05.20.21

There’s a Staff Exodus at Freenode, But It’s Not a Users Exodus (No Compelling Practical Reasons to Leave)

Posted in Standard at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: IRC remains relevant to many of us who need a reliable, free, and Free software-based network for communications based upon (or built atop) protocols that a lot of clients support; Freenode is one of many IRC networks and for the time being it remains robust, it’s not collapsing as some people or some media operations want everyone to think

The staff of Freenode (or former staff) won’t like me for saying it, but I think they’re causing largely unnecessary disruption to a lot of users, maybe 10,000 times more users than the members of staff involved, depending on what one counts. When I say “unnecessary” I meant from users’ perspective. Freenode is users. Freenode is community.

“There’s no single ‘parent’ network, just a collective of viable and robust networks.”Last night I spent an enormous amount of time studying the situation before writing down some of the conclusions reached. I’ve since then not seen a single high-profile project formally announcing abandonment of Freenode. I cannot blame them either. Neither the staff nor the users. Both have same legitimate points, but the underlying grievance or the scandal isn’t significant enough. This should not be the cause for a ‘burn-down’ of Freenode, just as RMS returning to the FSF shouldn’t justify destruction of the Free Software Movement. In a sense it’s good to have more networks, which give people more options; that in its own right is a sort of ‘decentrlisation’ for the IRC network. There’s no single ‘parent’ network, just a collective of viable and robust networks.

“Freenode isn’t falling apart (there are prophecies saying so, but they’re motivated by a not-so-hidden desire). Moreover, there are still some negotiations underway.”I wish departing staff much success in their new venture, but I urge people against rushed decision to abandon Freenode just because of social inertia and rather misleading reports. Some of them want you to think that the equivalent of the Saudi regime bought Freenode (this is repeated here; “alleged Crown Prince of Korea”). This is wrong. It’s inciting and spreading unnecessary anger and hate.

Calm down, folks. Freenode isn’t falling apart (there are prophecies saying so, but they’re motivated by a not-so-hidden desire). Moreover, there are still some negotiations underway. Stick with Freenode for now. There’s no reason to rush away; it’s not like data is being sold or anything like that, for reasons explained in the video above. This goes years back and privacy was a focal point.

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