I’ve been honored to serve as a moderator here on Ask Ubuntu for almost six years now, but I’m sorry to announce that I will be resigning that position effective immediately. I’ve lost trust with Stack Exchange Inc. to the point that I feel I can no longer associate myself with the company.
Really this has been a long time coming. The actions that SE Inc. has taken over the last year show that their only concern is money and profit. For this I did not fault them, the money to run the sites and pay the employees must come from somewhere. And yet I watched as each change the company made drove a wedge between themselves and their community. Even, at times, distancing themselves from their own stated philosophy and purpose. But it never touched my site. It was easy to bunker down here and leave SE Inc. to themselves.
The turning point came at the end of September when SE Inc. fired a moderator without due process, under (apparent) false pretenses, slandered them to the press (!!), and then doubled down on that decision. This shattered any faith I had in the company's promises to reconnect with the community and stop driving these wedges between us. While the company’s latest response is a definite step in the right direction, it is unaccompanied by any actions to correct the egregious harm committed against one of their well respected moderators.
Putting aside the obvious harm that smearing someone’s real name to the press carries, Stack Exchange did not follow their own due process, laid out in their Code of Conduct, for enforcement. Indeed, the moderator in question has stated that she was blindsided by the firing and still have not been informed of the rules she was accused of breaking. This is all in stark contrast to how moderators themselves are required to uphold rules. Although you may never see this from this outside, we are required to warn and contact users multiple times before even thinking of expulsion (with obvious exceptions of cases like spam). There is always a formal warning before account suspension happens, and it usually takes two suspensions before a yearlong suspension (the highest moderators can issue) gets handed out. SE Inc. continually writes about being kind, welcoming, and respectful when interacting with your fellow users, but they don’t seem to apply those ideals to their own communities. In the end this was a very hard decision for me to make, but I do not feel that I can uphold values and beliefs, ones that I try to live by, for a company that gives them lip service only.
That aside, I will be leaving you in capable hands. Indeed, I honestly haven’t been very active over the last ~2 years due to ongoing struggles with my physical and mental health. Unfortunately, I had just gotten to a place in life where I felt like I could begin committing more time to this community again when these issues started. But the remaining moderator team is full of great people and I have no worries about the future of the site on that front. And I won’t be entirely disappearing. I’ve been a member here for almost eight years now and I still love the site and what we are accomplishing here. I’ll be in chat and around and about the main site as I am able.
Despite ongoing problems on the larger network, Ask Ubuntu is still one of my favorite communities on the internet. Thank you all for helping make it that :)