back to article GitLab reset --hard bad1dea: Biz U-turns, unbans office political chat, will vet customers

GitLab today had a change of heart after facing withering criticism for directing employees not to talk politics at work and declaring it would do business with any customer not banned by law regardless of moral considerations. In a series of git commits – the mechanism by which the company updates its documents – the code- …

  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Happy

    Congratulations

    The U-turn is a sign of ability to learn. There might be a future for GitLab.

    1. tekHedd

      Re: Congratulations

      And I mean it's Gitlab. A company that sells services around open source tools that anyone, good or evil, can fork and use. This makes their initial "shrug it off" stance understandable (if a bit tone-deaf for late 2019). Once start trying to document "ethics" as a policy document, you go down a rabbit hole that contains a maze you won't solve by following the right wall. But, it would certainly be unethical not to try.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Congratulations

        This makes their initial "shrug it off" stance understandable (if a bit tone-deaf for late 2019

        *W* *H* *A* *T* ????

        TONE DEAF? What the @#$%^ is *THAT* supposed to mean???

        How about if a BAKERY were to DENY YOU SERVICES because of POLITICS? Oh, you'd be a SCREAMING SJW with *PLENTY* of WILLING MEDIA helping you along, I'm sure.

        But when the shoe is on the OTHER foot, you APPEAR to be DISPLAYING the *SAME* kind of *BIGOTRY*!!!

        Or, did I somehow get it wrong about what you meant?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Congratulations

          "Or, did I somehow get it wrong about what you meant?"

          Yes, you did. These are business to business transactions.

        2. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Congratulations

          I think depends on how much of what the customer does is brought into what the supplier is expected to do. Refusing to serve someone because they are gay or they eat babies is personal. Were as refusing to produce a gay cake or a cake featuring a baby being eaten is a business choice. If you don't know they are a baby eating gay then you won't express prejudice against them so best not to know unless it's necessary to know.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Congratulations

        A company that sells services around open source tools that anyone, good or evil, can fork and use.

        Bit harsh - gitlab do a lot more than just host git repositories. There is quite a lot of custom tech in there.

      3. chucklepie

        Re: Congratulations

        Their community edition is a year behind the proper one, so on premise is pay or get an old version...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Congratulations

      ack on the "there might be a future for GitLab". This *SICKENING* trend of "denying services" to people based on politics or any OTHER non-business-related reason is not only BLATANT HYPOCRISY (i.e. it's the same as NOT baking a cake for a gay wedding, from MY perspective), it's the LATEST "SILENCE THEM" effort that MOSTLY comes from the SJW's and THE LEFT.

      From the article:

      "Deciding not to turn down customers on 'moral/value' grounds is still a 'moral/value' choice," said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity for the EFF

      And when she [assuming 'Eva' is a GIRL name, and I *REFUSE* in advance to apologize for my choice of pronouns] ALSO says "It's just the wrong one. I hope that GitLab employees are furious." I can _ONLY_ conclude that the EFF is NOT interested in FREEDOM at ALL...

      It';s a *SICKENING* trend. Blatant hypocrisy about "denying services", while BLATANTLY DENYING SERVICES based on POLITICS and SJW *ACTIVISM*.

      So THANK YOU, GitLab, for *GETTING*! *IT*! *RIGHT*!!! (or at least a step in the RIGHT direction)

      Icon for GitLab's new "truly awakened" policy, i.e. NOT bending over to "*THEM*".

  2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    The only way ...

    is ethics!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: The only way ...

      ethics = equal treatment, regardless of politics, religion, or agreement with your belief system or anything ELSE. I think TOO MANY people FORGET that, or is it *CLOUDED* now in a sea of *SITUATIONAL ETHICS* in which *AGREEMENT WITH YOU* determines whether it's ok to *DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE* or not...

      As far as I am concerned, there's only one color: GREEN. There's only one creed: honesty in business. There's only one race: the RACE to SUCCESS in BUSINESS!

      And SJW-ACTIVISM is the OPPOSITE of that, *AS WELL AS* CAVING to the BULLYING from *THEM*!!!

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: The only way ...

        It wath meant to be a joke.

      2. Alister Silver badge

        Re: The only way ...

        Dear Bob,

        In the UK there used to be a "reality TV" program called "The Only Way is Essex" (often known as TOWIE) which followed the lives of a number of young people living in the English county of Essex.

