1998-08-26 - RE: LACC: Re: Is hate code speech?

Header Data

From: “Francis, Catherine” <cfrancis@securitydynamics.com>
To: “‘lacc@suburbia.net>
Message Hash: d41e3242776cefc28085d47c7165c485f72c6149755ae3b7ca4df32a28738b15
Message ID: <6B5344C210C7D011835C0000F8012766020BB4B0@exna01.securitydynamics.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1998-08-26 18:24:08 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 11:24:08 -0700 (PDT)

Raw message

From: "Francis, Catherine" <cfrancis@securitydynamics.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 11:24:08 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'lacc@suburbia.net>
Subject: RE: LACC: Re: Is hate code speech?
Message-ID: <6B5344C210C7D011835C0000F8012766020BB4B0@exna01.securitydynamics.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

I worry that, in the process of laying all this flame-bait, y'all are hoping
that naive people might think that a job where there's racial and sexual
hate-speech isn't a hostile work environment.  Putting this sort of language
in code does not shelter it from co-workers.

	It doesn't matter that the offensive names weren't directed at her.
It's much worse that they were directed towards an entire group.  Or maybe
you just admire ethnic slander in terms of cost-efficiency, a sort of
more-bang-for-the-buck maximization of intolerance where it's a question of
offending the greatest number with the least amount of effort, and simply
admire the mechanism by which it's been accomplished?

	This isn't an issue of free speech.  Well, maybe.  The coder is free
to name her/his/its variables what they like, all ethical issues aside, and
equally free to live with the consequences of those actions, which should
have been the company not using something so vastly unprofessional and
guaranteed to eventually open them up to a suit like this.  There are
standards of behavior in a workplace that are slightly more restrictive than
standing on a soapbox on the quad.  A software company's code is an internal
company document.  The code that you write at home is your document.  You
may find this distinction instructive.

I'm sorry to digress, since this isn't why the article was originally
posted, but I was forced to succumb to the troll.  Free speech is essential
in an open society.   Freedom from discrimination is essential in a
democracy.   Carry on.

> ----------
> From: 	William H. Geiger III[SMTP:whgiii@openpgp.net]
> Reply To: 	lacc@suburbia.net
> Sent: 	Tuesday, August 25, 1998 6:24 PM
> To: 	lacc@suburbia.net
> Cc: 	proff@suburbia.net; aucrypto@suburbia.net; cypherpunks@toad.com
> Subject: 	LACC: Re: Is hate code speech?
> In <Pine.SUN.3.91.980825155854.3483A-100000@baker>, on 08/25/98 
>    at 04:19 PM, Xcott Craver <caj@math.niu.edu> said:
> >On Tue, 25 Aug 1998, William H. Geiger III wrote:
> >> <sigh> Now we have to worry about PC variable and function names. What
> a
> >> crock. 
> >	Oh, yeah, you really have to worry about *accidentally*
> >	calling your variables getwatermelons and somefriedchicken.
> >	Reminds me of this one guy in our neighborhood who was just
> >	jogging by our house, bent down to tie a shoelace, lost 
> >	his balance and accidentally planted a huge burning cross
> >	in our front lawn.  Woops!  Those damn PC-mongers are 
> >	making it a crime to jog!
> Yes and if I want to name my variables getwatermelons and somefiredchicken
> who are you to tell me I can't?
> >	One note:  I don't see why this lawsuit would be hard to win
> >	on the grounds that source code isn't necessarily "speech."
> >	If co-workers left a big wooden swastika on her desk it 
> >	wouldn't be speech either, but I'd call that actionable.	
> But they didn't. There is no proof that any of theses variable names were
> written to be directed at her and the majority of them were written
> *before* she ever started working there!!
> - -- 
> - ---------------------------------------------------------------
> William H. Geiger III  http://www.openpgp.net
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