Monica's demotion as a moderator was in the words of Stack Exchange's CTO a procedural error . The consensus among witnesses and users is that the faulty process resulted in an erroneous outcome. There was no reason to demote Monica.
Then there is a July podcast with the Director of public Q&A at Stack Overflow, Sara Chipps, in which she talks about a case resembling Monica's months before the demotion. Sara announces to be "not nice" in implementing gender policies — which, paradoxically, would be a clear violation of the code of conduct. In this context the situation leading to Monica's demotion looks like a setup to me, or at least a (poor) opportunity for stating an example noticed and taken. Monica was made a scapegoat, on Yom Kippur of all days.
While such a confrontation and injustice will afflict anybody who is invested in a community on Stack Exchange and spends a lot of time with the topics and people there, SE Inc. also talked publicly about the case, using Monica's name and accusing her of Code of Conduct violations. These public allegations, denied by Monica and all witnesses I have read from, have neither been substantiated nor retracted. The current situation is untenable:
- SE Inc. acted in error, procedurally and factually;
- SE Inc. has not responded in a timely and satisfying way;
- SE Inc. gave wrong and damaging information about Monica to the press, using her name;
- SE Inc. is not correcting the wrong public information.
Update: It took them a while and in my opinion Sara Chipps continues exposing the patronizing, unprofessional and unwelcoming attitude which has shown in every contribution I have seen from her, but
- SE Inc. has come to an agreement with Monica Cellio.
How can we help Monica and show her support as a community?
I let the question stand for now. I find the agreement lacking. In particular, since the demotion was made in error, Monica should not be asked to re-apply; she should be re-instated instead.