I believe that Ubuntu is a free software, and free here does not mean free of cost, but freedom. I have been using Ubuntu since Hardy, and have potentially refrained from using Microsoft Windows.

Since Microsoft windows is a commercial and closed software, I feel that the Ubuntu community should not resort to marketing or indirectly advertising the software or the company manufacturing the software.

In a recent question of mine, I referred to "Microsoft Windows" as "M$ Windows" and it was edited, thus referring to the name of the company (in fully expanded form) and the software. Since I believed, that the edit was against the free spirit, I rolled back the edit.

I got a comment from a certain Thomas W. using all "pleases" saying that my "needless" rollbacks can "catch the attention of the mods (moderators?)" and that they could stop me from "editing your own question". This comment is both threatening and dictatorial, thus differing from the free spirit of Ubuntu (well I believe it is free, till now).

  • 7
    Did I just read a question?
    – jobin
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:24
  • 3
    Free doesn't mean you can break rules & regulations of anything that has a ubuntu in it. Why do you think spelling Microsoft is against free spirit? Microsoft do contribute to open source. leave that aside, I don't found what Thomas said as threatening. The edit can only done by a user who has good reputation point otherwise it need two peer review. So when rolling back you should have a strong reason. The mods will watch because rolling back can be used to abuse the system.So be cool & read FAQ first.
    – Web-E
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:35
  • 3
    The Ubuntu Software and this site are not related to each other. This site may indeed actually help be a community support location for the Ubuntu site, but it is NOT run by the Ubuntu Community Council and is a separate entity. It does NOT have unrestricted freedom, nor do the other Ubuntu support mediums (IRC, mailing lists, forums, etc.) which all have their own restrictions and policies. There is ZERO expectation of freedom of speech on ANY of those sites. You are confusing the mission statement of the Ubuntu OS with the mission statements of the support mediums.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:41
  • BTW, @ThomasW. is not a Moderator....
    – Braiam
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:57
  • Thanks for pointing that out to them, Braiam. Yes, I am not a moderator, the little diamonds next to people's names means they're moderators. I'm just an incredibly enthusiastic, sometimes borderline-annoying community member. I am not a moderator. Oli, however, is a moderator, and the answer I wrote here on this question is a direct quote from him. Just follow the attribution link I mentioned in the post and you'll see Oli is in fact a moderator and I'm just quoting what moderators say.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:58
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    Also, I don't see a "threat" anywhere, what is this "threatsome" advice you speak of? When there's rollback wars moderators typically get involved, I was only stating a fact not making a threat.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 19:09
  • 3
    Using "real" names is not advertising, it is using language properly so people know what you are talking about, referring to a software with censored or derogatory terms is extremely hurtful to the community.
    – Mateo
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 5:51

3 Answers 3

  1. Stack Exchange does not use Ubuntu but uses Windows software to host this platform. Ask Ubuntu might be about answering questions related to Ubuntu the rules Stack Exchange enforces still apply to us.

  2. Read this. You're on a private site so your speech IS restricted.

  3. You need to learn the rules of this website. Ask Ubuntu is for asking questions about Ubuntu. Not about policy. That is what Meta is for. Before posting there read this.

  4. Microsoft is a company that deserves our respect. They made some very good operating system (and some bad ones) regardless of their philosophy.

  • For the benefit of people who don't want to view the other link, I put Oli's answer on that question you linked as its own answer here.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:45
  • @ThomasW. oh feel free to do so. You are also allowed to edit my question any time you feel like ;-)
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:46
  • Now that I have your permission to freely revise your answer... >:D evil laughter
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:48
  • Well... you'd be in trouble if you changed Microsoft into M$ :D
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:49
  • Rinzwind, after my comment rant against the OP of this meta post, don't you think I know better than that...? (this sass was obligatory and is required)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:50

"Free" as in freedom comes in shades of gray. If you want a completely free, opensource OS, use linux-libre There are versions based on both Arch and Ubuntu. There is a bit of a lag in their releases as they have to review packaging, remove closed binaries, and review the kernel.

Feel free to contribute to any project you wish.

Along with freedom you should learn respect. You gain nothing by criticizing projects from Windows to Ubuntu from Microsoft or OSX to RHEL to Canonical. People have the "right" to choose to pay someone to maintain what they consider a superior OS and or make a living by making and marketing such an OS.

You are better off contributing to the open source community, thereby improving the product, and compassionately educating the people around you.

Just take care, many people do not wish to listen to you when you come across as an extremist or angry.

Last, FYI, as much "moderation" as possible is performed by "the community" based on reputation. Moderators and staff members are elected.

  • 6
    That "respect" needs to be bold.
    – Braiam
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 18:40
  • Are staff members elected?
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 17:49

This answer was created based off of an excerpt of an answer originally created by Oli, one of the moderators of this site, at this post

Why do people think they have a freedom of speech everywhere? You're on a private site, not something owned by your government. You have no rights here. Your access to the site is granted to you by Stack Exchange provided that you play by our rules. It's all in the terms of service.

You are complaining that we're doing something wrong because we're not letting you post whatever you like... Well that's not how we work here and you are wrong to assume we would.

We're here not only to help people with problems but to help the people who invest their time in helping other people. Bad questions and bad answers will be edited, closed and/or removed as we see fit.

We also focus quite specifically on answering support questions. We're not a chat site and we don't take feature petitions or bugs. You can read all about this in our help documents.

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