Forum censorship - The Issue

Were they?
Please point to the ones you perceive as “off-topic”.

The fact that the authors of those posts kept writing the off-topic posts clearly annoyed other forum members, otherwise they wouldn’t have flagged them.

I had the impression that some people just wanted to try how this can be used to suppress posts they do not like, and understood that they can play “secret police”, because the flagging process is absolutely opaque to other forum users.

Removing posts which violate our rules hardly counts as censorship.

Which rules do you mean?
AFAICS, the FAQ only contains high-level statements, but not rules or terms and conditions, which a post can be checked against on a rational basis.

BTW, in contrast do Discourse, professional censors usually have a large rule-set (the PRC, the “Third Reich”, etc.).

But ultimately censorship is censorship, regardless if and which rules are applied.

Side note: This was neither a nice or informed try (for a justification) from my POV.

Please use honest and clear terms: These posts are not “hidden”, they are eradicated, i.e. censored.
They are undone, as if they never have been there.
This is exactly what censoring is about: To let statements and opinions vanish, as if they never existed.

Those hidden posts were not about that topic.

I do not concur: AFAIR remember they were still loosely related to the original topic, i.e. triggered by it.
But we cannot discuss this, because they are censored, hence the base of any argument (both yours and mine) has been erased.

You are free to repeat those posts in threads which are relevant to them.

Pun intended?
You suggest to “repeat eradicated posts”, most of which were not mine? Sorry, this is not funny at all IMO. :frowning_face:
Or is that statement of yours just meant as a “power game”?

BTW, if ones rereads the thread that triggered this discussion (“Totally Buggy OS …”) in its current state, large parts of it have become senseless garble now, because most messages have been censored. IMO this does not provide a positive outlook on the future of this forum, if this result is what you perceive and define as “proper handling of flaggings”.


@vige and @olf
I have proven that you can flag at random and no one cares.
This sh*t with the anonymous flagging must stop! There’s too many id**ts around including me :slight_smile:

Not only Jolla is releasing crap recently, but also pushed a forum with full flagged China style censorship - just great! So that you can not complain about the crap they release and the id**ts that are happy with it.

I am really p**sed, because on the Intex AquaFish the bluez4 worked just fine and bluetooth is important for me … so it’s been a PITA since then until where it works fine. Now bought 10 II and keep it as useless brick around - not suitable for production and I have just few simple use cases. For example

  • at random it stops ringing
  • BT decided to start working after restarting bluetooth rfkill-event several times, however it shows up running even if it is turned off.
  • HERE maps expects now a kind of voice engine on the phone that is not provided, but when you increase over the limit and it beeps, this stops BT audio.
  • locking screen with fingerprint or code when driving and having navigation running
  • list goes on

Now again - in 2016 I had a phone that did what was expected and cost me 160,-
Now in 2021 I have a phone that does almost nothing from what is expected and costed 350,- + 50,- for the license

[deleted offending which was not directed to vige, but to the many people who were trying to convince me that something not working is fine]

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Flagging is anonymous, because otherwise spammers or people otherwise harassing others or threatening people would just harass whoever flagged their post.

Your experience with Sailfish updates is also very offtopic for this forum thread. More than half of your post talks about stuff, that has nothing to do with this thread. You are also overly rude, don’t use a welcoming language and are threatening people with future actions. This not only undermines your argument, it is also a common pattern in your posts so far and probably the reason your posts got flagged in the first place.

Please stay polite and constructive on the forums. While in some cases there might have been posts falsely flagged, most of the posts of yours, that I checked, look correctly flagged to me according to the reasoning explained above. I am all for sanctioning people that abuse the flagging mechanism and mods should review flagged posts, but it is totally fair for people to flag posts for being spam, its tone or being offtopic. If you can’t have a polite discussion, please just leave and look for a different forum, where that tone is welcome.


I can’t link to the posts in the original topic, since those are inaccessible now, but if you look at this topic:

A lot of stuff was flagged there, because it argues about vaccinations in general. That is totally offtopic for a thread, which asks for a vaccination status app and correctly flagged imo. Do you have anything, that is still in the flagged state, that you can link to and disagree with it being flagged?

