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Re: move from freenode

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: move from freenode
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 09:36:15 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0.7+183 (3d24855) (2021-05-28)

* alimiracle <> [2021-06-27 06:03]:
> For the last month or so, the IRC world has been embroiled in drama
> over the new ownership of Freenode. For me, it culminated when I was
> banned from Freenode.

And now the miracle brings drama over here.

> after a heated debate in the Freenode channel where I was accused of
> splitting the community, I got k-lined (banned entirely from
> Freenode).  The reason given was “spamming”, because of my recurring
> message about the move to Libera.

Every community has its rules. It is understandable that if you go
against fundamental principles that in that community you may not be

I see it as YOUR drama, not as any kind of general issue.

IRC is Internet Relay Chat. What you don't know maybe is that users
may be interconnected and participate from various networks to same
channels. I really don't know technical details. But telling somebody
to move from Freenode to other server is rude act. It is intruding
into sovereign decision of an individual. All for the sake of
collectivists, small group of people who want others to do what they
want. A miracle is not really a miracle, the phenomena is observed
everywhere in the uncivilzed so called civilization. 

Please, who are you to tell people to which server to connect? Like do
you know that guy, is it your friend, sister, brother, that you feel
free to give an advise or you just find it proper to go around
anonymous and incite the digital social protests? Imagine if you would
come to my house with my friends in a party and start telling them to
go to other house, to other party, oh my!

You feel free to incite online protests and conflicts between people
because you have been granted a privilege of limited anonimity. As
with your face, your address and contacts, you would not have courage

And now you think that I am to endorse your rejoice, your triumph and
illusion that you did something worthwhile? I don't

> With the old staffs gone, we cannot return life to free node.

I don't know what you mean. There are so many IRC servers. Recently I
can see that Freenode servers have these people:

There are 15999 users and 8350 invisible on 21 servers
* 23 :operator(s) online
* 17 :unknown connections
* 22666 :channels formed
* I have 1682 clients and 1 servers
* Current local users: 1682  Max: 2094
* Current global users: 24349  Max: 27825

If the old SJW staff is gone, there are so many others, including some
people get employed. I can understand how some whining and abusive
staff members caused the turmoil and I also find it good they are
gone, as if people don't agree, they better create their own
communities. What I don't find justified is the cancel culture and
incitement to new online protests. Manipulation of the public. Like
this attempt of yours to come over here with propaganda that serves
your whiny collectivism purposes.

For those who seek references:

To tell to IRC users to move to one or ther other server is such a
nonsense. That is not what is IRC about. IRC software alone normally,
how I know that, supports multiple servers. Users may connect not only
to one IRC server, but also to 2, 3 or 5 or 10 IRC servers. IRC
network consists of many servers connected to each other. It is
somehow futile and nonsensical to tell me to connect to this or thatheavy
server. Read and learn, educate yourself, understand the culture. You
are the one who comes with uproaring intentions.

Like what other personal reason one can have to tell unknown people to
move away from one server where they are connected? WTF!

> But fate has yielded its reward: a new world to call

That maybe is YOUR world. Who knows what IRC sotware you use, you are
missing the point of IRC networks. There is no such thing as "new
world", but live the illusion. and Freenode are just 2
among many IRC servers dedicated to free software. 

> We live among its people now, hiding in plain sight, but watching
> over them in secret, waiting...protecting. 

I would not like to be in your world. 

> I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are
> worlds apart, like us, there's more to them than meets the eye. I am
> alimiracle, and I send this message to any surviving People taking
> refuge among the irc servers: We are in We are waiting.
> have fun and be free alimiracle

Is that supposed to be a new Anonymous type of a message?

Justice systems tend to bring parties together to hear stories from
both sides before making a decision.  Then there is subject called
restorative justice where purpose is to bring parties together in
understanding and find out what really happened between to bring
better new understanding. We have not get that case. What we have is
the cancel culture.

Would you for example come here and say: "I wish that Libera.Chat and
Freenode issues are settled for good and that chnanels get connected"
-- I would support that idea. But you come to public mailing list with
rejoice after incitement of conflicts. You rejoice as you as anonymous
miracle, have been making conflicts between people.

Justice system is not cancel culture.

