2021-05-26 The OpenStack community IRC network moving to OFTC

The OpenStack community uses IRC as one of the communication channels for development activities. IRC can run on many different networks, and we have used Freenode as the IRC network since the beginning.

Recently, there was a change in ownership, organization structure, and policy in Freenode. A lot of discussions occurred in social media, etherpad[1] and in openstack-discuss ML[2][3] about the issue, questioning whether we should continue using Freenode. The OpenStack Technical Committee gathered more feedback and information from the individual projects[4][5].

Given the feedback from the community and the current situation with Freenode, the Technical Committee along with the other community leaders, decided to change the IRC network from Freenode as soon as possible[6], otherwise we run the risk of having our IRC channels hijacked as has happened to other OSS communities.

We all agreed that this move away from Freenode needs to be a community-wide move to the same, new IRC network for all projects to avoid splintering the community. We decided to switch the IRC network to OFTC according to our long-standing evacuation plan[7].