Elisabeth Bauer wrote:
While I agree that we need a group contact, I'm against the use of
cloaks. It creates an IMO unnecessary distinction between "official"
and normal users and can lead for newbies to the false impression that
they get an somehow more "official" answer from someone with a cloak
when it's in fact only a personal opinion like that of many other
users. It destroys the fundamental equality of the people involved in
If we use cloaks, it should be reserved to people on the board or
people with an existing official function (like developer liaision,
press contact...) not distributed arbitrarily by an "I trust you policy".
I thought so too, until I realised that they were useful for technical
reasons, especially +I modes. That caused me to go from grumpily
complaining about their problems to requesting one. Cloaks aren't highly
visible, especially when users join the room before identifying with
NickServ, as they often do. Some users have a cloak but don't bother
identifying at all. I usually don't notice cloaks unless I go looking
Most #wikipedia regulars seem to have a cloak now, so I'd expect a bit
of opposition if we tried to take them away. Also, the Freenode staff
seem to be very much in favour of the idea.
I often talk on IRC without having identified, and I've never been
challenged by a newbie wanting "official" answers. I can't remember
anyone ever commenting on the presence or absence of a cloak in relation
to any kind of officialness.
-- Tim Starling