Wikipedia:IRC

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The freenode network (irc.freenode.net) has "chat rooms" dedicated to Wikipedia 24 hours a day, in which Wikipedians can engage in real-time discussions with each other. Many Wikipedians have chatting open in one window and hop back and forth between it and other windows in which they are working on Wikipedia. The chat rooms most relevant to English Wikipedia are listed hereafter; a more complete list of channels (for other language Wikipedias, other languages, and recent changes feeds) exists at m:IRC/Channels.

"Chat room" is a name for an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel. IRC chat takes place on a network of servers, the network that hosts the Wikimedia channels is known as freenode. To participate in the chat, you need a type of program or plug-in called an IRC client. Popular clients include mIRC (Windows), Colloquy (Mac OS X), ChatZilla (Firefox), irssi (cross-platform), and XChat (cross-platform). There are also scripts available to enhance your IRC client, and Java-based chat clients that work in most web browsers if you are travelling or do not wish to install separate software.

Use and anonymity on IRC are covered in more detail below. Note that IRC needs more care to maintain anonymity than Wikipedia editing does.

How is Wikipedia IRC related to Wikipedia?[edit]

Wikipedia IRC is not owned or controlled by Wikipedia/Wikimedia. It is a project run by volunteers of their own accord. The Wikipedia channels on freenode were designed by users of Wikipedia as places for Wikipedians to chat using IRC. They are casual and not logged publicly. As far as their influence on Wikipedia goes, IRC is equivalent to a conversation in a pub – the discussion may be conducted between a small number of people but may be overheard by hundreds, or more if the logs are published.

When the channels are used to attack Wikipedians, or when IRC discussions are cited as justification for an on-wiki action, the resulting atmosphere is very damaging to the project's collaborative relationships.

Freenode IRC is referenced directly in Wikimedia's standard error message for server outages:

Our servers are currently experiencing a technical problem. This is probably temporary and should be fixed soon. Please try again in a few minutes.

You may be able to get further information in the #wikipedia channel on the freenode IRC network.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization which hosts some of the most popular sites on the Internet, including Wikipedia. It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to help, please donate.


If you report this error to the Wikimedia System Administrators, please include the details below...

IRC tutorial and host masking[edit]

Anonymity and masking[edit]

As on Wikipedia itself, you can use IRC with a name that hides your IP address, and allows you to remember your preferred settings. If you have any special access rights to any channel, those will be remembered under your name too. On IRC these are two separate matters – registering a nickname is quick and easy (like on Wikipedia itself), and that name is then password protected for your own use, and cloaking is the request to have the account configured to hide its IP address from other users. These matters are all covered in the IRC tutorial.

To request that your IRC account be cloaked, go here to request a IRC cloak. Group Contacts then process these by hand. This step is optional, but a good idea.

The following are the requirements necessary to obtain a cloak:

  • Must have a verified e-mail address
  • Must have at least 250 edits on Wikimedia projects (such as Wikipedia)
  • Must have a Wikimedia project (such as Wikipedia) account registered for at least three months

Note that anonymity is maintained with more difficulty on IRC than on Wikipedia. Without a hostmask, your IP address will be visible, and indexed on some Internet websites. Even with a hostmask, your IP address is at risk to be revealed due to the nature of the IRC protocol (due to the effects of a "ghost" session). If you are concerned about your anonymity, you may wish to consult with someone familiar with IRC, some of them are listed here.

Another straightforward way of guaranteeing anonymity on IRC (and elsewhere) is to subscribe with a VPN service provider. This will re-route all your Internet traffic and effectively replace your IP address with the service provider's.

Publicly logged channels[edit]

There are several Wikimedia channels which are purposefully logged. Some of them are listed here:

Accessing IRC[edit]

Shortcuts:

Most people needing live help editing Wikipedia can access IRC easily using this freenode webchat link: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=wikipedia-en-help (for example). Web-based IRC is a good choice for first-time IRC users, for portable use, and for those who cannot, or prefer not to, install separate software:

The usual way to access IRC is via an IRC client. These are more full-featured and make it easy to watch multiple chats at a time. Scripts to enhance IRC clients are available online at Wikipedia:Scripts. From the long list Comparison of Internet Relay Chat clients, some notable clients are:

  • Windows, Mac and Linux / *nix
  • Windows – Pidgin (free), mIRC (shareware)
  • Mac OS X – Adium (version 1.4 or higher), Colloquy, or Proteus
  • Linux – irssi
  • Other chat tools
  • A Jabber/XMPP chat room is available at wikipedia@conference.jabber.org if you are not an IRC user

IRC error: Unable to join channel (invite only)[edit]

This error occurs when you attempt to join a non-public channel (see non-public channels, below). If you know that you have access to a non-public channel and you still receive this error, the simplest fix is to ask ChanServ for an invite (see /msg ChanServ help invite for more info). If you have a cloak, you can ask a channel op to add an invex (+I) on your cloak so that you do not need to ask ChanServ for invites each time you need to join the channel.

