It's been stated repeatedly that Monica will be able to apply for reinstatement once the new process is in place.

However, it's also firmly agreed that no process was applied during her removal, and Monica's statements are that she has not yet received an explanation of why she was removed, or of what actions allegedly violated the CoC.

As it happens, the new Conduct Review Process provides for an urgent, emergency removal, which (it appears) is what occurred in this case. It allows for a quick removal, and then a less-urgent consideration and examination of the decision.

SE should complete this new process for Conduct Review and removal, rather than expecting Monica to apply for reinstatement.

  • This would uphold the emergency removal without re-litigation. Emergency removal is an emergency.
  • This would respect Monica and the community, by SE re-examining its previous rushed actions in order to observe reasonable process.
  • This would prevent the deeply problematic and asymmetric situation, where the removal is done disregarding process but any attempt at reinstatement is within it (as Monica has written).
  • This would demonstrate SE's commitment to the new processes, and help restore community trust in SE.
    It's quite possible the decision to remove will be upheld (and a hypothetical application to reinstate is rejected). But knowing the decisions are taken with care and under minimal process would go a long way towards convincing the community that this removal, and future actions, are not wholly rash or arbitrary. (Or, if SE is not capable of following its own process, best that we all find this out now, and not wait for the next firestorm.)

The new processes provide a decent framework for handling removals precisely like this one. If we're to have any trust in the framework in general or in this removal in particular, let's actually use the process -- especially when the current situation maps so very cleanly onto our pretty new flowchart.

Conduct Review flowchart, current state marked YOU ARE HERE

  • 1
    Devil's advocate: Who's to say they haven't already done that? Maybe Monica is not allowed to, or doesn't want to share more information on that? It's all behind closed doors, so how do we know what's going on?
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 6:47
  • 11
    I really wish that SE would separate the personal and professional hurt that they admitted they caused Monica from the reinstatement process. The reinstatement process will not ease that hurt and that loss of professional and personal reputation.
    – user351483
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 6:47
  • 38
    @Cerbrus : Monica has repeatedly stated that SE has not provided any explanation of how she has violated the CoC (beyond that violations have occurred). Likewise, she says SE claims she has received previous warnings, when she is unaware of any such. I was co-moderator with Monica for many years on Writing.SE, and she has my trust and respect -- and all the more so when SE is being so opaque and haphazard. (Nor has SE made any statement to the contrary; quite the opposite...)
    – Ziv
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 6:53
  • 10
    @Cerbrus If that is the case, then SE should follow longstanding policy of making allegations public if the subject of these allegations chooses to publicly request so. There is no reason for them not to do that outside of the conclusion that they either 1) do not have a case or 2) know that the case they have is so weak the community will rebel even more for bringing it up.
    – Magisch
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:05
  • 1
    @Magisch: And that's the answer to my question ("so how do we know what's going on?") I was hoping for :-)
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:09
  • 2
    @Magisch: As general policy, there's often substantial difficulty with publicizing allegations. Particularly, this often winds up pointing fingers at the person who complained, or prompting speculation about who complained. These can get absolutely toxic, and completely chill willingness to raise incidents to begin with. (This case in particular might not have those issues; but then again it might.)
    – Ziv
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:10
  • 3
    @Ziv sure, but that's a function of due process. the alternative is almost infinitely worse. Methods of alleviating that while preserving privacy include a community elected or randomly chosen panel of arbitrators to hear and summarize non public evidence.
    – Magisch
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:12
  • If your process makes it impossible to safely raise an incident, it's a bad process. But I'm with you on the countermeasure of arbitration done specifically by people with community trust, and the random-assignment is also an interesting suggestion :)
    – Ziv
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:16
  • 1
    The 'Emergency Removal Phase' inclusion is like your boss telling you, yes, you were right, but had I been right this is how we would've done it.
    – John
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 13:59
  • 6
    I think that it is important to note that the process says that "If there's is no annotation that notes the moderator had previously been warned [...] CM2 will do so [...] The process is concluded here". Additionally here it is noted that there are no annotations on Monica's account. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 14:02
  • they won't do this, because doing so will require them to re-litigate the past.
    – Giuseppe
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 16:55
  • 6
    Of course, a consistent refusal to re-litigate the past absolves them from ever having to correct any mistake in the future. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 18:47
  • 5
    (+1) for the hand-drawn arrow. (-1) for not using a free-hand circle Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 0:42

3 Answers 3


The reinstatement process is a red herring with regards to Monica's situation.

