A sexist presentation by two Australian programmers at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt show has the Internet up in arms. During their presentation, the programmers discussed an app they called “TitStare.” As the name would suggest, the app featured men staring at women’s chests, supposedly for health reasons.
“Did you know that looking at breasts is directly linked with a good healthy heart?” one of the presenters, Dave, asked the other.
“What’s the problem, Dave?” the other presenter responded.
“Well, women just aren’t that warm to it,” Dave replied with a laugh.
After Valleywag blog highlighted the unsavory performance and called the TitStare app “exactly as tasteless as it sounds,” TechCrunch co-editors Alexia Tsotsis and Eric Eldon issued an apology.
“Normally our hackathons are a showcase for developers of all stripes to create and share something cool,” they wrote. “But earlier today, the spirit of our event was marred by two misogynistic presentations.”
“Sexism is a major problem in the tech industry, and we’ve worked hard to counteract it in our coverage and in our own hiring,” the apology continued. “Today’s issues resulted from a failure to properly screen our hackathons for inappropriate content ahead of time and establish clear guidelines for these submissions. Trust us, that changed as soon as we saw what happened at our show. Every presentation is getting a thorough screening from this hackathon onward. Any type of sexism or other discriminatory and/or derogatory speech will not be allowed. You expect more from us, and we expect more from ourselves. We are sorry.”
Eldon said that TechCrunch didn’t have an appropriate review process in place for presenters, Fox News reported.
“TechCrunch didn’t have a good enough review system for screening presenting hacks,” Eldon said. “The hackathon organizers immediately took a much more stringent approach once we saw what happened with the two offenders. We are going to keep this from happening again.”