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I have seen the question asked by S. Kolassa describing Monica Cellio and the fact that she was mysteriously removed from Stack Overflow. I have also learned from that question that several CV users have changed their avatar to "Reinstate Monica". Could anyone tell me the following:

  1. Has she been reinstated?
  2. Was there a reason why she was removed or was it just a glitch?
  3. Why have so many users including those with very high reputation gotten on the bandwagon?
  4. If I want to go along, how do I change my avatar?
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Much of this information is in, or can be found from, the question you refer to. If you want to read everything, or just warm your feet by the dumpster fire, you can go to meta.SE. The place to start, with much of the information indexed, is Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community?

  1. She has not been reinstated. SE has dug in its heels, out of obstinacy, as far as I can tell. They ignored her and the growing storm for over a month. At this point the lawyers are involved. Monica has initiated a lawsuit against SE. SE has decided they want to try to fight it out rather than compromise.
  2. The official claim is that she misgendered trans users. This supposedly happened in moderator-only spaces. To the extent mods can see, that did not occur. Trans mods have spoken up for Monica as well.
  3. Changing usernames and avatars is one way that people can advocate for her. Some users know her, others are appalled by the rank injustice on display.
  4. On your user page, you would go to the "edit profile and settings" tab, and change whatever fields you like (e.g., username, about me, and avatar).
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    $\begingroup$ On your 3rd point: some also fear this is how SE will treat the rest of us if we let them think they can get away with it. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '19 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @gung. You seem to have answered all my questions. I wasn't aware of any of this until a few days ago when I saw that you & Bill Huber were among the ones that changed their avatar. Just before submitting this question I learned something about it from S Kolassa's question on CV meta. You say that Stack Exchange is stubbornly resisting reinstatement. But it was SO that removed her. Is SO taking the same position as SE. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Nov 18 '19 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelChernick: It's a bit confusing: see stackoverflow.blog/2015/09/15/… & meta.stackexchange.com/q/270037/225179. Now either 'SO' or 'SE' in this sort of context refers to the company. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '19 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ So now I see that SO was the original name of the company. I guess that is because the site initially consisted of one site. But the SO site is for computer programming enthusiast & often topics are considered off topic for CV & are referred to the site SO. I guess in 2015 the legal company name returned to being SO but in practice the name SE is still used. I can see why @Scortchi-ReinstateMonica said that it was confusing. But I guess the answer to my question is that regarding the company policy on reinstating Monica I should treat SE & SO as one in the same. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Nov 18 '19 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ Is "she misgendered trans users" really official? I thought the company merely stated ("officially" by statements from the director of public Q&A) that "we’ve had to remove a moderator for a Code of Conduct violation". But, there was no further specification how and where the violation was made. 1) People have been guessing that it is due to words spoken in chats while discussing the future CoC. But that is not official. 2) That discussion was about the use of 'plural they', not about misgendering. $\endgroup$ – Sextus Empiricus Nov 19 '19 at 9:09
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    $\begingroup$ AFAIK, SE has never given an official statement of what exactly she did, even to her. However, it has been implied in a number of places that she was misgendering trans users. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 19 '19 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ @SextusEmpiricus: According to the Register:- [...] a company spokesperson said, "Cellio (she/her) would not use stated pronouns, which violates our current CoC. We are soon publishing an update to the CoC to even more explicitly cite misgendering users or moderators as a violation." $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Nov 19 '19 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Scortchi-ReinstateMonica that's a bit of an indirect accusation (besides being not official, it is originally from a spokesperson but presented a bit indirect as a quote or paraphrasing and not first source). Stating to not use a particular pronoun (which is not disputed by Monica that she did that) is not directly equal to misgendering. The new FAQ (added to the CoC) even states that (in order to be gender neutral) it is a possibility to not use pronouns as long as it is not done in an obvious way (although it is a bit ambiguous about that, it does explicitly mention 'not using pronouns'). $\endgroup$ – Sextus Empiricus Nov 20 '19 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ @SextusEmpiricus: I agree with you; that was an example of the disingenuity gung referred to above. BTW Monica stated that she didn't use singular they about a year ago, since when SE made her a moderator on Meta. When changes to the CoC were announced, she didn't say what she would do in future, she asked questions. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Nov 20 '19 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Scortchi-ReinstateMonica "BTW Monica stated that she didn't use singular they about a year ago, since when SE made her a moderator on Meta" I have read a transcript, and—while I think SO/SE has done a very poor job with this imbroglio, and done Monica a disservice—at least at one point her poor choice of language gave many of us credible reason to interpret it as transphobic. My sense is that this was privileged ignorance, and not actual animosity, but "didn't say they" is minimizing the impact of her specific language. $\endgroup$ – Alexis Nov 22 '19 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexis: I read the transcripts too, & honestly can't guess what you're referring to. Monica says that she avoids singular they, but is happy to use neopronouns for non-binary people. She certainly doesn't refer to people by pronouns they don't want to be referred to by. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Nov 23 '19 at 1:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexis, I'm not sure what you've seen, most of this stuff is in mod-only spaces. I've read the transcripts & I'm on the same page as Scortchi. In addition, there have been other things said by other people that were quite unambiguously not nice & transphobic. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 23 '19 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ @gung-ReinstateMonica and those people are still moderators. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Nov 24 '19 at 4:33
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    $\begingroup$ @gung-ReinstateMonica Thank you very much for the clarification on what "suspended activity" means & how you are applying it & I appreciate the additional information. This has been illuminating and shocking. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Nov 25 '19 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause: (1) I didn't say Alexis's comment was unclear; just that I couldn't see what in particular she was referring to. A "poor choice of language", "at least at one point", doesn't seem to be criticism of Monica's position on pronouns per se but rather of something else she said during the discussion. I may be wrong. (2) They're not the same, & I never said they were. Nor is expressing unwillingness to use a particular pronoun to refer to people of non-binary gender the same as declaring opposition to the very idea of non-binary gender. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Dec 5 '19 at 1:25
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  1. Has she been reinstated?

