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In the past few days, y'all have witnessed the terrible action Stack Exchange's done: They dismissed Monica, one of the most beloved and respected moderator and community members. Following that, all three remaining The Workplace moderators have since declared their resignation. (Snow, Jane S, Mister Positive)

I've been watching this site for years, and sincerely want to join you in thanking all the moderators for their kind and helpful dedication to The Workplace past the ages.

Setting the sentiment aside, we're now facing one sad fait accompli: We have no more active diamond moderators1. We're now in real need of a solution for keeping the site in order during the vacancy of moderator availability. How'd we achieve that?

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As soon as the last active moderator lifted his hands off the keyboard on his resignation post, I contacted the CM team using the reporting channels and raised this as an immediate concern.

Obviously, the CM team are currently stretched as thin as the silver on my grandmother's cutlery, so it might be a while until there's adequate (or even any) coverage here.

In the meantime:

  • Keep open/close voting and editing questions and answers to make them as relevant and meaningful as possible
  • Flag items that require flagging
  • Guide comments as breifly and as helpfully as you can
  • Delete your comments as and when they become obselete
  • If you feel that you disagree with someone and this will lead to extended comment-streams, do everyone a favour and walk away before typing (stuff is gonna be deleted anyhow)

I have no information about what will happen, but I assume that active moderators from other sites will be promoted and asked to cover until a fresh election can be scheduled.

Thank you for your continued support for this community.

  • 9
    I guess policing our own comments and keeping the review queues empty became more important now then it was before. – Magisch Oct 1 at 12:56
  • Hello Snow, thank you for all your help to The Workplace in these years. As you're probably aware, during this vacancy of moderation activity, the site is vulnerable to even the slightest disturbance (e.g. someone is flagged for problematic behavior). Reading your answer, I imply that there's no good solution for now (or until active mods are appointed in an emergency), is it consistent with your thoughts? – iBug Oct 1 at 13:10
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    It's rare that we get users attempt to deface things enough for an immediate response. If that happens, using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page will send an email to all CMs. Hopefully within a few days, things will have settled a bit. – user44108 Oct 1 at 13:13
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    Glad to see you rising above it with this thoughtful answer rather than trying to be vindictive. Thank you for that! – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 13:25
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    The CM team has indicated awareness of me raising this gap in coverage. I have no idea what the outcome will be, since I no longer wear a diamond. – user44108 Oct 1 at 15:10
  • I bet Staff have to fill in. Either that or they'll ask for volunteers to be appointed – Machavity Oct 1 at 21:25
  • @Snow I'd be more worried about spammers, to be honest. – nick012000 Oct 3 at 14:47
  • @nick012000 The bots are very effective in picking these up. But do keep flagging them as they appear. – user44108 Oct 3 at 14:55
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    Any answers from the CM team yet? – Myles Oct 8 at 15:47
  • @Myles about what? – user44108 Oct 8 at 15:55
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This site was never too much in disorder, except for what was stirred up by SE themselves.

As the saying goes, they made their bed, now they can lie in it. Their actions created this, they can resolve it, hopefully, by having to PAY moderators. Personally, I don't think we should step in and fix the mess they created.

To use business jargon, they have created pain points. If let's say Starbucks started abusing their staff to the point of a walkout, would you really expect the customers to man the store?

If we step in and try to control things, SE will NEVER change.

  • I've always assumed the assignment of responsibility is laid out as "SE for the platform, we the community for the content". Does your answer suggest that the platform has been messed up for us to keep curating the content? – iBug Oct 1 at 13:16
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    @iBug SE has pulled a bunch of recent changes which culminated in the resignation of ALL of our active moderators. If we step in to take up the slack, how will that get them to change their behavior towards the volunteer moderators who have put in so much work? – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 1 at 13:23
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    @iBug Moderators moderate content and are managed by SE / SO. SO also sets the rules for content. While high-rep users can also gain some of the privileges (/ responsibilities) moderators have, how they're supposed to use these is very much dictated by SO. So SO is very much managing the content on a high level as well (and sometimes on a low level too). – Dukeling Oct 1 at 19:51
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    @iBug the reasons for the mass moderator departure SE-wide have nothing to do with this stack, and are actually pretty big. They fired a very good mod for privately, among mods, expressing concern with a future conduct policy, and "expressing concern" is overstating the matter. It seemed obvious to me that this enraged some manager/owner. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 3 at 22:57
  • We're a non-not-for-profit site. How should we keep our affairs in order? – Mazura Oct 3 at 23:57
  • You think moderators having a financial loyalty to SE is a good thing? Them being paid? Imagine if all mods were in deep with the corp,,, – Weckar E. Oct 4 at 5:35
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    @WeckarE. You want them to work for free for a company that's profiting off of them? – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 4 at 10:18
  • @RichardU If that means they can maintain their independence otherwise? yes. – Weckar E. Oct 4 at 10:24
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    @WeckarE. I think recent events demonstrate that that particular ship has sailed – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 4 at 10:26
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    Nobody is being forced to moderate, that too has become clear. – Weckar E. Oct 4 at 10:46
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    @WeckarE.true enough. Moderation anywhere is a thankless job – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 4 at 10:51
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Not our problem, carry on as usual.

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    Kilisi just being Kilisi ! As I am not a mod and just a little contributor, I totally agree – LP154 Oct 2 at 8:45
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    Straight to the point! I like this style of answers. – iBug Oct 2 at 17:10
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    Cheers, mate! Feeling okay? You're running on a bit ;) – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 2 at 20:22
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    @RichardU ahaha... yeah, I wax waxing lyrical, could probably have cut that answer in half. Either half is a good answer. – Kilisi Oct 2 at 20:25
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    This answer probably works for 50% of the questions on this site :D – Billy.Bob Oct 3 at 11:10
12

We could all simply suspend all activity until SO comes to their senses and makes this right. The community, not just mods, is providing loads of free labor to these sites that SO benefits from. You can show your displeasure by abstaining from participation of any sort for a while. I know I will be.

