34 votes

Stack Exchange, the parent company of Stack Overflow, has been taking aggressive stances against the Stack Exchange community

43 comments

  1. [14]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    This is really sad to see. Both Shog9 and Robert were people that clearly cared a lot about the community, and I've always had a great impression of both of them. It's probably not coincidental...

    This is really sad to see. Both Shog9 and Robert were people that clearly cared a lot about the community, and I've always had a great impression of both of them.

    It's probably not coincidental that SO also put out a press release today that they have a new Chief Product Officer, who is from McKinsey: Stack Overflow bolsters leadership team with new Chief Product Officer, Teresa Dietrich

    My general impression from the drama there over the last few months is that the company's leadership has decided that the "highly involved" users (especially moderators) are more trouble than they're worth to keep informed, respond to feedback from, etc. They don't discuss changes with them in advance any more, give only minimal/PR-style responses to concerns, and seem to ignore most feedback except actual bug reports. They seem to have a direction already decided for the network, and just want the community to come along for the ride without constantly questioning whether it's going to the right destination.

    You can draw a lot of parallels with Reddit over the last few years. That's a big part of why I've been so interested in following this situation even though I haven't actively used Stack Overflow/Exchange for almost 10 years now—the whole thing feels so familiar, even though I know so little detail about the people and sites involved.

    27 votes
    1. [12]
      whbboyd
      Link Parent
      Community members love to say "the community is actually all the value", but are there any good examples of large social networking companies actually folding (or shrinking drastically) when their...

      Community members love to say "the community is actually all the value", but are there any good examples of large social networking companies actually folding (or shrinking drastically) when their community revolts? For all that it's a dumpster file at every level, Reddit is not short on either UVs or activity. Tumblr was definitely hurt by the pornpocalypse, but they're still chugging along.

      Digg, I guess? (That's reaching back…) Myspace? Why did those die so completely when other sites have not? Was it just the availability of an adequately-popular, adequately-similar alternative (Reddit and Facebook, respectively)? Something different about the Internet back in the heady days of the '00s?

      8 votes
      1. [6]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It really comes down to how you define "success". And that's the core of a lot of these issues: there's often a fundamental conflict between what the company running the site wants to prioritize...

        It really comes down to how you define "success". And that's the core of a lot of these issues: there's often a fundamental conflict between what the company running the site wants to prioritize and what the community thinks is important.

        For example, if you ask moderators on SE or Reddit what they'd like to see out of their communities, they'll usually talk in terms based around quality. They want high-quality, interesting posts. They'd like questions to be answered by informed users. They want to feel like one of the best destinations for information about their subject. And so on.

        But if you look at what the company running the site wants, it's almost exclusively based on quantity instead. They want high traffic (to increase advertising revenue), and constant growth. As long as the site's continuing to grow, they don't really care about the quality level. If a user that cared about quality stops using the site but they're replaced with 5 new users that love memes and gifs, that's seen as a good thing through the lens of those metrics.

        However, the problem is that the quality-focused users and moderators tend to be the people that put in massive amounts of time and effort building up the community in the first place, and if you drive enough of them away, the site can collapse under its own weight. It can take a long time for the collapse to happen, but it's been almost inevitable for every community site with a business model based on venture capital and advertising.

        (And if you haven't already read it, these conflicts and their consequences are a lot of the reason I started Tildes, as explained in the announcement post).

        23 votes
        1. whbboyd
          Link Parent
          I'd love examples! I seriously can't think of many off the top of my head, but I'll be the first to admit I actively cultivate a massively atypical personal web experience. Wikipedia has this list...

          It can take a long time for the collapse to happen, but it's been almost inevitable for every community site with a business model based on venture capital and advertising

          I'd love examples! I seriously can't think of many off the top of my head, but I'll be the first to admit I actively cultivate a massively atypical personal web experience. Wikipedia has this list of defunct social networking sites, but it's both very incomplete and probably taking an excessively strict definition of "defunct".

