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Donglegate, Heroic defender of women in the tech sector or oversensitive coward (or somewhere in between?).


Prester Jim

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Donglegate, Heroic defender of women in the tech sector or oversensitive coward (or somewhere in between?).

A few days ago at a tech conference in Silicon Valley a woman working as a "developer evangelist" overheard a conversation between two other attendees in which they joked about big dongles and may or may not have joked about "forking a guys rep".
The evangelist took these private comments to heart, proceeded to stand up smiling and turn around to take a photo of the two jokers (and several bystanders), tweet their alleged jokes to her 10,000 followers withe photos and the storm has grown ever since.
In the aftermath, one of the jokers a working man with kids to support was fired, then Adria Richards was subjected to a stream of online abuse and herself, fired by the company that had hired her to "evangelise" their brand.

As she has been accused of massive over-reaction as she said on her tweets that she only reacted this way as she was saving the future of the sector apparently.
"Richards did not tell the developers that she was offended, saying in the comments on her blog post, "I didn't want to be heckled or have my experience denied." She initially decided to remain silent about the jokes, she wrote, until she saw up on the main stage a photo "of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop." At that moment, "I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so," she wrote."
How “dongle” jokes got two people fired

on her blog: "Yesterday the future of programming was on the line and I made myself heard."


Then it turns out that the woman who was offended by private overheard penis jokes actually tweeted to 1,000s a penis joke of her own a couple of days before...
https://twitter.com/adriarichards/status/312265091791847425


Adria Richards ‏@adriarichards

@skwashd you should put something in your pants next time...like a bunch of socks inside one...large...sock. TSA agent faint



Heroic defender of the future or humourless hypocrite?

https://twitter.com/adriarichards

The Female Tech Community Responds To 'Donglegate' - SFGate

 

Munnkeyman

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Read about it on Ars a couple of days ago and am still bemused by the lunacy behind it all.

At that moment, "I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so," she wrote."
The new Martin Luther King Jr.

I have a dream that one day nobody will ever have to hear another dongle joke at a Python conference.

Yup, doesn't really work.


p.s. What is an 'ass clown'?
 

Prester Jim

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All this kerfuffle and unemployment could have been avoided if she just turned around and told them to shush, or told the organisers of the event that they were being offensive.
Personally I think she knows she over-reacted at some level or she would not have come up with such massively OTT justification for her actions.
She doesn't deserve the massive flow of racist and offensive tweets and death and rape threats she has received since, however.

Her language is very odd: "have my experience denied" etc. sounds like psychologist speak.

Do people feel that dongle jokes are offensive?
Am I missing the point because we are Irish and thus less easily offended?
 

eyelight

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Dan_Murphy

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Massive overreaction on her part, she is complaining about overhearing a nerd tell another nerd a nerd joke at a nerd conference. It wasn't even directed at her, and hypocritical considering she makes crude jokes herself.

Sendgrid were totally correct to let her go. Let us ignore for a moment that her job is "Developer Evangilist" (seriously, what is that?), she has herself come out with some very interesting comments during the whole thing.

https://twitter.com/adriarichards/statuses/6039856858

Any tech company that she would deal with on behalf of sendgrid know she is a lawsuit waiting to happen, her ability to do her "job" is severely compromised.

The best hope she has now is that some white knight imbecile hires her, because honestly her actions have done more damage to women in IT than good.
 
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Abaddon

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Another yank screaming for attention. She's a nasty piece of work.
 

Orbit v2

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Interesting similarities with the KPMG girl thing. Someone does something stupid in public, but not expecting it to go viral. Do they have a right to privacy, or at least privacy in some limited domain?

Not sure about the general principle, though my instinct is that you don't have much right to privacy in that context. On the specifics of the case, I've been at conferences like that and I imagine they can be pretty intimidating for women. If those lads meant her to hear the joke, then they deserved being outed. But, it was a stupid thing for her to do considering her job. She musn't have been too good at it to be dropped so suddenly like that.
 

Dan_Murphy

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Interesting similarities with the KPMG girl thing. Someone does something stupid in public, but not expecting it to go viral. Do they have a right to privacy, or at least privacy in some limited domain?

