by ggus | November 1, 2021
Communicating and finding help online is crucial to building a solid community. After many years of using emails, mailing lists, blog comments, and IRC to help Tor users, we believe that time has come to improve our discussion channels.
Today, we're happy to announce a new discussion and user support platform: the Tor Forum.
The new forum is powered by Discourse: a modern, friendly, and free and open source software. The forum posts are publicly readable, and you don't need to log in to navigate and access the content. It's also possible to install the Discourse App on your mobile device and receive notifications. For users who like the traditional mailing list format, Discourse features email integration. The new forum is compatible and works with Tor Browser (security slider level set 'Safer').
Currently, the Tor Forum is fully hosted by Discourse, and because they do not support onion services yet, it won't have an onion site soon. That is also why the domain is torproject.net, because of our system security policy on using *.torproject.org only for sites we host in our own infrastructure.
In the last few years, the Tor Project has improved internal tools and platforms to make it easy to contribute to Tor software development and to participate in our community. For example, we revamped our websites, moved from Trac to GitLab, connected our chat channels on Matrix, and now we're launching the Tor Forum.
We invite the Tor community to join the Tor Forum and contribute with us!
Moderation policy: Don't be a jerk. Be awesome instead.
All discussions on the Tor Forum will follow the Tor Project's Code of Conduct. Before creating an account, users should read and agree with the moderation policy and our Code of Conduct. Moderators will enforce this policy to keep our community open, welcoming, and inclusive. Keeping a community healthy and welcoming requires an active community and moderation. Users with higher trust levels will be able to flag harmful posts and report to moderators.
The future of mailing lists, blog comments, and Frontdesk
Multiple user support and feedback channels makes it difficult for users to find information and ask questions in a venue where they will receive timely and accurate answers. Plus, maintaining disconnected channels is unsustainable for Tor staff. Both of these challenges can be addressed in the same way: by modernizing and streamlining our support and feedback channels. The Tor Forum will begin to take the place of some of these spaces.
At the beginning of 2022, we will deprecate and archive some of the unused and unmaintained mailing lists and move these discussions to the Tor Forum. The forum has the capacity to receive mails from specific categories and reply through a mail client. Popular and functional mailing lists like tor-dev and tor-project won't be archived and will continue to exist.
Soon, we will migrate the Tor Blog to a static generated website, Lektor. The blog comments will be hosted on Discourse in the new Tor Forum setup. This will make the comment section of each blog post easier to maintain and more open, as moderation will be distributed among trusted Tor Forum users.
Additionally, we will soon begin to inform/point users who come to our email@example.com email service to a public resource. For users living in censored countries where the Tor Project domains are blocked, like China, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, and others, we'll continue providing support by email and chat.
Introducing the Tor Forum categories
We are starting the Tor Forum with a few categories. Depending on the forum usage, we can edit, remove, and create new categories. At the moment, you will find these discussion categories:
Most people use Tor with Tor Browser, and we would love to know how we can improve the user experience and/or user interface. This section is for feedback about Tor Browser, Tor Browser Alpha, the Tor Project Websites, Localization, and our own Forum. User feedback is limited to products and tools developed by the Tor Project.
Whether you're using Tor Browser for Android, setting up a relay, or trying to circumvent censorship, you can find help in this category.
Remember that you should check their support channels for help with Tails, OnionShare, Ricochet Refresh, and other tools. User support is limited to products and tools developed by the Tor Project.
3. In your language
If you want to write about Tor in your language, have nice articles to suggest, or simply want to ask a question, please comment on this category.
A list of upcoming Tor events. (This category might get busier again after the pandemic.)
5. Mailing lists
We've mirrored two mailing lists (tor-project and tor-relays), and users can read and receive notifications on Discourse. It's convenient to read the mailing lists without being subscribed to them using the Discourse App. But, on the other hand, it's just a read-only mirror. Users can't reply to mailing lists using Discourse.
6. General Discussion
Anything related to Tor ecosystem which does not fit into the Support or feedback category
How to join the Tor Forum
1. Visit the Tor Forum website: https://forum.torproject.net [torproject.net]
2. Click on "Sign up" and register your account. A valid email is required.
3. You will receive an automatic email from firstname.lastname@example.org with a verification link. Click on this link to finish your registration.
Or you can login using your GitHub or Discord account.
We look forward to seeing you there!