New Freenode Leadership Hijacks Over 700 Channels

Not quite 9000

Since the last update on the Freenode situation the new Freenode  leadership team decided to make the situation worse and hijack all IRC channels that mentioned Libera in their channel topic. Here’s what that looked like for the ioquake3 project’s #ioquake3 channel:

Screen Shot 2021 05 25 at 18 10 56

At that point the #ioquake3 channel was moved to ##ioquake3 (in freenode parlance this indicates that it is unofficial or off-topic to the network’s purview of free and open source software, this change to mark the new channel as unofficial was the smallest possible token of honesty in this hijacking) and with my username specifically being NuclearMonster on IRC and the voice bit removed I couldn’t speak without changing my username and losing any authority to let anyone who had missed our notice to move to our new home on know about the situation or what’s going on. The new freenode leadership also helpfully unbanned every single banned user. I guess they just want the trolls and not the people who actually work on projects.

Of course this didn’t just happen to the ioquake3 project, it also happened to:

In total, about seven-hundred project channels were apparently hijacked to feed Andrew Lee’s new rulership over the Freenode IRC network. Lee also posted a bizarre screed to the Freenode website titled “freenode exists for FOSS.” In the statement, Lee says that projects that decide to leave are a “a trojan horse to pursue a political cause based on falsehoods on IRC.” and that the project leaders are “an illness.”

Freenode is Dead

The freenode internet relay chat network has been a staple of open-source and free software projects for decades and it has been taken over:

Developers of the open source organization Freenode are quitting en masse after Andrew Lee, a tech entrepreneur and the Crown Prince of Korea, has taken control of the network in what developers are describing as an “hostile takeover.”

I’m attempting to move my projects off of the dying service already, it is incredible how much time so many people spent on this one network. It was the place to put a channel about your software or technology project and now it looks like people are moving to a new network called Libera.

Update: As pointed out by The Internet’s Basscomm The Chairman of Freenode, Andrew Lee, has responded on the freenode website, and linked to a Paul Graham post in the response which really tells you everything you need to know about the Chairman of Freenode.