Sadly you know nothing about the justice system, as you clearly
demonstrate lack of it, the extreme collectivist would be dictator

You are fostering the cancel culture

Here is reference from his rasengan's, the Freenode director's

Letter to freenode - Post Mortem of May 25, 2021 rasengan on

Greetings freenode users,

As you are aware, over the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing an
increasing amount of spam from other networks intending to mislead and
influence long term running projects, namespaces and channels into
moving to another new network which was formed parallel to
freenode. While group contacts from the channels did not contact
freenode staff directly, we were rather surprised when we received
reports of unpleasant elements operating in the background and
influencing these projects, namespaces and channels with false
information in order to harm freenode’s administration and staff
members’ images and paint a false narrative altogether.

In conjunction with yesterday’s events, in retrospect, we should have
handled the action of closing down channels slightly
differently. Originally, we posted a draft policy revision and
solicited feedback in #freenode-policy-feedback. After several days,
we discussed various feedback internally that was given.

The intent of doing this was not an attempt of a hostile takeover nor
hijack like many people are saying. Since certain projects were
disrupting their users' ability to chat on freenode via mass kicks,
force closures, spam, we decided to enact this policy in those places
which were deemed in violation and could cause an issue later.

We believe we should have done this in a much more communicative way
to circulate the right message and keep things transparent which of
course did not happen. As we move forward I’d like to fully assure you
that we will be working in complete commitment to restore projects,
namespaces and channels that were closed on accident as a part of this
event and we welcome them to use freenode as before as their very own

Lastly, there are no excuses for this, and I’m willing to admit that I
was wrong with yesterday’s move and apologize for the inconvenience
that may have caused.

The freenode team is working in zeal to support everyone as much as we
can and we sincerely request your support and cooperation to jointly
move ahead positively.

Thank you for your support,

Andrew Lee (rasengan)

On behalf of freenode’s Administration & Volunteer Staff

Comment by Jean:

Please note that people make mistakes. Before stoning somebody
especially based on rumours it is good to look into their main
intention. Look into intention of rasengan. He has been supporting
Freenode with a lot of money for years.

Was the intention to stop abusive behavior in those channels and to
keep people's civilized hanging around? Or was the intentions to
really censor a word? 

I cannot agree that intention was to censor "" as I was in
several channels during that time and I have seen people talking about
it without problem. I do not have personl experience and direct
knowledge that a channel was censored or "taken over" because of
mentioning it -- so I can say maybe it was, but I have no personal
direct knowledge and would now give my judgment so easy about it.


Here is from Dr. Roy Schestowitz:

Chat icon 05.19.21 The Panic Over Freenode Isn’t Justified and Its
Reaction Mostly Disproportionate

Posted in Deception at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Burning Down Freenode is Easy, But at What Cost?

Freenode on logos Freenode scandal mostly seems to boil down to logos

Summary: The Freenode controversy has resulted in what we consider to
be disproportionate response, which likely necessitates further
mediation for an amicable resolution; please do not participate in the
anti-Freenode (warped into anti-Lee) rally as it harms Free software
more than it helps it

I‘ve spent the past week speaking to many of the parties involved over
IRC, E-mail and some social (control) media. In the process I rushed
to publishing a number of posts about Freenode, culminating in some
videos and articles last week. Those were done in a hurry and with
limited consultation (enquiring and reaching out to involved
parties). I am extremely saddened to see Freenode coming under an
attack which bears many of the same hallmarks I saw in the “cancel
RMS” lobby, initiated partly by former FSF insiders (which gave it
legitimacy, at least on the thin surface).

“In the same way that “cancel RMS” in 2019 was about some tactless
E-mails (seen as insensitive towards victims) and in 2021 “cancel RMS”
was all about the man coming back to the FSF’s Board (anger
superficially boosted and artificially floated by the set of new
claims, shifting to a whole different set of poor-quality
accusations).”I’ve long known about the real owner of Freenode. That
owner stayed in the shadows, uninvolved in any direct way. That sort
of changed lately when the owner of Freenode wanted to promote his
brother’s business, Shells, which basically helps raise awareness of
GNU/Linux. They liaised with SUSE earlier this month. Shells isn’t
something I’d personally use; it’s not for me. Whether Freenode should
be in the business of endorsing Shells, even as a sort of sponsor, is
a legitimate ethical question. But it seems like pretty much the whole
catastrophe right now boils down to that. In the same way that “cancel
RMS” in 2019 was about some tactless E-mails (seen as insensitive
towards victims) and in 2021 “cancel RMS” was all about the man coming
back to the FSF’s Board (anger superficially boosted and artificially
floated by the set of new claims, shifting to a whole different set of
poor-quality accusations).

