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    One wonders about how well we have done in tolerance of diversity if authors still feel the need to point out the background of non-white nonmale folks, especially if we are to believe in their qualifications beyond snowflake status.

    I really dislike articles like this, since they tend to fudge facts a bit and gloss over issues like whether or not GitHub is still a flat business and whether or not that was due to Sanchez.

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      So which facts do you suspect are being fudged? And I’m not sure I understand what you mean with the flat business question. Seems the article answers it directly:

      Since its beginning, the company had been non-hierarchical, with no managers or titles, but Sanchez killed that, finding that without bosses, people weren’t held accountable when their actions were in the wrong.

      Personally, I try avoid the social aspects of GitHub precisely because of some issues mentioned in the article. If I wanted to read immature comments, stupid memes, and trolls, I would go to Reddit. It’s not productive, and it’s not why I’m on GitHub. If they’re getting rid of that part of the “community” then good riddance.

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        So, that particular quoted passage was exactly what jumped out at me. It implies (to me, mind you), one of three worlds:

        • Sanchez, some VP of Social Impact (which sounds like a BS job description, to be frank), somehow made a sweeping change all on her lonesome and of her own volition that would impact the entire org chart and change the way that the organization was run, how people got paid, how titles and divisions were assigned, and the whole rest of it.
        • Sanchez was part of some overall larger movement to reorg the company, perhaps because it has been leaking talent or not returning investment or whatever.
        • I grossly misunderstand the internal structure of Github and perhaps they weren’t as unstructured as they let on.

        I rather suspect it is a combination of the second and third options there, but may be wrong.

        And then gems like this:

        “People were so dogmatic about open source,” said Sanchez. “It meant that it has to be open all the time and accessible to everyone without question.”

        Again, this suggests (to me) that either:

        • Sanchez doesn’t give a shit about open source/libre software when given the opportunity to score diversity points
        • The author took her quote out of context.

        While I would be unsurprised to hear it was the former, I suspect it was the latter.

        As far as fudging facts, it failed to mention censored projects like the c-plus-equality satire repo–presumably victims of the great purge of trolls but also troubling precedent.

        There’s also little coverage of some of the fantastic shitstorms Coraline Ada has been a part of, and if I didn’t know better I’d say the author was avoiding topics like OpalGate and her questionable methods at inserting codes of conduct into other communities and alienating their members.

        That’s the sort of thing that makes the article suspect to me.

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          Sanchez, some VP of Social Impact (which sounds like a BS job description, to be frank), somehow made a sweeping > change all on her lonesome and of her own volition that would impact the entire org chart and change the way that the > organization was run, how people got paid, how titles and divisions were assigned, and the whole rest of it

          This seems like a straw man to me, and perhaps you’re an outlier in this regard, but I doubt that most people would interpret the quote in the original article as anything other than Sanchez successfully pushing for change with the support of the people at higher levels in the company who hired her. Most people are aware that that kind of structural change in an organization requires some group buy-in, even when there are a few primary folks involved in pushing for the changes.

          Also, why would you consider VP of Social Impact a BS job title? I think Github is as much a social network as it is a code store, and a fairly large one at that. As, such I think it’s not unreasonable to think that the ways users engage with it have a social impact on them, I mean that’s kind of why we call them social networks, isn’t it? If a company cares about that impact, why not put someone in charge of it?

          Again, this suggests (to me) that either:

          Sanchez doesn’t give a shit about open source/libre software when given the opportunity to score diversity points The author took her quote out of context.

          I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “doesn’t give a shit about” in your first point, or what “diversity points” are. Perhaps you could clarify? A more charitable interpretation (from my perspective at least) might be that Sanchez is saying that some people think that open source means than just licensing and availability of code. They might expect that anybody should necessarily be able to participate in the social endeavor of collaborating on any given open source project, regardless of their personal behavior toward their collaborators or others in the community.

          I don’t really see how failing to mention a project that was removed from Github that you personally think should have stayed, or failing to explicitly mention past disagreements outside of Github qualify as “fudging facts'. At best it’s an omission in the case of the removed repo, but given the article is entirely about what Github is doing to manage it’s own platform, I’d consider their employees' history outside of the company irrelevant.

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            I doubt that most people would interpret the quote in the original article as anything other than Sanchez…[snip]

            Then the author should’ve worded it that Sanchez successfully pushed for change instead of the dictatorial tones of “Sanchez killed it”. It hints at a sloppiness of reporting that I mentioned in terms of fudging facts.

            I think Github is as much a social network as it is a code store, and a fairly large one at that.

            I strongly disagree here–if they dropped everything tomorrow but repos and their OAuth endpoint, they probably wouldn’t lose many customers. If they dropped repos, I bet my hat they’d lose their users. So, no, I don’t think they’re as much a social network as a code store.

