This is Sidepocket, Co-Founder of DEFCON 201 aka DCG 201 as we are formally called.
This is not an April Fool’s joke; the timing is full of irony but you will not hear us retract this.
You know us to be blunt, as we are in New Jersey, so let us get to the point.
You may have noticed that on our social media, we have been very vocal about multiple issues involving hacking and digital rights. The most recent one is our various members’ disagreement with the FSF’s (Free Software Foundation) decision to re-institute RMS (Richard Stallman) onto the board without any transparency, and the fallout from that.
Recently, we made a post on our Twitter account that called out Eli The Computer guy, a tech YouTuber, for his views. We made a post attempting to let it be known that our organization does not want to be associated with any partnership or event going forward that involves this individual. We sadly did not properly convey that message. The message was crass, inflammatory and caused more problems than it solved.
We made a mistake. We’re sorry.
My primary role in DCG 201 is to two-fold, and one of those roles is to be in charge of — and responsible for — the PR. We made a huge blunder on our social media, so we wanted to make these points clear:
1) As the primary hacker in charge of the PR for DCG 201, I do apologize for the crassness of the Tweet to Mr. Eli and those who read it. I may disagree with people on many points, both personally and along with our group, but as the social media representative for DCG 201, we should have not used the language that we used, and we apologize for that. I apologize for that.
2) This apology is aimed towards our DCG 201 Members and our fans, both locally and on social media. We know how much you love our content and our hacks, and we love you for it too. ❤ And I — as does the rest of DCG 201 — believe that you deserve BETTER, especially with regards to the quality control on our social media presence, and that of the posts we have done over the years.
3) It’s the hacker way to learn and improve. We recently have made a post on our social media to form a positive way of expressing our/your frustration and anger over the issues. We want to continue this thread by being constructive, not attacking, for all future posts and content. Punching up, not down, and supporting our stance with guided opinions, not crass declarations and reactionary, inflammatory or bait-ridden shitposts.
4) We apologize to DEF CON and all other DCGs (DEF CON Groups) who had suffered due to our words and actions. Even though we are not part of core DEF CON — and we continue to remind people of that fact — at the end of the day, DEF CON has graciously allowed us to continue to use part of their namesake in our operations. (It’s the primary reason why we are not completely copyleft with our branding.) We feel we let DEF CON and DEFCON Groups down because of our past inflammatory posts. We have learned, we will do better.
To reiterate: it is part of the hacker way to learn from mistakes, analyze the problem, and then build steps to rectify the issue. The first step to solving the problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. This is us acknowledging that problem. We have seen, firsthand in many cases — orgs that lack transparency, lack accountability, and try to treat bugs as features. We are not, and will not be, that type of organization. Yes, our members do critique the current hacker events and news, and having constructive criticism goes a long way — but there are better ways of doing it, and we want to do those better ways going forward.
One of the ways we are going to prove we are moving forward is that I, Co-Founder of DCG 201, am stepping down from my role as the main person for public relations of DCG 201 of my own volition. I will still be involved in the operations and you will still see me online and in person at gatherings, but the actual Website, Blog Posts, Social Media and LIVE Stream published content will be handled by other experienced members of DCG 201 Staff. These are some amazing members and I am excited and can’t wait to see the cool, positive and improved posts and relations they will make going forward! I would wish them luck but they already got this.
These above are just words. Important words, but words. It is now up to us to prove those words, and back them up with our actions. We are looking forward to demonstrating what we’ve learned, and how we are doing things better in the immediate future. We are excited for all the upcoming content, tech news, activism, awesome hacks and, of course the occasional funny meme! Basically, a new and improved DCG 201.
Thank you for your time and hack the planet,
Sidepocket, Co-Founder of DCG 201
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