          2 votes
        2. [4]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          I assume you mean memes and gifs on Reddit? I'm not sure where things stand on quality for Stack Overflow.

          I assume you mean memes and gifs on Reddit? I'm not sure where things stand on quality for Stack Overflow.

          1. [3]
            Deimos
            Link Parent
            Yeah, that's how the quality decline tends to happen on sites like Reddit—a shift towards lowest-common-denominator, "quick entertainment" content. On Stack Overflow, it's more of a shift towards...

            Yeah, that's how the quality decline tends to happen on sites like Reddit—a shift towards lowest-common-denominator, "quick entertainment" content.

            On Stack Overflow, it's more of a shift towards accepting and even encouraging low-effort questions that have been answered repeatedly before and could have been searched for easily, and homework-ish "solve this problem for me" ones.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              Is it just about a decline in quality though? I have a tendency to not ask easy questions and only ask hard ones after exhausting what I can find via searching. These are questions that few people...

              Is it just about a decline in quality though?

              I have a tendency to not ask easy questions and only ask hard ones after exhausting what I can find via searching. These are questions that few people can answer, maybe nobody who is reading them, and I'm not sure that's a good thing from a community perspective? A question without an answer, or with a shallow answer, is a failure, and too many failures gets frustrating. There is a risk that if people only ask tough questions then discussion dies.

              By contrast, easy questions that can be answered quickly and off the top of your head could serve as a social glue, making the community a more welcoming place. So long as they don't clutter up search results too much, it doesn't seem like a bad thing?

              It seems like this is about balance? As the folks at Stack Exchange have emphasized before, there needs to be enough depth to interest the experts. But be too stringent and discussion dries up.

              6 votes
              1. Deimos
                Link Parent
                Yeah, there's certainly a balance to it that's not easy to find. One of the main problems is that the people asking those low-effort questions are generally not the type of users that will also...

                Yeah, there's certainly a balance to it that's not easy to find. One of the main problems is that the people asking those low-effort questions are generally not the type of users that will also stick around and answer other questions. They're not trying to become a part of the community, just take advantage of the community for their own benefit. An old article from 2006 that discusses this sort of issue in communities: Help Vampires: A Spotter’s Guide

                4 votes
      2. [4]
        arp242
        Link Parent
        One difference is that essentially everyone can participate on Reddit, whereas Stack Exchange very much runs on the knowledge of a relatively small number of experts. For example on Stack Overflow...

        One difference is that essentially everyone can participate on Reddit, whereas Stack Exchange very much runs on the knowledge of a relatively small number of experts.

        For example on Stack Overflow I ranked number #8356 overall with 20k reputation; aside from some short bouts of activity, I never put that much effort in to it. Stack Overflow really runs on the sustained contributions of only several thousand of people which, considering the scope and usefulness of the site – isn't whole lot.

        A better analogy would be something like Wikipedia, or open-source projects like MySQL, OpenOffice.org, XFree86, etc. and people running away to create successful alternatives is very much a thing in those scenarios (although, of course, not every fork is equally successful; remember Citizendium?)

        If Stack Exchange the company keeps up its current behaviour I very much suspect that a fork might take over if they do it right (projects are already underway; and whether or not they "get it right" is probably the most important factor in their success).

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          joplin
          Link Parent
          Can you link to any of the forks that are underway? I haven't heard of this and am highly interested!

          Can you link to any of the forks that are underway? I haven't heard of this and am highly interested!

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            arp242
            Link Parent
            There's https://forum.codidact.org Some great people involved, but I was also rather turned off by some other more toxic people being involved (...that's a whole 'nother discussion about SE; see...

            There's https://forum.codidact.org

            Some great people involved, but I was also rather turned off by some other more toxic people being involved (...that's a whole 'nother discussion about SE; see my answer here for some more on that). I don't really have the time to contribute myself at the moment.

            The codereview.SE site is also working on something (or so I've been told), but don't know any details about that.