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A large proportion of the posts across pretty much most of the threads in this forum are, strictly speaking, off topic. You don’t need to look very far to see them. Some are jokey asides - a bit of banter - whilst other posts veer off into some loosely related sub-topic which occurred to the poster at the time. This is perfectly natural and just part of the human thought process.

However, very few of these are ever flagged and hidden as ‘off topic’ in the same way as some of the others we’ve seen here - so the ‘off-topic’ flagging justification is only being applied loosely, indiscriminately, and therefore not really according to the ‘rules’.

What is clear, and has been made clear by Jolla representatives, is that there is no intention to change this behaviour, or the ‘rules’, or how those ‘rules’ are applied consistently across the forum, or who can enforce those ‘rules’ (i.e. authorised ‘flaggers’), or against what criteria.

This debate has therefore been pretty much shut down as a result (my original post in this and its companion thread sought to put forward ideas to improve the situation), so it is perhaps now a little pointless to keep flogging what is now a dead horse. Disappointing, as I had hoped Jolla would be responsive to positive suggestions for change, but it seems like no more can now be done.


I wondered, why Jolla (apparently represented by @vige for this topic: Jolla’s Discourse forum at (“FSO”)) exhibits the same pattern of reaction to every functional or behavioural flaw (i.e., bugs etc.) denoted by community members: Surprise / cluelessness (e.g., [1], [2]), followed by an explanation why this is likely intended or does not really matter (sometimes also describing workarounds).
AFAICS the reaction never was, “we will report this upstream” or re-configure Jolla’s Discourse instance in an appropriate way, although such reactions would be what I expect from a company with many IT engineers (who should be capable of doing so) primarily dealing with FLOSS, plus that Jolla stated repeatedly that this forum is their central, valued communication platform with “the community”. But obviously Jolla deliberately runs their Discourse instance without know-how (i.e., how it is configured and behaves) and technical maintenance (e.g., adapting problematic configuration, reporting bugs upstream etc.).

Because I perceive this apparent lack of interest in actively taking care about any aspect of this forum software and its configuration as more than awkward, rather disturbing, I pondered about and researched why this might be the case.
The first hint was that Jolla’s “Forum FAQ” is simply a copy of the Discourse’s FAQ.
Then I discovered that Discourse specifically promises / encourages that “zero admin” approach:

I also realised that while Discourse is FLOSS, it is also offered as a service (starting at $ 100 / month). So I took a look and “Bingo!”, its real address is at (!
O.K., now I understand that Jolla bought this Discourse instance with the expectation of not having to deal with its administration and moderation, simply to skim the bug reports which seem to be relevant for their customer(s).

Furthermore that “zero admin” approach the creators of Discourse are proud of is based on deploying a sophisticated set of socially steering and shaping algorithms.
They are calling this “We’re civilized.” and “Civilized discussion for your community”, but long before Discourse was invented, it was discovered that one cannot solve social issues by technical means (without resorting to oppression etc.: This quickly becomes machine-induced totalitarianism, i.e., rather the downfall of civilisation).
When one asks oneself which rules are to be obeyed, the creators of Discourse clearly state “These are not concrete terms with precise definitions; avoid even the appearance of any of these things. (!)”. Thus there deliberately are no rules, no terms and no definitions of what is allowed and what not, there is also no arbitration process (because no arbitration instance is named), it is all in a flux and “anything goes” at the mercy of anonymous flaggers.
All in all, former statements which denoted that some people are playing “forum police” to censor turned out to be way too soft: Discourse’s default socially steering algorithms encourage people to assume a “secret opinion and expression police” role at their discretion and with arbitrary criteria (or none at all) to suppress and eradicate any statement they do not like. And this is exactly what can be observed at FSO, recently.

