23. But being against, say, marriage equality really can be dangerous right now. Remember when the CEO of Mozilla was driven from his job because he donated, as a private citizen, to a campaign against gay marriage? It’s easy to imagine a reverse Gamergate that’s much more effective in tearing revenue from rightwing media outlets that place themselves on the wrong side of a social justice fight. In the long-run, that would be a disaster for the media as a whole. My hope — and my guess — is that advertisers and web services will quickly acclimate to this new climate and these new organizing tactics, just as they have in the past. But ugly stuff can happen in transition.
24. Gamergate is going to happen again. As polarization proceeds, our political identities become powerful enough to drive our other identities. As Washington locks up, the political outlets that normally spend their time covering fights in Congress need to find fights that will engage their audience elsewhere. As cultural mores change ever more rapidly, the battles over what’s acceptable to say and do will become even fiercer. And as everyone becomes more and more dependent on web traffic, skirmishes with deep digital roots will become increasingly attractive to cover.
25. The result will be a cycle we’ll soon come to recognize: glancingly political fights will attract coverage from professionally politicized outlets and quickly be turned into deeply politicized wars. Once political identities are activated, these fights will spread far beyond their natural constituencies — in the Gamergate case, people who care about video games — and become part of the ongoing conflict between the red and blue tribes. Expect more Gamergates.