31

I think that the position of many users (reinstate Monica) and many mods (with resignations) is very clear about what should be done in her (Monica) respect.

But I think this endless and somewhat exhausting tug of war between users and CMs cannot bring anything good and her (Monica) role as a scapegoat will make very embarrassing, to say the least, a possible reinstatement.

SE has shown aspects we didn’t know, take it or leave it.

  • 55
    "tug of war between users and CMs"... A tug of war requires both sides to be present. The whole problem is that the SE side is silently cowering in a dark corner, afraid to step up and touch the rope. – nvoigt Oct 30 at 12:45
  • 6
    What does "SE has shown aspects we didn’t know, take it or leave it." mean? – Justice for Monica Oct 30 at 12:47
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    Why should we put up with SE trying to gaslight us? – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 13:05
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    It provides lots of material for her case, since they continue to censor people opposing them. – Carpe CM Oct 30 at 13:06
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    @mag Do you have a link to something stating that? I'd be interested in helping. – Grumpy says Reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 13:20
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    @GrumpysaysReinstateMonica It's on GoFundMe at ~9200$ raised so far – mag Oct 30 at 13:23
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    @GrumpysaysReinstateMonica Look at this answer. – mason Oct 30 at 13:24
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    @mag That's great, very nice to see all of the support on that GoFundMe. If SE wasn't shaking before, I wonder if they are now. – Grumpy says Reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 13:29
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    Admittedly, and very subjectively, I also had the impression that some questions basically asked ~"something", and somehow stirred the name 'Monica' in, which served as some sort of "upvote magnet". It's hard to separate the issue of her being fired from the related issues, but some questions seemed to conflate things that should probably not have been conflated, at the risk of exposing her in a way that she could find uncomfortable (generally, and in the worst case, putting her in some sort of crossfire). (I haven't seen her complaining about that, but that may be a sort of caution...) – Marco13 Oct 30 at 13:38
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    See also How can we help Monica Cellio. Arguably this is a duplicate of that. – Raedwald Oct 30 at 13:54
  • Fourth question, including a deleted post about Cellio. – Mari-Lou A Oct 30 at 13:57
  • 2
    It may seem that Meta talks only about Monica, but there are also posts about pronouns, the FAQ #2, coerced speech, freedom of expression, reinstating moderators, CMS closing and deleting on-topic posts, the updated CoC, the LGBTQ+ community, questions about deleted comments, about M.Cellio's forced removal, about the relationship between SE and its users. The demodding of Monica is connected to all of the issues above. – Mari-Lou A Oct 30 at 15:30
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    what’s your point? it's a bit paradoxical asking whether Qs about MC are harmful when you yourself have asked four related questions (one deleted). – Mari-Lou A Oct 30 at 15:31
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    The name's Mari-Lou A not Mari-Lau, you know me long enough but nevermind. Your last sentence SE has shown aspects we didn’t know, take it or leave it. suggests a certain cynicism and skepticism about the entire affair, but I may be mistaken. And if I am, I apologise. – Mari-Lou A Oct 30 at 16:15
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    What's left to talk about? – James Reinstate Monica Polk Oct 30 at 23:29

11 Answers 11

109

I think it's worthwhile to keep the discussion of these issues alive.

Many SE users – moderators and others – think SE made some serious mistakes in how and why they dismissed Monica. Many users also think other SE actions over the past few years have been harmful. Many users think SE's response to their mistakes has been to do nothing and wait out the uproar.

There are specific questions that I don't think are helpful, but I think the overall desire to not let this die out – to hold SE accountable – is useful.

89

Keeping the topic alive would mean that more people can notice it, and potentially help her with the legal costs incurred by the issue.

83

It's not just Monica - it's all of us

What Monica was drop-kicked for - discussing and clarifying the details of how SE sites should be managed - is what moderators and other active users are supposed to do. Or so we thought.

If it turns that isn't actually something we're allowed to do, then SE isn't the community-driven site we all thought it was.

That's a question that needs resolving.

  • 8
    The real reason why Monica was kicked is the biggest mystery here, no doubt. We'll most likely never know though, but at this point I'm sure there's more to it than just "discussing and clarifying the details of how SE sites should be managed". – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 30 at 14:07
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    @Shadow they've alleged some things but have completely failed to tell me what I supposedly did wrong. I understand they're telling mods that they've told me, but that's incorrect. They could rectify that problem at any time by sending me this information. – Monica Cellio Oct 30 at 16:57
  • Topo morto stands for dead rat? – Gio Oct 30 at 17:52
  • @Gio either that or "dead mouse", I think... – topo Reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 18:00
  • Yes, that’s a curious nickname. – Gio Oct 30 at 18:01
  • @topomorto any relation to Topo Gigio? (enjoying the music btw) – uhoh Oct 30 at 21:18
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    @uhoh Thanks. I guess all us topi are related if you go far back enough! – topo Reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 21:25
75

To answer the question as posed, "Does keep talking about Monica actually do her any good?" -- yes, it does.