            Also, why would you consider VP of Social Impact a BS job title?

            How many results not involving her do you get after a googling, and what’s the front page of that search look like? Contrast that with a non-BS job listing.

            To be frank, it looks like one of the many stupid titles that Valley darlings come up with, and I feel no desire to act like it is anything but. I prefer to have people named after what they do–and if her job is to diversitywash Github, she’s probably closer to a Human Resources person or Public Relations. I’m sure

            I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “doesn’t give a shit about” in your first point, or what “diversity points” are.

            Again, read her original quote, and see where one would place emphasis when speaking. Here, with appropriate highlighting:

            “People were so dogmatic about open source,” said Sanchez. “It meant that it has to be open all the time and accessible to everyone without question."

            It seems pretty reasonable to parse that as though her point was the meaning added by the qualifiers, especially the “so dogmatic” bit…one of the classic plays against engineering culture or any conservative culture at all has always been to accuse it of dogmatism without regard for why that dogma exists. The additional qualifiers of “all the time” and “without question” suggest she has a problem or a disagreement with those aspects of openness and accessibility.

            Your suggestion of her meaning:

            They might expect that anybody should necessarily be able to participate in the social endeavor of collaborating on any given open source project, regardless of their personal behavior toward their collaborators or others in the community.

            Her quote more clearly supports what she questions (those values of openness and accessibility) than what she supports (better behavior and community standards). I believe your reading is overly charitable.

            As for the “diversity points” thing, I again point you to the article:

            Hoping to recover and heal its bruised image, GitHub hired Sanchez, who at the time had just started Vaya, a diversity consulting firm.

            That, in combination with the article’s continued highlighting of the identities of the people involved (beyond just work history), leaves the author to wink and nod and insinuate that diversity is what’s being optimized for–and taken in conjunction with the quote above from Sanchez about the “so dogmatic” approach to open-source software, I felt (and feel) reasonable in making that claim.

            Again, if that’s not the case, the author should’ve written is more clearly, which goes back to my initial complaint about the article being hasty and glossing over things or fudging facts.

            (For an additional bit on fudged facts, note that the article cheerfully repeats the study about women’s submissions to Github and cites it as evidence of “systemic discrimination against women”, but conveniently manages to omit both that it found that women overall had a higher acceptance of requests rate than men and that it was found that women were harder on women than men were. Again, sloppy reporting.)

            I don’t really see how failing to mention a project that was removed from Github that you personally think should have stayed, or failing to explicitly mention past disagreements outside of Github qualify as “fudging facts'. At best it’s an omission in the case of the removed repo, but given the article is entirely about what Github is doing to manage it’s own platform, I’d consider their employees' history outside of the company irrelevant.

            The article has no problem prattling on at length about Twitter or other tech companies, and it certainly seems to have no problem explicitly mentioning the various groups that the people involved belong to (as though they were rare Pokemon types to be collected!)–despite all of those being irrelevant as well.

            At best it’s sloppy journalism not to even link to those controversies, and at worst it’s pretty deliberate spin. In neither case is it quality reporting.

            ~

            At the end of the day, that’s what bugs me about this sort of submission. It touches on a delicate and political subject, but fails to present either unbiased, careful, or thorough reporting, and in so doing tends to attract bad comments and stupid commentary.

            Go read the other articles on that site, incidentally, for an idea of the beat they cover. Hint: it ain’t tech.

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              I’m not going to sway your opinion, so I’m not going to respond to most of your points. You seem to be nitpicking several places where the author didn’t go into enough detail or hedge enough. That’s just the nature of new articles. The author has a few thousand words to summarize a complex topic, so obviously they can’t go into explicit detail about every little thing.

              Also, while I would normally agree with you that the background information of the people involved is irrelevant, I think it’s pertinent for this article because it helps illustrate the point that GitHub is addressing diversity, which has traditionally been a problem for them.

              At the end of the day, that’s what bugs me about this sort of submission. It touches on a delicate and political subject, but fails to present either unbiased, careful, or thorough reporting, and in so doing tends to attract bad comments and stupid commentary.

              I don’t think you’re being fair. The author did a decent job explaining the problem and explaining what GitHub has done to address it. They clearly made an effort to talk to several relevant people at GitHub and other companies that have had similar trolling problems and did at least a little fact checking.

              Go read the other articles on that site, incidentally, for an idea of the beat they cover. Hint: it ain’t tech.

              And? I don’t see any problem with a non-tech news site covering a non-tech issue at a tech company.

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            Has the article changed since you read it? Currently it reads “helped to kill”.

            I also think it’s probably a bit foolish to draw a lot of conclusions from an article written by, what appears, to be an outsider to the company and likely using language to make individuals sound more impactfull than they likely were in reality.

            I agree with you that this article is poor, it just seems like you’re being hard on the characters in it rather than the author.