guidelines, recommendations and best practices

The following guidelines are, as the name suggests, not hard rules. We recommend people base their conduct and that communities build their channel rules on these guidelines, but, within the constraints of our Network Policies, projects are free to run their channels as they see fit.

Text-based communications, intentions, and misunderstandings

Misunderstandings can easily occur in text-based communication due to the absence of non-verbal cues. Strive to be clear and concise in your messages, and don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed. Emojis and emoticons can help convey your tone, but use them sparingly to avoid confusion.

Controversial topics

Some topics are more prone to heated debates than others. These topics include, among others, politics, religion/faith, and ideologies. While free/open-source software, privacy, and broad licenses are often political as well, we recommend keeping unrelated politics to a minimum. In larger channels especially, experience shows that this leads to heated debates that drive people away and require op intervention. We also recommend respecting other people’s choices and views instead of evangelizing and trying to convert others to your beliefs.

Channel operators are users, too

Channel operators are valuable members of the community who volunteer their time to maintain a positive environment. Treat them with the same respect and courtesy you would extend to any other user. If you have any concerns or issues, approach them respectfully and privately, when appropriate.

Be mindful of sensitive content

Some users may be affected by certain content, which could trigger emotional responses or discomfort. When discussing or sharing potentially sensitive material, provide content warnings or use spoiler tags. Be considerate of users' boundaries and adjust your behavior accordingly if asked.

Collaborate and support your community

A strong community is built on collaboration, support, and mutual respect. Engage in constructive discussions, lend a helping hand to newcomers, and share resources that benefit everyone. Encourage a positive and inclusive atmosphere in the channel.

Basic IRC netiquette

Maintain proper etiquette when using IRC by avoiding practices such as shouting (using all caps), flooding the channel with messages, or interrupting ongoing conversations. Refrain from spamming, advertising, or engaging in disruptive behaviors. Use appropriate language and avoid offensive or derogatory terms that could harm the community atmosphere.

  • When you join a new channel, read the topic and get acclimatized to the channel culture and rules.
  • Avoid repeating content, e.g. asking your question every few minutes because you have not received an answer yet.
  • You should not mass highlight (mention by name) multiple people.
  • Avoid writing in ALL-UPPERCASE.
  • Do not demand - participate instead. If you have a problem or question, try to give out all information needed, and show some effort to get it answered or resolved.
  • We recommend not pasting multiple lines into a channel. How many lines are acceptable depends on the channel; a round 3 is usually a good number. You should use an external pastebin service for larger sections of text.
  • Asking the same question in multiple channels at the same time (“cross posting”) is often seen as rude. Try to find the correct place first in order to avoid duplicate work.
  • Settings or scripts that send a public message based on your away/back status are frowned upon. The same goes for nicknames that are based on your current status, e.g. MyName|cooking, or frequent nick changes.