I have some technical questions about this hot post here: Official FAQ on gender pronouns and Code of Conduct changes

(I have avoided voting on this post specifically because I want to remain impartial because I have this genuine question about process, here.)

The announcement was posted by Cesar M, a moderator and staff member.


  1. The new CoC was not solely his idea.

  2. The topic of a post being poorly received raises the question of downvotes affecting moderators, even if it should not affect Cesar M.

My main question is: Should this announcement affect Cesar M's rep?

Smaller parts of my question are...

a. If the community and/or company does not hold Cesar M responsible for this, then could/should the user that owns the post be changed to "Community" or "SE" or something else to protect his rep?

b. If he were to agree with and/or authored the actual content of this post, and if the community agrees, then has the Moderator Action Review Process been initiated?

I generally feel like there is a lot of ambiguity here and I would like this cleared up. It does raise auxilary questions about a more robust way of removing moderators, and while I welcome answers addressing that, I hope answers can focus mainly on the subject of whether the community thinks Cesar M should receive whatever rep damage this may cause him, if any.

  • 6
    Your paragraph about moderator is not applicable, since he isn't an elected moderator. He is a staff member with moderation abilities, just that.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:12
  • For reference to my above statement see the original announcement: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/331654/…
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:16
  • @Luuklag The main question is about whether and how it should affect the moderator's rep, not how it doesn't affect status as staff. You could post an answer for voting, but it would need to include information about whether removal of a staff-moderator initiated by the community should be considered. Oct 11, 2019 at 13:19
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    You'd best review that moderator action review process document. It's not initiated when moderators post a downvoted post, and can only be initiated by other moderators. In fact, multiple mods on Stack Overflow have highly downvoted posts on meta stack overflow, and this is not a reason to review their actions.
    – Erik A
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:26
  • @ErikA That is very, very, very interesting. Thank you very much for commenting! Oct 11, 2019 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


The parts you write about Cesar M being a moderator are not 100% correct.

It is true that Cesar has moderator privileges, as indicated by either the diamond behind his handle, and the indicator on his profile page. But that is not because he is an elected moderator.

He is a staff member who, as a community manager, relies on the moderation tools to do his jobs. This "stacking" of Staff and Moderator indicators on once profile is also explained in the original announcement of the Staff indicator.

Your other question, if he should be removed is also a non-question as the process you link to is a

process for allowing a team of moderators to remove one of their own.

Seeing that Cesar M is no mere Moderator this does not apply.

Now to return to the main question:

Does it really matter?

If Cesar would be afraid of losing his Internet points he clearly would have asked someone else to post this. One of the people a level-up in management. One could think of Sara or David.

To prevent further change in reputation from this post, he could convert it to Community Wiki (CW). The other option would be to dis-associate from the post, making the post owned by the community user. Both of which I think have some negative side-effects:

  • It is conceived to be less genuine.
  • No-one can ever know this was an official company statement.
  • In the case of CW everyone can edit.

Besides all this, Cesar is getting paid, hopefully, in real currency. So does he really need Internet points to show for his work? I think he would be happier to see a pay-check every month.

  • I like your answer, because it clarifies many things, except for one thing: You said that I specifically was not 100% correct, then explained that he is not a moderator by vote when I never claimed he was. That part of your answer should, please, be in a different part of the answer, IMHO. Oct 11, 2019 at 13:38
  • 1
    @JesseSteele You implied that Cesar is a community elected mod by mentioning the removal process for community elected mods and asking if that was initiated for him.
    – Tom
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:40
  • @Tom, No, I didn't. By asking about this, I implied that I wasn't fully clear and wanted clarity. Oct 11, 2019 at 13:42
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    @JesseSteele you state the he is both a staff member and a moderator here: The announcement was posted by Cesar M, a moderator and staff member. (Emphasis mine)
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:43

If the community and/or company does not hold Cesar M responsible for this, then could/should the user that owns the post be changed to "Community" or "SE" or something else to protect his rep?

If you're worried about Cesar's reputation, you can worry a little less. The post has received (while I'm writing this) 203 upvotes (+1015 reputation) and 674 downvotes (-1342 reputation). The net result is negative (-327) but not as much as you fear. Furthermore, because he is holding a diamond, he does not need any reputation for privileges; see the FAQ.

Has the Moderator Action Review Process been initiated?

I'm not sure if you're suggesting that such a process must be started when somebody posts an unpopular announcement on Meta. There is a pending update to that process, and some announcement about that update is expected today:

By Friday, October 11, we’ll share the processes for moderator removal and reinstatement with moderators for their feedback

but remember that it's still in the early morning in the USA, where most of the Stack Exchange employees are located. There's plenty of time to post it.

  • This post also cost its owner much less in the virtual-internet-points department than it otherwise might have because its owner had so few to start with: it quickly pegged at zero and, as the system does not recognize negative values, there was nowhere to go from there. The recovery in the event of posting something useful will only require a very modest curve of 10–20 upvotes.
    – Caleb
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:43
  • Thank you, I was indeed curious if someone could have spelled-out exactly what all those numbers are. Oct 11, 2019 at 13:47
  • If you look at the activity tab on the profile of Sara You can see that every upvoted, followed by 3 or more downvotes sets her reputation back to 1. +5 for the upvote, -2 for the first two downvotes and -1 for the third downvote. All subsequent downvotes cause no change in reputation until she gained reputation in one way or another.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2019 at 14:24

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