212

According to SO, they

removed a moderator for repeatedly violating our existing Code of Conduct and being unwilling to accept our CM’s repeated requests to change that behavior.

As Monica says,

Representatives of the company including executives, a director, and the Community Management team have failed to respond to my repeated requests to be shown these alleged violations and warning...

So, what did Monica actually do?


Previous content so comments make sense:

What did Monica say, according to SO?

What did Monica actually say that violated the existing Code of Conduct (pending Monica's acceptance, of course)? We've heard a lot about how she did, but not what she did.

This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from The forest of Reinstate Monica ending in 4 days.

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

  • 17
    Secret, it seems. – Stormblessed Oct 13 at 14:53
  • 6
    Monica is communicating with SE at the moment. My best guess is that we'll know something if SE decides to reply to the reply to the initial email. – Zoe Oct 13 at 14:54
  • 71
    I would hardly call what's happened so far "hearing from them". They've already lied in the third apology (see meta.stackexchange.com/a/335133/332043), Monica stated SE isn't replying (meta.stackexchange.com/a/334646/332043), and none of the other concerns have been answered. – Zoe Oct 13 at 15:03
  • 12
    Short answer: we don't know, and those who know are not likely to discuss it in public. – polfosol ఠ_ఠ Oct 13 at 15:23
  • 15
    As others have pointed out, we mods are not allowed to share transcripts or screenshots from mod-only space. Monica herself has posted about what went down and there are details in many other locations as well. The long and short of it is that there wasn't anything more than what's been reported in SE space that all users can read. There was no big statement, there was no pointed refusal, and there was no violation of the CoC as written at the time. – Cyn says make Monica whole Oct 13 at 15:53
  • 144
    I have not been told, despite repeated requests for that information. – Monica Cellio Oct 13 at 16:30
  • 5
    @MonicaCellio Would you be opposed to publicly posting all communication that may be relevant? Anonymizing their names as appropriate, of course. SE wouldn't like it, but if they refuse to communicate, that's the only option available. – jhpratt Oct 13 at 18:57
  • 35
    @jhpratt need to understand the claims first. There was some deeply personal stuff in some of the pre-firing email (yeah, misplaced trust -- oops), so I don't want to publish it if that's not the problem, which it apparently isn't. They claim I violated the CoC; CoC violations are by definition on-site actions; therefore we can start there with them telling us what exactly was a violation in that TL discussion. The TL transcript was already leaked to Reddit and I saw nothing that I did there to violate the CoC. I assume others have looked too. That's the place to start, I think. – Monica Cellio Oct 13 at 19:20
  • 53
    There's also the question of urgency; I left TL on Sep 18 and didn't speak again until just after being fired (briefly, before being kicked). I don't think I made any posts or comments on the team. My activity on Q&A sites was normal -- and anyway, if I'd done something wrong on one of the sites, that site's mods would have handled it. Somehow, though, it was urgent that they fire me on Sep 27. I still don't know why. – Monica Cellio Oct 13 at 19:22
  • 42
    @aparente001 a manager on the CM team sent the email, though it sounds like the decision was made farther up. The email didn't seem hastily-written. I perceived no urgency; I hadn't been in TL in more than a week, was just doing normal stuff on my sites, and bam, fired. I've heard rumors that SE thought it was urgent but I don't know why. As for the CoC, it looks like they made some important changes since (as a result of?) that TL discussion and mandatory speech isn't a requirement now, but the FAQ confuses things so it's hard to tell. – Monica Cellio Oct 13 at 21:33
  • 4
    It looks like people are closing this as "off-topic" somehow. Suggested edit: instead of asking what did she say, which might be confidential, ask "In what way exactly did she break the rules?", which is something any sane company should publish if they believe the decision was right, so that others know what to do and not do. – user56reinstatemonica8 Oct 14 at 7:54
  • 11
    @ColleenV over a year ago? There's been so much stuff in TL since then that has been way more blatant than anything I said then, like direct personal attacks that likely led to another mod quitting, so if they're dumpster-diving in the transcript, there are bigger problems. Wow, I assumed they were talking about something recent, especially since they claim I did something wrong after being warned by a CM (and I don't recall any CM warnings from back then, though without access to the transcript I'm hobbled). – Monica Cellio Oct 15 at 3:00
  • 6
    @ColleenV yeah, I probably said that a year ago, but it's hardly the last thing I said on the subject. If that's what they're acting on, then they're cherry-picking to target me while ignoring much worse from others. – Monica Cellio Oct 15 at 12:31
  • 26
    @ab2 could be; I've no idea. The person who sent the email probably did not make the decision. I barely knew who Sara was before that day in TL, but she probably didn't like being challenged (she has a history of not dealing well with feedback). But I've argued against other policies over the years too, and spoke up about the HNQ debacle, so who knows who at SE might be harboring a personal dislike of me and looking for any excuse to wield it? Malice is quite possible, but unproven. – Monica Cellio Oct 16 at 21:02
  • 13
    @SomeoneWhoUsedToCare In the unlikely event that it turns out that Monica did repeatedly and unambiguously break the previous CoC, the flavour of the discourse would change dramatically. Moreover, "meta is for Stack Exchange users to communicate with Stack Overflow, the company" - straight from meta.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta . I find it difficult to see how this is off-topic. Unlikely to get a productive response? Certainly. But not off-topic. – SolveIt Oct 17 at 1:59
154

