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Sarkeesian says hateful abuse is coming from people who see themselves as 'noble'

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Anita Sarkeesian has spoken out about the abuse and threats she has received in recent weeks, which led to her being forced to leave her own home.

Giving a speech at the XOXO Festival in Portland, which celebrates indie culture, she talked about the vitriol she receives from critics of her documentary work, which analyzes game content's approach to the portrayal of women.

"The perpetrators do not see themselves as perpetrators at all," she said. "They see themselves as noble warriors. We are blamed for the abuse we receive and regularly told that we are either asking for it or inventing it entirely.

In her speech, reported by Polygon's sister outlet The Verge, she touched on how hate campaigns are spread through social media. "Falsehoods about me are initially pushed by detractors who use them to post to 4Chan and Reddit to rally more people to the cause," she said. "It's bouncing from Twitter to Tumblr to Facebook to YouTube and back again. Once the cascade reaches a critical mass, it no longer matters what the facts are. It becomes a viral meme."

Misogynistic and violently phrased attacks on her, and other women in gaming, have been widely reported in the mainstream media, casting a poor light on gaming culture. Sarkeesian, who produces a series of documentaries called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, added that positive change can come by listening to women who experience hateful abuse.

"One of the most radical things you can do is to actually believe women when they talk about their experiences."