Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

GitHub Founder Resigns Following Harassment Investigation

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the don't-be-mean dept.

Businesses 182

An anonymous reader writes "Late Yesterday, GitHub concluded its investigation regarding sexual harassment within its work force, and although it found no evidence of 'legal wrongdoing,' Tom Preston-Werner, one of its founding members implicated in the investigation resigned. In its statement, GitHub vows to implement 'a number of new HR and employee-led initiatives as well as training opportunities to make sure employee concerns and conflicts are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.' Julie Ann Horvath, the former GitHub employee whose public resignation last month inspired the sexual harassment investigation, found the company's findings to be gratuitous and just plain wrong."

cancel ×

182 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading ! (0, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 months ago | (#46813785)

The term "Sexual Harassment", - with the word "Sex" followed by another word "Harass", - sounds awfully serious.

But, like all other liberal creation (social welfare, for example) "Sexual Harassment" itself has been abused.

Nowadays you can be slapped with a "Sexual Harassment" lawsuit if you comment on the way someone dress herself or "itself".

In fact, I can be charged for "Sexual Harassment" right now, because of the term "itself" that I've used to describe people whom I do not know how to describe (they are not male, nor female).

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (4, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 5 months ago | (#46813813)

You're probably right that in general such phrases have been subject to so much inflation so as to be almost meaningless by now.

In this specific case though, Ms Horvath claimed that a male co-worker showed up at her house with romantic ideas. And that he subsequently reverted some of her patches, presumably because she didn't go along. I think that qualifies as sexual harassment, even in the pre-inflation sense of the word?

Incidentally, some of the press reports have been getting it wrong; the harassment accusations were NOT about this founder, or his wife, but another guy at GH (who has apparently been promoted since).

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813831)

The "other guy" being an ex boyfriend

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813843)

What part of ex is hard to understand?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#46813889)

What part of ex is hard to understand?

The fact that it could have been written just "x" and still be pronounced the same. The extra "e" at the beginning is not only baffling, but outright infuriating!

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814971)

Only if you didn't know that it's a word in Latin.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#46815015)

Only if you didn't know that it's a word in Latin.

Whoosh!

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (3, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#46814065)

What part of ex is hard to understand?

Indeed. I'd add that part is the same part creepy sociopaths do not get when they "misunderstand" a "no" for a "yes".

Anyone who says this:

The "other guy" being an ex boyfriend

is the type of person I would not want near me, friends, co-workers or relavites.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814157)

What are you, 12 years old? Passive-aggressively demonizing other people like that is as immature as it gets online, short of doxxing to incite harassment.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#46814321)

What are you, 12 years old?

No. Just calling a spade a spade. What explanation can there be to mention that the "other guy" is/was the "ex-boyfriend" as a counter-argument? What relevant information does that elucidate? What is the point?

Passive-aggressively demonizing other people like that is as immature as it gets online,

Not as much as mentioning that the "other guy", the harasser, was "the ex-boyfriend" as if that explained things, without context with which to interpret that precious pearl of information.

short of doxxing to incite harassment.

If you say so, it must be so. See, if the shoe fits, wear it or see a podiatrist (or in this case, psychiatrist.)

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814231)

I'm sorry that none of you like the correct use of English... Bloody Americans.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#46814285)

I'm sorry that none of you like the correct use of English... Bloody Americans.

English is not my first language, so... you lose?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (5, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#46814605)

"ex boyfriend" is relevant in this context. She's claiming she was bullied by a coworker at GitHub. If fact she's having relationship issues with an ex-boyfriend who also also worked at GitHub, and has caused additional problems for herself by dating the friend of a GitHub manager and getting into a pissing contest with the manager's wife over that relationship.

That said, GitHub management should have sat everyone down and told them to act like adults or find somewhere else to work, her included.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815093)

"ex boyfriend" is relevant in this context. She's claiming she was bullied by a coworker at GitHub. If fact she's having relationship issues with an ex-boyfriend who also also worked at GitHub, and has caused additional problems for herself by dating the friend of a GitHub manager and getting into a pissing contest with the manager's wife over that relationship.

That said, GitHub management should have sat everyone down and told them to act like adults or find somewhere else to work, her included.

Thank you, someone with intelligence actually understands.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813935)

And women wonder why companies are so reluctant to hire them. Having an all male workforce means not having to deal with headaches like this.

Posting AC because you liberal pussies are going to clutch your pearls and mod me down into the dirt, even though deep down you know I'm right.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (5, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 5 months ago | (#46813953)

... and mod me down into the dirt, even though deep down you know I'm right.

More likely, because they get this weird impression that you might be a misogynous reactionary.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813983)

Say what you will, but the AC is correct about this being a risk that vanishes in an all-male workforce. What kind of message does that send? It tells the world that women just can't handle the same work environments that men can, so why bother hiring them? You can chant "MUH SOJINY" all you like, it won't change the fact that every high-profile story of female crying wolf-victim damages equality, and then people like you show up and further entrench the notion that women make everyone behave like berserk Neanderthals and thus are a liability.

