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Feeling down as Linus call me toxic

Dear all,

 

I've been following the Linux Challenge for a while now, but I'm getting pretty down because of it. Not necessarily because of the issues they run into, or the feedback that they provide, but because the way the Linux community, that I'm considering myself part of, is being generalized and portrayed as toxic.

I've been a long time Linux user, and although I've never developed anything, I'm always willing to help others getting around on the platform. I have needed and obtained pently of support from others as well. I've felt more supportive on Linux than I ever had in the Windows world. The Linux community feels more inclusive, more supportive and personal than the other operating system communities do. I like the transparency and instead of just giving me a solution blindly, they've taught me a lot by being guiding towards the solution. I prefer the approach much above the one where I wait for a corporate reply that might or might not come.

But every video they extensively call the community toxic and that hurts. Why is that necessary, do you really believe that the community is that toxic, that we're all horrible people. Personally I don't believe that it is so toxic, yes some posts certainly are. But I've had nasty responses on Windows forums as well. Even the tech support at my work can be fairly toxic if I don't know something on Windows while they consider it intuitive they, and my colleagues all laugh at me. I really don't understand why the videos have to be so hurtful.

 

Now I'll channel my hidden toxic Linux powers that we apparently all share:

"If there is any platform toxic, then wouldn't that be YouTube. Could LTT please talk about that in every video? Linus and co. are truly hypocritical"

 

Kind Regards,
Harmsen

 

P.S.: I hope that everybody understands that the last portion is a joke. I generally enjoy the LTT videos and am grateful for all the fun that Linus and his team bring into my life.

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Toxicity is not exclusive to the Linux community; it is far more equal to each community in its own right as the more "elitist" or "entitled" member of each community give off the felt toxicity for each in turn, not more so one over another.

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Because Linux has become mainstream enough to have a noticeable toxic userbase -- Last time a Windows thread on a Windows category was made and guess what, by the 3rd response there was someone claiming Linux was better lol -- Even in a conversation of Linux users you can spot the "actually, it's GNU/Linux" user and alikes.

Sure Windows users are mostly dumdum consoomers but Linux users have become the vegetarians of operating systems.

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17 minutes ago, Harmsen said:

but because the way the Linux community, that I'm considering myself part of, is being generalized and portrayed as toxic.

 I see quite a few people say the same thing as you. But frankly, I don't think Linus does so as he specifically points out several times that it is individuals and even has an entire section at the end of the last video devoted to the awesome people in the Linux community.

I really get the feeling that when he says things like "toxic people in the Linux community" it somehow ends up being translated to "the Linux community is toxic" which isn't the same thing. Pointing out that there are in fact toxic people in a community doesn't make the whole community toxic.

Also just because you have felt that it has been really inclusive towards you doesn't mean that this is the same experience for everyone. 

 

1 minute ago, r821e228 said:

Sure Windows users are mostly dumdum consoomers but Linux users have become the vegetarians of operating systems.

 

Is this really needed? This is the sort of generalisation we can do without and is just as toxic in its own right. 

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10 minutes ago, SansVarnic said:

Toxicity is not exclusive to the Linux community; it is far more equal to each community in its own right as the more "elitist" or "entitled" member of each community give off the felt toxicity for each in turn, not more so one over another.

This. I have had the same Toxic  treatment from both the Apple and Windows Community for being unaware of what they would consider basic knowledge. It's  literally in every community.

 

19 minutes ago, Harmsen said:

But every video they extensively call the community toxic and that hurts. Why is that necessary, do you really believe that the community is that toxic, that we're all horrible people. Personally I don't believe that it is so toxic, yes some posts certainly are.

Linus stated that the community as a whole isn't toxic, but the minority that stand out set a bad image for the community as a whole especially when something originates from a Project you are trying to utilize. The problem is, people take the few toxic people and place them above the non-toxic people because they tend to stand out more, which in turn you end up painting your image of the community based on what stood out the most.

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1 minute ago, creesch said:

 I see quite a few people say the same thing as you. But frankly, I don't think Linus does so as he specifically points out several times that it is individuals and even has an entire section at the end of the last video devoted to the awesome people in the Linux community.

