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As we all know, SE Inc. has engaged in highly problematic and widely criticized actions against the SE community and specific moderators.

Earlier today (Oct 11th, 2019), Ms. Sara Chipps, "Director of Public Q&A" at Stack Exchange Inc. (who has been personally involved in SE Inc.'s problematic conduct) retweeted the following:

Sara Chipps’s retweet
Text:

Sara Ownbey Chipps has retweeted

Tyranny Siren @bitandbang · 11 Std.
Reading comments on a blog post about a CoC:

If you’re against CoCs and to protest you’re leaving the community because the CoC has become more inclusive...

  1. You identified yourself as part of the problem
  2. You removed your problematic self from the community

... thank you?

While Ms. Chipps did not write this herself, she did actively retweet it without commenting on it; and considering her official capacity – this is very close to being a statement of the company's position on the matter.

I will state the obvious and say that:

  • The question of whether the Code of Conduct has "become more inclusive" is, at best, a highly contested claim.
  • Almost no critics of the new Code of Conduct changes believe it has "become more inclusive".
  • The reasons for protesting and for leaving aren't excessive or insufficient "inclusivity", but rather coercion, authoritarianism and action in bad faith on the part of SE Inc.

and the above holds regardless of whether one agrees with the criticism, or whether one believes the CoC changes are called for. Moreover, relevant SE Inc. staff is quite aware of the above.

It is therefore, in my opinion, quite offensive for an SE Inc. official such as Ms. Chipps to have chosen to misrepresent the situation and the company's critics with this retweet.

Critics of SE Inc. policies or diktats are not "problematic selves" who should remove themselves from the community.

Another twitter thread of Ms. Chipps from October 10th may also be of interest.

  • 34
    I'm leaving this here for Sara to respond to if she wants to, but I don't see anything useful coming out of it otherwise. – Shog9 Oct 11 at 20:26
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    @Shog9 Wondering if ever she did reply to any of the questions raised by community. Do you think responding to the matters from community regarding one's actions would be not useful? – Vishwa Oct 21 at 7:03
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    If SE staff genuinely think that the reason for the en-masse exodus and resignations of moderators is because the new CoC is too inclusive of minority groups, and the current community doesn't want minority groups to participate... I don't know what to say. It's either the greatest display of wilful ignorance I've ever seen, or I've somehow grossly missed the point here. – berry120 Oct 24 at 11:22
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    @berry120: No, they don't think that. I mean, I don't know about Sara Chipps, but generally it's obviously a Red Herring issue. The point is to distract, assert control and drive away elements they dislike. Just think that, if the community did not make the noise that it had, most people would have just heard about a few malcontents who insisted on being anti-LBGTQ+ being removed or leaving. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 24 at 11:26
  • 8
