Wu has spoken out against sexism in gaming and was subsequently the victim of a coordinated series of threats by #GamerGate activists. At the peak of the threats — including rape, torture and murder — her home address was posted on 8chan, an anonymous site used to coordinate #GamerGate activities.
Understandably, the idea that a fanatical #GamerGate follower would be on the way to Wu's home was surprising and frightening.
Turns out it was all a joke. A terrible joke that got way out of hand pretty fast.
Jace Connors is actually 20-year-old Jan Rankowski who lives in Maine, Buzzfeed News reports. And those videos he made as Jace Connors were just a stab at comedy. Satire, he says, intended to poke fun at #GamerGaters. His character, he says is supposed to be an "over-the-top, super-hyper-macho armed GamerGater."
Rankowski is a member of a comedy group in Rhode Island called Million Dollar Extreme.
It was all fun and games when he was joking about Brianna Wu, but when #GamerGaters found out they were the butt of the Jace Connors' joke, they didn't think is was all that funny. In fact they've launched an offensive against Rankowski and he's, shall we say, reformed on the idea of joking about the likes of #GamerGaters.
"They realized I was making fun of them with those videos," Rankowski said. "I started it as a joke, but it's become far too real and I wish I could take it all back."
He's being actively harassed at work and at home and even had to sign a document with his employer guaranteeing he wouldn't make any Jace Connors videos again.
"People have been calling my old high school, calling my work," Rankowski said. "And saying these nasty things about me. I was made to sign a contract at my job saying I wouldn’t make any of these videos again. I received a letter in the mail with a picture of me from my high school yearbook... it said I shouldn't have fucked with 8chan."
Rankowski says he's learned a lesson, but has only received a fraction of the threats aimed at the likes of Wu. Guess now the joke's on him. Good luck with that.
Here's Jace Connor's NSFW video threatening Brianna Wu.
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