53

I came across the resignation letter by Robert Harvey by pure coincidence, a few minutes after he wrote that. Since then, I paid close attention to what happened on MSO and MSE.

I think we have seen plenty of questions/discussions here that outlined in great detail what the community considers "broken", and all the things that "we" want the company to look at and fix.

After a lot of venting, and more importantly, their second, more credible attempt of an apology, I think I got closer to an answer to this question though:

What do I, as an individual frequent contributor plan to do now?

My point is: it is one thing to tell the company what we want from them, but I always consider it extremely helpful to also clarify the plan that I intend to follow.

If you don't have a map, any road will do. So, whereto from here?

This question has an open bounty worth +100 reputation from user56reinstatemonica8 ending in 4 days.

One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.

meta.stackexchange.com/a/334854/178621 is a great account of how this situation appears to a non-regular

  • Note: I am going to write a self-answer with my own thoughts later today. But I really want to invite the non-moderators to speak up about their plans here (assuming that the moderators have their private lounges to discuss their situation, which I consider slightly different to those of us "normal" users). – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Oct 8 at 4:48
  • 28
    -1 I suggest planning nothing until we know what the revised CoC is going to look like. Until we know if SE is going to repair Monica's online reputation. Until we know what the process for moderator removal will entail. Never count your eggs before they are hatched. Erm... ? :) – Mari-Lou A Oct 8 at 6:08
  • @Mari-LouA It can still be a very healthy exercise to "locate" one's exact position. As said: when you dont have a map, it doesnt matter what SE.com does, or how the new CoC looks like. – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Oct 8 at 6:31
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA, I think the saying is; 'Don't count your chickens until you hit two birds with one glass house' – visibleman Oct 8 at 8:05
  • 4
    Not sure whether there's anything actionable in this question. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 8 at 11:21
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit I think that can be said about many "questions" that were showing up here lately. And at least for me, the answers that came in today give a lot of helpful perspectives. – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Oct 8 at 18:12
  • 1
    But this one is specifically what do you do. Well, whatever you want mate! – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 8 at 23:36

14 Answers 14

50

We wait.

I don't think there's anything else anyone can do - the ball is in Stack Overflow's court. The post here by David Fullerton seems promising: it said they'll do some things to try to fix what they've done. I don't think there's any point users or moderators doing anything until we see what they actually do.

The thing is, they've made promises in the past and haven't kept them: after the Twitter/HNQ debacle, an apology was promised but never delivered. (The inappropriate ads being shown all over the network make the whole Twitter thing seem even more ridiculous now.)

This time they've said they'll contact Monica and clear things up, but it seems to me that should have been the very first thing they did. So until she posts something like, "I'm satisfied with what Stack Overflow has done to make up for all the damage they've done to me," I don't see anything else to do but wait.

Once they fix the biggest problem, then I'll think about what I think should happen next.

However, if Stack Overflow is truly serious about fixing their mistake, they shouldn't make everyone wait too long. It's been 10 days since this all started, it's been over a week since it was clear that they'd made a bad mistake, and it's been 3 days since they made (what seemed to be) a real apology. The thing is, as the days count up without them resolving this, the apology seems less and less sincere.

  • 8
    "Update, October 8: I received email from David Fullerton today at 15:10 UTC. I am not satisfied (and this is a vast understatement). I have asked for a discussion." Going great so far... – Jorge Córdoba Oct 9 at 10:04
  • 30
    Discussion was rejected. The questions I asked (again) remain unanswered. So we're still waiting. – Monica Cellio Oct 10 at 2:33
  • 4
    @MonicaCellio Updated a bit: waiting only goes so far... – Ward - Reinstate Monica Oct 10 at 2:54
  • 5
    @Mast they've said they'll contact Monica and clear things up ... according to Monica, that didn't happen. She started a gofundme (linked in my profile), and contacted a lawyer. No idea what comes out of that. Definitely not: SE Inc. bringing her back any time soon. – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Nov 8 at 12:27
40

Wait.

The greater good is the network of SE sites, being a high quality Q&A network.

It's terrible what happened to Monica, and I hope everyone involved will at a certain moment be able to stand in that it's over and complete.