You are the problem.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814143)

Just wait until you start getting more openly gay people and see how this changes.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1, Troll)

Barsteward (969998) | about 5 months ago | (#46814175)

why can't you just grow up and treat women as human beings with equal status. Neanderthals like you are the problem.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814435)

Clearly you have reading comprehension issues.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#46814185)

Say what you will, but the AC is correct about this being a risk that vanishes in an all-male workforce.

The risk doesn't vanish. It simply gets masked, just as one would mask if we have an all Caucasian (or X=whatever ethnic label of your choosing) workforce where racial problems vanish all of the sudden.

It's going to be hilarious when openly gay people join your workforce en mass.

What kind of message does that send?

That women shouldn't have to deal with harassment?

It tells the world that women just can't handle the same work environments that men can,

Men don't sexually harass men... usually. And most men do not sexually harass women either. It's just the perverted few who think it is women's fault for being unable (or unreasonably unwilling) to deal with their creepy world views.

It is the same argument that was made against Blacks from working shoulder to shoulder with Caucasians - they'd get harassed, and when wouldn't put up, there would be complains that they are not up to the task of dealing with "the realities of work" (read, "being a good boy.")

You are the problem.

Mirror, mirror. Who had the biggest problem with women of them all?

Fags are cool (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814243)

It's going to be hilarious when openly gay people join your workforce en mass.

Where I work, several of my colleagues are openly gay and simple statistics suggest that some are gay but not open about it.

There are zero issues. You are wrong.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815131)

the AC is correct about this being a risk that vanishes in an all-male workforce.

Not in the San Francisco area...

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 months ago | (#46815075)

Is it really "misogynous" (sic) to point out that sexual harassment charges are frequently abused? I don't know what's more troubling, the fact that this happens, or the fact that those who speak out about it are silenced.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813987)

"deep down you know I'm right."

Behold the power of psychological projection.

Inconceivable as it may seem to you, everyone does NOT actually think the same way you do.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#46814101)

And women wonder why companies are so reluctant to hire them.

It is not "companies". Not even "some companies", but some men.

Having an all male workforce means not having to deal with headaches like this.

It also means fostering an environment where juvenile-minded males never grow up into reasonable, professional men, fostering a culture that eventually and surely will spawn a molester or sociopath.

Posting AC because you liberal pussies are going to clutch your pearls and mod me down into the dirt, even though deep down you know I'm right.

No, you are wrong. I know that deep down. Posting as myself because my gonads prevent me from posting like a coward.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814131)

[citation needed]

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

Jahta (1141213) | about 5 months ago | (#46814537)

It also means fostering an environment where juvenile-minded males never grow up into reasonable, professional men, fostering a culture that eventually and surely will spawn a molester or sociopath.

And this doesn't just apply to the business world. You get similar issues in professional team sports, where guys come out of school/college straight into what is essentially a never-ending frat house environment.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46815123)

Actually, I thought that the business world produces sociopaths almost as fast as a baker bakes bread rolls? Asking for sociopaths not to be present in business environment seems pointless.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814137)

Odd, I was thinking it was a reason not to hire men.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814279)

All-female workplaces are even worse. The cattiness gets pretty severe. Women tend to try to destroy one another socially to improve their own status. Men might destabilize periodically and fight, but women are in a constant state of social status war. The female-on-female war is one of social attrition. Unless you can hire all females in such a way as to reduce or eliminate the pressure in the environment to "nicely" brutally chip away at each other socially, not hiring any men will only make things even worse. Men who are present but don't respond to female efforts to climb the female social status tower tend to keep these catty, aggressive women in check that would otherwise fucking DESTROY the workplace..."nicely."

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814949)

That is because there are a huge number of misogynistic women. I wouldn't say more than there are men, but there are plenty of republican christian 'merikan cunts out there that claim women should just "marry a rich man and become a baby factory". And then on the other side, there are women that are so feminist that they seem to wrap the scale and become misogynistic themselves. "Ohh, you can't even say that word around me, thats my trigger word!"

What happened to treating people like people; whether they are male, female, or otherwise?

Why do we have to be scared of "them" ?? (2, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 months ago | (#46814317)

Posting AC because you liberal pussies are going to clutch your pearls and mod me down into the dirt, even though deep down you know I'm right

I post messages using my own account and I know how they have modded my posts deep down into the abyss, but why should I be scared of *them* ??

Their behavior is so damn predictable ... they say one thing but their action reflects another.

For example: They say they believe in "freedom" but they are the one who will do _anything_ to silence their critics.

They will also stick all kinds of labels onto their opponents, in the hope that the labels would somehow ruin their opponents' reputation.

In other words, they are pussies.

Why should we have to be scared of them pussies?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814667)

Yes let's blame the victims. Bullying and harassment happens in all-male workforces as well, which invalidates your argument. Maybe men should not be hired either?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814701)

Because you "manly conservative men" have pushed into society that male on male harrassment is not only ok, but expected.

