Concerns about the moderation and transparency on this forum

Earlier today someone started a discussion on this forum that they titled Flatpak is a missed opportunity.

The actual content of it is not relevant to this thread but I’d characterise it as very productive with users and Ubuntu community participants sharing their thoughts on the matter together with Canonical staff which I thought was very nice as for the first time this wasn’t a flame war.

I decided to contribute my own thoughts to this discussion and tried to put everything down as to provide as much insight as possible form my side partly because I feel passionate about some of the topics related to that post like FOSS ethos etc.

I actually started the reply in the morning but as people would comment more I felt like I had to add on it and since I was in the middle of work I couldn’t do it in one piece so it actually took me hours to craft the quite lengthy reply to the thread (weather you’ll find it useful is for each person to decide).

My issue tho is that not long after, an admin or a mod locked the topic. Nobody can reply, nobody can edit. The constructive discussion is essentially being killed by the staff. And I have a feeling that any community discussion is being killed off from this forum.

It was done without any explanation for no obvious reason. And it pains me to see what Ubuntu community management has became. Slowing and locking threads without explanations. I suppose that is the right of the mods but then that should be amended to the F&Q of this forum so that nobody is caught off guard when they find the topic slowed or locked after they’ve spend hours trying to provide guidance and community insight for free.
You don’t need to like it, you don’t even need to agree but since when we’ve started doing this and in this way without any explanation?

Mind you there was nothing controversial in the entire thread and the only thing that could be interpreted as an ad hominem came from one of the mods but it was done passively and at a group of one project’s community so fair play I guess. Nobody is above criticism.

My question is, what kind of relationship with your users and community do you want to foster here? Too many times I’ve seen community discussions being killed. I’ve seen people asking for support being trashed on instead of politely directed to the rules but also to a particular resource to help them.

I’d ask that clear rules and guidelines for moderation and expected conduct of the moderators be set and explained. So we all know what to expect and whether to engage in this forum instead of inviting people to join and then slowing the topic and essentially waisting our time.

I am a part of a few communities and Discourse forums just like this one which have grown into an important part of the web and serve a great purpose to many FOSS projects. I’ll be glad to direct you to those in DM so anyone willing to learn might shadow there and see how a properly led community forum looks like and how much progress that leads to on a daily basis.

Your’s truly, Kristijan Zic

I’m tagging you b/c the forum says you’re the leader: @aaronprisk Please lead well.

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It’s not locked. It’s slowed . The same person cannot post twice within four hours. That’s clearly shown at the bottom of the topic.

And I did it because folks were clearly getting excited. That’s exactly what Slow Mode is for. When the topic calms down, I will revert that topic to normal.

Nobody is being censored. Everybody should use their time to compose a well-written, fact-based, persuasive reply that is considerate, respectful, responsible, and collaborative.

Folks who have questions about moderation, please feel free to PM me anytime.


Hi Kristijan,

let me add my thoughts to this as well. I really appreciate the thoughts and effort you have put into your post. I can see you are passionate about improving the Linux packaging ecosystem and appreciate the concern you have on Ubuntu following the snap path and what that might do for its adoption.

As Ian mentioned, we use slow mode sometimes on topics that have potential to be heated. This actually gives more people the opportunity to post, as the holding period gives them time to respond across timezones.

The post you mentioned was split from the Ubuntu Flavor Packaging Defaults post, which at the time was quite a hot topic. While we do usually explain when a topic is closed, we don’t do so for slowed mode for reasons above. I’ll see if we can clarify that in a FAQ somewhere.

I do believe in constructive discourse and appreciate that we’ve been able to exchange our ideas. If you’re interested in turning that energy into opportunities for contribution please do let me know and I’ll see where I can find the right overlap between Ubuntu’s goals and your passion.