Degeneracy is like a virus. It seeps through the pores of tolerance, and infects everything beneath the surface of kindness. It is a mutable strain that never desists; it doesn’t tire, nor yield to reason or common sense. It adopts folly for its ally and nonsense as a lover. This is what’s become of Stack Exchange.
The coding network updated their code of conduct recently, as picked up by Sankaku Complex, and it’s all about “diversity” and “inclusion”.
Engineering manager, Sara Chipps, wrote in a post over on the Stack Overflow blog…
“[…] we’ve begun our next community initiative to make improvements specifically designed to make Stack Overflow more welcoming. This takes the form of another similar clarification and setting of expectations, this time around a different section of the Code of Conduct. […]
“Our new tenet is:
“Be inclusive and respectful.
“Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes — tone is hard to decipher online. Prefer gender-neutral language when uncertain. If a situation makes it hard to be friendly, stop participating and move on.
“We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples. When in doubt, just don’t.”
Sprinkled in between the actual policy are pointless graphics reinforcing the point through code comments.
But it’s near the bottom of the post where things go from tepid to tyrannical.
“We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples. Use stated pronouns (when known). When in doubt, don’t use language that might offend or alienate. […]
“By adding this update, we want to make it clear that the Code of Conduct requires people to use the correct gender pronouns when someone shares their pronouns or makes them public. It also means that respecting anyone less because of their gender identity or pronouns is off limits. This has always been true of our Code of Conduct and we are making it more explicit with this language. This isn’t a new rule or a change to our policy. We found there was confusion, and we’ve clarified the language to make things abundantly clear.
“We recognize using different pronouns can sometimes be challenging for people who don’t speak English as their first language. There are lots of great resources online to help guide folks with questions, including this. We will also be sharing FAQs with our moderators and community, and are here to answer your questions.
“The goal here is an obvious one: we want to build a better culture, where community members don’t have to justify who they are or explain why their identity is worth respecting. Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network are here for everyone to be who they are.”
Essentially, you’ll have to abide by the rules of the insane, if it’s so deemed.
If someone wants to be known as “xer”, you’re going to have to suck the schlong of social servitude if you want to keep making use of the Stack Exchange services. If a hairy-chested, deep-voiced, barrel-bodied and bearded-face giant with the rotundness of an ale-imbibed gnome beseeches you to call them “her”, well then… you’ll have to call him, “her”. Otherwise you could be looking at a suspension.
This kind of societal breakdown of common sense is becoming all too… common.
Some of the people on the comment section of the article at least recognize this, and were bold enough to stand by common decency by pointing out the absurdity of the new update. User pHfactor wrote…
“Requiring use of requested pronouns is coercing speech. The notion that not using requested pronouns is presented as offensive by definition. This makes two unproven assumptions. One, that not being offended is a right. Two, that the individual requester is, by definition, always right and that everyone else either uses the language they request, or they are wrong.”
Brevity and bravado.
Cheers for that comment.
Unfortunately there’s also plenty of people cheering on this update, but some of the comments really nail home how silly this whole exercise is, with Khushal Khan writing…
“Most people came here just to get help on their coding problems, calling me he or she or anything else is perhaps the least important thing. As long as SO delivers its core value I don’t care about anything else. Wonder why many of you are taking pronouns so personal.”
To answer Khan’s question… the reason that they’re taking it so personal is because the staff at Stack Exchange are converged. They’ve bitten into the poisoned apple of postmodernism and there’s no turning back.
Smart coders would go elsewhere, those willing to tolerate the intolerable will stay put. The rest of us will laugh from afar as Clown World consumes yet another community.
(Thanks for the news tip Wondy Bergers)