Obviously, the details of the settlement with Monica are not public, but has SO made the public action of requesting that The Register's article about the mod situation be removed or modified to not personally identify Monica?

As of right now the article continues to name her, but it could just be that The Register has not responded to SO's request (holidays and all). There is some speculation that other public commentary by SO has been purged as part of the settlement, so I don't think this type of request would be crazy.

Has SO requested that The Register remove Monica's name from the article?

  • 23
    One would assume a retraction would be more along the lines of el reg updating the article, asking SE for comment and being told, no comment. Dec 30, 2019 at 6:58
  • I think you could address the above comments by rewording your question. Dont ask "SE Inc, did you do this or that, or plan to?" ... ask: "SE Inc., are there any plans regarding that article, and if so, how do those plans look like?" ... something like that. Open questions are easier to answer ...
    – GhostCat
    Dec 30, 2019 at 9:25
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    @JourneymanGeek - The Register have zero interest in removing the article or amending it. At best they'd draw attention to the old article with a new article poking fun at SE for asking them to amend the old article.
    – Richard
    Dec 30, 2019 at 9:50
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    If the first situation was newsworthy, I would assume the agreement and the new public statement and reaction to it would be as well and that The Register might have some interest in adding that information to the original or writing a follow-up.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 30, 2019 at 12:34
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    It's pretty common for news organisations to update old articles with new, relevant official clarifications. What I'd expect to see happen is: SO contact their contact person at El Reg, ask them to add a clarification, and they would then edit in a preface like "UPDATE [date]: Stack Overflow Inc contacted us to confirm that their prior allegations against Ms Ciello were based on a misunderstanding. [quote from official statement] <hr/> [original article]". News orgs usually do things like this when asked: it takes next to no time and maintains good relations with sources. Dec 30, 2019 at 16:31
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    @user56reinstatemonica8 - it's far more likely that they'd use the new quote as the jumping off point for a new article titled "SE issue grovelling apology to former mod that they slandered"
    – Richard
    Dec 30, 2019 at 17:04
  • 1
    @Richard I couldn't find anything definitive about whether they would be liable under the new UK libel law in this case, but I did find that the Register promises to observe the IPSO Code of Practice, which says "A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published." Dec 30, 2019 at 17:26
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    Does this answer your question? Why haven't the statements to the Register been retracted? Dec 31, 2019 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


I’m not sure if Stack Overflow (the company) requested it — but The Register has an article on the latest events — and it does feel a lot like a correction of their earlier reporting, and feels like it puts blame pretty squarely on the company.

“While our initial statement did not address [Cellio] specifically, we regret that we used her name when responding to a reporter’s follow-up,” Chipps wrote, in reference to our report. “We regret any damage to Ms. Cellio’s reputation and any other damage she may have suffered.”

I think that was taken from the Meta Stack Exchange post.

A Stack Overflow spokesperson declined to answer. “We came to an agreement, and we can not provide any further details on the matter beyond what is in our statement,” the spinner said.

In situations like this I hope this will be the policy when dealing with the press asking about members of our community.

I’ll leave the rest for the reader to chew through, and hopefully digest

It also appears that there's a link to the updated article, right at the bottom of the original article (which I noticed in this answer)

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    Yeah, it was good to see that article. It seemed to pretty clearly indicate that the errors were on SE's side, not Monica's, moreso than SE's apology itself did. Jan 3, 2020 at 16:27
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    Looks like the official press policy is taking strong effect here. The article from El Reg only cites the Meta post and can't get statements from either party - likely due to the settlement terms itself. So...this seems to be the new policy actually doing its work.
    – Makoto
    Jan 3, 2020 at 19:01
  • @Makoto It is more likely the legal, binding agreement specifically that is preventing comments from either party on this specific matter. We can't say with certainty (and that alone is worrisome) what SE might comment in the wild if there were not immediate, measurable damages directly in their face about the topic.
    – JFoxx64
    Jan 4, 2020 at 17:32
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    Ah, that update at the bottom is pretty much what I was looking for (and wasn't there at post time). I was hoping that SO would be able to come out and say 'we publicly asked the register to add that' as a sign of goodwill, but as long as it happened I'm happy Jan 4, 2020 at 19:52

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