Question description

There are many questions (~250 in the last five weeks) relating to

sometimes they are about licensing, legal issues, reinstating Monica, code of conduct, pronouns, etc.

These questions relate to the same growing polarization between community and Stack Exchange staff. But, it is not easy to search or filter them because the tags are not uniform for those questions, they do not have the same tags.

Could we group all these posts together by some common tag (new or not)? (in addition, maybe we should create less of these questions, they tend to become noise now, water down the core message, and it is very difficult to follow).


Overview of current tags (aside from the discussion tag) for the first ten (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10) questions relating to search term 'Monica' (ordered by relevance)

                            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
    moderators              x           x   x   x
    community               x           x   x
    etiquette                   x
    users                       x
    company                     x
    moderation                      x
    code-of-conduct                     x       x       x
    deleted-questions                               x
    legal                                                   x

These tags are obviously not the same while it is arguably the same topic (it is even for the same, specific, search term) .

Instead of using multiple searches one might wish to control tracking these question by adding some single relevant tag to watched tags or ignore tags. But, this is difficult when they do not use the same tag. And in the case of ignoring one might ignore too much when the tag is not specific.

Another indicator that these posts need consistent tagging is the fact that there exist highly upvoted answers that function as an archive for these questions (see part 1 and part 2). But it is only a hack/workaround for the absence of a common tag; they are not an optimal solution.

Why now?

In an older question (Should we have a tag for significant points in time?) it was suggested to create a specific tag. That was rejected at that point. But, now we are several weeks, and many many questions, further. The situation is more escalated than what might have foreseen at that point. The overview becomes a mess and something needs to be done.

See the bump in the image below which indicates that something is 'going on' and it entails a large fraction of the current post. (obtained from this query)


  • 5
    @JJforTransparencyandMonica There is already much of talk and ideas about a divide. (btw, the tag does not need to be named "divide" or related, any term that can sum up this large amount of questions from the last month will do. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 2:22
  • 28
    How about [corporate-community-relations]?
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 2:39
  • @PolyGeo could we reframe the question to make it no duplicate? The answer in the duplicate question states that the tag code-of-conduct is sufficient to filter on the recent posts. But this is not the case (many questions are not tagged like that). So this question/post may be reframed in the sense to ask how we can make the recent questions relating to 'crisis' more easy to track (rather than requesting a new tag per se). The duplicate is actually a good example of a question that shows why we need a tag (it is not easy to find). Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 3:16
  • I think this answer on the duplicate reflects tagging as think it should be so I don't think there's a way to word it that would convince me to vote to re-open.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 4:58
  • @PolyGeo I have changed my wording making it not about a request for a tag, bit about how to better tag thebquestions. Do you mean that currently there is no problem with inconsistent tagging? The linked main question (the one with >>1000 votes meta.stackexchange.com/questions/333965/… ) has tags 'moderators' 'community' many questions that are found with the search on words do not have either one of these tags. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 7:06
  • 100+ questions? Ha! Peanuts. :) It's almost 250 questions, the answers must be close to 1,000 Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:25
  • @Mari-Lou 250 might be true but I could not verify that easily. The independent searches on the words give roughly 100 questions per search. But I do not know whether there is overlap and it is not possible to do a search coupling terms with 'or' (for tags it is possible). But anyway, 250 and 100+ are not inconsistent Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:32
  • The bump (last five weeks) is 95, 116, 145, 149, 123. Compared with the previous 74 questions per week this gives a difference of 20+41+70+74+48=258 questions that relate to 'the bump'. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:37
  • meta.stackexchange.com/a/337143/223820 It also contains the link to Part One. Where have you been all this time? ;P You now have two lists with practically every question that has been asked about and connected to the forced removal of Cellio since September 29. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:37
  • @Mari-LouA you find that post back by looking at your own answers. How are others gonna find this back in this wild ocean of 250 questions and 1000 answers? It needs to be organised. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:40
  • @Mari-LouA a post like that is nice. But it needs to be manually maintained and it is lacking integration in the system. For example 1: I can not select this questions mentioned in your post as watch/ignore 2: I can not see which questions had recent activity 3: I can not see which questions have how many votes, etc). Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:43
  • 4
    But yeah, the fact that there is a post that acts as an archive for these 250 questions is a strong indicator that these 250 somehow need a common tag. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:48
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA I was aware of the existence. However I never paid much attention to it because I find it hard to navigate. We have a system (tags) for this purpose. (from my phone it is very difficult to find part ONE, the fact that this is split into two parts demonstrates that it is an awkward hack/solution). Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:50
  • 2
    First we need to find a proper name for this whole crisis. One that pops to mind is "The Big Exodus of 2019", so exodus-2019 might fit. :) Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 11:19
  • 2
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/335319/390967
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 13:10

7 Answers 7


Group all these posts together by using a new tag

Could we group all these posts together by some common tag? (in addition, maybe we should create less of these topics, they tend to become noise now, water down the core message, and it is very difficult to follow).