            2 votes
            1. joplin
              Link Parent
              Thank you! I'm actually a fairly high rep user on CodeReview. I should go check out what they're up to.

              Thank you! I'm actually a fairly high rep user on CodeReview. I should go check out what they're up to.

      3. gpl
        Link Parent
        Another thing to consider is whether Reddit, Tumblr, etc, would have done better by treating their communities well and recognizing the value in promoting good community values in addition to...

        Another thing to consider is whether Reddit, Tumblr, etc, would have done better by treating their communities well and recognizing the value in promoting good community values in addition to growth. Sure, they haven't collapsed by not doing so, but where would they be if they had?

        3 votes
    2. balooga
      Link Parent
      Agreed on the Reddit familiarity. This reminds me of what happened to Victoria. I didn't even spend much time looking at AMAs but their treatment of her and handling of the ensuing fallout was...

      Agreed on the Reddit familiarity. This reminds me of what happened to Victoria. I didn't even spend much time looking at AMAs but their treatment of her and handling of the ensuing fallout was horrible.

      7 votes
  2. [14]
    gpl
    Link
    I don't really have a ton of insight to share here, but I found the linked post pretty surprising/eye-opening. This post provides more details on some of the actions taken by the parent company in...

    I don't really have a ton of insight to share here, but I found the linked post pretty surprising/eye-opening. This post provides more details on some of the actions taken by the parent company in the past few months. As a casual user of the SE network, I was pretty surprised to read these things as the general unrest is certainly not apparent to the occasional visitor - the sheer number of active mods that have been let go across all sites is staggerirng. Still, I am sure it will affect the quality of content in coming months.

    Users on Reddit have drawn parallels to actions taken by Reddit Inc. in past years, such as the firing of a popular IAmA organizer and other "pro-profit" actions. I think the Stack Exchange post sums up my current thoughts pretty well:

    While the company provides the platform, the community provides the content that makes the platform valuable.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      determinism
      Link Parent
      I'm trying to think of a term that describes this sort of business model of building (and owning) an open space for development of a commons and then devouring the result. I propose "yogurt...

      I'm trying to think of a term that describes this sort of business model of building (and owning) an open space for development of a commons and then devouring the result. I propose "yogurt culture" exploitation.

      4 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent

        Sea squirts are unusual creatures. In their larval phase they swim about vigorously and intelligently searching for the perfect rock to make their permanent home. Once established in its new home, the sea squirt proceeds to eat its own tail, absorb its own eyes and then swallow its brain.

        10 votes
    2. [11]
      Bullmaestro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Reddit's 2015 drama is an enigma to me. The community wilfully rallied itself and threw Ellen Pao under the bus. They blamed her for the shutdown of several subreddits including FatPeopleHate and...

      Reddit's 2015 drama is an enigma to me.

      The community wilfully rallied itself and threw Ellen Pao under the bus. They blamed her for the shutdown of several subreddits including FatPeopleHate and also for Victoria Taylor's dismissal (Alexis Ohanian is actually responsible, as the former CEO Yishan Wong later revealed.)

      I was at one point skeptical but looking back, I genuinely think Pao was targeted because she was a woman. The community actually used the gender discrimination lawsuit with her previous employer (which she lost) as ammunition against her, and the scary thing is that she was so disliked that had she not resigned, Reddit could have gone the way of Digg 4.0 and Voat could have ended up as the king of social news aggregation.

      The funny thing is that Steve Huffman went on a censorship spree ever since taking the reins, by actively shutting down and quarantining controversial subreddits, giving mods the ability to mute indiscriminately, making ban evasion a site-wide offence and still doing nothing to regulate power mod behaviour. Yet nobody on the site cares. The guy is basically everything that people hated on Pao for, but worse.

