Originally posted on olmsme40:
Early in 2013, at a tech conference named PyCon, an incident occurred which resulted in the unemployment of two attendees. One woman, named Adria Richards, was sitting in the row in front of two men who were having an inappropriate conversation. The conversation was apparently sexist and included such topics as “forking” and big “dongles” (which is a device that is plugged into a computer) that were used in a sexual context. Annoyed with the conversation happening right behind her, Adria immediately took a picture of the two men with her cell phone and sent a tweet to shame the two men on the internet. The repercussion of this action was unintended as it ended up in the unemployment of the tweeter, Adria and one of the men she had shamed.
Once a tweet is made, there is no going back. Adria’s tweet caught on like wildfire and many people (similar to Adria) felt the need to voice their opinions about the incident through social media. Of course there were some people who agreed with Adria, but there were others who made sure to let the world know they did not agree with her decision. One person openly tweeted about how they would no longer do business with SendGrid (the company that Adria worked for) since they supported someone who could get a father unemployed over a simple joke.
There are many ways to handle any situation. In this instance, Adria could have handled things a little more professionally. Of course, the men behind her making those comments were not being the most mature or appropriate, but Adria did not have to stoop down to their level. It reminds me of something that might happen in elementary school. If Adria had a problem with the things they were saying, she should have turned around and asked them nicely to shut up. After the conference was over, the two men and Adria were pulled aside to talk about the issue. Since the two men easily apologized, it’s pretty obvious that they would most likely have been respectful if Adria had just asked them to be stop. Instead, Adria made an equally immature move and posted a picture of them on the internet (without their permission) and basically labeled them as bad people. I’m sure they didn’t intend to offend her and if they had known it did they would have stopped. Adria did not have to post a photo of the men either. If she wanted to passive aggressively complain on the internet about them, she could have just done that without a picture.