Yes, we can! The benefit of doing so is that users can easily find what the reasons are why there is a divide and why people are upset recently. Furthermore, it also legitimizes the idea that there is a divide.

While I listed the above as benefits, they may also be considered negatives. Some may not know about all the reasons why people are upset, and from SE's point of view it can only get more people upset or get already upset people upset about more things. Furthermore, SE's lack of communicating may be a strategy to try not to give any legitimacy to these issues.

So, I think we can, but I'm not sure if some users or moderators won't try to undo such a move.

  • How about like “Monica-controversy” (trying to be neutral)? Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 16:39
  • @JJforTransparency too loaded-sounding. Also it isn’t limited to that month. Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 16:41
  • 2
    @Stormblessed Let's not use any tag containing her name - search results, you know....
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 12:59
  • Since this all started with the intended code of conduct changes, how about something starting with that: [code-of-conduct-conflict], [code-of-conduct-controversy], [code-of-conduct-crisis]? (That last one may be too strong)
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:07
  • @JanDoggen what do you mean by that exactly? Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 14:09
  • Isn't it standard to refer to a crisis by the title of one of the key posts? Like Summer of Love, Time to Take a Stand, etc. We could borrow something from "Sinat Chinam and the Goat for Azazel" (too long for a tag and may be culturally inappropriate). Monica's blog post calls it "Stack Overflow Inc Fiasco". Then there's the Register article "The Mod Firing Squad". I'm just throwing unformulated ideas out here. Since it was half an hour before Shabbat, it could be [black-shabbat]. [mod-firing-fiasco]? [dear-stackoverflow]? [a-genderers-endgame]? :o) Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 5:07
  • 19
    Please don't put my name in a tag. It'll follow me around forever, and the issue is bigger than just me. And it's not specifically about the CoC either; there's a cluster of serious missteps by SE and resulting community upset -- firing without due process, defamation and utter refusal to address it, failure to collaborate with mods and community on the new CoC, blundering that so badly that it hurt the people it was supposed to help, still-active upset from ads and license changes... Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 15:30
  • @JJforTransparencyandMonica no specific suggestion; I haven't been following this closely and haven't read all the answers and comments here, sorry. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 15:45
  • 1
    I propose community-crises.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 14:23

I’m going to go ahead and donate some of my reputation so that we can get a feel for how many support the alternative:

Do not create a new tag

We already have an index of related posts for this particular incident being maintained in answers under Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community? and don’t need a tag to collect them.

It is important to tag discussions prompted by the on-going controversy correctly, so that when related topics come up in the future we will be able to find what we discussed in the past. Tagging the posts as part of the current situation gives the collection a coherence that is not really warranted as many different issues are being raised.

  • 3
    The answers are not easy to navigate in a few clicks. The line "in answers under link" demonstrates this already. It means that people will not be able to take advantage in on click and first have to search and navigate further. In addition, the list is growing with ~60 posts per week, there are apparently already two parts now. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:36
  • 1
    I see the lists as actually evidence that a consistent tagging is necessary for these posts. It shows that there is a need for bundling the questions. But... a list (several ones) stowed away in some answer is not convenient and lacking all sorts of functionality that the site offers. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:38
  • 1
    @SextusEmpiricus Yes, there are pros and cons. I wanted this answer to be a sort of collection point for ideas about how using a tag would be better or worse than the index. Hopefully I won’t lose too many privileges here lol.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:38
  • I was thinking of doing it myself as well, but wanted to leave it up to the advocates of the idea who could better formulate it (for instance, already the fact that you didn't make it a one-click-to-reach-target demonstrates that there are problems with this solution). In addition, this isn't really a direct solution to the inconsistent tagging (it is a workaround). Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:40
  • 2
    I agree a lot of different issues are being raised, and it may not make sense to couple them. From the day the "firing mods and forced relicensing" posts was made, I wondered why those two fundamentally unrelated questions were being coupled together. Sure, they have something in common. People are angry! But if we really want to lump everything together, we'll end up with a tag like angry-riot-2019 instead of having a useful way to track and categorize the individual issues being discussed.
    – user215040
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 16:03
  • 3
    I agree. There is no need for a tag specific to this. It would either be a tag that's too limited in scope, which wouldn't have long-term applicability, or one that would be too broad in scope, which wouldn't help in a narrow search. I think the best possible tag (which doesn't exist yet) would be something like controversy. However, that would fall into the "too broad" category, and also be open to misuse. The intersection of current tags (and word searches) seems correct to me. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 18:18
  • I found your post confusing. But if you're articulating the position that a unifying, organizing tag for the September 29 debacle is not necessary, then I'll downvote. By the way, have you thought about making the answer community wiki? Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 4:23
  • 1
    I think that a specific tag has two issues. We have 4x issues or more that are kinda meshed in together. They can be vaguely linked but Monica's issues can resolved separate from the COC. There's no link to that and the license change. Meta organisation of current issues is one on its own Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 2:52