      Some of the bans were handled very poorly under him. A textbook example of this is the shutdown of WatchPeopleDie over footage of the Christchurch shooting being shared. The way Reddit Inc handled it was bad, mainly for how poorly the ban and content policy changes were communicated to the moderators and wider Reddit community.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        gpl
        Link Parent
        This is almost certainly the case. Pao was berated in both racist and sexist terms by the community over a decision that was not hers, and ultimately had to step down. Huffman is worse in almost...

        I was at one point skeptical but looking back, I genuinely think Pao was targeted because she was a woman.

        This is almost certainly the case. Pao was berated in both racist and sexist terms by the community over a decision that was not hers, and ultimately had to step down. Huffman is worse in almost every respect that "reddit", to the extent that the collective is a useful notion, hates - privacy, community engagement, etc.

        Looking back, it feels like that drama was the last throes of "old Reddit" before being replaced with the depersonalized and shitty site that Reddit is today. It certainly feels like most moments people point to as iconic posts, when Reddit really felt like a cohesive community, were from before then. Maybe I'm looking at things through rose glass though.

        14 votes
        1. Bullmaestro
          Link Parent
          Meh, "Old Reddit" is dead and none of the Reddit alternatives really captured the golden years of the site's community, which I'd argue are 2010 - 2013. Voat came close in the height of the Ellen...

          Meh, "Old Reddit" is dead and none of the Reddit alternatives really captured the golden years of the site's community, which I'd argue are 2010 - 2013.

          Voat came close in the height of the Ellen Pao drama, but the community quickly ditched it after she resigned. The only reason Voat is still relevant today is because racists chased away from Reddit commandeered the site and turned it into a white supremacist forum similar to Stormfront.

          SaidIt seems like another alt-right leaning site to me and feels like it's home to the refugees who don't want to associate themselves with the rampant open racial hatred of Voat.

          This place (Tildes) is more like Reddit back when it was still obscure and mostly a tech site.

          14 votes
      2. [2]
        anahata
        Link Parent
        I don't think this is accurate. Every post spez makes gets a lot of unanswered, yet legitimate, critical commentary, and the same holds for every other admin. People do care, but if they want to...

        Yet nobody on the site cares. The guy is basically everything that people hated on Pao for, but worse.

        I don't think this is accurate. Every post spez makes gets a lot of unanswered, yet legitimate, critical commentary, and the same holds for every other admin. People do care, but if they want to keep using reddit, they're powerless to actually do anything about it.

        7 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          The are a lot of different people who use Reddit for all sorts of reasons, so I'm not sure it makes sense to think about in binary terms of people caring versus not caring? There are certainly...

          The are a lot of different people who use Reddit for all sorts of reasons, so I'm not sure it makes sense to think about in binary terms of people caring versus not caring?

          There are certainly people who are not there for Internet drama, so they (we) will avoid any drama that doesn't affect the subreddits we visit. Others might be more directly affected, or just care more about Reddit's policies in general.

          Also, what makes the news so we even hear about it (if we're not directly involved) is somewhat random but tends to be based on novelty, and Internet community governance issues aren't so novel these days.

          2 votes
      3. [6]
        moonbathers
        Link Parent
        And on the other side of the "free speech" fanatics, a lot of people are mystified that T_D wasn't banned years ago and hate Huffman for that.

        And on the other side of the "free speech" fanatics, a lot of people are mystified that T_D wasn't banned years ago and hate Huffman for that.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          Bullmaestro
          Link Parent
          I think the only reason T_D hasn't been banned is because Spez knows that Reddit will implode the moment he purges it. I wouldn't be surprised if he's waiting until Trump either loses the 2020...

          I think the only reason T_D hasn't been banned is because Spez knows that Reddit will implode the moment he purges it. I wouldn't be surprised if he's waiting until Trump either loses the 2020 election or completes his two terms to ban it.

          It's one thing banning a right wing subreddit because of almost blatant left wing biases, but banning a subreddit dedicated not only to a major presidential candidate but the current incumbent POTUS would not sit well with the Reddit community or the media as a whole.

