back to article Flak overflow: Barrage of criticism prompts very public Stack Overflow apology

On Sunday, David Fullerton, CTO of Stack Overflow, issued an apology over how management had handled interaction with the Stack Exchange Q&A community during discussions about a code of conduct change and other grievances. "In the last few weeks, we made a series of mistakes, both in our actions and in the ways that we …

  1. jglathe
    Facepalm

    Well... Bollocks? They should better do something on the reputation front. It is practically impossible for a new user to gain any reputation. For years now. New user doesn't mean unexperienced.

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Unhappy

      Reputation

      "New user doesn't mean unexperienced."

      Unfortunately this seems to be a problem with most long-established forums.

      I use a forum in a different field which suffers from exactly this issue, with the additional problem that most of the long-standing members also act as moderators.

      There is one particular question on the site where the answer given has a potentially devastating race-condition. Unfortunately this answer is considered to be an elegant solution by the member who posted it a long, long time ago.

      Technology has since moved on and there are now far simpler (and safer) solutions, but any user who tries to point this out either gets their comments removed, or a very blunt reply pointing out who has been on the forum longer.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Reputation

        So, I guess a member with decades of experience int he field, but who is new to that forum is considered a complete id10t, and should be shunned and ignored forever?

        Nice place you got there....

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      As far as I can tell, as a new user, you can't ask, or answer any questions. Which makes the whole thing quite pointless.

      1. baud Bronze badge

        That's a load of bs. That's the first thing (and only thing) that's unlocked for a new user. There are things that aren't available at first, like comments everywhere, but it's unlocked after 5 upvotes on your posts.

    3. baud Bronze badge

      You can easily get some rep by editing questions, with each edit giving two points, not much but it can help reach the first thresholds, like comments everywhere and not just on your posts.

    4. adam 40 Bronze badge

      True - I've been coding C for 30 -odd years and started on UNIX System V, but my experience is not needed on Stack Exchange.

      I think the only way to gain enough reputation is to create extra users and then upvote yourself.

  2. sorry, what?
    Meh

    There's reputation then there's reputation...

    I regularly use certain Stack Exchange sites, but was entirely oblivious to these goings-on. The article was, therefore, eye opening and I welcome it.

    Personally, I see no need or place for pronouns, at least on the sites I use, and (given current ridiculous social norms) feel I should be offended on behalf of people who see pronouns as divisive. But honestly, meh.

    In terms of the Stack Overview/Stack Exchange reputation, it has taken a dent but for me it is almost all about user generated content anyway so really is more about the quality of posting than any mutterings from corporate.

    Regarding user reputation, as @jglathe said, it is really, really hard work to build reputation on the sites I use. You find old hands with 8+ years up in the 100000s of points and folk who joined more recently (1-3 years) but regularly post down in the really low 1000s even after what is clearly a really concerted attempt to flood the sites with nuggets of their learning and experience. This is, I suspect, simply down to the fact that the old hands were in on the ground floor, answering the "low hanging fruit" questions that naturally gain additional votes over time. In addition, as the sites have matured the questions generally have become more niche (since search engine(s) results cover those earlier questions well) and therefore attract less reputation, which is a shame.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: There's reputation then there's reputation...

      My biggest bugbear is when I find a question and start answering it and by the time I've written the answer but before I hit submit someone has come along and marked it duplicate and locked it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's reputation then there's reputation...

        Or you ask a question about some genuine problem with Windows and some fanboi comes along and downvotes it (thereby taking it out of current question feeds) before anyone even gets a chance to answer.

      2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: There's reputation then there's reputation...

        Well at least it's better than the MS forums used to be where, some MVP would come along, reply with something completely unrelated to what was asked in the first place, mark their own reply as the answer and then lock the question as "answered".

        That's one good reason why SO rose to prominence in the first place. Now the only question is whether it's just strapped its water skis on and is eyeing up that shark with a view to how high it can jump over it...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
      Headmaster

      A pedant writes

      "Personally, I see no need or place for pronouns, at least on the sites I use, and (given current ridiculous social norms) feel I should be offended on behalf of people who see pronouns as divisive."

      Cough. You used a pronoun three times in that sentence.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: A pedant writes

        Presumably fthgxoumeepooo should have used "mpfrgliiish" instead of "I"?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A pedant writes

          So, will they let a user pick "satan/god" as their pronouns? What about "arse/cunt"? Or are the people in charge there fucking hypocrites?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A pedant writes

            "Or are the people in charge there fucking hypocrites?"

