I'm only putting this on Music because I feel like this is (or has been) my SE "home", despite the fact that I've been on Math.SE the longest.

For anyone who doesn't know, SO/SE has recently made some decisions that range from causing me great concern to being offensive to me. And they have not followed up on any of these situations in ways I would describe as even remotely satisfactory.

Like most controversies, there's a bit of a rabbit hole anyone can dive down if they want, one place to start is here:

Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community?

If you're further interested, I suggest these others, at least:



I'm not a mod, so my presence or absence probably doesn't matter much to SO/SE management or employees. Still, what we do here on SE is what has created SE in the first place, and what continues to create it and keep it alive. After what's happened, I don't feel like I should be contributing to any of that, at least unless and until some fundamental things change.

So I'm not going to be around. I won't delete myself or anything, I have hope that SO/SE will understand at some point what they are doing wrong. I will check back at some point in the future - not sure when.

I have so much respect and appreciation for everyone here. I would love it if SE continued to be an excellent source for knowledge on so many subjects, as well as become a more welcoming place with strongly held, positive values. Right now it seems like it's only the first of those, and that's not ok with me.


Found this and signed it, thought maybe others would be interested:




Wow, took them like a year to really post anything about the main reason why I left: Responding to the Lavender Letter and commitments moving forward

  • 4
    This is sad to hear, Todd; you're one of the users whose answers I consistently look forward to reading. But I don't blame you one bit; I've been questioning my role here recently, as well. I hope things change for the better and you feel comfortable coming back!
    – Richard Mod
    Oct 6 '19 at 22:53
  • 1
    I've not really had chance to digest the wider goings on - just want to wish you happy & productive moments using the time you would have been SE'ing. Even in your absence you'll be helping people around the world with your informative posts (at least while SE stays standing); Hopefully there will be that happier point in the future when things come back together.
    – topo morto
    Oct 10 '19 at 10:04
  • 2
    Been going through Meta.SE. I’m not getting any happier with the overall picture. :-( Oct 13 '19 at 9:49
  • Only just stumbled on this. I respected all your answers and comments, and am sad we've come to this state of affairs. Your principle is the right one - and if everyone followed it, SE would wither and die - a great shame if that happened. 'Going on strike' is a powerful tool, but i don't think it would affect the powers that be here - they're too high and mighty - as they have unequivocally proved. Sledgehammers and nuts come to mind. They're nuts! (Try saying that without reading it - an image may come to mind...) Hope you feel you can return at some point.
    – Tim
    Nov 30 '19 at 12:15

I completely understand, Todd, and I think you do yourself an injustice in saying that you don't matter. The community here really matters more than mods - if you look at your answers vs mine you can see the difference. I have always helped to clean up and keep the peace - you have brought your experience here to help others.

I am very appreciative of your stand, as well as everyone trying to put some pressure on SE to make this right.

The CTO, David Fullerton, has responded with something that looks like a start in the right direction and my hope is that working with the communities, SE can dig itself out of the hole it made, and try to work with the communities to support not just minority groups (which was the straw that broke the back here) but also gaining trust by liaising on decisions like the forced re-licencing etc.

There is a lot to do, a lot of ground needs to be built back, and a very public eye on SE right now.

So I'll be working as a voice in the mod group to encourage positive behaviours, and if all goes the right way I'll be back as your janitor, and hopefully you will also return and bring your experience to bear to help others.

After all, that's why I'm really here - it's nice to help others in the subjects I am passionate about :-)

  • 4
    Thanks. Seeing your suspension of activities really put the question to me, as of all the people I’ve never met in real life, you’re one of the ones I respect most highly. Sadly, I’m not very happy with the CTO’s response. It reinforces my belief that they don’t even know how tone deaf they are. And for me this is not mainly about Monica, it’s about how Monica’s firing seems like a panic move from an organization that has no authentic awareness of how to deal with the SE/SO culture that is toxic to so many members of the community. Oct 9 '19 at 18:55

I'm right there with you; I've had some mounting frustrations, but this latest debacle feels like the last straw. I'll probably lurk for awhile, but I don't expect to be contributing again anytime soon. I saw that @DoktorMayhem is laying low for awhile, too.

Whatever happens, you've been a very valuable member of the community, and it's too bad that it has come to this. Best wishes.


I just wanted to note, since I've been rather active on this community recently, that I too am suspending my activity indefinitely. I am not taking this action lightly and have explained it more in the Meta area on the SE forum I've been most active on over the years.

I want to thank the mods here for all of their efforts and express my appreciation to many prominent users here with whom I've shared some good discussions.

  • 2
    Even though I have mostly suspended my activities, I have continued to lurk. In that time I have noticed a number of very good answers written by you, so I'm sorry to see another strong contributor leave. The situation doesn't seem to be improving, though, and I'm getting pretty concerned about the future of SE.
    – ex nihilo
    Jan 17 '20 at 16:01
  • 1
    @exnihilo Agreed; I've been impressed with Athanasius's answers for some time now, and I looked forward to clicking questions where I saw they had written an answer. You will be missed!
    – Richard Mod
    Jan 17 '20 at 19:35
  • 1
    It was good to have you aboard, providing thoughtful, good answers. It's a pity the debacle is making contributors feel like this, and it's depriving questioners of great answers. Unfortunately, those 'at the top' are obviously oblivious to that, so until we all suspend activity, things might only get worse.
    – Tim
    Jan 18 '20 at 15:03
  • All the people leaving in protest are some of the most valuable contributors this SE has, and Athanasius is no exception. Some of the most impressive and useful answers I've ever seen here came from this young member (veteran in other SEs). I hope SE makes a good enough turn in the future to be attractive again to all these mayor contributors, because otherwise the negative impact is pretty much irreparable. Jan 22 '20 at 12:16
  • You were one of the new(er) users that I saw great potential in. Your answers were quite impressive and well-written, and I'm sorry to see you go. Truly this network has lost a valuable contributor - and others like you at a disturbing rate, unfortunately...
    – user45266
    Jan 28 '20 at 19:40

In addition to the sentiments in my comment:

I have now had a chance to read through your links. My impression is:

  • Some of the actions from SE management seem rather hasty
  • The mod and user base aren't taking them lying down - there's a bit of a backlash under way

While I'm sure you've considered this carefully, I hope you feel that sticking around and seeing how this plays out is at least an option for you.

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