Worst case scenarios:

  1. That does not happen. That's bad, but the Q&A sites deserve to live on. People will leave, new people will come in. I'll probably continue contributing on the main sites (my involvement on the meta sites is not that large anyway).

  2. I might not agree with the upcoming CoC. It will then totally depend on what's in there where I personally will go.

But I have confidence that this will all work out; with our combined stand and intelligence we'll find a way to continue, and in the future this will be seen as a sad incident that we have learned from.
Despite the flurry of opinions and assumptions made by people in previous posts (yes, we're human), I'm positively surprised by the adultness being displayed.


I am sorry, the wait is over.

It has been 5 weeks since this whole mess about pronouns and Monica started.
The company still has not apologized properly to Monica, following it with appropriate action, and we are left with an unnecessary and overregulated pronoun policy (what was wrong with 'Be nice'?)

It seems that the people who are most vocal (on either 'side') are winning from the moderate ones: questions that stir up more noise, comment upon comment of their so important opinions.
I was one of those people keeping sites maintained as a game (trying to get Steward badges for all review queues), but participating in/among this is not fun anymore.
The thought of getting slapped on the fingers for 'making a mistake' using ordinary pronouns is just ridiculous.

So I will be voting with my feet and leaving:

  • killing my profile on 25 of 35 SE sites that I (ir)regularly visit;

  • stopping all editing and 'moderation' activities on (currently) 28 sites that I visited approx twice daily;

  • no longer flagging all those obsolete comments that my eyes fall on.

My participation will be limited to asking questions, and writing the occasional answer if I come across something I can answer.

My thanks and best wishes for those that are still trying to bring something good out of all this.

  • 3
    We will miss your many helpful flags on Earth Science. – gerrit Nov 8 at 13:40
  • 9
    You've contributed a lot of good work. It's sad to see good people being driven out. :-( – Monica Cellio Nov 8 at 16:45
39

Disengage.

It's fine for a relevant SE question to appear when googling something. Hell, I'll even upvote useful answers--no point to boycott the (remaining) community. But to invest serious time into working for free for a company that views you as a drone to be exploited at will--nope. To produce content that can be rendered unacceptable to continue to engage with, because a for-profit company can do whatever they want with it, in order to increase their profits--nope. To spend time being integrated into a community that a for-profit company can tear apart whenever they feel like it, in order to increase their profits--nope.

When I feel like looking at real Q&A on SE, I satisfy the addiction by coming here instead and looking at meta. Luckily, this was a new, growing addiction, so it's easy enough to kill it early. I'm close to getting over it completely. Sigh.

  • 1
    There are more valuable addictions than a meta addiction. – Peter Mortensen Oct 10 at 1:01
34

As a gen;pop user in this community, I've been set my attention to the recent event along with some of the past events. It has been ages since they even got a somewhat feasible apology, but it also left a pile of unanswered questions. The first response we got was complete bollocks. I'm sure most of people saw it.

Having said that, I'm not seeing any trustworthy, actionable reaction from them, yet. Their communication is near zero. They've still to understand that Community is the MVP here.

One of the staff has mentioned that,

We made a hard decision, and we stand by that decision.

which shows to me that they are not trying to make amends nor trying to help fix the already huge problem.

Still, there are numerous problems which even hasn't got their tiniest attention yet, including, but not limited to,

  • Animated ads / advertisements as a whole

  • User Tracking (please see here and here)

  • License changes (here)

  • How bad moderators being treated just to attract new users (here)

  • Media outburst they did and directly forcing guilt to the person by name (here)

So, since we got nothing concrete from SE yet, I am going to just cease my contributions (I know it's not much). But until we see something good coming out from the SE staff, I cannot be a part of this.

They are yet to publish their new CoC, which will surely be a major fact how company's future would be. I am not holding my breath hoping that it'd be a good one.

So TL;DR;

As a general user, we should just wait to see what'll happen next. Meanwhile I'm ceasing my teeny tiny contributions and look closer to the real problems at hand. Never trust words unless you've seen some credible action(s), eh?

