The past several days have been turbulent across the Stack Exchange network, to say the least. In fact, more so than what has been the usual case even lately.

The immediate situation came to a head for myself, as well as many others, when Monica Cellio was, effectively, summarily dismissed as a moderator across the entire network.

Regardless of one's stance in the matter that prompted Monica's dismissal, of which I still lack a complete picture, I do feel that the manner in which she was removed is outright beyond deplorable. While I cannot go into even all of the details that I am aware of, due in part to being bound by the moderator agreement, I do feel strongly that no one, let alone a well-respected person such as Monica, deserves the kind of dismissal that she got.

As a result, over the past several days, I have been reevaluating my own relationship with Stack Exchange Inc., whose services I originally signed up for back in October 2010, and where I obtained my first moderator diamond in November 2013.

I have come to the conclusion that I, at present, cannot in good conscience remain an active community moderator on the Stack Exchange network.

This was not an entirely easy decision for me. I realize that this will leave the sites which I help moderate, and other people, in a bind. I sincerely apologize for that.

However, being a moderator requires having trust in the company, and for me at this time, that trust has been grossly violated. Not only by the manner in which Monica was dismissed as a moderator and how the fallout of that has been dealt with by company officials, but also other things, not least of which the manner in which the likely-upcoming Code of Conduct change has been dealt with, and likewise how the recent unilateral, forced relicensing has been handled by the company, as well as the statements made by company officials in connection with and other events surrounding the removal of Interpersonal Skills SE from the Hot Network Questions list. The examples here are not meant to be an exhaustive list.

Even if Stack Exchange Inc. were to make an immediate about-face turn, which frankly based on their recent actions and public statements I do not anticipate the company doing, rebuilding the trust to the level where I feel comfortable being an active community moderator is going to take time.

I have officially requested that Stack Exchange remove my moderator diamond from the two sites where I currently have one, namely Worldbuilding and Writing. I expect that this will take effect shortly.

I would like to take the opportunity to officially thank every person who has provided thought-provoking questions; thoughtful, well-researched, factual answers; and those who have taken the time to help me improve my posts and other contributions across the network. I also want to thank each and every moderator, elected and appointed alike, with which I have had the privilege to work together to varying extent.

UPDATE: My moderator access was revoked 2019-10-08 around 11:35 UTC. I am now an ordinary user.

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    On her personal blog, Monica has written up her version of how events transpired now in more detail, in Stack Overflow Inc. fiasco: timeline. – user Oct 6 '19 at 8:30
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    I am still waiting for Stack Exchange to remove my diamonds. I have contacted them again to draw their attention to my resignation e-mail. – user Oct 6 '19 at 8:30
  • Re your update from last year: you're certainly no "ordinary user", but I like to think your username is pronounced like a slurred "a civilian", in which case, it suggests a trooper who has come home from the war zone to recover their ordinary life amongst their local community. :-) – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Aug 23 '20 at 23:36

Thank you for agreeing to step up as a moderator here, and for all of your contributions to this and other sites. It was a pleasure to work with you.

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    Thank you. It has been a pleasure. – user Oct 2 '19 at 9:12
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    We've had our differences in the past. It's fair to say we are not fans of each other, but I want to say this. There was nothing you ever wrote on MSE that could have possibly justified the course of action taken by SE. In my mind, someone didn't like or trust you, for whatever reason, and they found the perfect excuse to strip you of all your responsibilities. – Mari-Lou A Oct 3 '19 at 13:05
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    I am absolutely horrified by the official announcement. – Mari-Lou A Oct 3 '19 at 17:37
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    I am utterly shocked by Sara Chipps's ♦ post, I feel for you but at the same time I am relieved that you have so many users supporting you. Chips never names you in person but what she has written is nothing short of slanderous. I'm not sure if you have a case against her or SE but I would advise you to seek legal advice. – Mari-Lou A Oct 3 '19 at 17:43
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    My moderator access has now been revoked. – user Oct 8 '19 at 11:49

What on earth is going on? It appears from everything I've read that SE employees are being outright vicious morons, can that really be the case?

I'd like to hear their side of the story! One such post I saw is utterly unconvincing.

[EDIT] And, for the record, @MonicaCellio really does seem to be making perfect sense as far as the disputed topic itself is concerned. And even if you disagree with her, this is clearly not offensive, and deserves a civilised response from SE. She says here:

I completely agree that it is rude to call people what they don't want to be called; knowingly misgendering someone is not ok. But the policy was about positive, not negative, use of pronouns. I pointed out that as a professional writer I, by training, write in a gender-neutral way specifically to avoid gender landmines, and sought clarification that this would continue to be ok. To my surprise, other moderators in the room said that not using (third-person singular) pronouns at all is misgendering.

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    Probably the best (and certainly the most concrete) I have seen in public as far as the SE Inc side of events goes is the recent article in The Register: The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row. I do encourage you to read that, as well as the accounts of various moderators (here is a good starting point for finding the various posts) and the responses to those. Everyone has a somewhat different take on recent events. – user Oct 2 '19 at 9:13
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    @aCVn Thanks for the links! After almost an hour of reading, I have found nothing that makes "SE inc." look any better. I am most disappointed: I'm a new arrival and was starting to really value my involvement in this community... – sesquipedalias Oct 2 '19 at 10:01
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    Disappointing is the word. I could deal with SE making a mistake, if they owned it. But they're doubling down. Patting themselves on the back for making this decision so quickly. – Cyn says make Monica whole Oct 2 '19 at 18:37
  • Thanks for the links - definitely something I will be reading up on this evening. – J Crosby Oct 2 '19 at 22:47
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    @sesquipedalias I'm with you there. Newly arrived, and strongly considering not returning. – Arkenstein XII Oct 3 '19 at 19:11
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    My moderator access has now been revoked. – user Oct 8 '19 at 11:49

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