Looking back at the old Terms of Service, I noticed they used to contain a special paragraph about Ask Ubuntu.

When accessing the askubuntu.com, meta.askubuntu.com, or chat.askubuntu.com sites ("AskUbuntu"), Subscriber will also abide by the most current Ubuntu Code of Conduct, which can be found at http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct, and is hereby incorporated by reference, but solely with regard to AskUbuntu.

(Taken from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - Jan 1st, 2018 )

As you can see, the old ToS gave a special status to the site. This is also confirmed by this old question: Why does Ask Ubuntu have elevated status in the Terms of Use?.
Back in 2014, Robert Cartaino replied to said question:

We (the Stack Exchange Network) have our own "code of conduct" of sorts which is outlined in our Terms of Service. But Canonical (Ubuntu) also has its own code of conduct that they expect their partners and participants to adhere to.

We get approached a lot for partnerships like this, but they don’t usually go anywhere because we require ceding so much control back to the community. Ubuntu was that rare exception where our values and end-goals aligned so ideally. In growing that (official) partnership, we wanted to assure (on both ends) that both our communities would uphold the values of both organizations. So it was important to the Canonical organization (and to us) that the users of that site be made explicitly aware of their code of conduct.

We were only too happy to oblige.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the new ToS page, to check if the revised document made any reference to Ask Ubuntu. I couldn't find any.

So now I am wondering: is this just a mistake? Was the special status revoked for some reason? Did the notice simply get moved to same other place?

  • I had previously guessed that this was because it was contained in Ask Ubuntu's copy of the ToS and the problem merely lied in the fact that all sites link to Stack Overflow's copy of the ToS and not their own copy. But I checked the AU per-site copy, and it's not there. Feb 15, 2019 at 11:43
  • Check the link I posted - the paragraph used to be on stackexchange.com/legal. Local copies of the ToS apparently have nothing to do with this.
    – SPArcheon
    Feb 15, 2019 at 11:46
  • Prior to the May 2018 modifications to the ToS, there were no local copies, only one hosted on stackexchange.com. But as of the May 2018 modifications, each site got their local copy. It's missing from the AU local copy as well. Feb 15, 2019 at 11:47
  • @SonictheIntrovertedHedgehog Yep, sorry, I meant that I don't think the cause of the removal is the fact that now sites have a "local" copy of the ToS.
    – SPArcheon
    Feb 15, 2019 at 11:49


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