          And before you tell me Reddit are impartial, please can you tell me why they allowed leftist subs to get away with far more doxxing and harassment than the subreddits these communities opposed?

          1. [4]
            moonbathers
            Link Parent
            Which leftist subs are you referring to? I was going to say the opposite, that spez is sympathetic to right-wing viewpoints. T_D has literally thousands of examples of calls for violence being...

            Which leftist subs are you referring to? I was going to say the opposite, that spez is sympathetic to right-wing viewpoints. T_D has literally thousands of examples of calls for violence being upvoted and only got quarantined when they said any cops who came to force Oregon Republican lawmakers to do their jobs should be shot. Meanwhile r/chapotraphouse, which is anti-capitalist but not representative of really any outside group (not even the podcast it's named after) was quarantined for saying antebellum slave owners deserved any violence that came their way. r/FULLCOMMUNISM 's quarantine message included links to "learn about the horrors of communism" while to my knowledge no other sub, right or left wing, has anything other than the standard "this subreddit has shocking/offensive content" warning.

            I don't know how you can say any left-leaning subs are given a longer leash than right-leaning subs when T_D wasn't quarantined for the first 3-4 years of its existence until they called for violence against cops, when r/conservative still isn't quarantined after 3+ years of being basically the same as T_D. They might leave those alone under the guise of political neutrality, but those and many other right-wing places on reddit are left alone even though they call for violence against any sort of minority (myself included) or people who opposite them.

            Edit: apparently r/FULLCOMMUNISM has the standard quarantine message now, but you can see posts from when it was initially quarantined that it had a different message than quarantined subs usually get.

            6 votes
            1. [3]
              Bullmaestro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              /r/ShitRedditSays is a rather old example. Aside from waging mailbombing campaigns, openly brigading threads, openly slandering and harassing other users, doxxing Reddit staff, harassing a...

              /r/ShitRedditSays is a rather old example. Aside from waging mailbombing campaigns, openly brigading threads, openly slandering and harassing other users, doxxing Reddit staff, harassing a Starcraft 2 pro over comments he typed on his live stream, and overall being assholes - they haven't faced any punishment from Reddit staff.

              SRS weren't even being subtle about it. They had no rules against directly linking to threads and didn't require their users to use "no participation" links.

              Then there's the whole Violentacrez debacle. For how creepy that guy was, he was the caretaker power mod of a lot of major controversial NSFW subreddits and kept them in check. And SRS's actions led to him being doxxed by a Gawker journalist and having his livelihood destroyed.

              More recent examples include AgainstHateSubreddits, EnoughTrumpSpam and IncelTears, which seem to be similarly as problematic as the communities they oppose. If anything, the quarantining of CTH and FullCommunism are the exceptions that prove the rule, considering how many conservative and right-leaning subs have been quarantined or outright banned by comparison.

              1 vote
              1. moonbathers
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                No comment on SRS besides it hasn't been relevant since 2013. I know some of the admins were affiliated with that and they shouldn't have been. That doesn't mean anything that they ever did is...

                No comment on SRS besides it hasn't been relevant since 2013. I know some of the admins were affiliated with that and they shouldn't have been. That doesn't mean anything that they ever did is comparable to what T_D has done and is doing.

                ViolentAcrez wasn't just running NSFW subs, he was running r/jailbait. No, maybe he shouldn't have been doxed. You can't seriously tell me anything SRS has done compares to running a subreddit for underage girls though.

                How are AHS, ETS, IncelTears as bad as any of the subreddits they document? T_D and its ilk have blood on their hands, between Unite the Right, the El Paso shooter, the Christchurch shooter, and the Magabomber among others. Almost all politically-motivated violence in the United States comes from the right wing. No one from AHS, CTH, r/FULLCOMMUNISM, r/socialism, has killed anyone for their politics.

                Also, I found this on T_D today in ten minutes of searching. That's a Heil Hitler dog whistle with 5,000 upvotes and 200 comments.

