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Monica was removed as a moderator over the weekend by the SE staff. It wasn’t her decision.

As a result of that decision and way it was undertaken, I have taken the easy decision of immediately stepping down.

Good luck to you and all who follow.

  • 49
    I have a hard time picturing Monica as anything but constructive and patient. Is there a place where we can find out more about that "wider issue"? – nvoigt Sep 28 at 17:24
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    @nvoigt short of Monica choosing to air dirty laundry offsite I don't think we'll ever get a specific reason. Broadly speaking it's probably related to everything that's happened on meta.SE over the last 6 to 18 months or so. For anyone blissfully ignorant: there's been a lot of high profile disagreement between where stackechanges owners want to take the sites and what the portion of the community engaged in meta.se and a number of high rep users feel is right. If that's still too vague, perhaps someone else will try to write up a more detailed history. I've no interest in trying. – Dan Neely Sep 28 at 18:43
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    Monica's offline for the weekend, so it's highly unlikely we'll hear anything from her for a while yet, and there's very little anyone else is able to share about this. The easiest way to find out what happened here will be to wait for Monica to (hopefully) return and ask if she's willing to share details. – ArtOfCode Sep 28 at 19:15
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    Best wishes, Snow. – Joe Strazzere Sep 28 at 22:01
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    @DanNeely: The long version is written up here. It is quite thorough, but isn't about Monica in particular, so I'm not sure how helpful it will be. – Kevin Sep 29 at 2:22
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    I've been away for the weekend, I was only just made aware of this. I too have tendered my resignation as moderator. – Jane S Sep 29 at 4:44
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    lhmmmm... looks like you guys had a bit of a gang going. Personal commitments rather than site commitment? ... no offence, just an observation. – Kilisi Sep 29 at 8:21
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    @Kilisi Neither. You'll need to read the linked Meta in Monica's answer that describes the situation. – user44108 Sep 29 at 8:56
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    @Kevin - that Meta post is unrelated to the current situation involving Monica. I wrote it about an entirely different issue, which is separate from this. – Mithical Sep 29 at 9:23
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    @Kilisi It seems more like an irreconcilable disagreement with the priorities and values implied by a decision (or decisions) taken by management. – Dukeling Sep 29 at 15:30
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    @JaneS - sorry to hear that, Jane. – Joe Strazzere Sep 29 at 23:39
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    @Kilisi your comment's clearly show that you are just taking a cheap shot without taking the time to read about what happened. – Mister Positive Sep 30 at 13:27
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    @dan-klasson I did not get that impression at all. She has so much content here though that I haven't read it all. But it sounds like your implying her religious views are inserting themselves into this situation. I haven't seen evidence of that as of yet. – Mister Positive Oct 1 at 3:47
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    @dan-klasson: I've not read through everything yet (and probably won't), but from what I have read it seems that the point of bringing up the Sabbath and holidays of her faith was to explain that she would be unavailable because a Sabbath and one of those holidays was about to happen and observing them required her to be offline for a time. – GreenMatt Oct 1 at 15:22
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    @dan-klasson note that my post was on Mi Yodeya, the site about Judaism, so there's local context. As an observant Jew I'm not online on Shabbat (Friday night through Saturday night) or holidays. SE, knowing this, chose to fire me minutes before I would have to go offline, when I could not respond but would have to carry the upset into the festive day. It'd be kind of like firing a mod on Christianity moments before Christmas (except Christians can still go online if they want to; they'd just be busy). This does not sound like the inclusion, diversity, and respect they talk about. – Monica Cellio Oct 4 at 3:02
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Snow and Jane, it has been an honor to serve with you and the other moderators and work with this community.

On Friday, half an hour before Shabbat and two days before Rosh Hashana, Stack Overflow Inc. suddenly revoked my moderator status on all sites where I had it. I found this out while handling flags, when I suddenly got notifications for Marshal and Deputy badges (which moderators are ineligible to earn). They did this not because I've done anything to violate SE policies, but because they think I will in the future violate a thoughtcrime-style provision of a Code of Conduct change that hasn't been made yet. My questions and requests for discussion were ignored, and incorrect claims were made about me in places where I can no longer defend myself.

I wrote more about this on a different site's meta.