            Of course they are. No-one else could make a mountain out of molehill like this.

            Also firing people because *they won't obey CoC* before whole thing even exists, is an asshole move. Hypocrisy proved.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A pedant writes

            As long as I can identify as a "smeg head", I don't care.

          3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: A pedant writes

            Thanks, writing pedant, for making the point I tried to raise the other day on a related thread: "Okay, so let's say that I have decided that my preferred pronoun is "fuckwit", or "pussy-magnet" or "slave" - does your argument still apply?" Treating self-chosen pronouns as definitive gives huge amounts of power to make someone use terms that person may find offensive.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: A pedant writes

        OK then @Doctor Syntax, pedant, maybe the OP should have said:

        No third-person pronouns?

        As first-person (i, me, we, us, mine, ours, myself, ourselves) and second person (you, yours, yourself, y'all, thee, thou, youse, ye) pronouns are gender-neutral (genderless?).

      3. sorry, what?
        Facepalm

        Re: A pedant writes

        Right... and this is a technical forum on stackexchange.com?!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is all very fine, except for one thing.

    As users - including Monica Cellio herself - have pointed out, of the 3 days they so generously gave to discuss such a hot topic as the new CoC, almost 2 are taken up by Yom Kippur.

    There is no way SE couldn't have known about this, since the Yom Kippur is the pinnacle of the holiday season that's pretty much obliquely mentioned by David Fullerton in his apology.

    In fact, I would urge the article's author to at least mention this fact, as it's extremely relevant, giving the goings-on.

    In my opinion, this elevates SE's behavior from cultural insensitivity during the original "firing", through Chipps' casual bigotry while re-contextualizing Sabbath as "ship[ping] on Friday", to an outright screw you to the community's observant Jewish members.

    AC for a number of reasons, including the fact that this is a hot-button issue with a lot of coverage, and I'd rather not have anyone doing forensics on my nickname/doxxing on myself.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

      I don't even know whether the Jewish sabbath is a Friday or Saturday, and can narrow down the date of Yom Kippur as accurately as 'next year'.

      I am similarly ignorant of Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Hari Krishnan, Shinto and Jehova's Witnessian religious dates.

      Why would you assume that scheduling something that overlaps with one religion's dates is bigotry? It's pretty much impossible to find a day that won't conflict with some form of archaic superstition.

      I mean, in my house there is a religious mandate that my cats must receive a cuddle on any day ending in Y, and woe betide anybody that fails to properly observe this essential worship. If I can fit work, leisure and posting on The Register around this then why can't others be similarly flexible in their superstition of choice?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

        You can't work in tech in New York and be ignorant of the date of Yom Kippur anymore than you can work in electronics assembly and be unaware of Chinese New Year.

        Ironic for a company founded by a very out gay Jewish guy

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

        Same AC as before.

        Did you read anything about the entire issue, or did you just skip it to jump into proudly proclaiming your disdain of "archaic superstition"?

        Monica Cellio is/was one of the most prominent long-time moderators on SE. One of the three major site that Cellio used to be a mod at was Mi Yodeya. Three guesses at to what that Q&A is about?

        Everyone who is involved had to know that Cellio is observant of both Sabbath and the subsequent holidays. This means they knew when she was going to be offline, just as you would know that your Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/Catholic/Orthodox etc. etc. coworker is unavailable on some days.

        To spell it out for you even more bluntly - SE went with an unprecedented action, while giving an unpaid, multi-year contributor exactly zero possibility to defend themselves from both the fallout of the decision and the associated all-but-slander.

        Surely even you, with your apparently Hot-Topic brand of atheism (and I say this as a vocally anticlerical atheist myself) would see the assholery inherent in this context?

        Finally, note that I did not say that the first incident was outright bigotry. In the OP, I described how the subsequent actions by SE caused a reevaluation of my opinion in that direction. It's hard to give someone a constant benefit of doubt when they repeatedly use up their credit.

        1. Morten Bjoernsvik

          Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

          Do the moderators get any money for this, or is this all internet economy voluntarily work.

          1. James O'Shea

            Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

            All voluntary work.

      3. baud Bronze badge

        Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

        Well, since Monica was a mod on the Jewish SE, perhaps it was an important fact to consider?

