Society

Women in Tech Industry Angry Over the Firing of Adria Richards

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A woman was fired recently after tweeting a picture of two men at PyCon and admonishing them for using tech terms "in a sexual way."

Adria Richards has been let go from her job as "developer evangelist" at SendGrid, a Colorado based email-delivery company, according to VentureBeat.

Richards overheard two men behind her at a Santa Clara, Calif., conference using tech terms like "dongles" and "forking" in a sexually suggestive fashion. She took a picture of the men and then tweeted it writing, "Not cool. Jokes about forking repo's in a sexual way and 'big' dongles. Right behind me #pycon [photo]".

She also wrote about it on her blog But You're A Girl, and it was posted to Hacker News.

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A backlash followed in which Richards became the target of death and rape threats, racial slurs like the N-word, service attacks on her website and SendGrid’s website, and, maybe the most damaging, the doxxing of her personal information on the web. Attackers are allegedly 4chan members and some claiming to belong to Anonymous.

SendGrid did not return phone calls from San Jose Mercury News on this matter, nor did Richards return phone calls, tweets, or messages.

Richards allegedly decided to tweet the picture after the men made numerous inappropriate comments. She also tweeted her location in the ballroom, and asked if someone could speak to the men about their conduct.

She then met with PyCon staffers and the men were escorted from the ballroom. PyCon later tweeted back to her, “Thank you @adriarichards for bringing the inappropriate comments to our attention. We’ve dealt with the situation.”

Some tweets were supportive of Richards, while others referenced a photo posted of a gory, beheaded woman, implying that she could or should be raped and murdered.

(ForbesSeattle Times)