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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 16 2021, @05:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the deleting-your-most-valuable-asset dept.

Yesterday I got this global notice on Freenode IRC network:

We are moving past legacy freenode to a new fork. The new freenode is launched. You will slowly be disconnected and when you reconnect, you will be on the new freenode. We patiently await to welcome you in freedom's holdout - the freenode.

If you're looking to connect now, you can already /server 6697 (ssl) or 6667 (plaintext). It's a new genesis for a new era. Thank you for using freenode, and Hello World, from the future. freenode is IRC. freenode is FOSS. freenode is freedom.

When you connect, register your nickname and your channel and get started. It's a new world. We're so happy to welcome you and the millions of others. We will be posting more information in the coming days on our website and twitter. Otherwise, see you on the other side!

I didn't notice it until I was disconnected and reconnected today and found myself cancelled on the network. Since there is no blog post mentioned in the system notice, I went looking and I found a summary of this week's drama from Hugo Landau.

Freenode commits suicide, is no longer a serious IRC network

The old services database (registered nicknames, channels, etc.) is apparently gone. All of your registered nicknames and channels are gone. Anyone who wishes to continue to use Freenode (though at this point I honestly can't imagine why anyone would want to) must re-register their nickname.

In short, it seems there was no effort whatsoever to migrate the services database when migrating from Atheme to Anope. Not only that, this transition happened suddenly with, as far as I am aware, zero warning. Freenode has simply dropped all nickname and channel registrations without warning.

Even my channel ##hntop which was previously seized personally by Andrew Lee is no longer registered. It's literally open season for anyone who wants to impersonate someone else, steal their nickname, or take over someone else's channel.

What a strange move, to delete all users and channels and make no effort to move them to a new system, and not explain themselves publicly in a blog post!

Earlier Soylent coverage: Freenode Hijacked (Part 2)

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dwilson on Thursday June 17 2021, @03:16AM (2 children)

    by dwilson (2599) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 17 2021, @03:16AM (#1146315) Journal

    The debacle that happened with freenode will be taught in the future of how NOT to go about things.

    No, it'll be largely forgotten in short order and no one will remember it in the future.

    Outside of (a small subset of) the technicalish sort of people that are found on sites like this, IRC is either entirely unknown or vaguely recognized a relic of the early internet. Either way, it is already largely forgotten.

    - D
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17 2021, @06:46PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17 2021, @06:46PM (#1146622)

    And the people who do discover IRC today and start using it for the first time, mainly discover it through really old web pages that haven't been updated in a decade or more. All of those are still going to exist, so presumably some new users will go to Freenode using instructions from 20 years ago that they found googling something, and never know that the drama happened because it's such a niche topic.

    • (Score: 2) by DeVilla on Sunday June 20 2021, @05:39AM

      by DeVilla (5354) on Sunday June 20 2021, @05:39AM (#1147423)

      Given the hostile takeover of freenode, I think what happened may be the best case scenario. Now instead of finding a bunch of channels that had been hostilely deleted and recreated by the new owners, there's a good chance they users will find a non-existent or vacant channel.

      I'm actually happier with this. I was going to delete my ID since I heard the new owners were flaunting the number of users they had. But I was afraid that if I did, someone could recreate it and impersonate me and it might be reasonable to assume it's still me. Now it's not reasonable to assume anyone from before the calamity is the same user afterwards. The landscape of freenode has been razed and I can cast off freenode without concern.

      There will still be be historical references to freenode on the internet, but if someone does web search on why some ancient support channel on freenode is dead, I'm sure people with find references to this drama and that now they should go to OFTC or Libera.