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

          Today's news: I'm meant to know that there's a Jewish SE.

          As I said, any date will conflict with someone's sacred rituals and expecting everybody to know about some shitty religious festival that most of the planet don't celebrate is frankly silly.

          1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

            Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

            You don't have to know. But the staff who run the company that hosts the Jewish SE pretty much ought to, I'd have thought - the policy would affect the Jewish SE directly, so they don't really have an excuse I don't think. Unless they have a policy that staff never read or participate in their own forums, and I'd have thought that would be a one-way ticket to stupidville.

          2. Someone Else Silver badge
            Mushroom

            @Cedric -- Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

            As I said, any date will conflict with someone's sacred rituals and expecting everybody to know about some shitty religious festival that most of the planet don't celebrate is frankly silly.

            I wouldn't expect "everybody" to know about someone's sacred rituals (and I wouldn't expect you to know about much of anything, given the tone and tenor of your post). Nonetheless, I would expect the Head Weenie of a forum site to know about the sacred rituals of one if the forum's highly-rated moderators, especially if said moderator were moderating a high-traffic religious-themed forum on your site.

            Moron.

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: @Cedric -- This is all very fine, except for one thing.

              I don’t expect anyone to know anything, but if a moderator is indeed heavily involved in a Jewish forum then I would indeed have a sneaky suspicion that the date of her firing was _intentionally_ picked to be on a day where she isn’t watching.

          3. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

            You are not meant to know that there's a Jewish SE. However, the authorities at SE are supposed to know that:

            1 one of their sites is a very heavily trafficked Jewish SE

            2 the moderator who they just fired, over the weekend when she was not available to even attempt to defend herself, was a mod on that SE

            3 one reason why she was a mod there was that she is, herself, an observant Jew

            4 she has been on their site for literal years

            5 the fucking 'updated' CoC has not been published. Still, as of today 8 Oct 2019. The mod was fired for violating a policy which was not yet in place. And which is still not in place.

            I know exactly what conclusions I draw from that behaviour. I find it... interesting... that you support them.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

              For clarity, I have not stated that I support Stack Exchange regarding their new code of conduct, their behaviour or the removal of one of their moderators.

              I just pointed out that just because a day is arbitrarily important to some people doesn't make it important to everybody. Get over yourselves.

              1. WolfFan Silver badge

                Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

                Laddie... the point I made was that the authorities at SE _knew_ that the mod in question was not going to be around over the weekend, as she's an observant Jew and isn't around starting sundown on Friday... and the Monday was also a Jewish holy day, so she wouldn't be around until Tuesday. It appears to me as if they went out of their way to ensure that she would not be around to defend herself, and that they knew exactly what they were doing, and, most important, there was no reason for her to check in on her holy days BECAUSE THE FUCKING CoC HAD NOT YET, AND STILL HAS NOT, BEEN PUBLISHED. She was fired, with what certainly appears to be malice aforethought, for something which was not and still is not an offence, without being give a chance to defend herself, without an appeal. And you find this to be okay. Which says a lot about you.

                1. Cederic Silver badge

                  Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

                  The point I made has passed you by. Stop telling me what I do and don't find to be okay as you are incapable of reading, understanding and comprehending, and your analysis says nothing about me.

                  "Laddie"? Laugh.

        2. Notas Badoff

          Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

          This part of the thread is a perfect illustration of commentart failure. Cederic should apologize for not knowing what they were commenting on. And others who downvoted the OP - was that subject-based or anti-religious bias?

          Gee, it seems there are organic problems with 'communities' showing up here too? And I see the article still hasn't been updated to reflect the "quick, while they aren't looking" aspect.

          Note: 'commentart' is not a misspelling

      4. veti Silver badge

        Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

        And this right here is why you allow more than three days for this kind of comment period.

        Three weeks would make more sense.

      5. Long John Brass Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

        I mean, in my house there is a religious mandate that my cats must receive a cuddle on any day ending in Y, and woe betide anybody that fails to properly observe this essential worship

        You are Bastet and I hereby claim my $5 and catnip :)

  4. jmch Silver badge

    What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

    "seeking more attention for the complaints and requests of the LGBTQ+ community and assurance "that the consequences for not respecting members of the community be more explicit, and be consistently carried out.""