Existence of posts with opinions and facts stating that the initial portrayal of the events by the company was false, has a higher chance to be seen by public looking for more information, which helps fix the damage done to Monica's image in the eyes of the public.

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    If anybody has enough SEO clues to push the community response above the defamation in search results, that'd be awesome. I don't know how to do that. – Monica Cellio Oct 30 at 16:55
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    @MonicaCellio That will (hopefully) sort itself out in a while: The twitter+SE profiles and fundraiser are already above the "Register" results. And if someone just spends a few minutes looking at the results, it becomes clear who's to blame. (The problem that remains is that even just being involved in such a mess can harm the reputation, and cause some people to avoid you: The fear of hiring committees or advisory boards to be in any way connected to certain topics speaks for itself. Can I say that you're an "admirable scapegoat"? It sounds strange, but hope you know what I mean) – Marco13 Oct 31 at 12:55
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    @MonicaCellio, I'm not an expert in SEO, but I know some and perhaps I can help a little. The thing search engines like most is links originating from reputable sites (such as, I believe, SE). As much as I bet you're regretting ever using your real name here, counter-intuitively, the best thing you can do now is keep using your real name loudly and often to link to positive things about you, to help drown out the negative. For example, this link should help a little: Monica Cellio's GoFundMe – Nate S - Reinstate Monica Oct 31 at 17:27
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    @MonicaCellio, if you have a page you'd prefer to be at the top of search results when googling your name, such as your blog, a LinkedIn, a personal website w/ portfolio, etc., if you let us know, those of us updating our profile in support can add a link to it, which will help it rise in the search results. – Nate S - Reinstate Monica Oct 31 at 17:35
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    @NateS-ReinstateMonica thanks! My blog (alternate URL), LinkedIn page, Medium page, and Mi Yodeya questions and answers (or individual posts therein) would all be better search results. Heck, even Twitter. – Monica Cellio Nov 3 at 1:19
  • @MonicaCellio if you can, I believe by now you have spoken to a lawyer, could you confirm in an answer whether or not SE has a legally binding responsibility to protect the identity, privacy, and good name of their online volunteers? If you can't for legal reasons, I totally respect that decision. – Mari-Lou A Nov 3 at 11:43
66

Monica has been wronged. She uses her real name here on Stack Exchange, and anyone who knows her, including prospective employers can easily find her internet presence. That presence has been smeared by Stack Exchange, with unfounded accusations, that were even published in the press. The defamation needs to be retracted, and an apology issued, as this is going to do lasting harm to Monica.

Stack Exchange are refusing to acknowledge any wrongdoing, either for legal reasons, or through sheer stubbornness. They are hoping that if they ignore this, it will just go away.

So, to answer your question:

Does repeatedly talking about Monica actually do her any good?

Yes

We should not allow Stack Exchange to simply ignore this matter. By keeping the discussion alive, and raising awareness, we are greatly helping Monica. She has been wronged, and the Stack Exchange network is being harmed by the very people that run it. By helping Monica, we help ourselves, and we help the long term future of the network. We should not allow bullies to prevail.

Stack Exchange have picked on Monica, because they're a company with a huge budget, and she's just an individual. They thought they could squash her, with no consequences. Now that the community are pushing back, they have done what bullies do when confronted. They've run away.

We need to make sure this issue does not get dropped until Monica's situation is resolved, and measures are put in place to prevent this kind of abuse of power from happening again.

Remember, there's nothing to stop this from happening to any of us, all it takes is a whim from the powers that be. Do you really want to just let that slide?

If you wish to help Monica clear her name, please take a look at her support campaign.

