2020 Stack Exchange staff layoffs
This is a key moment in our company’s history, as the whole world is dealing with significant uncertainty. Know that you are not alone. We are facing this situation together. Our goal is to stay focused on living our core values and actively connect with teammates, our community, and our customers.
- reddit - Stack Overflow lays off 15%
- ycombinator - Stack Overflow reduces global workforce by approximately 15%
Moderator Council formed
Starting today we have convened the first iteration of the Moderator Council - and I’m both nervous and excited. This is a group of 11 moderators from around the network who will act as a pro-tem council over the next six months with the task of working to define the scope and structure of the council. I will be facilitating and supporting them and have done a lot of planning to get this moving quickly. As I and my team were working on this basic structure, we realized that, while we could create a framework, we needed to let the moderators themselves polish it so that it would meet their needs in addition to the needs of Stack Exchange, Inc.
This polishing is the first order of business for the Pro-tem Council. It includes everything from how council members are elected and how long they are in the role, to what to do if a member steps down out of cycle. There are many questions that need to be answered, like - should the council be one of equals or should there be leadership positions or designated seats for different positions?
David Fullerton resigns
So this ended up being interesting timing, but after ten years at Stack Overflow I’ve decided it's finally time to move on. I'll be taking a few months off to take care of my family and then looking for something new.
New feature: Dark Mode
Stack Exchange commits to communicate and engage with Meta and moderators
We are working on establishing our commitment to responding on our Meta sites and to our moderators, by setting up a new Meta engagement policy. The goal is to increase staff participation on the various Meta sites, particularly Meta Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange.
One major area we need to work on is being able to respond to and manage community feedback that needs staff response or action. This post defines a process for doing that. We also need to find out how many of your questions we can realistically respond to so that we can make a reasonable commitment (both internally and externally). Below is a timeline for testing and formulating these goals.
Mark Henderson resigns
Stack Exchange changes to a split Creative Commons license
We’d like to provide you with an update to our transition to version 4.0 of the CC BY-SA license. We realize that this is something that you care deeply about, and that our response to your concerns is long overdue. We’d like to thank all of you for your patience while we worked on a plan forward that would address your concerns.
The change to CC BY-SA 4.0 occurred on 2018-05-02 (May 2, 2018) as part of our ToS update. It was updated as part of a process that was not led by the community team and there was an internal disconnect at the time of the release.
Our move forward plan is to switch to a licensing scheme where:
- Content contributed before 2018-05-02 (UTC) is distributed under the terms of CC BY-SA 3.0
- Content contributed on or after 2018-05-02 (UTC) is distributed under the terms of CC BY-SA 4.0
This will correct any inconsistencies with the prevailing and advertised licenses.
Stack Exchange renews its commitment to rebuilding the relationship with the community
I want to personally apologize for our actions or inactions, as the case may be, in the past that had a negative impact on our relationship. While specific recent events may have individually caused harm, years of neglect and a growing distance from our community led to those events and it will take conscious effort to repair the damage.
I want to start by establishing transparency with the community, and I know that transparency is an easy word to say but harder to define and put into action. I believe that transparency comes down to two core actions: expectation management and context setting. We (the Community, Product and Engineering teams) will endeavor to clarify and reset when necessary what you can expect from the company. We will also provide as much context as we can for policy, decisions, and actions that we take within legal and regulatory constraints - we want you to understand why we’re making changes, not just that we’re making them.
-- Teresa Dietrich
Stack Overflow moderator Aaron Hall met with Stack Exchange CEOlinked eventdiscuss
Monica leaves the Stack Exchange network
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.
CEO posted on the blog on the future of Stack Overflow
What I ask of you—anyone reading this post—is to continue to grow with us, to give us feedback through our new feedback loops, and to continue to rely on Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network as the essential resource for exchanging ideas and information on technical topics.
Jon Ericson resigns
Jon mentions in a blog post that "leadership within the company neither understood community management nor was willing to learn", and that his decision to leave was connected to the incident with firing Monica.
