A sincere apology

When we set out to create MageTalk: A Magento Community Podcast we did so with the intention of creating a community that is meaningful and relevant to everyone: developers, merchants — everyone.

Last week we failed to live up to that goal.

During our weekly MageTalk episode recording the following exchange took place, which made it into the final edit:

What happens when hit a problem with Prestissimo versus Composer? Then we — who do we get support from, right? It could be used very well and for good but I get nervous of, when you start layering on dependencies on various people and technologies it’s like, I just want one throat to choke — Phillip Jackson, MageTalk Episode 120 (emphasis added)

As the person who spoke those words, and as the person who published the episode with that particular title, I offer my sincere apologies.

Idioms such as “one throat to choke” are often used in day-to-day business and are most often used in passing, without the intent to perpetrate violence on another person. In the context of MageTalk it was meant to convey that creating systems with many dependencies creates unmaintainable systems.

But, words matter. When you have a platform that broadcasts to as many people as MageTalk you have a responsibility to choose your words wisely and create opportunities for community to exist. Phrases like “one throat to choke” normalize violence in our everyday language. Phrases like this are part of why workplace inequality still exists; particularly because violence in many forms — physical and emotional — is so often perpetrated upon women and minorities. Language like this is not acceptable.

This incident is of particular irony because in this episode we announced that https://magetalk.com is now full-site HTTPS. We moved the site to HTTPS because we ultimately care about the safety and security of our listeners. But I can’t think of any worse message to deliver than a green HTTPS badge next to a show title with language conveying violence.

Last week we let you down; and we’re determined to do better. Here’s what we’re doing about it. The offending episode title has been renamed and is immediately available on both the feed and on the site under the new name. The episode is being edited to remove the offending content (at 20:30). This should begin to roll out over the next 24 hours as CDN caches expire. Invalidations will be set to expedite this rollout. Finally, being that MageTalk is a Florida Limited Liability Corporatation, we will be making a contribution to AVDA — Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, a local Florida charity which provides crisis hotlines and aid to victims of domestic violence here in our own home town.

Finally, thank you to those who pointed out where we failed. A central theme of MageTalk for the past year has been around asking for your feedback and reviews of the show. It means so much that our audience cares about what we say and aren’t afraid to tell us when we’ve missed the mark. We believe in the Magento Community (big C) and think that together we can do great things and provide a welcoming, inclusive environment that is open to all people.

May we humbly present the following suggestion for replacing this phrase going forward:

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