She didn’t do anything to violate the CoC.

Given leaked transcripts and many mods here, and no one being able to come up with anything, the clear reason the “CoC violation” has not been shared is that there was not one. The claim that there was a violation is simply cover for getting rid of a voice bold enough to disagree with an SE employee’s plans.

In the end the only CoC that applies to this situation is the whim of people like Sara and David. They see no need to justify their removal of a voice they found annoying with anyone here.

If anyone saw Monica clearly violate the CoC, feel free to say so; you don’t have to share the secret TL details. But no one has, so the obvious answer is that it did not happen.

  • 36
    This answer is not accurate. There is at least one moderator who says they have seen the not public evidence and agree with Monica's removal, even though none have said they agree with how she was removed. Example: "I support that Monica was removed -- I understand the reasons behind it and with the evidence I saw it made sense" -- George Stocker. I personally don't think that if I saw the evidence I would agree though, I highly doubt Monica did anything wrong. – Davy M Oct 17 at 1:51
  • 44
    Those folks are welcome to contribute a compelling answer then. – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Oct 17 at 2:01
  • 28
    No, they literally are not welcome to do that. The moderators are not to "leak transcripts" as you put it. The corporation has to communicate it directly to Monica in private, and give her the option of publicizing the results, and when she does, publicly state that her account is correct. If someone, even with good intentions, tried to post whatever "convincing evidence" they have, that would only serve to drag Monica's name further through the mud, and for no reason. – Davy M Oct 17 at 2:16
  • 12
    Far too many people have spoken for Monica already without her getting any reasonable avenue to respond (Even with hundreds of people here who know there's no public evidence, news outlets have made her look like a bigot in ways that are causing actual harm to her, and no meta post or blog can combat that) . The next thing said out of this must come from her, no one else. (Unless of course SE wants to say "Sorry, we seriously screwed up, Monica did absolutely nothing wrong" and start making some actual amends.) – Davy M Oct 17 at 2:26
  • 13
    @DavyM: The quote you gave by George Stoker does not cite any article of the CoC which was removed, nor provide evidence that it had been violated. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 17 at 11:19
  • 7
    @DavyM, the rest of that comment seems rather important too (emphasis mine): "However, and this is the crux of my issue: The manner in which Monica was removed (not adhering to existing process; not following any semblance of due process; not clearly articulating the problematic behavior and the consequences of the problematic behavior; not being very clear about the next steps to all, and publicly saying thing that shouldn't have been said) forms the basis for me being quite concerned about any proposed process. SO Inc hasn't fixed existing issues." – ilkkachu Oct 17 at 11:36
  • 16
    I don’t know if I would go so far as to say Monica didn’t violate the CoC. I would say she was unfairly singled out for behavior that was tolerated when other mods did it. Whatever could be construed as CoC violations happened in a private chat room where SE had allowed an environment that led people to believe we weren’t really “on duty” in there, so I wouldn’t have expected a disagreement in there to lead to anyone being demodded unless they were threatening violence or something equally serious and malicious. – ColleenV Oct 17 at 13:56
  • 1
    @ColleenV - I like what you wrote about the unfair singling out. // Maybe these questions have been asked before, if so please link or give me a clue what to look for. What were the non-CoC behaviors that occurred in the TL, did you see it for yourself (from Monica, or from others) in the TL, is the TL still a place where those behaviors occur, or could occur, and what if anything is being done about the problem? Apologies if I'm asking something again that I already asked you. (Would it be better to write a question?) Thanks. – aparente001 Oct 17 at 19:46
  • 3
    @aparente001 I can’t share any of those details. What I wrote is my impression from my personal experience. Other people may interpret it differently. – ColleenV Oct 17 at 19:55
  • @ColleenV - Thanks. What do you think, is the TL still the Wild West I'm getting the impression it was? If so, do you have any ideas about how to solve that problem? – aparente001 Oct 17 at 20:20
  • 1
    @aparente001 I've deleted my comments here. – Mari-Lou A Nov 6 at 20:17
-190