    The implementation is the problem, not the CoC itself. If SE had never fired Monica and had opened discussion for the users to discuss the best way to implement a pronoun rule, none of this would have happened. Besides the small minority of transphobes, I don't think the rest of us would have any problem using the correct pronouns if we weren't told that a tiny mistake in pronoun usage could result in our removal. – weakdna says reinstate monica Oct 24 at 14:23
  • 47
    You may want to listen to this 32 minutes in and make your own mind. In July she already had decided on Monica's guilt (although she's not named) and already decided to change the CoC to make sure LGBTQ "needs are served, and not in a way we think it's the nice way to do it". – Sklivvz Oct 24 at 15:22
  • 19
    @Sklivvz Thanks for the pointer. For me as a cis white male European protestant 50+ tech person the conversation is very painful to listen to because it is a complex baroque dance through a psychological, social and semantic mine field. These people really have nothing to do but elaborating codes of conduct as an in-or-out criterion for all places in life. Note that I'm saying this with sympathy and support for social movements. Btw, I'm astonished to hear that SO is apparently known as a prototypical hostile environment. But I have no idea what the skin color, gender or gender history [tbc] – Peter - Reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 17:12
  • 25
    "More inclusive"? Hello 1984 doublespeak. – TheAsh says Reinstate Monica Oct 28 at 6:58
  • 11
    Freedom of speech is something that is hurtful. You will be hurt by freedom of speech. Trying to limit freedom of speech is even more offensive than freedom of speech itself, and you will be hurt by it many fold more than by freedom of speech itself. Telling others that certain thoughts are hateful, is a form of hate speech. In a more general vein, some objectives cannot be achieved by the direct approach. For example, paranoid mentation does not engender feelings of security. – Carl Oct 28 at 19:40
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    @einpoklum-reinstateMonica 1) I was not talking about Chipp. Double talk is not even worth discussing. 2) Hate speech, sitting here in Canada, is even more stupidly defined than in the US, and I can assure you it is a self-defeating concept everywhere. – Carl Oct 28 at 22:09
  • 8
    @einpoklum-reinstateMonica I am glad I listened to that podcast to the bitter end. I feel as 10K+ user that I'm priviliged over other users. For one, I have access to reviewing queues, while most users haven't. I will no longer use my privilige over other users. – dfhwze Oct 29 at 20:16
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  • 12
    @Shog9 I find it disturbing that no one from the SE staff commented here on this tweet (with an answer). Not even you, Shog. So why didn't any of you respond? As for your concerns of this discussion's side-effects, they are not a valid reason not to respond. – Fermi paradox Nov 6 at 9:13
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    @Fermiparadox: You mis-perceive the kind of world we are living in now. This is a world in which SE Inc. has exactly zero accountability to the SE community. They won't say anything because we're not a friendly and supportive crowd; while they are calling the shots anyway, so they don't need our support. The way they speak to us is through commercial actions, network policy changes, hiring and firing. Occasional exceptions to this rule are essentially communiques or decrees. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Nov 6 at 9:18
  • 7
    They should have fired Chipps and hired Monica. Maybe then the community would be more welcoming. – Catch 44 - Reinstate Monica Nov 13 at 20:56
297
+50