Not sure about the general principle, though my instinct is that you don't have much right to privacy in that context. On the specifics of the case, I've been at conferences like that and I imagine they can be pretty intimidating for women. If those lads meant her to hear the joke, then they deserved being outed. But, it was a stupid thing for her to do considering her job. She musn't have been too good at it to be dropped so suddenly like that.
Even if she was amazing at her "job", it doesn't really matter now. What developer would voluntarily work with her knowing that one wrong word and they are out of a job?
 

ne0ica

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Replace the word evangelist with feminist or liberal and you would have had the usual suspects here already defending this quasi fascist behaviour.
 

Prester Jim

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Interesting similarities with the KPMG girl thing. Someone does something stupid in public, but not expecting it to go viral. Do they have a right to privacy, or at least privacy in some limited domain?

Not sure about the general principle, though my instinct is that you don't have much right to privacy in that context. On the specifics of the case, I've been at conferences like that and I imagine they can be pretty intimidating for women. If those lads meant her to hear the joke, then they deserved being outed. But, it was a stupid thing for her to do considering her job. She musn't have been too good at it to be dropped so suddenly like that.
I think tweeting to 10,000 people is a pretty good way to try to make something go viral, that is what she did, tweeted the photo of the two guys and other innocent bystanders to 10,000 people calling them asshats and getting one of them fired in the process.
The fact that she made similar penis comments two days before this and tweeted them to 10,000 people, as opposed to the two guys talking to each other and a nosy person listening in.
Amazing hypocrisy.
Even more amazing is the long retinue of people lining up to defend her on twitter despite her being so blatantly wrong, she is a hero on a pedestal to some people.
 

Orbit v2

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I think tweeting to 10,000 people is a pretty good way to try to make something go viral, that is what she did, tweeted the photo of the two guys and other innocent bystanders to 10,000 people calling them asshats and getting one of them fired in the process.
I agree, the fact that she had 10,000 people to tweet to, was related to her job, rather than being such an immensely interesting person who would have that number of followers. So, basically, she misused her employers property to pursue a personal issue. But, what if she was an ordinary (female) attendee at the conference and she made the tweet, and it happened to go viral on its own "merit"? I'm not sure how the guy got fired. That seems wrong, but it's hardly the tweeter's fault that he got fired.
The fact that she made similar penis comments two days before this and tweeted them to 10,000 people, as opposed to the two guys talking to each other and a nosy person listening in.
Amazing hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy, and double-standards all right. But "two guys talking to each other and a nosy person listening in" is a particular interpretation of what happened. It's not the only possible interpretation. Like I said before, if they made the joke for her benefit as the only female near to them, then I wouldn't have a problem with their pic being tweeted (but not the way she did it).

Even more amazing is the long retinue of people lining up to defend her on twitter despite her being so blatantly wrong, she is a hero on a pedestal to some people.
There's definitely an interesting issue behind the immediate stupidity in this instance though.
 

jmcc

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FFS!

This is going to make the Irish Times "technology" section next month.
 

Telemachus

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southwestkerry

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all very much over the top if you ask me. the joke was a bit school boy like and very adolescent but sacking folks over it and the resulting tweets and what not... people need to learn not to take things so seriously.
 

Prester Jim

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FFS!

This is going to make the Irish Times "technology" section next month.
Meaning it is not important or that the Irish media don't recognise an important story when they see it?
It is in the top most commented story in the independent.co.uk and is a big story in new media.
It is a parable on the power of the internet, the power to make or break careers and destroy lives through over focus on people best left out of the spotlight.
Plenty of less important stories on the Irish Times front page.
 

Prester Jim

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all very much over the top if you ask me. the joke was a bit school boy like and very adolescent but sacking folks over it and the resulting tweets and what not... people need to learn not to take things so seriously.
Yup, and worse the joke was not directed at her and judging by the comments of many, many female posters, utterly inoffensive to American women in general.
Richards made a similar joke a few days before and posted it on twitter to a massive audience, is it ok for a woman to make a penis joke to a mass audience but not for a couple of guys sitting near the same woman to make a private joke a little less graphic and a bit more silly than hers?
 
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