Pax Dickinson, the former CTO of Business Insider, was invited to resign yesterday after Valleywag published a compendium of his racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic tweets. (Warning: Everything we link to in this post contains screenshots of Dickinson’s Twitter feed, and is therefore a runner-up for the worst stuff you will ever see on the internet.)
(Photo Credit: Ross Breadmore/Flickr)
Here are some of the less NSFW, but still awful posts:
(Screen Capture Credit: Valleywag)
Valleywag contacted Business Insider’s CEO, Henry Blodget, to see if he had any response to his CTO’s public persona (and its inevitable association with BI’s brand.) Shortly thereafter, Business Insider announced that Dickinson had left the company, effective immediately.
As Betabeat’s Jessica Roy points out, Dickinson’s firing exposes an enduring problem in the tech industry:
“Mr. Dickinson is the most recent and potent example of sexism (and racism, and classism) in tech, but he’s certainly not the only one. Such a rancorous person doesn’t scale the corporate ladder — tweeting all the while! — without some sort of systemic acceptance (or at least tolerance) of his attitudes.”
We’ve noted tech’s pro-bro attitude before, and in this case, the acceptance of prejudice — provided the perpetrator doesn’t get called out in a public forum — is more important than one jerky executive losing his job.
The good news is that the same vehicles that allow people to display their bad behavior to the masses also provide the means of removing those people from positions of responsibility. (They even allow those masses to comment on the removal. Take a look at the recently hijacked #IStandWithPax.)
May we all be brave enough to use social media to expose horrible people, good enough not to need exposing, and smart enough to use our Twitter accounts in a professional, gracious, and human way.
Tell Us What You Think
Which well-known person should be banned from Twitter, for their good and ours? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.