I really get the feeling that when he says things like "toxic people in the Linux community" it somehow ends up being translated to "the Linux community is toxic" which isn't the same thing. Pointing out that there are in fact toxic people in a community doesn't make the whole community toxic.

Also just because you have felt that it has been really inclusive towards you doesn't mean that this is the same experience for everyone. 

I do understand that they don't specifically mean me, and yes they mention that these are incidents, however they spend a very significant amount of time discussing the toxicity. Not just in these (now 3) videos, but also on the WAN show, nearly every time they discuss Linux they mention this. And that does hurt.

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2 minutes ago, Harmsen said:

I do understand that they don't specifically mean me, and yes they mention that these are incidents, however they spend a very significant amount of time discussing the toxicity. Not just in these (now 3) videos, but also on the WAN show, nearly every time they discuss Linux they mention this. And that does hurt.

Would you rather they not discuss it and by doing so are not honest about their experience? There is a bunch of gatekeeping an toxicity to be found within the Linux community. Or rather within the Linux user group. Maybe calling it one community is something we all should do less 🙂 

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Just now, creesch said:

Would you rather they not discuss it and by doing so are not honest about their experience? There is a bunch of gatekeeping an toxicity to be found within the Linux community. Or rather within the Linux user group. Maybe calling it one community is something we all should do less 🙂 

I do agree that it should be mentioned, but every time?

However, you propose quite a good solution, by seeing it less a community and more a bunch of people makes more sense and fair. I wouldn't even know of a fraction of the 'community', and have no relation to them, except using the same software. And yeah there are nasty, mean and toxic people. There are also badly moderated platforms, but you're right that talking about a community as a single entity is kind of dumb, as it is not a single group.

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6 minutes ago, creesch said:

Is this really needed? This is the sort of generalisation we can do without and is just as toxic in its own right. 

But that's how it is, the reason why so many Windows computers get infected with malware isn't because Windows isn't safe -- There's nothing wrong with admitting that the Windows userbase is mostly made up of said very casual users.

Quote

has an entire section at the end of the last video devoted to the awesome people in the Linux community

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzvvvnisf5M - I know the video was made beforehand but still, Gardiner Bryant proved the point of Linux's toxicity. 

 

 

 

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Just now, r821e228 said:

Story

Not my point. You are also being a bit toxic through the line I quoted 

 

Quote

Sure Windows users are mostly dumdum consoomers but Linux users have become the vegetarians of operating systems.

You are generalizing all Linux users in one group and are comparing them with a different group you apparently find annoying. This is simply also toxic behaviour and is just entrenching in what you perceive to be your side and just trading insults. As I said, it is generally the sort of engagement both sides could do less with.

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9 minutes ago, r821e228 said:

But that's how it is, the reason why so many Windows computers get infected with malware isn't because Windows isn't safe -- There's nothing wrong with admitting that the Windows userbase is mostly made up of said very casual users.

Very casual users and "dumdum consoomers" are too very different things. The first is pretty accurate and the second is condescending and elitist, which causes people tosee Linus users and the community as a whole as toxic and unwelcoming. You pretty much just proved it.

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1 minute ago, Ferkner said:

Very casual users and "dumdum consoomers" are too very different things. The first is pretty accurate and the second is condescending and elitist, which causes people tosee Linus users and the community as a whole as toxic and unwelcoming. You pretty much just proved it.

No dude, don't quote that on the Linux community as I, the one who said that, am a Windows user and I'm sure most Windows users just turn on their computer to open a browser, check their emails and play videogames.

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1 hour ago, Harmsen said:

but because the way the Linux community, that I'm considering myself part of, is being generalized and portrayed as toxic.

You'd have to actively ignore parts of thier videos to come to this conclusion, it is literally just false.

Direct quote from Linus: "Something that the good eggs in the Linux community need to understand though, is that; you guys are great, and there's lots of you. It's just that it only takes a couple of toxic gatekeepers to turn people off."

This paints quite a different picture from what you're describing. To be fair, that quote could simply be Linus sucking up to the community, so as to not upset people too much, but at that point we're just assuming intention.

I see it like this: As with any community, there is an extremely loud minority, who simply lash out whenever thier "thing" is criticised, as they've potentially developed an emotional attachment to said "thing," and end up taking it personally. It's not exactly an uncommon occurrence.

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Oef, yeah I know some other examples out there that are real toxic as well. I'm not trying to say that there are none, sadly we all live on the internet, and I'm sure we've seen an insane amount of nasty shit out there. It's pretty much everywhere.

 

A bit beside the point, but I would like to shear my strategy on dealing with them. I'm interested in your tactics as well. I click the downvote, or report button and move on as soon as possible. Except on YouTube, where I leave the page asap, clicking downvote or spending any time responding seems to count as an interaction and thus moves it higher up in the recommendation algorithm.

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1 hour ago, Nayr438 said:

The problem is, people take the few toxic people and place them above the non-toxic people because they tend to stand out more, which in turn you end up painting your image of the community based on what stood out the most.

It *is* a little weird that we don't apply this standard to Windows. I have never heard Linus (or any other techtuber for that matter) complain about toxic people blemishing the reputation of the "Windows community". It's fair to call out toxicity where you see it, but I feel like people tend to apply a double standard just because they rarely need help with Windows.

 

Since it's only ever Linux users being called out I'd say this could create a false impression that the community is especially toxic or unhelpful, which is really not true.

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4 minutes ago, Sauron said:

It *is* a little weird that we don't apply this standard to Windows. I have never heard Linus (or any other techtuber for that matter) complain about toxic people blemishing the reputation of the "Windows community". It's fair to call out toxicity where you see it, but I feel like people tend to apply a double standard just because they rarely need help with Windows.

 

Since it's only ever Linux users being called out I'd say this could create a false impression that the community is especially toxic or unhelpful, which is really not true.

That is indeed why I made the post, it gets repeated over and over again regarding Linux, which to me seems like a double standard, this creates an impression I disagree with.

 

The bad replies, for some part, is because people ask questions that others find obvious, and the person answering the question finds the other dumb. That is of course NOT a good reason, the basic questions are perfectly legal, and they should be answered clearly. And they could even indicate what is non-logical to the design of the software, although it is sometimes simply because users are used to another piece of software and surprised about unexpected differences.

UI design can be such an example, things that are logical to me, and probably you, can be unlogical for others. My grandma finds citing a previous message in a chat app on here phone very difficult, the 'long press' to get more options in most apps is a concept that she finds very unintuitive. People shouldn't flame because of it, but should patiently explain to her what to do. And it would be lovely if they explained why it works this way as well. (the motivation for the design choice)

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38 minutes ago, Sauron said:

It *is* a little weird that we don't apply this standard to Windows. I have never heard Linus (or any other techtuber for that matter) complain about toxic people blemishing the reputation of the "Windows community". It's fair to call out toxicity where you see it, but I feel like people tend to apply a double standard just because they rarely need help with Windows.

To me it's a mix of the likeliness you're going to have to interact with people (of which some might be toxic) and the proportion of them.

 

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2 hours ago, r821e228 said:

No dude, don't quote that on the Linux community as I, the one who said that, am a Windows user and I'm sure most Windows users just turn on their computer to open a browser, check their emails and play videogames.

That doesn't make them dumdums. And it doesn't make Linux users better than Windows users.

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1 hour ago, Sauron said:

It *is* a little weird that we don't apply this standard to Windows. I have never heard Linus (or any other techtuber for that matter) complain about toxic people blemishing the reputation of the "Windows community". It's fair to call out toxicity where you see it, but I feel like people tend to apply a double standard just because they rarely need help with Windows.

 

Since it's only ever Linux users being called out I'd say this could create a false impression that the community is especially toxic or unhelpful, which is really not true.

I disagree. The Linux community has long had a serious problem with arrogance and elitism which just isn't present in the same way in the Windows community in my experience. If anything, a better comparison would be the Apple community. Both have a ridiculous issue with treating newer / less knowledgeable users with contempt, condescension and venom. If a user has an issue with a feature or bug they're often told that it's not a problem and that actually they're doing things wrong and need to go learn how to do it the right way. Heck just look at how some have responded to Linus and Luke's series; I've seen comments in complete opposition to fixing the kind of problems they're raising because they believe that Linux shouldn't cater to "gamerbros", and that new users just need to "learn Linux". Some people seem to find it a genuinely insulting prospect to cater to ex-Windows users in Linux, which is just crazy to me.

 

Imo, it's important to call this out because it is such a problem. And sure, it should be called out in the Windows and Apple communities too when it happens. But Linux in particular has long had a unique problem wiht this and it needs to be called out so things can change. The gatekeeping and elitism just isn't right.

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3 hours ago, Harmsen said:

I've been following the Linux Challenge for a while now, but I'm getting pretty down because of it. Not necessarily because of the issues they run into, or the feedback that they provide, but because the way the Linux community, that I'm considering myself part of, is being generalized and portrayed as toxic.

 

So I've been using Linux as my primary OS for probably about over 20 years now. My experience over the years has been quite the opposite in pretty much every category from many of these posts / videos. (I'm by no means an expert, I still need to reach out for help every now and then.)

  • Every community and forum that I can remember visiting and posting in, has been very helpful and open.
  • For me especially in true in more recent times more stuff just works in Linux. I have more trouble out of Windows than anything. On forums especially XDA, I often suggest people just boot a Linux distro real quick because they can quickly solve their problem as it will just work in Linux.
  • I get the issues with closed source. I would much rather see open source alternatives. However the first thing I pretty much always do is install the proprietary NVIDIA driver. Never been an issue. I don't know why so many people bash this.
  • I have had a bad experience with WINE, so I don't use it (not on my PC, on my wife's little sister's PC). Really though, other than Gaming I have no use for Windows. I do everything in Linux. There are several things I do in Linux, that I'm not sure how to easily do in Windows.

So my thoughts on where this mentality actually comes from:

  • I'm sure there are some distro's and communities that maybe a bit less friendly than others. For example, I spend a fair amount of time on XDA. I know most of the sections are about the same level of helpfulness, and you can ask about anything. However there is a noticeable difference in the Huawei sections, they tend to be a little less friendly / tolerant.
  • In any forum, if you don't give proper information, or any information, you aren't likely to get help. You're also likely to get a "smart" response. It happens here as well. I've had weird issues, where when I'm not sure what kind of information is helpful, I post what I can and ask what I should / can supply. This usually gets someone to tell me what to supply (Such as recently in a TrueNas community, a member told me to post the output of a command). If you don't help yourself, no one else is going to, it's not the community being toxic.
  • Some people just don't want to change. Linux is not Windows. If you try a distro and don't like it and come in bashing it, you won't get help. Maybe that distro isn't for you. You may need to try several, if not many distros before settling in on one you like.
  • As many have pointed out, this happens for Windows too. As I mentioned it happens here. It happens on Car forums. Ever heard of Pirate4x4? It's one of the big off road forums still and they have a "non-hardcore" section for Jeep's that is Newbie friendly, specifically for asking um... well newbie questions (you will not get friendly responses in the regular section asking about something basic).

I think after someone has one of these bad experiences because they didn't supply the correct information, or didn't know how to solve their problem, or didn't like the distro they chose first, etc, they just decide it's the communities fault. They are being toxic. Not saying it's always true, just a thought.

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Honestly. I think there are equally as "toxic users" on Windows as there are on Linux. The only difference is that most people learn to use and get familiar with Windows from school so you will find the toxic Windows users on very specific forums like gaming rather than how to install and use Windows type topics. That is not the case with Linux and therefore you end up with things like the LTT Linux Challenge drawing a wide range of viewers including the group that don't get it. This Linux Challenge is, as someone painted the picture in conversation with me this week, about "how easy is it for your "average Karen and her son" to use Linux?" And like Luke said in the latest instalment, a distro for your advanced user is not the same distro you would want that average Karen and her son using.

 

I have had many conversations with Windows and Mac users who come to Linux with a string of misconceptions and they could end up facing Linus' issues or have it as easy by comparison as Luke seemed to have. It also doesn't help that Linus, being as advanced a PC user as he is, is very expressive of his frustrations, because that probably also triggers the more vocal advanced Linux users to react with "just use Konsole". 

I have used Linux since 2006 and exclusively since 2014. There is a lot I am still learning and there are frustrations I share with Linus and Luke, especially with OBS in my case. The OBS browser plugin for example like Luke said is a standard plugin in OBS, it makes NO sense that OBS devs would not include it as part of the build instructions on their official repo when they package it with the Windows installer. However they leave it to 3-rd party package managers to do that. Like he said, if he had just used the Mint software store, it would have been installed with OBS by default. That just baffles me. There are certain things I can understand not being included like the obs-vkcapture plugin because that is new, but I would expect OBS devs to make it a default plugin once proven stable.

 

The Dolphin bug with the root user account should also have been fixed by now. It has been known for a long time. However I can understand why they would treat that as a feature too. I used to do a lot of copying between user files and root files when I was using ElementaryOS and was convenient, but since moving to Arch and more specifically Garuda, I have not had to do that type of copying as much. Because I have just learned to search the AUR site for what I need. In fact now I use Garuda, I am beginning to believe that copying files into system folders that require root access is actually a bad habit. However, this may be because I have become spoiled with the AURs having pretty much everything I need.

 

But again a lot of this comes down to picking the right dirsto for the user. Knowing the difference between LinuxForEveryone and Level1Tech. Unfortunately, there are more advanced Linux user channels out there an entry level Linux channels. I have personally thought about starting one, but can't think of much to say that others haven't already. Though I guess numbers matter.

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The linux community is toxic? I've been watching alot of reaction videos from people like this guy. and they're all either trying to offer advice, disagreement, or just generally pragmatic. 

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As a dev myself, I thought the comment was largely unneeded. Much of the time, people spend their free time developing this, especially the distros they were using. In my day job, I would never use a distro like they are, let alone do the tasks they are doing. However, the community still made the tools available (freely). Sure, there isn't documentation and the UX isn't great, but none of these people are backed by multi billion dollar companies, like Google or Microsoft. 

 

It really upsets me how derogatory the video came towards devs. They are not CSRs. They are tired and, much of the time, burnt out when they are doing this on their free time. These are their passion projects. Yeah, it's not Windows, but all of the bolts are there and they would like to make it better. I thought the approach could have been much better in this respect. I mean, at least show you're contributing by tracking a bug or file a documentation bug.

 

The whole series sort of felt like a joke.

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7 hours ago, r821e228 said:

Sure Windows users are mostly dumdum consoomers but Linux users have become the vegetarians of operating systems.

Windows has its share of "vegetarians of operating systems", to use your words. There are Windows users that will pick fights with us, with console games, they will toxically debate whether or not a console counts as a gaming platform or a paperweight. MacOS users have had to put up with them for a couple of decades now. (And to be fair, the MacOS community has its own share of toxic people)

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4 hours ago, Whiskers said:

Imo, it's important to call this out because it is such a problem. And sure, it should be called out in the Windows and Apple communities too when it happens. But Linux in particular has long had a unique problem wiht this and it needs to be called out so things can change. The gatekeeping and elitism just isn't right.

It is absolutely important to call gatekeeping and elitism out, but you cannot paint an entire community with the same brush. I have no control over the gatekeepers... and I have argued with gatekeepers, as recently as last week infact, 

In said argument, I was actually defending Linus. I believe that what happened with PopOS in the first video was not Linus' fault at all. This person that I was arguing with claimed that it was 100% Linus' fault. He didn't read the warning in the terminal, so it's his fault! When I pointed out that the warning was in te middle of a huge blob of white noise, he tried to argue that it was clear as day (It wasn't), etcetc... and many other gatekeeper arguments. He even took pride in being called a gatekeeper, and didn't want his right to break his system taken away because [Linus] couldn't handle it. 

The thing is that this guy and I are both part of the Linux community... but we're as different as night and day. I want to see more users on the Linux platform. He wants to keep Linux for his own little elite group of computer users.

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