There needs to be a serious discussion regarding a policy for staff which prevents them from publicly discussing/endorsing things that directly oppose how the sites generally work.


Case in point, I was astonished that The Register had been given actual details regarding the firing debacle and not a canned response like:

We are aware of this issue and we take all matters involving dismissals of a moderator seriously. As such we cannot share any details regarding this until we deem it appropriate. We can however say that an investigation into finding out exactly what transpired is on its way.

I don't want to rehash it all but a part of what Sara said was:

"While we can’t discuss any more specifics, I’ll share that we take our CoC very seriously," Chipps continued. "It was created to foster a community of kindness, collaboration, and mutual respect. We understand that a few other moderators have resigned, and they may or may not have full knowledge of the situation. But we hope all moderators know that we very much value and appreciate their contributions, and above all else, we are committed to creating communities that are welcoming and inclusive."

The clear implication is that Monica went against said CoC which fosters a community of kindness, collaboration, and mutual respect thereby casting shadows on her character.

This sort of statement should never have been allowed to go out - and I'm saying this as someone with very little no experience dealing with press or community management - and the fact that it did really shows the levels of gross incompetence or the malicious nature of the people we're dealing with.

  • 12
    A community of kindness... kind of reminds me of this. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 17:25
  • 201
    Monica didn’t violate the Code of Conduct as it was written, she was fire for making a statement (actually a question about the draft), there is a huge difference. Monica didn’t actually even violate the new Code of Conduct. Monica clearly was silenced. – Ramhound Oct 11 at 17:46
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    @Ramhound no I know, but from Sara's comment it makes it seem as though Monica went against an existing CoC rule. – Script47 Oct 11 at 17:47
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    Discussing the reason for de-modding with the press was disrespectful. And these remarks were a subtle put-down against Monica. So Mrs Chipps violated the CoC herself. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 17:50
  • 10
    Linking Chipps' conduct re: The Register (+1) – SecretAgentMan Oct 11 at 17:55
  • 3
    @Xrylite - If does not help the first non-apology apology, was written in such a way where you walked away, feeling disgusted with SE. Honestly, there is only person who should be fire, and it certainly wasn’t Monica (but also completely out of scope to this answer). I literally feel like I cannot wash my skin enough due to the way I feel about SE today. Particular the new code of Conduct, it’s not inclusive, if anything it’s more exclusive to more people today than it was a week ago. – Ramhound Oct 11 at 18:24
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    @Tom Even if they don't, the subtle put-downs were also in Mrs Chipps two "apology" posts on MSO. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 18:33
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    @S.L.Barth Yes, I agree with you on that point. – Tom Oct 11 at 18:36
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    Thu, Oct 3 at 15:44, 8 days ago, she [is this correct?] wrote: "We’re doing a postmortem internally on how we can do better next time. As we build a more welcoming and inclusive network we’ll continue to learn and to improve." and now THAT retweet? Is she [is this still correct?] trying to harm the company even further (whatever the reason may be)? Is she [still correct?] trying to harm the community even further (whatever the reason may be)? Is she [correct?] trying to get fired (whatever the reason may be)? Is this incompetence or lying? – GeroldBroser reinstates Monica Oct 11 at 23:50
  • 3
    Additional info: This is the first time in 6 years, 11 months at SE that I'm saving a comment (actually two, with this one) for my personal records locally. Since I'm not sure whether it will remain here. I didn't want to do that. I don't want to to that. It's a shame! And it's not mine. – GeroldBroser reinstates Monica Oct 12 at 0:01
  • 4
    @Xrylite Well, apparently more than one general user have been silenced, too, at least. – GeroldBroser reinstates Monica Oct 12 at 2:24
  • 2
    @GeroldBroser yep, I was one those, one of my questions was deleted three times and then I received a rather stern mod message advising me to 'cease hyperbole in public comments' when I wasn't being hyperbolic as it later clarified in the mod messages that took place - it was misunderstanding on their part. – Script47 Oct 12 at 2:28
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    @EricWang They comment-locked it. Locking is really badly designed, as it used to have one purpose and has been shoe-horned into others and they haven't really fixed it. It was on the to-do list, and then this happened. Basically, preventing comments also prevents voting and editing, but Shog chose the smallest possible lock so we could still interact in the answers. – wizzwizz4 Oct 12 at 21:35
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    I hope that at this point @MonicaCellio has consulted a defamation attorney. – chrylis -on strike- Oct 21 at 16:44
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    @GeroldBroser - seems to be a recurring theme. Someone with a vested interest is going around deleting posts and comments – Thomo Oct 24 at 13:19
203

Seeing a public figure of the company nudge one opinion that people leaving is a positive thing is an indirect way of saying "We don't want people who disagree with our decisions to stay here." The mob mentality of accept-it-or-go in a place where the success of the site relies solely on community feedback is absurd. These changes may help a subset of people feel more included, but there is a cutoff where the cost of alienating the rest of the community isn't worth it, especially if it makes a mess of how Q&A takes place.

Ever since the abrupt change to the Code of Conduct, the welcoming nature of the community has taken a major hit as a whole. The amount of backlash is not because people are going to choose not to be respectful; it's because it's an unrealistic and unreasonable way to encourage users to be good people. I am very resistant to being demanded that I type in a particular manner that is abnormal to me. If I encountered someone, in person, who threw a pronoun my way that isn't typical language to me, I'd refer to them by their name, "you", or "they". Someone being offended by "you" or "they" is being at least as unreasonable as I am when I disagree with their desire to control my language.

CM's should be there to build a foundation of rules, but the community feedback should help shape and refine those rules to fit the social nature of the site.

