It feels a bit like fighting fire with fire but I don't see what else to do - I've followed in the footsteps of Brett Douville and others and contacted Intel. Here is the letter I wrote. I urge you to do the same. You could adapt Brett's or my words or come up with your own.
Dear Intel Corporate Responsibility,
My name is Jamie Fristrom and I am a game developer - I’ve worked both in corporate game development at Activision, where I was a technical director on some of their Tony Hawk and Spider-Man games, and for the past several years have been independent, creating games for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I say this in order to let you know that I’m a real person and not a manufactured e-mail address. I’d like to echo the thoughts of my friends Brett Douville and Richard Lemarchand and say that I’m very concerned with Intel’s recent seemingly anti-feminist actions.
I couldn’t believe it when I read, a couple of days ago, that Intel had pulled an ad campaign from Gamasutra because of their pro-feminist, anti “GamerGate” stance. As far as I was concerned the “GamerGate” crowd was a very tiny though very vocal minority (made more vocal with fake twitter and e-mail accounts) and I thought they had already been thoroughly discredited. So imagine my surprise when they continue to wreak havoc - they got one of the top companies in the Fortune 500 to seemingly take their side, publicly, with Intel’s own Bill Calder confirming that the decision was made in response to user complaints.
The implication is that the people at Intel behind this decision are anti-feminist. I know that can’t be true - it’s my feeling that those decision makers must have been duped by a coordinated e-mail campaign that is mostly sock-puppets.
Now it seems to be the top news regarding Intel and I imagine there’s a fair amount of discussion over there about what to do.
My suggestion would be to apologize. And not with a “I’m sorry you feel that way” false apology, but a real apology where Intel would:
Admit they made a mistake. Perhaps not enough due diligence was done when looking into this e-mail campaign; perhaps someone should have “smelled a rat.”
Tell us the steps they plan to take in the future to prevent a mistake like this from happening again. Perhaps more effort could be taken to make sure that the e-mail accounts that send complaints and concerns are real?
Make some kind of reparations. Maybe Intel feels that Gamasutra was out of bounds in publicly announcing that Intel pulled the ad campaign, and for that reason alone doesn’t want to reinstate it. Instead perhaps Intel could make a large donation to a women-in-tech organization?
I look forward to Intel’s response.