I am sorry you either were a bully or were bullied in highschool, but dont bring your childish sociopathic bullshit into the real world where the rest of us live.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813971)

Last time I drove past her house, she was taking it three different ways on her lawn in broad daylight, while giving another 2 guys the old "Franz Klammer".

It would be easy to conclude from this anecdotal evidence that she is a filthy, insatiable cum-guzzling slut.

Does Slashdot ever delete these kind of posts?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#46813977)

No idea as to the credibility of this blog, but worth a read anyway:

https://medium.com/p/d96f431f4... [medium.com]

Every story has two sides and for several weeks now Julie Ann Horvath has decided to share only the details of her side of her experiences at GitHub and the circumstances around her departure.

A few of us, those who knew Julie and the events that occurred, have decided that if Julie wants to share this story so publicly then everyone should at least have all of the story.

Here are some details that may help explain this story a little differently.

The Engineer
Julie calls out an engineer in her story. The engineer she alleges harassed her was in fact an ex-boyfriend that she was still friends with at the time, not a random coworker she barely knew. They had dated prior to working at GitHub and were on good terms at the time.

The project he “ripped out” code from was a small css refactoring on an internal side project that he was helping her with. At the time of the incident, she was not upset about it and it was quickly fixed. At the time of her departure, she was not on great terms with him and her public story changed.

The Cofounder and His Wife
Around the end of 2012, Julie started dating a close male friend of the cofounder’s wife and didn’t like that they were close. She asked them to stop being friends and when they would not end their relationship, Julie started telling coworkers that the wife had affairs and that the cofounder’s newborn child was not his. She told this to multiple coworkers directly and also to the wife through her boyfriend.

This is where the wife reached out to her and the rest of her story starts. All of Julie’s story involving the cofounder’s wife occurs only after Julie was spreading vicious rumors about him to even new employees.

Three months later, the first Passion Projects talk was held at GitHub. It’s difficult to know if this was a concession by the cofounder for her to stop threatening his family and undermining him to his employees, or perhaps just a way for him to try to get on her good side so she would not want to hurt his family.

We share this because reading through the TechCrunch article with this in mind changes the story for us. It seems less like a story of gender issues and more like a story of the problems that arise when employees date coworkers and cannot separate work and personal life.

We dislike that she is taking advantage of people’s trust in her in order to craft a message for which she wants to be the symbol. Good people are suffering for a story she knows is not fully true and she does not seem to care.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814059)

If you can't verify it's credibility then it's not worth reading.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#46814147)

dot dot dot says an AC.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#46814239)

You also cannot verify the credibility of the original accusation, so where does that leave us?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814263)

You can verify the source of the original accusation. With the lack of any evidence to the contrary you have to accept it as the truth.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814335)

"With the lack of any evidence to the contrary you have to accept it as the truth."

Now that IS hilarious!

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#46814665)

"With the lack of any evidence to the contrary you have to accept it as the truth."

Now that IS hilarious!

My pink unicorn finds it funny too

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814741)

are you printing out posts or just rubbing your "pink unicorn" on the monitor?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#46814367)

You don't have to accept anything as the "truth" without supporting evidence either way, or is reasoned thinking beyond people these days? An accusation has been made, and now counter claims are coming out. No evidence either way, so its a PR exercise for all parties involved.

The typical "he said, she said". Just happening via the media.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46814377)

Ah well, to hell with the court system then. Guilty until proven innocent!

Nice troll BTW

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814443)

That is exactly how the court system works. If someone testifies against you and you provide no evidence against their testimony, then their testimony is accepted as fact.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815007)

And someone else can testify "nuh-unh!"; and without proof either way, you are right back to square one. This is why there is a thing called "burden of proof". The prosecution is the one that needs to prove it with evidence.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815213)

And someone else can testify "nuh-unh!"; and without proof either way, you are right back to square one. This is why there is a thing called "burden of proof". The prosecution is the one that needs to prove it with evidence.

You need to learn how to read.

The prosecution has brought in someone to testify.

The defense offers no counter.

The prosecution has satisfied burden of proof.

In this cause there she has pleaded her case. There has been no evidence against it. Therefore her statements can be taken as fact.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

bsolar (1176767) | about 5 months ago | (#46814417)

You can verify the source of the original accusation. With the lack of any evidence to the contrary you have to accept it as the truth.

By which crazy logic? Knowing the source of the accusation doesn't make it automatically "true until proved false".

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 months ago | (#46814267)

Without any independant verification it's about as credible as both the woman's and Github's stories.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Barsteward (969998) | about 5 months ago | (#46814229)

i'd rate that blog as 0% credible

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

GoCrazy (1608235) | about 5 months ago | (#46814389)

I guess that explains this picture [wordpress.com]

Interesting read but pretty cowardly (4, Insightful)

Murrdox (601048) | about 5 months ago | (#46814465)

It's interesting reading the opposite side of this story. However, this has pretty low credibility to me. We're dealing with one story which is being publicly told by an individual who is putting her name out there, and standing behind her words. This rebuttal consists of a few loose allegations with no facts to back them up, posted by a generic anonymous coward. It reads more like office gossip than a factual rebuttal.

