Libera Chat

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Libera Chat
Founded19 May 2021; 2 years ago (19 May 2021)
Primary DNSircs://
Average users31,740 (01 October 2023)
Average channels22,559 (01 October 2023)
Content/subjectPublic / unrestricted

Libera Chat, stylized as Libera.Chat, is an IRC network for free and open-source software projects. It was founded on 19 May 2021[1] by former Freenode staff members, after Freenode was taken over by Andrew Lee, founder of Private Internet Access.[2][3][4]



A large proportion of Freenode's users migrated to Libera.Chat, when Freenode's owner changed.

In 2017, Christel Dahlskjaer, then the head of staff at Freenode, incorporated a new company called Freenode Limited and transferred ownership to technology entrepreneur Andrew Lee.[5][3][6] In February 2021, Dahlskjaer added the logo of Shells, a company co-founded by Lee, to the Freenode website.[3] Following criticism from staff, Dahlskjaer resigned from the leadership of Freenode,[6][3] and Freenode staff elected Tom Wesley as the new head of staff. Lee allegedly removed a blog post explaining the leadership changes and, on 11 May, appointed a new person to oversee the Freenode infrastructure.[3] Freenode staff members resigned en masse, and some published statements outlining their view of what happened and claiming that Lee had been applying legal pressure to Wesley.[3]

Lee denied these claims, and said that he had provided Freenode with millions of dollars and was entitled to Freenode's servers as the owner of Freenode Limited.[3][6] Lee also accused Wesley of harassing Dahlskjaer and of attempting a "hostile takeover."[3][7][6][8]

Libera Chat[edit]

Libera Chat web client (based on KiwiIRC)

After resigning from Freenode, the former staff created Libera Chat on 19 May 2021.[2][3] They have described the network as a successor to Freenode, which they intend to focus around "free and open source software projects and similarly-spirited collaborative endeavours".[6] Many major projects like Bitcoin, FrOSCon, Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo, FreeBSD, the Free Software Foundation[9] and Wikimedia have since moved their channels from Freenode to Libera Chat and to other IRC networks.[10]


  1. ^ "Libera Chat". Libera Chat. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b Beschizza, Rob (19 May 2021). "Freenode IRC staff quit after new owner "seizes" control of network". Boing Boing. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (19 May 2021). "Developers Flee Open Source Project After 'Takeover' By Korean Crown Prince". Vice. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  4. ^ Salter, Jim (24 May 2021). "Freenode IRC staff resign en masse after takeover by Korea's "crown prince"". Ars Technica.
  5. ^ Dahlskjaer, Christel (12 April 2017). "PIA and freenode joining forces". Freenode. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Nardi, Tom (19 May 2021). "Freenode debacle prompts staff exodus, new network". Hackaday. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  7. ^ Claburn, Thomas (19 May 2021). "Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management". The Register. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  8. ^ Lee, Andrew (19 May 2021). "Letter to freenode". Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2021 – via GitHub.
  9. ^ "FSF and GNU move official IRC channels to Libera.Chat network". Free Software Foundation. 11 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  10. ^ Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (26 May 2021). "Major Internet Projects Are Leaving Freenode After Korean Prince 'Takeover'". Vice. Retrieved 26 May 2021.

External links[edit]