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Please give us the ability to delete our data and disappear from this site. You scare me.

Edit: It's not enough to simply delete my account. The anonymous scrubbing of names is good, but I want any data stored in the SE database to be removed. My name, in particular, if they received it as metadata via their OpenID or arbitration.

Edit #2: I did not ask for the license on my questions and answers. I asked for the policy on preventing SE employees from talking about me to the media, and whether or not I can be secure in my personal information that I did not disclose publicly.

Edit 3: I'm not convinced that I'm safe here according to what I've read from CMs. I'll be joining the others who are leaving. Be well.

I saw that StackExchange's Sara Chipps went to the press and implied that a woman who uses her real name on here is a bigot, even when her account of events states otherwise... I never gave my consent to the site to slander me to the media. And SE can obtain my real name by the arbitration opt-out, or the SSO functionality of the site.

I saw that Cesar stated in his FAQ that I will be compelled to use certain pronouns even if I am being neutral with they/them, you, and OP, and that I could be banned for declining to engage.

I am not comfortable with the two things in combination with each other. Over and over, it was requested if we could remain neutral and to focus on the Q&A aspect on the site. Silence, disengaging, sticking to gender-neutral words... It's not okay.

I'm unable to follow these terms of service. As someone on the autism spectrum, every single word I choose is specially chosen and orchestrated to piece together my thought. It has to be structured, logical, coherent. It's already hard enough to perceive social norms. I've been telling everyone for a decade to come to this site, that it has a Be Nice Policy that is simplistic and elegant.

I felt like myself. I felt like I could use this site. But now I can mess up. I will mess up. I can't remember all the different types of pronouns. I don't know how to use them. I don't know why the rules are so draconian and are telling me that I must have a positive, active engagement with people's gender identities when I can't even do that about people's favourite food. I can't comprehend how neutrality and silence can be bannable. I've tried to think about it. I've given it serious thought and Cesar's blatant insistence on policing my own thoughts, even to the point of policing my human right to be silent, is creepy and terrifying.

And I can't even control if a staff member will slander me to the media. This is not okay.

