Big open source projects abandon Freenode in hostile takeover

Dozens of organizations and projects continue to move away from popular Freenode IRC discuss network, which has long been synonymous with Open source projects.

Since last week, several reputable projects and organizations such as Wikimedia (a non-profit that manages Wikipedia), Adafruit, as well as several Linux Distributions such as Ubuntu, Gentoo and CentOS left Freenode, notably for Libera Chat, which was founded and is run by former Freenode staff.

In one PublishOne of the founders of Libera Chat, José Antonio Rey, who is also a member of the Ubuntu Community Council and a former Freenode staff volunteer, explained the events leading up to the current state of affairs.

Rey accuses Andrew Lee, Crown Prince of South Korea and current owner of Freenode, of a “hostile” takeover after he rescinded his promise not to interfere with the operation of the network.

Libera cat

Following their resignation, many volunteers from the IRC network created the Libera Chat network.

This led to Freenode supporting several hundred strings used by various free and open source software (FOSS) projects earlier this week and apparently changed their settings, citing “policy violations.”

“Today (05/26/2021) a large number of Gentoo channels have been hijacked by Freenode staff, including channels that have not yet been migrated to the Libera chat,” wrote the Gentoo Linux project calling the movement “an open act of hostility”.

Lee however accused the old staff to attempt to “destroy [Freenode] inside.”

“Freenode has been home to the entire free software community for over 20 years. Fracturing the community only hurts users and free software. Your users don’t want to migrate. Stop forcing them, ”Lee wrote urging the projects to stay with Freenode.

Meanwhile, in the one week since its launch, Libera Chat claims to have processed registrations from more than 250 projects and around 20,000 user registrations, calling itself “the fastest growing IRC network ever.”


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About Brian Steele

Brian Steele

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