Make sure that these posts contain at least one of the tags or or .


With this option the many posts will not be placed under a single tag. If a single tag would be used then many people find that it would either be too broad (covering more than the bump posts) or it will be too specific (cover only these posts and not be much usefull tag in the future).

With this option there will be still good functionality in searches, filters, and highlighting from 'watched tags' and 'ignored tags'. One only needs to filter on three tags instead of a single tag, which is not much more effort.

Small adjustment

These three tags currently already cover roughly 200 of the bump posts in the last five weeks. It would only require small changes to the rest of the posts that do not yet carry one of these tags. Examples are: To reach out: on Monica, the Lavender community, and the future of the Stack Exchange network (with tags ) or Monica's situation continues unresolved, is SE hoping the problem just goes away? (with tag ).


For people thinking what tag to propose, please be careful in what you propose.

I got an official moderator message for adding the to a question, because the moderator found it not helpful or welcome. Some people even accused the tag of being offensive, sexist and demeaning.

So be extra careful with your suggestions.

enter image description here

  • 4
    I swear I did not flag it to anyone. I said the tag was offensive, sexist, and demeaning. Never you the person. Please edit your answer. Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 12:03
  • 2
    The tag is offensive etc. I also suggested that you post your solution on this page, too. Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 12:04
  • 5
    I don't think this is deserving of a mod warning. Especially not one that is this stern. Unless of course this is a recurring issue.
    – Script47
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 12:23
  • 6
    As I commented under another answer, we should avoid using her name in the tag, otherwise Google will pop up even more results when searching for her name.
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:04
  • 1
    I believe one should not just single-handedly start creating tags. It is better to first discuss with the community about how to best handle the situation and how to best add a new tag. In this specific case; I personally believe that a tag that relates to a very specific (non celebrity) person is not a good idea. This makes that person related to the issues related to that tag without that person having asked for this association. There may be many sufficient solutions without making use of a specific name. Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:09
  • 2
    The tag you proposed, "monica-gate", is a loaded term. It presupposes wrong doing. Although I and many others believe SE has done wrong, discussing the events should not presuppose that is so. And arguably not all of what SE has done was wrong.
    – Raedwald
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:10
  • @Script47 the tag has been created and removed at least 2 times, probably by different users, but yeah, 2 times (recurring enough?). Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:12
  • @Script47 That is not a stern warning. The message simply says what the problem is ("neither helpful nor welcome") and asks not to do it again. I do not see how the message could be milder.
    – Raedwald
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:36
  • 2
    @Raedwald do you think if the OP created this tag again they won't be suspended? Not all things have to be said and this message heavily implied suspension. The message reads as being extremely short/curt with the user. If this was posted as a comment it would've been deleted probably as being rude and unwelcoming. Let's not pretend that this isn't a cease and desist warning.
    – Script47
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:47
  • 3
    @MetaAndrewT. I don't think two is sufficient for the word recurring. BTW, in this context I meant that this user had created the tag many times and had been already warned previously regarding it being problematic.
    – Script47
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:48
  • 6
    @Raedwald As for: 'I do not see how the message could be milder.' - 'Hi user000001, it seems like you suggested a tag and we wanted to give you a heads up that the one you suggested has previously been suggested and was decided against. We'd appreciate it if you didn't recreate this tag. In the future, if you are unsure then feel free to make a post regarding it or drop in chat and I'm sure we'd be able to help clarify for you' - It really is not that hard. Don't talk inclusion if you're going to be exclusive behind closed doors.
    – Script47
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 13:57
  • For those who have no idea what "gate" here means, see List of "-gate" scandals - Wikipedia
    – Ooker
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 4:23

There was another post that brought this up, but I’d like to see some of the questions tagged . (The tag doesn’t currently exist.)

