Af­ter on­line threats, gam­ing en­gi­neer plans run for Con­gress

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

In the gam­ing world, Bri­anna Wu has earned a rep­u­ta­tion bat­tling the on­line ha­rass­ment cam­paign known as Gamer­gate, a fight that led to rape and mur­der threats from the darker re­cesses of the male-dom­i­nated realm. Now the 39year-old Bos­ton-based soft­ware en­gi­neer is set­ting her sights on an­other male-dom­i­nated in­sti­tu­tion: Con­gress. Wu, a Demo­crat and Hil­lary Clin­ton sup­porter, said she made the de­ci­sion almost im­me­di­ately af­ter the Novem­ber elec­tion.

“On elec­tion night I was stand­ing 30 feet from where Hil­lary should have ac­cepted the pres­i­dency. I had planned to go back to Bos­ton and work on ship­ping our next game, but I knew I couldn’t do that,” Wu said Thurs­day in an email to The As­so­ci­ated Press, call­ing Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump “an in­cred­i­ble threat to the United States and Amer­i­can val­ues.” She’s said she wants her cam­paign to fo­cus in part on pri­vacy rights and on­line ha­rass­ment, but also on the wider econ­omy which she said is rigged against Mas­sachusetts fam­i­lies.

Wu is lead en­gi­neer at the video game com­pany Gi­ant Spacekat. She rose to promi­nence af­ter be­com­ing a tar­get of Gamer­gate, which has sub­jected sev­eral women in the video-game in­dus­try to misog­y­nis­tic threats af­ter sur­fac­ing in the sum­mer of 2014. The threats be­came so in­tense that Wu and her hus­band had to leave their home. While Wu says she wants to run for one of Mas­sachusetts’ nine US House seats, she has not an­nounced which one.

She said it will be in the greater Bos­ton area and she won’t chal­lenge Rep. Kather­ine Clark, whose dis­trict cov­ers a swath of the city’s north­ern and west­ern sub­urbs. Clark has cham­pi­oned bills in Con­gress aimed at crack­ing down on the kinds of on­line ha­rass­ment that Wu faced. Clark said ear­lier this year that she be­gan fight­ing on­line ha­rass­ment af­ter hear­ing Wu’s story. As a po­lit­i­cal novice, Wu faces the daunt­ing chal­lenge of un­seat­ing an in­cum­bent Demo­crat.


BOS­TON: In this file photo Bri­anna Wu, a soft­ware en­gi­neer and video-game de­vel­oper, sits at her work­sta­tion in Bos­ton.

FLORIDA: Mem­bers of the 601st Air Op­er­a­tions Cen­ter watch Santa fly around the world on Christ­mas Eve with their NORAD Santa tracker in Panama City, Florida.

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