    I'm all for everyone being treated with respect and dignity, whatever their (label). Moreover, I believe in treating people as individuals so that (label) should not even apply. Maybe I'm missing something here, but aren't SE mods and users interacting with each other mostly online, and about specific technical issues rather than private matters? Given how many people use aliases and avatars rather than real names and pictures, it can't ever be taken for granted that whoever is on the other side of the screen is of a particular race or gender, let alone sexual orientation. So I'm struggling to see where "not respecting members of the community" is specifically linked to discrimination rather than people acting like dicks

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

      Far too many people these days take offence (real or feigned) at things where no offense was meant. Often in completely inappropriate circumstances, such as technical discussions.

      Accidentally, unknowingly using the wrong personal pronoun isn't disrespectful, especially when it's unclear what said pronoun should be, and when English lacks appropriate neutral personal pronouns - "it" is considered rude, but what's the alternative?

      Reusing incorrect assignment can be abusive, sure, but don't instantly assume someone's being a twat when the reality is they simply don't know which term to use. Most people aren't deliberately being an arse, they just lack some information about a person, information that person considers crucial.

      So many people take innocuous statements far too personally. There's a time and place, and an SO discussion usually isn't either.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

        > "it" is considered rude, but what's the alternative?

        "They", obviously.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

          > > "it" is considered rude, but what's the alternative?

          > "They", obviously.

          "Thou", as in holier than.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ooooh...

          "They" is also considered rude by many, so you are going to piss off people either way.

        3. swm Bronze badge

          Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

          S/he/it

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

        Taking offence gives a person power. The power to abuse, look down on, patronize (or matronize or...) and (above all) control others.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

          "Taking offence gives a person power. The power to abuse, look down on, patronize (or matronize or...) and (above all) control others."

          It's sad that some people think they are getting such powers as you mention by taking offence, when in realty they are giving away their power and their independence, and making their happiness and their value dependent on external factors / actors, rather than their own self-worth being an intrinsic and unshakeable part of who they are.

          1. Juillen 1

            Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

            I suspect they still have that inner self satisfied belief that they're absolutely right and virtuous. They just have the extra power of trying to erode that in everyone else (by claiming offence). In effect, you're trying to make someone else's self worth adhere to what you say (not necessarily what you actually think or feel, just what you project externally).

      3. LeahroyNake Silver badge

        Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

        'when English lacks appropriate neutral personal pronouns - "it" is considered rude, but what's the alternative?'

        They.

      4. eldakka Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

        "it" is considered rude, but what's the alternative?

        Well @Jimmy2Cows, how about instead of using the lazy (because it is usually less syllables to pronounce or less characters to write) pronoun, use the proper noun for that person. i.e.

        <name> said...

        That's what <name> did.

        I agree with <name>.

        I disagree with <name>.

        eldakka is an asshole.

        Wait, no, not that last one.

    2. richardcox13

      Re: What type of interactions are the mods having on SE????

      > about specific technical issues rather than private matters

      The Stack Exchange network contains a lot of Q&A sites that are completely non technical (in IT terms)..

      Eg. Biblical Hermeneutics, Esperanto Language, and Veganism & Vegetarianism.

  5. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    It's been mentioned

    that English lacks a good neuter pronoun. While there are historic reason for this, I agree that we must move forward. Recently my daughter was dismayed when filling out a form requesting her "preferred pronoun". I've given some thought to this, and the more I consider it, the more I have come to prefer "Your Majesty".

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      Re: It's been mentioned

      I've given some thought to this, and the more I consider it, the more I have come to prefer "Your Majesty".

      I have a friend who, when completing online forms, likes to choose a pronoun outside of the usual Miss/Mrs/Mr. Typically they go for either Prof or Rev. Not because they are one but because they are gender neutral. And it makes little difference to the website they are registering to in most cases.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: It's been mentioned

        A custom title can even let you see which organisations sell your details on.

      2. STOP_FORTH
        Happy

        Re: It's been mentioned

        Best list of titles I have ever seen was on the BA frequent flyers site. Had ever honorific I have ever heard of including "Dalai Lama". I assume only one person is allowed to use that one.

        This might be a standard list these days, but I don't recall seeing anything so comprehensive elsewhere.

        (Icon- Nirvana)

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: It's been mentioned

          Indeed. I got a ticking off from an Italian BA check-in person when I couldn't demonstrate that I was, in fact, Lord Cupboard, and that my companion wasn't a bishop. Still got on the plane though.

