IRC Council resolution: On Recent freenode Events

rww rww at
Wed May 19 21:57:13 UTC 2021

Hi everyone,

In response to today's events on freenode, the Ubuntu IRC Council has
voted on (for: 4, against: 0, absent: 1) the following resolution. For
public discussion of this issue, please feel free to use the public
Ubuntu IRC listserv (ubuntu-irc at If you have private
concerns, please feel free to contact the Ubuntu IRC Council at
irc-council at

The following links provide some information on the current state of
freenode, are provided by me in my individual capacity, and have not
been officially endorsed by the IRC Council:




(1) Ubuntu has historically used the Internet Relay Chat network
freenode for real-time support and development communications. freenode
has until now been run by a group of volunteers ("freenode staff")
selected from members of the freenode community. The Ubuntu IRC Team's
interactions with freenode staff have been generally positive, and the
system has worked well for us for many years.

(2) In May 2021, Imperial Family Companies, who employs or employed the 
former freenode Head of Staff, Christel Dahlskjaer, removed operational
control of freenode from its staffers. The legal basis for this action
is unclear. However, we believe that the moral and pragmatic
consequences of this action are negative.

(3) The Ubuntu IRC Council thanks freenode staff for their work. We
recognize that though the Ubuntu IRC Team and freenode staff did not
always agree on everything, the volunteer-based system formerly in place
on freenode has worked extremely well and has sustained freenode since
before the Ubuntu project began. We thank freenode for providing
real-time communications to us at no cost, and wish freenode staff
success in their future endeavours.

(4) We do not have faith that the new ownership of freenode has the
community's best interest at heart. We believe that it is in the best
interest of the Ubuntu project and other projects using freenode to
switch to a communication platform that is run by a not-for-profit
entity controlled by volunteers.

(5) While the IRC Council has broad delegated authority to decide
matters related to Ubuntu's real-time communication infrastructure, we
do not believe it is appropriate for us to unilaterally decide to move
Ubuntu's real-time communication infrastructure to a new platform. We
therefore call on the Ubuntu Community Council to consider moving to a
new IRC network or other platform, with broad input from relevant
stakeholders (including the IRC Team, Ubuntu developers, flavour
developers, people providing support in Ubuntu channels, etc.).

(6) freenode staff have moved to Libera.Chat <>,
which appears to meet our requirements for volunteer-operated
communication. We strongly recommend that the Community Council consider
switching to this network.


More information about the Ubuntu-irc mailing list