Freenode is dead. That’s the unfortunate truth. On May 19, an event regularly described as “hostile takeover”, in which the control over the biggest IRC network for free, open-source software has been forcefully taken away from the volunteer group called Freenode Staff who have run it ever since it was founded about 20 years ago, has taken place.
Therefore, all the communities I am involved in and/or manage on Freenode are moving or have already moved to the new network which most of the former Freenode staff have founded: Libera.Chat. This includes:
- AppImage with the channel
- NewPipe with the channel
- Blue Nebula with the channel
I do not have time to provide a nice summary on the topic as I have previously, e.g., for the youtube-dl incident. In the past days, I have analyzed the available resources (i.e., blog posts, pasted chat logs, and other publicly available information from both sides), and I support the former Freenode Staff in this matter. Large parts of their claims can be verified, something I cannot say about claims from the “new management”. The way this “new management” has literally grabbed power and then started to defame the old staff clearly shows that they don’t have the best intentions, not for the users, not for Freenode as a project, not for IRC.
I have curated some links to interesting resources such as summaries, news, blog posts, resignation letters etc., so read on if you want to take a look yourself.
There is a third-party FAQ that provides a good overview.
Note: I have not verified all of the links below, though I read most of them and verified large amounts.
I plan to update this list in the future.
Statements from former Freenode staff
Resources from projects leaving for other networks
Most of these have moved to Libera.Chat, some to OFTC.
- Open letter signed by the maintainers of many channels: https://gist.github.com/shadowcat-mst/998cea12794768bdb3da2daeff31baad
Abusive behavior of “new management” towards users
Note: I have not verified any of these stories myself completely, but I have read the posts, and they sound plausible.
- more context: https://nitter.snopyta.org/i/status/1396268481524293633
- https://lwn.net/Articles/856698/ (look for
Other statements from the greater IRC community
Statements made by the “new management”
Please note that these are just shared for reference. They should not be taken too seriously.