Sqoot, you’re not alone. New York startup Sqoot recently caught flak for a tone-deaf hackathon ad that implied the event would be catered by women passing out beer; now another startup has come under fire for sexism. A Go Daddy-esque promotional video shot by a third party featured a pretty girl in a Geeklist T-shirt and underwear bouncing around with a nerdy-looking guy.
Shanley Kane, a Ruby developer in San Francisco, found the video offensive. It all went south fast when she started talking to Geeklist’s cofounders about it on Twitter—”please take it down, it’s fucking gross”—which Guardian technology editor Charles Arthur captured on Storify.
Geeklist founders Christian Sanz and Reuben Katz hit back at Ms. Kane for the public criticism and menacingly cc’ed her employer, Basho Technologies.
— reuben e katz (@rekatz) March 22, 2012
Oops—Basho was quick to back up Ms. Kane.
Others started piling on Geeklist; one user submitted a bug report about the video:
As the founders escalated their attacks:
— Shanley Kane (@shanley) March 22, 2012
— Christian Sanz (@csanz) March 22, 2012
“We never meant to offend any person and are very sorry as we clearly have,” the company said. “Geeklist is all about inclusion of every geek. Male and Female alike. We hope you’ll forgive the company and founders and use this as an opportunity to hire more women, support women in tech and their great achievements and promote a healthy work environment for all.”
As for the Twittersphere: “We could have handled it better.”