Obviously not everyone will, and if they behave badly chaos will reign. But to that, I say "you reap what you sow."

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    Yup. Everyone could choose to leave SO if they desire. Or just lurk and not contribute. – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 18:23
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We have no more active diamond moderators

As of some minutes ago, Snow and Mr. Positive have been reinstated, so we now have at least 2 active diamond mods.

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    I am really proud of the mods on other sites that resigned out of principle and in support of Monica. – Ask About Monica Oct 6 at 21:25
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    @kbelder I fully respect Snow's and Mister Positive's decision to return, but after a weekend with my family and time to think, my decision to resign remains. – Jane S Oct 6 at 23:22
  • @JaneS I'm glad you stood your conviction. Unfortunately, only the pressure of having these sites remain unmoderated I believe would have forced SE's hand into taking action. Snow/Mister Positive returning, unfortunately reinforces the fact that what SE has done is acceptable, and for that I cannot agree. They clearly took a stance: Witnessed no action being done, and still returned. – FrankerZ Dec 7 at 12:57
5

We're now in real need of a solution for keeping the site in order during the vacancy of moderator availability. How'd we achieve that?

Hold an election. Choose new moderators.

(BTW, it seems we do have one remaining moderator. At least for now.)

Meanwhile, Keep Calm and Carry On.

  • 5
    As far as I know, even if we hold an election immediately, new moderators won't be in place until 14 days later. This isn't a short time honestly, as the need for content curation work accumulates and flags stack up. Given the traffic and activity of The Workplace, it's likely things may go out of (community) control during this period. That's what I'm worried about. – iBug Oct 1 at 12:50
  • @iBug - how about if everyone agrees to play nice until new moderators arrive? I suppose SE could import new moderators from elsewhere if they prefer. – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 12:51
  • Sure we all can agree to play nice. But what if someone decides to make a mess and jumps out? It may be particularly more possible among new users. – iBug Oct 1 at 12:52
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    Only SE can hold elections. As for your remaining moderator, rumor on the meta post on über-meta has it they're inactive. There might be elections soon, but we're talking at least 4-6 weeks before you'll get mods. In that time, a lot of damage can be done – user86404 Oct 1 at 12:53
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    @iBug or old users with an axe to grind. There has been a good deal amount of bad blood built up over the last year. But this is SE's problem. I won't do any damage, but I'm not helping either. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 1 at 13:03
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    We have no more mods, and given what's happened, who would run for that position again? I certainly wouldn't – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 1 at 13:10
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    @RichardU - we do have one. And I'm quite sure that the forum is large enough that some would run, even if you and some others wouldn't. – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 13:14
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    A deleted comment on the big MSE post said that the last mod is inactive. While I'm not particularly confident about that, it's worth taking into account. – iBug Oct 1 at 13:19
  • @iBug - (shrug) The last remaining moderator's profile indicates that he was "Last seen yesterday", FWIW. Regardless, SE probably needs to step in and do something soon. – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 13:21
  • @JoeStrazzere and they should step in soon. They made the mess. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 1 at 13:24
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    @JoeStrazzere We've asked, no reply. Your entire plan assumes SE takes action soon, and in case you haven't noticed - they won't. They've said on MSO they're 4 people to deal with thousands of requests. They have a lot on their plate atm. – user86404 Oct 1 at 14:17
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    @Zoe - I have assumed nothing, and my only plan was to try to answer the question at hand. Things will eventually sort themselves out, I'm sure. No need for panic. Whatever will be, will be. If The Workplace needs to run virtually unmoderated for a while, then it will. You only asked yesterday. Stay calm and carry on. – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 14:28
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    Yeah, there is no need for concern, early days yet. – Kilisi Oct 1 at 18:15
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    @Kilisi - I'm concerned. But I don't see that panic can be helpful in any way. So we wait, since there's really nothing else to be done. I understand the angst, and will miss Monica's and the other former-moderators' help. We'll see what happens next. Eventually we'll have moderators. – Joe Strazzere Oct 1 at 18:18
3

I'd like to give special thanks to Snow, for despite their intense disappointment in SE the company, they're back to continue to serve as a moderator to help The Workplace run. It's probably not hard to imagine how hard it is to make such a decision, so let's welcome Snow for their return.

  • 1
    Pending. This is pending. I have no idea whether SE or this community will have me back or not. – user44108 Oct 4 at 8:39
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    @Snow - Based on what Catjia said in chat and the fact that you are giving SE a 'win' I'm astounded that they haven't already jumped at the chance to cross two names off the list. – Richard Oct 4 at 18:35
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    Of course this post demonstrates the ludicrous nature of the whole dispute, since by any standard parsing of English it implies that "Snow" is a plural noun, or a collective noun, or that it is a badly written sentence meaning the "Snow and some unnamed others" are back. But hey, political correctness is more important than effective communication these days... – alephzero Oct 8 at 13:04
  • @alephzero by any standard parsing of English, "snow" is a noun. Capitalizing "Snow" mid-sentence is a sure-fire clue that Snow is a name, and so the collective/plural nature depends on what the name refers to. That rule of name-handling overrides how the word would be stated. (It is much easier to understand this in a format like this website, where things are typically written out, in contrast to audio-only formats where capitalization is typically unnoticeable.) – TOOGAM Nov 26 at 0:44

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