Late in the evening of June 12, 2021, freenode staff seized the largest community channel left on freenode.

They cleared the ##linux access list and established themselves as channel owners. In the process they kicked roughly a thousand remaining users from ##linux, trying to forward them to #linux (one hash mark).

##linux was by far the largest community content channel remaining on freenode with >1000 online users, building this Linux community on IRC, my staff and I have spent countless hours of volunteer time over 22 years.

There was no warning, no consultation and the only shred of reasoning that could be found was in the canned message stating “this channel is in violation of Freenode policy” used with the channel purge. Some of the ##linux channel staff were klined from freenode (i.e. banned at the network level). The channel staff and myself view this as a hostile takeover attempt of our community and an attack on users’ freedom of choice and association.

Since the resignation of all former freenode staff and the takeover of the network operations by Andrew Lee and his new recruits, FLOSS communities can no longer count on the safety and stability of the freenode IRC network.

Similar hostile takeovers happened to the Python community, GNU and the FSF. More than 700 FLOSS projects have abandoned freenode and now the Linux.Chat community has left as well; find our new home at #linux on Libera and our multi-platform community website here.

I personally urge any remaining FLOSS projects to consider moving to Libera, OFTC or any other FLOSS friendly environment. freenode has become actively hostile, unpredictable and untrustworthy.

June 14, 2021, Nigel Kukard (former ##linux on freenode founder, founder of #linux on Libera, owner of Linux.Chat on Discord)
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