  • 2
    I want to double-upvote this one! (I'm also a general user, mostly in the Writing area, sometimes in UX, ELU 7 Workplace) – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Oct 8 at 12:29
  • 1
    @April you can award a bounty. :-) – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 8 at 16:36
  • @April aww.. that made my day. I was at writing area once I think, been trying to write something for a long while, but still... near nada. Reason I wrote this one, because all the attention was on to moderators, but others as a whole was hurt as much but seems it went unnoticed. – Vishwa Oct 9 at 3:51
  • 3
    What is a "gen;pop user"? What is "MVP" in this context? Most valued professional? Minimum viable product? Most valuable player? Something else? – Peter Mortensen Oct 10 at 0:56
  • @PeterMortensen it's all common words, on usual meanings. gen;pop means general population. just a plain,normal user. as MVP goes, this is community comprised on people. so in this case MVP doesn't stand for product nor player. but Person. or you can get it as Professional in some SE sites. sorry for the confusion, my bad – Vishwa Oct 10 at 3:20
27

Waiting period is over, I decided to stay.


##Wait.


I'm waiting to see Monica's response to the recent attempt of the company to contact her in an organized way, hopefully to reach some agreement about their future together. (Or apart.)

I'm waiting to see if Stack Exchange will be more responsive to the community, especially the moderators team who clearly said SE staff ignored them all on the room dedicated for communication with them.

After the above would become clear, I might renew my activities here (review, flagging, etc) but the broken trust needs more than just glue to be regained, so even in the best case I'll not trust Stack Exchange again.

  • 6
    "so even in the best case I'll not trust Stack Exchange again" bottom-line, You shouldn't...nobody shouldn't – Vishwa Oct 8 at 7:21
  • 1
    @Vishwa dunno about others, I only speak for myself. But even without trust I can still use it almost the same as before, just knowing to not expect anything. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 8 at 7:32
  • 4
    "I'm waiting to see Monica's response to the recent attempt of the company to contact her" <- This – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Oct 8 at 12:53
  • 17
    I'm waiting for SE to contact me. – Monica Cellio Oct 8 at 14:12
  • @Monica really hope it will happen soon, and that's it's not another empty promise. Good luck with that, and צום קל! – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 8 at 16:35
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio I dunno about what you planned to do if they contact you, dunno whether you have a plan per se, (see, I use if, because common sense...). but since they did all those nasty things, even going to the media and force the blame on you by name, I think you shouldn't abide in any way for a mediocre personal apology. IMHO, it should be public. – Vishwa Oct 9 at 3:49
  • 12
    @Vishwa reinstatement and a retraction of the defamatory comments are among the things I want. The latter is, by its nature, public. – Monica Cellio Oct 10 at 1:43
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio I hope they choose the right way. I don't know you personally, but the way you were treated was not good at all. not only the mods are upset, but whole lot of other contributors/users feels the same way, or worse. – Vishwa Oct 10 at 3:24
  • 8
    Weeks have gone by with SE failing to contact me. They still haven't told me what specifically I did that they think violated the then-current CoC. Just...crickets. – Monica Cellio Nov 1 at 15:39
  • @MonicaCellio I get this, and can't possibly know why they act the way they act. But at this point I don't think it's out of some evil desire, just something that's unknown to us. I can only hope we'll know one day, and that you'll get the apology you so much deserve. But going away from SE won't help towards this, not in this point in time, in my opinion. Anyway, good luck in the upcoming events! – Shadow The Princess Wizard Nov 1 at 15:43
  • 2
    Yeah, I wasn't trying to tell you what to do; sorry if it looked that way. I was just adding context since the post was bumped. – Monica Cellio Nov 1 at 15:53
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio sure, I'm well aware of that, but naturally my decision is unpopular so I was explaining it again. Also want you to know that I admire you for keeping everything civil despite everything, it's really an inspiration. So, thanks! :) – Shadow The Princess Wizard Nov 2 at 0:18
24

I feel embarrassed to weigh in here, as an infrequent contributor who hasn't followed any of this particularly closely. But then, I've seen some veiled references to the idea that SE (the company, not the community) cares more about what the "silent majority" thinks than a small number of hyper-vocal "power users". Or, being more cynical, they believe that their business depends primarily on the disinterested clicks of passers-by, and not on the perpetual over-engagement of those who've followed this.

