What is happening in r/CentOS and why /u/redundantly should not be a moderator

Written by Lionir

I will shortly explain what drove all this sudden spike of activity and basically, what happened in the CentOS community. Afterwards, I'll explain my feelings towards the actions of this moderator.

What happened in CentOS?

Well, okay, let's explain what CentOS was and for that, we can just look at the about page from their website.

Since March 2004, CentOS Linux has been a community-supported distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by Red Hat. As such, CentOS Linux aims to be functionally compatible with RHEL. We mainly change packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork. CentOS Linux is no-cost and free to redistribute.

It was just a clone of RHEL, really.

Now, we can go to the announcement which triggered the uproar.

The future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream, and over the next year we’ll be shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release. CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Now, people are mad because they see this as not only a betrayal from the EOL that was expected as a copy of RHEL which would've ended in 2029. A lot of people used CentOS like they'd use RHEL but simply without the entreprise support that Red Hat provided.

From CentOS's perspective, this is seen as an opportunity to become more than a clone, they want to influence RHEL as seen from this exerpt :

It gives the CentOS contributor community a great deal of influence in the future of RHEL. And it removes confusion around what “CentOS” means in the Linux distribution ecosystem.

Now, this is messy and I'm not entirely sure what exactly brought this seemingly sudden change and well, no one else really knows as far as I know.

What I feel really was a mishit in this announcement was this part :

If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment, and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we encourage you to contact Red Hat about options.

This strongly implies that CentOS Stream isn't meant to be as stable and well, to a lot of people, that's why they were on CentOS. It also reinforces the idea that the decision was fueled by Red Hat wanting to get more customers.

With this explanation out of the way, you can imagine the reaction from people posting and commenting on r/CentOS and that's where bad moderation comes in.

What did /u/redundantly do?

They went out of their inactive role as a moderator as can be seen in this picture provided by a moderator (which is now demoted), /u/RheaAyase in this post but more on that later.

Well, what would you do if you're a moderator and people are wildly complaining about the project the subreddit is about? I would try to help people find solutions,
try to keep things cool and generally just try to move things in a good direction.

Well, unfortunately, they decided to change the description to call CentOS dead. They linked to centos.rip to add insult to injury. They decided to change the rules of subreddit to include this :

  1. No image macros or memes, unless it's related to the death of CentOS

They made a lot of flairs just blatantly trying to make fun of people trying to push things in a good direction as you can see here where they flair it as They don't care, here where the post is flaired as Experience thread needed for not switching and the person making the post is flaired as Shill which they then asked moderation for rectification as can be seen in this screenshot (Thanks again, /u/RheaAyase for this information), they decide to refuse and to further insult the person.

Then, for posts which suggest other projects than CentOS with On your marks! here, Better than nothing here, YAYAYAYAYAY here, Hope and Change here, Praise be to Oracle here. I think you get the picture but I wanted to make sure to capture the scope.

For posts claiming CentOS is dead or something along those lines, you'll have CENTOS WAS THE IMPOSTER here, Yup here, The bar was set too low here, CentOS cheated on us first here, DOLLA DOLLA BILLS Y'ALL here.

With these three types of flairs, we can clearly see that they don't want to represent CentOS as a project and really just want to pour oil on the fire.

Now, with this in mind, another moderator, /u/RheaAyase, decides to ask them to step down from being a moderator here and.... Well, we were all expecting this at this point, right? They just removed them from being a moderator. Not only that but they decided to mock them with a flair, to undermine their past moderation experience, to undermine the effort that they gave on the subreddit and just generally be a dick.

Now, do I want anyone to harass them? No, please don't. However, if you know how to contact Reddit staff to raise this issue, I would gladly appreciate it. Thank you.

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