However, I have a few thoughts on it.

- It's insinuated that Julie is being deceitful by hiding the fact that the engineer is an ex-boyfriend. If it is, in fact, true that it was an ex-boyfriend, it's equally reasonable that Julie excluded that part of the story from her public side of the tale in order to protect his identity and not publicly call him out. Keep in mind Julie didn't even mention the founder or his wife by name.

- It's insinuated that the engineer's advances were "OK" because he was an "ex". This is simply false. Just because you had a relationship with someone doesn't make it OK to harass you.

- It's insinuated that Julie didn't have any issues with the retaliation that the engineer used against her. However if you read Julie's story, she obviously did. She may just not have come forward about it immediately, which is what happens in MANY cases of retaliation and harassment. It's easier and more comfortable to deal with the issue on your own, hope it blows over by itself, etc.

- The back-and-forth regarding the wife just sounds like meaningless he-said she-said. I'll believe it if the wife comes forward publicly and says something about it, but this just sounds like 3rd person rumor mongering to me.

- The insinuation that the "Passion Projects" at GitHub was somehow a bribe to get Julie to stop "threatening" the founder's family is a pretty serious allegation to make without any factual information to back it up, and posted anonymously.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 5 months ago | (#46814545)

This blog post misses the point.

Feeling of being harassed isn't based on facts - it is based on perception.

That is why the whole case is so ambiguous.

Whether the perception is rooted in actual events or in their interpretation is a whole different story, which in real life actually makes very little difference. Because the result is the same.

The harassment is somewhat similar to a boss yanking chain. Contractually and factually, there is nothing wrong. But still makes you feel like shit.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about 5 months ago | (#46813989)

Sounds like a movie which Michael Douglas & Demi Moore were the lead actor/actress -- Disclosure 1994 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt01... [imdb.com] . ;)

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46814019)

Some of her patches were reverted by a co-worker? How traumatic for her.

Who could take anything seriously from someone would quit the moment the quality of their work was even slightly put into question by a single co-worker?

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814083)

If you read up on what happened, preferably both sides of the story, you'll find that there's more to it than just that.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813835)

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (0)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46813909)

Basically, in this case, it likely means that he was fucking some underling. Consensual or not, that's a liability nightmare. At any point, said underling could become pissed and sue, saying she/he was pressured into banging the boss by the fact that he was her/his boss. So the company isn't thinking "harassment" in terms of a criminal act. They're likely thinking more in terms of civil liability.

Re:The term "Sexual Harassment" is very misleading (5, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#46814831)

The term "Sexual Harassment", - with the word "Sex" followed by another word "Harass", - sounds awfully serious.

But, like all other liberal creation (social welfare, for example) "Sexual Harassment" itself has been abused.

Fortunately no conservative constructs have ever been abused... couldn't resist - back to the topic

Nowadays you can be slapped with a "Sexual Harassment" lawsuit if you comment on the way someone dress herself or "itself".

In some cases, it was much worse before. In the 1980's, at the place where I worked, we had our first gender harassment seminars.

It quickly turned surreal. Your example of how the woman dresses was spot-on. The gender harassment rep told us that it was very dangerous to compliment a woman regarding any physical matter. That telling her "Those earrings are nice" was okay, but saying you look great in those earrings was skirting the edges of harassment.

Then when a man asked what the definition of sexual harassment was, she said "Sexual harassment is whatever a woman says it is". You could have heard the proverbial pin drop.

This draconian interpretation started a years long mess, where the men actively avoided all the women. Male supervisors would not engage 1 on 1 with female staff - there would always be at least one other person. Men quit talking to or socializing with women.

And the women absolutely hated it. Some of the ladies I worked with were dirty minded and flirtacious enough to make me blush some times, and the men were avoiding them like the plague.

One of the machinists had a nice photo of a young lady in a cheerleader outfit on his toolbox. A woman took offense to it, and he was told to take it down. It was his daughter. The pathetic part was this estrangement only alienated normal guys. The men who were actually harassing women still did all the same things, blocking doorways so the woman had to brush up against them, "accidentally" touching them in the places you might expect, they just kept on keepin' on.

Fortunately, calmer, more rational heads saw what had been created, and modified the rules. Instead of treating all men as rapists who just hadn't been caught yet, they focused on the guys - and women who were the real problem.

In the end, it did help, although a lot of the older guys were pretty set in their ways, and never did socilize much with the female staff.

In fact, I can be charged for "Sexual Harassment" right now, because of the term "itself" that I've used to describe people whom I do not know how to describe (they are not male, nor female).

I brought up the question one time, if a man avoids all contact with women in the workplace - except for the minimum to get work done - in order to not be accused of harassment, and the women know he avoids them because of that, is his avoidance sexual harassment?

Beauty in in the eye of the beholder (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813799)

A woman can file a sexual harassment claim if she simply thinks a man might be having sexual thoughts about her. There does not have to be any overt action on the part of the man. It can simply be something like "The way he looked at me made me feel like he was undressing me in his mind," and that is enough.

"Can you describe in words the way he looked at you?"

"No, it was just a feeling that came over me."

Guess what, that is still enough to support a sexual harassment claim.

a... what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813825)

Tom Preston-Werner, one of its founding members implicated in the investigation a... resigned.

a is for apple, but that doesn't fit the sentence.

Re:a... what? (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 5 months ago | (#46813905)

Maybe he was dictating

This is what happens... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813829)

...when you hire "trojan horses" of marxist-mafia in your business to meet a stupid "social quota"; as soon as you don't abide to the first unreasonable demand of their 3-years old mentality, these champions of "tolerance" contact their "social-justice" mafia pals, who mindlessly get up in arms to make a mountain out of a mole-hill, attach to you their odious labels even when they don't apply, and force you to resign in the name of "tolerance and diversity". For the brainwashed militants, it doesn't matter what the truth is, but what labels foul-smelling sites like "Jeezebel", "Kotaku", or "Slate" assign to you.

Re:This is what happens... (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#46814165)

Looks like their mafia got to you via mods! Is there no end to their neo-geezery?

wife at the office (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813877)

the claim is from a woman who got upset over their use of "meritocracy", because judging on merit alone is wrong. you should give bonus points for race, gender identity, and financial background.

seriously, the only problem I saw was the not-employed-by-the-company wife thinking she was in charge when the CEO wasn't around. I have worked for a few small businesses where it's like that. the wife/mom just walks in and starts bossing people around, sometimes even using employees to do personal errands.

Oh no you didn't!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814761)

You DID NOT just call a woman bossy!!!

Feminist swat team are descending on your home/workplace as we speak!

Re:wife at the office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815019)

The offense taken from "meritocracy" is definitely a red flag. Clearly she is incompetent and/or supports incompetence in the workplace.

Good. (1, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 5 months ago | (#46813891)

It's 2014, but you wouldn't know it, by looking on here.

Male Slashdotters -- think of how you'd feel, if somebody powerful was sexually harassing your wife, (I know, alien concept for many Slashdotters, but bear with me), mother or sister, and could leverage that power to do what they like with impunity. Not a good feeling now, is it?

Criminal, bullying, and anti-social behaviour should always be caught out and punished. It's good to see somebody being made an example out of.

Re:Good. (4, Informative)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 5 months ago | (#46813931)

I mostly agree with you, on this occasion. Except one detail: this founder nor his wife were part of the harassment accusations. I suppose it's just a bit unfortunate, if understandable, that the victim combined all her grievances in a single blog post. But the sexual harassment bit was about someone else. So an example has not been made actually, because that guy was apparently promoted!

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814077)

The founder and wife weren't part of the sexual harassment, but they were part of harassing Horvath. The wife especially so, because she was directed to stay away from Horvath and ignored that direction.

The fact that the founder left Github tells me he and/or his wife did, in fact, harass Horvath. He was likely told by the legal department that he doesn't have a leg to stand on if shit hit the fan, and if I was Horvath I would be seriously considering suing. TFA says the investigator found no signs of legal wrongdoing, but I wouldn't be surprised if the investigator was blowing smoke. The fact that the founder's not receiving a more severe punishment is a big problem to me.

Harassment, but maybe not sexual harassment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814491)

The key thing, though, is were the wife's actions *sexual* harassment (prohibited by law) or just plain old harassment (perfectly legal).

"owner's wife" problems in small organizations are legion, and while really annoying, and really, really bad business, they're often not sexual harassment. There's a famous case of a dentist whose wife caused a particularly attractive receptionist to be fired (out of a fear of a workplace affair): while gender specific, this is was NOT sexual harassment or gender based discrimination in the eyes of the court.

Re:Good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813941)

Erm ... your sister is a whore, and your Mum is shit in bed?

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46814339)

Except that, we have no idea what happened. The problem with harassment is that it's a he said/she said thing. There is one allegation, from one person and we have no idea about either persons integrity. He quit but it may very well just been out of disgust. Or maybe they were having an affair and it got out of hand. We have no idea. Judging either of them based on no other evidence than what they've both said would be wrong. If there were more allegations, if the guy hadn't been working there for years without incident, I might have another opinion. Yes, men do say things to women they shouldn't. But there are also plenty of women out there that will use harassment as a revenge tactic against men they dislike. I have no idea which happened here, so I reserve judgement until there is more evidence.

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814607)

Except that, we have no idea what happened. The problem with harassment is that it's a he said/she said thing. There is one allegation, from one person and we have no idea about either persons integrity. He quit but it may very well just been out of disgust. Or maybe they were having an affair and it got out of hand. We have no idea. Judging either of them based on no other evidence than what they've both said would be wrong. If there were more allegations, if the guy hadn't been working there for years without incident, I might have another opinion. Yes, men do say things to women they shouldn't. But there are also plenty of women out there that will use harassment as a revenge tactic against men they dislike. I have no idea which happened here, so I reserve judgement until there is more evidence.

Some of the claims made can be independently reviewed (not by us, but by someone with access to). Like how blatantly Fatal Attraction-driven the code rejects where, or if they actually made sense. Go through a number of them and you can quickly spot a bad pattern if there is a bad pattern. Also with some of the communication around all of this. And the company/founder lawyers probably already have a good idea of the outcome of such a review.

Re:Good. (0)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 5 months ago | (#46815135)

Except that, we have no idea what happened. The problem with harassment is that it's a he said/she said thing.

The real problem is that, aside from a few well publicized situations, women invariably do NOT speak out about legitimate sexual harassment. It is much easier to a person's psyche to keep your head low and just try to avoid the perpetrator, keep your mouth shut, and pretend it's not going on. Coming out in the public with the situation leads to hate threats and doubts about your employability. Supposing that the man might be the victim goes against occam's razor. Unless you are personally involved, then we have to assume that the allegations are legit, albeit with a grain of salt to await further developments. To ignore this out of hand because it is not 100% proven factual in your mind is disgraceful.

Re:Good. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46814405)

It's good to see somebody being made an example out of.

It's always better if you get the right guy...

Re:Good. (2)

Mdk754 (3014249) | about 5 months ago | (#46814489)

Why make your point with an attack on Slashdotters? What value did that add?

Also what makes you so informed in the details of this situation that you can say he's being made an example of fairly? From the information on the web, this infantile woman can't get along with anybody in the workplace, and cried wolf. What about the investigation which basially came up with nothing? What about all the details in her story that were left out and revealed elsewhere?

Before you hop on the fact that the founder resigned, picture yourself in his very situation. Now imagine you're not guilty and being attacked by some woman and her public faux-feminist bullshit. In this same situation, guilty or not, would you stick around and potentially do more harm than good to the company you founded?

Re:Good. (1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 months ago | (#46814855)

It is 2014. In the year 2014, we all know that sexual harassment charges are often wildly overblown and nothing but a weapon of revenge. Remember Donglegate?

I love your witch hunt mentality. The guilty ones are out there somewhere, and if we tag a few innocents along the way, that's OK because nobody is innocent. They're all guilty of being men, all men are rapists, and go ahead and throw in race somewhere as well.

Re:Good. (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 5 months ago | (#46815033)

I'll give you that the sexual harassment label is over-applied. But to leap from that to "nothing but a weapon of revenge", i.e. that no sexual harassment charge ever has any merit, is leaping quite a bit too far.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814879)

It's 2014, but you wouldn't know it, by looking on here.

Male Slashdotters -- think of how you'd feel, if somebody powerful was sexually harassing your wife, (I know, alien concept for many Slashdotters, but bear with me), mother or sister, and could leverage that power to do what they like with impunity. Not a good feeling now, is it?

Criminal, bullying, and anti-social behaviour should always be caught out and punished. It's good to see somebody being made an example out of.

Regardless of this particular case, If you ever wondered if misogyny attitudes was an issue in tech environments, a visit to the comments threads here is quite enlightening.

I will say (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813897)

I start reading these things thinking, right, likely another scenario where people who are inclined to push a "men create a hostile work environment for women, especially around computers" have found themselves a cause. And even after reading what's out there from the people involved, in this case, I think there's just not enough here to assume that was the root of the problem in this case.

But then you get to the comments section, and just hang on to your fucking hats folks.

Insanity (2)

Pec (127751) | about 5 months ago | (#46813923)

This this has gone insane. Now everybody is subject to a "Harassment" claim on whatever the person afected feels. This will turn into idiotic work environment, cut cummunication between workers, and send the organization into a bureaucratic nightmare, to finally kill it.

Re:Insanity (1)

SirSlud (67381) | about 5 months ago | (#46814449)

The vacuous thing about the slippery slope argument is we can't drag you out in public and have you admit you were wrong a couple of years down the road.

I'm more concerned about Julie Ann Horvath ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46813945)

and her future job prospects. I understand that she was wronged but I think social media is the wrong way to go about resolving the problem. Reading her twitter comments made me cringe. The Internet doesn't exactly let you take comments back. I'm saying she is in the wrong at all but damn.

Re:I'm more concerned about Julie Ann Horvath ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814023)

I'm NOT saying she is in the wrong, rather.

office attraction/romance gone bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814039)

This is, from the various online sources, certainly a sticky, icky mess of relationships. But is it sexual harassment? I don't think so, because to be that it has to either be:
1) hostile workplace - which requires persistent bad acts, not just someone telling a raunchy joke, or happening to have an offensive picture on their screen: we're talking workers propositioning or making lewd comments about another worker on a persistent basis, even after having been asked to stop.
2) quid pro quo - do this, or I'll do that - Sleep with me and get promoted, don't and get fired is the classic example, although there's lots of quid pro quo that is more subtle. I don't see this being a quid pro quo scenario here. Yeah, there's plenty of inappropriate behavior, but quid pro quo has to involve relative power differences between the players. Coworkers reverting your changes out of spite is just bad behavior, not harassment.

