Suppressing community voices, selective comment picking off, window dressing.
What is going on with you, Stack Exchange Community Managers?
5,769 voters were eligible, 1,146 visited the site during the election, 823 visited the election page, and 305 voted. But this is all you are giving 305 ELL voters?
First, let us let the policies straight. The policies are in place to protect regular users, and the point is "building a community where all people feel welcome and can participate." (CoC) And now I ask you: how do you expect community members to participate when the entire election process saw multiple instances where you ignored and disregarded mod requests and the workload reality. How do you expect the average user, especially new users and those who are not in those inner circles to feel motivated to participate again when, after being kept in the dark for days, what you now are telling them omits crucial facts. And those facts are not about any one user, but simply about you, yes you. How do you expect people to feel welcome when you are actively and arbitrarily silencing dissident and critical voices?
You have been arbitrarily and unilaterally censoring protesting voices and making like you have triumphantly resolved a difficult situation caused by our ELL mod team, when in reality it is the opposite. As the moderator responsible for requesting an election in the past year as well as the chief point of contact in many account-related cases in the past year, I am proud to say that the moderation team did a great job. In fact, I think we did everything we could, taking into account being constantly short-staffed and overworked.
Please do not do any more suppression of critical voices. This post is specifically about how you, some members of the CM team, handled the 2021 ELL election. If you have a problem with criticism from us moderators and users, point to a policy that says, "No criticism of any staff is allowed." Until then, when it comes to community decisions and CM (mis)conduct, transparency is the best policy.
For obvious reasons of conflict of interest, CMs whose behaviors are questioned in this post should refrain from willfully removing this post and other dissenting voices, in order to avoid further erosion of community trust. I am naming Cesar and Catija who can be seen here giving speeches after removing disagreeing voices. Direct responses addressing things brought up in this post are welcome, but censorship should not happen again.
You removed comments and suppressed voices that are directly addressed to you and about your violation of the trust of ELL moderation team and your community trust, rather than about any other specific user. A lot of the comments you removed are neither about any specific user nor about individual suspension cases. If you disagree, we shall look at those comments you removed one by one, and I expect you should be able to point to a relevant policy for each removal and give a convincing reason.
You have given yourself the license to freely tell dissident voices that those opinions are "wholly incorrect" or "neither truth nor kindness". Based on the little information I have been allowed to peek at, the statement you are putting out and telling the community to believe is neither accurate, nor truthful, nor in any way an indication of responsibility.
So, for what is worth, this is a statement about the recent election from me as a moderator and the sole moderator that has been closely working on the election. Or I tried to at least.
I requested a new election of a CM back in January 2021 because some of our ELL moderators had been inactive and the workload had been obviously getting too much for the active ones. My requests were ignored. Yes, just like that. Ignored. In fact, since January, I have only had the privilege of getting two responses from that CM, both highly reproachful in tone. CM support? What is that?
In the following months, several other attempts at scheduling an election had been made, but the scheduled time came and went, the election got forgotten or pushed back, three times (or was it four?) We were promised summer, promised the 4th of October, and other promises I don't remember.
When there were signs of the election finally happening, we, ELL moderators, requested 2 positions, but again, we didn't get any responses. The election was set in motion without consulting our perceived workload.
During the nomination period, when concerns arose about the election, and I tried to get help from said CM, I was again ignored. I don't know whether that was intentional or not, but I was very anxious for the fairness of this election. Requests continuously ignored, Glorfindel and I tried working together but there wasn't anything we could do, so as Glorfindel suggested, we waited. And days later, at long last I finally got word from a CM, her response can only be described as stern, reproachful, and disrespectful. But maybe I should've been happy because that was the first time I successfully got her attention in... 9 months. When you treat someone equally and respectfully, and you fail to see their messages, and it is an honest mistake, shouldn't your first response be "Oh sorry, I dropped the ball there"? Instead you chose to double down on the harsh tone, and what was the goal?
With all the things I have mentioned, we have reasons to consider it is possible that this mess that we ended up with could have been avoided, this whole snafu of electing a moderator and then having to retract a previous announcement and doing it all over again. Again this is about the election, and this is about community trust and transparency.
The moderation team has not been told any specifics regarding causes of the eventfulness of this election. We are in the dark just like y'all. We don't know what happened. So user accounts and related investigations should never be made public, but I am not aware that moderators are also excluded. I thought those things were the reason you need moderators. Or is the real question who gets excluded?
Community Managers owe the community and the moderation team an apology.