Stack Exchange attempts to limit featured moderator resignation notices to a maximum of 24 hours
This reverses the previous policy for Meta Stack Overflow: We’re removing “Hot Meta Posts” from Stack Overflow's sidebar for now; moderators now fully control [featured]
Community Managers Shog9 and Robert Cartaino fired from Stack Exchange Inc
"We’re seeking to align the company so that it can continue growing in 2020 and we continue to be committed in investing in the community and ensuring that it has a seat at the table as we keep moving forward. These changes are a part of that process." -- Juan M
- Shog9 tweeted about suddenly being in need of new job
- Robert updated his profile indicating he is no longer with the company
- Thank you, Robert Cartaino and Thank you, Shog9! – meta posts from the community
- George Stocker starts a GoFundMe campaign to thank Shog9 for cultivating Stack Overflow
- More moderators on the network continue to resign in protest
Stack Exchange posts update on a private agreement with Monica Cellio
Also reported on The Register: "Stack Overflow makes peace with ousted moderator, wants to start New Year with 2020 vision on codes of conduct"
Rollout of new post notices with updated design to entire network
Letter from user BelovedFool to SE
I'm not a moderator, and I shouldn't be the one saying that. But, with the recent event, I have been made aware of an issue and I can't close my eyes to it. Because I care about moderators. Because I want them to be well and happy.
I hope SE Inc. is already aware that there is an issue here and I hope they are already working on fixing it.
But if not, please SE Inc., do something. Protect our moderators the same way they protect us, regular users.
Don't expect them to be perfect and don't expect them to keep their calm in every situation. Because they won't, and because they can't.
Please, remember that moderators are human too and put safety in place for when their humanity will take the best part of them.
I care for my moderators, please protect them.
Heather, after talking with Monica, urges SE to join in seeking dialogue and understanding
I say that Monica and I have come to a resolution, and I say this because we talked. We talked understanding that we come from different backgrounds, with different perspectives. We talked understanding that we each carry different baggage with us. We talked knowing that we were there to understand each other. I post this today in an attempt to reach out a hand, and to ask all of you to do so as well, to ask Stack Exchange to do so as well.
Monica posts a response to the situation
Over the last month, Stack Overflow has violated its own policies and precedents to cause egregious and unnecessary harm to me -- to my reputation (personal and professional), to my health, and to my safety. This harm is significant and ongoing. It is past time for the company to correct its errors, repair what can be repaired, and move toward a spirit of working with rather than against its users and volunteers.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community feel less safe due to recent events
unfortunately due to the huge turmoil created by the recent CoC changes, several right-wing websites have started reporting and thus directed attention of far-right groups to this network
George Stocker resigns
Jack Douglas resigns
Open letters from moderators
Third official response by David Fullerton, Stack Exchange CTO
In the last few weeks, we made a series of mistakes, both in our actions and in the ways that we communicated those actions. In doing so, we hurt people who believe in that mission and who want to help us make the community welcoming and open to all.
Looking forward, Stack Overflow is just beginning this new stage in its growth as a company. One of our top priorities across the entire team is to continue to make the community more inclusive and welcoming. We recognize that the community is the heartbeat of Stack Overflow, and we deeply appreciate all that you do. We know that our moderators care deeply about the future of our community, and we’re committed to involving you more as we evolve. We have an incredible opportunity to impact the world, and we hope that you will continue to join us on that mission.
Second official statement by Sara Chipps
Last week we made an important decision for our community. We removed a moderator for repeatedly violating our existing Code of Conduct and being unwilling to accept our CM’s repeated requests to change that behavior. We recognize it has caused concern in the community as a whole. We made a hard decision, and we stand by that decision. But we must also acknowledge the way in which we implemented it and our communications surrounding the decision could have been much better.
Prashanth Chandrasekar takes over as CEO of Stack Overflow
Official statement by Sara Chipps
We’re sorry to see you go.
We understand there are some folks upset about the decision made this week. We aren’t going to share specifics out of respect for all individuals involved but this is a site reaching millions of people and we have to do what we believe fosters a spirit of inclusion and respect. When a moderator violates that, we will always do our best to resolve it with them privately. When we can’t we must take action. This is always done based on what we believe is best for all SE users.