          1. STOP_FORTH
            Headmaster

            Re: It's been mentioned

            Well you are obviously not the real Lord Cupboard, he would just use Cupboard as a handle, the Androgenous is unnecessary. Oddly appropriate for this thread, though!

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It's been mentioned

        Given that they may well be seeking a form of address rather than a pronoun I might be inclined to suggest something nicely medieval such as "Worshipful sir" or, where gender neutrality matters, "Your worship".

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's been mentioned

        > a friend who... (goes) for either Prof or Rev

        Well that's some sort of misappropriation from people who have earned those titles via an academic process. Unless of course the friend *is* a Prof and/or a Rev!

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: It's been mentioned

          I know, you'd think the people that create these forms would demand some form of verification before they allow just *anyone* to choose from the list wouldn't you?

          Tch, the nerve of some people, amirite?

          1. OssianScotland Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: It's been mentioned

            Working in a shop many years ago, a chav youth came in with a stolen credit card and tried to buy something fairly expensive.

            He left abruptly, and at high speed, when the manager (who was taking the sale) asked him "So tell me, when were you promoted to Major?"

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: It's been mentioned

      "It's been mentioned that English lacks a good neuter pronoun".

      OK, I'll bite. What is "it" then?

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: It's been mentioned

        > OK, I'll bite. What is "it" then?

        It's a neuter pronoun, just not a very good one for use when referring to people. When referring to inanimate objects and missing legs it's lovely.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's been mentioned

          Are you sure "they" are people?

          Assuming even that seems to be too much so "it" is perfect pronoun.

          1. 9Rune5
            IT Angle

            Re: It's been mentioned

            Cousin itt..?

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: It's been mentioned

      Except that "Your Majesty" doesn't work as third-person pronoun that can replace 'him' or 'her'. It would be 'his Majesty' or 'her Majesty', and you're back where you started, although of course one could just use a royal plural and go with 'their Majesty'.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: It's been mentioned

        We believe that "their Majesty" has been found to be adequate by our ancestors. We see no reason to object.

        1. Long John Brass Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: It's been mentioned

          My preferred personal pronoun is Cur (Pronounced Sir)

  6. b0llchit
    Facepalm

    he, she, it, apes and monkeys

    Yes, what a load of crap. He is a monkey. She is a monkey. It is a monkey. Apes and monkeys, do /you/ see the difference? They all fight, they all eat, they all shit, they all fuck and they all die. Where is the difference?

    1. STOP_FORTH
      Headmaster

      Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

      Never mind apes and monkeys, what about earthworms, slugs and snails? What is their pronoun? Also, most of the bees and wasps you see should be referred to as "she", but nobody ever does. (Solitary hymenopterous critters excepted, natch.)

      You're all a bunch of insensitive specists.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Stop

        Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

        Also ants and termites.

        I'll stop now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

      > Yes, what a load of crap. He is a monkey. She is a monkey. It is a monkey. Apes and monkeys, do /you/ see the difference? They all fight, they all eat, they all shit, they all fuck and they all die. Where is the difference?

      Two thousand years of philosophy and this is your take away?

      1. b0llchit
        Facepalm

        Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

        Two thousand years of philosophy and this is your take away?

        Well, yes, [he,she,it, apes and monkeys] encapsulates more than the gender discussion seen so far. That discussion has no philosophy, just self censoring and gender ranting. Some have a dick, others a hole and some both or neither. Get over it and be done with it.

        1. tekHedd

          Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

          Which comes back to the fundamental problem: gender pronouns refer to the physical nature of the person's body, which was assumed to be the same as that person's gender. Now that one can be whatever gender one wants, one assumes one also has the right to be *called* by that gender regardless of physiology. Which to me seems to be the real problem, as the language is designed to handle the binary sexuality of most lifeforms and the nongendered status of inanimate objects, but not "any old thing you can think of". And we never considered that "they" would be co-opted to refer to a specific range of nonspecific genders, so that now we need even /another/ pronoun to be used specifically in the case of "you haven't yet told me which pronoun you prefer".

          As for this author, we aregoing back to the old assumptions until the rules are more clearly defined. Also, we use the royal "we" and prefer "His Majesty". With caps. Thanks.

          1. Juillen 1

            Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

            The best description I've heard of it is that you're perfectly allowed to think of yourself as whatever you wish, and refer to yourself however you choose. Forcing other people to use that same identifier is infringing on their freedom to speak in the manner that they choose. If you consider it rude, you're perfectly at liberty to ignore the person who doesn't say what you wish, but you are not at liberty to criminalise it, as that is tyranny.