  • 11
    @Blue I'm confident that a vast majority of the community agrees that being condescending or obnoxious to any person is something we want to restrict. I detest the negativity that politics brings to communication. With that in mind, there's a swarm of power that people have begun realizing by just saying that CompanyA doesn't support XYZ people. Reminds of when they removed IPS from the Hot Network Questions because one regular Twitter user didn't feel comfortable with some question titles that came up (Reference: Here) – Xrylite Oct 11 at 18:15
  • 4
    Maybe SE is just so confident that because people have been with them for a decade in some cases that no amount of controversial actions will push them away as they've built their social circles around and on these sites (sunk cost fallacy). – Script47 Oct 11 at 18:17
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    @Script47 Much like subscription services, the more time and/or money you invest, the harder it is to walk away. They know there's no strong comparable competition out there currently, so that definitely leads to some control. I'm just appreciative that we have mods willing to walk away to push back. – Xrylite Oct 11 at 18:22
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    I'm not sure SE cares how many people walk away. If they really are fine with letting people go en masse, then I think we understand where SE is at (to be clear, the quote is not from SE staff). – SecretAgentMan Oct 11 at 18:55
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    @Xrylite: Yeah, it's really not clear whether mods walking away is hurting them more or helping them more. I mean, at this point I suspect the entire discussion of gendered pronouns by Chipps, Fullerton & al. is basically just a Red Herring. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 18:58
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    This whole situation is just more crap on the pile. – Hugo Zink Oct 11 at 21:30
40

Like any good member of a community, I have always tried to presume the actions of all parties - regular community members, moderators, and the omnipotent staff of SE - were and are well intentioned. I'm willing to be inclusive and build up the community. I'm willing to let facts come in and processes play out.

But here's the saddest part of this whole episode: Actions intended to do good and promote inclusivity have instead continued to enflame the problem.

As leaders of a community of messy people, your objective needs to be to keep the peace well enough that life can flourish. Endorse good behavior, punish things that cross the line. Did the foundational policy need to move to directly address a problem behavior? Fine. But once the right foundation is set, be clear, tread carefully in your public remarks and actions, be smart about whether you are about to do more harm than good.

The loss of community members, even when warranted, is tragic. You've already won the point anyway, so hang up the sword and start working to bring back the peace.

  • 61
    "Endorse good behavior, punish things that cross the line." The wider public heard about the changes to the CoC for the first time when SE staff decided to punish good behavior. – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Oct 11 at 20:27
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    Invoking god mode to dismiss a moderator would definitely be an ill-advised public action, especially considering the CTO had to admit fault in process. If you're going to act with impunity, you should at least invest the time to sell your decision to parties involved, and the community. – Brad Koch Oct 14 at 12:50
15

I wonder what in the light of the current events these two tweets should tell us:

https://twitter.com/SaraJChipps/status/1194308102998368256 (A gif saying "I HATE SNOW")

https://twitter.com/SaraJChipps/status/1196474076883234818 "A group of engineers is called a “mob”, a “mob of engineers”."

Obviously, be nice only belongs to us mere mortals, but not to directors.

  • 2
    Are you suggesting that the "snow" tweet is in reference to the recently resigned moderator, Snow, as opposed to real-life snow? – House- 'Reinstate Monica' -man Nov 18 at 19:45
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    I really don't know. And that I don't know is annoying me. – jknappen - Reinstate Monica Nov 18 at 19:46
  • I made a different association of these two tweets framed together. But as you're framing and I better be nice, I'll keep it to myself. – dfhwze Nov 18 at 19:53
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    I think we should take these at face value. The first one is just about snow. I have an opposite opinion but I don't find it at all offensive. The second is... weird for someone with that job title. It's a bit like the head of Heineken saying, "People who drink this stuff are the sort who go rioting." "Mob" is not a polite collective noun. Plus the timing of this joke(?) could have been better. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Nov 18 at 20:41
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    Oh come on. You're pushing it. 1. "I hate snow" is about the weather 2. The engineer joke is tongue-in-cheek, not as a reply to engineers, not on SE, etc. etc. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Nov 18 at 23:45
13

A statement such as "if you are X then you are Y" seeks to draw an "us and them" distinction. The antithesis of inclusivity.

