TechCrunch Conference Apologizes For Australians’ Titstare App

The technology blog TechCrunch apologized on Sunday for sexist and juvenile behavior at their TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 conference after a pair of Australians debuted a new app called Titstare and another presentor pretended to jerk off onstage. 

The Titstare app, which was supposedly a joke creation by Jethro Batts and David Boulton, depicted a bunch of people checking out women’s cleavage. “It’s an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits,” explained one of the presenters, according to the blog BetaBeat.

Later during the conference, another man presented a phone feature that involved shaking the phone up and down, which he demonstrated as if he was masturbating, complete with groaning.

Well aware of the tech community’s bro-tastic reputation, TechCrunch’s editors Alexia Tsotsis and Eric Eldon apologized for the conference being “marred” by two “misogynistic” presentations. They wrote:

Sexism is a major problem in the tech industry, and we’ve worked hard to counteract it in our coverage and in our own hiring.

Today’s issues resulted from a failure to properly screen our hackathons for inappropriate content ahead of time and establish clear guidelines for these submissions.

Trust us, that changed as soon as we saw what happened at our show. Every presentation is getting a thorough screening from this hackathon onward. Any type of sexism or other discriminatory and/or derogatory speech will not be allowed.

You expect more from us, and we expect more from ourselves. We are sorry.

The apology from the Titstare guys was a little less sincere. Tweeting from their account @HateYouCards, the bros claimed:

titstare tweet

J/K, didn’t mean it! always goes over well as an apology, right? I think I learned that in a Tucker Max book.

[Seattle Post Intelligencer]
[Huffington Post]

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