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gung - Reinstate Monica

Stack Exchange's actions have been reprehensible. Monica Cellio, a popular and well-respected volunteer network moderator, was terminated without warning and portrayed to the press as misgendering trans people by Stack Overflow, Inc. All signs suggest this was an erroneous, if not malicious, decision not founded on fact, for which the company is completely failing to take any responsibility. This has caused an enormous and ongoing uproar in the community.

Monica and the community quite literally begged for some kind of response from the company either opening up a path to reinstatement, or justifying their decision to terminate her, for more than a month now. She made many good-faith offers to talk, and others offered to mediate (and made dozens of constructive suggestions on how to resolve the situation). Members of the Lavender community have spoken up on her behalf (1, 2).

Stack Overflow, Inc. met all of this with thunderous silence. As a long-time contributor and someone always willing to see the good in the company's and its employees' actions and assume good faith, I'm still struggling to come to terms with the corporate callousness of this behavior which we have to assume now is the new normal.

Having exhausted all other means of communication, Monica began raising funds for potential legal action to clear her name. This process ended with some form of legal agreement that entailed a non-disclosure agreement. The NDA means that nothing else about the agreement is known. What can be seen from the outside is that SE offered another lawyer-written non-apology, and issued a statement out of both sides of its mouth to The Register reiterating, falsely, that she did something wrong, but that she isn't really a bad person. We can also see that she was not reinstated. This episode in the drama is over. I trust the funds left over will go donated to The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis-intervention services to LGBTQ+ youth.

Monica is an exemplar of the community, it's incredible how she's managed to keep a level head during this time when emotions have been very high. She should be reinstated now.


In the golden age of ancient Chinese philosophy, Gung-sun Lung Tsu was the one of the only thinkers, and certainly the most important, to discuss topics pertaining to logic and epistemology.

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