Due to the hate speech found in some of the translations in the Ubuntu 23.10 desktop installer, the ISOs were withdrawn from the mirrors.
Ubuntu 23.10 “Mantic Minotaur” was just released and eagerly awaited by all fans of this widely popular and used distribution. Sadly, this moment was marred by an incident that no one would have predicted.
A Shocking Discovery
The discovery of hate speech within the translations of a widely-used operating system like Ubuntu is not only surprising but deeply concerning.
Due to an oversight, the Ubuntu 23.10 “Mantic Minotaur” desktop version installer was allowed to include phrases containing hate speech with obscene messages that had nothing to do with the installation process.
Based on an initial examination, these are related to the installation’s Ukrainian translation. Due to their highly unacceptable messages, we are unable and unwilling to go into further detail about their content.
The Immediate Aftermath
Upon detecting the offensive content, the Ubuntu development team took immediate and decisive action, withdrawing the 23.10 ISOs from all mirrors. This lightning-fast response was crucial in mitigating the spread of the harmful content and preventing it from reaching a wider audience.
Furthermore, the Ubuntu team transparently communicated the issue to the user community, explaining the reasons behind the sudden unavailability of the ISOs and assuring users that corrective actions were underway.
So, at the moment, when trying to download the Ubuntu 23.10 installation ISO image, users get a “404 Not Found” error message, stating that the file cannot be found.
The button to download the distribution from the Ubuntu website is also inactive.
The affected images that have been removed are Ubuntu Desktop 23.10, Ubuntu Budgie 23.10, and the Ubuntu Desktop daily images.
After being taken down from the mirror servers, all affected ISO images will be recreated and reuploaded. However, this process will take some time, so users are asked to be patient and understanding with this unforeseen situation.
In any case, the presence of hate speech within the translations raises numerous questions regarding user-contributed content’s review and approval processes.
Addressing the issue goes beyond merely rectifying the offensive translations. It involves a thorough investigation into how such content bypasses existing checks and balances.
This incident will probably serve as a learning opportunity for other open-source platforms, highlighting the critical importance of vigilance and robust moderation in managing user-contributed content.
Finally, we believe Canonical will thoroughly examine the reason for this lapse and take all necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t occur again.
Our team strongly condemns the malicious contributors responsible for this and applauds Ubuntu’s prompt detection and resolution of the issue.