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It has been decided that Stack Exchange Q&A access will not be restricted in Russia.

Given that, what will Stack Exchange be doing to show support for the people of Ukraine?

Clearly, all geopolitical events have their backstories and complexities, and every member of a global community has a right to their own perspective on every event. Nevertheless, even if you agree with whatever aim Putin is trying to achieve by the current invasion , you would need to be a particularly enthusiastic fan of "the end justifying the means" to be able to justify the bloodshed and turmoil that ordinary civilians in Ukraine are suffering. Put more bluntly,

  • What Putin is doing is wrong and is causing immense suffering

Additionally,

  • The conflict has the potential to affect the lives of most of us here on SE
  • There is a question of information freedom - citizens in Russia are reportedly seeing their media's ability to report fully on the conflict being challenged*

Given that last point, and the fact that Stack Exchange Q&A access will not be restricted in Russia states that "Stack Exchange is founded on the principle that open information access helps keep the world safe", what will SE be doing to raise awareness of what is happening in Ukraine and show solidarity with its citizens and those directly affected by the invasion?

*If anyone in Russia would like to tell me otherwise, I'm all ears!

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    That is already answered in the same announcement: "while we don’t have employees in Ukraine, there are many Ukrainians in our community and many Stack Overflow employees that have family members in Ukraine. We are thinking of them, and want to support the humanitarian organizations that are on the ground helping the civilians who are most impacted by this war. As such, we are making donations to Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, and UNICEF." Mar 3 at 9:00
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    Tbh. SE has generally fallen flat on its face making a stand. Supporting humanitarian efforts with money feels like the best idea. Unless a SO banner will shame Putin into withdrawal....
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Mar 3 at 9:00
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    @E_net4standswithUkraine a few more details on those donations and a more public announcement would be welcome. Mar 3 at 9:04
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    @JourneymanGeek A banner isn't a crazy idea given the reported restrictions on media out in Russia. It would only be a small gesture, maybe, but it would be something. Remember that (if we are to be believe western reporting), many of the poor kids fighting in the Russian army don't know why they are there; some of their parents don't know that they are there. Mar 3 at 9:07
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    Those kids have no phones apparently, and I think after a week of war, it's going to be an obvious connection to make.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Mar 3 at 9:08
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    @JourneymanGeek SE has in the past had no problem taking a stand on various issues - in Codes of Conduct, for example. Mar 3 at 9:09
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    @topomorto What for? As a form of virtue signaling? Or to let the common folk judge how much the company is helping? I believe this is putting too much focus on a single company and on a network of Q&A. Mar 3 at 9:13
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    @E_net4standswithUkraine people in communities can encourage and inspire each other by each others' actions; leaders of those communities, even more so. Mar 3 at 9:26
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    Instead of asking what they will do, suggest them what to do, and they can accept or decline. More simple for everyone, as it's obvious that currently Stack Exchange isn't going to do something on their own. However, given a decent request with enough support, I believe they might consider it. Mar 3 at 10:05
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    @topomorto I highly doubt those conscripted (or, worse, volunteering - I won't deny the existence of cracknuts like that) read anything on the Stack Exchange network :) A banner spreading awareness of the possibilities for us to support humanitarian aid to Ukraine does not sound like that bad of an idea, though. Mar 3 at 13:57
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    @OlegValteriswithUkraine and maybe even ways to support Russians who didn't want this and who are now suffering from the blowback! Mar 3 at 14:01
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    @topomorto well, compared to them, we have it light, so not sure such a gesture is needed. However, I agree that spreading awareness about what an average person can do to at least soften the blow for everyone might be a very good idea (in fact, we can all help without relying on SE by linking to worldwide organizations in our profiles, for example) Mar 3 at 14:08
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    Nothing. Unfortunately SE is no longer owned by people who care about this sort of thing. Naspers owns VK (the largest internet company in Russia). Naspers also owns Stack Overflow. If they aren't going to address VK, why would they do something on this "minor" property?
    – Travis J
    Mar 4 at 17:56
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    @TravisJ well, I wouldn't expect action on SE to be instigated by a holding company, regardless of nationality. But the VK ownership would seem to be a possible upward pressure point, if the community here were interested (which they don't seem to be). Mar 4 at 23:03
  • Please help make Ukraine a safe place to live by supporting its defence: bank.gov.ua/en/about/support-the-armed-forces The fewer Russian soldiers in Ukraine, the more Ukrainians can live there.
    – cja
    Apr 5 at 10:09

