Unlawful activities and related supporting activities are not allowed. In addition to that, heavy media file trading, pornography, and various forms of antisocial behaviour are forbidden. Discrimination based on faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex or gender expression, disability, or age is not permitted. Your personal values (e.g. religious, political, …) do not protect you if you participate in discrimination. Inciting violence is not allowed. The same goes for any other behaviour meant to deliberately harass, alarm, or distress a person. We also do not tolerate libel and defamation. Collecting or sharing the private or confidential information of other people is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to information such as phone numbers, post addresses, email addresses, employment information, usernames or sign-in credentials. This does not apply to widely available public information such as the office phone number of a public official. Users and staff members have the ability to remain pseudonymous. Linking a username of someone operating under a pseudonym to other identities against their will is not considered acceptable either on or off IRC. Staff will not answer questions about such information.
Violations of the rules can lead to temporary or permanent removal from the network. There might not always be a prior warning of this. In addition to that, there are many reasons why we might remove someone from the network, including technical difficulties and false positives in spam prevention. If you are unsure why you were removed from the network, we invite you to seek clarification by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Ultimately, our decisions are up to staffer discretion. We expect users to act in good faith, be respectful, and not disturb the network operations and our communities. We reserve the right to terminate anyone’s access to our services at our discretion.
We are required to pass on and act on credible information about any unlawful activities as it relates to your use of our services.
Some may wish to log their channels publicly, if you do so the logging should be authorised by the channel owners and users in the channel should be notified (through for instance the topic, entry message, or similar) that public logging is taking place. Channel operators should consider ways for users to make unlogged comments and a process for requesting the removal of certain logs. If you operate a service that scrapes internal channel content or published logs, ensure that you have obtained permission to do so from staff or the channel owners before you start scraping data, also make sure that there is an easy way for channels to opt-out. If you wish to publish logs of a single conversation, please make sure you have gotten permission from all participants before doing so.
You can find details about what data we collect, keep, and for how long on our legal page.
The following guidelines are, as the name suggests, not hard rules. We recommend people base their conduct and that communities build their channel rules on these guidelines.
IRC, as a text-only method of communication, lacks many of the cues of in-person interaction. Sarcasm, humour, inside jokes and the like might not come across as intended and are easily misunderstood. People might also have a different cultural background and perceive things differently than you do. We therefore recommend that you assume good faith and, in the event of a potential misunderstanding, ask for clarification rather than accuse.
Some topics are more prone to heated debates than others. These topics include, among others, politics, religion/faith and ideologies. While free / open source software, privacy, and broad licenses are often political as well, we recommend keeping unrelated politics to a minimum. In larger channels especially, experience shows that this leads to heated debates that drive people away and require op intervention. We also recommend respecting other people’s choices and views instead of evangelizing and trying to convert others to your beliefs.
We recommend that channel operators interact with the channel as normal users too. Therefore, we recommend that they only op up when there is a need for administrative action. Using the op status to intimidate or as a warning shot is frowned upon, as it often does not help improve outcomes. However, in order to create the desired channel atmosphere, we recommend that channel operators are even more keen on setting a positive example and acting as role models to the rest of the community.
Open channels are likely to contain people with of different age groups, backgrounds, religions, and views. People can connect from their homes, from schools, from public places or from their workplace. Be mindful of your audience before you post sensitive content.
As a contributor you are part of a larger community and will be collaborating with other community members, as well as with other communities and stakeholders affected by or interested in your work. We recommend that you work in an open and transparent manner, give feedback tactfully and receive it gracefully. Consider giving negative feedback in private. We also recommend that you keep your community and stakeholders informed, so they can contribute and collaborate. This avoids duplicated work and disagreements after work is already done.
Users coming from different networks might be used to different IRC subcultures, but there are some basics that most people agree on. Among them are: