The power of social networking

Yahoo! Open Hack Day Taiwan started October 17, 2009. This is an event held for members of the Yahoo! Developer Network (not Yahoo! employees). As part of the entertainment they employed lap dancers at the event!

This is totally unacceptable and rather disappointing. The IT industry is one of the remaining industries where women are under represented. “Entertainment” like this does nothing to encourage women or make them feel comfortable at events like this.

However in the past this may have gone unnoticed but this time people tweeted about it, there were e-mails on mailing lists, blog posts and so on. Social networking ensured that Yahoo! heard about the disgust and they have apologised. The text of the apology is below:


I wanted to acknowledge the public reaction generated by the images of
female dancers at our Taiwan Open Hack Day this past weekend. Our hack
events are designed to give developers an opportunity to learn about
our APIs and technologies. As many folks have rightly pointed out, the
“Hack Girls” aspect of our Taiwan Hack Day is not reflective of that
spirit or purpose. And it’s certainly not the message we want to send
about our values here at Yahoo!. Hack Days are about making everyone
feel welcome, including women coders and technologists. 

This incident is regrettable and we apologize to anyone that we have
offended. Rest assured, it won’t happen again.


Chris Yeh
Head of YDN

twitter: @ydn
email: cyeh at yahoo-inc dot com

This is a good thing. However what about the Go-Go dancers at last years event? I was going to link to video on Youtube at this point but as I was doing it they went private! May be they’re ashamed?

Another “Win” for social networking was the outcry against Jan Moir’s homophobic article on Stephen Gately’s death. It ran with all the clichés i.e. that gay people are sexually promiscuous, that a civil partnership is less than a marriage, and so on. However so many people complained (over 21,000, the highest ever) both on the Daily Mail’s site and the Press Complaints Commission’s site (which actually buckled under the strain) that the PCC is to examine the article and the Daily Mail.

Social networking now means that intolerance and injustice can not go unnoticed anymore. This is a good thing!

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One Response to “The power of social networking”

  1. lis0r Says:

    Yeah, now injustices can be dismissed with nice cheap words and dusted under the carpet!

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