A quick test is to take the events reported, and make all the people involved of the same gender; is there any significant difference in the likely outcomes? if not, then it's just plain old "bad workplace stuff", not sexual harassment. And sadly, there are no laws that prohibit the guy/gal in the next cube being a jerk, or your boss being a jerk, or getting fired for wearing green socks on red sock day, or any of a whole list of things.

Re:office attraction/romance gone bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814171)

"You didn't let me shag you so I'm reverting your patches" doesn't change depending on gender.

Can we have some editing, editors? (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46814153)

Or, you know, just anyone who gives half a shit would do.

Tom Preston-Werner, one of its founding members implicated in the investigation a... resigned

Maybe this will wake some people up (2)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 5 months ago | (#46814269)

Has anyone stopped to consider that maybe one of the reason tech workers get a bad rap is because of little kids like this? When people are put in charge of an environment like this, and they don't have the self-control to handle themselves, no one will grow up and every non-techie will point out the out of control nerd farm.

One of the things that does bother me about our chosen profession is the...lack of professionalism. I'm not saying everyone has to live in a PC world with no expression of opinion, etc. But, you would think that by one's 20s (and beyond in some cases!) one would have enough self-control to realize what sexual harassment is. I'm sure there are all sorts of mitigating circumstances that will be cited, etc. but I've just never had the urge to harass female colleagues. Usually, I'm too busy doing work at work to even think about it. I'm a guy, and I probably wouldn't want to work somewhere like GitHub, or be a Linux kernel developer, etc. In my opinion, it's not unreasonable to say that an office shouldn't be run like a strip club. I see a lot of posts accusing people of being overly PC and how they should be allowed to harass whoever they want without restrictions. I'm betting that most people are referring to the "sexual harassment training" that HR in large organizations has to give. It's silly, yes. But you know why we have it? Because some people are morons when it comes to personal behaviour.

I would be all for the IEEE, ACM or some other organization lobbying for all software and systems engineers to be lumped into the main body of the engineering profession. People could be licensed and responsible for their work, there would at least be a code of ethics on paper, etc. And, training would be formalized so that people would at least have a grounding in the fundamentals. PEs have to at least pass an exam that demonstrates they were paying attention in their college classes.

Re:Maybe this will wake some people up (2)

gorzek (647352) | about 5 months ago | (#46814517)

This is not really an issue across the entire software industry, but rather a particular subset: the Silicon Valley (and sometimes New York City) startup run by people in their 20s who think they are going to reshape the software industry (if not the entire world.) Bad attitudes also persist into video game development studios, though the environments are perhaps not as bad. I'm sure it varies a lot from place to place.

Larger and more mature software organizations are by nature far more risk-averse, so they tend to take reports of harassment far more seriously. I have a friend who got fired outright because he pulled a silly prank that could have reasonably been construed as sexual harassment. He didn't really mean anything by it, but it was 100% his bad and a justified termination.

When people talk about "professionalism" in software development, I think the common assumption is that it refers mainly to things like writing good code and putting in enough work on a daily/weekly basis, rather than crossing over into one's general conduct and particularly attitudes toward women and minorities in the workplace. The sorts of environments that have problems with harassment tend to be overwhelmingly white, male, and young. This is a bad combination if you want to attempt to have a professional working environment, and especially if you want to branch out to have a more diverse workforce.

Being a professional is about much more than mere competence at one's job duties. It also has to do with how you resolve interpersonal conflict, how you interact with people who may not share your worldview or experience, and whether you can do your job without being a huge asshole about it.

Re:Maybe this will wake some people up (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 months ago | (#46814609)

I'm sure there are all sorts of mitigating circumstances that will be cited, etc. but I've just never had the urge to harass female colleagues. Usually, I'm too busy doing work at work to even think about it.

Me neither, but I also would like to add that I haven't exactly had a lot of opportunities to harass female colleagues. For instance, where I'm currently employed, there's only two female "colleagues" I could harass if I wanted to. One is the office secretary (who isn't much to look at), who I almost never talk to, and the other is the janitor (who's even less to look at), who I say "hi" to when she empties my trash can.

I kinda wonder if some men in this profession, growing up with almost no women around in school and later in work, develop poor attitudes about women largely because there just aren't any around. When you spend your entire adult life almost completely isolated from the opposite sex, how are you supposed to develop good social skills for dealing with them? Yes, some men have female relatives, some might be social enough to actually date outside of work and have female friends or lovers, but this profession is rather infamous for having a lot of men who aren't very social.

Re:Maybe this will wake some people up (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 5 months ago | (#46814977)

I kinda wonder if some men in this profession, growing up with almost no women around in school and later in work, develop poor attitudes about women largely because there just aren't any around.

I think that's part of it, though I'd be hesitant to paint everyone with the stereotypical "mom's basement" brush. I've met some people like this, and they really live up to the stereotype, but this is becoming less and less of a reality these days. Feel free to provide counterexamples. :-)

Every time someone says we should encourage a more diverse workforce, 200x more people say there's no need. I think women are partially self-selecting not to be involved with this culture. Even if it were just perception, I'd hate to think that my potential colleagues' only experience with women is through various forms of adult entertainment. Couple that with insane hours at most workplaces and you don't exactly have an inviting atmosphere. We shouldn't mandate diversity, but I do think the entire profession could stand to grow up a little. I work in a niche professional services firm doing various consultingy things, and we have a reasonably diverse workforce. But, we also have a pretty good work/life balance and everyone behaves themselves for the most part. So, I think there is at least a correlation.

