Home Meet Titstare, The Low Point For This Year’s TechCrunch Hackathon

Meet Titstare, The Low Point For This Year’s TechCrunch Hackathon

In news that’s not at all surprising, yet another tech event was disrupted by a sexist joke. 

“Titstare” was the first presentation of the TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 hackathon. Created by Australians Jethro Batts and David Boulton, the joke app is based on the “science” of how sneaking a peek at cleavage helps men live healthier lives. 

Their inappropriate, pun-filled presentation led to an almost immediate apology from TechCrunch editors Alexia Tsotsis and Eric Eldon. 

“You expect more from us, and we expect more from ourselves. We are sorry,” they wrote.

The tech industry is supposed to be a meritocracy, and in some ways the weekend hackathon proved that to be true. Even a 9-year-old, Alexandra Jordan, took to the stage to present her own app, Super Fun Kid Time, which schedules playdates for kids. It’s refreshing, and a bit sad, to see Jordan acting far more grown up in her presentation than her adult male peers.

But the opening salvo cast an ugly shadow over the event, reminding attendees that, just like at PyCon and other technology conferences, “brogrammer” culture is still the norm.

Perhaps most disconcerting is the fact that Batts and Boulton presented immediately before Adria Richards, a programmer who rose to the national spotlight after she witnessed sexist jokes at PyCon 2013. Her gall to disapprove of the offensive jokes earned her death threats

Of course, 9-year-old Jordan was also witness to the presentation as she waited to present her own app, much to the chagrin of her father, Richard Jordan. 

Eventually, Batts and Boulton themselves issued an apology on Twitter.

Batts and Boulton probably assumed that their app would entertain a typical “brogrammer” audience where women and their bodies are nothing more than punchlines. But if they’d looked around, they would have noticed they were sharing the stage with women of all ages. 

It’s 2013, and the assumption of technology as a male space needs to change. The participants already have.

Screenshot via TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 Hackathon

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.