  1. SE did not follow their own removal process (It didn't exist then, granted, but still).

  2. This wasn't an emergency removal (nobody has claimed that)

from this should follow that if not null and void, her removal must be re-examined de novo* before any sort of justice can claim to have happened.

In addition to this, the statements SE made to the press (which at the time did not contravene policy but now do) need to be retracted and recanted in full prior to this process. It's not enough to say you won't re-litigate the past, you need to fix the mess you've caused first. While it may not be an actionable case of libel, we as a community expect a lot more from you then "not technically libellous" when treating the volunteers who have given you thousands of hours of their valueable free time at no charge.

If all of that is done, and after going through the removals process again you still decide to uphold Monica's removal, you need to communicate the exact and complete why and how of that to her. Only then can you reasonably expect her to follow your process of reinstatement, and only then can you expect the community to begin to consider this matter adressed.

* de novo means as new, e.g as if you were looking at the entire set of facts for the first time

  • I basically agree with you. This removal is a colossal botch. But I do feel that having a process and respecting it is possibly a reasonable way out of that botch, that SE can live with.
    – Ziv
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:00
  • 7
    @Ziv That's essentially what I'm saying. Part of following due process is discounting and nulling any action that was out of process. Start from the last uncontroversial point of reference, e.g prior to her removal, and go from there. This backwards system they proposed now is wholly insufficient
    – Magisch
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:01
  • 17
    Absolutely. And before that they have to clear her name in the press. Whether or not they remove her afterwards, going to the press was huge mistake that must be rectified. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:36
  • 39
    "This isn't an emergency removal..." If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... Actually, I don't think it was an emergency removal either. I think it was an action taken by a single person who didn't like the conversation they were in. Call it what you will, but it's the very antithesis of community.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 14:26
  • 28
    I also haven't been told anything about why it "had" to be done when it was done. I've heard assertions of urgency but cannot correlate them with any of my activity. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 15:01
  • 10
    I agree with @RobertHarvey, from what I read, it seems the removal was an abuse. Kick one popular and vocal mod who stands up to you to tame the others. I don't have any evidence, but given some of the other public behaviors, I am convinced that this MO is within the realm of possibility.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 18:08

What did Monica do to deserve emergency removal?

SE should probably think about the effects of removing one of the best mods on this site.

I don't think the removal is worth fighting against the ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

  • 3
    According to screenrant.com: "In the Friends series finale, Monica and Chandler move with their twins, Jack and Erica, to the suburbs in order to provide them with the ideal family life. After leaving the big city behind, nothing is known about Monica's fate." Luckily for us, SE's Monica is posting updates on her GoFundMe page, we don't have to wait for a revival of NBC's second best sitcom.
    – JJJ
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 2:50
  • according to that,Monica is going for law?
    – okie
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 3:16
  • 6
    Why SE do that tho? That was TOTALLY unnecessary at all.Oh ,and also, very unrespectful to Monica at all.
    – okie
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 3:19

I agree, to a point. The big problem with the new moderator removal and reinstatement processes, is that the backbone of these procedures is a level of trust in CM's to do the right thing. For better or worse, the scenario of the recent demodding are suggestive, to a fairly large chunk of the community, that the CM's, for whatever reason, did not seem to do the right thing. From the distant outside, it looks like the wagons were circled. The end result is that there has been an erosion of community trust in the organization.

Now, showing us all how the the new demodding process would play out in this case might restore that trust.

All that said, let's game it out. Let's say the end result is a restoration of a mod. There are some community members who might feel like the organization doesn't have their back, and doesn't want to address their very real concerns. Let's say the end result is to leave the demodding in place, and part of the community is still unsatisfied. Now it will just point out that there isn't any real transparency in the new policy.

Lose-Lose, down every path.

I think there's some real work left to do, and I'm not sure there's any promising process being put into place that will get the job done. Personally, I think we should be looking toward restorative justice practices.

  • 1
    "a level of trust in CM's" ... that's something we've seen SE doesn't have or WANT, given recent dimissals. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 17:11
  • 1
    @AprilSalutesMonicaC. -- absolutely. In fact, given the way this has been unrolling since this answer, it looks like there was much more internal strife than seemed at the time. In face, now it seems like the wagons were circled, but the CM's were tied up and gagged in the middle of the circle! Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 18:32

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