-8

While Ms. Chipps did not write this herself, she did actively retweet it without commenting on it; and considering her official capacity – this is very close to being a statement of the company's position on the matter.

I will state the obvious and say that:

  • The question of whether the Code of Conduct has "become more inclusive" is, at best, a highly contested claim.
  • Almost no critics of the new Code of Conduct changes believe it has "become more inclusive".
  • The reasons for protesting and for leaving aren't excessive or insufficient "inclusivity", but rather coercion, authoritarianism and bad faith on the part of SE Inc.

and the above holds regardless of whether one agrees with the criticism, or whether one believes the CoC changes are called for. Moreover, relevant SE Inc. staff is quite aware of the above.

It is therefore, in my opinion, quite offensive for an SE Inc. official such as Ms. Chipps to have chosen to misrepresent the situation and the company's critics with this retweet.

I stumbled into this question due to the bounty asking which is

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.


Firstly, it seems that this is not a statement reflective of company policy, it has not been endorsed more explicitly by the company and Shog9 wrote in a comment under your question:

I'm leaving this here for Sara to respond to if she wants to, but I don't see anything useful coming out of it otherwise.

As such, it seems to be a retweet made by Ms. Chipps in a personal capacity. Furthermore, I will assume that Ms. Chipps is aware of this question's existence, given its two week anniversary today. If she really stood by it, she has had ample time to double down, for example by endorsing the contents of the tweet once more in an answer here.

While I cannot look into Ms. Chipps head, I can look on her blog which I think has a relevant article on forgiveness. I will quote a liberal chuck (but not all) of her blog post, so as not to misrepresent her words. I have emphasised a few words which I will refer back to in tying this back to the question at hand.

There is one trait, and besides the many good people that surround me it is the only thing that has kept me away from succumbing to the dangers of my temperament. That trait is the ability to forgive myself, even when it seems unbearable.

Very often, I do things that are extremely stupid. I think no matter what our personality type that happens to us every so often. I make a bad call when designing a product that hindsight shows me from a mile away, I put off a client with a sloppy email or a poor follow up, I miscalculate my monthly income in an astronomical way, or I drop my iPhone 4 on cement while running down the street in heels (for absolutely no good reason besides being dared or trying to catch an ice cream truck). Things like this used to cause me much pain, and stop me in my tracks unable to go forward from the shame I felt and the voice in my head telling me I should have known so much better. There would be absolutely no forward progress while I berated myself, sometimes looking in the mirror and asking repeatedly how it was possible for one person to be so stupid.

Time and experience taught me that if I kept up that type of behavior it not only would retard my progress it would endanger my ability to run my business and follow my career goals. I've learned to forgive myself no matter how spectacularly I fail, and that has enabled me to accomplish things and get to places that only existed in my wildest dreams of the future.

Many tout the benefits of "getting over it" and "moving on", however, I think the only way to describe this process is forgiveness. You are angry at yourself, for hurting yourself; just as you would be angry at someone else for hurting you. You let yourself down, you should have known better, and you were inconsiderate of your own needs, yet again. If we can't get past these emotions of guilt, anxiety, and discomfort we can't look back and gain what we can use from the experience.

Based on this, I think Ms. Chipps has simply moved on. Perhaps she doesn't think an explanation is necessary, or perhaps she thinks a discussion on this will be hurtful and not constructive.

While I still think it would be helpful for Ms. Chipps to explain her reasoning with respect to this question. Alas, I think this may be what we will have to settle for.

Edit: in the blog post, too, the reasons for apologizing are not limited to cases that only hurt Ms. Chipps.


