Trolls, sockpuppets and antisocial behavior

I’ve had the impression for maybe two or even three years that this forum has been abused by trolls and sockpuppets which create burner accounts ask or even demand help. There are countless guides how to ask questions [1] and I believe those guidelines are actually well known.

As I visit this forum only on, I don’t know, maybe 2 or 3 days in 2 or 3 month, the aforementioned behavior doesn’t bother me much. However, I consider this a highly unsocial behavior threatening the motivation of all those users honestly and seriously trying to help other users of Qubes.

This kind of problem has always been difficult to address. Don’t feed of course. Or make it a “closed” community. There obviously is no simple solution to deal with someone who decided to waste his life for nothing.

Yeah. It’s a tough challenge. The mod team has been managing this with the volunteer resource we have, but to a large extent we’re counting on the community to flag these issues :black_flag:


thanks for your hard work :green_heart:


I tried to flag this post today:

Seems like an obvious spam post to me, the account only has two posts and both seem like spam. The post got flagged, but now it looks like it got approved.

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I approved it. Doesn’t look like spam to me. It’s a user who linked to a service (one I’d never use) but in the context of the discussion. Spam looks different.

So using the forum to generate inbound links is okay?

Not sure if it’s related, but I noticed a lot of old topics receiving a new reply over the last week :thinking:

Again, it depends on context. I posted several links to Amazon, Nitrokey, Purism … are those spam too?

If it’s within reason and in context — what’s wrong with it? We can’t start vetting links to see if they are OK.

Yes that user has two posts and both link to some service (but not the same). Help me see why that’s spam.


My guess would be that they are selling some form of SOE rank boosting and are generating fake inbound links, to artificially make it seem like people are interested in the website.

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We’ll keep an eye on it.


It would great if this forum was more professional and only concentrate supporting the core OS than taking on general dicussions that do not belong. Maybe you should remove the “general discussions”. But if you really want to give the people the all inclusiveness of supporting all kinds of subjects then maybe qubes should create a new site for such things. I don’t think qubes should be wasting time and the efforts of volunteers to monitoring the forums “general discussion”. Just remove it or if you really want to go down that rabbit hole then replace it with self monitoring tools such as options for reporting spam, ai spam, trolling, abusive, psychological help, conspiracy…etc. Let the public monitor the “general discussions” or just do yourselves a solid and remove it. If I was the moderator of qubes OS I would remove “general discussions”. Only concentrate on supporting the core OS. Another option is to break down the general discussions into sub groups such as a VPN, Applications, Hardware…etc subgroup. Reach out to other major OS sites to see how they manage these issues. But Qubes is looking to be more like a conspiracy site for the wack jobs and the more these topics appear the more you attract this type of crowd. Good luck!

“General discussions” about Qubes OS as opposed to “Support”. Every post in this forum needs to be directly about Qubes OS or it’s off topic. The moderators are trying to enforce this without being annoying.

Basically if it’s a question that can be solved it goes into “Support” otherwise it goes into “General discussion”.

If you see something that’s not about Qubes OS please flag it as off topic.


Also wanted to make a comment about the spam post. The post is selling stolen gmail and youtube accounts. Are you saying that QubesOS and their directors, programmers and donators are advocating this kind of behavior. I don’t think our sponsors and donators are willing to continue with that kind of endorsement.

I would like to know who is ulitmately the decision maker about the forum. Do rules exist and are they being followed? Are moderators making their own rules? Do they really follow the rules set out by QubesOS directors.

The post is not, the linked website might. Since it got flagged repeatedly it’s now hidden. In general I assume people are trying to be helpful until they prove not to be.

Try to understand that not everyone on the internet will agree with you about everything all the time.

For someone who just created an account and has zero reputation here you go at it pretty rough. Maybe ask yourself what you are trying to achieve


I’m all for annoymity and people could really use a service that doesn’t require your personal information however I believe QubesOS should stick with providing support for the OS. There’s lots of sites out there but we are only responsible for supporting the OS.

I’m just a regular user and noticing the forum posts and QubesOS losing sight for the future of this project. The forum speaks for the project therefore the posts show the reputation of the project. I’m sure others agree that discussions should be based on supporting the OS. I don’t think supporting other “subjects” is helping Qubes and its reputation. You do know QubesOS project could be undermined by determined countries or individuals through posts.

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Please point to a few examples so we can either moderate them or explain why they are welcome. Basically what you are asking is already the case: this forum is for Qubes OS only and if there are off-topic posts/threads that fell through the cracks please flag them.

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I see your point. I should make a contribution to the project and point out the examples. But there’s just too many posts not related to the core support of the OS. The core OS being the technical aspect of it and thats my point. Is QubesOS catering to every subject? or just the OS? I’m just a concerned citizen and user. I want to point out my experience in the forum about what I see in posts. I would say I’m a lurker than a poster as this is a new account but I’m seeing more steady junk posts in the “General Discussion” and seeing users answering them. They sink into that rabbit hole and their time is wasted. The community should know there’s something wrong with the “General Discussions” and the site should have stricter controls on what gets posted or completely remove the group and create subgroups so topics not related get tossed.

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Thanks for flagging some. I’ll review and give you feedback on why we do or do not take action. If nothing else it’ll give you a better idea.

Also we are a volunteer group and rely on users flagging posts. Thank you!


On further review the other post really had nothing to do with the original thread. Spammer blocked and account suspended.

Sorry took me a while to see it.