  • 1
    Regarding "raising awareness" I think that we should all be open to the possibility that, after all this is settled, awareness is probably not the best thing in the case of reputation. Even seeing all these posts defending her or asking questions about her could give an employer (eg) cold feet. Hopefully not, of course, but it is a possibility. – Rubiksmoose Oct 30 at 15:23
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    This is a good answer. However, if Monica were to make it known she wished the community would let the topic die, I would respect that request. To my knowlege that has not happened at this time. Based on the fact the community has nothing but good things to say about Monica, should speak volumes, to anyone that might find her name mentioned in other media. – Ramhound Oct 30 at 19:49
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    "if Monica were to make it known she wished the community would let the topic die, I would respect that request". Absolutely. – Reinstate Monica Oct 31 at 12:23
61

The top Google results for Monica Cellio are the Register article followed by her profile page here on Meta and several links to meta.stackexchange (including "firing mods and forced relicensing" and "How can we help Monica Cellio?" which were asked about a month apart). Keeping the discussion alive here may at least let her side of the story be seen by anyone who finds the Register article in a search.

Edit: By the morning of Oct. 31 the GoFundMe Defend Monica from Defamation by Stack Overflow had overtaken the initial Register article as the top Google result.

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    FWIW there are at least two Register articles: one about the firing, and one about the CTO's "apology". I sent in a tip about the GoFundMe campaign yesterday, so maybe there is/will be a third. – Peter Taylor Oct 30 at 16:14
  • @PeterTaylor The Register article at the top of my results is the first article "The mod firing squad." The article about the apology does not appear on the first page when searching Google. The GoFundMe campaign has made it onto the first page though. – m1ping Oct 30 at 17:04
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    Remember that Google Searches are tailored based on your prior activity -- try it in incognito mode? different browsers? check DuckDuckGo & Bing's searches? – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Oct 31 at 15:30
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    @April--Un-SlanderMonica-- My searches were in incognito mode Chrome while signed out. – m1ping Oct 31 at 15:34
  • awesome! I know we're a tech-savvy audience, but often people are specialized and don't realize how much search is affected by the user and can continue to warp the user. – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Oct 31 at 15:42
49

It is important to keep this topic alive till it gets resolved.

This is a crux of the deciding factor for a lot of moderators and users to stay on this site. And anything to resolve it soon should be a priority. The more coverage this issue gets, the more SE will feel pressurized to act.

26

Let me reiterate my deleted-twice answer in a civilized way.

I believe that speaking for Monica isn't solely speaking for her, but rather, if we don't stand out and hold our grounds with our voice this time, we may not be able to do so next time. If this time you don't speak for others, next time no one will speak for you.

By voicing our support, we're also declaring to SE, that we, as a community, have our principles and demands. We want to let SE know that we're together, we share common ideas, we follow common rules. We call out to declare that we don't stand the abrupt License change, nor do we tolerate the ruthless firing of Monica and the ridiculous statements to the press.

All five demands, not one less. Stay with the community, Reinstate Monica.

  • 4
    FWIW, I really do appreciate this rewording and think it actually makes your point better and clearer than any of your previous answers. +1 from me. – Rubiksmoose Nov 1 at 13:12
  • If the community center can sell tickets they can't be too offended about absurd comparisons. – Rob Nov 5 at 22:03
25

Does keep talking about Monica actually do her any good?

Yes and no.

Yes, it reminds folk of what actually happened, shows solidarity with Monica, and can't be swept under the rug like others things that have occurred over the past year or so.

No, folk seemed to be getting tired reading about this over and over again and it might actually start to hurt Monica inadvertently.

I think the thought process behind both sides are valid.

  • 1
    We need a better signal-to-noise ratio on the discussions, really. At its peak, it was mostly the latter. – Machavity Oct 31 at 12:56
20

Hard to answer. There are a lot of pros and cons. Some of them are already mentioned in other answers.

I just want to mention one thing. Right now SE wants to wait until the situation settles down and everyone forgets about it.

So...probably, talking about Monica is a good thing, to make sure that the community will not forget about this situation.

If we are talking about Monica... It's a really hard time for her. Those discussions could hurt (personally). But, as far as I can see, she has never asked to stop these discussions.

15

Does keep talking about Monica actually do her any good?

What I have observed: Monica herself, she keeps reading our answers and questions, and comments in "positive" ways.

And after mentioning Twitter she actually liked a few of my Twitter responses where I commented on Sara Chipps tweets. I take that as positive "good idea" feedback.

In other words: the person who is at the center of our efforts seems to appreciate the time, creativity and energy we spend to support here!

  • Double-upvote! We just need Monica to Answer saying "Yep" to earn an (imaginary) triple-upvote from me, and hopefully an "A" from the asker. – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Oct 31 at 15:31
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    @April--Un-SlanderMonica-- I suggested that to her ... up to her what comes out of that. – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Oct 31 at 15:33

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