Adria Richards, developer evangelist for SendGrid, an email infrastructure company, was allegedly terminated Thursday for tweeting about sexually inappropriate comments during a company conference.
Last week, during PyCon US 2013, a developer conference in California, Richards tweeted about a couple of male developers behind her making lewd comments about "dongles."
Richards' wrote about the incident on her blog:
A few minutes later, one of the PyCon staff member approached to the left. I stood up, went outside to talk with him and explain the situation with a few of the other PyCon staff. They had seen my tweet. After explaining, they wanted to pull the people in question from the main ballroom. I walked back in with the PyCon staff and point them out one by one and they were escorted to the hallway.
As I walked back to my seat, I cannot tell you how proud I was of the PyCon and Python community at the very moment for keeping their word to make the conference a safe place to be. A bit shaken, I took my seat to continue watching the lightning talks. I sent an updated tweet that the situation was being dealt with and later on, PyCon tweeted they had addressed the issue
The two men ejected from the conference worked for a company called PlayHaven. In an online statement, Playhaven confirmed one of the employees had been fired as a result of the PyCon incident:
PlayHaven had an employee who was identified as making inappropriate comments at PyCon, and as a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honorable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go. We value and protect the privacy of our employees, both past and present, and we will not comment on all the factors that contributed to our parting ways.
In the last day or so the hashtag #Donglegate began filling up with tweets, some supporting Richards' decision, and others not so much.
Amid the controversy, SendGrid announced on Thursday they had fired Richards.
Tech blog VentureBeat is reporting that internet activists are attacking SendGrid.
Anonymous users began hitting the SendGrid servers with a DDOS attack, effectively shutting down service for their customers.
Twitter user @ThisIsBrooks summed up #Donglegate thusly:
(h/t Jessica Valenti)
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at email@example.com.
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