A nerdy but necessary announcement: I have migrated all IRC-based presence for myself and my projects from Freenode to Libera Chat. This means that I have registered the jmac nick on this newer network, and I have updated Whim and Plerd to refer to Libera Chat’s #whim and #plerd channels, respectively.

These migrations come after Freenode’s sudden and unwelcome change of management earlier this month. This article summarizes the situation fairly well, including a brief description of Libera Chat, the overwhelming favorite new home for most late-of-Freenode projects I pay attention to. I learn that it is organized as a nonprofit corporation, which already makes me feel more hopeful about its ongoing health.

Over the years I’ve seen many half-hearted and temporary “mass migrations” from one social network to another in protest of some new policy or misstep, so I initially thought I’d wait this one out. But then, Freenode’s new owners wasted no time making a number of surprising and disappointing actions that ran entirely against the network’s long-standing ethos, including dismantling Freenode’s code of conduct, and automatically hijacking and reconfiguring any channel that announced a Libera Chat migration. I find these actions so odious that this situation does seem like a special case that deserves immediate reaction.

Freenode provided the soil that so many wonderful open-source projects grew in, over the first two decades of this century. I feel so sorry to see the noble, scrappy IRC network forced into such a sudden and undeserved retirement. My respect and gratitude goes out to all the volunteers who ran it so well for so long. It was a fine public service.

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