Reddit mob threatens 16 year old girl coder with rape threats and abuse


The problem with this is the same problem with swatting. The perp is across county/state lines, and even international borders. Complaining to the popo gets a report filed but as they locals have no jurisdiction over perps 1000 miles or more away it gets hard to do much.


Reddit needs to report this to the authorities where the offender lives. They have an ip address which in many cases won’t be obfuscated.
This is why we shouldn’t form mobs on the internet: People take “vigilante” action without knowing the whole story.


I’m not sure how sad it is. I can’t say I follow the argument in enough detail to infer how…motivated by other considerations…his belief that she didn’t write the app, or much of it, is; but I’d take “Starting an online lynch mob was wrong” over “It appears you weren’t actually a witch, so the witch hunt was uncalled for”.

Is there another pile of systemic prejudices involved in the fact that she is getting more scrutiny for delivering a finished product than, say, the 100% pitch-perfect dudebro behind Clinkle(just feel the meritocracy!) failed to receive for far too long? Oh definitely. Do the fine, upstanding, standards of ‘app’ marketing give us any reason to extend the benefit of the doubt? Quite probably not.


Depends on how much the feds care; and how carefully the perp covered their tracks.

If nobody cares very much; disparate jurisdictions make it easier for various departments to tell you to shove off; but if somebody does care the architecture of how internet activity tends to work can involve an instance of “Oh, did someone say “interstate nexus”? I love it when that happens…” from prosecutors you’d rather not deal with.


What a miserable pack of arseholes.


And then you get to engage authorities who are several states away… and lather rinse repeat… you get the picture. This is a large part of why they get away with it.


I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on.

The Universe is conspiring to make me have gender and race reassignment surgery. I’ve resisted so far but I don’t think I can hold out much longer.

Not sure why the Universe singled me out, but that’s what it did.


It didn’t single you out… I’m with you buddy. :slightly_smiling_face:


I think about 30% of the human race are rotten like that, and at least another 30% have some portion of rot they must continually fight against, not close to the entirety but enough to at times welcome the oncoming results of our stewardship of the planet.


Well… this does seem to be a fundamental human trait.

See other examples:
“Damn immigrants taking all of our jobs” etc…


Wait, “threatens […] with rape threats”? Like, “If you don’t shut up, then I’ll threaten to rape you”?
Ah yes, the old “threaten them with threatening them” technique. Both dastardly and incompetent.
…or just a poorly written headline.

But that aside, what utterly repulsive behaviour. Shame on those wretches, and I hope the young woman has the support she needs to bear such horrible circumstances. I also hope the perpetrators get their justly deserved comeuppance, but we all know that never bloody happens…


NIce story, but actually the first programmer on this planet, Ada Lovelace, was a woman. So it can be argued that all people working in software have a career because a woman got them started… :wink:


All I hear is “a bunch of gross people got into a fight in the crowded sewer where they all hang out angrily scrabbling for nuggets of semi-fictional magic troll gold”. If a buildup of stench gases blows the manhole cover off that sewer, I don’t see it as a reason for me to leap in and start taking sides.



  • 16-year-old Indian girl gets into an MIT summer programme for coders
  • A guy asks her a bunch of questions and then doesn’t let her answer them
  • Said guy claims 10k lines is too many to produce in one month. She points out that she used Apple Frameworks
  • Same guy claims there are no storyboards for the app, and asserts that is impossible, despite a) She offered to show her working and he wouldn’t let her and b) Very large numbers of software engineers don’t use storyboards. In fact, you have to chase them with a taser to get them to document anything for the most part.
  • Someone she worked with states he didn’t want joint credit for the app because of how much work she did
  • Bunch of blokes on Reddit who aren’t in MIT summer programmes for coders immediately decide she’s not capable of writing an app
  • Said bunch of blokes all scream that the plagiarism is proven and they’re not just misogynists because that might hurt their chances of getting laid.

Makes total sense.