    No, she has not been reinstated. To Monica's credit, she is holding her ground. Whether she is ever reinstated or not remains to be seen. Given how long this has been drawn out already, I think it's fair to say that SE is ashamed to lose face. If they do reinstate Monica, it will likely be because of a court order.

  2. Was there a reason why she was removed or was it just a glitch?

    There is no better source than from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Monica gave a lengthy interview with Tyler from "Tyler's Tech" Youtube channel in which she describes the circumstances, timeline, and backstory to this saga. As I understand from her own words, a question was asked in a moderator lounge - a genuine question. It spiralled out of control and out of context very fast from there. But I encourage you to watch the interview for more details.

  3. Why have so many users including those with very high reputation gotten on the bandwagon?

    For some, it is a matter of principle. For others, especially to those who knew Monica, it is a matter of camaraderie and solidarity. And for others still, it is a case of "sticking it to the big bad corp." when they have clearly abused their authority, dishonored a star employee/moderator, broken their own code of conduct, and failed to make amends when warranted (and many more reasons...)

  4. If I want to go along, how do I change my avatar?

    Simply click this link: https://meta.stackexchange.com/users/edit/current and edit as required.

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    $\begingroup$ the link no longer works. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Dec 10 '19 at 1:35
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelR.Chernick Which link? Both the Youtube and meta SE links for me. $\endgroup$ – Earlien Dec 10 '19 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ It's the stackexchange meta link for changing the avatar. $\endgroup$ – Michael R. Chernick Dec 10 '19 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ The link obviously has your userid in it, and does not work for anybody else. $\endgroup$ – Erich Schubert Dec 17 '19 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ @ErichSchubert Sorry - I copied the link from here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/268743/…. When I clicked it, it automatically changed. The correct link that should work for everyone should be meta.stackexchange.com/users/edit/current. I've updated my answer. $\endgroup$ – Earlien Dec 17 '19 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ Latest update from Sara Chipps here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/340906/…. Monica has been "invited ... to apply for possible reinstatement". So she has still not been reinstated. They've just added insult to injury. $\endgroup$ – Earlien Dec 23 '19 at 22:58

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