Feeds

Canonical responds to 'abusive' Ubuntu posts

Troll watch

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Administrators overseeing Ubuntu mailing lists are taking steps to thwart and apparent rash of un-Ubuntu-like behavior.

Canonical is investigating what has been reported as "abuse" and "intimidation" of unnamed members of the Ubuntu community email lists. The investigation will produce a set of guidelines that will help decide when to escalate future posts of a similar nature for action to Ubuntu's overall governing board, the community council.

Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon promised the outcome would not establish a system that censors the thousands of people participating in Ubuntu's more than 300 email lists.

"I don't want to censor people and come up with ideas that make it a very restrictive environment, but want to make sure there's an acceptable level of behavior," Bacon told The Reg.

"The most important thing is to identify the most important means of dealing with this issue and make the Ubuntu community do great work together."

He said that the community already had "key" processes in place and that the existing Ubuntu code of conduct, here, is a good basis for future guidelines.

Bacon is separately organizing a Community Leadership Summit next month in San Jose, California, to debate ways of building what he called "open and frank" communities without imposing too many rules.

Any recommendations on action for the Ubuntu community itself will need the approval of the community council to be adopted as procedure. Currently, there are dates set for when recommendations will be delivered or when the council will meet.

Tech forums and communities in general can have a reputation for sharp and abusive language. Sometimes that can be a simple clash of egos, but there have been genuine attempts to intimidate people.

The Debian Community in 2008 saw women developers threatened by an individual with a grudge who claimed women were "killing" free software. The year before, systems interface and design blogger Kathy Sierra quit the blogosphere, saying she'd received death threats for her posts.

It's unclear what exactly has been said through Ubuntu's email lists, but Bacon categorized the posts as people being snippy with each other, rather than comments being racial or sexist in nature.

Ironically, Canonical and the Ubuntu-Linux community define "Ubuntu" is an African concept of "humanity towards others".

"You see it in every distributed community at some point," said Bacon, who blamed trolls who wanted to be contentious while hiding behind email clients - and who accompany the expansion of any successful project or community.

He believes the Ubuntu community had been lucky not to experience this before. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.