-5

There are a number of on-going and recent issues that have incensed many of us--how welcoming the atmosphere is for members of the trans community, licensing, the CoC, Monica's demodding and public treatment, SOI's treatment of communities and their experienced members and moderators, apparent change in focus from content quality to feel-good, etc. Things exploded and chaos has raged for many weeks. People have vented in posts and comments.

Not much has actually changed with the underlying issues, and the indications are that SOI is entrenched in how things are. I think we're reaching the point where "keeping the pressure on" is becoming counter productive. It isn't likely to produce change from SOI, but it will start burning out people who care about the issues.

People can maintain the negative emotions for only so long. Eventually, they run out of emotional energy, give up on the issues, and either accept the way things are or move on. When that happens, continuing to stir the pot becomes annoying and loses followers.

It seems like everything that can be said about these issues has been said, and repeated. At this point, the issues are being kept alive by continually tweaking the old posts with updates and grammar fixes, and fresh posts that seem to be mostly rants or duplicates. We need to let people emotionally recharge, or those sympathetic to the cause will start to be turned off by it. Progress may best be served by giving things a rest, at least temporarily.

Edit: This question is not about how to solve the underlying issues. That has been extensively discussed elsewhere, and we can certainly use new and more effective strategies. This post is specifically about posting on Meta SE.

If there is new or constructive stuff to post, by all means do it, and try to do it as factual information with a minimum of emotional charge. However, most of the existing threads were posted when emotions were high, and the threads and comments touch a lot of raw nerves. Continuing to rehash and bump these old posts to keep the issues in the forefront fills the main page with posts that become emotionally draining, and continue to trigger raw nerves.

This post is to suggest that continuing to do this may start losing us people with sympathetic views because people will become emotionally burned out by continually "picking at the scab". The specific suggestion is to minimize bumping of these old posts and posting new, nearly identical questions about the same issues for the purpose of keeping the issues in the forefront. Give people a break from the Meta SE main page being constantly filled with emotionally triggering posts, and let people recharge so they stick around to fight another day.

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    Then maybe do not make another post about it? – Atizs Nov 10 at 21:44
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    If people feel the need to keep poking at it then maybe they should. It's not outrageous or hysterical. There are still SO users learning about all this for the first time. It might not be productive, but I don't think it's counterproductive. – Scott Hannen Nov 11 at 0:30
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    I've seen reports that the name changes are leading people on other sites to investigate. I just counted 225 such changes here on Meta.SE (they're not all "reinstate"; I also saw "apologise to", "stands with", "unslander", "talk with", "GoFundMonica", and others). It's been five weeks since the first public defamation and word is still spreading to new people. – Monica Cellio Nov 11 at 2:00
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    It depends on what is cooking ... – rene Nov 11 at 7:20
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Doing the same things over and over while expecting different results is unlikely to be productive; Stack Exchange Inc. clearly isn't listening to us. But that doesn't mean we should give up. Instead, we should:

  1. Do things that will educate and empower newly-aware users to join the cause (whatever particular cause you're focusing on).

  2. Broaden the reach beyond the SE community.

Things like the changed user names (225 here on Meta now) and "about" blocks help with 1 while requiring little ongoing effort -- maybe you field the occasional comment asking "what do you mean, 'stop harming Monica'?", but you don't have to keep investing energy, so with luck it's not draining. Let's think about other ways to get more people involved so that any one person doesn't have to feel worn down by the effort. (Well, except me -- SE Inc. seems bound and determined to target and harm me, but we can't control that. Community support gives me strength.)

2 is why I placed the following bounty on How can we put pressure on Stack Exchange Inc. without damaging the community?:

The current answers mostly describe actions we can take on SE sites; that's important and please keep it up. I'd like to also see answers that describe external pressure in enough detail to act -- for example, not just "Twitter" but finding specific influencers, not just "customers" or "advertisers' but finding specific ones who might alter their purchasing from SE, and so on. How can we best bring external pressure to bear on SE, with an eye toward getting them to reverse their ill-considered actions sooner rather than later? (The legal path, while in progress, is also slow.)

  • Once a question reaches -6 it falls off the main page, so your answer is failing to reach new visitors etc. The same is also valid for the company's "apology posts" which I think showed SE's true colors, and ironically, inspired many to make some form of protest. – Mari-Lou A Nov 11 at 6:57
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    @Mari-LouA (-8 on meta.) Many people, especially on meta I think, browse using the questions page, not the front page, and thus see everything. Downvoted posts are definitely still getting activity. Some are also bountied, which raises visibility. -8 isn't the end of the world, though of course it's not as visible as higher-scoring questions. – Monica Cellio Nov 11 at 15:06
  • I think your second option is the more powerful one. You might be able to gain the interest of major news outlets. – I am not the way you speak Nov 11 at 21:20
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I think we've said what we needed to say loud and clear. The only problem is that StackExchange (the business) isn't listening. Continuing to shout may work, or it may not.

But here's something they can't ignore:

The best way to make them listen is for us to put our money where our mouth is, and donate to Monica's GoFundMe.

This will show the business how far we're willing to go, and that we won't just stand idly by.

If we can come together and demonstrate to the company that we're willing to raise funds to protect one of our own from libel, then maybe they'll start taking us seriously.

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    The fund needs somel traction outside of SE, and/or we need to step up and give more. It is substantially underfunded right now. – De Novo supports GoFundMonica Nov 10 at 22:24
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    @DeNovosupportsGoFundMonica I think some of that is coming from the "news limbo" we're currently in -- stuff happening behind the scenes that we can't telegraph to SE and thus can't publish there in updates. I hope to have something more to say soon. – Monica Cellio Nov 10 at 22:44
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No, things should not look like they’re normal when they aren’t. This “pot stirring” is happening on Meta, not all over the network, so if you’re burnt out on it, take a break from Meta and recharge.

If we let these things drop because they are being starved of new information, then the (quite effective actually) strategy of waiting until it blows over and people tire themselves out wins the day.

Things will naturally drop off over the holidays and by January elections will start to replace the mods who gave resigned, and then it will all be back to normal with maybe a few people missing. Monica’s court case will get settled somehow in a way that probably won’t be very public. SE is probably just going to not say or do anything more this year.

Sorry you’re sick of it, but I’m not ready to let it go yet. I will do what I can within the rules of the network to keep at least one post a day about the unaddressed problems in the top 50 posts on Meta until I resign or SE does something other than pretend everything is OK.

  • What actions are useful to keep posts in the top 50? – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Nov 13 at 16:49
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    I look for posts that are of interest to me and see if there are any improvements that I could make. It may be fixing typos or grammar mistakes, updating out-dated information, adding an answer, or other things that make a question appear higher on the “active” list. If someone can fill the front page by correcting the tags or spelling of 10 year old closed posts, I’m not going to feel bad polishing some part of a month old question once a day. – ColleenV parted ways Nov 13 at 16:54
  • I agree. Even if its just token "Todays Update 11/19: SE Continues silence", I would upvote that every day. We need to have as much fortitude as it takes to match their silence. – Kyeotic-StopHarmingMonica Nov 19 at 22:34
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Stirring the pot for its own sake is probably counterproductive. I hope there will further actions from SE, and as those happen, they'll warrant further discussion and commentary. If there aren't any further actions by SE, then I imagine there will continue to be posts about everything that's happened and what can and should be done about it all.

OTOH, there have been a few posts that were quickly deleted because they looked primarily like trolling and those are a waste of everyone's time and effort.

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