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I am stepping down as a moderator, and you deserve to know why. I cannot condone actions that the company has recently taken (behind close doors, although I expect more will become public soon).

Social life means being confronted to different points of view. This is especially true on in an international setting such as Stack Exchange where you get to encounter people from different cultures. When interacting with others, you need to draw lines — for example, racism is not acceptable, full stop — and within those bounds, you need to open up to diversity. Sometimes that means listening to multiple points of view, and sometimes agree to disagree, and sometimes compromise.

I have witnessed a disagreement between moderators where both sides made some good points. Both sides deserved and requested respect. One side was aware that their behavior could hurt even though no malice was intended and tried to go out of their way in order not to be hurtful. The other side demanded to have things their way, and did not care who they were hurting on the process. In this particular dispute, there was clearly a victim and aggressors. The victim has now written up her side of the story.

Stack Exchange intervened, did not try to calm spirits, came firmly on the uncompromising side, and fired the victim in a very hurtful manner. This is not an environment I feel safe in, and certainly not an environment I can or will help foster.

I have been a participant on Stack Exchange for 9 years and a volunteer moderator across different sites for more than 8. Stepping down is a big thing for me. I am very disappointed to go that way. But I simply cannot continue.

I still value building a shared library of knowledge. I see a question and answer site as a useful complement to an encyclopedia, whose role Wikipedia fulfills. However, the way it is run now makes me doubt that Stack Exchange is a good place to build this library, so I will be reevaluating my participation.

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    Thank you for writing this, and for standing up for your principles. – Monica Cellio Sep 29 at 3:00

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