There are two ways to look at the sleazy emails Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel wrote when he was the social coordinator of his fraternity at Stanford. The emails describe him urinating on a girl and talk about shooting fat women with laser tag guns. The first is that they don’t matter: They’re merely the kind of hijinks we all get up to in college and it’s unfair that they have come back to haunt him years later. A huge section of the tech industry feels this way. Two of the most widely read tech blogs within the business pointedly failed to mention the emails when they were published Wednesday.
In an email Friday to the entire Stanford undergraduate community, University Provost John Etchemendy called a series of emails sent by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel during his days at the college “crude, offensive, and demeaning to women.” Etchemendy wrote that the problem is not just that Spiegel sent the emails, but that other students read them and said nothing. He then urged students to always stand up against “crude or hateful language, and the attitudes that give rise to it.” That is the only way, he said, that the community as a whole will learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Spiegel sent the NSFW emails, which were made public by Valleywag’s Sam Biddle this week, to his fraternity brothers between 2009 and 2010. The emails are laced with misogynist language and attitudes. In them, Spiegel refers to women as “soroisluts” and encourages fraternity members to “have some girl put your large kappa sigma dick down her throat” as a reward for a successful weekend of partying.