Bonum Certa Men Certa

Libera.Chat Became Far Smaller After the Collapse of, But the Number of Distinct IRC Networks is Growing shrank

Summary: It seems like more IRC networks are being rolled out (deployed afresh) this year, but no longer gives IRC a false sense of magnitude (many users were just bridged across from

ONLY weeks ago Ryan mentioned the layoffs and moderation crisis* at, resulting in exclusion from the largest IRC network (if scale is measured by number of users "online", including passive lurkers and bots). The users' fatigue has extended to and judging by the front page (homepage) of, you'd not know anything is amiss: homepage

We've spent some time trying to put all this in context. Some GNU/Linux bloggers took note of the woe-some situation and we've quoted them in Daily Links.

The good news is, judging by, the number of unique and decent-sized networks actually grew. It's now higher than when we last checked (before 'Matrix-pocalypse'):

IRC Networks index: There are 525 known IRC networks listed below...

Just to add a quick line about why that is a good thing, consider the collapse of Social Control Media and what it does to online communities. IRC seems a lot more robust, so communities can stay together. They don't get scattered. USENET didn't age too well, partly due to ISPs pulling the plug (that, in turn, was partly due to lawsuits from the copyright cartel).

IRC has been around since the 1980s and it's still doing fairly well, so it'll probably survive just fine well past 2030. No company controls it. Money does not determine its success. _________ * The 'moderation crisis' and its effects got more properly explained by Ryan earlier this month. He said that child abuse images or other illegal content were routinely being posted there and even when reported to the operators/moderators there was nobody available to take action. This could be clarified a bit more by Ryan, who was a (now former) user. They also kept banning a lot of legitimate and law-abiding users, according to him, so it's not clear what or who got excluded (or why exactly). It was not being filtered transparently (same issue as old Freenode). They were overzealous with their global, centralised moderation hammer. IRC is not centralised like this. IRC "dictatorship" it limited to particular networks, but some networks share banlists (thankfully not a common practice; OFTC does this).

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