          2. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

            [...] and the nongendered status of inanimate objects, [...]

            Except, of course, in French, where 'table' is feminine; and, of course in German, where 'table' is masculine; and, of course, in ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

      He is a monkey. She is a monkey. It is a monkey. They is a monkey ... Nope... They are a monkey.

      Hmmm... "is" is used in singular cases whilst "they" is used in the case of plurals. Therefore "they" must refer to more than one. Great! logic can get you into all sorts of shit when you try to apply it to English.

  7. Sitaram Chamarty

    people who get offended...

    I know Linus himself has (supposedly, allegedly, reportedly!) mellowed, but I very much like, and agree with his famous quote about offending people: “I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended.”

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8455149-i-like-offending-people-because-i-think-people-who-get

    I don't mean (and I don't think he meant) that it should be practiced at every opportunity, but I'm sure we all know people who deserve that applied to them.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple Fix - withhold your services you give for free

    Sites like these would collapse if those people volunteering their knowledge stopped contibuting to it.

    Same with bad banks - take your money out and leave.

    Same with bad employers - take your skills and available work hours and leave.

  9. baud Bronze badge

    I'm a somewhat infrequent contributor to SO on a tag that don't see a lot of traffic (roughly 10 questions per week), but I still managed to get some 3k by answering questions (I also do some works on the review queues). But it's funny how all the storms/crisis/whining that appear in the meta discussions, how little it impacts the actual 'work' I'm doing on SO. Most of the time I'm only aware of such because the discussion is picked up other websites, like in that case

  10. LeahroyNake Silver badge

    It's not that funny

    To make fun of a minority of people that at are at increased risk of discrimination and violence doesn't sit well with me.

    If you want to be called some random pronoun just for fun that's fine but please remember the people that just want to get on with their lives and be treated as human beings .

    Making fun of a person's gender or sexual identity can be extremely harmful. LGBT people are already at the highest risk of violence, descrimination and suicide. It is not a choice they make or an issue that they have that needs 'fixing', it is attitudes that need to change.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: It's not that funny

      Hush, you. If there's one thing the Reg commentards agree upon, it's that the problems of people who aren't straight white males don't matter. Can't you hear the echoes?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not that funny

        " it's that the problems of people who aren't straight white males don't matter."

        Bullshit. But bringing those problems to forum where no-one knows what kind of creature (except it can type) is commenting, is just self-importance and thoroughly stupid.

        *That* applies to everyone, including straight white males, even if you won't believe it.

      2. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: It's not that funny

        Hmm. Is that so? I find your overblown hyperbole offensive. And grossly inaccurate.

        Hint: quick, which, if any, of 'straight while male' applies to me, and how can you tell? This I really have to see.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: It's not that funny

          Sigh. Okay, I'll bite. I can't tell what you personally identify as, but I've been around enough of these comment threads (and this one in particular) to have observed that the bulk of the Reg commentard community is quick to shit on anyone who might have any problem whatsoever absorbing a torrent of direct or indirect abuse and are almost exclusively without sympathy to the notion that belittling others' experience might in any way be bothersome.

          For example, I note that you are offended. I believe the appropriate commentard-approved response (as highlighted in numerous threads about Linus Torvalds) is that you need to grow a thicker skin or get the fuck out.

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: It's not that funny

            Sigh. Okay, I'll bite. I can't tell what you personally identify as, but I've been around enough of these comment threads (and this one in particular) to have observed that the bulk of the Reg commentard community is quick to shit on anyone who might have any problem whatsoever absorbing a torrent of direct or indirect abuse and are almost exclusively without sympathy to the notion that belittling others' experience might in any way be bothersome.

            That's not what you said. You were quite specific about 'straight white males'. I'm not surprised that you can't support your position.

            For example, I note that you are offended. I believe the appropriate commentard-approved response (as highlighted in numerous threads about Linus Torvalds) is that you need to grow a thicker skin or get the fuck out.

            Your sarcasm detector needs work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not that funny

      "Making fun of a person's gender or sexual identity can be extremely harmful"

      Jesuit of the day. Self-inflicted harm, if anything. Too bad: You aren't forced to shoot your own foot.

