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I am relatively new to the Stack Exchange network, I've only been active on Stack Overflow for a few months now.

I must say, I have been consistently amazed by this community and everything it does. Contributing to Stack Overflow (as little as I have), has been an incredible experience that I am so grateful to share with you all.

I wish I could say the same about the company itself.

Through the whole mess of the past few days, I've found out about earlier conflicts that absolutely left me agape. I don't think I can begin to understand the history so many of you have experienced here, but as someone who is just learning about all of this, it saddens me greatly to see how the company is acting especially in the latest posts about the news.

I know it's not much but for whatever it's worth, I am proud to stand by you all in this strike for standing up for what is right. The company has no right dealing with the moderators this way, and I hope we can all support them to the best of our ability.

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    Wait, are you trying to tell me that sensible new users also see the importance of the community as well as the reoccurring poor behavior by the company? I've been told that it's only the "gatekeepers" on meta who think of themselves as elite but they actually don't represent the broader community. Are you trying to tell me that was a lie? Nah, that can't be true. You must be an imposter ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – 41686d6564
    Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 18:42
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    Quite frankly unaware of the beef you seem to refer to, but I can confirm that I have had quite a pleasant experience on meta :) I've also had quite a few interactions with moderators and high rep users, who were generally very kind and helpful. That's really the main thing I suppose, I feel welcome here and a part of what happens Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 18:48
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    Thank you for the kind words and the support, @MissSkooter. Glad to have you on board.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 18:53
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    My pleasure, glad to be here :) Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 19:14
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    While I do appreciate this post, we had to go by the rules and close this post. Sorry Miss Skooter. Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 19:08
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    @RandomPerson very understandable, I was the last close vote actually lol. In hindsight I agree the post doesn't quite inspire discussion. So no worries! Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 19:30
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    This came up in the reopen queue, and I don't think it's a bad fit (that close reason is mainly for rants), but I moved to leave closed on the basis of your comment. If that's not what you prefer, I can vote to reopen. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 5:23
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog I really don't know tbh, I'm very new to Stack Exchange meta, so I don't know the practical usages of the close reasons here. At face value the close reason made sense, given the lack of answers (what would you answer?) The main purpose of this post was to extend my support and (hopefully) inspire other new contributors to be engaged in the discussions and not feel like they don't have a role to play no matter how small. It's really up to you (and other contributors on this site) to decide what should be done here. I'll respect your decisions either way :) Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 5:59
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    Considering that "thanks" posts have been accepted on this site in the past, I cast the final vote to reopen. I also think blocking answers here would be counterproductive. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 7:46
  • From the email introducing Stack Overflow Labs - Humans should always be included in the application of any new technology. - That's OK then!
    – MT1
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 7:16

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On the contrary, you are the one who deserves praise and gratitude. We are merely engaged in the ordinary business of "being a community" (which, at the moment, happens to include taking a stand for sovereignty). You, on the other hand, have taken the apparently extraordinary (if only they were ordinary) steps of caring about the existence of the community, seeking to determine and understand its norms and policies, and trying to keep them in mind while actively contributing content.

I won't deny that many of us do extraordinary things, ranging from the spectacular to the mundane (please do not treat this list as either exhaustive, nor authoritatively ordered: this is just my first impression), such as

  • Continuing to participate actively long after the site has run out of privileges to award, even for years on end
  • Asking and answering literally thousands of questions, accumulating even millions of reputation
  • Making, in some cases, literally hundreds of thousands of edits, fixing grammatical errors and formatting, removing noise, etc.
  • Handling flags and removing untold masses of useless comments, duplicate answers, spam, ChatGPT content etc. while also being yelled at from all directions and taking it all in stride
  • Producing top-quality, essay-length answers on the most important topics, collating otherwise hard-to-find information and explaining it clearly
  • Going out of the way to track down countless low-quality duplicates of FAQs and close them as duplicates of a canonical
  • Collaborating to identify the best versions of the most important questions, close other candidates, polish canonical questions and answers even further, add useful related links, and re-route all the other questions to the best possible source of information

(I could even, I humbly suggest, be accused of doing some of those extraordinary things myself.)

But everyone who does these things was in your position once, and does them in large part because of that prior experience.

Coincidentally, part of a Stack Overflow Meta answer grabbed my attention today:

I know this comes as a shock to the company and to the web at large, but getting into a community ought to be hard.

I agree completely. A community is not simply a group of people permitted to coexist in a space. A community, fundamentally, is composed of those who understand, appreciate, and resonate with that community's fundamental, shared goals - in the case of Stack Exchange sites, the goal of building a high-quality Q&A library reflecting the expertise of the site's users.

In other words, it's made up of the people who "get it". At Stack Exchange, everyone is welcome to participate; but only those who actually put in the work to participate, and to understand the expectations set for participants, can truly be said to be participating. Everyone else is at best a tourist or client - the people for whose sake the library exists; the people whose imagined satisfaction is at the root of community members' intrinsic motivation.

So, thank you for caring, and for your support.

I have marked this answer as Community wiki because it only seems fitting.

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