Hey all metausers out there!

I heared an interesting talk about social networks, and what social networks are.

And now this question is engaging me:
Is ask ubuntu a social network?

I think it is pretty similar - You like and dislike things, you communicate with other people, but what do you think?

Well I think maybe all of your opinions are partially right.

And I think inside of AU is a kind of social network, because we vote our moderators, by upvoting their good answers/questions and we repell people wich do things we(all together) don't like(e.g. spam posts).

Isn't this a kind of social interaction?

Maybe AU wasn't devised to be like a social network, and in the foreground it isn't a social network, but if you look close to the things you can see a social movement.

I think this Topic is more like a discussion, than like a question, so I'll let the question unanswered, although some of your answers are really good

  • 1
    I think you need to redefine your definition of "social network". What definition of a 'social network' are you referring to? I give the Oxford definition, but when it comes to the Internet, and actual social networks like Facebook, you have to include the definition of 'social networking', which is different. To that end, there is social interaction, but not the building of interpersonal relationships between individuals, which is the underlying purpose of a social network.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 18:42

6 Answers 6


I would definitely say it is not. Upvoting and downvoting are not similar to liking and disliking. Those are subjective, while upvoting and downvoting is / should be objective. The goal of AU is not socially, but informational. Of course you communicate, and probably you will like the behaviour of some users more than others, but that is secundary and we do not have "friends" here in the sense of social networks.

(Too much) personal information is rather distracting than useful in the goals of this site, and decisions and actions should not be based on- or influenced by that.


Ask Ubuntu is a community driven question and answer website for the Ubuntu operating system, for Ubuntu users and developers.

Members gain reputation based on the community's response (through voting) to their questions and answers. Reputation signifies trust for users in the answers they give. Privileges are given based on reputation levels, with users with the highest reputation having similar privileges to moderators.

While a social network, is a dedicated website or other application which enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc., about anything and everything, and its not specific for one thing. Also users don't gain any reputation, nor they discuss technical issues in specific.

So no, I don't think that Ask Ubuntu is a social network in that sense.

Some info courtesy of AU

  • I can agree in part to what you say. However, with the abundance of 'social' networking sites, perhaps some use it in that sense rather than in its purest (intended) form. As a learning resource, the inexperienced are not encouraged to ask a question which to them has no obvious answer but which is marked down by immature elements within the community. That's a shame but certainly follows the traits of other social networking user sites that I have encountered.
    – graham
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 9:46

Ask Ubuntu is part of the Stack Exchange network:

Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites.

Also visit:

And Most Important is: Moderation of site. and Falggging.

And If you are asking about social then chat is third-place: [Visit chat]

The third place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.

Most needed are those ‘third places’ which lend a public balance to the increased privatization of home life. Third places are nothing more than informal public gathering places. The phrase ‘third places’ derives from considering our homes to be the ‘first’ places in our lives, and our work places the ‘second.’

Also clarify with comments:

When should I comment?
When shouldn't I comment?

Hence Askubuntu is not social network but
Ojective: Expert Answers To Your Question
and for fulfilling it effectively it uses social as only chat for work-place

  • Now, Falggging. A new one on me until I clicked your link and found it was Flagging :) Got me all in hot sweat in eager anticipation there!
    – graham
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 16:02

I agree - to an extent - that AU is a quasi social network.

IMHO, it has an undesirable aspect to it from those new to the 'environment' with low rep where there appears to be an active discouragement to providing responses with good intent in a scenario where you have to make responses in order to grow your rep to unlock additional features.

A distinct lack of tolerance seems to prevail and AU 'experts' with a less than mature outlook on life seem to get some kind of perverse kick out of it simply because 'they can' and without considering the consequences of 'dumbing down' a potentially developing resource.

Further, as in other social networking environments, there is evidence of immaturity as in other non face-to-face encounters. Over the weekend, this was particularly evident as one AU user clearly outlined a need to know when the rep award week began as he seemed to be in competition with others in the 'I got more rep than you this week' stakes.

We all have different values and abilities and there should be more positivity to encourage interaction from novice users keen to develop their skills in the ubuntu/linux environment. I wholeheartedly agree that clearly inappropriate responses should be marked down (maybe even removed) by the community but a more positive approach might be (in order to encourage self development) for those better in the know to edit or add to a 'weak' contribution to make it better and add to the learning experience rather than just give the inexperienced a slap in the face.

That makes for a better overall social network in my view.


The upvotes and downvotes that users give to answers, are not the same as likes and dislikes. You see, when you like or dislike something on Facebook it means that that post appealed to you, or maybe you thought it offensive. However the purpose of AU is to help people who have doubts about the usage of the Ubuntu operating system, and impart information which other Ubuntu users around the world have to share, perhaps from their own experiences with Ubuntu.

The primary difference is that social networking sites are what the name suggests: focused on the social aspect of life, i.e helping people connect with friends or relatives or like minded people, and hence stay in touch with them. You get to see their actual names, which is not the case in AU.They are meant for everybody, whereas AskUbuntu was built to cater to the needs and problems of the Ubuntu community, who might not always be able to use the services of system repair guys, who might not even have heard of Ubuntu.(At least that's the case over here, where I live, which is why I require the services of this site)

So although there is a slight similarity between AU and social networking sites, I would not call Ask Ubuntu a social networking site.


Allow me to pick apart your argument by using definitions in the universe.


The Oxford Dictionaries site defines a social network as follows:

social network
Syllabification: so·cial net·work

1) A network of social interactions and personal relationships.
2) A dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.

Your argument fits this definition only in the most rudimentary sense.

However, when you are talking about a "social network" in the sense of Facebook and such or in the manner you're stating and describing earlier on in your post, then you need to redefine "Social Network" to be more like the definition of a Social networking. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Social Networking is defined as follows:

social networking
: the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships especially online.

With this definition also considered, as social network sites are instruments of social networking, then Ask Ubuntu is not a Social Network.

Ask Ubuntu has the purpose of existing to provide community question-and-answer based support, with a supplementary system of reputation and other models (as described elsewhere in other answers here). It's primary purpose is community question/answer support related to Ubuntu.

To be considere a social network, the primary goal of the site has to be that of social networking, which is not the goal of this site. As such, Ask Ubuntu cannot be considered a 'social network', or in the case of what you're actually asking, a 'social networking site'.

  • So you think, that the relationships, wich should be in a social network are missing? That's a good point and I think that's the main reason why AskUbuntu is no social network. Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 18:24

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