Of course an even different reason may be of the law of the holes variety. As someone who's paid attention to different crises, I'd say that's a reasonable position for Ms. Chipps and the company to take. The number of people that are really upset isn't that big*, so they may just think they can wait out the storm. After all, people are only upset for so long until they leave or lose interest in being upset, either way, they won't be much of nuisance (to the leadership) in six to eight weeks.

*though it does include me, no need to downvote for that ;)

  • 3
    Phew...I think you can expect a lot of downvotes for this one, if for no other reason than a lot of people are going to really dislike the idea of forgiving yourself when you should really be asking for forgiveness from another. But I get your point. It's not your perspective on what's correct (or not) that you're posting. Also, I dig your effort at drawing on a credible source here ;) – HFBrowning Oct 25 at 20:25
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    Well, I think there’s a difference in forgiving yourself for letting yourself down because you did something stupid and forgiving yourself for hurting someone else without making amends. The latter forgiveness is not yours to give, so I don’t see how that chunk of blog is relevant. – ColleenV parted ways Oct 25 at 20:26
  • Also I think your post could be improved if you added the part from the blog about "doing better next time". We've seen that a lot in official communications. It's interesting that that perspective was intentionally cultivated as far back as 2011. – HFBrowning Oct 25 at 20:30
  • 2
    1. I believe your answer is somewhat self-contradictory in that, on one hand, you suggest that Ms. Chipps' tweets are merely in "personal capacity", but then proceed to go in depth into about her opinions, motivations and actions or their framing - mixing her professional and personal capacities. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 20:32
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    2. SE Inc. and Ms. Chipps have indeed doubled down: The company has not distanced itself from the tweet and Chipps has not recanted. You write - "This may be what we will have to settle for" - certainly not. Finally, that blog post is spectacularly self-centered. To the N'th degree. It's frankly hard to believe how much. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 20:34
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    @JJJ: Since Chipps is a company official, tweeting under her own name, which is in breach of her duties as a company official, then the company would very likely act. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 20:35
  • @JJJ: It's not a dichotomy. We can't compel SE Inc. to do what we want, but we can put continuing pressure on them. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 20:38
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    "@einpoklum has SE ever acted on a tweet by a company official? " <- Which slanders a large number of its key moderators? I don't believe anything like that has ever been tweeted. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 20:39
  • Do you have anything showing that there is a link between this post of Sara's and this specific SE event or this Tweet? You seem to be using a tenuously related source to give legitimacy to broad guesses as to what Sara is thinking and feeling. Without a link between your quote and events, this answer is just as speculative as any other answer. – Rubiksmoose Oct 25 at 21:02
  • @JJJ Settle for what though? That blog post was written in 2011! How are you drawing any kind of conclusion from that with relation to this scenario? – Rubiksmoose Oct 25 at 21:06
  • @JJJ Essentially this answer says "Based on this article from 2011, I think I understand this person well enough to conclusively determine how she feels about something she did 8 years later." Doesn't that seem like a problem to you? – Rubiksmoose Oct 25 at 21:08
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    "Perhaps she doesn't think an explanation is necessary, or perhaps she thinks a discussion on this will be hurtful and not constructive." - I'm curious as to why you left out the most obvious reason of all: She still believes in what she said and doesn't want to retract. – Fermi paradox Nov 3 at 14:04
-20

I really have strong arguments about making Meta a new Twitter relay. Twitter is by nature form over substance, 62500 tweets is a lot to have on an account, so I bet you could find tons of smelly things if you cared to dig the pile. Could we not unload that all at once on Meta, please?

this is very close to being a statement of the company's position on the matter.

Yet, it's not, and I quite disagree we should try to make an angry mob about it.

