205

As I understand, one of the major grievances of the community recently over the situation with Monica is that the Stack Exchange team has not apologized for or admitted to any wrongdoing over making public statements that negatively affect Monica's reputation, here on Meta, per-site metas, and also in the press.

In a few places I have seen speculation that these statements are libelous, and suggestions for Monica to take legal action against Stack Exchange.

I have a strong suspicion that the Stack Exchange team will not explicitly admit to wrongdoing with respect to publicly maligning Monica's reputation, because such a statement would likely be legally damaging to them if this issue is ever litigated. I believe that this is the explanation for their frustratingly cold silence and unsatisfying apologies recently.

For the same reason, I suspect that a major obstacle to reinstating Monica is that doing so is tantamount to admitting fault. Perhaps they hoped Monica would follow the new reinstatement process so that they could in some way assuage the issue without admitting to wrongdoing on their side.

The community has been hoping for and repeatedly asking Stack Exchange to reinstate Monica and apologize for the public statements they made, but this might not be realistically possible because of the legal consequences of doing so.

If this is the case, is there any possible way to move forward and somehow resolve the issue?

Are there any possible actions that Stack Exchange can take towards

  1. restoring the community's trust, and
  2. righting the wrongs done to Monica,

without doing anything that their legal counsel would advise against?

Alternatively, are there any actions that Monica can take that would allow Stack Exchange to freely apologize for wrongdoing without fear of legal repercussions?


Edit: Stack Exchange has made a post essentially confirming these suspicions

  • 10
    IANAL (as most of us probably are). So answers to your first questions can only be speculative. Regarding your second questions I think that we are in no position to advise Monica. If she advances against SE she (sic!) has my full support. – Sockenpuppe Oct 23 at 15:13
  • 2
    Regarding the de-modding, I think following the new conduct review process from the point right after an emergency removal (basically pretending that the de-modding was just such an emergency removal and progressing normally from there) could work. I don't know how to address the external press issue, though. – Reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 15:15
  • 3
    IANAL but I don't think that there's a real fear/chance of litigation here. It's a volunteer position and there's no money involved or contracts signed. AFAIK they can legally fire or reinstate any mod for whatever reason they deem fit without the risk of litigation. – Erik Reinstate MonicA Oct 23 at 15:15
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    As an aside, I'm extremely glad that Monica didn't take that bait. – S.D. Oct 23 at 15:16
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    @ErikA I don't think anyone's contemplating legal action about the de-modding. Legal action about slandering in the press, on the other hand... – Reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 15:16
  • 53
    There are no constraints based on fear of future legal actions that cannot be addressed by contract. This happens every time a departing employee signs an agreement to not badmouth the ex-employer in exchange for collecting a severance package. SE's lawyers surely would inform them of this option if they were to inquire. – Monica Cellio Oct 23 at 15:18
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    Honestly, for me personally, there's very little that SE can do to regain my trust. They've lost it five times over. – weakdna says reinstate monica Oct 23 at 15:20
  • 16
    The way they have been handling everything is disgusting and shows the same knee-jerk reaction that happened when someone complained on Twitter about IPS. There's no way to hold SE accountable from an everyday user perspective aside from 1) not using (or recommending) the site, 2) downvoting all of the terrible meta posts the company tries to use to act like they've heard our pleas, 3) trying to fight against the grain that is SE's direction of a one-way street and realize your voice will be unheard by the company – OverMind Oct 23 at 15:23
  • "How can we move forward..." I guess that each of us can just use his best judgement given the available information and continue from there. In many cases in real life, we do not have full information. We just have to make a decision based on our beliefs then. – Trilarion Oct 23 at 15:47
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    Personally I don't think reinstate Monica is enough, there is at least one CM I think will also needs removing before any trust can return. Maybe also people above the CM need to go. However StackExchange does not need our trust to make money........ – Ian Ringrose Oct 23 at 15:54
  • 6
    Setting aside determining whether an action is legal (which seems irrelevant here), lawyers can advise on what the potential consequences of an action would be, but the actual decision of how those consequences fit into the best interests of the company belongs to the company. "That would be bad for me" is not a worthy response to calls to do the right thing. In other words, SE needs to repair their harms to Monica, and as doing so wouldn't be illegal, I don't accept that there's a moral category "not ... realistically possible because of the legal consequences of doing so." – Isaac Moses Oct 23 at 16:19
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    @IsaacMoses that is exactly what I was taught as a child. Tell the truth, even if you have to admit wrongdoing (e.g. Washington and the cherry tree, etc.), because then you will build trust and be accepted by others. By always acting "defensive", you might be able to avoid a minor punishment or two but you would grow up to have no friends and no future. Such principles were (and hopefully still are) part of groups such as the Boy Scouts where the emphasis was not on being seen as a saint, but on becoming a truly better person. – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 16:41
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    IANAL, but I'm almost certain they could be legally protected if they got Monica to sign a conditional waiver in exchange for SE taking steps to recover her image and offering to reinstate her (although, if I were her, I really wouldn't want my position back at this stage) or offering her some other compensation. – NotThatGuy Oct 23 at 17:59
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    @TravisJ if that had evidence to contest "repeated violations after repeated warnings from CMs", don't you think they would have shown it to me to shut me up? – Monica Cellio Oct 23 at 19:23
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    @MonicaCellio - Honestly, I have no clue. Regardless of what occurred they have certainly not behaved in a way that I would have expected or advised. – Travis J Oct 23 at 19:29

