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Just today morning, freenode pulled the trigger on their servers and removed all channels, all users, all settings… Everything. And they say that they have restarted the network and will move to a new “fork”:
[Global Notice 1/3] 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.
[Global Notice 2/3] If you’re looking to connect now, you can already /server chat.freenode.net 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.
[Global Notice 3/3] 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!
freenode, which was the largest active IRC network, was taken over by Andrew Lee; The Korean crown prince. Former staff and volunteers say that there was absolutely no way this selling process could be legal, but due to his wealth and powerful relations, the Korean prince could not be stopped.
Until today, by his own stupidity.
The madman paid a large sum of money to buy the network – which is not yet disclosed – and then, started taking channels from their owners whenever they mentioned LiberaChat; an alternative to the freenode IRC network.
One channel after another… Almost all FOSS community migrated away in a matter of few days when the controversy started. netsplit.de showed that 30-40K users migrated to the new network in less than a week.
What the rich businessman didn’t understand is that historically, freenode was all about community: The people who volunteer in various channels to keep the corresponding channels clean and focused on their goals in helping users. So when such a hostile takeover takes place, FOSS users are of course expected to immediately react and take action.
Piss off the FOSS community by the slightest bit, and the consequences could be severe.
But he thought that he can silence users, take channels from their owners and then proceed as if nothing happened.
Today, all freenode users and channels are gone. An empty network which no one uses and no one will ever dare to use.
Yet, Lee arrogantly comes to say that “freenode is IRC”, as if he can block the light of the Sun.
But has there been any dumper takeover in history of mankind? Imagine paying much money to buy a company or an organization which had 90K users, then in less than few weeks, you have 0 users. Imagine failing so much, that thinking that taking over a network of people and then removing all people from it would be genius idea to let people trust you again.
One can hardly find supplementary examples.
isfreenodedeadyet.com was just released this week to monitor the progress of both freenode and LiberaChat networks, and how many users they have, but it didn’t take much until the end of the same week for its owners to update it and put a large “YES” in there.
The freenode case should be an example taught in universities on how dumb business decision and hostile takeovers of user communities can easily backfire in the face.
Meanwhile, 40K users are enjoying their time on Libera.Chat.