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I have decided to step down as moderator. It was not an easy decision.

I thought that you guys deserved at least a proper "goodbye/thank you" note and that you probably would ask or care for an explanation.

During all this time as a mod, my philosophy as a moderator has been "people over rules". Rules are in place to help people create value for other people.

When rules help our users to help other people to become better, rules are useful. But rules need to be transcended, as we follow the rules. We need to understand the goal behind the rule, the ultimate goal, not to follow rules blindly.

I always thought that moderators help the community to achieve balance between Order (following the rules; the contract to hold ourselves to certain values) and Chaos (the potential for change and improvement; seeing beyond the rule).

I don't think I can follow my "people over rules" principle when moderating anymore, so it's time for me to step down as moderator.

So,

To my fellow moderator Fedorqui: Thank you. When I accepted becoming a moderator I never thought you would take me on such amazing journey. I think that working with you made me a better person, so, for that and so many other shared moments, thank you.

To my fellow moderator Charlie: I'm sorry we couldn't work together longer. I know I'll deeply regret it, but I also have to say that I already learned a lot from you and got inspired by your approach to contributing here. Let's be honest. If we had a Platinum badge here, it will be called The Charlie (awarded once, on community's discretion, to express gratitude for a legendary career of exemplary contributions).

To the community: Thank you so much. I could be tempted to address users by name but, with so many remarkable people, you always risk missing somebody, and making the post way too long.

Thank you all, because the second best part of moderating this community was that there was little to do as a moderator. Most users here are model citizens. That speaks highly of the kindness of your hearts.

Thank you, because the best part of the job was to be constantly motivated to find something to contribute, and make it great. I got inspired by you guys. Each one of you gave the best of themselves on each contribution. I know you did. I can tell.

And without further ado, let's say "hasta la vista" to those moderator privileges with the words of a man I admire deeply. A man that got into a lot of trouble for making a stand against compelled speech.

"Life is suffering.

Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated.

Truth is the handmaiden of love.

Dialogue is the pathway to truth.

Humility is recognition of personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn.

To learn is to die voluntarily and be born again, in great ways and small.

So speech must be untrammeled, so that dialogue can take place,

so that we can all humbly learn,

so that truth can serve love,

so that suffering can be ameliorated,

so that we can all stumble forward to the Kingdom of God."

Jordan Peterson, Banned lecture at Linfield College: Ethics and Free Speech

  • I'm sorry to see you stepping down. You've been a real asset to the site as a moderator and I hope you will be able to participate as an ordinary user. – Jon Ericson Oct 14 at 17:52
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    Que conste que mi post comenzaba con un "Dear community," pero el sistema de stack overflow tuvo a bien eliminar como siempre saludos, despedidas y "thankius". – Diego Oct 18 at 14:11
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:(

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    Creo que jamás en la historia del sitio una respuesta había dicho tanto con tan poco... y mira que hemos tenido ediciones del translation-golf... – Charlie Oct 14 at 20:34
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Allow me to answer in Spanish, for I am too much affected to think in English.

Lamento que al final todo haya desembocado en esto. Hemos estado hablando en el chat de moderadores y no puedo decir que me sorprenda tu decisión, pero tampoco puedo decir que me sienta impasible ante ella. Espero sinceramente que tu renuncia como moderador no implique abandonar completamente el sitio, y que nos sigas deleitando (aunque sea solo de vez en cuando) con tus preguntas de traducciones de expresiones inglesas que me alegraban las mañanas cuando las veía. Sí, dejadme soñar, leñe...

Fedorqui y yo intentaremos que tu marcha pase desapercibida, sobre todo porque, como dices, esta comunidad es ejemplar y apenas da trabajo, así que ve tranquilo. No sé si eso ha sonado muy bien, me refería a tu marcha del chat de mods... bueno, tú me entiendes...

Y por mi parte, hemos pasado juntos como moderadores un breve espacio de tiempo pero muy intenso dadas las circunstancias. Te llevas contigo muchas cosas que quería haber aprendido. Sé que fedorqui va a ser un buen mentor (y de hecho lo está siendo), pero se agradecía contar con una tercera voz (lo desempates van a ser ahora más tediosos cuando no estemos de acuerdo).