11 Answers 11

136

There are no actions short of reinstating Monica and apologizing that will make me, personally, able to trust SE. No matter how much more attention they pay to meta, or how seriously they take feedback, this is not something that I can get past.

If SE is unwilling to admit wrongdoing, what hope do we have that people will be treated fairly in the future? What happens when SE makes another unfortunate "mistake" and someone suffers for it? Do we just have to accept that for liability reasons, SE will never make up for their mistakes? How much harm can they inflict and get away with under the cover of avoiding legal liability?

Without addressing the festering sore that is the lies, lies of omission, and generally unacceptable "emergency removal", there is no way I can trust SE. If I just "move on" and assume that next time they'll do better, like I've done in the past, it only guarantees I'll be let down again. SE seems to have decided that if they throw enough process and "change" at us, we'll fall for it again. When there was a minimum of trust, that was possible, I could have believed in process. I can no longer do so. Especially not when it seems like every process SE attempts to roll out is deeply flawed. (Like the debacle with the FAQ surrounding the COC changes)

This is the turning point where SE, the company, needs to decide what matters more to them: The trust of the community or corporate security. I have an inkling of which way things will go, but as a community we need to fight to make our voices heard.

Most of us are deeply invested in the success of SE; It has been, for me, a part of my life in minor and major ways for years. I'm hardly the most involved member of the community, but when you see the passion and effort people in the community pour into it for free, in the interests of belonging, of furthering the pursuit of knowledge, it seems foolish to discard that out of fear. We are so mad, so vocal, because we care. We want to trust SE. But if SE cannot trust us, cannot be honest with us, there is no path forward.

  • 6
    This: We are so mad, so vocal, because we care. – Rounin says Je suis Monica Oct 23 at 19:49
  • The communication of SE to the community nowadays does not assume any response. "Be more inclusive" - that's what she says. – Askar Kalykov Oct 23 at 21:09
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    Hear hear. We're pissed. We're seeing a home we've invested countless hours into disintegrate before our eyes and watching the moderation team turn their backs. – Qix Oct 23 at 22:09
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    Apologies can be overrated, because there are so many levels of apology. SE needs to make an apology that contains an admission not only for making a very serious error in judgment, but for treating Monica so badly. She deserves an apology with obvious, sincere, contrition, and yes, some grovelling. And, immediate reinstatement without having to go through a process. And we all are owed something similar, if lesser. Legal considerations are a red herring. Many more serious and potentially more expensive disagreements are resolved every day. That is why we have lawyers. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Oct 23 at 23:00
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    It's been bugging me so I thought I would voice agreement with you. If SE needs to be taken to court to do the right thing here, I'm of the opinion that they are irrevocably damaged. I think they could still recover if they'd publish a retraction of the libel on their own. There is always room to recover from a mistake IF actions are taken to make amends and undo the harm. But if it comes down to the courts forcing them to do that? Who is to say that every additional violation of their own policies won't need to go the same route. – ConcernedClient Nov 7 at 20:54
  • "This is the turning point where SE, the company, needs to decide what matters more to them: The trust of the community or corporate security" I think they already decided. Probably a long time ago. – Ahmed Abdelhameed Nov 27 at 3:50
85

The short of it is, we can't. The statements made to The Register cause a fundamental shift in how SE has to be seen. Where before this was a place that attempted to maintain a professional atmosphere and a collaborative community, now there exists the threat of a SE employee deciding to make publicly damaging accusations via the press AND the company will stand behind them. It changed participation on SE from being professionally beneficial to a potential liability.

