Cancelled: Tech Conference ‘ElectronConf’ Called Off Over ‘Non-Diverse’ Speaker Lineup

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 12:10 pm, June 5, 2017
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Tech conferences have become the latest battleground for culture warriors, who insist on policing attendees and speakers.

Electron by GitHub

Following the outcry over LambdaConf’s invitation of “wrongthinkers” like Ed Latimore, who was smeared as a misogynist by social justice activists within the software development universe, the Seattle-based ElectronConf has been suspended pending a more “diverse” set of speakers following complaints that there were too many white men.

The selection of speakers was an unbiased process—a blind pick based on merit. It ended up with a selection of all men, so they canceled it. Diversity, it would seem, is more important than quality.

A similar event, the All-Star Gaming Industry Panel at USC, was canceled last year for having an all-male slate of speakers. The panel included top-tier game developers from Blizzard, Infinity Ward, and Riot Games, who were invited to share their experiences with students interested in making video games. The organizer, feminist activist and USC Games director Tracy Fullerton, canceled the event at the last minute and declared that hosting the panel would put them on the wrong side of history.

In a public release this weekend, ElectronConf announced:

“We published a list of speakers that does not reflect the standards to which we hold ourselves. We will be postponing this event until we can deliver a more diverse slate of speakers.”

The event is dedicated to Electron, a new open-source framework developed by GitHub—a San Francisco-based software development platform now notorious for its identity politics. In 2016, Github hired Coraline Ada Ehmke, a transgender feminist who developed the so-called “Code of Conduct,” which is designed to police developers of harmful thoughts. The community has since been invaded by even more social justice hangers-on who contribute little to projects aside from “diversity” initiatives and identity politics.

ElectronConf’s postponement was not well-received on social media, with many prospective attendees expressing their dismay at how GitHub allowed identity politics to dictate the event.

“We found your proposal really good [after an anon. review], but you can’t speak at our conf because you’re not underrepresented,” quipped developer Raj Rohit.

“We didn’t think you were good enough the first time but then realized we needed diversity so would you like to speak at #ElectronConf?” remarked Katie Ujihisa.

Liam Bell, a cybersecurity researcher, said: “Not surprised blind review has been ignored for #ElectronConf. @GitHub’s record on ignoring meritocracy is laughable.”

Other developers were supportive of GitHub’s decision to emphasize diversity over quality. Game developer and male feminist ally Justin Reynard, who lists “feminist” in his Twitter bio, expressed upset at the event’s cancellation without telling the speakers, but said he agreed with the reasoning.

Developer Jose Medina, who was one of the speakers, echoed Reynard’s remarks. “Sad that is been postponed but an all-male speaker list is unacceptable,” he wrote.

In contrast, LambdaConf, which was widely criticized by SJWs, had a diverse makeup of attendees and speakers.

It’s only a matter of time before social justice warriors set their sights on other conferences for featuring speakers based on merit rather than gender and ethnicity. The upcoming Dinosaur JS Conference, which is being widely hailed as “progressive” over its balanced slate of male and female speakers, is almost entirely white, without any black, Indian, Middle Eastern or Hispanic presence. How problematic.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.