Gracias por estos años de moderación que le has dedicado a la comunidad. Lleva contigo mi reconocimiento por ello, y proclama orgulloso que has sido moderador de Spanish Language. Vaya una de esas medallas de platino para ti de mi parte.

P.D.: Qué difícil se hace empezar así los lunes...

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Ahora hace tres años y pico empezamos a moderar juntos, Diego. Te conocía del sitio, de haberte visto como se suele decir: te leía formulando preguntas curiosas, te veía responder de forma muy documentada y lógica, te observaba comentar aquí y allá con mano izquierda y buena voluntad. Cuanto te propusieron como moderador y aceptaste me dije "¡Qué suerte!". Qué suerte para el sitio, vamos a tener a Diego colaborando de una forma aún más responsable.

Al poco me di cuenta de que la suerte también era mía: qué suerte poder compartir debates, análisis, coñas, mosqueos... en fin, ratos de moderación. Al conocerte con más profundidad, sentí un gran aliento de humanidad, de hacer las cosas bien, de querer el bien. Pertenecemos ambos a un país en el que dicen que hay dos partes y siempre una ha de helarte el corazón. Pues bien, con gente como tú me reafirmo en que hay una tercera parte, la de los que tienen la rectitud y el respeto por delante.

Y ahora ha venido un alarido de malas acciones por parte de la dirección de Stack Overflow. Un sinsentido que se empozoña cuanto más se intentan explicar, una gestión pésima que entiendo que haya sobrepasado los límites de lo que te ves dispuesto a tolerar. Me apena sobremanera que haya pasado tanto en tan poco tiempo, pero deseo que de aquí unas semanas o meses las cosas vuelvan a su cauce, pues esta red no se puede permitir que se vayan personas como tú.

¡Te estaré esperando! Un abrazo gigantesco y hasta pronto.

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Con todo lo que ha pasado en estas semanas, esta es la primera vez que llegué a llorar.

Por favor, deja pasar un poco de tiempo, y date la oportunidad de reconsiderar. Aún no he perdido la esperanza que la situación mejore....

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The outcome of Diego's difficult decision was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

Please see my post at SE.Meta, which I will reproduce here:

We can mobilize and step up the pressure, one week at a time.

In the U.S. in the early 70's, the anti-war movement stepped up the pressure to end the war in Vietnam by holding monthly mass mobilizations. The demonstrations took place once a month. It was a way of saying, "We want the killing, mutilation and destruction to stop, and we're going to keep telling you this. We're not going away."

Inspired by this memory, I'd like to propose a once-a-week moratorium on any activity on the StackExchange network for 24 hours.

For that specific period of time:

Let the network go completely silent for 24 hours.

No proposals, no questions, no answers, no discussion. Let everyone who wants to pressure the company to do the right thing take a 24-hour, coordinated break from any activity on all SE sites. If there's any urgent post or comment that must be published during the Day of Silence, it would be helpful to keep it extremely brief, and end the comment or post with a brief reminder of the community's request for transparency and dialogue with Monica.

I will explain. There are areas where the community hasn't reached consensus yet. But we do seem to have a broad consensus that

  • We want to understand what happened, surrounding the decision to suddenly terminate Monica Cellio's moderator status. Who did what, why, when. We don't want to know this in order to rub anyone's nose in anything that could have been handled better. It's just that there seems to have been a hit job. Many people feel distrustful of the company, Stack Overflow, now. To rebuild trust, we need some truth so that we may reach some reconciliation.

  • No moderator who has put in large numbers of hours of volunteer time here deserves to be ghosted. If Stack Overflow wants to suddenly terminate Monica's moderator status, there should be a conversation with her. It is not reasonable to set a precondition before a conversation can begin (Oh, we do want to talk with her, yes yes, but first, she must apply for reinstatement; and before she can do that, we have to come up with brand new policies and procedures around reinstatement applications). It is not reasonable to build in a delay of several weeks before a conversation can begin.

Please use the comment area at the top to propose what you think would be the best day for the first Day of Silence to occur. People can show support for their preferred day by upvoting the comment.

I suggest that the silence begin at 12:01 am and end at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard time. That is, from 4:01 am to 3:59 am UTC.


Update: The informal poll to choose the day of the week showed a clear preference for Fridays, beginning tomorrow. Details available here.

-- Transparency and dialogue now! --

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