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    You should know that the posted FAQ and related comments from CesarM et al are mostly obsolete. According to a recent update they're working on a new set of rules based on this community proposal and other concerns from Meta. Who knows if they'll go far enough to make people happy, but I wouldn't say it's hopeless yet. We should know more on the 22nd – divibisan Oct 19 at 1:41
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    Also, have you seen this: meta.stackexchange.com/a/335749/388335. Whether you trust them is another question, but they do now have a policy of not talking to the media about community members (which they didn't have before). – divibisan Oct 19 at 1:42
  • @divibisan Is that an employee like Sara or just a mod? I'm trying hard to see if StackExchange is following that same policy but it's so hard to find the information. – The Anathema Oct 19 at 1:45
  • Not sure which you were referring to, both announcements I mentioned were by CMs (CesarM and Shog9), while the community proposal was made by a mod. The "no comment" policy covers all community members, not just mods. – divibisan Oct 19 at 1:47
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    I could be banned for declining to engage - That's not true at all and I specifically clarified that here you can always choose to stop interacting with someone. – Catija Oct 19 at 2:20
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    You can get your account disassociated from your questions/answers upon request using the "contact us" page and getting your account deleted as well shouldn't be a problem. This process doesn't update comments with your account name in it, though. – Tom Oct 19 at 2:27
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    @Catija I will leave that chat, comment thread, post, or answer. I know I can say I won't, but I know I will. I don't have a reasonable expectation for my reputation. I don't have a reasonable expectation that my departure from said resource won't be misconstrued as a tacit endorsement of transphobia. It was explicitly stated that we must have a positive, active engagement with their pronouns, even going out of our way to put them in the sentence instead of "OP" or "username" or "they." I don't believe you can simultaneously maintain that without undue misconstrual. – The Anathema Oct 19 at 2:38
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    We're working on redrafting the FAQ and it should be out on Tuesday for everyone to see (as was mentioned by @divibisan) ... but you do not need to find opportunities to use someone's pronouns. As you see, I just used divibisan's name in my comment twice... and I used the username twice to ensure clarity... I even know his pronouns because of the userscript I have that finds pronouns indicated on profiles and plops them after people's usernames. I'm not saying it's easy but we're not out to get you. We want everyone to be able to participate as best they can. :) – Catija Oct 19 at 2:48
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    @SolveIt Sure! It's here. It can only do its job if someone has their pronouns on their profile in a format it recognizes but it also works in chat. :) Not a perfect solution but a start. :D – Catija Oct 19 at 2:50
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    @Catija And more to the point, I wanted to stay here because I want to become a .NET MVP. I've never faced a Terms Of Service that I couldn't follow just by being nice and being myself. I will screw up. I'll forget that person said anything and I'll say the same thing twice, maybe more. Maybe not in the same thread, maybe in another. What if they insist if I'm silent? What if CMs/mods misread timestamps or the flow of events? What if I remember one person, but get reports over multiple people? I really hope this gets addressed in the updated ToS because it's hard enough for me. – The Anathema Oct 19 at 2:57
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    You're struggling with a lot of "what ifs" here. Please remember that in most situations the outcome will be removal of the content. Saying "I'm sorry I forgot" if it happens with the same person can go a long way. People stop commenting on the network all the time. You start a chat and then... whoops... dinner! or "uh oh! I'm going to miss my bus"... and then they forget to come back. It's OK. On many sites it's rare for people to interact multiple times, particularly on SO... and even if they do, they might not remember you, either. Keep being friendly and doing your best. – Catija Oct 19 at 3:03
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    @Catija the clarification you point to is unclear at best and backed up by actions (firings, talking to press, etc) which make it highly clear that it will result in punishment despite assurances. I understand you need to keep saying it won't be held against us but you need to understand that we do not believe you. That SE's actions for the past year point to this fact (these are not "what ifs" these are the actions we have seen happen). Actions speak louder than words and right now words just are not going to do. – LinkBerest Oct 19 at 3:25
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    There is one case where SE is legally obligated to remove all data related to an account: if the user is underage (13 in most of the world, 16 in the European Union). – Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog Oct 19 at 3:48
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    The two questions listed as a duplicate to my question are not a duplicate. I know how to delete my account. I asked how I can delete my data. The answer given to this question showed how to delete my data, through GDPR, which is a functional difference to deleting an account, as a deletion of an account can amount to setting an IsActive flag in a database to 0. Deletion of data is the actual removal of those records. And I did not ask for the license for our questions and answers, I asked for the policy on disclosing information about me to the media. That's not related. – The Anathema Oct 19 at 4:54
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    You should be more worried about anyone slandering you on social media sites about something you post on Stack Overflow. All it takes is one person that takes some kind of personal subjective offense and they can screenshot it, make up whatever narrative they want and the discover who you really and dox you and make you lose your job or ruin your career easily on Stack Overflow moreso than just about any other site because it is supposed to be full of professionals and thus your peers that will see it and can expose you if they know you IRL. Your concerns are 100% valid! – user148287 Oct 19 at 6:23
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It's worth remembering a few things. Even though one person is posting it, it would be the output of one or more people. Blaming Cesar for this isn't fair.

I'd say mistakes were made (and well have been made over a period of time). Folks are working to stop future mistakes from being made.

I saw that StackExchange's Sara Chipps went to the press and implied that a woman who uses her real name on here is a bigot, even when her account of events states otherwise...

This was a monumental blunder – it should never happen again. Shog's a long serving community manager and probably gets the way things should and do work as well as anyone.

I never gave my consent to the site to slander me to the media. And SE can obtain my real name by the arbitration opt-out, or the SSO functionality of the site.

That absolutely should not happen, and folks would and should be fired if privately shared information was used that way. IANAL, but one might be able to advise.

I am not comfortable with the two things in combination with each other. Over and over, it was requested if we could remain neutral and to focus on the Q&A aspect on the site. Silence, disengaging, sticking to gender-neutral words... It's not okay.

Nothing particularly stops you from focusing on Q&A. You can not engage. It's not ok to say "I'm going to ignore you because you're (part of some group)".

I'm unable to follow these terms of service. As someone on the autism spectrum, every single word I choose is specially chosen and orchestrated to piece together my thought. It has to be structured, logical, coherent. It's already hard enough to perceive social norms. I've been telling everyone for a decade to come to this site, that it has a Be Nice Policy that is simplistic and elegant.

Singular they as a default is easy. You don't have to think about what gender someone is unless the explicitly state it!

I don't know why the rules are so draconian and are telling me that I must have a positive, active engagement with people's gender identities when I can't even do that about people's favourite food.

Because be nice. It is nice. As an autistic person – you hope for folks to understand your struggle don't you? They have their own struggles – sometimes even fearing for their life. Respecting their identity is the nicest thing you can do.

Please give us the ability to delete our data and disappear from this site. You scare me.