Robert Harvey resigns
Monica Cellio unceremoniously fired as moderator from six network sites
- Also reported on The Register: "The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row"
- Monica's side of the timeline
- Monica posts a response to the situation on 2019-10-24
- Monica sets up a GoFundMe page to help pay for combating the issue
- Moderators on the network begin resigning in protest
Yvette steps down
stepped down to take a break for personal reasons, but later requested and failed to be reinstated in 2020 due to the new reinstatement process
Stack Exchange retroactively relicenses all user-contributed content on the Network
Effective today, all Subscriber Content on Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network will be available under the terms of version 4.0 of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license.
Guy Zerega resigns
29 beta sites mass graduate
In the almost four years since that announcement it's become clear on many of your meta sites and even here on MSE that being unable to get rid of the "beta" label in your banners is a major concern to your communities - and it's time to address that.
What does it mean? For now, if a site started private beta before July 2012, that site is no longer "beta" - it is a full site by our definition. We've removed the word "beta" from the site banners because we believe that these sites aren't really beta sites any more, even if they don't get ten questions per day.
Cassie Montrose resigns
Hot Meta Posts removed from Stack Overflow's sidebar
We're removing the "Hot Meta Posts" from Stack Overflow's sidebar while we work on looking at how Meta can better meet its goals. To ensure that moderators are able to bring important posts to the community, we'll be giving them exclusive access to the featured tag. "Featured on Meta" will remain. This only affects Stack Overflow.
Unfortunately this didn't work out well because the sidebar is heavily cached. It can take up to six hours before a [featured] post appears in the sidebar.
Also, the "exclusive access" policy was rescinded in early 2020 because they can.
Jay Hanlon resigns
I tried my best, where I could, to leave this place just a little bit better than when I found it. Where I failed at that, I think I mostly learned from it. And where I succeeded, it was in large part thanks to all of you, and all of your efforts to make this crazy experiment keep working. Keep teaching. Keep helping. Be kind to all my friends at the company.
Moderators appointed on Meta Stack Exchange for the first time
Please welcome ChrisF, Tinkeringbell and Journeyman Geek as they step up to become emissaries of Meta Stack Exchange!
Monica is an experienced moderator across the Stack Exchange network and we thought it would be presumptuous to ask her to step up yet again; that was a little short-sighted of us because she's been rocking it here and has the cycles to come on board.
These folks have quite a bit of moderation experience, some since the dawn of time the concept of pro-tem moderation itself. All of these individuals have been leaders on their respective sites, as well as leaders in the broader Stack Exchange moderator community. They're fair, even-keeled and most importantly, they're incredibly great at disagreeing with Stack Exchange!
Joe Friend resigns
Interpersonal Skills was banned from Hot Network Questions over a Twitter complaint
Later reinstated with maximum one entry at any time:
Stack Exchange launches the Code of Conduct
Discussions & feedback:
Spawned discussions on Meta Stack Overflow:
- Does Stack Exchange really want to conflate newbies with women/people of color?
- How do you know Stack Overflow feels unwelcoming?
- On the false dichotomy between quality and kindness
- When is Stack Overflow going to stop demonizing the quality-concerned users who have made the site a success?
- Is Stack Overflow really racist/sexist?
Stack Exchange announces network-wide redesign
Official site: https://stackoverflow.design
Implemention of Affiliate Ads
Resulting fallout and continuing until today:
- Ads on SE sites are excessively animated, irrelevant, dubious and resource-intensive
- Why is Stack Overflow trying to start audio?
- Is SE allowing ads to use fingerprinting to track users?
- Inappropriate weight loss ad on The Workplace, ELU, and Travel
- Are interstitial ads, video ads and autoplay audio ads coming to SE?
- Inappropriate “Ads by WGX” ad on Academia and History
- Those ads carousel are try to tell me something
- NSFW video and annoying animated advertising on Music SE
- Full page adverts?
- Stop with the Sex Ads on SE sites, ESPECIALLY sites like “The Workplace”
- Inappropriate dating ad on The Workplace
- Health scam on Travel
- “Obesity antidote discovered” on SFF
- Playboy model on Biology
- Possible stem cell scam on Biology
- Yet another inappropriate, scammy and NSFW ad
- Online gambling on Music SE
- Fixing bunions without surgery (and probably without any doctor) on Chemistry
- (etc. see tags below)
2017 Stack Exchange staff layoffs
Learned this morning that today is my -- and many others' -- last day at @StackOverflow. Know anyone wanting to pick up a Stack dev, shout.
