What can we do to stop situations like this from happening?
Be aware of the policies. Quora certainly won’t bother telling you in advance (Quora does not do onboarding), so find out about them, and find out about how they are policed. Do your own digging. Don’t just take me or my blogs’ word for it. And don’t just read the letter of Quora’s policies either; they are vague and generic. Look at specific moderation calls. Talk to former community mods about how they think the policies work.
Being aware of the policies is not to acquiesce to them and absolve Quora of any blame. We know Quora is fallible. We know that Quora can be tricked. And whether the sockpuppetting rules are justified or not is a topic worthy of discussion. Information is a good thing to have. Critical opinion about rules is a good thing to have.
But they are still their rules, not yours, and their processes of appeal, not yours.
How can we get her back?
Matt Zhang is unbanned not only because Quora recognised that they had been tricked (if what User says is true), but also because I gave him Tatiana’s email address for him to appeal his ban. I also gave those who wanted to appeal Brooke’s ban Tatiana’s email. (Tatiana’s email, and her availability as an avenue of appeal, is not secret information, so I don’t feel compunction about doing so. If that avenue is closed off, I’m sure I will hear of it.)
You can use that avenue of appeal alongside the normal, fill-out-a-form-and-Rory-the-Quora-intern-will-take-your-form-and-file-it process. I don’t know for a fact that this avenue is discouraged or encouraged. If that avenue fails, though, you are out of luck. No industrial action or protest will change it. And I can only assume by now that this is the case with Brooke Taylor.
Btw, because I have been getting a few emails lately about this from banees: I have no special access to the Corridors Of Power here on Quora. Quite the opposite in fact: I’ve had all of one (1) exchange with Tatiana, about my blog posts being throttled. I don’t know if Top Writers can advocate successfully for or against banees, as I’ve seen alleged here; I can only assure you that I’m not such a Top Writer, and I wouldn’t want to be.