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As you may have noticed, SE staff have recently announced that the Moderator Action Review Process is being replaced by a new process.

Now, the MARP seems to be written for purposes of removing a moderator of a single site, and the latest de-diamonded moderator was a moderator on no less than six sites, so clearly some tweaking is in order. In particular, the invitees to the discussion in this case would have numbered in the dozens, making scheduling challenging.

Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to open a discussion on the subject, and provide a bit of community feedback on how the MARP should be changed.

  • To be clear the MARP specifies the removal of a moderator as initiated by other moderators. The SE staff announcement mentions a separate process for removing moderators as initiated by the company. – TylerH Oct 4 at 18:56
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    Ah, well, not to put too fine a point on this, but SE's claim is that they didn't have a process at all. And @TylerH, I consider that a distinction without a difference. It doesn't matter how the process is initiated. For what it's worth, the MARP is well-thought out, and I think it's fine just the way it is. – Robert Harvey Oct 4 at 18:57
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    @TylerH the process as written has a provision that it may be initiated by the company as well. – HAEM Oct 4 at 18:59
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    Also, the problem is not processes; the problem is attitude: a general lack of information among the corporate lieutenants about how online communities work, and a pernicious malaise of neglect and dismissal of those communities' legitimate concerns. Your communities are a valuable and precious resource, and you're squandering them. – Robert Harvey Oct 4 at 19:02
  • @RobertHarvey There still are the tricky problems of gathering a quorum of multiple sites' moderators, and maybe some clarifications should be made on just how wide-spread the de-modding can be. – HAEM Oct 4 at 19:03
  • @RobertHarvey On your second point, I almost didn't post this question because I was partly trying to draw attention to the fact that it is not the job of some association-bonus poster to make this post. – HAEM Oct 4 at 19:06
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    I think it's sweet that you think that any procedure was followed. It should be abundantly clear that what happened was that Monica annoyed the wrong person/people in the company who then lashed out. Unless the company agrees to have their actions limited by a process (which seems pretty unlikely) then all the talk in the world about policies and procedures is pointless. – Richard Oct 4 at 22:59
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    Agree with Richard - it seems that any concerns raised here are not going to be addressed at all. To think that the community has any say in how things operate going forward is naive bordering on Pollyanna – NKCampbell Oct 5 at 0:46
  • @Richard - Is it known who that individual was, or what their function was? – aparente001 Oct 6 at 7:13
  • @aparente001 - I'm afraid you'll have to research that yourself. There are fuller descriptions of events elsewhere than on SE – Richard Oct 6 at 8:17
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Community-defined rules have no bearing on StackExchange corporation's actions. The rules are meaningless.

They could become meaningful if tied to something that can compel StackExchange corporation's actions, like a legally binding contract.

However, a contract is only part of the story. When the contract is violated, it must be enforced by something that has jurisdiction over StackExchange corporation, like a US court of law.

And yet, the idea of pursuing such an enforcement action is apparently unpopular. Personally, my choice is observe just a bit longer, and withdraw from the community.

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    Sad, but true. And in reality, there are times & places where that is the right course. The corporate entity, in the end, has the final say. But this current situation was pretty clearly (from an ordinary user's view, at least) not the right time & place for corporate unilateral action. – manassehkatz Oct 4 at 21:56
  • While this is true at present, the question is about whether this situation needs to change. Corporations are free to enter into binding legal agreements, and indeed, courts sometimes have sanctioned corporations for violating their own policies (this often comes up in wrongful termination suits, for example). And while the community may not be able to force SE inc. to make such a policy, it's also totally fair for the community to try to convince them that it would be a very good idea. – Nate Strickland Oct 4 at 22:45
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    @bdares, good edit, but I think that the idea that perusing enforcement through courts is unpopular now (when there is no binding contract to enforce, thus no real chance for success) does not imply that such a move would be unpopular if such a binding contract were available, and going to court could have a chance of success. – Nate Strickland Oct 4 at 22:57
  • @bdares, no, I was not referring to the licences -- copyright violations certainly have a lot of case law behind them. I was referring to the process for SE Inc's removal of a moderator. As I understand it, right now there's no legally binding process for that, but SE Inc could make one if they so choose. – Nate Strickland Oct 4 at 23:10
  • The page you linked to is gone. Not sure what type of legal enforcement was being proposed. However, I have, well, not proposed, exactly -- I have brought to light a type of action Monica (or any other user) could pursue. See meta.stackexchange.com/a/334482/287826. – aparente001 Oct 6 at 14:11

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