        HTH

      3. iron Silver badge

        Re: The only way ...

        Dear Bob,

        TAKE YOUR LITHIUM! YOUR CARER SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN!

  3. adrian727
    Boffin

    Wrong command

    Shouldn't that be git reset --hard HEAD~1 or the commit before the bad idea?

    git reset --hard bad1dea means go back to the bad1dea?

    1. Stuart Moore
      Headmaster

      Re: Wrong command

      Possibly git revert bad1dea

  4. Neoc
    WTF?

    I don't understand people

    Really I don't. While I can get behind the workers who voiced their opinion on the changes to their work conditions, I don't get those who objected to the "no moral/ethics value judgement" clause.

    A bakery in the USA refused to cater to a gay wedding because it went against their religious morals. People got angry.

    GitLab says it won't discriminate based on morals or ethics. People got angry. And as far as I can tell, these were the same people.

    You can't have it both ways. Where do you draw the line? *WHO* gets to draw the line?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I don't understand people

      An OUTSTANDING display of COMMON SENSE. Thank you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't understand people

        An EXCESSIVE display of CAPITAL LETTERS. You're welcome!

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand people

      "You can't have it both ways."

      There's a difference between rejecting service because of who someone is, and rejecting service because of what someone will do.

      It should be illegal to refuse to bake a wedding cake in general. However if,when purchasing it, the person said they were going to strap someone down and force-feed them the cake, then you probably should refuse to serve then. Regardless of who they like to screw.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't understand people

        here's a difference between rejecting service because of who someone is, and rejecting service because of what someone will do.

        Presumably "what gay people do" is what the bakery were objecting to.

        The cake may or may not be involved while they do it.

      2. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

        Re: I don't understand people

        The famous bakery case is ultimately about whether forcing an artist to create a work they disagree with is simple antidiscrimation or unconstitutional (in the US) compelled speech(the guy was more than willing to sell any pre-baked cake). Unfortunately, that's still an open question since the 7-2 verdict in the Supreme Court case was strictly on the antics of the trial court due to three of the judges refusing to take a stance on the issue(the rest of the majority was split 2-2 on whether or not the baker was within his rights).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where do you draw the line?

      Perhaps the distinction being made is this (and I am not making any judgements either way here) is that on one hand we have a bakery selling cakes, and on the other we have (potentially) arms manufacturers selling weapons. It is just possible that this different context [1] is why some may alter how they apply their ethical or moral judgements.

      [1] Of course, for some, both are purely business transactions, and there is no meaningful difference because the type of product is seen as irrelevant to the ethics/morals involved. I'm just noting that for others, the types of product or activity involved might be *very* relevant (and might cut either way - a bakery might not want to sell to gay people, but be happy catering to arms manufacturers; or be happy selling to almost anyone *but* arms manufacturers)

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Where do you draw the line?

        No same rules should be applied by the baker and the arms dealer.

        Baker does not want to promote gay marriage and arms dealer does not want to sell to his enemy.

        When you sell something to someone you are promoting the purpose to which they will use it.

        Hard to bake a gay wedding cake and not know it's promoting homosexuality.

        Hard to sell weapons of war and not know someone will get killed. If you're OK with than then you might want to know who will get killed because you're promoting that. Maybe better not to know. It's possible to sell weapons and not know what they are for other than that they can kill. Gay cake? Well obviously gay.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Where do you draw the line?

          Can you define what a gay cake is please?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where do you draw the line?

            Can you define what a gay cake is please?

            Both the figures on the top are portrayed as the same gender stereotype?

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Where do you draw the line?

          Hard to bake a gay wedding cake and not know it's promoting homosexuality.

          What on earth do you think you mean by "promoting homosexuality"?

          You make it sound like there's a two-for-one offer or something.

          Being gay is not something you can catch, you know, it doesn't rub off on people, and nor is it a choice that people might inadvisedly make if they see a wedding cake for a gay couple.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Where do you draw the line?

            Haggard's law:

            The people who people will abandon boring heterosexual sex when they discover that the much more exciting gay sex is a thing, are actually gay.

    4. eldakka Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: I don't understand people

      So, you have no problem if one of the Chinese Uyghur concentration camps uses GitLab to co-ordinate its extermination re-education programme?

