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.

I'm not alone.

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.

  • 4
    While all us moderators discuss the current situation heatedly I'd like to not stir that up right now but focus on a thank you instead. Your effort and contribution in shaping this site since its beginning is very much appreciated. Thank you for stepping up and becomming a Moderator in the early phase of this stack. It's been a pleasure to have you around... including the fun we had in the Chat of Things back then. I now tap my AuroraHat at you, wishing you all the best on your future endeavours, and hoping to see you on the other side!
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 19:17
  • 1
    This whole fiasco is beginning to remind me of Expert Sex Change. I think it's time to leave too. Would the one please turn out the lights?
    – Mawg
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 11:45
  • @Mawg I'm not clear on that reference and what is meant by "turn out the lights", but I did have to drop by and mention that this in my mind is the first hopeful sign I've seen since becoming inactive. I have my fingers crossed.
    – anonymous2 Mod
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 22:30
  • two decades ago there was a site, much like S.E called Experts Exchange, which some people read as Expert Sex Change. It was a great site with lots of great answers from lots of volunteers - then they started to charge for membership. Things did not go well for them and there was amass exodus.
    – Mawg
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 16:15
  • Yeah, was aware of the general ideas, but still not sure what the relationship with SE is, unless you're saying that it's the kind of unilateral company decisions without community input. Whatever the case, I'm seeing some hopeful signs in the recent meta activity which suggest that the team is at least listening. It went from a very heavy handed ideal on pronouns to what in my mind is practically feasible and reasonable in this post.
    – anonymous2 Mod
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


I'd just like to say an enormous thank you to anonymous2 for what is nearly three years of service to this site.

Since the beginning of the beta, anonymous2 been instrumental to making the best of this site, having:

I've had the pleasure of working with anonymous2 for my entire moderator career, in which he proved himself to be highly capable, and a valuable friend to consult while moderating in tough situations. It is a great loss to the site that you're leaving.

I know that you do this in difficult circumstances and I am completely supportive of your decision. The goodwill of users and moderators towards the company has been incredibly strained recently with no sign of it getting better. This site has its own issues which require a lot of work to fix—growth has been essentially zero for the last few months, and ultimately there aren't many people participating here. I'd love to do more personally, but I don't always have the time nor the support I'd like. I'm sure anonymous2 feels the same.

Nevertheless, I wish you the absolute best for the future. I hope you'll remember the good beyond the bad, and please don't make yourself a stranger from the chat. You will be missed.

  • 3
    I couldn't agree more.
    – Helmar Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 18:16

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