The other thing to consider is that the nerd factor is only part of the equation. Startups and some established SV firms have the...I hate this word, but I'll use it...brogrammer culture. Software development is increasingly more about gluing various libraries that someone else wrote together, and that's doubly true for web apps. So in situations like this, you're not getting the hardcore nerds -- you're getting the people who might have gravitated towards sales and PR jobs doing development.

Re:Maybe this will wake some people up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815173)

I'd say it's even worse because of all the movies and TV shows. In the media, the male always pressures the female until she gives in and suddenly sees him as the best person ever. Real life isn't like that, but you'd never know it by watching movies. Kids' movies are the worse for this sort of thing.

As someone with very little social experience, this did cause an issue for me and I'm very sorry about that.

Translation? (4, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about 5 months ago | (#46814295)

Translation of GitHub's weasel words: "Our lawyers told us not to admit to anything or we could be liable in a lawsuit. The company we hired to tell us we aren't liable in a lawsuit told us we aren't liable in a lawsuit."

Maybe Horvath isn't entirely in the right here but it is clear that the co-founder must have intimidated her as she claimed and/or let his wife (a non-employee) run amok. GitHub even admitted as much when the original story broke and re-banned his wife from the building. GitHub's legaleze non-statement doesn't address this at all.

The anonymous medium post is being given far more credence than it deserves because it fits the narrative people want to have about the story. Just be honest... You want the truth to be that Horvath somehow did wrong and brought this on herself because the alternative is that a fun cool company that has good technology also did a bad thing.

Let us not forget that Horvath did not bring any of this up in the first place - she simply quit. It was an anonymous person (that was suspected of being the founder's wife at the time) who posted about it, thus eliciting a reply from Horvath.

Again, according to Horvath, the supposed "investigators" never bothered to contact her until a day or two before wrapping up the "investigation". It seems very clear GitHub hired them to obtain a foregone conclusion.

I don't see how any of this is shocking. It is 100% believable (and by Occam's razor probably true) that the founder's wife was allowed to run around like she owned the place, got into a conflict with Horvath, then when it blew up Preston-Werner jumped to his wife's defense (understandable) without thinking about the implications of allowing your non-employee relative to even put you in that kind of situation to begin with; he certainly didn't consider what it would be like for an employee to be cornered by a co-founder over it. Then when it became public, they called the lawyers, circled the wagons, etc. I also would be shocked if some of the anonymous stories are by GitHubbers who are just repeating internal rumors and rising to defend the company they like, without any actual direct knowledge of what happened.

The problem with social media... (4, Interesting)

GoCrazy (1608235) | about 5 months ago | (#46814369)

and airing out personal and professional problems to the world, is the allowance of mob justice. Even though they found no wrongdoing or harassment after a legitimate investigation, it didn't matter; Preston and his wife had already undergone trial by media.

From the previous article where Horvath aired out her grievances with the company, I was disappointed to realize accusations of company-wide sexual harassment were misleading and that 95% of her problems were with Preston's wife. I don't know why that was a problem that needed to be dealt with publicly. It was dramatic.

why we have rules in the workplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814427)

From an old-timer...

This is why there are rules about dating in the traditional workplace. Welcome to adulthood.

Frankenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46814623)

Guys, guys, calm down. This happens all the time. An employee, usually a woman, ends up in some strange and complicated drama with a bunch co-workers and yes, almost every time there is a male co-worker involved as well. The woman, having some self-esteem issues, ends up spreading false rumours and burning bridges with pretty much everyone involved. The sad thing is that even though she quits the job the rampage never ends. It just goes on and on because women are like this. For them the whole issue of having a problem with a bunch of people becomes the main ingredient of what she is. She stops being a professional software developer and turns into a martyr which is very unfortunate not only for her but for everyone. This behaviour usually has to do with very low self esteem (teenagers etc.). Then at some point there is a moment of recoil and she starts apologizing and forgiving everybody, and again the reason is low self esteem. Before that happens though she probably writes a book, holds a bunch of speeches, launches a society for harassed women and all that. Or perhaps going crazy on twitter is the norm nowadays.

She should have just had the thing sorted out the best she can and then just continue her career somewhere else. Now she has transformed herself into a frankenstein nobody dares to work with. Because in the end nobody can be sure who did and what and now she seems at least as bad as the people she keeps accusing. Such a tragedy.

Sad state of female privilege (0)

MonsterMasher (518641) | about 5 months ago | (#46814941)

Mixing women and men together today in work areas .. sad state
She implies sex for attention and when something goes wrong, well - all hell to pay.

It's so much clearer and easier to understand then the countless men driven from work because of ugly social gossip - now that would mean women would actually be recognized as possible of fault - and society can't think in those.
Not those terms anymore.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?