Since Shog9 was a longstanding Stack Exchange employee, his opinions may give valuable insight into the future of Stack Exchange. Recently, it seems he has expressed his opinions on Twitter.

But I'm in China... where Twitter is blocked. I'm not interested in technical workarounds to access Twitter; I just want to see what Shog9 wrote and go back to ignoring Twitter.

Question: What do Shog9's recent Stack Exchange-related tweets say?

Shog9's comments seem to pop up all over the place in images, and perhaps it's worth making transcripts available.

  • 5
    Hi, please use a VPN software. I know China try to block their use, but its at your own risk as its bypassing a security measure of your country you are in.
    – yagmoth555
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 15:57
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    @yagmoth555 did you mean 'please use a VPN' or 'please use not a VPN'? Do you know whether it is legal? Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:09
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    @Sextus, I read that comment as please use VPN software so the government can put you in jail. Quite peculiar indeed. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:17
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    I don't think this is a good question for MSE, and that it should stay closed as off-topic here. But, it seems like it might be a question that could fit webapps?
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:23
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    @Rebecca, Shog's twitter thread was transcribed in this answer here, it's grim reading, but insightful as always meta.stackexchange.com/a/342274/39277 Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:23
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    Thanks! I don't understand why this post was closed; I don't think these tweets are censored. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:29
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    Oh, I didn't see Tinkeringbell's comment. I see there's an ambiguity in my post now. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:43
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    +1 after the edit, this seems more on-topic IMO
    – dustytrash
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:57
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    Many people here extensively use VPNs and nobody cares. I don't like them for two non-China-related reasons: (a) Facebook and Reddit make me less productive, and (b) once my credit card was put "on hold" when I donated to charity with the VPN on [they thought it was fraudulent]. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 17:01
  • 1
    Wouldn't it make more sense to comment on the posts where these tweets are linked so users can add alt-text or transcriptions directly, instead of asking them to be transcribed here in a separate post?
    – Em C
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 17:14
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    IMO George Stocker has become the most brilliant and poignant chronicler of this fiasco; at least for me, reading his analyses is actually good for the soul because they offer explanations that are conceivably close to the truth and make sense of the madness. Here's a Dropbox link with the three most recent ones, if anyone needs more let me know dropbox.com/sh/2a9xsxda56zhwrf/AADxUD99_Rt3O8ZkmZ6CVQYba?dl=0
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 17:54
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    Does this work? pekka.net/stuff/2020tweets
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 18:01
  • 1
    Thanks (: that works fine Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 18:03
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    @Pekka maybe you should wrote it as an answer, I think it answer Rebecca, and the printscreen are well done and even hosted for her.
    – yagmoth555
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 18:12
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    I really envisaged this being a simple question: "Here they are: [copy/paste]". Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


I'm not very good at reading Twitter, so this may not be complete.


I have to say something. I don't want to, but I fear my silence is harmful here. Some of you are angry, hurt, afraid. I feel that way too. It is natural. But please, be careful how and when you express those feelings.

My former colleagues have an amazing skill: they are able to understand what people are trying to say. To read between the lines and see, not just what is written, but what is meant, what is felt. And to respond accordingly, with care and empathy. They can communicate.

And right now, they are being told not to use that skill. Told that they MUST not use that skill. I know this because I was told this. It has been ratcheting for over a year now: more and more "musts" and "must nots" - "say this AND ONLY THIS."

At this point, they are operating under an unbelievable amount of pressure. And you have seen the results of this: "they gulped out fine folly about dignity and acquiescence".

You may think, in expressing your anger, that your words will reach and influence those behind the scenes, those calling the shots, writing the words that MUST, eliding those that MUST NOT. But know that the influence takes only one form: yet another click of the ratchet.

Your anger will be held up as evidence of toxicity. Your frustration as evidence of noncooperation. Just as it has been for so many months past. My dear ex-colleagues will be blamed for failing to control you, and another rock will be laid on their backs.

Please don't do this to them. They didn't sign up for it, they do not deserve it. Whatever this thing is that is happening, it has more momentum now than ever before; I do not wish to see it roll over them as it did me.


I'm worried there might be nothing those of us reading this can do. We've got things we're justifiably angry about, and most people will be vocal. The awful communication is itself a source of anger. It seems inevitable the ratchet will eventually tighten so much something snaps.


Believe me, I know how hard it is. Every muscle in my body aches with the strain.

…they gulped out fine folly about dignity and acquiescence and anything else that could make believe that the rabbits loved the shining wire

My week began with deceit and callousness from folks I had trusted... But as it draws to a close I am blessed to have seen how many people care and are kind.

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