re: The problem with “you guys” VIEW POST

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

The most upvoted comment is constructive criticism to this post, which imho is mostly a virtue signalling rant on political correctness, and it greyed out by mods. What about focusing more on tech stuff and less on partisan politics, dev.to?

And, please, now remove my comments again, like the last time when I was politely objecting on similar issues and a SJW came insulting me hard <_<


And I got greyed out a lot: thanks "guys"! Might Barbra Streisand and her eponymous effect protect you always from the dire reality you might otherwise face ;)!


Turns out soon I will explicitly search for greyed out comments to read :)


That might indeed prove to be a successful tactic, fellow "guy" ;)

Might I suggest a lifehack?

.low-quality-comment {
  color: #000 !important;
  opacity: 1 !important;

(I don't know what the color for snark is, but I suppose I've earned it now)

I think it would still be easier to avoid enforcing some kind of thought police all around.

I realise it is an idea pretty common in countries that never experienced any kind of fascism or the like, but considering where this kind of paranoia not to hurt/offend anybody easily can easily lead should not be that hard, should it?

I think the main issue they think there could exist a “good” censorship. Making everybody happy and whatnot.

It does not work that way, though. Unfortunately. If it did, I was the first one who supported the idea.

Then again, by your name I would assume you are Russian (or some other slavic place in the Warsaw pact, pardon my ignorance), so it would prove my point of people having some more direct touch with a fascist regimen or the like being much more cautious than a bunch of armchair "enthusiasts" in embracing any kind of censorship.

And yeah, while I can see some good case, I doubt you can have a good censorship all together.

[How much more grey will I get for this?]

(some async editing going on here)

That's a very good point! I'm definitely one of those people that is privileged by growing up in a very democratic, safe, and open society, that is, in Norway. I hadn't fully considered those kinds of experiences, even though I hint towards it in the actual blog post. I should've remembered this from my friends from East-Germany that tend to be much more careful with social technology in terms of being tracked, monitored and intervened with.

I still think there's something to being salient of how you address a group of people, but I think, despite the bad rhetorics, that a bot isn't a very good way to go about it.

I think the discussion has derailed a bit. As for this bot, you can't say it's censorship. As to what a community in whatever fuzzy way decides to be OK behavior or not to have a productive debate, you can't put that in terms of censorship either.

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

community in whatever fuzzy way decides to be OK behavior

LOL. Please go learn some history.

Oh, you would be more careful also in a shame-driven culture (like some of the largest ones in Asia or basically whatever was under the aegis of the catholic church), not just in communist or fascist regimens.

I still see what troubles people so much if they are collectively called "guys" just by convention: in my team (which, again, I definitely like and respect), basically everyone makes cultural references I do not get, on top of speaking a language which is not my native one (although I have been just using that for years): should I ask them to avoid mentioning anything too British for my ears or to speak in Esperanto, so that I can feel like I belong in there?

Come on, let's be realistic: harassment or discrimination are serious issues, while this paranoid campaign to make everybody thread on eggshells (I am not referring to you in particular, it is a general though) it is either useless or actually really offensive towards people who have actually experienced some kind of unfair work environment.

@giacomosorbi threads, sorry, I cannot answer you directly.

Yes, I am Russian. And I pretty fine understand all the circumstances.

But that is not what makes me fight for the freedom of everything. Well, maybe, to some extent, and I have to say “thank you” for hinting possible roots of all what I feel when I see posts like that.

What really makes me fight right now, is that I constantly dedicate a couple of hours on daily basis to damn help people on Stack Overflow. I publish a lot of free code to open source and people do indeed use it. And then I come here and I listen to claims that I am not tolerant enough or I do use “guys” in my verbal communication (I have never heard such a claim from the girls I teach and/or girls I employed.)

From the people who never did something but fighting for the getting rid of the word from the language.

[We definitely should shut up immediately until we are banned forever :)]

Glad to have provided you some food for thought :)

I am afraid somebody, probably not the OP, will remind you that you never heard complaints as you were in a position of power due to your "white privilege" (you should see how pissed an Eastern European colleague used to get when he was reminded of his privilege by people who were born with a silver spoon, quite unlike him :D ).

[I doubt I will be banned for this, but in case I will take as a badge of honour]

I honestly could not care less what stranger wants to remind me what.

