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Why? Shouldn't we be encouraging people who out bad actors?



"Name and shame" feels good but there's a huge danger in pillorying people just based on a single person's account.

WrkRiot seems to be the company in question and their online presence is so laughable nobody here likely feels bad for making fun of them, especially because of the behaviour the author describes. But the story is not just about a company but also about individuals.

Consider WrkRiot's head of marketing, for example. The author portrays her very negatively (outright trying to take the author's credit, being generally incompetent and engaging in deceptive and hostile practices). Whether you personally find the author trustworthy or not, if you only go by the article this is essentially hearsay.

Whether the allegations are true or not, she might face problems because of them (e.g. when trying to apply to new jobs). The author OTOH can maintain plausible deniability because the article never explicitly named any names (just gave enough identifying information to allow HNers to deduct the identity of the company and the employees).

I'm not saying the author is lying. I'm not saying WrkRiot or its CEO is innocent. I'm just saying there's no way to know as an outside how much of the story is true and what details have been left out (knowingly or not).

This is why in criminal investigations "due process" is a thing. Otherwise you end up with mob rule and character assassination -- and accusations tend to stick even if they're proven wrong and malicious.


It should be noted that the criminal justice system is not there to give justice to individuals. The district attorney functions as the representative of state interests.

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, the district attorney will not find healing for you. If someone wrongfully injures you, a criminal case will not return even an inch of your wholesomeness. If someone cheats or robs you of $50k, the district attorney will not help you pay your bills.

Civil court is the provided forum for issues of individual justice, and there individuals will find themselves paying alone, and in a position of imbalance, only a stupid person would fight for themselves. In the game of civil justice, where one might seek healing or remedy, you must pay for the prerogative to play.


True, but at least some of the accusations seem to imply criminal behaviour on part of the founder(s). Manipulating screenshots from the bank and passing them off as real sounds like forgery to me -- but I admit I'm not intimately familiar with the US criminal justice system.

That said, of course there are safe conclusions to draw from this story (especially the ones that hold true in general) but all personal accusations should always be taken with a grain of salt, especially if you have no personal knowledge of any of the people involved.


> If you are a victim of medical malpractice, the district attorney will not find healing for you. If someone wrongfully injures you, a criminal case will not return even an inch of your wholesomeness. If someone cheats or robs you of $50k, the district attorney will not help you pay your bills.

This is not entirely true. While the general civil/criminal purpose distinction you make is broadly correct, there are provisions for "restitution" within the criminal court system that overlap substantially with the compensatory function of the civil court system, so its not accurate to say that the DA will not help you recover funds or that a criminal case will not restore your losses.

See, e.g., http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/docs/restitution_guid...


Disagree. If somebody fucks you over, you out them.

Just because it's "hearsay" in the sense that it's only one person's account doesn't mean one should have to anonymize everything.


I understand where you're coming from, and initially had upvoted your comment. The problem is that there are shifting goalposts as to the definition of "fuck over". Here specifically it's pretty clear some unethical and illegal behavior occurred. There's no question it was right to out the shitty company. But encouraging people to out people they feel they've been wronged by sets the stage for tragic mistakes. The media is especially guilty of this, even if it isn't outright libel. I would be much more agreeable to your suggestion if people were generally much less trusting. But people are really awful at critical thinking with this kind of thing.


I guess that's true.


Yes, we should out bad actors. But we should also avoid witch hunts. I agree with pluma 100% here. Plausible deniability is important as there are always at least two sides to every story.

That said, Penny's account of life at the mystery startup sounds startlingly like that of my experience at Motionloft many years ago. The difference there is that the (ex-)CEO was convicted, and my experience was corroborated by another ex-employee and by one extremely pissed off vendor.


Context for the Motionloft story (it's a good read): https://techcrunch.com/2013/12/30/motionloft-jon-mills/


I loved the idea of MotionLoft, FWIW


I wasn't crazy about the idea, but the stack was interesting (and gave me some great learning opportunities). Ultimately Motionloft was more marketing than tech driven and I bailed right around the time Mills hoovered up all the money.


Probably for cya reasons, especially when filing for retaliation.




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