If SE wanted to move forward with rebuilding trust, it would be by following a path with many steps. But the FIRST step (the only possible one) is to mitigate the damage caused by The Register article. The necessity of this is demonstrated by how simple the new press policy is - "No Comment". No Director-Level employee alive did not already know this.

So it's a question of what is the holdup on taking this first step.

  • If SE believes it is a matter of legal exposure then they need to get a lawyer involved who knows the straightforward path out of this. Draft up a contract that spells out what they are willing to do and by when, in exchange for Monica promising not to pursue legal action related to their statements and apology. If everyone agrees, the matter is resolved.
  • If the holdup is due to one or more egos being protected, there is little hope at this point. Either the person (or persons) who feel that their ego is threatened needs to have a change of heart, or someone with authority over them needs to step in and overrule their actions. Without those we will continue to be met with smokescreens, avoided questions, strawmen arguments and the like - anything to protect the person(s) who protect their own egos at the cost of doing the right thing.

There has been more than enough time to fix this. The effective silence on the matter speaks volumes.

58

SE could reinstate Monica's moderator status

SE has now been accused of several wrongs against Monica:

  1. Falsely accusing Monica of violating the CoC
  2. Falsely accusing Monica of being rude to members of the community who prefer non-gendered pronouns
  3. Unfairly removing Monica's moderator status
  4. Not following the procedure in removing Monica's moderator status
  5. Not providing an adequate reason for the removal of Monica's status
  6. Slandering Monica in the press

If SE wanted to take steps to fix this, then they could admit to some of these wrongs - the ones that are unlikely to result in litigation - and then try to put them right.

For example, SE has already admitted that they didn't follow due process in demoting Monica. And this was (at first) received as a positive step by the community.

In a similar way, SE could re-instate Monica's moderator status, on the basis (without Monica having to go through the new reinstatement process) that they "overreacted" or "reacted too quickly" in removing that status. If they did this, without making any admission of guilt over other perceived wrongs, then they shouldn't have to worry about legal proceedings.

Whether or not this step would appease Monica, the other mods or the wider community is another matter. To be honest, I doubt it. But at least it would be a start.

Note: The question asked how they could "move forward". I've tried to answer the question, as written. However, I don't think reinstating Monica's status is anywhere near enough. I've written a second, alternative answer, which spells out what (in my opinion) they should do.

  • 61
    They need to retract and mitigate the defamation. – Monica Cellio Oct 23 at 15:52
  • @MonicaCellio: I absolutely agree. I've added a note to clarify that I answered the question as written, but don't think this answer is by any means adequate. – Kramii Reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 16:22
49

SE could do a complete 180

One solution - the one most of us would like - is for SE to go all out and:

  1. Show us the evidence
  2. Admit guilt where appropriate
  3. Make reparations where they can
  4. Publicize their mistakes
  5. Do better in the future

Monica seems like a really decent person. SE could bet on that decency. They could assume that she won't take them to court if they start treating her a lot better.

(Even if this assumption is false, it could still be in their best (financial) interests to do what the community perceives as the "right thing". This on-going situation is hurting Monica, damaging the community, and (ultimately) damaging their bottom line)

If they followed this path, they could put this whole situation to bed, once and for all.

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    They could also arrange a contract in which Monica promises not to sue if SE apologies publicly for this, this and that. In other words, an out-of-court settlement. – John Dvorak Oct 23 at 16:16
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    I would add "find a person to blame among the staff and fire him/her". That might sound cynical at a first glance, but I guess that is probably the only action strong enough to regain at least some trust in them. – Doc Brown Nov 4 at 21:50
43

Stack Exchange may very well "move forward" regardless.

I've been following events for the last few weeks, and one theme that keeps coming up is that there are only two possibilities here:

  1. That an answer to this question will be found, and then, having found the answer.. everyone (SE, the moderators, and other contributors) will together try to get back on track.

  2. That SE will die, or become worthless, and everyone's work lost.

I'd like to suggest a third possibility:

  1. That the current state of affairs will be the new normal. SE will not back down. They may try to make some small adjustments and win some hearts and minds.. but basically this will be the new normal, and the community can like it or hike it.

