I assume that Stack Exchange made its recent changes to the Code of Conduct in good faith and did not see that they were not as inclusive as they thought. That is reasonable; everyone has blind spots. Now it is time for another iteration to include back people who were accidentally excluded, such as those with social phobia, autism or certain beliefs.
Code of Conduct
My proposed changes to the Code of Conduct follow. Changed words are in bold or italics. Rationales follow some changes.
Be kind, inclusive, and respectful.
Focus on facts, rather than the people who state them. Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes — tone is hard to decipher online. Prefer gender-neutral language when uncertain. If a situation makes it hard to be friendly, stop participating and move on.
Bringing back "kind" both psychologically brings kindness back into focus and makes the heading match the text better.
We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or disability — and those are just a few examples.
Use stated pronouns (when known). When in doubt, don't use language that might offend or alienate.
"Use stated pronouns (when known)" was removed because it differs in spirit from the rest of the paragraph and because it implies that not using them is always bigotry. Instead, we take a step back from a specific instance of the problem and speak to all language that offends or alienates based on gender identity. This is the same way other example groups are handled.
Since people with certain neurological disabilities were unintentionally excluded before, it makes sense to include them with this change.
"When in doubt, don't use language that might offend or alienate." is not a particularly autism-friendly sentence, because some people with the condition are always in doubt about what will offend people and what it implies about them if they do offend people. It was mostly redundant, and what wasn't redundant was interpreted by some to mean they have to walk on eggshells, which is the opposite of welcoming.
This includes, but isn’t limited to: bullying, intimidation, intentionally calling someone something they don't like, vulgar language, direct or indirect threats, sexually suggestive remarks, patterns of inappropriate social contact, and sustained disruptions of discussion.
Calling someone by pronouns they don't like is definitely calling them something they don't like. This phrasing captures additional problematic behavior as well.
Only one question is needed. This question encompasses and subsumes all the current questions.
Q: There was a lot of controversy about pronouns. What happened?
We made a change to the Code of Conduct. We didn't involve our community, we didn't listen to our community, and we didn't respect our community, and as a result, we hurt many people, including the very people we were trying to help. We were wrong and we will do better in the future.
We wrote thousands of words trying to clarify our policies, picking winners and losers, but that just resulted in a spiral of more questions and more hurt feelings. Instead of trying to pick favorites ahead of time, we should have trusted our users and moderators to resolve conflicts like adults, taking individual circumstances into account.
Edit: removed obsolete content, expanded remaining FAQ question.