Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Mar 2013 20:17 UTC
In the News "An incident at the annual Python developer conference has led to allegations of sexism, death threats, the firings of two people, and - apparently - multiple DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks." Absolutely bizarre.
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I can well sympathize with Adria. Taken in isolation, her decision to go to public shaming might seem rash, but I'm guessing the incident at PyCon was the straw the broke the camels back.

From another perspective: still, it was just one straw. Why is it that this straw should be hung out publicly but not the rest that also put their weight on the camels back? I am not taking a stand, just pointing out that there is more than one way to look at it.

I think this has been blown out of all proportions and I won't lay the blame on either party. Making inappropriate jokes where someone might overhear them and take offense is kind of stupid. Publicly shaming someone for something like that when you could have told them to cut it out and that their behaviour goes against the codes of conduct of the conference they are attending is overkill.

If you bring out the heavy artillery and post something on the net where it might never be taken down again, you can pretty much know that you have set the wheels in motion and something will happen. The troubling part is that you really don't know where this ends up.

I was not there, so I cannot be the judge of how inappropriate any jokes might have been, but then again lashing out should never be the first response, no matter what you have been through before. If this was a repeat offence it is one thing (of course, then it is not the first response by definition). But did the involved parties have a prior history together that might justify jumping over the first steps of any conflict resolution? There are better ways of defusing an infected situation. How this has evolved (or rather devolved) just shows what can happen when you make poor choices in the first place (and I am referencing both to the poor jokes and the public shaming).

It could have stayed as an adult conversation between the offended party and the party trying to be funny or, if it was really serious, getting someone being asked to leave the conference by the management after an official complaint and getting a reprimand from the employer for poor conduct while representing the company at a professional event.

Where this have landed now is just sad, people losing their jobs, people being threatened and igniting fires on the net. Was that more than anyone ever thought possible at the time? Most likely. Still, go public on the net with something without thought and you never know where it might end up. We should have learned this much by now. Although I feel sorry for everyone involved in this - they didn't deserve what happened, perhaps we all can at least learn something from this:

- Women in the industry must be treated with more respect if we are ever going to get to an equal society. I very much like and prefer to work in a mixed environment, let us make our field welcome to everyone.
- Find the right forum for every kind of communication.
- Don't escalate issues without a good reason. We should strive to solve problems, not introduce new ones.

OSNews is a very civilized forum and although I am sad to see what has happened, I trust that we can do something positive in light of what has happened. Thanks for reading this far.

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