Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I already sent SendGrid's sales department an email that I will boycott their company and recommend others do so as well moving forward.

Where I work we were considering between SendGrid or Mandrill and this incident practically made our choice for us. We cannot and _will not_ support a company that backs[1] a person like this.

[1] - https://twitter.com/adriarichards/status/314452708549603328

Want to tell us which company you work for so we can all avoid doing business with firms who makes decisions about which technology to choose based on whether or not they like the recent tweets of a company's employees on their personal twitter accounts?


You mean the actions of the lead developer evangelist, a person who represents the company, on a highly public twitter account?


I think you misread sergiotapia's comment. They were objecting to how Sendgrid was supporting the actions of Richards. The tweet seemed like a poor example.

I also don't see an issue with having non-technical attributes being part of the equation in the criteria for selecting a vendor. Price is clearly important, as can be a business' ethics; both are not technology related but can important depending on the circumstance.

Lastly Mandrill does seem like a slightly better product for the cost, but that of course might vary based on requirements.


Thanks for the heads up on Mandrill, I'll check out their solution for when I launch my project.


Why ridicule someone for making a personal choice to choose who he does business with? Adria is a part of the company's image and just like any other company they will be judged by her public actions.


So. Let me see if I've got this straight:

Posting to HN about how you think people should coordinate and send e-mails to a company's sales department about how they don't want to do business with a company because they're bothering to stand by one of their employees and not fire them. -> A personal choice and any comments disagreeing with it is "ridicule".

Posting a tweet on your twitter account. -> Public actions representing a company.

Those seem like some strange conclusions.


> Posting a tweet on your twitter account. -> Public actions representing a company.

I really don't want to step into this... but just to clarify the tweet did say: "@SendGrid supports me. Stop trolling." so yes, that makes it a position of/by/with-the-permission of the company.

quickly runs out of thread


Perhaps ridicule was the wrong word. My point is she is seen as a face of the company by many in the tech scene, anything she does publicly (yes twitter is public) will be seen by people and they aren't wrong to have this reaction. Nowhere in sergiotapia's post did he argue that they should fire her. Talk about strange conclusions.


I'd like to step through this line of thinking.

First let's agree on three things:

- Recently the gender/sex/sexism issue in software has grown. There are programs to try and get more women involved, which is cool. There's generally a post or two about it on the front page of HN every day. It's a major theme.

- Due to the fact that it's a major recurring theme, I'd wager that it's a big problem in tech and therefore it upsets lots of people.

- Because it's a major recurring theme for many people, any change in either direction (greater or lesser equality) is a pretty big deal.

If you're still with me, then here's where the disagreement arises. If you're of the opinion that this debacle has moved the "get more women in tech" issue backwards, then it's plenty of a reason to be upset. Likewise this works in the other direction.

So if this is an issue that you care about, and the developer evangelist (and I assume that's sort of like PR? Represents the company on a more social than technical level? Correct me if I'm wrong) has moved this movement in the wrong direction I think it's perfectly fair to not give them your money.

Maybe that's reading into it too much, but I would guess that that is the logic behind that sort of decision.


I think that if someone cares about these issues in the way you've outline and wants to operate from that frame, they need to talk about those issues directly. I agree that could be a reasonable discussion to have, but I don't think it's the discussion we're having.

But thanks for elucidating an alternative motive. I agree that you could step through the thinking outlined (though I'm not sure I would agree with some of those pieces) and end up at that position.

But, I do not believe the motive you presented is the simplest explanation for the actual motive that leads most people to that conclusion and the more likely explanation is that this is a repeat of the same dynamic that occurs whenever a woman in tech speaks out about women in tech in a way that seriously perturbs things.

This happens a lot. I think we'd be a lot farther on the issue than we are if we could assume that everyone was viewing these types of things through the lense of "what makes this issue better or worse?"


They were being idiots and violating the code of conduct of pycon, and YES, it does apply to private conversations that others can't avoid hearing since they're in a public place. She shamed them rightly. As for them being fired, that was the company's call - who employed them. Now an anonymous guy posts this, she explains the whole sequence and in the end it's her fault. No, the responsability lies with who made the inappropriate comments in the first place and with who employs/employed them.


