So, I was looking around on Meta lately, and I saw a bunch of people with "- Reinstate Monica" in their usernames. What does this mean?
Long story short: Monica was a moderator on many SE sites, including World Building. She is regarded by many as having contributed a lot to the network, both in content, moderation, and mentoring.
There was a discussion about gender issues in a chat-room exclusive for moderators (that chat room does not belong to World Building, but to another site in the network). She was accused of causing problems due to misgendering and transphobia and lost her moderator status. That was a unilateral decision from SE, which was done on a religious holiday when she would not be online in order to defend her case.
A few days later, SE released a new code of conduct which is very specific about how to deal with the gender issues which caused the whole situation.
Monica's supporters are mad at SE and wish to have her reinstated as a moderator. There are two main groups supporting her as of now:
- People who think that the way the situation was handled was wrong - Monica was accused without proof after all, and she could never defend herself against the accusations;
- People who would like the new code of conduct to be rolled back, because they feel uncomfortable being forced to use people's correct genders. Monica herself said in some comment that she does not support this mentality and called those people trolls with
an uglya disgusting agenda.
@Renan incorrect. I'm being targeted by extreme bigots who want me to join their cause to make the world safe for straight white American men or the like. (Those folks tend to hate Jews too, but I guess they overlooked that.) I moderate anonymous comments on my blog (didn't need to before!), so trust me when I say that you are not seeing what I'm seeing. There have also been comments on SE (now flagged and deleted).
That was in response to me misinterpreting the target on the comment about a disgusting agenda.
I personally think she is innocent, since there is no proof of what she did. SE however is a private company ran by people who are very disconnected from the community running the sites, so I don't expect any changes to Monica's situation.
To add my 2 cents worth to Renan's answer, right after Monica was summarily dismissed, I made a point of looking at the chat conversation that appeared to be the source of the allegations against Monica.
Without revealing exactly what was said - it was a mod-only board - I can say that all I saw was some people getting into a somewhat heated discussion about what personal pronouns are appropriate, though in my opinion as a moderator, I saw nothing that would be grounds for even a warning, let alone a summary dismissal, from any party.
From what I saw, Monica had objected to the grammatical incorrectness of using the pronoun "They" when referring to a single person, since "They" is plural. The discussion became heated, and Monica chose to withdraw rather than contribute to any acrimony.
At no point did I see Monica state that she would be disrespectful to any SE member... in fact I believe that she said exactly the opposite.
In my experience in SE, Monica has been nothing but friendly and respectful to me and everyone else. Accusing her of CoC violations seemed to me akin to accusing Santa Claus of being anti-Christmas.
I'd like to put my opinion based on the fact that I rarely checked the meta, presumably like you, until this thing with Monica.
I lack a very deep understanding of the meta, procedures, and stuff. However, in the ~30 posts that I checked which started with Monica and continued on the ethics of that, and subsequent, actions, I noticed that:
- Both sides, that is, the community and the SE staff, seem to use decent language. A neutral point in itself. But,
- The community poses questions and positions, things with essence. Whereas
- The SE staff posts are practically empty words, sometimes trying to trick the reader into thinking they apologised.
- The number of upvotes on critical community posts and the number of downvotes of hot air SE posts are overwhelming.
Having lesser knowledge, I dare to trust the large number of people who pose points, rather than a few who say nothing.
It is sad, because I enjoy the content of SE. But due to this situation, I am just waiting for someone/a group of people to create another similar site, and I will be off there. The abuse of people who care has not only been huge, but is proven decidedly incessant at all times.