Stack Overflow removes Documentation
Stack Overflow launches Documentationdiscuss
Computer Science launches
Code Review launches
Can Stack Overflow and Meta's logos be changed temporarily to the “#LoveOverflows” logo?
after Stack Exchange tweeted this image following the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in favor of gay marriage, Joel Spolsky, CEO and co-founder, strongly came out in support of this. The rainbow icon was in place for about a week on Stack Overflow.
Network Engineering launches
Stack Overflow em Português launches
Movies & TV launches
ExpressionEngine® Answers launches
Stack Exchange Quality Improvement Project announced
- Allow users to optionally filter out low-quality questions
- Feedback requested: New “recommended” homepage, phase 1
- What should the system be deleting automatically that it already isn't?
- Let's have an explicit triage system for questions from new users
- Breaking down question blocks - let's talk about rate limits
First "Stack Overflow Gives Back"
First and foremost, our community moderators. They, more than anyone, set the tone and direction for the community — and generously contribute their time to make Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User, and Meta Stack Overflow into places you’d actually want to participate.
As a gesture of thanks for their contributions this year, Stack Overflow offered to make a donation to the charity or nonprofit of their choice.
Jeff Atwood states that they will never accept animated ads
While we don’t want to pummel anyone with ads, we do need to advertise responsibly to ensure we generate enough revenue to fund continued development of the site
We aren’t planning to have more than 3 ads, and as always, we will never accept animated, Flash, or Silverlight ads. We think this is a good, responsible balance of advertising, and hopefully sufficient to underwrite the continued development and improvement of Stack Overflow!
Stack Overflow launches
- Stack Overflow Launches - Joel Spolsky
- Stack Overflow: None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us - Jeff Atwood
- see also Stack_Overflow - Wikipedia
Stack Overflow private beta
Jeff Atwood sent out invitations encouraging blog subscribers to take part in the private beta
Joel Spolsky blogs about Stack Overflow
We’re starting to build a programming Q&A site that’s free.
This is a free new community site for programmers around the world and we need your help to design it, to program it, and to build it. We want to hear your suggestions, hear your ideas, and we’re going to build it right in front of your eyes.
What is stackoverflow.com? - Joel Spolsky
Jeff Atwood blogs about Stack Overflow
The "building stuff", as you helped us determine, is stackoverflow.com. It's a small company Joel Spolsky and I are founding together.
From day one, my blog has been about putting helpful information out into the world. I never had any particular aspirations for this blog to become what it is today; I'm humbled and gratified by its amazing success. It has quite literally changed my life. Blogs are fantastic resources, but as much as I might encourage my fellow programmers to blog, not everyone has the time or inclination to start a blog. There's far too much great programming information trapped in forums, buried in online help, or hidden away in books that nobody buys any more. We'd like to unlock all that. Let's create something that makes it easy to participate, and put it online in a form that is trivially easy to find.
Stackoverflow is sort of like the anti-experts-exchange (minus the nausea-inducing sleaze and quasi-legal search engine gaming) meets wikipedia meets programming reddit. It is by programmers, for programmers, with the ultimate intent of collectively increasing the sum total of good programming knowledge in the world. No matter what programming language you use, or what operating system you call home. Better programming is our goal.
Introducing Stackoverflow.com - Jeff Atwood
Jeff Atwood releases a public poll for the name of the project
As I work on UI prototypes for the new web venture, I've been brainstorming names for the web site we're building. I've surveyed some of the finest minds in the software developer community (for very small values of "fine"), and we've come to a collective realization: naming a website is hard. Really, really hard.
You begin to have a new respect for all the crazily-named Web 2.0 startups. And then there are the domain names which must not be named. Some of them are actually serious. What were the people who named experts-exchange.com thinking? I'm not so sure they were.
We've racked our collective brains, and this is the best we could do. We'd like your input to see if we're on the right track. Vote for the name that best embodies what you'd like to see on a software developer community website.
Help Name Our Website - Jeff Atwood