(photo credit: dotben)
Ping Yeh (葉平), Google's top expert on cloud computing in Taiwan, wrote a piece defending Yahoo's "lap dancers" in Open Hack Day incident. Click here to read his blog (Title: Stop making a fuss on things you don't know the context).
But I have to disagree with him. Huge!!!
Yeh cited a local story on ZDNet to prove that no participants in the Open Hack Day was complaining about the lap dancers. Why the outside world, especially the English-speaking part of the world, bother?
Well, the three participants cited in the above-mentioned story weren't complaining at all. But a lot of readers did. Read the zdnet talkbacks, here and here, to see an overwhelming majority of readers voicing against using scantily clad dancers to entertain the developers.
Yeh is saying that it's "only a 3-minute dance in an otherwise exhausting 24 hour hacking". But the point is yahoo is sending a message to local community that those participants were properly taken care of by pretty young girls, plus lap dancers to entertain them when they needed to refresh.
Yeh is also saying the dance was not that "intimate". Well, they weren't strippers, but look at the picture below. It says it all. It probably wasn't intended to be sexual. but remember, there were kids in there. Did the hackers really need those entertainment to be really creative? I wonder.
To Yeh: How close is "intimate" enough? (photo credit:doben)
Yahoo in Taiwan is notorious for using pretty young girls from its blog service, Wretch, to promote its brand image and create buzz. No wonder they felt it's OK to invite some of the lap dancers to service the male-oriented participants. It sure attracted eyeballs, participation and media coverage, but they could have done better than that.
Even if no participants of the event are stepping out to lodge complaints, it doesn't mean the bigger part of the IT community should agree with it. Fortunately, waves of local citizens are actually expressing that they are sick of what Yahoo did, and are making "big fuss" about it on the Internet.
I did a quick survey to see how readers react to the "hack girls" incident. Here's the result. The online survey, done in Chinese for local readers, was held between October 22nd and 29th, with 40 readers expressed their opinions.