  • 31
    Key point here: Director of public Q&A. Now, I don't have Ms. Chipps exact job description, but I would probably have not posted this had such a tweet been published by some SE Inc. web developer. (I would probably have brought it up in some comment somewhere though.) – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 22:04
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    Additionally to what OP commented, the fact no one from SE posted an answer here (including the person that wants us gone if we disagree) is a clear indication they do not consider this a problem. – Fermi paradox Nov 17 at 11:32
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    Also, we are not an "angry mob", a group of irrational people with irrational demands. – Fermi paradox Nov 17 at 11:36
-33

That's none of our business. What someone does on their personal social media has no direct relevance to Stack Exchange.

If a staff member or any other user is acting badly on Stack Exchange, then we can complain about that. In the case of this director, we already do.

If they aren't acting badly on Stack Exchange, they can write "I hate every Stack Exchange user personally and want to delete their accounts" or "I kick puppies for fun" elsewhere all they want. We care about their contribution to the network, not about their private character.

Some places do have a norm to act on people's private character: people in the US often get fired for posts on social media that their boss dislikes. So what? Do we really want to contribute to a world where everyone must be in customer service mode 24/7?

  • 7
    Judging by the upvotes and downvotes, we do consider it our business. The community feels as though they have a certain sort of investment in the company, just like employees and shareholders do. – House- 'Reinstate Monica' -man Oct 25 at 23:04
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    This is absolutely not true in most companies I'm familiar with. Generally there's a policy that employees are not allowed to post on social media about their work, and I imagine if an employee posted your example, SE Inc would indeed have something to say about it. It's still a public statement about their company by an employee of their company, even if it's not on their platform. I'd expect this is especially true for Director level positions. – Nate S - Reinstate Monica Oct 25 at 23:06
  • 37
    When the "Director of Public Q&A" screws the community like she did, and then has the gall to retweet such a tweet, this is at least roughly comparable to a director of a veterinary clinic or dog shelter publicly claiming to "Kick puppies for fun". No. I mean, just no. – Marco13 Oct 25 at 23:57
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    @Marco13 Actually more like a veterinarian posting a picture of a feral cat she killed with a bow and arrow. If I had a social media account that I publicly associated with my real name and employer, I would be careful about how my activity might reflect on my employer and impact how my colleagues might view me. – ColleenV parted ways Oct 26 at 0:26
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    @ColleenV Sure - beyond that, she is not "just some employee". When someone working at starbucks tweets "Starbucks sucks", then (one might still be fired - they're dispensable but) one could argue that this is just one worthless opinion that doesn't matter. But I'm pretty sure that, as "director of public Q/A" it is part of the job to not mess up and to not alienate the community like that (even though I don't know what a "director of..." is doing for 8 hours per day, and could imagine that some "directors" might have a hard time answering that question - that's a different issue) – Marco13 Oct 26 at 1:11
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    "What someone does on their personal social media has no direct relevance" <- The USA has a president who would beg to differ :-( More seriously though - I could have accepted your answer if it had been some arbitrary employee, not the "Director of Public Q&A". – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 26 at 8:55
  • 2
    No, it's a window in the mind of the person who caused and continues to cause a great deal of harm, and it's proof that she doesn't understand that harm nor how she's totally miscomprehending what everybody around her thinks about the situation and why. It's totally relevant. And astonishing. – Lightness Races with Monica Nov 3 at 18:18
  • 1
    "We care about their contribution to the network, not about their private character" is suuuuuuch an ironic line when discussing the removal of someone based on (alleged) private character traits divorced from any contribution to the network! – Y     e     z Nov 4 at 15:48
  • @Y e z Added a paragraph addressing that. (It boils down to "The existence of jerks doesn't mean we should be jerks too.") – Leopold says Reinstate Monica Nov 5 at 5:35
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    Do we really want to contribute to a world where everyone must be in customer service mode 24/7? no... but that's not the issue here. A director of X appearing to privately hate X rightly raises fundamental questions about fitness for the job. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Nov 5 at 7:50
-62

You'll have to pardon the overflowing exhaustion, but all I'm really seeing is anti-Sara sentiment once again.