I'm not even remotely qualified to address that question, so I won't. That's for SE's business department, or whatever. But perhaps, as a low-engagement infrequent contributor, I should say something after all, to give an impression to all of you -- and to SE -- how this really looks from the outside. As you can presumably tell from my account, I'm an infrequent participant and I've never touched meta before. (I'm sorry to say this, but... I've heard bad things.) Maybe my thoughts, written as clearly as I can, can help guide y'all.

I think I've now read most of the important threads on this, at least the ones on SE. If there's others elsewhere, I'm unaware. From what I can tell the proximal cause of this was a debate over LGBTQ acceptance on SE. To be honest, I'm afraid of touching that, so I won't. (If you care about my identity, just assume I'm whoever you hate most. It's simpler that way.) I kind of get the sense that it's irrelevant to the broader picture, anyway.

I can see that Monica Cellio, a prominent (or at least well-liked) moderator, was removed from her moderator position. (I wouldn't call an unpaid volunteer "fired," I think.) The naive interpretation of this, taking SE at their word, is that she made some extraordinarily transphobic remarks. I imagine here something beyond the pale -- a personal attack on an SE employee, or a threat of violence.

There isn't enough information released to know what exactly the crime was, and I've watched enough similar-looking scandals to know that premature claims about "what must have happened" inevitably look stupid. But I've read comments from both ends of the vaguely political spectrum, and everybody outside of SE seems to be in agreement that there's no chance in hell that the above is what happened. Everybody seems to agree that the mod in question has always been on the supportive end of the spectrum, and particularly level-headed, even-tempered, and fair-minded? It's hard to square that with "personal attack".

The reaction of the non-SE folks -- people who seem to think of Monica as a reliable LGBTQ ally, and people who think of her as some sort of foe of traditional values -- is surprising in its uniform agreement that the official story is lacking. It's difficult to believe anything SE says, particularly when it's so hard to find them saying anything.


Perhaps MC had a personal falling-out with an employee. Maybe MC, or SE, is outright lying for some bizarre reason. It could be this is all a comedic misunderstanding. Fundamentally, I'm reminded that there is no 'community' here, because any purported community has no power, no agency. There's just a company, manipulating people into doing work for free, so that idiots like me can get easy answers from google. That's a net positive, I guess, but I can't help but wish there was an "organic, free range, locally sourced" version, with a higher price and lower quality, but less guilt.

  • 10
    Actually the fact you're an infrequent user is valuable here. I think a good chunk of power users, myself included are a little close to the problem. And thank you for having to have the courage to post here in spite of what you might have heard, in a post on the current hot topic, controversial issue of the community. – Journeyman Geek Oct 10 at 6:02
  • 3
    I totally agree. Your answer made me scroll up again, and see if I only asked "power users" to speak up. I am glad I did not, and I am very glad you added your perspective here! That is the whole point of my question: to get a bit of insight what "ordinary" community members think, from where they are, and where they see themselves in the future (regarding the SE network). – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Oct 10 at 6:38
  • 1
    Scott, I want to thank you for venturing in and speaking up. I, too, was until recently a very rare visitor to MSE, or any of the meta sites. I feel similarly and find myself watching in horror as Nero lets Rome burn. – Jon Harper Nov 9 at 10:17
23

It all depends on further development, both in near and far future.

It is easier to start with the most destructive options:

1. Delete account - Not an option

The most that can be achieved by deleting the account is anonymising my contributions.

2. Log out and don't come back - Not an option

That is a more viable option. The problem, for me at least, is that my day-to-day work includes searching for solutions to various programming problems. I have two options here

  • Avoid Stack Overflow completely - which will only hurt me - Not an option

  • Use Stack Overflow in logged out mode and increase their revenue by ads - Not an option (this is the path where I am angry and I am not eager to give them a chance to earn more money)

3. Stay logged in and do nothing - Acceptable option

4. Stay logged in and participate - Most likely option

The question is what will I do and to what extent?

  • Participate in Meta - Very likely - this kind of participation is helpful for the community, and it is only helpful for the company if they listen, but that is what we want after all

  • Participate in Elections (voting) - Very likely - There are people (current moderators, old moderators, and others) I trust, and I want to be able to vote for them, as this is in my best interest

  • Voting (up, down, flagging content) - Probably - while I am currently avoiding any such actions as a form of protest, those are anonymous actions that don't require direct contact with other members

  • Commenting, moderating, asking and answering - Unknown - those actions require interaction and provide a product for the company. What will I do in those cases will absolutely depend on future development and I cannot say with any certainty what I will do.