      Or if CIA_BLACKSITE_1 uses GitLab to better manage it's torture enhanced interrogation routines, you'd have no problem with GitLab providing the services?

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: I don't understand people

        "So, you have no problem if one of the Chinese Uyghur concentration camps uses GitLab to co-ordinate its extermination re-education programme?"

        If it's clear from the code that's what's being done then you can make the judgment if you are for or against that. If you just don't like the programmers at the Uyghur concentration camp then that's identity politics.

    5. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: I don't understand people - Identity Politics

      There is a difference between serving gays and baking a gay cake.

      If what the gay is asking for is to store his source code on your server then that should be the same rules as for a straight.

      However if that code is for a computer program to brainwash young children into having a sex change then I can see why one might want to disallow that.

      The policy should be based on the actions the company is participating in when serving the customer not the customer's identity or what they do outside of their deal with the company.

      In the case of the gay cake it was to feature the marriage of two men. The bakery would be promoting gay marriage by producing a cake like that. They would have felt the same had a straight person ordered the gay cake.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: I don't understand people - Identity Politics

        Worth noting the bakery (in the Asher's case) took the order and then went back on it afterwards. It's also not like they were being asked to produce something promoting a cause, it was just a cake for two people getting married, they didn't like that those people were gay and that was enough to cancel the order.

        1. Draco
          FAIL

          Factually incorrect

          If you *actually* read the court document, you will see that the refusal was to create a cake celebrating a gay wedding. It did not involve reneging on a contract:

          "In July 2012, Craig and Mullins visited Masterpiece, a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, and requested that Phillips design and create a cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding. Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings because of his religious beliefs, but advising Craig and Mullins that he would be happy to make and sell them any other baked goods. Craig and Mullins promptly left Masterpiece without discussing with Phillips any details of their wedding cake. "

          See paragraph 3 of

          https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-111-op-bel-colo-app.pdf

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Factually incorrect

            And if you actually read what I wrote you'll see: "in the Asher's case" which is the UK's "Gay cakes" saga.

    6. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand people

      The "Gay Wedding Cake" issue wasn't because they refused, but because they initially accepted the contract to make the cake, then when they learned about the customer they decided to publish the customers' information onto social media and encouraged harassment of the couple.

      The couple that started the lawsuit had been rejected by multiple bakeries before they went to the one in question. The other bakeries acted like rational people and just said no and left it at that.

      1. Draco
        FAIL

        Fact checking: easy. Believing fake information: narrative supporting

        If you *actually* read the court document, you will see that the refusal was to create a cake celebrating a gay wedding. It did not involve reneging on a contract:

        "In July 2012, Craig and Mullins visited Masterpiece, a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, and requested that Phillips design and create a cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding. Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings because of his religious beliefs, but advising Craig and Mullins that he would be happy to make and sell them any other baked goods. Craig and Mullins promptly left Masterpiece without discussing with Phillips any details of their wedding cake. "

        See paragraph 3 of

        https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-111-op-bel-colo-app.pdf

        1. Tom Wood

          Depends on which set of facts you are checking.

          Previous commenters in this thread seem to be contradicting each other because they are talking at cross-purposes about two different court cases involving bakeries. One was in Northern Ireland and the other in Colorado.

          1. Draco
            Facepalm

            Thanks for the clarification

            I wasn't aware of the Northern Ireland cake controversy.

            So, you are correct, there are two different versions - with the Northern Ireland one being a cancelled order.

            Funny it didn't come up when I searched (and I am in Europe) for "gay wedding cake refusal" - had to add "Northern Ireland" to the search.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, hello

    And this Mrs Backpedalfast Snivelling Git

  6. Nick Kew

    Open Season

    Does this mean it's now open season to object to any gitlab project I find offensive? Sorry, I don't have to rationalise my objections to [project], it's a matter of Faith. Just take it down, it is an abomination unto Nuggan.

    I don't have insider knowledge. But I infer from this story that someone may have been far enough on that slippery slope to cause concern.

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: Open Season

      No, the whole point is quite the opposite. Life is not black and white, and while it may be more "efficient" to pretend that it is, reality is that you have to consider the particular set of circumstances and make a value judgement on those circumstances. You can't avoid this by lazily saying either "anything goes" or "if you rule this out you will slide down the slippery slope".