                Edit: Conservative subs are quarantined or banned more often because they call for violence against everyone who isn't them on a regular basis.

                7 votes
              2. mftrhu
                Link Parent
                In what universe, out of all the possible ones, are those subreddits even comparable with those they oppose? Especially AgainstHateSubreddits, which routinely features subs full of actual...

                More recent examples include AgainstHateSubreddits, EnoughTrumpSpam and IncelTears, which seem to be similarly as problematic as the communities they oppose.

                In what universe, out of all the possible ones, are those subreddits even comparable with those they oppose? Especially AgainstHateSubreddits, which routinely features subs full of actual fascists? It couldn't be "similarly as problematic" even if it went full-on "guillotines for the reactionaries".

                6 votes
  3. [8]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    This is really sad and disappointing. I'm definitely not an active member of the SE community, but I do use them to solve problems I have. Huge S/O to @gpl for adding more references in the...

    This is really sad and disappointing. I'm definitely not an active member of the SE community, but I do use them to solve problems I have. Huge S/O to @gpl for adding more references in the comments to give me a more full picture of the situation.

    As a general question: are there any alternatives to SE that are better? Not necessarily in terms of quality of answers, but quality of treatment of the community? Is there a place (or common places) that the ranking members of the SE community are flocking to as they leave SE? I'd love to support that rather than what it seems SE has become.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      HoolaBoola
      Link Parent
      I don't know about SE community, but I found a similar platform called https://dev.to a couple months ago. I haven't been there much, though, so I don't know whether it's any good. Ping...

      I don't know about SE community, but I found a similar platform called https://dev.to a couple months ago. I haven't been there much, though, so I don't know whether it's any good. Ping /u/ThatFanficGuy

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Thank you for the ping. It appears that dev.to is more akin to a webdev-focused blogging platform, something like Medium. Is there a Stack Overflow-like Q&A section?

        Thank you for the ping.

        It appears that dev.to is more akin to a webdev-focused blogging platform, something like Medium. Is there a Stack Overflow-like Q&A section?

        1 vote
        1. reese
          Link Parent
          Yeah, dev.to is a meme-laden carnival of meh- to high-quality tutorials. The best ones are written by developer advocates who are paid to evangelize idiomatic usage of their companies' technology....

          Yeah, dev.to is a meme-laden carnival of meh- to high-quality tutorials. The best ones are written by developer advocates who are paid to evangelize idiomatic usage of their companies' technology. And also the JavaScript guides are at least fresh. Other than that, I don't find a whole lot there worth reading. It's basically the developer-specific replacement for Medium.

          I don't believe there's a Q&A deal, which is what makes (err, made) Stack Overflow effective.

          I started programming professionally not too long after Stack Overflow started. I would not characterize myself as an active contributor of its community, or what remains of it. All I did was lurk. Never made an account because I'm an apathetic heathen. I remember finding great answers to questions up until a few years ago. It seems like everything has soured or turned stale. Like, seriously, most of the answers are severely dated, although some individuals have gone back and layered their answers with edits over time to demonstrate current best practices.

          One thing I've considered lately is maybe the platform is crumbling because people like me never contributed. A small minority contributed fantastic answers for a while, and many probably got burned out on it. With that in mind, the link in this topic suggests that there's some serious mismanagement going on too.

          tl;dr If there's no one-to-one alternative for Stack Overflow, then that sounds like an opportunity if I've ever heard one...

          9 votes
    2. [3]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Please tag me if anyone has an answer. I'd rather support a better community.

      Please tag me if anyone has an answer. I'd rather support a better community.

      4 votes
      1. cwagner
        Link Parent
        See this comment. TL;DR: No, it’s another medium.com with the expected quality.

        See this comment. TL;DR: No, it’s another medium.com with the expected quality.

        1 vote
      2. ainar-g
        Link Parent
        Support your local community :-D (This is mostly intended as a joke. I don't think Toster/Habr Q&A is any better. Also, I hope the Russian StackOverflow doesn't get hurt. I like that place.)