@vige, please realise that this is a recipe for driving things downhill quickly and either ending up in hell (i.e., a defunct forum due to “flagging wars”) or in a pink heaven, where everyone critical has been silenced and only Yes-sayers stay. But IMO the Yes-sayers are not your most valuable forum members, rather the critical ones are, who are willing to clearly point out flaws, bugs etc., even if they are sometimes harder to bear.
Even more importantly the Discourse’s default socially steering and shaping algorithms create a climate, which lacks any tolerance towards different opinions, ways of expression etc. (by suppressing them) and is reigned by oppression.

It is “normal” for a forum thread to have 30 - 50 % only loosely related (i.e., more or less “off topic”) messages, almost all threads here at FSO do and this never has been an problem, but the censoring tool “flagging” is becoming one. Forum users are used to a certain amount of background noise, and many do understand when a sub-thread went too far astray, it just takes a while for some to realise; actually AFAIR the first heavily censored thread did show this, until people became angered by the censoring.

It is interesting to observe that aspects as tolerance, providing leeway to others, diversity in manners etc. are never mentioned in this thread and the documentation the creators of Discourse have amassed.
It is all about “crowd control” (EU administration’s speak), conforming to unwritten or fuzzy rules, suppression of divergence, creation of a “clean and safe” (attention: New speak) environment (while this world is mean and bad to the bone) etc.


Oh God, can you just stop this nonsense?


Well TJC did that also, with flagging and point system… I do not see the problem here.
A big plus to having it hosted for you is updates to the forum (TJC was on an older version of aksbot), the old TJC was a bit to open for bots and spam.

If something is good, why change it.
Fedora and LibreOffice have C&P of the FAQ.
(Note that this is not the “this is how it always has been, why change it” line)

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No, it lacked the automatic censoring, which is the crucial difference (see the topic proper).
Edit: … It took three independent flaggings at Askbot, which worked well back then, and no “do not discuss, but flag quickly” message was propagated. Ultimately it was solely used to fight real spam messages (i.e., advertising), not other users’ statements, regardless of the content.
Thus askbot was not (promising) any “zero admin” approach, moderators would have to delete messages manually (IIRC they never did). Askbot simply had a proper rating system (including downvotes), which Discourse only partially offers.
Which nicely shows, that Discourse’s algorithmic social steering / shaping is a solution looking for a problem. And (at least at FSO) it creates the problem it then tries to solve (by same measures, i.e., those which are the problem).

Do read the aforementioned document completely and you might understand the fundamental difference between a simple rating system and creating a socially steering and shaping framework.

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After the third flag it will be removed automatically.

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But China yadda yadda third reich yadda yadda vaccinations censorship… I am sorry to be harsh but we should redefine the topic or better close this thread.

I am reacting now, because last weekend I too got a few mails with the message that my posts were flagged. Out of the blue it was, for the discussion (about a covid app) happend some time ago and the reason why was not clear at all. Same with ‘off topic’, that has been flagged arbitrarily too.
“Join the discussion” says the announcement of the Sailfish forum on the net. So it is a discussion forum, although many post their questions and worries about bugs and malfunctions and wishes about features too. This makes it a bit confusing. Then the flagging starts. Some anonymous members of the ‘community’ don’t like some posts and flag them. Firstly: what ‘community’ is this? What are the rights of members? What are the rules about posting and who is in the position of flagging and who is not?
Secondly: why this flagging and why anonymously? Psychologically speaking flagging by anonymi can result in an atmosphere of fear and suspicion between the community members. They can feel being denounced and betrayed. A fair defense will not be possible if the rules are not clear and if the action comes from one side only. The anonymous person places himself in a more powerful position than the others. It is a primitive policy. This is not good and should be avoided. Moderation can be necessary, e.g. in case of rude behaviour, but leave this to a special team. And please stop flagging anonymously by community members.


So in order to avoid spamming as a reaction flagging should be anonymous? Are you serious? This seems to me a pretty cowardly argument and it certainly is not fair play. Flaggers can spam too with their flags and they can totally dominate the forum if they want to. I am not saying that this happened, but it is possible if they have this privileged position.
The best you can do is stop flagging by community members a.s.a.p.


