Thread Moderation And List Etiquette (Reference – Another Fedora Decision)

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The thread titled “Another Fedora Decision” is rapidly turning into a political and opinion driven flame fest that is unsuited for the CentOS
mailing list. This list should try and remain focused on CentOS, what we have and keep the area sane for new users as well as old hands to participate in a fair and thoughtful conversation around the CentOS
Linux platform and the CentOS project ecosystem.

We are, from this point on, considering moderating all content posted to that thread.

Furthermore, consider this to be a wider general request – specially to the list regulars – to be considerate and thoughtful in their responses. General ‘me too’ and ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type posts are not needed. Similarly, if you must correct someone, do it politely without making it into a personal attack. Finally, if content in a conversation changes from the original post – please change the thread and start a new one.

8 thoughts on - Thread Moderation And List Etiquette (Reference – Another Fedora Decision)

  • Hi Jim,

    Thanks for putting in the effort here. It’s never a good situation to have to moderate, but sometimes it is necessary.

    From my perspective, this kind of thing happens far more often than the current example, though maybe not with such intensity. This situation forces me to evaluate if replying to any message on this list is going to be worth the headache of the inevitable noise that seems to get attached to almost every thread. I can say with certainty that there are many questions that I could’ve provided some help on, but did not do so simply to avoid the annoyance.

    I think it’s something people have gotten used to, and only noticed in extreme cases. CentOS is unquestionably one of the most used Linux distros in the world, and yet the mailing list is relatively quiet. To me this is a symptom of a problem, and I feel that it’s partially a result of the same regular people, only be virtue of the fact that they are “regulars”, acting as if this is their own personal living room instead of a public community space for collaboration and support.

    My ability to contribute to the CentOS community is limited. There’s not much I can do as far as helping out with builds, testing, etc… so the main thing I can contribute is help and (hopefully) thoughtful discussion on the list. The current environment discourages me from that, so I tend to ignore most messages and turn my attention to other things.

    ❧ Brian Mathis

    CentOS mailing list

  • I think it is generally a good thing when the bulk of the conversation here is ranting about mostly irrelevant opinions. That is, instead of ‘Why doesn’t this work”‘, or ‘How do I fix this problem” that you would have if there were something fundamentally wrong with the disto.

  • Indeed!

    I think this kind of thing is an artefact of a vibrant and involved community. I generally find the people on this list to be well informed and passionate. The internet was made for flaming and trolling! Whilst it nice for someone to step in, break up the fight when it gets a bit too hot it would be a shame to clamp down on it too hard.

  • A large part of this is that some of the regular people are now using the list as a way to socialise and contribute ‘me too’ or ‘yes/no’ sort of comments that dont really have much relevance to the real thread. All of this not only makes the list unwelcoming to new users, it also dramatically drops the quality of conversation.

    If moderating is the only way to restore sanity and keep things productive for the folks bringing through conversations then so be it, we will start putting individual accounts on moderation.

  • yes, lots of irrelevant conversation on the list – and it comes from a handful of users. Its irrelevant, take it to an irrelevant venue.

    By assuming that the mailing list is a bug reporting venue, you miss the entire point of what a community might be.

  • (answering off the list to diminish buzz)

    More than agree.


    Valeri Galtsev Sr System Administrator Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics University of Chicago Phone: 773-702-4247

  • Agreed, but second-guessing other people’s opinions and moderating what they can say is pretty shaky ground too… I’m just saying that’s what happens when there aren’t bugs to report and generic ‘how to’ questions tend to be met with a ‘go google it yourself’ response.

    It would sort of nice if there were a way to sort pure-technical stuff from ‘slightly-related’ and ‘way-off-topic’ postings so actual conversations could run their course without mangling the list’s purpose. But I don’t have any idea how to manage that…