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Chaveirim,

I write this post with tears literally in my eyes.

Though it pains me deeply to leave my communities, especially Mi Yodeya which I cherish and have helped build for close to nine years, I have decided I must leave the Stack Exchange network.

I became an SE user when Mi Yodeya launched in 2011. For most of the time since then I've been an enthusiastic participant and power user on the SE network. I evangelized SE to friends and colleagues. I almost became an employee. The SE platform did, right, things that other sites did wrong. It was a great place to be, and I built strong community connections and learned a lot. Over time SE the company paid less and less attention to us, which was sometimes frustrating, but we got by even with benign neglect.

Then things began to change. In spring 2018, a single blog post scared someone at SE enough to kick off a new "welcoming" initiative. I was concerned by how they approached it but wanted to believe in the goal nonetheless. A few months later, in October 2018, a single angry tweet prompted hasty changes and public criticism in tweets from employees, which led me to write Dear Stack Overflow, we need to talk.

I remember somebody at the time saying something like "she's too invested in that relationship; he's just not into her". I wasn't listening. I was too into SE, even as others began to leave.

I really wanted to believe that SE wasn't that bad, just a little misguided. SE whispered sweet nothings in our ears, made promises to us that I desperately wanted to believe. I stayed, blind to the warning signs.

Things did not, in fact, get better. Already an employee had admitted that the company was no longer paying attention to feedback from core users, and in July 2019 another advised employees to avoid meta because it upset them. We users were in a relationship with someone who had checked out, stopped listening, seemingly stopped caring about us.

I stayed anyway, because I really love my communities (and maybe I'm too susceptible to the sunk-costs fallacy). When I saw that post in July, a part of me thought we could nonetheless still effect change, could help get things onto a better, collaborative path. I thought we users could mend the rifts in our collective relationship with SE despite evidence that SE wasn't interested. I didn't see the warning signs because I didn't want to see them.

As a dedicated user, I stayed in an abusive relationship for the sake of the kids. I told myself that it would be ok in the end, that it didn't hurt that much, that it was only a bruise.

Sometimes it takes a powerful blow to finally wake up. For me that blow came two weeks ago today.

On January 13, SE abruptly fired Shog9 and Robert Cartaino. Shog9 and Robert, along with Jon Ericson who left a few days later, were long-serving community managers who really get the communities. They were our champions. What we didn't know until recently is that they were being hobbled, forbidden to do what they do so well, forbidden to help us. They, too, were helpless, and Shog and Robert paid a dear price.

We can only expect the rate of damage to accelerate. As a long-time user, I remember what was and know what could have been. Today, our communities are being deeply harmed instead of being helped and supported. It's worse than just being abandoned; we are not allowed to govern ourselves and not allowed to be helped by the dwindling community team.

The company has chosen to go down a very different path from the one I thought we were on. I have lost any hope that this will change. I've passed through denial, hurt, anger, and bargaining, and have now arrived at tearful acceptance. I can't change this. It's painful to keep trying. I give up.

I dearly love my communities here, but, sadly, I can't bear to stay on Stack Exchange any longer.

Our communities are much more than the platform that hosts them. The people are what matters. I hope I can stay connected to the fine people of my communities even if I don't do it here any longer. SE wasn't the first Q&A platform and it won't be the last. Just as Stack Overflow was created out of dissatisfaction with another platform, other platforms will be created out of dissatisfaction with SE. I hope to see y'all in a better place, one we'll build together putting communities and people first. I'll refrain from specific links here after seeing an employee spam-delete a post on Writing Meta about another site, but -- look around.

I've added contact information to my profile, and I've posted some information about my future plans. I won't be deleting my accounts.

I'll almost certainly look in on Mi Yodeya from time to time, maybe even visit chat. Goodbyes are hard and I would dearly love to stay in touch with the people here, somehow. I hope we'll reunite elsewhere.

Be kind to each other. Protect yourselves. Remember Shog and Robert, maybe even me. Let's stay in touch.

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    How could we not remember you? For many of us you have been one of the very ports of call, helping educate us, gently guiding us to get the norms of the community and gradually improve as active users. As you say, life is moving on, and is much bigger than SE. There will be other online places to meet and interact. Thanks for everything ! – mbloch Jan 27 at 16:17
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    Tzeiteikh LeShalom Monica – Double AA Jan 27 at 18:03
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    חדשים לבקרים רבה אמונתך – kouty Jan 27 at 20:48
  • codidact is still beginning? – kouty Jan 28 at 17:38
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    @kouty yes, it's in development. It'll be at least a few months, I'm told, before it's ready for communities to move in, but I hope we'll see a Judaism community there when the time comes. – Monica Cellio Jan 28 at 18:21
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    Sorry to see you go, I started following mi yodeya in 2014, and I think it will never be the same. But Codidact looks an alarming lot like Citizendium now, I hope for the best. – G B Jan 29 at 22:09
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    We will miss you. Even those of us who only waddle by from time to time. Or float by on an ice flow. A very sad arp arp... – Baby Seal Jan 31 at 5:26
  • I'd rather email you, personally, my reaction and more detailed comments. But, briefly, here, Monica, you have been one of the great moderators consistently demonstrating love, dedication and reason. There's not a micrometer of bad that I could say about you. I hope that in time you will be able to shed your anger and hurt. You can't convince others that you're right nor that they should apologize, when they really don't care to. Instead, maybe, forgive them without reason. You'll be better off. Best of luck in all your endeavors. – DanF Feb 27 at 22:05
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I dearly love my communities here, but, sadly, I can't bear to stay on Stack Exchange any longer.

And we, the community, love you.

For myself, I understand why you've decided to leave. For what it's worth, I support your decision with a whole—if heavy—heart. May you find only happiness and success, wherever you go from here.

Thank you. For everything.

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so where should we go to? anyone starting a new site to replace this? im sure it would be a success.

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