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An SE employee has removed a link that added clarity to an answer. This is presumably in response a new SE policy. It seems the SE policy, at least if applied to links that add clarity) is at odds with the goals of the community to provide clear and concise answers.

Should we be rolling back all edits that remove links that provide additional clarity to a question/answer? If SE disagrees, then they can lock the posts while the content dispute is settled. They could also issue a warning/suspension, although I am not sure what policy we would be violating for making a post clearer.

[Note that this question pertains to the debacle caused by the alleged slandering of a former moderator by SE (aka what SE in victim blaming refers to as Monica's situation) and therefore if they obey their legal guidance should not be answering.]

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    Rolling back edits that are company policy now would be skipping the poking with a stick and just inserting your head into the bear's mouth. – Skooba Nov 14 at 19:52
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    @Skooba why yes it would, but it is really the only why that I see to try and reclaim the site for users. What is the worse they can do, slander StrongBad, if so, they will have to deal with my older brother StrongMad. – StrongBad Nov 14 at 19:53
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    ...And just wait until StrongDad gets here! – House- 'Reinstate Monica' -man Nov 14 at 20:01
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    "what SE in victim blaming refers to as Monica's situation" - I also refer to it as "Monica's situation", because she's the one who's been put in a bad situation. I wouldn't call that "victim blaming" on SE's part, especially as legally they obviously can't admit any culpability on their own part in victimising her. – Rand al'Thor Nov 14 at 20:32
  • This site is owned and operated by StackExchange. They could decide to shut it down tomorrow if they really wanted to. There is no point getting into an argument with them. If they deem content is inappropriate for this site, we can only raise our objections here. However, as this is legal advice, in this case that is not possible. – Alex Nov 14 at 21:38
  • @Alex just because the legal department says not to do something, doesn't mean they cannot over rule them and it definitely doesn't mean they cannot look for an alternative solution. If we don't raise our objections, then things will only get worse. I think your comment would make a great answer and this is why I think this question is not a duplicate. – StrongBad Nov 14 at 21:52
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Rather than reverting edits that remove links directly I would suggest,

  • Replace links with

    You can find this page by doing a google search for GoFundMe Monica Cellio

    as this is apparently still within the rules.

  • Replace your profile image with a QR code to the fundraiser (I didn't think of this rather I saw it on Discord)
  • Sharing the links elsewhere , Reddit,Twitter etc.
  • Apparently links are being removed as Staff sees them, no need to point them out to staff or edit them preemptively.
  • Or use your own slight variation to make it harder to find them with a search. – De Novo supports GoFundMonica Nov 14 at 22:28
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    There is even an example where the google search is an actual link. @DeNovosupportsGoFundMonica supposedly they are not searching for them yet. – StrongBad Nov 14 at 22:29
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    Or use URL shorteners, something like bit.ly, and create them in plain text instead of clickable URLs... – user12205 Nov 14 at 22:42
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By reverting back edits we risk escalating more censorship suggestions (from legal team of SE) and their consequent implementation. I say "escalating" because everything is a possibility now after this new policy. By everything, I mean reducing or even erasing from public view access to information which could be deemed supportive of the greater cause many of the community members are now deeply invested in.

If SE disagrees, then they can lock the posts while the content dispute is settled.

There is to nothing to settle for the staff as far as the content is involved. They made it a matter of policy under which there is no scope for discussion or negotiation.

As to what to do to add clarity back to the question, my following suggestion is not what I like to see on the SE platform but I don't know what else should be done.

  1. Maintain an off-site resource, preferably a wiki-like where issues and events concerning the community and the greater causes folks are working on are mentioned in a timeline.
  2. Maintain a page and mention links related to the removed Moderator and the financial support they need for the legal case.
  3. Wherever the staff removes the links in a post you add back the links to the pages from step 1 or step 2, as deemed fit by you, with a note that that the link provides a context to the answer and optionally, with the mention that links to additional info are within accepted policy of answer writing on SE.
  4. If the pages are found reasonable to the author of the post, they might not dispute the edit with "this changes the intent". If they do, than you let go of that post. The author has spoken against your edit and there is no point in engaging further with them.

For clarity, I do not support reverting back edits which are done by the staff as a matter of policy. We achieve no good out of doing this. You risk being suspended and the staff would still continue with their actions anyway because this is their "job" to do, and given this a legal suggestion, it is likely they would implement this strictly and remove hindrances if needed be.

Find other ways. Please.

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