I am not in the habit of storming out of a room when things go pear-shaped, but boycotts don't work if the target doesn't know about the boycott.

I will not be participating in any of the Stacks where I am currently active until at absolute minimum Monica Cellio is reinstated, and SE/SO makes a public apology to her that is as widespread as the false comments various executives have already made.

For the record, I am cishet and an enthusiastic LGBTQIA+/trans/Lavender ally. I will cheerfully use whatever pronouns I am asked to use. As a writer and editor, I also know that there are multiple ways to be polite, respectful, and affirming.

I've been a part of Stack Exchange for nearly a decade (I was on a different Stack before Writing which is now defunct). I can say as unvarnished fact that I have had the highest rep on Writing/Writers for nearly all that time. Until this year, I usually had more rep than the next two users combined. This is not to boast, but to point out that SE's abominally tone-deaf behavior is driving away volunteers at the highest levels of participation.

Writing is what it is — all Stacks are what they are — because we unpaid volunteers are here sharing our wisdom and experience.

I will not be handing over anything else to a company which doubles down in the face of a clear mistake and then clings ferociously to that mistake rather than attempting to address the problem.

If Monica publicly states she would prefer a different solution than for SE to reinstate her and apologize, I will support whatever she asks for. In any event, I will not be asking, answering, commenting, or voting on any Stack until and unless this situation is resolved.

I've enjoyed my time here. My loyalty is to the community, not the corporation.

  • 3
    Looks like there's hope for an organized user boycott: meta.stackexchange.com/a/335627/621673
    – user36961
    Oct 16, 2019 at 23:21
  • 2
    Monica has (to my knowledge) never been employed by Stack Exchange, so she can't be "rehired". Moderator positions are unpaid volunteer positions, nothing more. What she could be is reinstated as a moderator.
    – user
    Oct 21, 2019 at 7:17
  • 4
    I summarized SE's transgressions and what I want in meta.stackexchange.com/q/336526/162102. (No response from the company yet, which is par for the course.) Oct 28, 2019 at 19:36
  • 1
    If you are interested, we have an alternative to Writing SE here: qpixel.artofcode.co.uk/questions/39219. We also have a discord dedicated to it, which you can find an invite link for in my profile. I've always prized your input, and it would be great to have you there as the community finds its new home. Dec 12, 2019 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and I support you in whatever decision you make regarding StackExchange.

My loyalty is also to the community and not the corporation. The latter used to be an entity I could respect but that's eroded away to almost nothing. They never miss an opportunity to double down on blaming Monica for what they did to her, while turning a blind eye to users who are actually violating the Code of Conduct and the spirit of inclusion SE claims to be aiming for (for all their lofty words, I don't believe for one second the actual intent is to be more inclusive and welcoming).

Up to you, but you may want to vote and comment (or even post) on the Meta stack, as that's where the action is. Staff is reading those posts and moderators across the sites are noticing comments I thought would be buried.

I am continuing my leave of absence, though I check in here regularly. I'm not doing any work for SE, but I'm speaking up where I feel I need to, and voting as well. Even if I felt okay going back to work after what's gone down (and I certainly don't), I just can't. This is not a job for one person.

My ever-dwindling hope is that SE will do the right thing (now they're claiming they have to wait until after Friday when they'll finalize their new moderator termination and reinstatement policies). Reinstate Monica and re-establish at least a small bit of trust. Then I'll gladly throw myself back into this site as part of the team. Not just the team of moderators but the team of users who care deeply about Writing.SE and the other sites we may participate on.


Thank you for being such a stalwart over the time I've been on this site. I too am no longer participating, and the only reason I visit SE these days is to see if there has been any actual resolution on the Monica situation.

I'm giving it a few more days, maybe even a week, but I have a feeling my time here is done. I'll be deleting my account once I return from holidays.

To all in this community - especially the mods and long-time power users - thank you for your time and effort. You (and not SE) have built a wonderful community here, your advice has always been well considered and appropriate. Even where there have been differing points of view (as there should be), the discussion has always, always remained civil and respectful.

It's such a shame that it's ended this way in what looks like nothing more than an egotistical power trip by a SE Employee who has previously documented a distinct lack of managerial skills and abilities when dealing with feedback - seeing everything as a personal slight when it's the exact opposite. Ironically, there are a number of places on this very site where Sarah Chipps would have been able to get some great advice.

  • 1
    Beautifully said, Thomo. Though, I sincerely hope it is not the end for the site as a whole.
    – Weckar E.
    Oct 22, 2019 at 2:30
  • If you are interested, we have an alternative to Writing SE here: qpixel.artofcode.co.uk/questions/39219. We also have a discord dedicated to it, which you can find an invite link for in my profile. Please give it a look, I feel like it could really be the alternative we've been looking for. Dec 12, 2019 at 20:13
  • @ThomasReinstateMonicaMyron - thanks. I'm in
    – user18397
    Dec 12, 2019 at 23:59

I don't think any of you should return without a paycheck. So I'm happy that all of you are taking a break. But not for your reasons. I also don't think you should be worked up, even with all of the built up social capital you've invested here; that's the trap of social network moderating. Something I have a history with in a much more abusive system than this one.

Anyhow, sorry you're all upset. For me what I want is a place I can ask and answer questions. It's hard for me to reconcile that with the pain you all feel, but you've got to do you. I'm not in it for the community, I'm in it for writing.

I think it's worth noting that not everyone is as invested or upset by this. But I'm someone who intentionally distances themselves from the political morass of anything internet.

(I'm unlikely to respond to comments, so whatever you want to write in response is fine, but I'm not going to reply further)

Posted only because some piece me is resonating to the drama, and I'm mostly out of sync with it. I hope you two can find a way to desync too.

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