  • 2
    Thats a nice summary, thanks for your contribution ;-) – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Oct 8 at 9:39
  • Isn't flagging falls under moderating? – Vishwa Oct 9 at 5:07
  • @Vishwa Yes, but it is not an action where you put your name on it (in public). When you vote to close, or open, it is visible. – Her Majesty Queen of ARC Oct 9 at 7:36
  • Maybe an alternative to your second option: remain logged out but use an adblocker. I live in a serene ad-free world : ) – hat Oct 10 at 5:57
  • @hat I don't like ad blockers. If someone provides some content for free, using ad blocker is not fair. But I also don't visit sites that abuse ads. Only once and then never again :) – Her Majesty Queen of ARC Oct 10 at 6:46
  • 5
    If Stack Exchange were policing their ads and making sure that animated ads and other forms of ad abuse were not present on their site, I might agree with your sentiment that "using ad blocker is not fair". They used to police their ads, but they no longer do so. And if a site insists on trying to show me annoying, animated ads, I feel no qualms at all about blocking that part of the site's functionality while viewing the rest of the site. – rmunn Oct 10 at 7:14
  • @rmunn I totally agree with that part. There is a also some difference between SO and other sites in general. On SO, I had contributed to the site (before it turned to ads galore), so I would not have any bad feelings for turning on ad blocker. But, it is simpler to stay logged in, at least for now. – Her Majesty Queen of ARC Oct 10 at 7:31
19

I just discovered the recent events. I feel conflicted. Stack Exchange provides an invaluable service, and their overall contribution have been immeasurable. There is no other resource comparable to it online.

It seems that even the people directly involved are still trying to figure out what is going on, and SE corporate seems to have realized that there is an issue with how things were dealt with. So, I have some hope that the recent debacle will result in improved standards.

For now, I do not plan to alter my (admittedly very low) contribution to SE sites. But, depending on how things play out, it may be time for a not-for-profit fully community run question-and-answer site to emerge as an alternative to SE.

  • After reading the other answers to this question, and the lack of positive movement from SE, I have to wonder why there isn't a "wikipedia" for Q&A that is not-for-profit and fully community run? If many of the mods on SE jumped ship for a open version, would it take long to be a useful alternative? – jerlich Nov 3 at 4:28
15

Ironically - at this point, the ball is completely in Stack Overflow's court. I think we're at the point we can do all we do. We can watch out for the folks we care about, make sure that COC or no COC we watch out for the more vulnerable parts of our community and make sure they feel safe and confident enough to get help if people are not as nice as they should be.

At the end of the day the community is why I am here.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I feel its worth looking at what's kind of supposed to be the founding principles of the moderation system and some other things folks in the company have talked about over time.

I feel many of the events that have happened so far are at odds with principles we have for how we deal with members of our community.

To begin, I refer to the principles of moderation - while there's a newer post about it, there's a few relevant points. I will bring to your attention points 2 and 6

Your goal is to guide the community with gentle — but firm — intervention. Respect your fellow community members at all times; demonstrate fairness and impartiality in your actions.

I would not dispute that the actions were firm but I do not agree they were gentle. Fairness and impartiality - well, I personally question them. There was no due process, and communication has been lacking.

In the case of serious disputes, communicate directly with users via email to help mediate and resolve those disputes.

There was a mod removed over chat. She has been complaining about the lack of communication, and this does not look good. Admittedly this has changed to moderator messages but - its worth considering the spirit of what this says. The mediation and resolution means we fix these disputes. Irrecoverable punitive measures have never been the SE way.

While we as mods do try our best to maintain and cultivate our own community, we cannot do anything if actions are taken beyond our control.

If it is expected of us as per point 1...

You are an ambassador of trust, with the same sorts of rights that the official development team and community coordinators have.

And well, the folks we interact within the company are expected to help be ambassadors of trust between the company and the community.

Monica, and well I were moderators on MSE. I hope the situation will arise where I feel comfortable coming back (as opposed to the alternative - coming back cause the place needs help to stay afloat.). I love this place and have respect for many of the folks I interact with.