Let me be explicit - I don't believe that a retweet of that position was tasteful in the slightest, and it only further calcifies the positions many of us hold whenever she's making an announcement or doing something in an official capacity. Worse, it flies in the face of the advice shared with us when she had a rough day at the office. But, that's all beside the point.

The problem is that there's no documented social media policy to fall back on to say something was broken. So...in public there's nothing preventing her or anyone at that level from retweeting something like that.

You may not like it, but those are the breaks. Until such a policy is defined - either internal or external - that's the kind of behavior we can just...expect.

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    Makoto - I don't know Sara. For me, she is merely a (high-level?) official of SE Inc. Regardless of whether or not there's a policy - it is faux pas to smear people and groups to which she is supposed to be committed, in public, that way. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 20:04
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    Then again after the previous Twitter fiasco(s) I think it would be fair to assume that a CM knows what the impact of public actions, especially ones on Twitter, can and will be. And would thus act with more care. – remy_rm Oct 11 at 20:05
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    no one is saying that Ms Chipps isn't allowed to...just that doing this considering her role in SE isn't what would be expected – Lamak Oct 11 at 20:06
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    Bad behavior that doesn't break any rules is still bad behavior. – Crowman Oct 11 at 20:06
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    @einpoklum: It obviously is. But there's no remedy that we can point to anywhere to see it "undone". Effectively you have someone using social media in a manner we disagree with. We can't do anything about that. – Makoto Oct 11 at 20:06
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    well...we can express how their actions are affecting a part of this community – Lamak Oct 11 at 20:07
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    @Makoto, yes, but SE Inc probably can, if they want to. People get fired for their personal social media posts all the time, even ones unrelated to their job (and this one clearly is related). – Nate S - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 20:07
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    @Makoto: Of course there's a remedy. That tweet should be removed. I would say "and apology issued", but I'm not sure I'd like to hear another one of these apologies. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 11 at 20:08
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    @Makoto: Whether or not I agree with the position isn't really the issue. It's someone claiming to champion inclusivity and being welcoming, and then immediately and publicly celebrating the exclusion of people whom you don't welcome, that I object to. I'd like to think that shameless and unapologetic hypocrisy could quite comfortably be placed into the "bad" bucket regardless of one's position on the underlying statements themselves. – Crowman Oct 11 at 20:15
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    I mean, if we are classifying things in "good" or "bad", then hypocritical is clearly "bad" – Lamak Oct 11 at 20:20
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    I don't believe that a retweet of that position was tasteful in the slightest. Indeed. @rene is correct, this is a sensible and useful answer. – SecretAgentMan Oct 11 at 20:32
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    Encountered this tonight twitter.com/SaraJChipps/status/1182650441882058752?s=09. This doesn't sound like someone up for talk anyway. – Tensibai Oct 11 at 21:30
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    The fact that 'there's no documented social media policy', is not an adequate excuse. That position supports people and corporations being, at best, disingenuous, at worst, evil. Surely 'be nice' is always the guiding principles in the absence of something more specific. The 'no documented policy' excuse could be used to defend all novel and aberrant behaviour. IMHO Humans have some social sensitivity and grasp of responsibility. We don't need documents to recognise 'bad' behaviour. Requiring documents to define what is allowable is retrograde & unnecessary when 'be nice' is enough – gbulmer Oct 11 at 21:38
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    @Trilarion No, it's a critical piece of evidence as to the inner thought process of someone who has routinely treated most of this community like utter crap. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 15 at 13:49
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    if she needs a written rule to tell her what she did was inappropriate and poor judgement as best, given her position, she probably is not qualified to be making judgments on others decision making in similar subjects and if you need a written rule to hold her accountable you are just an apologist for her. she has a what is supposed to be a respected professional role holding her to respectful professional conduct when in that role is not unexpected – user148287 Oct 19 at 16:38

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