Someone made an inappropriate joke at too high of a volume.
Somebody else felt uncomfortable and made a mistake in their reaction.
People make mistakes. Couldn't SendGrid have offered the guy a job and apologized profusely.
You could argue that her job is to be an advocate for SendGrid, and this incident has done the opposite. But I assume she was just fired so the ddos would go away.
Also announcing it on Facebook is brutal, even though they may have had no other choice.
SendGrid is in an ugly place, probably losing customers by the minute. If I was currently a SendGrid customer, I would be taking my business elsewhere... for a variety of reasons.
As for being a "defender and promoter of women in tech" -- I guess it really depends on if you see her as the victim or the bully in the situation. Being a defender and promoter of bullies in tech is a far less noble badge to wear.
Is that what they would have been though?
People are drawing attention to a load of things she's said on twitter and elsewhere that are more than a bit dodgy. A picture begins to form of someone on a mission which may not really be aligned with Sendgrid's requirements for an evangelist.
Sendgrid is in a crowded space... easy enough to switch.
And Sendgrid has a 'photocopying your genitals' joke on one of their jobs pages.
(And yes, it's pretty easy to photocopy your ass without photocopying the other parts if you sit on the photocopier the right way.)
The point I was trying to make is that every party involved is in definitely in the gray area between offensive and unoffensive. She made sexual humiliation jokes in front of thousands of twitter followers. Her company made scatlogical jokes in a much more professional setting than a conference. Compared to these, muttering 'dongle' in a crowded theater is, you must admit, at least equally as offensiv, if not quite a bit less.
And nobody gave a damn about her twitter jokes or the company jobs page before this.
The choice is pretty obvious here.
She's set back "women in tech" pretty far.
From the same conference:
The company she is envangelising for thinks that a visual joke about photocopying your genitals is apropriate for their jobs pages.
Actions must be judged in relation to the society in which they occur.
I guess this is how we iron out what the Code of Conduct stuff really means, hopefully we learn from it.
No it doesn't. It actually reduces it. She is being treated as a complete equal here, in being called out and held accountable for her actions. It would be a setback if she were protected purely because she was "speaking out" about sexism.
I feel like this whole incident did more damage to female right then good by making them appear small and fragile.
I would have preferred if this entire ordeal was sorted out with a game of laser tag, it'd be a fitting conclusion to the level of bizarro-world-absurdity this issue has become.
That sounds like it'd be really awkward for both Adria and the guy and eventually make it worse for SendGrid. If you've followed Adria's comments on her blog post, you'd realize it'd be a serious about-face to back down. The guy would probably have to grovel, and personally, in this case I'd rather be out of a job.
> You could argue that her job is to be an advocate for SendGrid, and this incident has done the opposite. But I assume she was just fired so the ddos would go away.
Why not both? It didn't give me a terribly negative view of SendGrid, but certainly warned me to steer clear of ever working for / with them for fear of stepping on overly-PC toes.
I can't imagine the office environment with these two working together as anything but cordial.
* Adria Richards had a number of options starting with explaining to them that the jokes made her feel uncomfortable to reporting them to staff. Instead she went for the nuclear option of public shaming.
* Sendgrid will only appear to have done this in response to their site being subject to DDOS.
* Playhaven have overreacted in dismissing one of the guys (although their blog post suggests there might have been more behind it).
The guys involved apologised at the time and have done so publicly. I can't help but feel that if Adria had apologised for her course of conduct at the first opportunity, this thing would have blown over.
Instead you have another story about misogyny in the industry that has run for over 24 hours with nobody looking good at the end of it and everybody suffering.
And PyCon, the PSF and Jesse Noller who behaved pretty much exactly as they should have (but still got insulted over it)
If she was going to be fired for it should have been because of her actions, not because some dickwads are blackmailing the company. How very disappointing and now we'll never hear the last of this. Time to make use of filtering options in HackerNew (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hackernew/lgoghlnd...)
