Now an embarrassing debacle is earning the company
some additional publicity. After Yahoo hosted Taiwan Open Hack
Day, a special event for engineers and developers that was held last
weekend, a series of photos found there way onto the internet -- as
ill-thought out decisions often do.
It turns out that Yahoo
hired scantily clad women to spice up the event a little bit and give
the guest lap dances. They attended what Yahoo described as a
"brainstorming" session, clad in bras and miniskirts.
The pictures made their way onto Flickr and soon lit up the
blogosphere, prompting headlines
like "Honest, honey, she was just showing me her social
Apparently Yahoo did the exact same
thing the year before, according to All Things Digital's Kara
Swisher, "It is not clear why all the thumpa-thumpa music and
dancing gals did not engender complaints last year."
it never crossed the mind of Yahoo's events coordinators that hiring
lap dancers yet again might not be a wise decision. Ultimately,
it was the provocative pictures that truly launched the story.
has issued an embarrassed response via a blog posted by Chris Yeh of
Yahoo's Development Network. Writes
Yeh in the blog, entitled "Sorry":
I wanted to acknowledge the public reaction generated
by the images of female dancers at our Taiwan Open Hack Day this past
Our hack events are designed to give
developers an opportunity to learn about our ... (programming) and
technologies. As many folks have rightly pointed out, the 'Hack
Girls' aspect of our Taiwan Hack Day is not reflective of that spirit
or purpose. And it’s certainly not the message we want to send
about our values here at Yahoo! Hack Days are about making everyone
feel welcome, including women coders and technologists.
is] regrettable and we apologize to anyone that we have offended.
Rest assured, it won’t happen again.
While you might think that developers would have enjoyed the
antics, many went on record blasting Yahoo's poor judgment in marring
what had been a series of respectable developer events. States
web developer Simon Willison, "I’ve also been to every one of
Yahoo!’s Open Hack Day events in London. They’re fantastic,
and the team that organizes them should be applauded. As such,
I care a great deal about the image of hack day — and the videos
that emerged from last weekend’s Taiwan Hack Day are hugely
is hardly a new development for Yahoo.
quote: Companies still routinely offer golf trips, luxury vacations/spas, pirks , etc.
quote: it's now bad publicity.
quote: States web developer Simon Willison, "I’ve also been to every one of Yahoo!’s Open Hack Day events in London. They’re fantastic, and the team that organizes them should be applauded. As such, I care a great deal about the image of hack day — and the videos that emerged from last weekend’s Taiwan Hack Day are hugely disappointing."
quote: Otherwise, sit down and be quiet.
quote: This just smells of people getting on their high and mighty pedestal after the event.
quote: If they want to have lap dancers and scantily clad women what is the big deal?
quote: but this isn't how a multi-billion dollar corporation should be spending money and/or advertising.
quote: I bet a handful insecure women (or insecure men) just want to make everybody's life as joyless as theirs.
quote: somebody's going to be butt-hurt and make a large pseudo-high-moral scene about it, destroying the fun for everybody else.
quote: Yahoo's latest embarrassment seems like a sign that the company is just trying to hard to appeal