Adria Richards and How a Tweet Led to Two People Getting Fired

Adria Richards, a developer evangelist, overheard two male developers making what she thought were sexist jokes at PyCon, a tech conference, last weekend. She tweeted a picture of them with the caption, “Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and ‘big’ dongles. Right behind me.” She tweeted at the conference organizer and they followed up publicly on their blog by saying,

Adria explained the incident, her thought process and what ultimately drove her to tweet on her blog:

This incident has, of course, caused quite a stir on the Internet. I mean, what doesn’t these days? Everyone seems to have an opinion, although none has received as much attention as Amanda Blum’s. She writes on her blog that she has history with Adria and this incident is part of a pattern of action. Amanda later writes in her blog post what she wished had happened:

Lindy West wrote what I see as a valid counterpoint of sorts to Amanda Blum’s post.

There has been fallout for all involved in the incident. One of the men pictured was fired by his company and Adria herself was later fired. The man involved wrote a public apology:

Public shaming and fallout for that action is nothing new on the Internet. People tweet and lose their jobs every day. I am positive most people have at some point publicly shamed a stranger by tweeting, blogging or posting a picture to their Instagram – I know I have. The difference here is that I am not a woman in a predominantly male centered field who maybe is just tired of it happening over and over again or maybe she overreacted? Everyone is going to have their own opinion on this incident. I tend to think more along the lines of what Amanda Blum wrote, I would have probably turned around and given them a dirty look or some side eye or possibly gone to an organizer and complained about the men. As a gay male, I have “personally experienced a lifetime of microaggressions”, but I just don’t know about this incident. I don’t blame her for doing what she did, I don’t think she was wrong. It’s not what I would have done and I think it’s okay for us to have our own individual interpretation and reactions to this incident. It just kind of sucks for those personally involved that they had to lose their jobs over it.

Image via Twitter.

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