To quote Tim in the post that announced us

In a dynamic where we essentially hold all of the cards and power, we need to give folks as much latitude as possible in order to create a field that's as level as possible. That means, we've gotta let the truth hurt, essentially, even when it's incredibly inconvenient. HOWEVER, if we can't find a trace of good faith in correspondence or it has become personal, it needs to be removed to keep the bar to entry in line with what we can take.

and that leads to a very important part of the job

That, right there, is a big part of the balance that I feel we've been missing since we separated Meta Stack Overflow away from the network discussion resulting in MSE becoming an insular site. Everyone that works at Stack Exchange is very passionate about what they do, which leads to very passionate discussions especially where there's criticism involved. Sometimes, we as employees need to disengage, or dial it back, or whatever euphemism you want to use for calm the heck down and think about the goals and the people helping you meet them.

Things feel worse - not better. It is calm and we're working towards some common objectives but we had a chain of correspondence going off the rails. We have a member of our community waiting for an answer. She's had two holidays ruined.

Sometimes we need to consider both the bigger picture and our personal feelings. There's a few communities that need her, and I believe, momentary disagreements aside - she's always proven to be sensible and rational.

Our appointed moderators will have full agency to correct any chain of correspondence that appears to be going off the rails, no matter who was originally driving the train. Sometimes it's better to let an objective party step in and handle things, we'll just leave it at that.

I guess I could be considered close to this but - considering how things went and who is involved. I do ask hard that folks step back and consider what's best for the community. Rather than picking an example - lets realise that in a sense we failed and we can do better.

This has gone off the rails multiple times.

I've never asked for this directly so far but - Please consider bringing back Monica for at least Judaism, Workplace and Writing. They need her. I talked about how the apology was a start. This is a continuation. If specific mods have issues with her - I'm pretty sure the specific points of friction can be addressed. The rest could hopefully be up for consideration.

Working with her to clarify, and hopefully help clear her name would be a decent thing to do. I think the damage is going get worse, not better till then. Some of the stuff I've seen on chat is... pretty bad.

Some of the things that were said were also ill considered. Lets try to work together to fix the damage.

As a moderator and a member of the community, I've done what I can to hold the line of civility and hope, though at this point I feel a little like a protagonist of a Cruxshadows song, holding the line in a hopeless fight.

I'd like to get this sorted. There's a lot of work to do, but this has to be the start.

There's a dozen other things I'd like to ask - but that has to start with a show of good faith.

14

I too have just become aware of recent events.

To be honest, this has been building for a long time. There are disconnects between the different levels (CM, mod, high-rep, and low-rep) of SE communities, and it has seemed for years as though those in control are steering SE in a direction that's counter to how it's used, and counter to its founding principles, while at the same time cheerfully ignoring expressions of concern.

Fuzzy-feeling blog posts and suchlike are all well and good, but in the absence of actually doing anything positive to put right what's been going wrong, that's all they'll ever be.

This isn't axe-grinding on my part; it's just by way of a lead-in to saying that this is a trajectory that SE has been on for a while, and that the question of "where do we go from here" is, for now, answered by "nothing has changed". So the appropriate response is a continued tapering-off of interaction with the communities, the occasional check-in with meta to see if anything has happened yet, until SE either shapes up or dies.

11

As a moderator, I'm waiting to see what the published CoC changes bring and whether that impacts my day-to-day (it likely does not).

Moreover, I'm willing to give Stack Overflow the chance to make their deeds match their words and see if there's an upward trend towards including moderators in processes that affect the community.

For me, that goes back to the three outstanding issues:

  1. How are moderator dismissals handled? What's the process? What's said publicly? Privately?
  2. What are the processes for enacting changes to community-related policy? How are moderators involved?
  3. Overall, are moderators seen by Stack Overflow Inc. as liaisons to their community? Or free labor to be exploited? (this will be apparent in how we are treated and when we are asked for our input by Stack Overflow Inc).
7

It's frustrating with the lack of full details, because on one hand, how they fired Monica was awful, on the other hand, I totally get that we need to be better with Trans and other identities.

And it super sucks that Monica's Jewish identity was ignored in part (the high holidays & offline for Shabbat) with all the timing.

