As I read about the Monica controversy, part of me feels very disheartened. Clearly this community means something to people, the passion in the words I read affirms that for me. At the same time though, it's hard not be disheartened reading all the negative sentiments. I want to believe that things aren't so bad that they can never be fixed, and that the network can continue to be a valuable resource for the internet as a whole.

I'm still very new. In the spirit of improvement and optimism, could some longer tenure users explain why they stay? Why do you dedicate your time to this site? What do you get out of it, why do you like it? Why do you think it will get better?

  • 34
    "Why do you think it will get better?" Can it get worse? Oct 8 '19 at 20:59
  • 15
    I'll just point out that this is semi-related to this identically named post from almost half a year ago. The issues weren't quite to the same head as they are now, but they're discussing what's been building for awhile now. Oct 8 '19 at 21:39
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    @202324 I'm not sure that this is offtopic, and the latter two reasons are a lot more lax (or outright inapplicable) on Meta. Half the posts here are primarily opinion based. Oct 8 '19 at 21:42
  • @Carcigenicate I'm so sorry, I missed that one!
    – pfr
    Oct 8 '19 at 21:42
  • @pfr No, it's all good. The environment has changed. If you want to get a sense of how the problems today came to be though, the previous post may be of help. Oct 8 '19 at 21:43
  • That make sense. Thanks!
    – pfr
    Oct 8 '19 at 21:44
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    @AnneDaunted aww. you gone jinxed it :D
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Oct 9 '19 at 0:06
  • 4
    @202324 I don't think it's blatently off-topic considering that this is a question regarding Stack Exchange, which is within scope and too broad is arguable. If you really must flag it as anything this would be Primarily Opinion Based since there every answer is equally valid irrespective of corroboration, but even then the nature of meta websites on Stack Exchange is somewhat different than that of the main subjects and knowing our goals is a good way to give us insight on how we should proceed.
    – Tonepoet
    Oct 9 '19 at 4:14
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/334278/…
    – dim
    Oct 9 '19 at 7:22
  • 1
    "I want to believe that things aren't so bad that they can never be fixed" It can yes, but will it? Nobody knows. Maybe not what you wanted to hear.
    – Trilarion
    Oct 9 '19 at 7:41
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    @AnneDaunted Yes it certainly can get worse.....
    – Neo
    Oct 9 '19 at 15:59
  • I don't think people should leave, but I find it morbidly amusing to see just how much worse it's gotten since @AnneDaunted implied it couldn't get worse. Mostly by the unexpected, if unsurprising in retrospect, incidents of autofootshooting.
    – SolveIt
    Oct 17 '19 at 2:44
  • I joined in August, really like the SEs I've been involved with (mostly Writing), and have been feeling torn about this whole mess, like I'm crossing the picket line to contribute. I like my (resigned/fired/striking) mods and I support them in this conflict. I would love the community to go back to being a functional, helpful, and friendly oasis of internet learning-- but I wonder whether I should let myself get invested any further.
    – wordsworth
    Oct 20 '19 at 1:16
  • @AnneDaunted: Oh yes, sure, it can get much worse. SE Inc. can fire more people, or ban certain users, or write even stricter orders about speech is allowed, or make everyone declare pronouns and ask for pronouns. Or they could just delete the entire network if it doesn't make them any money.
    – einpoklum
    Oct 21 '19 at 21:33
  • There's no better platform yet. Also, the site I helped create needs some moderators; if we we all quit, who'll do it?
    – Raphael
    Oct 22 '19 at 1:41

37 Answers 37


In all honesty: For the people.

I'm a regular in the DMZ, which is the chat room of Information Security. It's full of amazing people, whom I talk to more or less every day during the week. I keep updating the folks there about the miniatures I paint, others share stories of certifications they are doing or possible career paths they want to take. To me, the DMZ and its people have become the main reason I stay.

Sure, occasionally you will find me answering some questions, but I usually do that just to add my two cents, or to have somebody say "Actually, that's completely wrong." Being wrong, afterall, is the best way to learn.


I'm an active user on Stack Overflow, Academia.SX, and occasionally other sites. Not one of the top people, but pretty active.

For me, while:

  • I (and people I appreciate) are only being abused, rather than me being responsible for that abuse, and
  • I get useful answers to my questions from SE sites
  • I feel I'm helping others with useful answers

I'm not motivated enough to leave.

Also, things are not beyond repair; they're just very bad. Maybe once the current SE Inc. movers-and-shakers get tired whipping us into their kind of morality, they'll lose interest and go someplace else.


This answer is largely copied from my answer to another related question:

To improve the community I'm a part of.

The direct incentive is clear: to help others with their questions, and be helped with mine. (It's what brought me to RPG.SE in the first place after all.) It's pretty much the same incentive you have on any Q&A website. To the extent that the site continues to enable that, you can use it for that purpose. But your underlying question is more about why you should do that here instead of on another site.

Personally, as a moderator of RPG.SE, I do what I do to make my part of the community a better place, not out of some loyalty to Stack Exchange as a company or platform, but out of a desire to help the community I am a part of be a better place - both for asking and answering questions (on main site), and for making it a friendly and welcoming place for anyone who's part of the hobby (in chat).

That's not to say I don't have complaints about how things have played out. But one important reason I and other moderators have stayed on - or come back after suspending our activity - is because we care about our communities, even if the platform they're hosted on acts in ways we strongly disagree with. I assume many longtime users have had the same considerations, though obviously there's less "tying you down" to Stack Exchange if you're not a diamond moderator.

Obviously, everyone's threshold for where they draw the line - and what is just a step too far for them to bear - is different. But I think this is fundamentally the main thing you have to think about when you decide whether you want to continue contributing to sites on Stack Exchange.


Sometimes I see some interesting questions that I've never thought of before and start to do deep research about it to answer that question in detail. The process of reading about that specific topic just broadens my sight without I even notice it, and I must say it is addicting.

Also when I give an answer, question owner or other visitors sometimes appreciate this knowledge and hard work by accepting the answer or upvoting it, but it is also a probability. Therefore it feels me like that I'm gambling, and gambling is addictive too.


I'm moderator of ruSO. For now I stay here as

  • Probably currently we have some time to change new rules. By any ways.
  • These rules are not applicable to localized sites for now and there are a lot of questions how they can be adopted for Russian.
  • I like to answer questions and learn new things from there. So unless I find some other resource interesting for me and while I'm comfortable here, I'll continue to answer.
  • These rules are not applicable to localized sites - citation needed ...
    – user148287
    Oct 19 '19 at 16:19
  • 2
    @SomeoneWhoUsedToCare, meta.stackexchange.com/q/334900/309650 "Q13: How does this apply to languages other than English? For now, while the intent of being inclusive and respectful of all gender identities applies to all our communities, the specific requirements around pronoun usage apply only to English language sites. As we determine best practices in other languages, we’ll work with those communities and update guidance for those languages."
    – Qwertiy
    Oct 19 '19 at 21:32

I don't know.

Perhaps it's because I want to help people.

Perhaps it's because I've become too attached to the site.

Perhaps I'm looking forward to getting more privileges.

Perhaps maybe I've dumped too much of my time, energy, and love into the site to give up and leave now.


Even given the ups and downs of the politics: the Q&A on this site are unmatched in their breadth. Both as an existing resource (via googling) and as an opportunity to appeal to the community for their knowledge - on topics ranging from the common/simple to the unusual or complex topics - it is a key lifeline. The knowledge-base and the community help me through these rough patches on a nearly daily basis. To the moderators and all contributors to the site: thank you.


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