Sydney-based writer and futurist Mark Pesce has apologised for using sexy images during his keynote address at the annual Linux.conf.au (LCA) open source conference in Brisbane last week.
In an apparent breach of LCA conference policy of “no sexual images”, Pesce used a picture from a Mardi Gras celebration, among others, during his presentation, which today he apologised for.
In a letter published on his blog, Pesce wrote:
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to offer my heartfelt apology to any individuals offended by any of the images I employed in my keynote address for linux.conf.au.
Mark D. Pesce
The slide and pictures accompanied his talk on Facebook and the death of privacy, which also included a "design guide for anarchists" provided as a way of proliferating open source and open data principles.
Twitter has since erupted with people arguing over whether Pesce’s pics were appropriate.
Regular LCA attendee and technology advisor to Senator Kate Lundy, Pia Waugh tweeted the presentation was “a great talk”, but “pity it didn't meet lca2011 policy”.
Waugh said it ended up being a test of the conference policy which is more about a “friendly safe” conference than offensiveness.
Waugh says the conference policy is “no sexual images” so it would not be unreasonable to enforce it.
Others said an apology was unnecessary as the image was not offensive.
In response to Waugh, Acidlabs founder Stephen Collins (@trib) wrote “It’s bloody Mardi Gras - a celebration of diversity and equality. A pic from Mardi Gras of people being a little naughty does not = porn”.
Collins said it’s a case of political correctness “gone mad”.
Waugh agreed that the reaction was overblown and “didn't feel intimidated” by the pic, but respects the LCA policy.
According to Collins, the Linux.conf.au policy document and “upset” should be published so people can decide the “validity or otherwise” of the image.
Linux.conf.au website down
In other LCA news, the conference website was inaccessible Monday morning, a day after it announced the presentations would be made available to download.
The http://lca2011.linux.org.au/ reported an “Internal Server Error”.
The server is running Apache 2.2.9 (Debian), proxy_html 3.0.0, mod_ssl 2.2.9 OpenSSL 0.9.8g, mod_wsgi 2.5 and Python 2.5.2.
The site was linked to Slashdot.org blog, and may have been “Slashdotted”, or overwhelmed by the number of visits.
The main http://www.linux.org.au/ website is still online.