Last night VentureBeat broke the story about a developer who was fired from his job at PlayHaven after being outted on Twitter for allegedly making sexual jokes during a conference. Today, the company where the person who outted him works is under a distributed denial of service attack.
After hearing several jokes about forking software repositories and “big dongles,” SendGrid’s developer evangelist Adria Richards tweeted a picture of the jokesters with the hashtag “pycon.” Conference organizers saw the tweet, ejected the developers, and in short order, PlayHaven fired one of the accused.
Update: Adria Richards’ statement
Then the Internet erupted … or at least some fraction of the male developer portion of it. Richards received rape and death threats on Twitter, the fired developer published about the incident on Hacker News, and at least one Twitter user felt so strongly about the case that he made a 10-minute video explaining his aggressive and potentially abusive tweets aimed at Richards and posted it on Tumblr.
Today, SendGrid, the email delivery company where Richards works, is under a DDOS attack.
So are the idiots now DDoS’ing SendGrid because of #pycon? YOU ARE BREAKING THE INTERNET YOU FOOLS
— Tane Piper (@tanepiper) March 21, 2013
A DDOS attack basically shuts down a website or Internet service by flooding it with traffic. Communication requests from a distributed pool of computers — often in a botnet controlled by a hacker — occupy the site’s servers and make it impossible for the site to continue.
So SendGrid.com is currently inaccessible, and that’s not the only problem: At least some developers are cancelling their accounts with the service.
— Pj(@pjmprometheus) March 21, 2013
SendGrid posted about the incident — apparently trying to calm the furor — but says that mail is still being sent. I’m trying to contact the company for more information and Adria Richards for her perspective on this entire situation.
We hear you, internet. We’re working to serve our customers at the moment. Further comments, once we’ve done our job of delivering email ^tf
— SendGrid (@SendGrid) March 21, 2013
Adria Richards’ personal site, But You’re A Girl, is also under DDOS attack but is currently being protected by CloudFlare. That’s something her company might want to consider as well.
Interestingly, PlayHaven.com, the company that fired the developer, is working just fine.