        Support your local community :-D

        (This is mostly intended as a joke. I don't think Toster/Habr Q&A is any better. Also, I hope the Russian StackOverflow doesn't get hurt. I like that place.)

        1 vote
    3. PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      I think this would be a great opportunity for someone in the Fediverse to try and build an open source and decentralized replacement for Stack Exchange.

      I think this would be a great opportunity for someone in the Fediverse to try and build an open source and decentralized replacement for Stack Exchange.

      3 votes
  4. annadane
    Link
    What frustrates me whenever a company goes against the wishes of the community (and I get it, the customer isn't always right, but that doesn't mean we can throw out the baby with the bathwater)...

    What frustrates me whenever a company goes against the wishes of the community (and I get it, the customer isn't always right, but that doesn't mean we can throw out the baby with the bathwater) is there's no way for the community to meaningfully respond except to just not use the service (and good luck doing that if you're forced to use that service due to monopolies and lockin effects). You would think that if a lot of people are upset with how something is run, they give feedback, the company listens, the changes are rolled back. But what happens in practice is, the company ignores the feedback and does whatever it wants to anyway. When pressed, it will say "of course we care/listen to feedback", even if they do not. And they're allowed to do this because they have power. It's a shame there isn't real punishment for corporations who disregard their customers/community like this. It's essentially lying with a smile. It's just allowed to continue.

    4 votes
  5. joplin
    Link
    I hate this so much. I'm a high-rep user on several of the sites and this whole thing has been a shitshow. I've stopped going regularly since the firing of Monica. I used to be on every night...

    I hate this so much. I'm a high-rep user on several of the sites and this whole thing has been a shitshow. I've stopped going regularly since the firing of Monica. I used to be on every night answering questions, but now I only go when something I search for points there, and I don't even log in anymore. This is their Expert's Exchange/Quora moment, unfortunately.

    It's sad because they seemed to be trying to make the site appealing to a more diverse audience, and it sorely needed it. But this wasn't the way to do it. They've handled it so poorly.

    3 votes
  6. [2]
    Macil
    Link
    I've found it hard to care about the drama around the Monica firing since it had to do with her trying to play word games to avoid following the spirit of a rule about respecting trans people's...

    I've found it hard to care about the drama around the Monica firing since it had to do with her trying to play word games to avoid following the spirit of a rule about respecting trans people's pronouns. I don't think it's too much for a site to select for moderators that will enthusiastically enforce and support their rules. A moderator position is not owed to anyone.

    2 votes
    1. unknown user
      Link Parent
      Be that as it may, Stack Exchange's handling of the situation was atrocious; "the Monica firing" is hardly the only issue people are angry about, too.

      Be that as it may, Stack Exchange's handling of the situation was atrocious; "the Monica firing" is hardly the only issue people are angry about, too.

      2 votes
  7. [2]
    Jimmy
    Link
    Has anyone built a tool for scraping Stack Exchange? If this is the beginning of the end for them, I'd like to archive all the site's contents before they're gone forever.

    Has anyone built a tool for scraping Stack Exchange? If this is the beginning of the end for them, I'd like to archive all the site's contents before they're gone forever.

    1 vote
  8. Deimos
    Link
    Jon Ericson, another community manager, left last week too and made a blog post about why: https://jlericson.com/2020/01/17/leaving_stack.html The key quote is probably:

    Jon Ericson, another community manager, left last week too and made a blog post about why: https://jlericson.com/2020/01/17/leaving_stack.html

    The key quote is probably:

    In September and October, a series of events demonstrated that leadership within the company neither understood community management nor was willing to learn. In retrospect, that’s likely been the case for years, but the community team has traditionally been given discretion when it comes to community relations. The double-edged sword of attention meant more resources have been going to community-related projects, but also leadership has asserted more control. Unfortunately, their decisions repeatedly violated my standards for healthy community management. By November I was actively looking for a new job.