Many contributors will leave, but some will stay. New people will come in to fill the gaps. It will not be the same as before, but life will go on. Millions if not Billions of dollars will be made.

Many embittered past contributors will have to live with their regret at having participated as much as they did, same as we all do at the end of any relationship that becomes exploitative.

In short, it is possible that SE will "get away with it".

  • 14
    Very true. A I bet that that's what SE is aiming at right now. Edit: And "exploitative" is the correct term do describe how is SE is behaving. – Sockenpuppe Oct 23 at 19:26
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    All things change. Some people will move on, others may take our place, SE may keep going but not be the same thing it was. There's no reason to regret past participation. It wasn't about Stack Exchange anyhow; it was about helping each other. Yes I'm bittersadangrydisappointed, but that will pass. Each of us needs to figure out what is the best course for ourselves without trying to calculate how that may or may not affect a company that, quite frankly, doesn't give a shit about us as individuals. No company actually does. – ColleenV parted ways Oct 23 at 22:43
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    @ColleenV Sure, that's exactly what I mean. It probably won't be the same ever again. I've had similar disappointments. I used to go to Burning Man and build theme camps or contribute significantly to camps, but I don't do that anymore, I haven't been since 2013. DId Burning Man change for the worse because a lot of people like me stopped participating? Yes, but it's bigger than ever. – little_birdie Oct 23 at 23:34
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    But is it really Burning Man, or something else entirely that is just exploiting the name? Last I checked it had a lot of people going but it had devolved into a bunch of social media influencers and celebrities trying to out-bohemian each other. You've experienced something the folks going to Burning Man now will never be able to experience. It's sad when the time comes to move on, but it just means we're free to find or create something else that might be better for us. Who cares if what we left works for someone else? – ColleenV parted ways Oct 24 at 1:30
19

If this is the case, is there any possible way to move forward and somehow resolve the issue?

They just need to apologize, re-mod, and then apply their own procedure if they think Monica did something warranting a demodding.

Edited; Outside of action(s) to take on SE, retracting the statement done for the press article must be done.

My stance for the last point is nuanced, as Monica didn't violated the CoC, as it was not out and in the end using real life examples to give an opinion is not bypassing the CoC, as it didn't happened on the main site. (It's not like a user got mistreated and flagged it to the CM)

Alternatively, are there any actions that Monica can take that would allow Stack Exchange to freely apologize for wrongdoing without fear of legal repercussions?

Monica was really silent for the whole issue. Stack Exchange must realize that and thanks her, as she didn’t go full public to disclose anything. Even de-moded she followed the policy of chat room Teachers' Lounge (TL).

If Stack Exchange do nothing, they must see that maybe someday Monica only option to defend herself is a full disclosure of what happened. (I think some transcript got leaked, but I don’t know if they are still freely available on the Internet.)

  • 9
    Apologies are meaningless at this point. They need to reinstate her and retract their false claims to the press. It's hard to neglect the seriousness of public slander especially when it can cause people to lose their livelihoods and severely affect their careers. – S.D. Oct 23 at 15:57
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    The public defamation is very likely to have future career impact. It has also caused other harm. – Monica Cellio Oct 23 at 16:00
  • @MonicaCellio I agree, I forgetted about the article, will edit, as yes it must be retracted of course. – yagmoth555 - GoFoundMe Monica Oct 23 at 16:02
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    @MonicaCellio, I'm coming to the sad conclusion that the only way you'll see them take any steps towards that is if you start taking public steps towards suing them. If you do decide to do that, crowd-funding for legal fees would give an opportunity for those who support you to put our money where our votes are; show SE just how badly they're burning bridges; and create a story which media like The Register might well want to write about. – Peter Taylor Oct 23 at 22:50
14

Are there any possible actions that Stack Exchange can take towards [...] without doing anything that their legal counsel would advise against?

Sure. Apologize for removing her with complete disregards of the existing process and reinstate her without any process or need for appeal.

I don't think there is any legal recourse, because nobody ever said it's illegal. It's perfectly legal, it's just wrong.

