Tweet on Tech Sexism Snowballs Into Two Firings

Woman who complained about jokes, along with joke teller, are dismissed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2013 11:03 AM CDT
Tweet on Tech Sexism Snowballs Into Two Firings
The tweet that started the controversy.   (Twitter)

Big drama in the tech world this week: A tweet complaining about some off-color jokes at a conference appears to have resulted in two people getting fired—including the woman who wrote the tweet. As the Independent recounts, it started when Adria Richards of the email company SendGrid overheard the guys behind her joking about "big dongles" and the like and fired off this tweet, complete with a photo of them. One of the men soon got fired by his employer, PlayHaven. The firing led Anonymous and other Internet groups to go after SendGrid in revenge, reports Business Insider, and the company soon announced via Facebook that Richards had been fired, too.

Assuming the firing isn't a hoax on the part of hackers, "this is a fairly shocking move," writes John Koetsier at VentureBeat. The company may have figured that Richards couldn't effectively do her job anymore in developer relations after the controversy. "Like it or not, reality is that developers are mostly male, often young, and sometimes crude," he writes, and "it’s not hard to imagine that Richards finally felt like she needed to take a stand." His prediction? Lawsuits are coming. Richards' blog post on the original tweet is here; the man who got fired responded (respectfully) at Hacker News here. (More sexual harassment stories.)

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