Well, Adria's posting of the picture without consent was itself a violation of PyCon's code of conduct. Frankly, it's hard to understand her position when she made the same kind of dick joke on Twitter in public to a friend where everyone could see it.

As it is, we have a situation where someone who makes dick jokes to her friends overheard someone else making a dick joke to a friend and intentionally shamed them by posting their picture on the internet. Clearly, this action was the catalyst for one of them getting fired; it was her goal to make an example out of these two and embarrass them on an internet scale.

Her self-righteousness belies the utter insignificance of what actually occurred. Comparing herself to Joan of Arc and claiming she "did it for future generations" doesn't help. On top of angering a lot of men and women alike, her behavior struck a nerve and has the potential to leave a bruise on gender equality in tech.

One can be in favor of equality and yet have the intellectual capacity to examine situations on a case-by-case basis and determine that this was a contradictory overreaction on her part that had undeserved consequences for one of the men.


> Frankly, it's hard to understand her position when she made the same kind of dick joke on Twitter in public to a friend where everyone could see it.

Since when is Twitter the same thing as a professional conference? Why are the majority of the commenters on HN completely missing the point?


> Since when is Twitter the same thing as a professional conference?

First, she mentioned PyCon in that Twitter conversation[1]. If she had hashtagged it, there would be a stronger argument, but either way we might say she's having an "inappropriate conversation" in the "vicinity" of the conference. People searching about conference might see this, just like people at the conference might have heard the same inappropriate joke.

If we look deeper I think "but she made similar jokes" has other merit. What's the point of having "professionalism" rules at a conference? Because everyone is there publicly representing a company, and because they don't want distractions from the purposes of the conference.

Adria is a public representative of her company, and apparently uses her Twitter account in connection with that. Why does she get to mix her personal life into a public-facing account, complete with "overhearable" unprofessional jokes, but two friends in the same room with her can't do the same?

The only good reason I can think of is "because the conference rules say so, and they all agreed to them." Any other reason for her getting to be offended about a joke quietly exchanged between two well-acquainted professionals but overhearable in public, is hypocritical, because she set up the exact same situation on Twitter. When you consider her inappropriate, overreacting, passive-aggressive response, and calling them "ass clowns" on her blog[2] (it's at least partially profesionally-oriented, by the way), it just gets more frustrating.

1: https://twitter.com/skwashd/status/312260981914992640

2: http://butyoureagirl.com/14015/forking-and-dongle-jokes-dont...


>They were being idiots and violating the code of conduct of pycon

I disagree entirely. The situation is one I could easily imagine myself in with my best friend. The two people in question did not curse, berate anyone or even direct their jokes to anobody.

This asshole just wanted to pick a fight and caused a father to lose his job over dumb shit (ps: I'm still waiting for the company name to crop up, he didn't deserve to get fired).

Now when actual instances of sexism in tech (and trust me - in Bolivia THERE IS TONS OF THIS) occur, people will roll their eyes. Never cry wolf.


The man who was fired used to work for PlayHaven. http://www.playhaven.com/


>She shamed them rightly

No. The appropriate first course of action upon being personally offended is not to passive-aggressively take a picture of perceived offenders and create a vendetta on Twitter; rather it is to turn around, confront what/who offended you, and deal with the situation like an adult.

Further this person's "shaming" was an abuse of her professional privileges and that alone warrants her firing.


And if you're not comfortable confronting them in person, tell conference staff, who'll talk to them. In fact, PyCon staff did talk to them, got an apology, and sensibly decided that was that:



So, just to be clear, you are boycotting a company that employees someone who upholds the code of conduct agreed to by all attendees of pycon, but make no mention of the company that actually fired the guy.



It's a sane move if you want to discourage the culture that Adria is encouraging. Certainly her employers don't deserve any blame, though.


> Certainly her employers don't deserve any blame, though

To be clear, SendGrid is her employer and that's exactly who sergiotapia sent an e-mail to saying he was going to boycott and recommended that others do the same.


I'm clear on that. This whole issue is deeply entwined with philosophy which makes it all a bit amorphous. From one perspective, you could argue that it's moral to boycott SendGrid if it leads to "positive" consequences, for example.


What culture is that?