  • 29
    The legal liability here is with regards to slandering Monica's name, which is actionable. Slander is not "perfectly legal". – Leo Natan--reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 15:47
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    The defamation on false grounds was probably illegal. The forced (retroactive) license change too. – S.D. Oct 23 at 15:47
  • @LeoNatan I'm not talking about the slander part. That can be handled afterwards by lawyers if necessary. – nvoigt Oct 23 at 16:02
  • 2
    Yes, but even starting some negotiations can be seen legally as admission of guilt. If those negotiations fall through, an aggrieved party can use the fact, that negotiations were had, to show in court, that the statements were in bad faith, thus slander. – Leo Natan--reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 16:05
  • @JJJ Yes, I was not familiar with the distinction. I should have used the general "defamation" term. Thanks! – Leo Natan--reinstate Monica Oct 23 at 16:34
  • @JJJ But did SE (Sara) talk to The Register, or was the communication entirely in writing? (And, for that matter, does email count as “writing” for legal purposes?) – Scott Oct 23 at 21:14
9

There is what we all want and is morally right, but that is different from the "facts on the ground". A significant percentage of users of Google services hate Google, and consider the company evil incarnate. But they still use Google services and products because there is no real competition. The Stack Exchange is pretty much in the same boat as far as a venue for Q&A.

The vast majority of SE users are blissfully unaware of recent events. They don't even care about the rules and expectations for participation (unless failures in those areas bite them in the butt). They come for questions and answers. They have zero interest in site "politics".

The people who are aware are the people who frequent Meta SE, which appears from posts to be mostly a small core of experienced users and moderators. We're hardly a blip in the volume of site traffic, and a small minority even of the user base responsible for creating content.

The reality is that we're angry and disappointed, and loud about it, but we don't matter all that much, at least in the short term.

SOI staff time is being diverted to deal with the chaos and fallout, so that's a temporary resource drain that will delay action on whatever they would otherwise be working on. It's hard on the front line staff taking the brunt of it, who probably had little direct responsibility for causing the chaos.

Moderation, particularly on some sites, has been curtailed, making those sites less effective. But that is temporary. Many of the moderators who took a stand saw how it was damaging what they actually cared about, and decided to continue serving their community, despite their feelings about the corporation. In the not-too-distant future, something will happen to restore moderator services on the affected sites.

The network will lose some number of experienced users, either leaving or seriously curtailing their contributions. It will be one of the factors affecting the overall quality of content. Curation activity is likely to be the thing most affected. Both of these will contribute to a long-term decline in content quality and usefulness, but they won't make much difference in the short term.

So to the title question, "how can we move forward", I think the answer is that it involves two parties. SOI will move forward because in the big picture, we're not perceived as critical to the success of the company (probably more the opposite). There might be some long-term price to pay if network usefulness declines, but from a business perspective, that won't matter as long as SE doesn't suck as bad as the alternatives.

How "we", the affected users, move forward will be on us to decide. Some may decide that SOI's behavior is too egregious to overlook. Others may come to the realization that it's like using Google; hate the company but unfortunately, it's the only real game in town. The question is premised on "if", but pretty clearly, the situation is "is". People will need to deal with that reality and make hard personal decisions.

7

I have a strong suspicion that the Stack Exchange team will not explicitly admit to wrongdoing with respect to publicly maligning Monica's reputation, because such a statement would likely be legally damaging to them if this issue is ever litigated.

An apology might well be legally damaging to them should a suit arise, but the impact of such damage is likely to be purely financial and not large enough to threaten the company. Further, they are already clearly spending significant amounts on handling this issue anyway (consider all the staff time that's gone in to this, including paying any lawyers who are giving them advice on this).

In other words, this is a factor that they certainly should take into account in their decision about how to handle this, but it's not an "it's impossible for us to do this" thing.

I believe that this is the explanation for their frustratingly cold silence and unsatisfying apologies recently.

I find it unlikely that that's the sole reason. If it is, their focus is too narrow and they're ignoring the other extensive financial and non-financial harm this is causing them.

If they present this as, "we cannot do this for legal reasons," when those reasons are not "we'd be breaking the law if we did this" but instead "we'd suffer financial harm," ignoring all other harm that comes from not saying sorry and working to fix the problem, I'd take that an an excuse with other reasons as well behind it, which doesn't bode well for resolving this.

6

SE could let the community govern itself

SE should recant their accusations towards Monica and revert their illegal relicensing, but that's not sufficient to get trust back at this point.