Edit: to clarify, when I say blackmail I'm talking about the DDoS attack the company is suffering which is preventing them from doing any business: http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/21/sendgrid-under-ddos-attack...
Edit edit: This thread has been killed so nobody is going to see this comment again so I will take the opportunity to say I'm ashamed to be a part of the internet today.
Do you consider it blackmail when people refuse to buy Apple gear because of their patent trolling? How about people who refuse to buy Chik-Fil-A because of their donations to homophobic groups?
Sendgrid keeping on Adria after her actions would appear to a casual observer to be tacit acceptance of her actions. A stance, which after the thread yesterday, would seem to be morally unacceptable to a great deal of people.
There is nothing immoral about refusing to do business with a company based on their actions or inactions. Welcome to the free market!
The refusal to do service with a business is fine, free will and all that, the problem is that people are attacking the business and preventing them from doing any business with people that want to. This is a reaction to the DDoS...
You do not and can not possibly know that.
Situation happens -> posts are made -> drama drama drama -> days go by -> Adria tweets that Sendgrid support her -> Sendgrid is taken offline, company suffers -> Adria is publicly fired.
There's no way she was going to be fired for her actions at the conference, however shitty they were she explicitly stated that Sendgrid supported her: https://twitter.com/adriarichards/status/314452708549603328 unless she's delusional too...
It doesn't matter if it's speculation or not. Anyone that boycotts a company because an employee used her bully pulpit to call out someone's misogyny is an asshole. Any company that reacts to that loss of business is also a company full of assholes.
It doesn't matter if it's speculation or not. The DDOS DID happen and anyone that says that it didn't influence their poor decision, is very confused about the world.
It doesn't matter if it's speculation or not. Everyone has lost in this situation. The original dickhead that didn't have enough sense to keep his misogyny out of ear shot which cost him his job, the company that fired him because they didn't want the exposure of keeping a sexist who was caught red handed being a sexist, the woman who has had to put up with some of the worst trolls on the web because she called out someone making sexist jokes, and the company that felt that they had to fire her because of the exposure of keeping her on the payroll AND because of the vicious disgusting amoral assholes that have attacked that companies servers.
Frankly. Frankly it doesn't matter. This situation sucks and the trolls are behind the steering wheel nearly every step of the way.
misogyny n.: The hatred of women by men.
sexism n. : Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, on the basis of sex.
Now go back and read what the men were actually making jokes about. As much as I hate to burst your bubble, dick jokes, as crude and inappropriate as they may be for a professional setting, do not show any "hatred" or "discrimination" towards women. Hell, women can make them as much as men can too. If a male overheard two women making vagina jokes do you think they would start to claim they have a "hatred (or discrimination) towards men"? Hell no. I thought the feminist movement was supposed to be about equality?
Maybe SendGrid found out more information or found more persuasive arguments and changed their stance of support.
Actually, there is another name for the use of force against soft targets in order to get capitulation to political demands
If she was an indispensable asset they would have found another way to handle the situation.
It's always an equation. If someone is not worth the trouble they represent in the situation at hand -- this is the result.
Why are we assuming that it was the second and not the first?
Even if that is not THE reason, it's certainly a plausible reason, and one I find much more likely and commendable than reacting to a DDoS. However, perhaps we shouldn't just jump to conclusions ahead of a comprehensive statement.
And when she pulled SendGrid, her employer, publicly into the fray via her twitter feed, who didn't know it was simply a matter of time?
I mean, what else could SendGrid possibly do? She basically forced them to fire her.
Her value to the company is being a public face to developers. She very publicly destroyed that value. Further, she pulled SendGrid in with her tweet about them "supporting" her. Had she not done that, she might have had a fighting chance, but it almost seems like she wanted to get fired.
Not to mention that a company wants to employ people with impeccable judgement, particularly for public facing positions. She showed incredibly horrid judgment in how she initiated the situation and continued to display horrid judgement in her handling of it. Do you want someone with horrible judgement being your public face and voice?
