Public shaming

Some stuff happened at PyCon 2013 that ended with a couple of folks getting fired. I don’t have anything to add to the main discussion. Oh, except that any threats, but especially death and rape threats, are abhorrent behavior. For fuck’s sake, that is the worst part of this.

Anyhow, I am interested in the public shaming part of the event. I saw a similar sentiment come up in a the backlash from Matt posting an email he was sent. There is this idea that there is a line that can be crossed when publicly speaking about something, and that line seems to be when most people feel it is shaming someone.

People are gonna be people, and pride has been an issue for thousands of years, so maybe shaming, public or otherwise is part of the human condition. But it doesn’t have to be. We are in a feedback loop, where people are afraid of their reputation being damaged on accident (and maybe some worry about it happening because of their intentional actions, but I don’t think that is the norm [we are statistically not all politicians]).

I would like to work under a different premise, that having a public discussion is constructive and allows for exposure to information that encourages growth. So we have to get over ourselves.

Okay, I guess I lied; here are some takeaways:

  • Folks need to be considerate about their speech at conferences, especially men who want to make sex jokes. I am saying it like this because any other way leaves room for ambiguity. Don't make sex jokes in communal and public places. It is fucked up behavior, and you should be called out for it. I would like it to be intimate, such as with loud voices and hand waving, but some people prefer Twitter.
  • Corporate laws make it so companies respect profit over humans. So if you work for a company, get out, or even better, make it a worker-owned coop. The folks who got fired know this: they don't have your back. They actually really suck.
  • I am glad I only read feeds once a week. Tech news had a field day with this story, and in their relentless pursuit to attract readers, they became players by allowing non-involved entities to have 15 minutes of fame choosing a side and talking nonsense. That doesn't even include the comments. This is a serious story, because it highlights the systemic sexism in tech culture, and inequality in corporate culture. Fortunately, you too can be part of the revolution, and stop reading tech news.
  • The concept of Anonymous as an org rendering judgment on companies and people is going to hurt humanity more than any actual group of people trying to do that. The general digital illiteracy is really bothersome, wouldn't you say? But maybe it doesn't matter.

Okay, brain emptied.