Yup. Storyboards are a recent thing, and a lot of coders avoid them like the plague. They make commits difficult and it makes working collaboratively hard. Honestly, don’t know why…I work on apps for myself and they rarely leave Xcode. That and frameworks are what seems to drive the industry these days…when I was younger, we had to drop in to ASM to build bits and pieces to run in the background and speed things up, and now…oh? There is a framework that does 99.999% of what you need and you simply have to link it.

That said, as a former student tech manager, I use to have a dozen students at any given time…I gave pretty much full credit to them with almost any project. Sure, I filled in the blanks for them, did some heavy lifting that was out of their reach, BUT I made certain they detailed what they needed to do and I pretty much made sure they were the project lead for anything they were working on…because it was important they get the skills necessary to go on after my jobs. They build a portfolio and I wrote letters of recommendation – and it was obvious to anyone that they were not the ONLY programmer, but that they were the reason the project lived or died.

And I’m lucky that I had others that guided and scaffolded my own life similarly. This is how it works…

That said, Reddit can be horrible, but this site can be just as hypocritical as @wysinwyg points out clearly. Maybe if you are going to call out one site for the shithole it is, don’t do the same things and indigniantly claim that you are in the right because you are only doing it to horrible people.


I avoided this entire thing because I saw the misogynistic torches and pitchforks as they were cresting the horizon. Literally the second news broke of this, there was a team of highly motivated individuals who were neck deep in finding literally anything they could try to call bullshit on. The fervor and dedication, the broad sense that this was “just too suspicious” was so immediately and intensely pervasive that it’d just about knock the wind out of you.

One of the specific things I saw before I turned my eyes away in horror from the massive blog post written by one of the people who helped fuel this embarrassment was the insinuation that the girl had copied code from Stack Overflow. Blindly copying and pasting code from Stack Overflow is bad, but SHIT TONS of professional developers do that all the time. I see code that was so blatantly ripped from Stack Overflow that it even has the same comments in codebases of projects that were part of mid to high six figure development contracts. It’s poor form, but if we’re going to call one person out on it, we’re going to have to call virtually every developer on the planet out for it. If you extend your reach beyond just Stack Overflow into things like MSDN, you’ll see even more copypasta code, in fact, the broader you search, the more you’ll realize that virtually everyone who has worked in development has done it at least once, myself included. (I used to have to do a lot of VBA development back in the day, which is a language based on VB, meaning the points are made up and the rules don’t matter. Certain things have unique syntax conventions that are unlike every other thing in the language, that sort of stuff.)

Right now we are definitely suffering from a huge supply of mediocre (at best) developers, but at the age of only 16 this girl is operating at the same or higher level of overall functionality as people who have been doing their job for longer than she’s been alive. It’s perfectly acceptable to decry the culture that made lazy programming “okay,” but it’s totally unjustifiable to go after one 16 year old kid for following the exact same example set by a huge number of the people decrying her.

I’ll bet these same people probably idolize the likes of Zuckerberg or Musk, both of whom are who they are now through brutal exploitation, betrayal of the people who helped them, and taking full credit for everything. The irony is palpable.


There’s a reason i avoid Reddit, while there’s definitely cool, interesting things going on in the site i generally don’t trust the mob mentality it’s cultivated over the years. It’s like a slightly more tolerable 4chan, and i’m not going to touch either with a 10ft pole. I will enjoy whatever rises to the top but i’m not going to directly interact with anyone there.


I guess mediocre men are frightened of self-starting women to such an extent that they must devolve into internet rage monkeys to prove their competence. It’s sad because as a programmer I’m not all that brilliant so when I see anyone post a project like this I tend to dig into it to learn more rather than get mad when I find someone who’s more talented (and younger) than me.


Not to mention that law enforcement doesn’t really take this kind of thing seriously at all, in part because these things are generally directed towards women and law enforcement tends to care less about women, but also because law enforcement seems to be reliably about 20-30 years behind the curve on social and technical matters. Even officers who are young enough to have grown up being exposed to computers tend to lack the necessary understanding to take things like this seriously, they’re prone to think “just stupid kids on the internet.”