Ok, I've managed to lose the thread here, but you sure assume a lot about someone you don't know. You haven't given me much credit for actually agreeing with a lot of what you say, and dong so in the text. I even included a clip from Demolition Man!

Once you toned down the useless rhetoric, you actually touch on different interesting points that proves how challenging and difficult this can be – which is frustrating, because it seems that it doesn't need to be. I haven't claimed to sit on the definitive answers, nor do I think you do, but what I think is worth thinking about is:

– What is the distinction between being offended and feeling excluded?
– How are efforts to influence, dictate or control communication experienced by people of different cultural and historical backgrounds?
– What is reasonable to expect from whom when it comes to inclusion in a tech community?
– Can we discuss how communicative actions can leave someone left out, without having to go down the rather unproductive “SJW”/partisan/whatever route?

I don't expect you to post the answers here – is just what I got from this whole ordeal.

I am pretty confident I am still entitled to say that imho that is censorship and can lead to even worse situations, in the same way you are entitled to disagree: I would never dream to censor these kind of ideas :)

I am still entitled to say that imho [...]


And +1 for imho, not that fashionable self-“esteemed” imo :)

I started to use imso for “stupid” in our internal slack.


Hi Giacomo, thank you for your comment!

(answered you on twitter, but also here for the books)

It's easy to characterize this as virtue signaling because it does demonstrate some virtue. Which used to be a good thing by the way.

That being said, if you read a bit more closely you'll also see that it's more nuanced and that I also engage in the criticism. Tech doesn't just appear outside of culture and society, it's hugely a product of human imagination and thought, constrained by social and cultural mores. The stuff we make has real consequences for the people who either use or are targeted by it. That's why I think there also should be a place for reflections such as mine on dev.to. I don't think to ask how tech can be more inclusive falls into “partisan politics”, it's a much broader and humanistic issue.

I think your comment should stand, as it's representative for a larger group, and it deserves being heard and answered.


It does not demonstrate any virtue in my eyes (and apparently not just mine); as subjective as virtue might be, it seems to be to demonstrate more a (personal? Collective?) obsession for political correctness, that one time too many ended up being thought policing.

The idea of "inclusiveness" is a similarly perverted concept (like "empathy" or "compassion"), easily bent by a political agenda; using pronouns or terms does not work that much well, in all fairness, to achieve the holy grail of "inclusiveness".

I believe the world needs more high level engineers and that should be it: attaching an indication of a gender, "race" or other minority usually just ends up being a politically driven way to lower bars and promote further a culture of victimisation.

If you want more people in a sector, investigate why there are not enough of them (again, assuming that is actually a value worth pursuing) and then do something to remove blockers (frankly, if people quit IT because of "you guys", investing in good psychological support might be better than policing how people talk) and promote more (investing in free, high quality education, for example), instead of assuming there has to be some discrimination.

And, in case anybody is already keen on shutting me up as a "white male", please just remember that I am actually just a crappy migrant in a country that seems to like them less and less, where I came knowing literally nobody and all in all being pretty much an outlier in my (super nice and competent, do not misunderstand me) team.

Finally, while I appreciate your thoughts, I am a bit concerned reading that my not-racist, not-aggressive, not-intolerant, not-illegal ideas need some kind of approval in order to stay and be read by others...

Believe or not, I appreciate that you take the time to air your concerns.

It's troublesome to me that we have gotten to where it's seemingly impossible to entertain a discussion about how we can make more people feel welcome, without being labeled as an SJW, or having once thought being reduced to “political correctness”. That's just robbing me of the same opportunity to be taken seriously as you yourself seemingly are worried about.

We have investigated why people leave technology. There's no lack of experiences of harassment, being undermined, and generally not being included. And it's also proven that actually taking actions towards making people aware of how communication and behavior can be changed in order to prevent people from being hurt. I believe we're moving in the right direction.

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

I do believe you are not a strict taliban, as you do not look like.

Who is this "we" that has investigated why people leave technology? How was the (re)search conducted and which were the whole results of it?

I believe we are moving in the wrong direction when we are considering people of certain background only as victims: who says that toughening up a veery thin skin is not a good way not to get hurt? Because on the other hand I see an endless game where everything can be seen as insulting or offensive.

Guess what: even just by using the term "guys".

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