired from work, will one day be a thing of the past.

    The companies behind online gaming have done a crap job of policing their communications, nice to see the community step up and bring these people into the cold light of day, hopefully this is just the first of many unofficial websites that name and shame nasty gamer douche bags.

    Everytime someone says something racist, rude, sexist and/or obnoxious when I am playing I ALWAYS report them and then avoid them.

    It's a part of gaming in that it comes with the territory - a marriage of competition and anonymity breeds this kind of behaviour, especially on Xbox Live, though none of that justifies it. These three are definitely going about things the right way though.

    Also, to be fair, this one isn't so much offensive, as it is a sign of creative genius

    http://fatuglyorslutty.com/wp-content/uploads/YiBkZ-e1297012919107.jpg

    This is one of the multitude of reasons I don't play multiplayer (yep; I'm a Single Player Only guy, although I'll make exceptions if I absolutely must get a few achievements).

    Messages like these are deeply troubling and utterly immature.

    What's even worse is some of the messages simply lack logic. For instance: "u should hopp off cod & go to the kitchen where u belong & cook ur redneck lesbian gf a cock meat sandwitch." Okay, so if the author of this message is telling this woman to 'stay in the kitchen' then why doesn't he apply this to said woman's "redneck lesbian gf"? If all women should 'stay in the kitchen' this obviously includes redneck lesbian gf's.

    Additionally, if they're both lesbian, it doesn't make sense to cook them a a cock meat sandwich. Lesbians, after all, don't like eating cock (at least this seems to be what the definition of 'lesbian' implies).

    So not only is the message obscene, offensive and immature, it also isn't even logically coherent.

    I shudder to think at the kind of pathetic excuse for a human being that would write such a message.

    While I don't have any problem with any movements to reduce the amount of racism/sexism/pure idiocy from some people online, I must disagree with that website's methods for privacy reasons. It reeks of the same lack of tact of the original idiotic comments.

    It's a pity though, I don't think the Xbox Live system is complex enough to impose commenting restrictions on abusive users (or insult them back to rile them up in a way they can't do anything about), and outright banning people is quite problematic nowadays when certain online services are seen as "vital" to the performance of a product. Naming and shaming is against my style too because of the rights of the offender often being thrown out the window in lieu of vigilante style internet justice.

    All in all, a stupid dilemma which I've spent too much time pondering :P

    All that's happening here is speech, Christian. Random raging gamers are spewing forth a cocktail of swearing and misplaced punctuation, and the recipients are sharing it with a few thousand of their closest friends over the internet to point and laugh at. No rights are violated. You lose the right to keep your words private the moment you speak them to someone else.

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