This afternoon somebody told me about the “shitstorm” brewing —
something we had anticipated since last week. Long story short, many
Freenode volunteers (the word “staff” does not imply salary) created
their own alternative to Freenode over at (they decided on
this domain a long time ago). Interestingly enough, about half of all
resignations were announced in a proprietary software platform of
Microsoft, namely:

    amdj edk emilsp jess JonathanD

That’s not to discount or to mock those people, but a better choice of
platform would do more justice to the people behind
(GitHub is the very opposite of “liber” or “libre” anything). By means
of coincidence, some of the resignations came from people who also
signed the RMS hate letter.

Other resignation messages were self-hosted:

    Fuchs kline niko mniip Swant José Antonio Rey Marco d’Itri

Some slippery sites then followed with loose claims and what we
believe to be mischaracterisations or exaggerations (inflation of
claims). Here’s one example calling Lee “Trumpian wannabe korean
royalty bitcoins millionaire.” (To quote Marco d’Itri)

That seems unfair and borderline racist. Americans of East Asian
descent have long suffered from Trumpian politics and calling American
people “korean” lends to this idea that certain people, based on their
race/roots alone, can never be “true Americans”…

Marco d’Itri stated (it was in Planet Debian): “To make a long story
short, the former freenode head of staff secretly “sold” the network
to this person even if it was not hers to sell, and our lawyers have
advised us that there is not much that we can do about it without some
of us risking financial ruin. Fuck you Christel, lilo’s life work did
not deserve this. [...] The people that I have met on IRC, on freenode
and other networks, have been and still are a very important part of
my life, second only to the ones that I have known thanks to Usenet. I
am not fine, but I know that the communities which I have been a part
of are not defined by a domain name and will regroup somewhere else.”

I didn’t fancy some of the language, including statements such as
“Fuck you Christel” (she’s female by the way) because having learned
the circumstances, that sort of misrepresents what actually
happened. Causing distress or what some have called “harassment” won’t
help Christel and won’t help anyone.

Posting a so-called ‘FAQ’ entitled “what the fuck is going on?” on
Microsoft’s GitHub also isn’t helpful (both the language and the
platform). The comments on all the threads we’ve seen in GitHub, no
matter whose side (pro- or anti-Lee statements/sentiments), are what
some call “shitposting”. There’s not much of an effort there to pick
up facts. It’s a lot like social control media sites, which is what
GitHub inherently is, where mobs thrive… or at least groupthink.

Jake at LWN then wrote a short summary sans all the unnecessary drama
(there are comments too): “Several readers have alerted us to some
serious problems at freenode, which runs an IRC network that is
popular in the free-software world. Evidently there has been a change
of control within the volunteer-run organization that has led to the
resignations of multiple different volunteers, at least in part due to
a concern about the personal information of freenode users under the
new management. “The freenode resignation FAQ” has collected a bunch
of information (and links to even more resignation letters) that may
help shed some light on this mess. From the FAQ: “Freenode staff have
stepped down. The network that runs at should now
be assumed to be under control of a malicious party.” In the meantime,
many of the volunteers who resigned have formed Libera.Chat to
continue the legacy of freenode. LWN will be keeping an eye on the
situation, stay tuned…”

This has done nothing to explain the nature of the grievance, it just
says that many people leave and where they leave to.

José Antonio Rey (Ubuntu Community Council), who also signed the RMS
hate letter, later wrote this:

    As a result, Mr Lee now has operational control over the freenode
    IRC network. I cannot stand by such a (hostile?) corporate
    takeover of the freenode network, and I am resigning as a staff
    volunteer along with most other freenode staff. We simply do not
    feel that the network now remains independent after two heads of
    staff appear to have been compelled to make changes to our git
    repo for the website[4].