They’ll take things like non-serious threats against public officials seriously, at least at a federal level, but between the fact that the US government has been gutted and filleted like a fish by Trump et al., and the fact that all any of them can think about is how turgid the fucking failed war on drugs makes them, I don’t expect to see federal law enforcement taking this by the horns either.

So yeah, local doesn’t take it seriously unless it means they get to play with the military-grade murder toys that the DHS gifted them, and the feds aren’t going to get involved unless PR nightmare-to-pain in the ass ratio goes over square. The perpetrators will likely never face any consequences, and this girl is either going to be forced back into the margins or transform her into Megaera–filled with the desire to show the people who rejected her they’re wrong, and feeding off of the jealousy and envy of all of the people she’s exceeding.

Neither result is healthy, I get the feeling that maybe this girl just wanted to work in software development, and didn’t sign up to be the target of a near-literal witch hunt. Here’s a cool idea for all you humans out there, instead of what we’ve been doing for the last 50,000 years or so, we could all just try to stop being assholes for a while and see how that works. We’ve been doing it the other way for long enough that we know it doesn’t work.


It has been my experience that the only way that I can enjoy Reddit is by blocking all of the “default” and high-volume subreddits, and unsubbing from ones as soon as they start to turn evil, which can happen very quickly because organized invasions from reactionary subreddits happen regularly. The Rick & Morty fan subreddit went from being an enjoyable and chill fan forum to a shrill cacophony of misogynistic, authoritarian self-exceptionalism, and toxic masculinity with a weird doublethink opinion that anybody who doesn’t sound smart enough is stupid, and anyone who sounds too smart is “autistic” or “a try-hard” or something similar.

If you avoid the high-traffic areas and stick to special interests, things can be pretty pleasant. It’s not that Reddit is literally full of asshole reactionary sociopaths, it’s that those asshole reactionary sociopaths are operating with far greater organization than most seem to realize, and they are doing their level best to become the dominant social presence on the site. Ten years ago, the site was nothing like it is now, but then the mass Digg exodus started and most of those people found themselves going to Reddit instead and the level of discourse was cut by a fair 3/4 basically overnight. During that exodus I actually had to delete my Reddit account because I was being harassed by a couple of people (you couldn’t block people yet). Their accounts were young, created within the dying months of Digg and they took specific exception to me asking how a comment about the appearance of a woman had anything to do with the fact that she’d won some prestigious award. I was immediately accused of “white knighting” and for the next two weeks I got a string of PMs that were nothing but abusive ranting and links to hardcore gay porn (which I guess was supposed to shock and/or gross me out, but I’m not really repulsed by the idea of dudes fucking, it’s just not my thing. I dislike dried fruit, but I don’t freak out when other people eat it and as far as I’m concerned the two things have about the same level of shock value) before I just decided that it wasn’t worth even having to ignore the messages and killed the account.

Edit: Speaking of 4chan, I’ve got a specific axe to grind with those fuckers. I was on Something Awful before 4chan existed, and the only reason 4chan exists as it does today is because Something Awful realized that they had a contingent of people that were going to be a serious problem for them, and started laying down ground rules that some of these “freedom of speech conscious individuals” AKA "people who play ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to child pornography and rape, got seriously upset and left to go join Moot at 4chan. Then 4chan became the worst place on the internet and got so bad that they had to start making some rules, so we ended up with 8chan which is currently the worst place that I know of on the regular internet. I’m sure there are worse places, but it’s populated almost entirely by people who were too awful for to be tolerated by either SA or 4chan, which is really saying something.

I digress, however. My axe is simply this: people on 4chan like to think they created and own “internet culture” (which within the context is almost entirely the idea of stupid videos and image memes) when they aren’t even the original version of the thing they’re trying to be, and their “contributions” to so-called internet culture have been almost universally negative. Stupid videos and image memes existed well before 4chan did, and the internet, contrary to their deeply mistaken beliefs, in no way belongs to them. /rant