If, however, you know you both have access to the non-public channel and you know that you have an invex (+I) on your cloak for that channel, your client might be automatically joining the channel before authenticating. Double-check to make sure your client is set up according to freenode's recommended way of setting up your client and nickname so that you can be certain that your client authenticates as you connect.

Use of IRC[edit]

Once you are connected to the freenode IRC network, you can choose which public channels you join and which chats you engage in. If you are authorized to join non-public channels then you can take part in those too. Consider also requesting a cloak if your anonymity is important.

In general on IRC, each channel operates autonomously and each has its own norms and policies — these may cover conduct (including civility, appropriate topics, and language), on/off-topic chat, who may join, and who may be asked to leave. Each channel is autonomous and in general there is no appeal from a decision by the operators of that channel to an outside body (which may have any or no reason), so it is worth checking the channel norms and rules before accidentally making a mistake of conduct. That said, in general most channels used by Wikimedia communities are friendly and do have people you can contact in case of problems. (See problems and help below.)

Once connected, some users stay logged-in to the chatrooms whenever they are on Wikipedia, and check in on the discussions from time to time, to read what is been accumulating there and to participate. Some programs used for chatting "beep" you whenever there is activity in a chat room so you will not miss anything. Often, users jump onto a chat room to draw the attention of others there of something on Wikipedia that needs attention.

Non-public channels[edit]

A number of non-public channels exist, to which access is limited. The best known of these on English Wikipedia is the administrators' channel, but others exist also for groups such as the mediation committee, the arbitration committee, checkuser and account creator collaboration. Access to these channels requires use of a registered account, described previously. If you are part of a given group that has a non-public channel, you can request access so that you can join.

Steps to getting access to non-public channels:

  1. Request it — Post a new request under pending requests for access, at the end of this page, providing your registered IRC account and links evidencing access.
  2. Get it — A channel operator will then drop by to give you access to the channel. Alternatively, ask in #wikimedia-ops, using the !ops keyword to get attention.
  3. Use it — Once your request is complete, you can invite yourself to the channel using ChanServ's INVITE command as long as you've identified to NickServ. (See /msg NickServ HELP IDENTIFY and /msg ChanServ HELP INVITE for more information.)
  4. (Optional) In order to gain automatic access to a non-public channel (i.e. without having to use the ChanServ's INVITE command each time), you should first obtain a cloak. From there, simply ask an op on the channel to add an invex (+I) for your cloak. If you already have a cloak when requesting access, ops will typically add an invex for you at the same time they're giving you access, but if you obtain a cloak after gaining access or your change your cloak after gaining access, you can typically reach the channel's ops by using either the !ops keyword or requesting assistance in #wikimedia-ops.

The IRC instructions page may also be helpful for getting around.

List of useful channels[edit]

Non-public channels listed with a blue padlock icon (Padlock-blue.svg) require additional user access in order to join them. See non-public channels and pending requests for access for more information. See meta:IRC/Channels for a more extensive list.

General channels[edit]

The main general-purpose channels relevant and related to English Wikipedia are:

Channel Description
#wikipedia connect General Wikipedia related chat.
#wikipedia-en connect General chat focusing more on the English-language Wikipedia.
#wikipedia-en-help connect Help channel for Wikipedians. It also receives bot notifications when {{helpme}} is used on wiki. Friendly helpers are voiced [clarification needed]. Poke Thehelpfulone, Stwalkerster, PeterSymonds, KFP, Keegan, Deskana, JohnReaves, werdan7 or nixeagle if you need autovoice [clarification needed] (if you have autovoice already, identify to freenode by typing /msg NickServ identify <nick> <password> to activate it).
#wikipedia-en-blp connect On-topic discussion of BLP-related issues and actions to be taken. Receives bot feed of various BLP-related pages.

User groups[edit]

Functional groups[edit]

Channel Description
#wikipedia-en-admins connect Padlock-blue.svg Used by admins and some other users. I.e.: stewards and Wikimedia Foundation staff. (See #wikipedia-en-admins below for more information.)
#wikimedia-admin connect Padlock-blue.svg Used by admins across all Wikimedia projects for cross-wiki admin co-ordination. (See the page IRC/wikimedia-admin on Meta-Wiki for more information.)
#wikipedia-BAG connect Used by the Bot Approvals Group for coordination and discussion/monitoring of Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval. BAG members are voiced [clarification needed]; anybody is welcome.
#wikipedia-mediation connect Padlock-blue.svg Used by the Mediation Committee.
#wikimedia-otrs connect A public channel for OTRS [clarification needed] related matters and OTRS volunteers. This channel is for co-ordination and collaboration, and to find an OTRS user to speak in private; it is not suitable for confidential discussion. OTRS agents are voiced [clarification needed].
#wikimedia-otrs-watch connect Padlock-blue.svg Used for patrolling edits on "at-risk" biographical articles. This channel is private and requires confirmation. Speak to a voiced [clarification needed] user in #wikimedia-otrs-watch-request connect for access.
#wikiSignpost connect For discussion amongst Signpost editors.

General collaboration[edit]

Channel Description
#wikipedia-spotlight connect Devoted to Wikipedia:Spotlight for collaboration of concerted group improvement of articles.

Social channels[edit]

Channel Description
#wikimedia-social connect A relatively new channel intended primarily for social discussion among contributors to Wikimedia projects.

Channels for specific tasks[edit]

Channel Description
#wikipedia-en-unblock connect For the discussion and review of blocks and features live updates of CAT:UNBLOCK. Administrators are voiced [clarification needed]. Not recommended for idling.
#wikipedia-en-accounts connect Padlock-blue.svg Used for coordination and collaboration between members of the account creation team. This channel is invite only (+i).
#wikipedia-en-accounts-admins connect Padlock-blue.svg Used for coordination and collaboration between administrators of the account creation team. This channel is invite only (+i).
#countervandalism connect For requesting voice in restricted channels and technical help running a countervandalism channel. See m:CVN for details about the CounterVandalism Network.
#cvn-wp-en connect Padlock-blue.svg For listing and discussing current English Wikipedia vandalism issues (requires confirmation).
#cvn-wp-en-newpages connect For listing possible new page creations on English Wikipedia that contain possible vandalism.
#wikipedia-en-spam connect A botfeed of all links added to English Wikipedia. Channel is for linkspam reverting. Feeds for other languages and projects also now exist.
#wikipedia-spam-t connect Talk channel associated with #wikipedia-en-spam connect.
#wikipedia-SCV connect A botfeed of all edits made to Wikipedia:Suspected copyright violations.
#wikipedia-en-abuse connect Coordination and collaboration for the abuse response team and the long-term abuse project.
#wikipedia-en-revdel connect For sending urgent revision deletion requests to administrators. Administrators are opped [clarification needed] and are the only ones able to see requests.

WikiProjects[edit]

Channel Description
#wikiproject connect For Wikipedia:WikiProject coordination and collaboration.
#wikipedia-en-afc connect Used by the AFC project to discuss the backlog, administrative changes (espescially to our helper script) and other related tasks.
#wikipedia-en-adopt connect Coordination and collaboration of users of the adopt a user project.
#wikipedia-en-ambassadors connect Coordination and collaboration for members of the Wikipedia Ambassadors Team (part of WikiProject: Public Policy).
#wikipedia-ark connect For WikiProject Arkansas. (Not very active.)
#wikichem connect For the WikiProject Chemistry. Channel is open at all hours, regular meetings are scheduled every Tuesday, 16:00 GMT. Agenda, minutes, and logs are posted here.
#wikipedia-en-dyk connect For Wikipedia:Did you know collaboration.
#wikimedia-lgbt connect Used by Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies for cross-project coordination, collaboration and socialization.
#wikipedia-en-milhist connect For the Wikiproject Military history.
#wikiphys connect For WikiProject Physics.
#wikipedia-en-roads connect For Wikipedia:WikiProject Highways coordination and collaboration. Also see WP:HWY/IRC.
#wikipedia-en-sports connect For coordination and collaboration among the various sports wikiprojects.
#wikipedia-teahouse connect Used for discussion on the Teahouse by guests and hosts.
#wptcg connect For the Wikipedia:Trading card game development team.
#wiki-hurricanes connect For the WikiProject Tropical cyclones.
#wiki-baseball connect For Wikipedia:WikiProject Baseball.
#wikipedia-1.0 connect For the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.

Technical channels, and technical support for tools[edit]

Technical[edit]

Channel Description
#wikimedia-tech connect Technical issues related to the Wikimedia systems.
#mediawiki connect Discussion and technical questions related to the MediaWiki software (including template help, and other questions).

Tools, and support for tools[edit]

Channel Description
#AutoWikiBrowser connect General discussion and support requests for AutoWikiBrowser.
#huggle connect Support for the tool Huggle 2.
#wikipedia-userscripts connect Help and discussion of JavaScript tools.

#wikipedia-en-admins[edit]

Shortcut:

All current and former English Wikipedia administrators in good standing have a presumption of entry to this channel, subject to appropriate conduct. Stewards and people who currently work for the Foundation are allowed access, too. Access to this channel is set to invite only (+i). Administrators who want to join this channel have to request access to this channel before being able to join the first time. Access can be requested hereafter.

Once an editor is granted access, he or she retains it unless he or she is involuntarily de-sysopped or requests removal of access to the channel. Formal access to the channel will not usually be long-term revoked unless a participant refuses to abide by the standards of conduct expected of channel members or unless the user is involuntarily de-sysopped. If a user is theoretically unable to ask for and receive their administrator rights from the Bureaucrats' noticeboard, he or she will not be permitted access to the channel.

The channel has an internal code of conduct and newcomer information. These guidelines set out some "anti-abuse" provisions that consensus agrees the channel operators may draw on, if they are notified of a problem. However, as with all guidelines, they are intended to be for the benefit of the project, with common sense, and not "set in stone".

IRC/wikipedia-en-admins on Meta has more details, including a list of all users who have access to the channel. See also Wikipedia:List of administrators/IRC nicknames.

Help[edit]

Problems and help[edit]

Help for accessing IRC itself is best requested on the talk page, if you have read the tutorial and other information and are still unable to use it. Once you can access IRC by some means, there are help and information channels on most Wikimedia-related topics listed above, type /join #channelname into any window, to join them and ask your question (e.g., /join #wikipedia-en-help). It is customary on IRC to just ask, not to ask whether you can ask. :-)

Within the Wikimedia and English Wikipedia channels, your first recourse if you have difficulty, is to ask to speak to a channel operator, if any are around. You can identify channel operators in most of these channels since they will appear as having the "o" flag in a list of channel users and flags. Type /msg chanserv flags #channelname for a list of users and their access levels (this can sometimes have hundreds of lines). Further help can be obtained as follows:

  • #wikipedia-en - Ask to speak to a channel operator. If needed, you can often address such problems to administrators who are IRC users. (Please see the userlist of #wikipedia-en-admins for information.)
  • #wikipedia-en-admins (the non-public admins channel) - Has adopted its own code of conduct that covers problematic situations; please see that channel's guidelines and user information above, for relevant links and userlists.
  • All other #wiki... channels - Speak to a channel operator for that channel.
  • Beyond that, the Wikimedia channels are supervised by the IRC Group Contacts — currently Dungodung (dungodung on IRC), Barras (Barras on IRC) and Snowolf (QueenOfFrance on IRC) — who can advise on serious problems that channel operators cannot resolve.

If the problem relates to user conduct in any channel, your first recourse should be to try and resolve matters with the person involved. If this fails, ask to speak to a channel operator. If your problem cannot be resolved by channel operators, then it may be raised further, as previously mentioned.

It is the policy of some channels that you should not post logs on the wiki, or circulate them without permission from those involved; rather, if a matter requires logs then please obtain permission before circulating or publicizing them, and if in doubt ask a channel operator or other experienced user for advice.


Pending requests for access to channels[edit]

Ops: Please remember to update m:IRC/wikipedia-en-admins/User list when you add a new user.

If you wish to access a non-public channel, please add your name and details below. Alternatively it can be quicker to leave a note on the talk page of any user of that channel (who might be able to help, or can add you to the access list) who may see it, or another appropriate talk page.

Please also register your nickname before adding a request (type in /msg nickserv register password email@address.tld, replacing password with one of your choice and email@address.tld with your email address). You may also optionally register a cloak (see above). Format for requests (add to end of list):


* Username and rights links: {{Userrights|Wiki Username}} ~~~~
:* IRC account: IRC Username
:* (Optional) cloak: 
:* Channels and evidence: en-admins, [[Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Wiki Username]] 
Yes check.svg Added to the pond --slakrtalk / 23:19, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done When your cloak is set you can be added to the invite exemption list, in the meantime, you will have to manually invite yourself to the channel. -- John Reaves 17:55, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • IRC account: KaisaL
  • (Optional) cloak: wikimedia/KaisaL (currently being processed)
  • Channels and evidence: en-admins, [1]
Yes check.svg Done When your cloak is set you can be added to the invite exemption list, in the meantime, you will have to manually invite yourself to the channel. -- John Reaves 18:44, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

List of users who are willing to help with IRC[edit]

These people are willing to help you with IRC issues, especially when you are not even able to connect to the network, so that you can't ask for help there.

See also[edit]

Information[edit]

Tools[edit]

User essays[edit]

Quotes[edit]

Other discussion venues[edit]