I just got such into heaps of written material over a mod being sacked by SE recently and towards the end stumbled over a post by @RoryAlsop (https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/334095/295537):

tl;dr - I mod 6 sites: Security, Music, Parenting, Outdoors, Sound and Video - I'm suspending all my mod activity on them until SE sort this out. I am just one voice among many, but I hope I add to the clamour.

As pointed out by Charlie, same is true for @Kevin: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/334177/295537

For those not already aware of the issue, be aware that you will lose quite a bit of time if you go into reading it. My personal gist is that a well-known and -respected mod has been sacked without due notice over a disagreement. I have not enough information (and I am unsure if anyone except those directly involved do) to comment on the reasons and specifics behind it. However the lack of proper reaction by SE alone is a very bad sign in my opinion. As a result many mods have stepped down and/or suspended their work in protest - and so did Rory, as stated in the post linked above.

In any case I totally support the move. I am personally not invested enough in SE to care that much, but I am definitely worried about lasting community implications given how widespread the consequences are. Also for TGO in specific it would be very sad to lose Rory. For now I think we should be ok though, I believe the community should be able to moderate TGO. Obviously I do hope SE shows a useful reaction and Rory will return to activity though.

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    Kevin is on strike too Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 13:49
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    I would just like to state my support for the mods and whatever action they feel appropriate.
    – Separatrix
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 14:23
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    I agree with and support the mods. I read as much of the discussion as I could stand. George Orwell had a phrase which fits: Double plus good thinkful.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 23:56
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    Mods need to do what's right for them and as already said to Rory - I'm behind them 100% :)
    – Aravona
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 15:29
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    This is really important! I wish there was more input. With huge respect to you, I wonder if a more descriptive title might bring people in. Folks who haven't read Meta:SE, or related posts may not even know our mod status changed. To be clear, I don't want clickbait, just a broader statement. What do you think? Am I way off base? I'll post any ideas in separate comments. They'll all be directed at you, and I may repeat parts in case this gets deleted! Thanks!! Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 20:41
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    imsodin, I fear I haven't shown enough support for this post and respect for the way you wrote it! Simply, it seems that you (and we) want discussion, and my comment was only about trying to get more people to have that discussion. I appreciate your neutral view in the way you discussed it, by not saying things you didn't know of, etc. That's really hard!!! If I've offended or overstepped in any way, please tell me! Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 23:05
  • New related post An apology to our community, and next steps Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 17:41

5 Answers 5


I don't think I've ever interacted with Monica Cellio, the moderator in question, but I've seen enough of her activity on various SEs to have a high opinion of her as a moderator, and read enough of the current saga to believe that she has been shamefully treated by the company. "Kangaroo court" would be too generous a term: it seems that no court of any kind was involved, SE's own procedure for removing mods was not followed, and the post-hoc damage control efforts have mostly consisted of unsupported accusations against Cellio and content-free corporate quasi-apologies of the "we'll try to handle this better next time" variety. Their cavalier attitude to the apparent illegality of their recent license change isn't exactly appealing either.

As to the relevance to this SE, beyond Rory's and Kevin's strikes, I can only speak for myself. I'm not a mod, just a lowly user. But I was on the point of answering a question here yesterday (I'd done the research, I had the links lined up and the answer mentally drafted)... and at the last moment, I thought "no, actually, I don't think I want to support this company right now" and closed the tab. I wouldn't dignify this with the term "strike", but I suspect there might be a long-ish tail of minor contributors like myself who find that their motivation to contribute is diminishing. Only time will tell whether this makes a noticeable dent in the activity levels or the quality of the content.


I did pop up a wee note in chat, but while I feel the mods community does need to do something to push SE into improving behaviour and protection for everybody, I didn't want to be a disruptive voice in the communities I really enjoy being a part of, so I did not resign, but instead have taken a suspension from duties until a sensible route forwards has been sorted out.

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    Rory, thank you so much for caring enough to pop in and tell us some of what's on your mind. I can't even imagine you being a disruptive voice! Quite the opposite! You're a man of integrity and reason, and even if you're hurt, as I would be (and am on the behalf of you and others), you keep thinking about all of your communities! Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 0:15

I've decided to step back, in much the way some of our mods have, including at least Rory Alsop and Kevin.

I don't know where @studiohack stands in terms of moderation, but I know he's affected, as all the moderators are. I hope he's okay under the circumstances.

I won't (yet) delete my accounts, because in case this gets solved to the satisfaction of our mods, I don't want to start from scratch.

However, I won't be participating, at least for now.

I've been reading meta:SE posts from the beginning, so this is not an impulsive or uninformed decision.

I may add to this later, but if anyone has questions, feel free to ask!

Thank you mods for your service and courage!!


In response to the comment of @Sue: I wonder how many people are feeling as I do: that the dismissal of Monica, with whom I have had very little contact, but have always found sensible and in the best tradition that used to be characteristic of SE, is disgusting...repeat disgusting. And I wonder if I should just close my accounts rather than support in any way, however insignificant, a company that can behave so badly. I suppose I'd have to become a hermit if I carried this to its logical extreme. But I feel, for now at least, a visceral revulsion to participate as though nothing had happened.

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    Hi @ab2! While I'm strongly considering leaving SE, that wasn't the purpose of my comment, so I want to clear up any misunderstanding! I especially don't want imsodin to think I was criticizing this well thought-out, important post. His perspective is neutral in terms of judgment, and that's hard to do! Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 23:15
  • The purpose of my comment was mostly just to let people know there's been a change and to come here to learn about and discuss it. Some who stay might want to help, like not asking for a mod unless it's urgent. For instance, not flagging things unless they're really bad. @studiohack may still be our mod. I won't assume either way. If he is, there may be ways to communicate with him and offer all the assistance that a non-mod can give. Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 23:24
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    On the other hand, if they don't know about the incident, they can't form an opinion about the impact it may have. People may leave, or back off, at least for a while. That will affect the size of the community. There are huge meta discussions at many sites. I just want imsodin to get the attention from having started one here, no matter what people think. I also think it's a good place to leave encouragement for Rory, who took the time to write something! Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 23:35
  • As a mod on another site, I have access to more information about the dismissal. I would like to say that I have zero problem with the moderator having been removed. the reasons for her removal have not been publicly expressed, so I advise caution when throwing out terms like disgusting. That said, the way SE handled removing the moderator, which has been made very public, is disgusting.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 13:34

For those who are curious about "preferred pronouns", see do we have any information on what the preferred pronouns are on English Language and Usage. (Note that preferred pronouns (pps) may not be the correct term.)

This was an attempt to find out just what, exactly, the dispute that led to the current mess is about. It is still not clear whether the dispute was about singular they (which has a very long history of being a reputable usage, although sometimes it causes ambiguity or other problems in a sentence), or whether the dispute was about the large array of pps. (In the latter case, OMG, IMO)

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