Google technical writer Noirin Shirley wrote a blog post earlier this evening entitled “A hell of a time,” describing her experiences last night at ApacheCon in Atlanta. Shirley recounts a drunken post-conference party she organized in her hotel room and describes a rather disturbing (if true) interaction with Twitter engineer Florian Leibert;
“He brought me in to the snug, and sat up on a stool. He grabbed me, pulled me in to him, and kissed me. I tried to push him off, and told him I wasn’t interested (I may have been less eloquent, but I don’t think I was less clear). He responded by jamming his hand into my underwear and fumbling.”
With such incendiary subject matter it is no surprise that the post rose to the top of HackerNews in a matter of hours. What’s even more interesting is that the accusations have been taken to Quora and Twitter with people @ replying both Leibert and Shirley with Shirley’s post.
“It’s not the first time something like this has happened to me, at all. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me at a tech conference. But it is the first time I’ve spoken out about it in this way, because I’m tired of the sense that some idiot can ruin my day and never have to answer for it.”
It is notable that the alleged wrongdoing now has a realtime venue to play out, primarily because the players in this drama have tech community prominence and are both on Twitter. Neither Leibert or Shirley have tweeted anything since Shirley tweeted out her blog post about the incident.
I have contacted Leibert for his side of the story and will update this post when he responds. Shirley makes no indication she has filed any formal complaint.