2 Answers 2

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Given that, what will Stack Exchange be doing to show support for the people of Ukraine?

Do you mean the company, or people on the SE network?

Anyway, I hope it does what it does for other military invasions of one state by another, rather than singling out this particular one and ignoring all others (including ongoing ones) - which would signify an alignment with US foreign policy preferences.

PS - Just to be clear: I'm very much against the invasion and have friends and families-of-friends in the Ukraine right now.

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    "Do you mean the company, or people on the SE network?" - I mean the stackexchange.com site and its member sites. "I hope it does what it does for other military invasions of one state by another" - I'm up for a bit more awareness-spreading about other similar events. Of course, you don't need to be a US-centrist to see what's happening to Ukraine as hideous and unjustifiable. Mar 3 at 11:44
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    I hope your friends and families-of-friends are okay there Mar 3 at 11:45
  • You say showing support for the invasion will "align with US policy policy preferences". this is disingenuous to say the least, because it will also align with the entire planet's foreign policy preferences. Nothing to do with the US specifically, because it is objectively not a good thing to invade another country with troops and tanks. Mar 21 at 17:49
  • @CyclingDave: I said that for SE to penalize users from Russia would "align with US policy preferences". Is this what you're referring to?
    – einpoklum
    Mar 21 at 20:31
  • Yes. My point being it's not a "US policy" thing, it's an "every country in the world except Russia", thing. Mar 22 at 9:40
  • @CyclingDave: 1. Some people in the US sphere of influence have a tendency to conflate US positions and actions with some kind of world consensus. This is often not the case. 2 (nitpick). States and countries are different things; countries don't act or have political stances.
    – einpoklum
    Mar 23 at 23:08
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What will Stack Exchange be doing to show support for Ukraine?

I would say the answer is: nothing.

There's no reason for SE to do anything special about this. Perhaps such behavior doesn't match your expectations, but aside from acknowledging the situation and declaring their stance (which they have done here), there's not really anything left to do.

Perhaps you'd propose activism and annoying users with constant banners and notices about it, but everyone else is already doing that - people already know the situation.

I think Stack Exchange will still remain a relatively neutral and reliable resource, and will not be implementing any special changes.

To my knowledge, they have not announced any plans to add banners or notices across the site, other than featuring the Meta post "Stack Exchange Public Q&A access will not be restricted in Russia", which is relatively tame. If you'd like to support Ukraine yourself, you may donate to a relief fund, tell your friends, or start another petition.

I'm sure SE is still rooting for Ukraine internally, though.

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    You answer the question, but the real question here isn't a question at all, it's a call for action, trying to force SE to ban Russia because it became a trend. That's why I just downvoted and didn't post any answer. But, well done for honest and correct answer. Apr 11 at 10:58
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    @ShadowWizardSaysNoMoreWar I understand. I myself have become quite tired of the constant political activism infecting everyday tech sites. They have no real reason, but, they want to boost their image I guess. Like Discord putting up a banner telling people to register to vote. Stack Exchange is the only corporation that hasn't joined the fad, and I respect them for that. This discussion has no place in the comments, but I'm glad to have met a like-minded individual.
    – Dev
    Apr 12 at 1:23
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    cheers, and feel free to jump into chat if you want to discuss this further. I'm active in two rooms here, one with more people and one kind of my own room. :) Apr 12 at 6:28

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