Uhm, technically I suspect you could use a GDPR request to do that. I don't think it's the greatest way to deal with the current crisis, but it's an option.

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    I don't know if my post conveyed that I will explicitly say "I am ignoring you now." I wouldn't do that, that's not nice. And it's the active, positive engagement part. You said it's to be nice, to be respectful. Well, that implies that neutrality is, by definition, not nice, and not respectful. I have given that a copious amount of thought and I cannot see how that can possibly be. My mind does not compute it. I've spent decades learning what is good etiquette, and neutrality - not maliciousness - has always been considered good etiquette, because it's not malicious. This has given me > – The Anathema Oct 19 at 3:05
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    @TheAnathema I do not disagree with you but I think the linked GDPR request is the closest answer you are going to get to your question – LinkBerest Oct 19 at 3:06
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    a great deal of comfort. It means I can decline wine, that I can decline to eat at a party, decline to speak, decline to participate in games, decline to talk about myself, etc. I can do all of that and not be considered rude. Barring very few examples I know of in a few cultures, that's always been the case. This is the first time someone's telling me that my declining to engage is a form of disrespect or rudeness. I came here because it was all about the Q&A, and telling me that I'm rude when being kind and polite is so important to me just because of that... Anyway, thanks for the link. – The Anathema Oct 19 at 3:11
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    I'm vegitarian and teetotal. I do all these things all the time. I also have had varying levels of social anxiety - and pretty much often have to excuse myself from many of these things. Admittedly the wording is pretty uncompromising and serious on purpose, as were a few other things. On the other side - community watches out for each other. Its unlikely you would get in trouble for a single or honest slip up, especially now. – Journeyman Geek Oct 19 at 3:23
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    NT people just will not get your or my concerns or why semantics are important to you and others like yourself. Semantics provide dis-ambiguity that we can rely on as a defense. "I said X" because X means this in the dictionary that everyone has already agreed on a meaning to, Autistic people constantly have to word police themselves 100% of the time, it burdensome and draining. Having someone else word police us with arbitrary rules is too much. We are already low on spoons we do not need this stress taking away more ... – user148287 Oct 19 at 6:17
  • @SomeoneWhoUsedToCare Thank you. This is exactly how I felt. – The Anathema Oct 19 at 6:20
  • I doubt such a GDPR request would lead to anything but ordinary account deletion (and perhaps removal of comments and chat messages). Within the GDPR, you can require deletion of personal data. But Stack Exchange can easily argue that your contributions, which are publicly licensed, can be anonimized, don't fall in that category. – Erik Reinstate MonicA Oct 19 at 6:33
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    @TheAnathema - that is why I deleted my SO profile almost 2 years ago. It is why I requested my other 66 profiles to be deleted when this all started, now that they have just said Sorry we did what we did on a Friday followed up by We goofed, I approved it, my bad and nothing else. I requested this profile to be removed. I am still posting to support others like myself until my profile get removed, when it does I wish you the best of luck friend. My opinion, nothing SE says or does should be trusted at this point. They have demonstrated repeatedly and have deserve that rep, SE earned it. – user148287 Oct 19 at 6:41
  • @TheAnathema - my account was 10 years old and was over 40K rep. my reached numbers were in the millions, Not worth the stress, now not worth the risk there is no reward anymore that the risk would ever be worth. You have the right idea and are right to be concerned. Nobody can tell me any different at this point. – user148287 Oct 19 at 6:42
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    @ErikA Hey, bit of fridge logic here... if Stack Exchange anonymizes someone's contributions, doesn't that mean that they're no longer complying with the Attribution clause of the CC-BY-SA license, and thus can no longer distribute the content under that license? – Brilliand Oct 19 at 8:52
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    Well in theory if you request deletion you asked for that to be waived in the process. – Journeyman Geek Oct 19 at 8:52
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    Because be nice. That's not what this is at all. It boils down to "Nothing you say or do matters unless you say this one specific word", which has nothing to do with being nice, it's about dictating the speech of others. In literally every other situation you could possibly conjure up, there's a plentiful multitude of ways to be nice. But somehow, if the question is gender, there's only one way to be nice? If you don't say this one specific word, there's nothing you can do or say that will categorize you as Nice Enough? That is a massively unreasonable position. – Vegard Oct 19 at 12:03
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    @Brilliand No, they're honoring CC section 3a1A. If someone requests their identity to be removed, CC BY SA is fine with that. – Erik Reinstate MonicA Oct 19 at 13:33

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