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You are here: Home FSF News Update to the FSF and GNU's plan to move IRC channels to Libera.Chat

Update to the FSF and GNU's plan to move IRC channels to Libera.Chat

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jun 15, 2021 03:45 PM

Following our announcement of a planned gradual switch from the Freenode IRC network to Libera.Chat, Freenode staff, with no notice, seized control of the #fsf and #gnu channels away from FSF staff and GNU volunteers during the early hours of Sunday morning (EDT). This happened despite members of Freenode staff participating in the community meeting, as well as reassuring us publicly and privately that they would respect and support the resulting review and our decision. These channels were seized without informing the FSF or GNU representatives of any disagreements Freenode staff had with our plan, whether by means of the group contact system or otherwise. Adding to the situation's instability was their switch to a new IRC daemon late last night, also without notice, which dropped all existing nicks and channels from the database.

This has forced us to adjust our plans for the transition, a move that was already necessary due to an abrupt change in Freenode policy that occurred shortly after our announcement, which eliminated the distinction between # and ## channels that we planned to use to pass ownership of the #fsf and #gnu channels over to the wider free software community.

After several additional meetings of the working group FSF and GNU formed to investigate this issue, we announce the following changes:

  • The #fsf and #gnu channels on the Freenode network are to be considered unofficial and will not be moderated by FSF staff or GNU volunteers.

  • So as not to mislead users, who might otherwise think that the #fsf and #gnu channels on Freenode are the official channels for our organizations, the irc.gnu.org alias is being retired effective immediately. Instead, it is now pointed at a server of ours that will give notice of our migration to the Libera.Chat network to IRC clients that attempt to connect to it.

In light of these events, we would like to reiterate our call for GNU maintainers to move their channels away from the Freenode network, whether to a self-hosted server, alternate IRC networks such as Hackint or Libera.Chat, or other networks that fit the criteria we devised for our decision. Once again, GNU maintainers who have any concerns about their channels are encouraged to email maintainers@gnu.org with their questions.

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