Politically active porn star, free speech activist, and GamerGate icon Mercedes Carrera dropped out of a panel appearance at SXSW this week after refusing to delete a list of tweets criticising notorious harasser and anti-GamerGate activist Randi Lee Harper, who was also in attendance at the festival.
SXSW has been a festival of controversy among GamerGate after banning previous panels that were even mildly related to the consumer-revolt movement from taking place, partially due to pressure from anti-GamerGate social justice warriors like Harper.
In an email to Carrera, SXSW Interactive Festival director Hugh Forrest listed a series of tweets along with the message, “Tweets that need to go away. Yes, all of these”.
The tweets included a list of replies to other Twitter users, most of them talking about Harper’s attempts to censor and shut down the SXSW panel. “We are on gaming day, but Harper ensured @SXSW put us at an unpopular & we already got skewed media coverage,” and, “It just hurts too bad to be reminded of failure, eh Harper?” are just two of over a dozen examples sent to Carrera in request of deletion.
Harper, who was dubbed an anti-harassment activist by Fusion, has been caught harassing numerous people in the past whilst running her “anti-harassment” Online Abuse Prevention Initiative. She is know for her hateful and aggressive speech, and once told an opponent to set themselves on fire. “You’ve made your Gamergate bed, now get fucked in it,” and, “Fuck your feelings,” are also previous quotes of Harper’s. The anti-harassment activist is also notable for doxing the head of a debt collection agency to which she owed money.
Noticing the hypocrisy in the situation, Carrera responded to Forrest with the following email:
It has come to my attention that you take issues with my personal opinions and commentary made on my personal Twitter account and my previously agreed upon appearance at the Savepoint panel hinges upon my willingness to self censor to your specifications. As my primary interest as an activist is in the realm of free speech, it goes without saying that I am tasked with upholding my convictions and morals. Therefore I must respectfully decline the request to abdicate my moral duty to those who might also find themselves in a situation where their speech may be censored.
It is my hope that you understand that free speech is woven into the very fabric of Liberty that has made this country great, and as a female person of colour and sex worker I am well aware that my right for such always hangs precariously in the balance unless I stand up for it on a daily basis.
I therefore leave you with the following legal maxim: he who fails to assert his rights has none.
Carrera also addressed the situation on Twitter, writing, “It’s within in their right to attempt to impose censorship on me, and it is within my rights to decline to adhere to such.”
“The SXSW director refused to speak with me even though I requested to numerous times. He insisted upon forcing the organizer of the panel to do his bidding,” Carrera told Breitbart Tech. “Randi Harper has from the onset been the catalyst of the censorship. She censored us from the onset of the panel, attempted to have us shut down 5 months ago, and started complaining to Hugh when I discussed the failure of her all day summit after it had passed. Her tweets and the communication I received by proxy from SXSW indicate that Harper complaining about my critique of her was indeed the reason Hugh insisted I be censored should I want to speak at the panel.”
It's within their right to attempt to impose censorship on me, and it is within my rights to decline to adhere to such. That's Liberty.
— ▲ Mercedes Carrera ▲ (@TheMercedesXXX) March 15, 2016
Charlie Nash is a frequent contributor to Breitbart Tech and former editor of the Squid Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington.