Running an IRC channel can be stressful when you have a large amount of users. However, there are several things that you can do to make it easier for yourself. The most important of those things is to take advantage of services. ChanServ and BotServ, amongst many of the other services, provide many tools that will help you run your channel. Services can only help you part of the way though, and so this page will also cover general things to bear in mind when running a channel.
Note that this page is based on personal experience, and some may disagree with my methods of running a channel. This page is meant to serve as a guide for inexperienced channel owners, and is by no means a definitive guide for running an IRC channel. So don’t get mad at me if you don’t agree!
Not Giving people too much power
There are several types of channel operator, each with different levels of power. The typical levels of power are as follows:
~symbol or by the
+qmode. Owners can set any mode on other users, including making them owners too. For this reason, only very trusted people should be set as channel owners.
&symbol or the
@symbol, and have the mode
%symbol to identify them by, as well as the flag
+symbol next to their name, and have the mode
+vset on them.
Okay, so we know what each different type of operator can do. What does this mean in an actual scenario though? Let’s say we have a channel which has 4 active people; three of them set as Super Operators with no one above them.
<&User1111> I hate you, User2222 <&User2222> lol i bet ur dad loves u User1111 <&User4444> You're both idiots. <&User2222> lol no 1 even likes u User4444 why r u here * User4444 sets mode +b on ([email protected]) * User4444 kicks User2222 (Get lost.) <&User1111> what was that for? you're so obnoxious and ban-happy User4444, someone needs to show you what it's like * User1111 sets mode +b on (User4444firstname.lastname@example.org) * User1111 kicks User4444 (see how you like it) <RegularUser> This place is stupid. * RegularUser has left (Bye)
What you see above is an (admittedly slightly exaggerated) situation in which
there are three users with
+oa. These three users clearly do not get along,
and end up banning and kicking each other. This incident has caused
RegularUser to question the channel’s stability, and made them leave.
Whilst this may seem ridiculous, plenty of channels collapse due to
disagreements between operators. A solution to this, and the key point of this
section, is give power to responsible users, and don’t ‘over-OPulate’
your userlist. A userlist of a more organized channel may look like this:
With a structure like this, you’re more likely to maintain a stable channel.
If there was a disagreement between
then anyone above them could step in before things get out of hand. By them
being halfops, it is not possible for them to kick or ban each other -
+h useful for giving some amount of power to people that you
don’t quite yet trust enough to keep the channel pleasant, but you trust
enough to deal with unruly users.
Running a successful IRC channel can give you power over a large number of people. However, I feel this is a very, very important point. Do not let it get to your head. In much the same way as we discussed making sure your operators aren’t causing problems, it is important to bear in mind that this applies to you too. Users are not toys. You can enforce rules without ‘power abusing’, and the difference between enforcement and abuse is what will make your channel thrive. Since ‘abuse’ can be used as a blanket term for many, many situations, I’ll briefly sum up some examples of ways you shouldn’t use your power.
This is by no means a complete list. In short, ‘abusing’ your power is to use your power to kick and ban people for little to no valid reason.
Writing awesome rules
You should have a clear idea of what you want out of your channel. You should use this idea to form your channels rules, which will be vital for keeping peace in a large community. There are many things to consider when writing a set of rules, but here are a few pointers to keep in mind
Controlling your users