Hints for better IRC usage.
Ed. note: This is a must-read
for anybody suffering from the frustrations of a takeover. It is
mirrored with permission from the original
by Vegard Engen, an IRC administrator. The only changes were to
combine 4 small files into this 1 file for your convenience. For
more related information, see also our guide to logging and reporting IRC
This page was started on a day that I'd used another 15 minutes to
explain to a takeover-victim one of the issues here. I can not count
the numer of times I've explained these issues to people. So, I
decided from now on, I'd respond with an URL instead. It saves me
time, and in addition, I can refine it, and also incorporate ideas
from other people. So, if you have any ideas or improvements that is
in the spirit of these pages, please mail me at
And, please - point other people to these pages, this puts load off
us poor overworked IRC-operators.
How to help yourself on IRC.
There is a lot you can do yourself to make better use of IRC. You do
not need to get help from an IRC-operator everytime you have a
problem. Below is a collection of technical and social hints that
you can make use of.
1. How to deal with channel takeovers in a good way.
People. I have the foolproof way to deal with channel takeovers. And guess
what? I'll share it with you, completely for free.
Let's say your channel is named #foo. It's a nice and quiet channel.
Suddenly, someone comes in and does a takeover. What do you do?
Now, let me first come up with an analogy:
Say you are sitting in a cafeteria. You rise to go to the bar and buy
a cup of coffee. When you come back, someone has taken your table. You
kindly ask him to move. He won't move. Now, what do you do?
There are two strategies: You call for the waiter, and ask him to remove that
person, or you sit down at the next table, who is also free. Now, which is
the easiest? Of course to move to the next free table.
In IRC, this completely similar to moving to a different channel. And guess
what? There isn't any limited number of channels, you can create a new one
just as you need it.
The problem with this is that you have to make sure that every regular knows
where/how to find people if the channel is taken over. This can be a
little difficult, so this is something you'll have to plan. I will give
you some ideas, though.
The simple thing is to just move to #foo2. Many people will be clever
enough to look for you there if the channel is taken over, other will
find you or other regulars and send a private message to ask where you
are. Some users will struggle a little, some will perhaps not find it
this time, but will only find it when you have eventually gotten back
the original #foo. Because you will, no channel takeovers last forever.
But in the process, they will have learnt something, and next time they
will find the channel much easier. And, they will have learnt something
they can use for other channels too.
Another possibility is to make a web page, describing the backup channel
strategy. This way, you don't have to name the channel #foo2, you could
just as easily name it #bar. And this way, persistent troublemakers
will not so easily guess what your backup channel is. Of course, you should
make your channel secret (+s) or private (+p), this way they can't find
So, to sum it up, what I'm saing is this: Make your channel independent
of the channel name, and your life on IRC will be much more enjoyable.
Following my scheme, the evil channel hackers can never take your channel,
they can only take one of the channel names used for the channel. You
will finally have WON over the channel hackers!
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2. Using modeless channels.
Another way to avoid your channel being taken over is to use a modeless
channels. They are just like normal channels, but there can be no modes
on them. Modeless channels can thus not be locked up or taken over, as
there is no chops on modeless channel. You make your channel modeless
by naming it +foo instead of #foo. There is no way to make a channel
with modes modeless or vice versa, because it's hardcoded in the name.
Of course, you can not ban troublemakers either when you're on a
modeless channel. But, perhaps if everyone installs good floodprotection,
and ignore troublemakers, it's possible to live with? One could give it
Modeless channels only exists on IRCnet yet, as far as I know. If anyone else
know of other (major) networks they exist, let me know.
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3. Bots, what are they?
Or how I run a channel
Bots are just small computer programs that connect to the IRC-server, just like
you would use a program to connect to the IRC-server. The difference is, with
bots it's all automated, with normal clients, you will use commands to decide
what to do on IRC.
Bots are in general something not everyone needs. Many people think that they
need a bot to take care of their channel. Fact is, they usually don't. Most
often, they need knowledge, and bots can not replace knowledge.
The best way to take care of a channel without bots, are:
Read also the session above on
some good advices on what do in case of takeovers, and how to make sure
you and the regulars of the channel are prepared in case a takeover happens.
Remember, bots can not not replace knowledge. Knowledge are better than bots.
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- Never give op to anyone you don't trust.
- Acknowledge the fact that when there aren't people on the channel,
the channel does not need to exist. Channels were never meant to be static.
- If your channel gets taken over, either because you were sloppy with whom
you gave op to, because someone abused IRC to get ops on the channel, or
because someone created the channel when you were not on it, just
create a new one with a similar name.
Vegard Engen, Vegard.Engen@uninett.no
all pages © IRCHELP.ORG or original authors