Woman fired after tweeting about men’s sexual comments #WTFnews

TECH, Posted on Mar 23, 2013 a

San Jose: A female developer was fired after tweeting about a group of men she said were making sexual comments at a computer programming conference, fuelling an already vigorous debate about gender equality and culture in Silicon Valley.

Adria Richards wrote on her blog at http://butyoureagirl.com that she was seated in a ballroom at the Santa Clara conference Sunday when the men behind her started talking about “big dongles.”

A dongle is a device that plugs into a computer, but Richards tweeted that the men made the comment in a sexual way.

After hearing their remarks, Richards turned around, took a photo of two men and posted it on Twitter with their alleged comments.

Conference organisers said they were concerned by the tweet and quickly met with Richards and the men, who immediately apologised.

“We pulled all the individuals aside. We got all sides of the story. They said she was right, and they were very apologetic,” said Jesse Noller, who chaired the conference, PyCon 2013, for people working on Python programming language.

Richards worked for SendGrid, a technology company with offices in Orange County and Colorado. CEO Jim Franklin wrote on the company’s website that SendGrid agreed with Richards’ right to report the incident to Pycon staff, but not the way she reported it.

“Her decision to tweet the comments and photographs of the people who made the comments crossed the line,” Franklin wrote in a blog post on the site. “Publicly shaming the offenders – and bystanders – was not the appropriate way to handle the situation.”

Franklin said Richards put the company’s business in danger, divided the developer community and could no longer be effective at the company.

One of the men in the photo Richards posted has also been let go from his job at San Francisco-based mobile game company PlayHaven.

“PlayHaven had an employee who was identified as making inappropriate comments at PyCon, and as a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honourable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go,” PlayHaven CEO Andy Yang said in a blog posting.

The company did not release the name of the fired employee but said a second man in the photo “is still with the company and a valued employee.”

“We believe in the importance of discussing sensitive topics such as gender and conduct, and we hope to move forward with a civil dialogue based on the facts,” Yang said.

Gender gaps are the hot topic in Silicon Valley, in large part because of the bestselling book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook Sandberg has launched a “Lean In” movement to encourage and support women in the workplace.

On Friday, thousands of tweets, blogs and online comments swirled about the incident, some supporting Richards and the “call-out cultures,” others belittling her or asking what she might have done differently.

Telle Whitney, who heads the Anita Borg Institute, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit working to advance women in computer science and engineering roles, said Friday “that racist or sexist comments have no place in today’s work environment and are counterproductive to fostering a diverse, productive and innovative workforce.”

“Events such as these make it more difficult for our industry to attract, recruit and retain women in technology, which is extremely important given the growing global demand for technology workers,” she said.

Richards, reached Friday by The Associated Press, said she couldn’t comment. But she confirmed her blog and tweets, along with the report that she was fired.

“Have you ever had a group of men sitting right behind you making joke that caused you to feel uncomfortable? Well, that just happened this week but instead of shrinking down in my seat, I did something about it … ,” Richards wrote in her blog post about the incident.

She said she was spurred in part by a photo of a young girl on the stage at the time, and the thought that the men seated behind her would make it impossible for the girl to learn programming.

The men were not identified by name.

Richards said she also had confronted a man earlier after he told her what she thought was a sexist joke at the conference.

“There is something about crushing a little kid’s dream that gets me really angry,” Richards wrote. “Women in technology need consistent messaging from birth through retirement they are welcome, competent and valued in the industry.”

SendGrid was founded in 2009 and has developed a cloud-based email system, according to its website.


New twist to Manipuri Student’s murder in Bangalore #IPL #Justice

Monika Khangembam


IMPHAL,  Free Press April 24: A new twist in the Loitam Richard killing case popped up today, with the father of the first year engineering student claiming that Richard’s dead body was shifted to the Hospital mortuary at 1:30am of April 18 which conflicts with (L) Richard’s hostel warden’s report to the police.

In his FIR, the hostel warden had said that he was informed that Richard was bleeding from his nose at 1:30pm of April 18, after which he called the college doctor who confirmed his death.

Richard Loitam of Uripok Yambem Leikai, an Architecture Engineering first year student of the Acharya NRV School of Architecture, Bangalore was reportedly beaten to death on April 18 night in his hostel.

Speaking at a press conference at his Uripok Yambem Leikai residence today Dr L Rajesh outlined his findings in his recent trip to Bangalore and to the institute.

Dr Rajesh urged the state government to give adequate pressure to the Karnataka government for solving the case and to book the culprits.

While negating the various news reports regarding the cause of his son’s death Loitam Rajesh said, his son is an avid sports lover while adding that there is no way he could have changed the TV channel while everyone was watching an IPL match.

Quite contrary to the warden’s FIR which said, “As per his (Richard) room-mates I (warden) came to know that Richard met with an accident on April 16, 2012, he got his treatment in Sapthagiri Hospital on April 16”, Rajesh claimed that his son had met with an accident along with a friend while driving a Pleasure moped and had recieved minor injuries on April 15. He along with his friend had received first aid from Sapthagiri Hospital on April 15, he added.

He further said his wife had received a call on April 16 morning from his son, telling her that he had lost his mobile and that he would like to buy a mobile.

His wife sent the money the same day. Richard didn’t call them the next day on April 17. Anxious since he had just lost his mobile, he contacted a family friend Nazim whose nephew also studied in the same college as Richard late in the evening at around 9 pm.

The nephew told Rajesh that he was not in the hostel, but informed that Richard was in the hostel as he was having an intern paper the next day. Thinking that he might be busy with his preparation, they felt satisfied, however the next day at around 3:30pm on April 18, the college doctor called the family up and informed about Richard’s death, he said.

The family immediately flew into Bangalore.

On reaching the college, the college authorities claimed ‘accident’ as the possible cause of death. However, when they enquired of some students about the death it was found that one Syed Afjal Ali had beaten Richard on April 17. They also found bloodstains on the door knob of Richard’s hostel room and windowsill, which points to a quarrel, he further told media persons.

They found Richard’s body in a decomposed state at the morgue raising new questions on the time of his death, he stated.

The students further told the family members that, Syed had assaulted Richard while he was playfully quarrelling with one of his seniors.

Further alleging lapses on the part of the college authorities for Richard’s death, the aggrieved father said his family was not informed by the college authorities but by the college doctor which is absurd.

He further expressed his surprise over the Karnataka police filing a simple FIR and stuck up in procedural matters like 174 CrPC.

He however said that he had full faith in the Karnataka administration and police and believe that the state will conduct the investigation properly.

Neighbours demand thorough investigation
Local meira paibis and club members of Uripok Yambem Leikai came out today in strong protest against the alleged killing of Loitam Richard.

Demanding proper investigation of the death, the protestors held a sit in protest at the locality, holding placards that read ‘Don’t kill Richard Loitam twice’, ‘Investigate properly the killing of Richard Loitam’, ‘Who killed Richard Loitam’, ‘We demand fair investigation from Bangalore Police’, ‘Protect Manipuri students outside Manipur’ and ‘Give death penalty to the killer’ etc.

Speaking to media persons one of the protestors urged the Karnataka police to start investigations on the case at the earliest and further expressed hope that the Karnataka police will conduct the investigation in an unbiased and transparent manner.

The protestors further demanded action against the college, as laxity on their part had resulted in the death, said the protestors.

Meanwhile, the protestors further said that the government should take up action to safeguard all the people from the state who are staying outside the state.


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Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel


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