Monday, December 30, 2013

The Forking Fiasco of Dongle-Gate Revisited

Fork (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I stumbled upon an article (link below) today about Social Media and how it's affected the employee/employer relationship.  It refers to an event of geeky sexual innuendo and the incident it spawned last March at a tech convention.

I was amused at the antics when said event first happened and have since coined a term for it and a nice catch phrase to describe the aftermath.  I call it "Dongle-Gate" and I have termed the chaos that ensued a "Forking Fiasco".

Quick summary of what went down at the convention:

Basically, a woman (Adria Richards) attending the tech convention overhead two men behind her joking about Dongles and Forking.  Nerds making crude jokes about tech gadgets, SHOCKING!  

Apparently, she took personal offense to the jokes.  Instead of acting like a grown up and standing up for herself she decided to take a much more passive aggressive approach which resulted in a very public media event!  Instead of verbally telling the men that she was offended by their jokes and asking them to stop, she snapped their photo with her phone and proceeded to post the photo on Twitter!  She tweeted about how inappropriate they were acting and about how the behavior was degrading to women and such.

Well not only did that Tweet get tons of attention but it also caught the media's eye.  This little non-confrontation wound up turning into an all out war in the tech community.  It was a battle of women vs. men, of one tech employer (employing the men involved) being pitted against another tech employer (whom employed the woman involved) and opinions, like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink were pitched from one end of the spectrum to the other.  

This Forking Fiasco ended up with hackers whipping out bags of tricks and thanks to the media coverage it resulted in both parties being fired from their respective places of employment. The whole thing happened about 8 months ago, I will include some links below with the original coverage.

    "Forking is like porking but with much more entanglement of the limbs, Right? Again, I am not the least bit offended by this word.  I think this picture is awesome too!" 
    -Malibu gives her expert "Geek Girl" opinion on the  forking fiasco.

    Social Media Costs -- and Some Workers Are Paying With Their JobsTo read the full article click here!

    Tom Kaneshige (CIO (US)   31 October, 2013 14:43
    "Perhaps most pertinent to readers, two male software developers at a PyCon conference joked about "big dongles" and "forking" -- sexual innuendos with a tech twist -- overheard by SendGrid tech developer Adria Richards. She was offended, took a picture of them and tweeted it. One of the men was fired. Hackers exposed Richards' private information before she was fired for "publicly shaming the offenders," SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin wrote in a blog post."

    Shortly after the initial excitement happened, I came across Eric Ravenscraft's rant about the crazy happenings.  At that point I had heard nothing of the incident but I promptly researched and educated myself.  

    Here is Eric Ravenscraft's Original Post:

    Tech World: Please Stop Being Horrible To Each Other

    Eric Ravenscraft   Mar 22, 2013 (edited) 
    I don't care about Adria Richards. I don't care about SendGrid or PlayHaven or forking repos or dongles. Actually, I take that back. I do like dongles. Penis metaphors or no, the word "dongle" is just so damn fun to say. So, yes, I care very much about dongles. Probably more than anything else I just mentioned. Usually, though, I like to satirize things, over-analyze issues no one cares about, and make the tech blogging world fun.

    Image representing Adria Richards as depicted ...
    Image by None via CrunchBase
    This week has been extremely difficult in that regard. Because one guy said "dongle", another lady didn't like it, and now they're both fired and the internet is on fire.

    No, no. Stop. Just stop. Don't even explain. Just stop. Completely. Put the keyboard away. Shut the fuck up for a bit. Chill out. Two people have already been fired for this. It doesn't even fucking matter who you sided with, someone on your side got fired. Happy now? Does that make your life better?
    No, of course it doesn't. Because this isn't about making things better. It stopped being about improving things a long time ago. It's now turned into rape and violence threats towards women, insults and belittling towards men, and a whole lot of ugliness back and forth.
    Just shut the hell up.

    pulverTV on blogTV
    pulverTV on blogTV (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

    Me too. I want to shut up. God, please, for the love of fuck, I want to shut up. I don't even want to post this. If I thought that this could all be over in 24 hours, I wouldn't. But I've already been trying to ignore this for two days now and good fucking lord this just won't go away. Why won't it go away? Why can't everyone just chill the fuck out?
    You know who's the bad guy in this one? Everyone. Everyone who's picking sides between two people that they have nothing to do with. Do you know Adria Richards personally? Cool. You can talk, if you're not gonna be an asshole about it. Do you know the dude who made a dongle joke? Same for you. Everyone else? God. Please. Shut up.
    There is a very serious issue that needs to be discussed over gender equality in tech. Nothing is "solved" and there's a long way to go. But guess what? Some things are actually getting better! Not there yet, no. But getting there! There are more women in tech now than 20 years ago. This is a good thing. Let's keep going that way. Let's keep getting better. Let's be accepting of people with different ideas, skin colors, genders, and have meaningful discussions about how to be more accommodating and-
    Oh, I'm sorry. Did I get in the way of you arguing about which one of the two people you've never met is right or wrong? I'm sorry. Hang on. Let me put my earplugs in while you call her a whiny cunt and him an immature cocksucker. I'm sure that will make everything better.
    I'm going to go write an article that has nothing to do with this. Maybe later we can all come back to the table, having chilled out, and be fucking civil with each other. Please.

      Here is my original response to the events and the below article rant by Eric Ravenscraft:

      Stop poking every bear you happen to come across...

      Stacy M Price  Extended circles  -  Mar 23, 2013

      I believe that people have to have something to fight about or they may realize how boring and mundane their lives really are...  instead maybe they should put that energy toward the bigger picture and maybe figure out how to put a stop to genocide or world hunger or adopt a poor hungry child from the local orphanage....   that would give their lives meaning so they can stop poking every bear they happen to come across... 

      My comments are in response to the following post by Eric Ravenscraft (which I found to be hilarious) on Google+ March 23, 2013.  

      The whole situation blows me away that people can be so self-centered; they take a tiny issue blow it up and suddenly its world war 3.  Jokes, you either get them or you get out!!!!  I am sure the joke was very funny (Dongle...  how could that not be funny!) before she threw it in their faces!!!!

      Oh and if you are female and you enter the tech industry, you had better be able to not only handle the sexual nature of the jokes but dish them out as well.  Females missing their sense of humor should find a new career path!  

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