G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Maybe I’m jumping the gun here, but do you see what’s going on with this Adria Richards/PyCon/PlayHaven affair? The factual developments have been widely discussed: PlayHaven confirmed yesterday that they fired someone for joking about “big dongles”; later in the day, Adria Richards, the woman who instigated the incident, was fired from her company, SendGrid.
What’s going on now, it seems, is that the bigger news outlets are catching hold of the story because Richards was fired when the travesty here is that the programmer from PlayHaven was let go.
Woman Publicly Fired For Tweeting About “Sexual Jokes”
When Adria Richards was fired for complaining about sexually inappropriate comments at a tech conference the internet erupted. And now it looks like internet activists are attacking the people involved.
Unpack: Richards didn’t merely complain about sexually inappropriate comments – she outed people and shamed them publicly and then a company hidebound to gender equality at every cost fired the guy.
SendGrid fires staffer after her tweet exposed sex jokes
Those are the two biggest outlets to touch the story, and look at their slant. Adria Richards was fired by her company. The bigger and bloodier story is the fact that she got a guy fired from PlayHaven. And, of course, Jezebel waited to weigh in until a bunch of anonymous internet people said some bad things somewhere against Adria Richards. This reminds me of John Madden cautioning players against retaliating against opponents who strike first because “the referee always flags the retaliation.” Same here: USA Today and BuzzFeed are the referees.
In other news, Adria Richards has a history of being overly microly-aggrieved (h/t Pax):
Why don’t I enjoy Adria? I met her in New York some years ago at a conference and invited her to speak at a conference I was organizing in Boston. She was a very good speaker and I wanted her to help our beginners. She’s not an easy person- she didn’t like the title of her talk, she didn’t like her time slot, etc. Two weeks before the conference, we got a few emails from attendees that she had just threatened on her podcast to boycott our conference because one of our speakers, Danielle Morrill was giving a lightning talk about how to use screencasting software called “Getting the Money Shot”.
And the man who was actually fired from PlayHaven contacted VentureBeat using the moniker “Mr. Hank”, but he has not agreed to go on the record on the incident. “Mr. Hank” told the publication:
I have not yet been granted permission to quote the developer, who calls himself Mr Hank on Hacker News and emailed me from what looks like a very recently-created “mr hank” email account. In his email, “Mr Hank” said he just wants the issue to be resolved and over and is looking out for the best interests of his children. I’m still asking him for more details and permission to quote him.
One thing I think everyone could agree on?
“I wish this could just be about the issue,” the PlayHaven representative told me today. “This is an important topic to discuss, but the forum should be a constructive one.”