  • 10
    Even if a moderator feels they cannot support a part of the rules (and as I get you, you never made a decision about that), the professional thing to do is to ask them to support them anyway or resign. Firing them preemptively is certainly a move that I cannot accurately describe without violating multiple parts of the current CoC. – nvoigt Sep 29 at 9:44
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    @nvoigt one of the core rules given to moderators when dealing with users is that we don't suspend pre-emptively (aside from accounts created to evade suspensions and rare network-wide trolls); we suspend only when someone has done something wrong. I never violated the Code of Conduct or any other rule. They fired me because they think I might, without giving them a chance to demonstrate goodwill through my actions. Meanwhile, people who did violate the (current) CoC by making personal attacks against me and others remain moderators. – Monica Cellio Sep 29 at 16:13
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    I have had the privilege of interacting with you on multiple sites as well as meeting you in person. The quality of your work, the volume of your work, and the level of your commitment have always astounded and inspired me. I find Snow and Jane's resignation in solidarity inspiring as well and just want to add that many of us normal users feel a similar way. – user85135 Sep 29 at 16:55
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    Monica, I'm so sorry that this is how the staff chose to deal with the issue. It's very upsetting to me for multiple reasons but mostly because it's so unjust. Whatever comes of all this, your work across the network did make a positive difference and was worthwhile even if it ends like this :( – ColleenV parted ways Sep 29 at 20:08
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    Sorry to hear this, Monica. – Joe Strazzere Sep 29 at 23:38
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    I go away for a long weekend, and find this! Anyone who has been on an SE site with you as a mod for at least six months and has two neurons that rub together would know you are an asset to any site, otherwise why else were you asked to moderate on Meta only 9 months ago? I'm presuming the team, in their infinite wisdom, had done some background checking before appointing you. – Mari-Lou A Sep 30 at 4:58
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    I am shocked by the stripping of your title, but not surprised by how SE handled this whole business. Is anyone? I'm trying to understand what exactly triggered this appalling response, but am unable to glean any. I am very sorry to see the hurt and humiliation you have suffered in private and in public, it must be extremely stressful and the feeling of betrayal simply awful. But you will overcome this debacle, and you will be a stronger and better person. You have all my support! – Mari-Lou A Sep 30 at 5:02
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    I am sorry and shocked that this happened to you @MonicaCellio. – Mister Positive Sep 30 at 13:52
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    I can't believe what I'm reading, nor the whole mod resignation/firing across the network. – DarkCygnus Sep 30 at 18:16
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    I've reduced my participation on SE sites over the years, partly for personal reasons, partly because some sites are downright unwelcoming (and even worse), and partly because SE seems to losing its way. Fortunately, the Workplace has always been one of the welcoming ones and I think you're a big part of that. Sorry to see you go and I wish you well, @MonicaCellio, although I understand why you are doing what you're doing. – GreenMatt Oct 1 at 15:28
  • @Mari-LouA no kidding. First thing I noticed about Monica is being relatively uncorrupted by the moderator Stanford Prison Experiment they call ips.se... Revealing a person of character. And only hearing Monica's side of the Teachers Lounge discussion, it still sounds like mgmt should have given Monica plenty of latitude to explore methods of dealing with alternative pronouns appropriately. Monica seems well equipped to do that exploration. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 3 at 22:44
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    Monica I've been around enough to know what your situation smells like. Somehow inadvertently your persuasive talk bent the nose of someone with a lot of power, and that person flexed their power, essentially, as a riposte to not feel like not losing the argument. It is cheap, lousy, and corrupt. Of all the people to do that to, you were a very poor choice- as I said, I would have given you broad latitude to explore your pronoun POV. And I would be genuinely surprised if it ever hurt anyone's feelings (who wasn't in management lol). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 3 at 23:07
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    Ran out of chars... But thank you for all you have done for SE. You were always a voice of reason and dare I say it, moderation. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 3 at 23:12
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I just requested that my profile for this site ( and 66 others ) be deleted permanently.

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I have had many moments in my time here, mostly good but some not. Most of them were kept going in a positive direction by our interactions. I consider you a friend, and support your decision completely.

I am holding out hope that this wrong will be righted and things go back to the way they should be.

Monica was our captain, you are my friend.

Holding out hope for now, and wishing you a generally upward trend.

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    Can you put a comma in that last sentence and make it rhyme with the one above it please? – user44108 Sep 30 at 15:19
  • @Snow Comma added....rhyme not so much. – Mister Positive Sep 30 at 15:20
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    Fixed that for you... – user44108 Sep 30 at 15:21
  • @Snow Now that is some excellent moderator action! – Pierre Arlaud Oct 5 at 8:53
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Thank you for all the hard work as a diamond moderator - as a former diamond mod on RPG.SE I know how much thankless work is involved.

Thank you also for the principled stand, I would like to think that if my mod team had a fellow mod treated this way by the CMs we'd have mass resigned in protest as well. Well done.

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