I am taking my mod hat off for a moment and am asking this question as a regular user. This question does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the other moderators or other users of Academia.SE as I have not asked anyone their opinions.

As some of you are aware SE has caused quite a debacle over the past few months. This question turned into a focus on SE's removal of a moderator, but peripherally mentions the previous changes regarding the licensing of OUR content and the inclusion of ads on the sites. It has finally grown to the point where SE employees are removing community ads and non-offensive content from user profiles and blaming it on their lawyers.

I ran as a moderator saying that

My personal opinion is that the community opinion rules, so it will be difficult for me to be in disagreement with the community. I like to think that the SE policy is that the community opinion rules. If the community opinion is so against the SE opinion, the SE team has moderators who can handle it. If the SE team really pisses our community off, I would go to bat for our community in private (e.g., in the mod only teacher's lounge) and in our public chat and meta.

I believe that the most recent actions of deleting dissenting opinions has violated that trust I put into SE. The purpose of this question is to politely request that CMs and SE employees stay the hell out of our community. Please do not edit user profiles, remove community ads, delete content, or anything else. As a moderator, I am aware that sometimes your tools can be very valuable in helping us deal with issues. I am willing to give that all up if you will leave us alone. Your actions, inactions and general ineptitude have led to your contributions having a net negative effect and I do not consider you welcome in our community any longer.

[Reluctantly, puts my mod hat back on]

  • 21
    Personally, what I find more seriously worrying is the lack of accountability in all this process: if you, a moderator, had not told me, I would probably not have noticed that a lot of controversial content has been deleted. Moderator actions and deleted questions are essentially invisible to the community, and in my view that is wrong and very open to abuse. Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 22:35
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    @FedericoPoloni I agree. The lack of a big sign announcing the change from CC 3.x to CC 4.x and the lack of a sign about the changes to the CoC is pretty insulting.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 22:56
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    "removing community ads and non-offensive content from user profiles and blaming it on their lawyers." Surely the lawyers did tell them to do that. Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 1:59
  • 8
    law.stackexchange.com/questions/46492/… Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 11:45
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    @AnonymousPhysicist lawyers explain risks, they don't make you do things. My interpretation of the answer on the law question is that SE needs to do what is best for its shareholders. We did it to maximize profits doesn't sound as good as the lawyers made made us do it.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 18:29
  • "SE needs to do what is best for its shareholders" I am bewildered that you expect them to do anything but that. Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 1:57
  • 1
    @AnonymousPhysicist I don't expect them to do anything but that. I just wish they would have been honest and not say the lawyers made them do it.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 2:50
  • Do I understand this correctly: You want those people to not use their mod powers on this site and in exchange you give up your mod powers? Or what?
    – user115896
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 22:08
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    @Heutlhe no. We need diamond mods. What I am saying is I no longer think SE employees value the same things we do and the drawbacks of the policies they are putting forward and enforcing out weigh the good their enhanced powers provide.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 23:32
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    Do you actually expect a request to keep staff out of their own platform to work? Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 10:55
  • What makes you think your belief reflects the one of the majority of the community? Meta is only a small percentage of the community itself and tends to have the "hive mind" mentality.
    – IEatBagels
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 16:53
  • 3
    @IEatBagels I am definitely not sure I am in the majority and if I had to guess would say I am in the minority. As I stated at the beginning of this question, I am only speaking for myself. I am fully open to answers telling me why I am being silly and over reacting. I am also open to answers/discussion about why I am not going far enough.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 19:12
  • @StrongBad: ah, thanks for the clarification. I thought with "your tools" you meant "the tools you gave us".
    – user115896
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


I'm making a full answer out of a comment I made. I'd like to preface this by saying that Stack Exchange Inc. dropped all of the balls where firing Monica is concerned, and certain SE employees are due a less than stellar performance review. I intend to focus entirely on the request that the CM's refrain from removing certain community content.

That said, unless I'm further out of the loop than I thought, the censored content is not so much dissenting opinion as it is directly soliciting funds to sue Stack Exchange Inc. It's the job of the legal department to advise SE inc. to keep such content off the sites, and with a credible threat of a lawsuit on the table, it would be bloody stupid for the company to disregard their lawyers' advice. Too bad they couldn't start making reasonable decisions earlier in L'Affaire Cellio.

So, in this one case, this really is their house and if you don't like their rules it's you that needs to go away.

  • 1
    Could the downvoter please explain?
    – user115896
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 14:48

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