So long, and good riddance

A long time ago I posted my 95 theses on why the Backyard, which is to say, the very-off-topic discussion forum in the Ubuntu Forums, should be closed.

For my own part, I saw it as rather hypocritical, engendering a two-tiered system where we promoted ourselves as tolerant and accepting, but at the same time giving leeway to topics and conversations that were both intolerant and unaccepting. I also felt political and religious discusssions had no real place on a forum intended for computer operating system support.

There were, and still are, plenty of other reasons for the Backyard to not exist. But the one that finally broke the camel’s back (or at least one of the ones that broke it) was the number of Resolution Center threads that came from that arena.

Which I didn’t predict, but was an obvious fact. When you bring up an issue in The Rez, you have the ear of an administrator, to plead your case over a jailed thread/post or an insult from another community member. And as you can probably still see, if you cruise through that forum, the Backyard was a clear winner as a source of problems and eating up the staff’s time and effort.

So, what was originally intended as an “experiment,” has been cut. Rules for the Cafe, on the other hand, have been relaxed a little. And religion, politics and other divisive topics have been given their walking papers.

So what do you know? I was right. I wouldn’t call it prescience, but in the end, I had put my bet on the winning side. Lucky me.

And good riddance, really. It gives the staff the chance to focus on issue that don’t resemble childish arguments over favorite toys, or imagined insults against culture or religion or politics. All that stuff can go to somewhere else on the Internet.

And we can all go back to doing what we volunteered to do, and enjoy doing: Helping people use their computers in a new and better way. :D

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