I have several trans/nb/genderqueer friends, plus most of my friends I know IN REAL LIFE by what started as online handles (Complex, Anarchy, Borg), plus I've taught college students from many countries/cultures, so their naming conventions aren't clear to me.

Again, without having seen the CoC, I don't know what's being proposed. I'm active in some local SF cons, and ribbons/buttons with pronouns is becoming more and more normalized, as is adding one's pronouns to the email .sig block on college campuses. (However, in my new day-job, affiliated with a federal government agency, our sig blog is regulated so a pronoun line isn't (yet) acceptable.) I feel that as a Cis-woman, to help "normalize" pronoun announcing, I do it freely.

So one action I've done, tiny as it is, is added my pronouns to my profile, in the first line.

(For those who don't get why I, with a feminine name and avatar, feel the need to declare She/Her/Hers, imagine if ONLY those who were ambiguous went around making those declarations -- it makes the transpeople stick out in a way that isn't necessary. )

If there is a drop-down form in the profile to indicate preferred pronouns, I'll happily fill that out. I don't expect mods to know everyone's specifics by heart.

I also think, especially for mods, never-online days could be indicated.

"Shipping on Friday" is bad because no one "from corporate" is online on Saturdays/Sundays. Some mods have religious obligations every week, some have personal retreats away from screen-time, some may be focusing on schoolwork.

When I taught Tech Communication and we did a lot of work in Teams, our teams spent a week or two establishing norms & expectations. Who's a night owl? Who's an early bird? Who will be fasting when a certain project is due? Who will be traveling if the team makes the sweet sixteen, but otherwise is ok? Who keeps Sabbath, or has other religious obligations?

If the SE Corporate People could check their Chart Of Mod Availability, they could see "Ahh, it's mid-afternoon in Monica's time zone, and it's Friday and she is consistently offline Friday evenings and all day Saturday, so anything with her should wrap up immediately, or be continued on.... let's see... she has marked several days in a row in this time period as 'expected offline' -- perhaps I shall ask her what it's about, or google it...?"

Again, I'm not a mod, I haven't seen the chats in question, and I'm assuming all mods were attempting to act in good faith.

I'm still not reviewing the queues that I have access too (which used to be how I started my mornings) until I feel that Monica feels answered and the Lavender Letter is answered. But that's me, not what anyone else has to choose.

  • It all sums down to what you prefer to do... may be it will go unnoticed, but it's worth standing for what you believe – Vishwa Oct 9 at 5:16
  • If you chat much, it might be worth checking out the pronoun assistant that Glorfindel made: it displays for you when chatting others' pronouns (if specified), and points you to where to specify yours such that other chatters (with the Assistant installed) will see them. – nitsua60 Oct 10 at 3:51
  • 2
    I never use the chat here -- I prefer the slightly more permanent nature of comments, Qs, and As. – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Oct 10 at 12:45
6

Yes, it is too early to lay out a concrete plan right now.
But, nonetheless, I figured out a few things:

  • The number of people coming here looking for help didn't change that much, as far as we can tell right now.
  • Yeah, actually, I did lose all trust that I still had with Stack Exchange Inc.
  • But I also don't see any viable alternative, at least for now.

And last but not least: I actually miss contributing directly on stackoverflow.com.

So my current stance is to slowly engage again. And there is always a simple way to adhere to the CoC… reduce verbal communication to the essential minimum.

For me, the "things" that I expect from Stack Exchange Inc are listed here. But yes, actually I don't have much hope that their ship will really change course dramatically.

4

You really only have three choices:

  • Patience -- as we need to wait to see the final results of this story, which I include Monica and the CoC update(s).
  • Quit / disengage -- you can stop contributing, delete your account, etc.
  • Acceptance -- take the information you have, and proceed as normal.

The bottom line to me is we should wait to see how this unfolds, until the conclusion.

It's like watching a bad TV show, but you realize you have invested so much time into it, you cannot give it up until the finale.

The finale is coming soon(ish).

  • 8
    Correction - finale is 6-8 weeks away. – Snow Oct 8 at 13:02
  • @Snow is that when the IPO process is started? – Ian Ringrose Oct 10 at 15:38

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