Mass freenode staff resignation due to hostile takeover, new IRC network created

Staff of IRC network freenode have resigned in protest of a “hostile corporate takeover” by Andrew rasengan Lee, founder of VPN provider Private Internet Access. This is according to Christian (also known as Fuchs), one of the members of freenode staff who stepped down. Years ago, former head of staff christel sold Freenode Limited to Lee in order to organize Freenode Live events. The volunteer staff were assured that this wouldn’t wrest control of the network away from them.

However recently, Andrew Lee has been reportedly using legal tactics against the staff in order to take over control of freenode and replace them with his own appointments; this includes data of all freenode users. To prevent him from gaining their administrative access and data, the staff have all resigned. Lee meanwhile has said that the staff had harassed christel into leaving her position and that they had not allowed for a proper transition period to a new head of staff, among other accusations.

The former freenode staff have now set up a new IRC network:
Libera Chat

More details can be found in the links below:
Christian Fuchs’ resignation letter
Aaron amdj Jones’ resignation
Ed edk0 Kellett’s resignation
Emīls emilsp Piņķis’ resignation
kline's resignation
Marco Md d’Itri’s resignation
jess’ resignation
mniip's resignation
niko's resignation (French)
Swant's resignation
JonathanD's resignation
Andrew rasengan Lee’s letter to freenode

Maybe it is a good opportunity to actually move to Matrix and have official channel there?


The Haiku developers & contributors are aware of this and are presently discussing the situation. We are presently leaning towards moving to OFTC, an IRC network run by Software in the Public Interest, and used by major projects like LLVM. LiberaChat is just a little new, and we’d like to go with something more established.

OFTC has a Matrix bridge already, so those that like to connect to chat using Matrix would be able to continue to do so if we went through with this.


This is official. Haiku has gained control of the essential channels on

We have been talking about officially going Matrix, XMPP, etc for a while, but given the severity of the Freenode takeover, we decided that moving IRC to OFTC was the best “rushed” solution.

Special thanks to all of the Freenode staff over the years. They moved mountains keeping Freenode alive for over 20 years!


Do we really?

The discussion has happened on the IRC channel with whoever was connected there at the time. Calling that “the Haiku developers” is a bit exagerated.

Every irc administrator online at the time agreed and all the online users had no complaints. Haiku is a democracy, however we also can’t get so tied down in bureaucracy that we never accomplish anything.

We moved from an increasingly unstable irc server system to one which has a long track record of serving open source communities under a 501( c )( 3 ). It was an easy call.

If we decide oftc isn’t the right place, this move gives us time to carefully think about our next steps as a community.

Hold on, so every Haiku developer & contributor is not aware of this and is not presently discussing the situation! There are mailing lists to discuss things with the Haiku developers & contributors, that’s certainly not bureaucracy.

Yes, I misstated in the original post; it was the IRC moderators & “regulars” who discussed and decided to make the switch (after all we are the ones who actually use IRC, which is not intended for “official” communications anyway.)


For posterity’s sake: it appears that all active channels on Freenode that so much as mention or OFTC in the channel topic are now automatically and forcibly seized from the channel operators and closed. So … that’s quite the vindication for making the move as quickly as we did.


Seems like there was no need to retire the channel after all, since Andrew Lee’s freenode staff did it for us. :upside_down_face:

Are there still any Haiku channels left on freenode or has the migration completed already?

I think the language-specific channels haven’t been migrated yet.

Who runs those language specific channels? Might be good letting them know and perhaps helping them to migrate to OFTC if needed.

The French channel has been moved at the same time as the official ones. I do not know if the other channels are used regularly or not. We have messaged them all when doing the migration, but I think we have not heard back from them.

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It might have been a good idea to communicate through the l10n mailing list. That way every affiliated language manager can step up and take control of their channel. Language specific channels are generally not so crowded, it’s quite possible that not everyone “got the memo”.

Moreover, it would be a good idea to document how to implement Matrix, XMPP, BeShare bridges, so that everyone can use the channels with their client of choice, and possibly stay online all the time.

For XMPP there is nothing to setup, you can use an url for the form (or use another XMPP to IRC gateway provider if you prefer, but this one is open for everyone to use). The server will then connect to the IRC channel for you.

For Matrix I do not know how this is normally set up.

For BeShare it makes not so much sense to bridge multiple channels, because BeShare only has a single channel anyway.

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