I wish to voice my concern over the treatment of Scott and discuss whether the community feels this was a correct way to handle the situation.
Some background on Scott for newer users:
- Scott is the Jon Skeet of GDSE
- He has reached roughly as many people as our 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest rep members combined. (12,400,000 people reached)
So there was an altercation involving Scott and a new users months ago. Scott then voluntarily took a sabbatical from GDSE, and has only just started coming back more frequently. In his time off, he was still contributing to other sites on the network, and I feel safe in assuming he has had no incidents during that time.
So he left a few comments, some of which raised flags. The mods have highlighted what is in my opinion, a questionable example of a sarcastic comment made by Scott in a meta post.
This is where I believe the mistake was made. Scott was called out publicly on the incident, and not in a friendly tone either, but in a zero-tolerance tone. That forced him to respond, and its obviously going to be an argumentative response as it would be from anyone who thinks they haven't done anything wrong.
Everything I have seen about this (meta and transcripts) reads to me as the mods have no time for Scott, and that he's a bit of a nuisance.
But I personally know different. Scott is not irrational or unreasonable, he occasionally came across as a bit stern with a few early comments to me but I soon learned it wasn't malicious in the slightest.
I've rewritten many comments when I realised they came across in a tone I didn't intend, and have posted others that I simply didn't realise had a problem. There's always a chance it's plain human error, but in this case Scott was immediately painted a villain, and indirectly threatened with suspension via the meta post.
What I find quite incredulous, is that someone who has given so much time and effort to GDSE, is given no patience or effort from the mods.
Even if Scott re acted badly to being called out - I actually think he gave a clearly frustrated but reasonable response - when he came to chat to discuss it (clearly frustrated, maybe a little hurt, but not rude) he was immediately met with an abrasive response from someone who definitely used to have an internet-based friendship with him, further degrading the relationship between mods and Scott.
I personally feel that the mods have not been particularly friendly lately (from the limited stuff I see) and are much more matter-of-fact, rules-and-regulations now.
I think it's plain wrong that there was less time and patience for Scott than any new user is given, considering the size of his contributions and his very long track record of using the site without a problem.
Serving a suspension to our #1 user is a potential flag in itself. It's definitely worth considering that maybe the problem isn't Scott after all, or isn't all Scott, and maybe it's also a bit closer to home instead.
Do you think Scott was treated with the fairness and respect he deserves?