We don't discuss these things publicly.

  • 65
    Isn't the rule: "we don't discuss these things publicly unless the other party wants it made public"? Which in this case Monica appears to want that. – TheLethalCoder Oct 17 at 12:36
  • 147
    Could you at the very least discuss it with Monica then? – Lundin Oct 17 at 12:39
  • 44
    And neither in private, according to Monica's updates, she still hasn't received any clarification. Was she not owed one? – Mari-Lou A Oct 17 at 12:42
  • 88
    That's great for future instances but given that in this case info was divulged even to a newspaper, and from the outside it looks like that info was incorrect and it was an unjust dismissal, this isn't good enough, Stack Overflow Inc. Especially since her case seems to be the splinter that keeps on causing inflammations of community anger. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Oct 17 at 13:00
  • 36
    Ok. So this degree of cover-up and lack of any evidence basically confirms the reason is nothing any community member would identify as a breach of the real CoC, it’s just an internal “we didn’t like her” SE staff reason they don’t feel they need to justify. – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Oct 17 at 13:01
  • 17
    SE doesn't want to talk in public, nor in private .. there aren't that many access modifiers left :s – dfhwze Oct 17 at 13:48
  • 139
    Sorry Tim, I hope you will understand that the downvote isn't against you personally. But the company already discussed this publicly - with a news site. – Hitodama Oct 17 at 14:28
  • 108
    I'm sorry, but this is just a bald faced lie given that SE Inc already went to the news with these things. You can't get much more public than that. How do you expect to rebuild trust with the community when you keep lying to us in such obvious ways? – Nate S - Reinstate Monica Oct 17 at 16:54
  • 72
    You have already accused Monica in public. When people ask for public explanations, you suddenly decide you don't do it in public. So which one is it? Will you also in future accuse people in public and then not explain it because you don't discuss in public? – JiK Oct 18 at 8:36
  • 45
    You have already discussed this in public. Here: theregister.co.uk/2019/10/01/stack_exchange_controversy. Not to mention the meta post accusing her. – sampathsris Nov 4 at 2:30
  • 34
    Except in news articles, right? – Richard says Reinstate Monica Nov 4 at 19:04
  • 48
    "We don't discuss these things publicly." - I suppose you only discuss these things to the press?? – Ramhound Nov 5 at 4:50
  • 25
    At this point this "answer" could be seen as trolling the community. – faintsignal Nov 5 at 6:29
  • 17
    It was discussed in public here, here, here, and here. In all these instances it was very clear who the "offender" was. – Mari-Lou A Nov 5 at 8:43
  • 41
    Tim, you're a good person, this is beneath you. At the very least you could have the decency to not insult our intelligence and say "We made the mistake of publicly discussing this case in the past, we won't make that mistake again". That wouldn't be satisfactory because a responsible person or company cleans up their mistakes before moving on, but at least it wouldn't be a blatant lie. Personally I'd resign rather than make a false statement like this. – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 5 at 9:46

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