      No-one even *knows* the *person* writing behind the nick. Even less their gender or sexual identity. Therefore it *must not matter* when you write replies to them.

      These assholes themselves then whine that people "don't respect" their randomly self-assigned "gender", basically trying to force other people to conform their idiotic and neurotic whims.

      *That* deserves as much derision as you can imagine.

      Same as "being offended": So what? Offence is always *taken*, i.e. a personal decision, not a fact.

      "Why did you decide to take offence, tell us?" ... and you never get a reply to that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not that funny

      "To make fun of a minority of people that at are at increased risk of discrimination and violence doesn't sit well with me."

      Obviously your nick "LeahroyNake" tells anyone they must not offend you because you belong to minorities a, b and c. Also possibly d.

      If it doesn't, you tell them in the next reply, right?

      Reality, where it doesn't matter (*and shouldn't matter*) to anyone else but you, is totally swept aside. Therefore, making fun of you is totally disconnected from you as a person or minority you might belong, as none of those is known. Or need to be known: A nick is literally "something". Even a house goat as far as I know.

      Or are you those people who are offended *on behalf* of other people? As if they couldn't say anything themselves and need protection from harsh words in the world, i.e. reality?

      " LGBT people are already at the highest risk of violence, descrimination and suicide."

      BS. Higher than average person yes, but highest? Not even near :Try ex-military. Also that applies only if they bother to annouce it loudly. As many do, being as irritating as vegans.

      "New converts are the most irritating believers". Applies to any ideology or religion.

      I don't care what people think or do, unless they try to blow it up to my face and expect me to "respect" them because of their personal choices in life. I won't do that: You've chosen to preach, you live with the choice. To me it's just another version of Westboro Baptist Church.

      Respect is deserved, it's not taken. Reality that some people actively try to forget. And frankly, I don't respect preachers. No matter how "for good" they are in their own mind.

  11. rnturn

    They're turning on each other for stupid reasons. Pronouns? Jeebus! Priorities folks.

    My recent experiences with Stack Exchange is that the topics I'm looking up tend to have incomplete or buggy answers, answers that generate bizarre error messages unrelated to the ones that lead to my looking at their site in the first place, and ultimately, some moderator bitching about the fact that the questions had been answered 4-5 years ago. Um... so why, then, did these newer posts with all the moderator bitching show up at the top of the search results instead of the older and, apparently, moderator-preferred answers? The use of the correct pronouns in the answers is the /last/ thing I would be worried about.

  12. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Plenty of stupid to go around...

    If the reports about Cellio is true, s/he's a MAGAT, and should probably look for work in a less-inclusive environment (perhaps at the R.G and G.R Harris funeral home, for instance).

    But canning her for what s/he might do when a new CoC is implemented...that is just plain wrong, and stupid to boot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plenty of stupid to go around...

      "If the reports is true..." Well that's the point, dumbledore, the reports is NOT true. But on the bright side, at least you're providing evidence for her legal team that she's got a real case for libel.

  13. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

    damage?

    Cellio has posted her own account of what transpired, and she claims her de-modding was pre-emptive. "I was fired because they thought I wouldn't follow the future code of conduct," she wrote, and has challenged claims of bigotry that have arisen for questioning Stack Exchange's planned rule change.

    The real way to apologize is to reinstate Cellio. But then the damage is already done, so it may already be too late to recover.

  14. pschaeffer

    See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8BRdwgPChQ]

    Quote

    "A reader sends in this clip from a Camille Paglia discussion at last fall’s Battle Of Ideas festival in the UK, in which the lesbian scholar and provocateur identifies transgenderism as a mark of a civilization deep into decadence, nearing collapse. The good stuff starts at the four-minute mark.

    She says that androgyny becomes prevalent “as a civilization is starting to unravel. You find it again and again and again in history.”

    “People who live in such times feel that they’re very sophisticated, they’re very cosmopolitan,” she says. But in truth, they are evidence of a civilization that no longer believes in itself. On the edges of that civilization are “people who still believe in heroic masculinity” — the barbarians. Paglia says that this is happening right now, and that there’s this tremendous “disconnect” between a culture that’s infatuated with transgenderism, and “what’s going on ‘out there’.” She sees it as “ominous.” And she’s right to. This insanity cannot last. Again and again I say unto you: if you don’t like the Religious Right, wait till you get the Post-Religious Right. The post-Christian people who are coming don’t give a damn about your feelings."

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