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Why I’ve added Atlassian to the “no thanks” list containing SendGrid, HackerNews, and reddit.

17 December 2013

Update: Atlassian has found that misogyny is as much a bottom line issue as race hate and the like, and pulled the “satire.” So, I may in the future choose to continue using Atlassian products – after all, Hipchat does pretty much Just Work where Jabber often fails miserably. And JIRA is hovering near the top of the “least worst” category in issue tracking et al. While I find it’s far too hydra-like, I strongly suspect somebody is going to eventually come up with mathematical proof that building a “good” issue tracking system is outside the realm of what’s possible.

Original post continues below.

C Plus Equality rape joke

A rape joke contained in the “C Plus Equality” repository hosted on Atlassian Bitbucket.

Atlassian Bitbucket's response to misogynistic content

Atlassian’s response to misogynistic content and rape jokes on Bitbucket

I gotta tell ya, I’m still just rolling, uh, “laughing” over here at what Atlassian Bitbucket has chosen to host on their private servers.

Their latest tweet regarding the issue is also pictured above.

Of course, we all know that if this had been about black people’s history of civil rights struggle, or gay/lesbian (remember when that gay dude got nailed to a fence? okay, how about all those women killed by their boyfriends every day?), the “satire” would be removed from Atlassian’s privately hosted space – if nothing else, in protection of their bottom line.

If you host content in your private square, you endorse it in the eyes of the public.

Atlassian incorrectly argues that “allowing publication” does not equal “endorsement;” in that case I expect to see them hosting some KKK hilarity and Nazi lulz on their private platform next – but not endorsing it, you see.

As usual, the reddit-type brigade brings up the “free speech” red herring, conveniently forgetting that, at least in the United States, speech is only protected in the public square. You cannot harass women or wear white pointy hoods at your local (privately owned) shopping mall; you’ll be thrown out. While it’s a separate and important problem that we have so few public squares on the Internet right now, Atlassian Bitbucket is a private square, and they are actively choosing to host the content. Thus, they endorse it de facto.

For folks who don’t know who or what Atlassian or Bitbucket is, Atlassian is a company which makes a whole lot of software-about-making-software, which I might add is a quite competitive market with many not-Atlassian choices.

Atlassian may choose to host whatever legal content they wish on their private servers, and techies may choose which software and services they use based on whatever reasons they like; for example, I’ll never use SendGrid. I won’t read HackerNews or reddit any longer. For now, Atlassian has joined that list.

Like I have publicly told Atlassian Bitbucket, de facto endorsement of misogyny by hosting it on one’s private infrastructure is a bottom line issue.

Edited to add: Atlassian has doubled down on their support of, as I referred to it in the related thread on their site, “[providing] service to what amounts to a group of baboons who wish to throw dung at conversation participants, not to mention all women who believe in gender equality.”  They sadly cop out and hide behind their EULA; see below.

Justen Stepka of Atlassian Bitbucket closes "C Plus Equality" issue as WONTFIX

Justen Stepka of Atlassian Bitbucket closes “C Plus Equality” issue as WONTFIX.

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