At this point SE really needs to let the community govern itself. The community has needs and desires that conflict with the company's, and at this point SE needs the community much more than the community needs SE. SE could even separate the community and the company into two legal entities, and content itself with being the community's software and hosting provider.

  • 4
    SE exists to make $$$. They will never 'let the community govern itself' because this will cost them money, not make it. – Sockenpuppe Oct 23 at 19:30
  • @Sockenpuppe: SE would make money hosting and providing software in the situation I'm proposing. It wouldn't have to pay for CMs. It could very well be more profitable for them. – rockwalrus-stop harming Monica Oct 23 at 19:33
  • @rockwalrus I'm sure the CM's that monitor this site will go for the plan to eliminate their positions =) – mason Oct 23 at 19:41
  • @mason: They would still have their positions. The paycheck would just come from Stack Exchange Community, LLC instead of Stack Exchange, Inc. – rockwalrus-stop harming Monica Oct 23 at 19:44
  • Then what's to stop Stack Exchange Community, LLC from wanting to make more money? Who are the owners? You'd have to have a very benevolent owner to prevent them from profit seeking. And those types of people are incredibly rare. It's hard to be rich and benevolent, because benevolencey works against you making money. – mason Oct 23 at 19:47
  • 1
    "SE exists to make $$$". Fine. Let's see how much $$$ they make when they have to write all the answers themselves, then. It's easy to forget that SE Inc. doesn't own the content which generates its income. We, the individual members of the community, are the legal owners of that content, and SE Inc. is just a licensee with no more rights to it than any of us, or any other member of the public for that matter. With a business model where 100% of its value comes from unpaid contributions from the community, SE Inc. can alienate that community only at its own existential peril. – Crowman Oct 23 at 20:22
  • @mason: as the link says, Stack Exchange Community, LLC would be a nonprofit. – rockwalrus-stop harming Monica Oct 23 at 20:31
  • @rockwalrus Well Limited Liability Companies are generally not non-profits. More likely a 501(c)(3) or similar organization would be a non-profit. And while a non-profit might be an ideal way for Stack Exchange to exist.....I don't see a viable way of getting to that point from here. The owners of the current company simply won't let that happen to their investment. – mason Oct 23 at 20:36
  • @mason: Your state my vary, but in my state all nonprofits are LLCs. 501(c)(3) is federal level and a completely different issue. – rockwalrus-stop harming Monica Oct 23 at 20:47
  • @mason: The OP asks what SE could do to restore the community's trust. SE can spin off a nonprofit for the community. The question doesn't ask what we think they will do. – rockwalrus-stop harming Monica Oct 23 at 20:49
  • I don't know that it makes much sense to discuss it if it's not going to happen. It makes more sense to discuss creating a competing site, although this isn't the place for that either. – mason Oct 23 at 21:00
  • @mason: Because if enough people on Meta think it's the right think to do then there's a chance that SE will decide that it makes sense for them to do. It's an option most people probably haven't even thought about. – rockwalrus-stop harming Monica Oct 23 at 21:12
-23

There are no legal issues here. Admitting fault would have no consequences because they would be admitted a fault in the process, not in the basic principle of the matter (i.e. refusal to use preferred pronouns).

The way to move forward is to accept that using preferred pronouns is going to be a rule, and that Monica isn't using the process created for reinstating moderators, because she can't accept that rule. Since allowing people to ignore preferred pronouns will harm a lot of people and is morally objectionable, there is basically nothing that can be done until Monica changes her mind.

  • 27
    Yea, you've completely missed the point here. "Monica isn't using the process created for reinstating moderators because she can't accept that rule." This is not what's happening here... – Cerbrus Nov 4 at 12:00
  • 7
    "she can't accept that rule" Citation needed. You keep saying this, but Monica insists that she has no issues using people's preferred pronouns. You have already been told this several times. -1 for bad trolling. – Hugo Zink Nov 5 at 10:50
  • 1
    This is about a gross communication and interpretation-of-intent failure, not pronouns per se. It could have been about a completely different subject than pronouns. – Peter Mortensen Nov 5 at 18:16
  • 1
    What about the press? Even if what you say is true (it is not), you are not talking about what Sara said to the Register. Or do you think that she deserves it for committing a thought-crime? – Luis Reinstate Monica Nov 6 at 15:10
  • The legal issue here is LIBEL possibly libel per se – Richard says Reinstate Monica Nov 20 at 15:26

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