This is an over-simplification if not distortion of what actually
happened and we’ll come to that in a moment. It’s not a “(hostile?)
corporate takeover” but a response to something that happened (but
some want to omit that part, like selective footage of cops who had
been intentionally provoked, though that’s not to over-generalise
cases of police brutality).

Phoronix, which has long used Freenode (I used to hang out in their
channel even more than a decade ago), then expressed concerns (lots
was published about this on Wednesday):

    Seemingly by the minute today there are more free software
    projects leaving the Freenode IRC network and moving to
    alternative IRC networks or other chat platforms.

    The Freenode IRC network has been around for more than two decades
    and very popular with free/open-source software projects for
    engaging over development discussions, user support, and more. But
    now due to a “hostile takeover” and most/all of the volunteer
    staff leaving the network, projects are scrambling to move to
    alternative chat platforms.

Not all of them do. Hours ago Gentoo stated: “We are aware of the
situation surrounding Freenode ownership and / or administration (1,
2, 3, 4) and are watching current developments closely. So far no
decision on Gentoo involvement has been taken. Please check this page
for future updates.”

Several other distros are “on the fence”. It’s untrue to say that
there’s mass exodus, but the media causes more panic than is

Not many people will see this response from Lee (unfortunately also in
the same Microsoft platform that was used to rally people against RMS;
the same media that attacked RMS (VICE) now attacks Lee with terms
like “Korean Crown Prince” in the headline although he’s an American,
born and raised in the US). To quote the chronology, as Lee sees it:

    Posted on Freenode Limited on the morning of May 12, 2021 US PST:

    Approximate timeline:

    1. Shells sponsors freenode providing 3k/mo.

    2. Freenode lists the shells logo.

    3. Tomaw’s team attacks christel, who had run Freenode since early
    2000, and she resigns, unable to deal with the persistent

    4. Rather than allow for a usual grace period after resignation
    (e.g. as we speak, several resigned former-staffers are still OPd
    in here), or allow for a reasonable transition from one head of
    Freenode staff to the next (something reasonable and responsible
    to do to ensure proper continuity of operations), Tomaw’s crew
    abruptly cuts christel’s access while she is asleep that night.

    5. Tomaw turns around and asks me a bunch of questions if I’m
    going to challenge his control. He also says he understands I am
    the owner. I suggest that freenode needs decentralization and good
    governance, to prevent the kinds of hasty destabilizing things
    that have transpired.

    6. I hear whispers that Tomaw is up to something and reach out to
    prawnsalad (kiwiirc) who has nothing but good to say about Tomaw.
    He schedules a meeting with tomaw and me to mediate.

    7. In the meeting Tomaw and I disagree entirely about freenode
    domain ownership (which we’ve since come to an agreement on), but
    we both clearly agree in writing not to make any changes to
    ownership, governance, or project trajectory until we speak
    again. I created a document detailing the discussion on April 8
    and general plan on Google Docs (dated).

    8. Rather than wait until we speak again, Tomaw turns around and
    changes up the staff and website.

    9. Upset that tomaw has renegged on his commitments and acted
    rashly, prawnsalad says he’s not going to deal with tomaw and
    discussion ends; the mediator drops out.

    10. I ask tomaw wtf and he brushes me off.

    11. I get a lawyer and tomaw says he understands and is sorry etc
    and sends me a letter.

    12. Meanwhile some other story is being told to the staff that
    doesn’t match the truths listed here.

    Given the millions I have injected into freenode thus far, the
    fact I own it and the fact that I protected the freenode staff
    with professional legal work and funding when they needed help and
    they could still lie and slander like this… says a lot about who
    they are. It saddens me that christel was forced out, and I wish
    she’d feel safe returning. I’m frustrated that tomaw’s hostile
    takeover seems likely to succeed, in spite of all. I simply want
    freenode to keep on being a great IRC network, and to support it
    financially and legally as I have for a long time now.