I don't put much stock in the DDoS talk, FYI. No reputable company fires someone b/c they are being blackmailed. Though, perhaps I'm giving too much credit here, I don't know.
Either way, it should not comes as a surprise to anyone that this is the outcome.
Adria should have apologized, and that should have been that. Of course, if she insisted on not apologizing, then maybe she deserved to get sacked. She should have kept her employer out the spotlight and the best way to do that would've been an apology.
It should have been, but Adria decided to take the fight to the Internet when she made that blog post and posted the tweets. She chose to do this instead of talking to the guys behind her. If you take a small issue to the online masses it always ends wrong.
Blaming Python for this is really insane
And you can't blame SendGrid for getting backed into a corner. Even without the DOS attack they still would have fired Adria sometime in the next few weeks with good cause.
1. Two men make crude jokes to one another at conference.
2. Adria shames them.
3. PlayHaven fires one of them.
4. Internet goes berserk and threatens her.
5. SendGrid fires Adria.
She never re-evaluated her actions and acknowledged that she did something wrong.
She had every right to be offended and A) confront them or B) Report them to convention staff.
She reported them to convention staff and that was the right thing to do.
Unfortunately she also decided to publicly shame them and that resulted in a knee-jerk firing.
If Adria had expressed any amount of remorse vs. proclaiming herself a "hero" multiple times in the situation then the whole thing might have been perceived differently.
I'd like to think that everyone will learn something from this situation but the world is really divided into those who can accept responsibility and those who always find someone else to blame when things don't go as they expected.
And the employer she represents considers an off colour 'photocopying your genitals' visual joke as apropriate for intern jobs page.
These things have to be judged in relation to the environment in which they are made.
She reported them to convention staff and that was an option available to her more as a technicality than anything else. I doubt that those guys were being unreasonably obnoxious. The right thing to do was inform and educate and apply some degree of proportional response. This woman didn't want to create change, she wanted to guarantee hits to her blog by destroying someone else without due cause.
Congratulations, internet; a completely banal, pointless disagreement with zero stakes has ended with reputations tarnished, factions formed, threats hurled, feelings hurt, and two people out of work- and still nothing has been solved.
edit- this went off the front page REALLY fast, wtf
as an individual, you may be able to tell the balance on your death bed, finally and irrevocably.
as a society, the show always goes on.
If there is one constant in business, it's that some people will constantly make bad choices handling themselves while representing their company. Ask anyone in HR.
I do have to wonder: does this open SendGrid up to litigation by publicly announcing her termination? Affecting future employability, etc (not that she isn't at fault for that here).
Odds are, this is just hundreds/thousands of new people trying the API out after this incident. DDoS by your own prospective customers.
Posted via HootSuite:
It looks like SendGrid use HootSuite for both Facebook and Twitter - that'd be one way of gaining access to both accounts.
Now she is.
Joshua: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
How about a nice game of chess?
- Adria should never have done what she did. The best option would have been to turn around, ask the guys to politely stop. If they continued, she should have spoken with a con rep (like she did).
- I'm tired of people saying they're offended by things and not acting on it. Offence in itself is weak and means nothing to someone else. Saying "I'm offended" or "this offends me" while expecting people to stop what they're doing is self-centred and immature.
- Nobody should have gotten fired.
She could have spoken to a con rep without making a public stink about it, though.
She certainly did act on it.
The firing is up to PlayHaven and SendGrid (and the corporate culture which they share)
I generally agree, but what Adria did was public and did confront them -- albeit indirectly. I don't think she felt intimidated, I think she saw the situation as an opportunity.
> The firing is up to PlayHaven and SendGrid (and the corporate culture which they share)
Again, I agree. I just think three people getting fired over "big dongle" is fucking ridiculous.
1) In a professional setting, keep the conversation professional.
2) Don't publicly shame someone, especially if they most likely didn't mean any offense. A tweet and a blog post that withheld names would have been much more effective and professional.
3) If you are a company, don't fire someone until all the facts came in. An internal investigation/reprimand would have been more than sufficient in both these cases.