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Open Season

        But if a business is getting grief from loons and fears getting mired in a vortex of debate that consumes 100% (and rising) of its time, they might very well want to put a stop to it.

        My reading of this story is that gitlab's original announcement looked like a clumsy attempt to do that.

  7. Frank Zuiderduin

    Typical caving in to the usual "stompzinnige jankende wijven" (which is what SJW stands for in dutch, as far as I'm concerned). Sijbrandij - a dutchman - obviously forgot about them.

    I really hate the time we live in.

    1. Diogenes Silver badge

      smugnorant wokerati

      A term I prefer to SJW

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we need...

    Is a good war.

    Give these bottom feeders something to actually complain about rather than going out of their way to make up issues to get offended about.

    Might also have a nice side affect of removing some of them at the same time.

  9. NullNix

    Ah yes, 'clarity'. Because when you completely reverse what you were saying only two days ago after huge controversy, calling the change a mere clarity increase is not going to make you look like a really flagrant liar at all.

    (Some people, sheesh.)

  10. jilocasin
    WTF?

    SJW's muddying the waters.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the SJW's (professional whiners, in other words) have so muddied the waters that people/companies have difficulties thinking straight. It's a matter of _what_ some company/group/person is *doing* and not _who_ they are that should be the deciding factor at the end of the day.

    Shunning a person/group/company because they are; white, gay, republican, Jewish, etc. is wrong and lazy.

    Shunning them because of what they do; cage small children, bomb civilians, shoot peaceful protesters, etc. is a morally sound thing to do.

    SJW's, and modern _feminists_ in particular, are a terribly hypocritical lot. Willing to make sweeping racist and sexist generalizations against *other* groups in a rush to don the mantle of victimhood. In their world view they can not by definition be sexist, because they are women. As if all men are identical and can be judged as a group (wow, seems a little sexist to me). Heck, many of those that call themselves _feminists_ claim to speak for *all* women, and will even take the time to 'educate' a woman who doesn't realize that she's being oppressed. That of course assumes that they can even agree on what constitutes womanhood.

    So yes, the EFF is correct when it states that making a choice to not take into account the morality of your customers is in fact making a choice, and not a good one at that. On the other hand, we as a society need to stop lending credence to the false narrative of victimhood and oppression promulgated by predominately first world professional victims. There is sexism in the world (take a look at women in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia for example). There is racism and religious intolerance (for example the Rohinya's in Myanmar, and the Tibetan people in China). There is political unrest (such as the ongoing protests in Hong Kong). Closer to home, there are examples of LGBTQ youth getting thrown out of their homes, of churches and synagogues being vandalized, of people shot and killed by law enforcement for the simple crime of being non-white at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Offering to hold the door for a woman, isn't sexist. There isn't a great *patriarchal* conspiracy in films, books, music, and video games to oppress women. An artist refusing to create (whether it's a wedding cake, a painting, or a poem) for gay men isn't a sign of rampant LGBTQ discrimination. Refusing to teach creationism in the public schools, or drawing pictures of Mohammad, isn't religious intolerance. I believe we need to grow up, put on our 'big boy pants' and start acting like adults. Freedom means not just the ability to say/do what you want, but the tolerance to accept that other people don't share the same thoughts, values, ideals that you might. Hopefully we can still agree on the bigger issues.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: SJW's muddying the waters.

      The ones who think that “all men are identical and can be judged as a group” are called TERFS, and outside of extremist hate sites such as 4chan, kiwi farms, and mumsnet, and British newspapers that aren’t called The Financial Times; they are very rare.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Alien

        Re: SJW's muddying the waters.

        The ones with a massive prejudice against the male sex in general just seem to have the loudest voice. The BBC is so deeply committed to that Agenda that whenever they discuss "gender politics" - or even make casual passing references (as happens many times every day), it's very clear that by BBC standards I must be a woman. Which is certainly not something you'd ever think if you saw my face or heard my voice, let alone had the misfortune to see the whole of me.

        Though to be fair, it's not just SJWs who muddy the waters. The post up to which you followed seemed a bit confuzzled too.

      2. Draco
        Headmaster

        TERFs aren't what you think they are

        TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminist and refers to radical feminists (like Germaine Greer) who don't accept that male-to-female trans people are women.

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