#libreelec IRC moves to Libera.Chat

The #libreelec IRC support channel on freenode has been moved to Libera Chat. The last month has seen a series of management issues on freenode that have precipitated a mass exodus of FOSS projects to alernative IRC services; mostly Libera Chat or OFTC. Our original intention was to simply open another #libreelec channel on alternative servers. Our project staff are not big IRC users and channel traffic is low, so presence on several servers wouldn’t be a big deal. However:

This morning the “new management” on freenode executed a hostile takeover of hundreds of IRC channels including projects and groups we have interests in. Channel operators were removed, devoiced, and where channels had been closed (after relocating to another IRC service) the channels were reopened to disguise their decision to move. Why? .. simply because they mentioned Libera Chat in the channel topic.

So far our own channel on freenode has not been impacted, but in the backstory to LibreELEC’s existence there are events where one person decided we were ‘his’ hobby not ‘our’ project, staff were banned or had rights removed from project infrastructure, and a series of unilateral decisions were taken against the clearly expressed wishes of the entire team. The authoritarian activities seen on freenode feel familiar.

Libera Chat is a non-profit organisation newly-created by the former freenode admin team with a governance structure designed to prevent anything similar happening again. That also feels familiar, so we are moving. See you there 🙂