Due to these actions, I'm afraid that women will be less likely to talk about sexism online in fear of retribution. And I'm also afraid that those that do talk about sexism in the tech world will be met with skepticism just because of this one incident.
This whole thing sucks.
But still: that doesn't mean it isn't inappropriate/rude (to the point of being talked to by conference organizers) to use sexually suggestive potty humor loudly at a professional tech conference during a talk.
That's stupid. Save it for your buddies at the bar
This was simply an immature joke blown out of proportion. No one did the right thing and there is a lack of human emotional intelligence when dealing with people.
Adria could've turned around and called the developers out on it. This was an incident for private discussion, not a public one. People make mistakes. Adria could've been more forgiving. The joke shouldn't be seen as an example of sexism, just immaturity. Where is Adria Richards' emotional intelligence? Is she logically right to feel what she feels? Absolutely, but she needs to forgive people when the say stupid things.
Same with SendGrid and PlayHaven. These people did not deserve to be fired. And Adria Richards did not deserve SendGrid's public posting on Facebook about her termination.
This is why we need more women in tech: The guys will watch what they say more carefully if there are more women around. The ideal work environment is that men should be more sensitive to what they say around women, and women should be less sensitive to what men say around women.
FYI: I am a girl developer.
It's absolutely insane how fast these situations get of control in this generation of twitter/fb/g+ etc...
At about 1:52
The problem isn't that Adria Richards lied (which makes this sound like a supposedly-typical 'woman lies about being raped situation'). The problem is that she overreacted and then chose to act self-righteously instead of de-escalating.
People do mistakes, and all the persons involved in that drama have: these guys for a bad joke, and her for going public with it in an attempt to publicly shame them. Now, their employers are just ridiculous at firing them for such a ridiculous story...
I guess it is our fault as well, if we stopped making a fuss about everything, this would not happen. Finally, we are seeing the consequences of the social networks and the delation that comes with it... I miss the time where someone would actually turn over and would ask you to stop doing something, using their voice, not their public influence..
Playhaven should have not fired the programmers right off the bat. They have had them go through disciplinary measurements, and a sexual harassment program/seminar. They could have suspended them for a week or so. But not firing them. This sent a really bad message to their team. I cannot fathom what their devs are feeling right now.
Nobody should have been fired.
This is an issue of bad management calls rather than one of sexism in the industry. And very, very bad handling of PR. Both companies should hire a PR expert to clean this up.
To her credit, Adria stated that she didn't think the guy should have been fired. Perhaps she went further with her complaints than many would like, but I think it's fair to say that this has escalated far beyond what any party would have liked or wanted.
How in the 7 hells has a casual joke escalated to such mindlessness? Egregious overreactions on every side. For shame.
The response to each idiotic mis-step is an even bigger, and even more idiotic, mis-step. <sheesh>
Instead of reprimanding them of their inappropriateness, she took their photo without explicit permission, quietly notified PyCon about this inappropriateness, got them sent out of the conference. Then uploaded their photo to twitter, publicly shamed them, called them ass clowns on her own blog, while calling herself modern day Joan of Arc, while also previously making some stupid dick jokes on her own twitter.
All this ultimately led to one of those two male devs losing their jobs at PlayHaven. This unleashed the fury of the internet who called her on her bullshit and threatened SendGrid of no-more-business-with-you, some DDOSed their website. Since all this was turning into a PR disaster for SendGrid, they had no choice except to remove her.
Firing is NOT the answer for such minor transgressions. Yes, there were mistakes on both sides, but to lose your job over it is a huge overreaction from HR. Perhaps the DDoS should've been directed at PlayHaven for overreacting and not SendGrid?
The whole thing has set back gender relations in tech by 20 years, IMO.
 Or sometimes hunt down each other’s real life addresses and file ridiculous lawsuits, though I assume that’s more of a German thing…
She was fired fairly. She used her position and her platform to identify two individuals with the goal of publicly shaming them. If the people involved were a little younger, it'd be a clear-cut case of cyber-bullying.