Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian wrote a blog post challenging geeks to stop being misogynistic jerks online.
Last week Adria Richards was sitting in front of two men at PyCon. She turned around, took a photo of them, and tweeted that the jokes they were making about “big dongles” and “forking repos” was not cool. One of the men was fired following the incident, and Adria was fired from her job too.
The firing of the developer pissed off a lot of geeks. There was a campaign to get Adria fired before she was. There was also a fund raising effort for the man who was fired.
After seeing people opening referring to Adria as a “bitch” and “cunt” on Twitter, Hacker News and Reddit, Ohanian had enough. He wrote a blog post tell his fellow geeks to consider how we treat each other online:
“Growing up, we typically weren’t picked first for sports, but were first on the Quake II server,” Ohanian wrote. “Few people really understood our peculiar hobbies or how amazing it was to see “Hello, world” for the first time. Plenty of us got used to being ignored. Many of us were bullied. But what did we learn from it — empathy or hate?”
Adult geeks who work in technology are the cool kids now, and we get to decide not to treat people like we were treated as kids. “We have many more opportunities to decide whether we 1) belittle and ostracize people for being different from us or 2) react with empathy, patience, and kindness,” Alex wrote.
We share the Internet. It’s best when we share nicely. If you ever wonder what’s up with the karma thing on Reddit, it’s really about what Alex wrote on his blog. Reacting with empathy, patience and kindess is good for all of us.