Society for Case Research / Global Jesuit Case Series Summer Workshop

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
H. Kevin Fulk, Sankar Sundarrajan

#UnqualifiedForTech: How Can We Encourage the Positive in this Technology-Enabled Conversation through Civility, Care, and Sisu?

Amidst the news and commentary on the 2017 Equifax data breach, coverage about Chief Security Officer Susan Mauldin’s qualifications caught the attention of site reliability engineer Alice Goldfuss. News stories raised questions about the suitability of Miss Mauldin’s music educational background, given the key role that she played in leading Equifax’s security. Given this coverage, Alice decided that she needed to take a stand on what really can qualify someone for an information technology (IT) job, such as information security. She responded by creating a hashtag on Twitter, #UnqualifiedForTech. Her initial tweet garnered considerable attention in the form of likes, retweets, replies, as well as many uses of the hashtag. Some tweets using this hashtag went against her intent to support the diverse community of IT workers of which she is apart. Instead, these other tweets seemingly appropriated the hashtag for profit-oriented uses. After the conversation died down, you are in a position to advise Alice and others about continuing the now-dormant #UnqualifiedForTech conversation. You wonder: How would it be possible to continue the conversation with a stronger focus on Alice’s original intent for the hashtag?