ESA calls UN report on cyber violence “uninformed, misguided and unfortunate”

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UN building

The UN recently released a 61-page report titled “Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls” and the ESA is rather displeased with it, but not because of what you might think. No, they are adamant in their stance towards empowering women and minorities, but some of the phrasing in the UN report seems to undermine their whole document, and I’m inclined to agree with the ESA.

The report looks at depictions of violence against women across mainstream media of all kinds, but there’s a specific citation that led to the ESA making a public statement. The report claims:

Recent research on how violent video games are turning children, mostly boys, into ‘killing zombies’ are also a part of mainstreaming violence. And while the presentation and analysis of this research is beyond the scope of this paper, the links to the core roots of the problem are very much in evidence and cannot be overlooked.

The citation for ‘killing zombies’ links back to quotes from Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche from 2000 when they were decrying video game culture and the Pokémon cult, claiming that it promoted Satanism. The citation comes from works that have been debunked by medical professionals and generally regarded as inflammatory and inaccurate. ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher went so far as to say:

This is an uninformed, misguided, and unfortunate report. If the overall issue was not so serious, it would be laughable that the UN is citing this work. It is willful ignorance to utilize such incredibly outlandish and outdated data. ESA strongly supports empowering women and minorities and creating an inclusive digital environment that welcomes all perspectives. However, the UN does this important issue a great disservice and undercuts its credibility by spreading ridiculous stereotypes and false opinions.

I think the last bit is the most important. If this were just a small report on an inconsequential topic, it wouldn’t matter if their sources were a bit less than stellar. However, for an international body taking a leadership role in this regard to publish something with such atrocious source material begs the next question – if this is how little research went into finding and checking this source, how many of the other sources are also flawed and inaccurate? Cyber violence is a serious issue for people of all races and sexual identities; it’s something that needs to be tackled by informed and well-meaning individuals. However, after this report from the UN, I’m no longer sure that they are either.

Last Updated: October 7, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Wow, I wonder how the UN could release something like this without properly doing the research and investigations. Old information was used, probably by lazy officials to get the report out on time and not caring about the repercussions.

    • 40 Insane Frogs

      lol, my wife used to work for an NGO that routinely dealt with the UN (from producing discussion documents for them, getting funded for major projects to taking part in conferences) and one of the most surprising things we both discovered was that the UN is one of the most over-bloated, over-funded and dismally disorganised groups around.

      It’s a perfect place to work if you’re near the twilight years of your career, because you’ll get to fly across the world, sit in conferences, produce a few reports, but ultimately nothing of it matters, or have any impact on the real world – sad to say. It’s a global circus!

      • Grand Admiral Chief

        Did she work for a green grocer?

        😛

        • 40 Insane Frogs

          LMAO!

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Thank you, thank you.

            Let me take this moment to acknowledge a certain fruit, who gave his life, to save mine

          • The cabbage gave his life?

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Nope, also, CABBAGE IS A VEG, Nr7

          • good point

          • Grand Admiral Chief
          • 40 Insane Frogs

            To be honest (in a leafy war) cabbage would always win over the fruit.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t agree, cabbages play DOTA whereas fruit are ninjas.

          • Commander JJ of the Normandy

            But a tomato is a fruit.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’ve never seen those before. What animal do they come from?

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            It is cow-fuel, makes them more nomnoms

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            You mean chicken vs. Fish?

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Indeed

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Good man

          • VampyreSquirrel

            So THAT’S where the banana went!?

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Yeah, he was a figment of my imagination, that became sentient, lived on Disqus, and when I was injured in my accident, sacrificed himself so that I might live.

          • 40 Insane Frogs

            He died a champ. Apparently, his final words were… “Call of Duty gets released in Heaven too? Ah comeon….”

      • The Sten

        Their jobs are literally to be “concerned” over things.

        Violence in Yugoslavia? “UN chief concerned by violence in Yugoslavia”. They dont really do anything.

        • 40 Insane Frogs

          Pretty much – I’m not entirely anti-UN, because UNESCO and similar UN bodies are doing great work, but if you’re brutally honest, it’s essentially a toothless body.

        • AfricanTime

          true, but when you got USA, Russia and China on the Security Council, not much can be done about the violence, cause like they are the countries who for the most part are funding the violence.

  • Yeah that report was shocking in some places. Heck, one of the source references referred to in the document was pointing to someone’s C:/ Drive for goodness sake.

    Really sloppy work on a very important topic

    • AH there we go. This is what I’m talking about

      • 40 Insane Frogs

        LMAO!

  • 40 Insane Frogs

    The most interesting part of it, is that the report was barely on the UN’s website for a week, before someone at the UN actually read it and realised it was “the biggest crock of unedited and poorly referenced shit ever penned in haste”. The UN scrubbed it from their website, and now you’ll be hard-pressed to find it through “official” means.

      • PS: I have the original PDF saved 🙂 Once on the net you cannot go and hide anything

        • Grand Admiral Chief

          Attaboy!

        • 40 Insane Frogs

          The Internet never forgets!

          • Ever!

          • VampyreSquirrel

            SEVEN……… XD

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Indeed

            GG

            WP

          • noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

          • VampyreSquirrel

            Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      • 40 Insane Frogs

        HILARIOUS!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        HAHAHA!!! That’s hilarious, wasn’t the purpose of the report to compile said important opinions? Bloody morons…

      • 40 Insane Frogs

        “Guys, check out this report, I didn’t bother to read, but I’m definitely going to talk about today”

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CQrU7kCUsAAyEw3.jpg

        • Someone really good at Photoshop (So not Zoe) should change the cover to a cover of the walking dead

          • 40 Insane Frogs

            That would make my day… 😮

          • VampyreSquirrel

            Wow, to the point.

          • Even Zoe agrees she’s not the best 😛

          • VampyreSquirrel

            Yeah I know, but why rub it in? 😛

          • Commander JJ of the Normandy

            This is LAGZZZ!
            That’s why 😀

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Sloppy, sloppy research. The worst thing is it’s given whatever credibility they had a serious knock, so even if the next report is 100% it’ll be received negatively because of this one, and as ammo for those seeking to discredit other reports on social issues.

  • 40 Insane Frogs

    If you want to read the original mess or at least copy and save it for future generations, here it is (Thank you UNESCO):

    http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/images/wsis/GenderReport2015FINAL.pdf

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