Note: by contribution I mean all effort put into growing the community starting from useful edits and ending in moderation
The recent events that involved lots of moderators leaving as a protest made me wonder about the rationale behind what seems to be a very easy dismissal of a precious moderator (multiple sites, a huge amount of moderation effort).
The first was to answer a question on Politics based on this answer:
The most upvoted answer seems to say yes, as a very recent phenomenon.
This might provide an ideological answer to what we have seen in the last days, but I have also noticed SO making an effort to make a profit (which is not a bad thing at all) and this decision seems to be "bad for the business":
talent loss - moderators typically encompass a lot of qualities (knowledgeable about the community matters, as less biased as possible, knows about conflict management, pro bono effort, etc.). Any quality accumulation is very hard to find and companies often spend millions to find such persons.
there is a lot of world outside US - more than 70% of the users live outside US and small technicalities related to "gender-neutral language" might be of little interest to them. Of course this does not mean that "be nice policy" is not a "must". Just that many care more about the "spirit" rather than the "letter" of the law.
apparent breaking of its own CoC which promotes being patient and welcoming. Quickly removing moderation rights from a member certainly does not look as patient to me. Also enforcement has three steps and only the second one triggers suspension (in this case removing the moderation rights).
lack of proportionality - there seems to be a lack of proportionality between action and alleged "crime". While the SO community does not have to obey this legal principle, I find it to be common sense and also applicable here.
apparent arbitrary punishment - there is still no clear connection between a "crime" and the removal of moderation rights ("PreCrime"). Based on some comments and answers the moderator seems to have broken no valid rule and this seems more like a thoughtcrime.
Most, if not all, of these practices tend to erode trust and decrease quality of the community posts.
I think that nobody can predict where this policy will lead in let's say five years, but it is highly probable to abruptly decrease the community posts quality in the near future.
Coming back to my question:
Why does Stack Overflow seem to be less welcoming to its top contributors?