Dear Jesse Smith, contributor, maintainer, webmaster at DistroWatch.com, and DistroWatch staff in general.
For the better part of three years, we have remained silent about your ongoing efforts to affect people’s perception of our Linux distribution continuously. We have tried our best not to engage with your evident hostility and disregard to inform your viewers and visitors about the correct facts about the Linux distributions you display on your website, especially ours.
However, we have decided to take a stance. It is today, the 6th of May, that we gallantly demand you to stop.
We do not accept for one more minute that the information displayed on your website about our product remains erroneous in what is no longer a “mistake” or “oversight” on your part. In addition, we do not accept how you have described our product, including making a wild claim that we did not offer our product to the public before an arbitrary date, even if that is easily refuted. This change happened between the 22nd and the 29th of July 2019.
We do not accept your insinuation that our product was a “commercial” offering when we never sold licenses, serial keys designed to unlock features, boxed products, or tech support. What we did have were a plea and a donation/download widget.
This is primarily a cause of concern and confusion to us as your website does, in fact, display and accepts advertisements; you have a personal Patreon page, and your website also links to a donation section—none of which we do on our website. Because of these claims, you unilaterally added to the description section of our page on your website, in explicit contradiction to your submitting guidelines, that our donation revenue effectively fell to $0. We can only assume that was one of your end goals.
We enjoy doing these things and yet must acknowledge that maintaining these resources takes a good deal of time along with some money. […]
Also, it is appalling that you or your staff decide to take the extra step to deter users from either reaching our “page” on your website or downright moderating which “user reviews” get published, coincidentally only displaying those that will affect us negatively.
We are noting that DistroWatch’s reviews, which have been few, consistently omit information—making it seem as though bugs are intentional or that we never provide any fixes—overall, manipulating people’s perception negatively and deterring potential users from even considering trying our Linux distribution.
We in no way deny the valid criticism that you have produced sporadically, and we have valued that and even rushed to fix whatever occurrences of problems have happened. But we must insist that there is, in fact, a fine line that separates constructive criticism from the unhelpful remarks that you make. We have always been respectful of those that do not like our work, but at the same time, our inaction to respond to your provocations has allowed you to continue to affect us in this way and potentially even to become a risk to our jobs.
Because of this, we request publicly that you or your staff amend the erroneous information you display on your website about our product, including logos, names, links, descriptions, and versions. Additionally, we demand an apology from you and the staff member responsible for the incident that finally led to this open letter. Our request is non-negotiable, and we will not accept anything less for our demand.
We reached out to you initially, hoping that adding our Linux distribution to your database and subsequent display on your front page would propel our offering and make it more visible. We did not contact you to have our work insulted or berated and for you or your staff to call us “liars.” We take great pride in the work that we do. We’re constantly learning to improve our processes to create a better product for our end-users and potential users interested in trying our Linux distribution. We accept our mistakes and move onwards to avoid committing them again.
Thus, we accept that reaching out to DistroWatch in the first place was a mistake, even when we did it with the best of intentions.
[…] We try to help smaller projects which provide useful software, but do not have large sources of income like Mozilla or The Linux Foundation do. […]
Your website claims to “Put the fun back into computing,” but you do not follow through. Does this apply only to projects that you like? Because your actions suggest, it does.
Please practice what you preach, and do a full-stop with your treatment of our work.
— Nitrux Latinoamericana S.C.