    So this is where we are. I passionately want freenode to survive.
    I have serious concerns about the stability of the project with
    tomaw here, given his duplicitious and rash actions. But I also
    have faith and trust in the freenode staff as a general body. So
    it’s my hope we can resolve this leadership issue. I proposed a
    way to decentralize freenode in the past and would love to embark
    on that journey still. Perhaps if tomaw could be forthright with
    everyone about what’s happened, the staff could decide for
    themselves, but I fear he has been far less than forthright. I do
    not want to interfere, but I also want to protect freenode from
    what appears to be a pretty hostile set of moves that I believe
    threaten the network. This concern might point to larger issues
    we’ll need to address about governance in general, and I’m open to
    having those discussions and formalizing fair and reasonable
    processes. But for now in the short term, I would really like to
    work together to find a resolution to this. Freenode must survive
    in tact, not torn to pieces.

We’ve checked for ourselves, over at IRC, if that makes sense. Moments
ago there was also a formal blog post/news item about it.

To the credit of The Register, unlike other publishers it did bother
speaking also to Lee, at least to hear the other side of the
story. There are many informative bits in that article, including an
explanation from Lee himself (other publishers did not bother). It
also speaks of Christel: “In 2017, the then head of staff at Freenode,
Christel Dahlskjaer, incorporated it as Freenode Ltd and sold it to
Andrew Lee. At the time, both the head of staff and Lee promised that
Freenode would keep running as it had been until then, and that the
incorporation and sale was done just to sponsor a conference. That was
true until this year, according to several developers.”

Privately, we’ve seen evidence of abuse against Christel.

After much research and fact-finding we’ve come to the conclusion that
the crux of the matter is, Lee wanted to add the Shells logo to the
Freenode site (it is there now in the site) and he was locked out of
the domain etc. Given the thing he was looking to promote, which isn’t
inherently unethical in its own right, it seems like a storm in a
teacup or moles being raised to tall mountains. Surely there’s a more
reasonable reaction to all this (other than burning down the whole

Getting out some knives and pitchforks is easy. The question is, does
the action justify the reaction? Is the reaction proportional? Seems
not… █


Here is again from Freenode:

To the FOSS Community,

Current global users: 68347

The current global user count of freenode exceeds the user count of
the 2nd-6th largest networks, combined. I am pleased to announce, the
plan to destroy freenode has failed! Fuchs bragging
about burning freenode down (Message from former staffer/team lead,

We’re moved by the tens of thousands of messages of love and support
we have received, but moreover, we expected no less from the most
objective and fair community in the world - the FOSS community. The
silent majority has spoken.  To the few projects leaving based on

freenode has been the home for the entire FOSS community for over 20
years. Fracturing the community only hurts users and FOSS. Your users
don’t wish to migrate. Stop forcing them. rsync channel
ops forcing people to move (This is what is happening in some FOSS
project’s channels because users refuse to leave freenode)

Freenode is more than just an IRC network. It is the home for our
users. You came here because of the freenode users, not the other way
around, and now you try to destroy it from the inside.

You’re using your FOSS projects as a trojan horse to pursue a
political cause based on falsehoods on IRC. Please stop and reflect on
what you’re doing. If you wish to continue, then it is what it is - an

Log files being spread (A user, representing personal views, asks
questions based on knowledge from joepie91 who does things for the
“lulz”) A note on cancel culture

I have also received hundreds of reports from project leads on
freenode that they are being harassed and are at risk of being
canceled if they do not leave, to Libera. This activity does not
belong in FOSS. Stop it.  A moment of silence and salute to prawnsalad

One of the casualties that IRC has, unfortunately, suffered yesterday
was of prawnsalad. We salute his efforts, as without him, webirc and
webircv3 wouldn’t be where it is, today. Most major networks have a
web irc platform thanks to prawnsalad, including freenode.  freenode

Freenode is freenode, and freenode is FOSS. freenode is you. It’s not
a former staff team holding onto a position for 20+ years without any
progress other than asking every group to manually go through them to
get vhosts, as a gatekeeper. As such, we will be enabling the features
that were built to make freenode better years ago and were simply
never implemented. HostServ is coming!  A word on policies

To protect the community, we’ve updated our policies and are
continuing to upgrade our systems to better reflect the state of
freenode in 2021. With our strong team, we’ll be able to take freenode
and IRC further.. It’s a new era for freenode and IRC and a great era
for FOSS and open innovations!

To the next 20 years.

Thanks again for choosing freenode, the home of the FOSS community.

On behalf of freenode and the entire freenode team,

Andrew Lee (rasengan)

President freenode limited


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