After some time anonymously flagging will be perceived as spying. That will not have a positive effect on Sailfish.


looking at sfos “official” fanclub telegram group

Flagging should be anonymous like any other kind of abuse report. There is a good reason why that is that way industry wide.

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If you mean totally anonymous, then absolutely not, No. And I can think of nowhere in any industry where it is intended that action can be taken against someone for alleged abuse without anybody knowing who is taking that action, or indeed whether the alleged abuse was in fact even real or deserving of such action.

For any kind of abuse report there always needs to be someone independent in authority (a judge, an arbitrator, a moderator, etc) who can confirm (or not) whether there has even been a transgression of the rules (or laws or employment practices or whatever), and whether the ‘punishment’ implemented by the ‘anonymous person’ is reasonable for the transgression committed.

Anonymous community flagging only works if there is an independent moderator who checks every flagged post within a reasonable timeframe and either upholds the flagging (because the rules were transgressed in a serious enough manner to warrant flagging) or reverses the flagging because they weren’t and the flagger was just being vindictive, or didn’t like the post he/she flagged, or didn’t like the person posting, or the poster’s opinion disagreed with the flagger’s own opinion or whatever.

If that independent moderator doesn’t exist, or doesn’t do his/her job in a timely manner (or even at all) then you simply end up with a forum where some completely anonymous community members can assume the role of both judge and jury and decide what posts people can see according to their own personal wishes, and nobody can complain or stop them or challenge them because nobody knows who they are. That is abuse in of itself.

The only people totally anonymous and pure community flagging ‘works’ for is the organisation who owns the forum - because they don’t have to do anything its a cheap solution, but that doesn’t make it right.


Steve is right. Please read it over. If I notice child abuse, I can go to the police or another authority and mention it without giving my name, out of confidentionality. The police or another authority checks it with te law in their hands. Idealy these authorities are under the same laws and/or under a constitution. Therefore we have a trias politica.
Where is here the law, where the authority? Who makes the rules?
This is an example of confusion caused by digitalisation and by the misunderstanding that we don’t need laws or authorities, editors, moderators, etc. Actually an interesting case. And I insist: in a community flagging anonymously is not wise out of social-psychologically reasons too, because it can create a nasty atmosphere of suspicion, as if there are spies in the group.


Nobody is complaining about giving hearts, yet this is also part of the same digital habit that default social media are trying to teach us: public judgements like hearts, stars, thumbs, likes. Then these judgements are counted, put into statistic graphics. A big arena. Not sure if this is a nice development.

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Flags do get reviewed by moderators and are not anonymous there. It is just a way for normal users to report content and it does hide stuff by default, but moderators can always reverse those decisions. Law or constitution of your country only applies in a limited way here, Jolla makes the rules for the forum and you either follow it or you go elsewhere. This is not a forum to voice political views, your preference in movies or whatever, so you don’t need to be allowed to voice any offtopic concern you have, because of “freedom of speech”. Instead you are allowed to report bugs, voice your opinions about design changes, add feedback to bug reports, show off your apps, request new features, etc. But all of that has to be respectful towards the developers and other users. Nobody got time to waste on people just complaining and flaming because they got nothing better to do.

Flagging is not a “one user can remove all your messages”. They can hide it, until mods notice they are abusing that power. But that’s it. Flagging just reports a post and hides it, so that spam gets hidden immediately until a mod can take action. You all are blowing that way out of proportion with your censorship and free speech arguments, that simply don’t apply to a forum. And a few people, that complained about censorship, have shown an excessively inappropriate and rude tone in their posts in other parts of the forum. I don’t really care that they feel like their posts are being reported excessively, because their posts would be removed by a moderator anyway.

Anyway, to answer your question: Jolla makes the rules. The community can help Jolla uphold the rules by reporting content. Reported content gets hidden by default to give moderators a bit more time to react to sensitive content. Mods still have the last say in what gets removed. If people are abusing those systems, they might get banned from the forum.