We are posting this to add our names to the chorus of unhappy moderators across the StackExchange network about the sacking of Monica Cellio. If you haven’t already come across the controversy, there’s a lot of material to read: but in summary, she was, in our opinion, unfairly removed as a moderator across multiple sites, and then StackExchange unjustifiably criticised her in a statement to the press. They are now failing/refusing to withdraw either of these actions, several weeks later.

To be clear, we fully support the recent Code of Conduct changes, particularly as clarified by the excellent FAQ based on one put together by a moderator on another SE site. We are not complaining about “coerced speech” or pronoun requirements.

We are solely complaining that StackExchange has treated Monica abominably and the senior management responsible for it now appears to have retreated into its shell and there is no visible activity to fix it. The recently announced “reinstatement process” is by no means adequate for solving this specific situation.

We continue to have the highest respect for the Community Managers who are responsible for the StackExchange network day-to-day. We can’t pretend to know what they are thinking about the situation but we doubt that the relative silence on these topics is by their choice.

Our user pics and names now reflect our support of the campaign to apologise to Monica and reinstate her. We plan to leave them like this for the foreseeable future unless the situation is remedied. At this point we are not planning on resigning as mods.

Ganesh Sittampalam and JoeTaxpayer

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    Thank you for posting this. I don’t share your “full support” of the new thought-crime CoC, but I absolutely agree that SE made exactly the wrong decision by firing one of the finest moderators on the network and then made a bad situation intolerable by repeatedly defaming her. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 31 at 12:56
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    Who's not complaining about coerced speech? I'm complaining about coerced speech. That's a way more important issue than reinstating Monica. – Apologize and reinstate Monica Nov 4 at 18:25
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    @only_pro you're not a signatory to our post – GS - Apologise to Monica Nov 4 at 18:39

From what I can see, Monica had heard a proposal for a potential policy change, disagreed strenuously, and was trying to sway the proposal with a reasonably cogent argument. Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and something I would have done myself.

It sounded like a discussion, and Monica discussed.

I think Monica was unaware that powerful people had already fully committed to the policy, and this was not a discussion at all, a point on which those people had not been forthright/honest. Monica was misled to believe it was an open discussion and that this was a safe space for that discussion.

However, those people already knew it was a done deal and forgot Monica did not -- seeing Monica's resistance not as reasoned dissent to a proposal, but as defiance/disloyalty to a decided policy. And acted quite emotionally, moreso than a professional should.

In essence, Monica "pissed off the wrong person".

Everything since has been justification.

I suspect the "those people" in question are owners, because it's difficult to imagine anyone else having the juice to fast-track the "proposal" or holdfast against such a bad decision.

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