In Sept 2019 a number of moderators and high rep users were disappointed, to say the least, with the management of the SE network. I ultimately stepped down from moderating and stopped participating for a variety of reasons that were related to my belief that the SE management team was making changes that were not in the best interest of the community and were not listening to feedback from the community or providing the reasons for the changes they were implementing.

I am contemplating participating on the SE network again, at least asking questions. While I do not want to rehash old fights or pick at old wounds, I would like to know if things have changed since I left. Is the SE team more communicative and open to feedback than it was in Sept 2019?

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    Some of the staff that played a major role during that time have left. Other that that I have not seen a major shift in SE's approach towards the community personally, although there are some promising initiatives, for example regarding plagiarism handling.
    – Marijn
    Feb 19 at 21:18
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    While I do like my answer - I'd appreciate alternative points of view, especially if they're (constructively) disagreeing with mine.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 20 at 6:33
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    @JourneymanGeek I'd give current management C, at best. Here, I disagree with the answer. :D Feb 20 at 9:20
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    Well, why? WHYYYYYYY?
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 20 at 9:41
  • Heh, I was gonna bounty that :D
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 22 at 13:41
  • As one of the moderators who has not resigned but whose moderator status was removed by SE as a consequence of the events of 2019, I still feel like we have lost and the bad guys have won.
    – Loong
    Feb 27 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Well, I'd give the company at the 'worst' of it an F. I mean, in the end, they could have done even worse, but advertently or otherwise the company as a whole somehow decided to be hostile to the userbase. While nearly everyone involved in the 'worst' of it left or moved on, I still think that while individuals are important, the company as a whole and its policy makes or breaks things.

Now, I'd give it a solid B. Rather than going over the negatives (which I'm sure at this point the relevant employees at the company are slightly sick of getting nagged over, and to an extent relies on company policy and resources), it’s probably worth considering the positives.

We have an actual community management team again, with, from what I can tell, a steady growth in numbers from quarter to quarter. They're good folks and while from what I can tell, very busy (but it’s better than the old "we don't really need a community management team, lets keep cutting it down" of the past). They're fairly communicative, though to an extent there's a lot of finding their feet with working with the broader community. They do listen to the concerns of the community - and where possible there's been quite a few positive changes. There's room for improvement IMO, but that seems heavily filtered through resources rather than individuals. I've also seen no real obvious meddling as we did in the past.

Their interactions with/through the moderator spaces has been excellent though.

We haven't had any real incidents of, frankly boneheaded adversarial behaviour, though to an extent, we also don't have the same level of very direct interaction we used to have. The focus for the community team feels like building a solid back end, and to an extent supporting collectives over the very hands on style of the past. I do realise SE of the early days was smaller, but that's something I'd love to see again.

Featurewise, it’s a mixed bag. From my (admittedly biased) perspective - while not perfect, we are getting development on the main sites, but sometimes it feels a bit 'too' slanted towards supporting the paid products (which is fine—other than a certain lack of focus). We got a left sidebar for teams, which then moved out to its own site.

We've had some interaction with staff across the network - not counting the 'formal' initiatives like the communitython, including on meta. Sometimes they even argue (this is fine!). This is a marked improvement from the old claims of staff being unwilling to engage with the community and while there's a lot of room for improvement is a good thing.

I am contemplating participating on the SE network again, at least asking questions.

As someone who stuck around through the worst of it, and admittedly at least due to spite, I'd say give it a shot. To paraphrase a certain former clean up guru... "If it does not give you joy, let it go" - but it’s worth seeing if it gives you joy.

While I do realise that the former management caused folks pain - and that's changed, I feel like a critical thing past 'do I want to support these folks?' is 'do I find value here?' And that's something you need to answer for yourself.

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    Thanks for this. No desire to rehash the negatives. I definitely see the value of SE in that if you ask a good question your are likely to get a good answer. What I need help deciding is if I want to support SE by providing them content. It sounds like they have put the bad behind them and are moving back to being neutral or possibly even a positive influence on the community.
    – StrongBad
    Feb 20 at 1:18
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    I'd say there's a redemption arc, but I'm still waiting to see how it turns out :D
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 20 at 1:45

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