On Friday we became aware of the following abusive tweet directed at our founder Anna:
Needless to say we were taken aback that anyone would direct such abuse at any of our staff, though given the nastiness directed recently towards some women in the games sector and and some of the incidents documented by Everyday Sexism perhaps we should not have been surprised that it would happen sooner or later. We note that they were too cowardly to write under their own name, but did so anonymously.
Riverblade is a small business, and the wellbeing of our staff is very important to us. We value people not for how much they fit in, but for who they are and what they are capable of. We don't discriminate, and won't judge.
We will however call out bigotry and bullying whenever we see it - hence this statement.
Shortly after Anna drew attention to the tweet we received a phone call from one of the organisers of Agile on the Beach (whose conference hashtag the abuser had posted on) expressing their horror and asking if there was anything they could do. We told them not to worry, but that we would issue a statement and report the user account in question (both of which we have done). Others have also expressed their support via various channels, and for that we are very grateful.
We are also very well aware that this incident absolutely pales into insignificance next to the nastiness that some women in our industry (notably Zoe Quinn) have recently been subjected to. Nevertheless, the principle is the same - this is not acceptable behaviour and we will not let it go unnoticed.
We know that the fact that the abuser hid behind an anonymous account makes it less likely we'll ever be able to confront them directly, but that doesn't change anything. The anonymous account the abuser used is included in the Level 2 blocks within The Block Bot, so if you are the target of online abuse we recommend you consider making use of it. Also, make sure you have support you can call on - please don't suffer alone.
Finally, a message for the abuser. If you can't be bothered to grow up, at least try to use your brain and realise that you can easily turn off the blog feed in Visual Lint from the Options Displays page.
On second thoughts don't bother - we don't want people like you as a customer. Go away until you learn to treat people with respect.