The main reasoning that people had against this was that all these posts fall under . Another reason given was that it might make people think that general English language questions are on topic (but I’m not sure that this actually matters, since the word pronoun is already in the body of quite a few posts and we also have a plurals tag).

My argument is that it’s pretty tedious to look through the 100s of questions under CoC looking for the relevant ones. Search doesn’t really help because the word pronoun has been used in many posts where it wasn’t the focus of the post. Plus, not all pronoun questions are really about the CoC:

  • That was my post, so naturally I support what you're saying; but I'm not sure this answers the question being asked here. Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 4:22

I propose we call it "community crises". This phrasing is used by this employee post 2020-02-18:

our series of crises with the Community starting in September 2019

As a tag, we can use .


Group all these posts together by the existing tag

The top 20 tags used in 1-28 october are:

discussion (229), support (124), code-of-conduct (83), feature-request (74), bug (71), moderators (40), meta (27), community (26), reputation (23), comments (22), advertising (19), company (17), moderation (15), moderator-tools (15), chat (14), flags (14), design (14), site-recommendation (12), answers (12), profile-page (11)

Four of them, in italic, are obligatory tags. In bold I highlight tags that can be considered trending.

Note how those bold ones together stand out in the graph below:


trending tags bump


The tags , / and may be considered too specific in order to refer to the others.

However the tag (For questions about fostering a sense of community amongst users of Stack Exchange sites) may be considered a tag that covers all the posts and might be added to all of the 250 posts that relate to the recent issues.

  • I would agree with viewpoints that consider the use of community as an abuse of that tag, and this answer is not a strong opinion of my, but I am placing it as a possible option to "solve" the case without the need to generate a new tag. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:27
  • 1
    What guarantee will there be that other unrelated posts won't be tagged community in the future or about Qs complaining about downvotes on SO? "Only" 32 posts related to the events of Sep 27 are tagged "community". Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:30
  • @Mari-LouA the typical number of posts tagged with 'community' is one or two per week (now we are seeing five to fifteen per week) so community can be considered not too much interfering with other posts that do not fall under the trend. Say you use it as a filter to 'ignore' the community tagged posts then you do not miss out so many posts. Of course, one might consider creating a more specific new tag. This is a sort of solution that seeks a way to do it with the currently existing tags. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:33
  • Of course, one might consider creating a more specific new tag. This is a sort of solution that seeks a way to do it with the currently existing tags. The point of using 'community' is to make the tag under which all these events are listed a more timeless tag. Apparently that is considered desirable by some. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:41
  • I thought the proposal was to create a unique tag, so that searching the 250+ (and counting) questions would be easier. How does tagging the remaining 220 or so Qs make it better, when they will be lumped with over 200 posts stretching as far back as 2009? Retagging 220 or so Qs (from Sep 29) is disruptive and will cause havoc on the active page. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:42
  • @Mari-LouA My main problem is the inconsistent tagging (most clear example is the moderators/moderation) and the noisy overviews of questions. For me personally the lumping with older questions with 'community' would not be problematic, in my searches I always add time limitations anyways. In addition I use the tags to add them to watched tags or ignored tags such that coloured highligthing helps with navigation. But sure, if there is an additional need to have a tag that specifies the events in time as well then this can be done as well (I see personally no problem with that). Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 12:45
  • retagging is a pain, and I'm not sure how many will be pleased with the prospect of seeing twenty "old" posts bumped on the active page every day? And how many authors will actually agree with the suggested tag? Not to mention, you give users the opportunity to retract votes. I've got two questions and a FAQ proposal, so it won't affect me so much but others? Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 13:04
  • --- Indeed, ideally the tagging should have indeed been done correctly from the start. --- But the retracting of votes shouldn't be a problem. Meta is not about a popularity competition. In addition it should not be a good reason to stop editing posts. --- Regarding the bumping, that is problematic but many questions are not that old anyway and reside at the top of the active list anyway. The problem will only be that some of the non-re-tagged posts will have been pushed down, but it is not like there will be old question pushed up so much. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:09

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