* Calling people out who violate PyCon's code of conduct? * Following this up by going to PyCon and getting it resolved? (http://pycon.blogspot.com/2013/03/pycon-response-to-inapprop...)

Are we really arguing that people should keep silent when things like this happen? When a rule is violated? That they should only respond after it's taken place?

Is that what people are really asking for?


I don't think assuming or mentioning negative talking points in the form of a question is a productive way to have a discussion.


So then what culture is she encouraging?

* Calling people out who violate PyCon's code of conduct * Following this up by going to PyCon and getting it resolved

Those are the two things she did. Call people out who broke a rule. She also went to PyCon organizers to resolve it.

So, what culture is she encouraging, and why would we want to discourage it?


Personally, and I think this might be the case with most people here, I'm most worried by the public shaming of the two individuals. Them being kicked out of PyCon isn't as much a concern to me.

I think the culture that she's implicitly promoting is ultimately a suspicious and hostile one where there is no principle of charity but instead there's the inverse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity). And not by the fact that she reported it to PyCon organizers, but by the fact that she then escalated it to the public. In this instance, I think she should have kept their identities anonymous in her tweets and blog post.

There are instances where I can imagine revealing their identities would be the right thing to do, but this doesn't come close to it by my judgement (for all that's worth).


I am no fan of the behavior ascribed to these guys, but the PyCon code of conduct also says no "harassing photography or recording" and, in my book, her blasting a photograph to multiple thousands of followers is an intentional invocation of a shitstorm to attempt to harm them. PyCon also is on record as not being down with the "public shaming" thing, too; see their policies regarding it.

The two guys are unprofessional assholes. 100% agreed. But by my lights, she is too.


She's encouraging an internet lynch mob, and that's a culture most communities actively discourage.


She @-replied pycon staff. Compare that to the HN and Reddit communities out for Adria's head.


Her initial response was a twitter message with the pycon hashtag and a picture of the "culprits". It was demanding a lynch mob resolution. She never directly replied to or messaged pycon staff, though she had the wherewithal to search up the code of conduct.


Oh shit. She didn't file the HA-RASS-401A form. She deserves everything she got.

> She never directly replied to or messaged pycon staff

That's not true. At all.


She didn't file the HA-RASS-401A form. She deserves everything she got.

What did she "get"? If you do something publicly, you are open for public criticism. That's life.

However few would debate that it is utter hubris to use social media to demand a lynchmob response to a relatively mild social faux pas (which is 100% bullying behavior. Ala "I have 9000 twitter followers so you'll see who is the boss"). I don't blame her for the guy getting fired (that's on his shitty employer that knee jerk responds to something asinine), nor should anyone else, but I think the original activities were much more egregious and socially questionable than making a dongle joke.


no one is arguing about that, it seems to be more the culture of publicly shaming people for things that are well below the level of what should be.


"We're not choosing your company because we believe in the right for men to tell dick jokes."

I'd quickly e-mail back: "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."


It has nothing to do with the code of conduct considering that very code says that you are not supposed to take a picture of someone without their express permission.



Where does it say anything about someone's expressed permission? Doing a search on the page for several words did not bring up anything remotely close. Permission isn't even used.


"harassing photography or recording"


I read that part, which says nothing about what the person above me was saying.

This is the statement being contested:

> that very code says that you are not supposed to take a picture of someone without their express permission.

So, unless you can produce something that says this, it's a lie.

As for this:

> harassing photography or recording

It didn't happen.


well, the photos that Adria took were taken to publicly shame (which can be considered a form of harassment) the two people, so yes, that definitely did happen.


Actually, she broke the code as well by taking someone's photo without their consent.


I've seen a lot of people say this, but I can't find a reference to it in the code of conduct here: https://us.pycon.org/2013/about/code-of-conduct/. Is there a longer version or different version somewhere, or am I just missing it?


There is a dramatic difference between twitter hysterics and unleashing a lynch mob (and a woman under duress is a dangerous weapon to unleash on the intertubes), and direct messaging responsible parties. Had she messaged pycon (if she wasn't willing to simply ask them to shut up) this would be a non-story. But, as many suspect, she had to take the opportunity to be the hero of the story to save that little girl on the stage, unless of course that little girl on the stage says something that might be construed as offensive in the future, losing their job and reputation as a result.


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact