Policy of Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat
Whonix ™ Platform Goals, Whonix ™ Website and Chat Goals, Whonix ™ Website and Chat Non-Purposes, Usage Rules, Unwanted Topics, Banned Subjects
Whonix ™ Platform Goals
Developers believe that everyone has the right to private and secure browsing, communications, and hosting of services on the Internet. The Whonix ™ platform has been expressly created to achieve these intended goals. As outlined on the Overview, the primary user groups are:
- People who value security and privacy as a fundamental right.
- Investigators and whistle-blowers.
- Researchers, government officials and business-people.
- Political activists.
If there is any doubt, Whonix ™ was never designed to hide users who engage in criminal/unlawful acts.
Whonix ™ Wiki Comments Goals
It was recently decided to allow reader comments on individual wiki pages. This change is intended to:
- Prove an easy mechanism for real-time feedback from users.
- Allow anyone to comment, particularly anonymous users.
- Provide a means of constructive feedback for wiki improvements, unless it becomes a burden due to spam.
Note: To discourage spam, restrictions may be placed on the posting of (unencoded) external links.
The wiki comments section is not intended for:
- User support. These requests will be redirected to the forums.
- Free speech activism.
- Immortalization: the posting of comment(s) does not grant the author a permanent publishing right.
Whonix ™ forum usage rules apply.
See also: Wiki comments discussion.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Goals
Reminder: The primary forum aims include: education, fostering innovation and cooperation, resolution of Whonix ™ problems, further improvement of Whonix ™ security and privacy for all users, and assistance to individuals so they can safely achieve their (legal) goals.
Before engaging in the forums or requesting assistance, first thoroughly search the Whonix ™ documentation. Many common questions have already been addressed in relevant chapters. See also Support, Self Support First Policy, Bug Reports and Software Development and Support Request Policy.
If suitable information cannot be located, please refer to the following rules before posting. Users who violate these rules may have their accounts suspended or deleted without notice.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Usage Rules
- Using a pseudonym that is not used elsewhere is recommended.
- Person of public interest, company, or other organization user account names that draw controversial attention to the Whonix ™ project due to their off-site activities are prohibited at the discretion of the moderators. 
- Users participating in forums, issue tracker or chat must use either a pseudonym and/or their real name. Minimum user name length is 3 characters.
User avatars, user profiles:
- Impersonating is prohibited.
- Person of public interest real names such as for example "Elon Musk" or pseudonyms require evidence for verification to avoid impersonating. See footnotes for details. 
- Offensive, contentious or disruptive user avatars and user profiles are prohibited at the discretion of the moderators. 
Do not post topics or information which:
- Reveal the end purpose of utilizing the software such as for example political goals. 
- Violate trademarks or copyright.
- Contain pornographic or violent language, images or media.
- Are intended to further unlawful/illegal activities.
- Abuse other users, for example:
- Personal attacks that have nothing to do with technological or development discussions.
- Reveal private information of other users.
- Impersonate other users.
- Encourage self-harm or suicide.
- Promote or invite spam. This includes:
- Selling Whonix ™ usernames or other account information.
- Repeatedly post information unrelated to Whonix ™ and associated activities.
- Duplicating content across sub-forums.
- Purposefully post false or misleading content/links.
- Promote third-party software or services purely for personal benefit.
Users who create multiple accounts to sidestep these rules will also be banned.
This list is inexhaustive. The moderators reserve the right to remove material and ban user accounts which engage in inappropriate or illegal behavior which fall outside of these guidelines.
A ban in Whonix ™ chat for minor violations such as unwanted topics does not necessarily extend to a ban in Whonix ™ forums. Major violations equal ban everywhere.
If you have any questions or suggested improvements regarding this policy, post in Whonix ™ forums.
Whonix ™ Website and Chat Unwanted Topics
The following subjects are currently banned: 
- Anonymous pentesting
- Reason: legal, liability
- Forum discussion: Allow discussion anonymous pentesting in Whonix ™ forums?
- Pairing Kali Linux with Whonix ™ 
- Reason: legal, liability
- Forum discussion: Kali over Whonix
The following topics shall not be discussed:
- Questions that can be resolved as per Self Support First Policy. This especially includes:
- Discussions on whether pluggable transports or VPNs can or cannot hide Tor. (reasoning)
- Discussions on whether pluggable transports or VPNs can or cannot improve protections provided by Tor. (Similar reasoning as above.)
- reasons: Policy Rationale; legal, liability
- Certain topics related to non-freedom software, see Whonix ™ Policy On Non-Freedom Software.
Whonix ™ Chat Purposes and Non-Purposes
Previously, Whonix ™ experimented with chat platforms such as Telegram and Matrix for user support but they were deemed unproductive and difficult to keep track of solved problems for any user to follow. Some topics requires time for careful review, focus, tracking ticket and cannot be decided or accomplished in a real-time discussion. Whonix ™'s forum is the only official supported chat platform.
The following topics must be directed to Whonix ™ forum instead:
- Bug Reports
- These cannot be analyzed and fixed instantly.
- Otherwise bug reports are likely getting lost.
- Feature Requests
- It takes time to seriously consider feature requests. Opinions aren't formed instantly.
- Feature requests posted in the chat will likely soon be forgotten.
- Licensing discussions.
- Organizational discussions.
- Policy discussions.
- Moderation and Conflict Resolution.
- Avoiding law of triviality / bikeshed.
Unwanted topics which must be moved elsewhere:
- Debates about features and security of closed vs Open Source Software are unwelcome.
- Small talk.
- Fundamental debates on security, anonymity, privacy, philosophy, politics.
- Avoiding endless, circular, non-productive debates.
- Personal issues.
- There will be no "interrogation" of individual users in the chat.
- Why does user X use software Y? Please re-phrase in a way that doesn't refer to individual users in the chat such as: what are the merits of software Y vs Z?
- Only the technology should be discussed. Not people.
- Do not comment on spam.
- As this adds to the disruption already caused by spam. Admins will delete spam messages. Focus on the actual topic, Whonix ™. Ignore spam.
- No vulgar language.
No Development Chat Channel
Whonix ™ Chat is a user support chat. Not a development discussion chat.
No development decisions are derived from discussions in chat. Reasons:
- High chat volume does usually not resolve in git commits and/or documentation enhancements.
- Chat history is not actually but effectively "ephemeral". New users joining don't scroll up (a lot) and read lots of past discussions. In contrast, forum posts are read much more and wiki pages even more.
- Many developers including the lead developer and contributors are not using the chat for developments.
- It would be bad for transparency to base development decisions on chat discussions as this would be opaque to tell later people who ask about it "refer to this chat discussion".
- Asynchronous discussion permits wider input and more carefully thought through write-ups.
- Unorganized by categories and topics.
- Nonetheless if a good idea does transpire in the chat, the topic will be migrated to the forums for a better environment conducive to development.
Permissible topics are kept very narrow by design to keep the total amount of communication volume flowing through the website and chat low. Due to complex legal issues around permitted speech in various applicable jurisdictions, it is unwise to simply allow the free flow of debate unmonitored.
High volumes of off-topic discussions easily lead to lots of arguments, counter-arguments, and then parties demanding the retraction of certain statements due to these being allegedly untrue while the author often disagrees. Such investigations are a bad use of time for admins since it cannot be used for development. Removed posts easily lead to debates on unjust removal, rules and laws resulting in high volumes of off-topic completely dominating anything on-topic, real user support or development.
This is being elaborated on the Limitations on Free Speech on Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat wiki page.
The personal opinions of moderators or contributors to the Whonix ™ project do not represent the project as a whole.
Chat Private Messages
Unwanted Private Messages
In case of unwanted private messages from one user to another user in the same chat:
- Use the block user feature of the messenger.
- Don't give energy to trolls. Don't waste time with trolls. Ignore trolls.
- Don't mention it in public chat.
- Don't post screenshots of it.
- If that is not good enough:
- Consider only allowing people from your contacts list to send private message or disabling the private messaging feature of the messenger if that is technically possible.
- Consider using a different, separate account, chat client only for that chat (or other public chats generally). And then disable the private messaging feature there or ignore private messages.
- Leave the chat. Don't use the chat. Use Whonix ™ forums instead, where private messages between users are disabled and where there is much less trolling. 
- In most cases, admins cannot investigate and will not take sides or ban the accused.
- Admins cannot investigate because screenshots are prone to manipulation. Trolls could easily fabricate them to falsely accuse users who did not send inappropriate private messages. This doesn't even require photo editing software skills. The accused would probably deny it, tell a different story, might provide fabricated screenshots as counter evidence.
- A ban of the user from the group does not help much. It doesn't prevent the offending user from continuing to harass the user or other users. This is because the member list of the chat room is public and was already exposed.
- Discouraging trolling.
- Such investigations are a bad use of time for admins.
Private Messages to Admins
Do not private message admins in chat channels without prior permission. See also: Contact.
Moderation and Conflict Resolution
Complaints on moderation in specific cases such as unjust bans, unban requests are only acceptable by e-mail, not in chat channel, not by private message.
Suggestions for general policy changes are only acceptable by e-mail or by posting in Whonix organizational forums, not in chat channel, not by private message.
- Forum Best Practices
- Wiki Comments Policy
- Limitations on Free Speech on Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat
- Self Support First Policy
- Support Request Policy
- Bug Reports and Software Development
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 This is to prevent contentious off-topic debates.
- This is not yet a fixed or thoroughly thought through policy and subject to change.
- Many reasonable methods are conceivable.
- Persons that have a well known social media profiles(s) such as for example on Twitter could post a tweet or send a direct message for verification purposes.
- (OpenPGP) signed messages are of course also very much acceptable.
- ↑ More subjects are likely to be listed in the future.
- ↑ Kali Linux is designed for digital forensics and penetration testing.
- ↑ https://forums.whonix.org/t/private-messaging-for-members-with-common-threads-posts/5251
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