For those who don't know me well, it's probalby because I'm not very active in the form of questions and answers. As a moderator for going on three years, I've been far more active doing general moderation tasks; voting, dealing with flags, voting fraud, caustic comments, etc.
When I was appointed moderator, I felt certain that IoT.SE had a glorious future. I still hope that to be the case, but with the way that SE has been managed lately, I have to admit that a vague uneasy feeling has been growing on me for maybe a year or two.
It seemed (though I couldn't have pointed to any particular incident) that SE was moving more and more towards a unilateral heavy-handed way of forcing users into a mold. The pronouns debate, which has been pushed to the forefront recently, is a classic example. While I 100% agree that offensive language, whether the speaker believes it to be offensive or not, should at all costs be avoided, it seemed that specific wordings were being forcefed us.
True, it was never explicitely stated that SE wanted us absolutely to use the pronoun "they" if that was a person's preference, but the feeling was that each user is obliged not only to avoid offensive language, but to employ preferred language.
Let me be clear: I personally have no objection to using the plural pronoun: I regularly do so when a person's gender is unknown or prefefence dictates. But the principle that SE would force me to do so when there are other options (such as avoiding using pronouns at all) bothers me. But, like I said, nothing concrete had surfaced.
In the wake of the recent CoC changes, I really began to get alarmed. Can Stack Exchange really just change the attribution on my work at the snap of a finger? I thought to myself. I felt like SE users were being physically tied up and spoonfed something they might not necessarily want.
The last straw for me was Monica Cellio's being fired. As I read about it, my heart sank. I love Stack Exchange. I love its philosophy. I love the people here. But to be honest, the only word that comes to mind when I see the company "firing" this volunteer who has invested literally thousands of hours is tyrannical. And frankly, as it has been so aptly put in others' comments, answers, etc., the way it was done was totally outrageous.
Since that time, the supression of free speech seems simply to have gone from bad to worse. The general response from the community team has not been, "Sorry, we made a mistake," but basically just denial and supression. Reminds me of a few politicians whom I could name.
My message to those who stick on would be, Good luck. I'm usually a pretty easy going guy, but this is too much for me.
Practically, I'll be contacting the SE team at some point this week to request diamond removal. For the moment, I'll leave my account up, but I'll no longer be active.
And now I'm going to go have a good cry. I just lost a good friend.