A popular social networking site is facing criticism for being sexist following accusations that it deleted a post seeking web engineers because the woman featured in the ad was “too pretty to be a web developer.” Toptal, a developer networking platform, placed the ads on LinkedIn but they didn’t say online for long.
“The fact of the matter is: members of the tech community (LinkedIn users) saw it as impossible that our female engineers could actually be engineers, and a leader of the tech community (LinkedIn) agreed with them,” wrote Toptal's CEO, Taso Du Val, in a blog post about the incident, The Drum reported. “Unfortunately we're banned from showing anything except 100 percent, all male software advertisements from now on and so, that's what you'll be getting.”
The advertisements that LinkedIn deemed inappropriate featured images of Argentinian web developer Florencia Antara. “Today was a disappointing day at Toptal. We saw extreme sexism within the tech community, from an industry leader and advertising partner that we work with quite extensively: LinkedIn,” wrote Du Val in a post titled “In Defense of Female Engineers.”
One reader supported Du Val. “LinkedIn appears to be engaging in slut-shaming and nerd oppression because no female engineer could look good. Engineers must be slide rule nerds,” they wrote.
LinkedIn said the ads were rejected because of a mistake with their customer service team. “We have taken the necessary measures to approve the previously rejected ads, and Toptal can now run them on our platform as intended,” they said.