In direct response to the disorderly firing of Monica Cellio and the increasing distrust in SE policies and tone shift towards the community as a whole, all the mods of BSE have recorded themselves as "Inactive."

What does that mean? We will be non-active except for critical cases.

Our protest is completely independent of the LGBTIQAP+ debate this issue now has spiraled into. The community's present heightened state of disapproval and mistrust of SE stems from two massively unpopular actions SE took within a short time frame:

  • The spontaneous de-modding of Monica Cellio, and by large the community as a whole after the fact.
  • The pronoun change in the Code of Conduct, the FAQ for pronoun usage, and SE's handling of the community's response.

To be 100% clear, we (the mods of BSE) are inactive in protest of the way Monica Cellio was de-modded.

If you are just hearing of all this for the first time let me try to quickly fill you in, more details can be found here and here.

On Sept 18th mods got a hint that there would be a upcoming CoC pronoun change (this was in a mod only chat room). Monica held the opinion that the singular they is grammatically incorrect and would not refer to someone as "they".

Monica had a further correspondence with SE via email.

On Sept 27th Monica's moderator privileges were removed - without any warning.

To make matters worse SE maligned Monica on meta, in responses on child metas, on twiter, and in the media.

On Oct 6th SE issued an apology saying they treated Monica wrongly.

Then on Oct 11th a working draft of the new "Moderator Warning, Removal & Reinstatement Processes." was released for moderators. This rubbed salt into the still fresh wound. Under the new processes there is no circumstance where Monica would have been removed in the way she was.

Whether or not you agree with SE that Monica violated the CoC, the issue still stands that she was removed without due process. This could have happened to any of us at any time for the same or a similar reasons. It's pretty frustrating to think that the sacrifices and years that went into growing one's community, curating it, welcoming new users, handling hundreds if not thousands of flags can be gone in an instant in such a manner and as such we have decided to join the dozens of moderators in making a stand.

There is an unprecedented level of anger, mistrust, frustration and fear across the network. Never before have we seen users create open letters to Stack Exchange or see meta posts with -1000 and lower scores. Never before has a mod been removed like this. We are in uncharted waters here and I truly hope SE can sort all this out before we reach a point of no return.

While we are late in mustering a response, we hope that the collective voices of us the moderators across the network do have an impact which will be heard by SE. The reason for our protest is two fold:

  1. To visibly add our voice to the outcry against SE's actions.
  2. To show support for Monica Cellio. I can not imagine how rough these past few weeks must have been.
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your support! I don't want to bring the argument onto your site, but I think it's important to note that in that TL discussion I was seeking clarification about the new policy so I would know what would and would not be a violation. I was trying to stay on the right side of the policy while exploring approaches that would also meet my needs. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2019 at 2:01
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Thanks for the clarification. I just want to say: Though the parts of SE we inhabit don't tend to intersect much, I still recognized your name from browsing the occasional hot network question over the years. Just from that, you stood out as an exceptionally level headed and empathetic person. My respect for you has only grown since then. I'm sure I'm only echoing what you've heard no end of in recent times, but your patience and perseverance are truly admirable. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Oct 16, 2019 at 20:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thanks @gandalf3 -- much appreciated! $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2019 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, new pronouns are JARGONS. They are increasing hundredfolds, very confusing and complexing.

I am ok with simple easy-to-remember pronouns like he, she, it, we, and they, but I get wholly confused by NUMEROUS arcane pronouns like xe, zir, sie, etc.

Video below demonstrates ESL students' confusions over new pronouns that are unheard of in all the past decades. That describes precisely my predicament.


In the future, you and I might get replaced by new obscure pronouns. What happens if we misuse you on another person who gets triggered by it? Does SE penalise us for our simple mistakes? Or will SE notify us of our mistakes and give us guidance on pronouns?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I believe this Question was not meant to start a discussion on the CoC pronoun issue, but merely to inform about the Mods position on the de-modding situation.. $\endgroup$
    – Luciano
    Nov 29, 2019 at 13:19

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