You all know the IRC channel, no? #wikipedia on irc.freenode.net? And
its small army of related channels?
has the dirt.
Up until this point, our relationship with Freenode has largely been
ad hoc. Eloquence registered #wikipedia some time ago, and for a long
time that and the other channels were just managed as necessary.
However, Freenode also allows groups to set up an official contact
with Wikipedia. A few months ago, I took some initiative, filled out a
little form and answered a phone call and got designated as
Wikipedia's Group Contact with Freenode. (I wanted a .wikipedia
username cloak, and you needed a group contact to manage that, so...)
I've used this position mostly to give out similar IRC cloaks.
Recently, I used my group-contact status with Freenode to gain
temporary operator status to ban Michael and Lir, who had just joined
the channel to brag about their recent exploits on WP:RFA, and to stir
up ill will. Profanities were being thrown. About this time, Fire had
also set himself up as a contact, using the same credentials (some
sysop power, et cetera), and has undertaken to straighten out the
Wikipedia-related channels. In particular, he got added as a level-30
contact in #wikipedia, and added several people with ChanServ access
which would allow them to become operators.
While this is useful, and the people added were trustworthy, this
brings up a salient point. We don't just want anyone- or even any
sysop- to be able to come on and reorganize the channel structure or
anything. I think it would be useful if the Board could appoint an
Official Freenode Liason to be the #1 group contact, and if we could
decide how we would like to have these sorts of affairs managed.
The contact has a few properties: he (or she) can contact Freenode
staff and ask for a change in ownership of a project-related channel,
for access to the channel, for temporary operator status, or anything
related to the projects' channels which he cannot do by himself.
Additionally, the contact is responsible for asking Freenode staff to
apply "cloaks" for the users' hostmasks. I have used this and page on
the English wikipedia to set up people with username "Foo" as
"Foo.wikipedia" on IRC. This provides a way to prove that you are who
you say you are on IRC. However, we are running into the problem of
language-related requests, and since we don't have a unified login,
there is room for confusion. At present I have reccomended to Fire
that we keep cloaks a per-language setting, and having
user.XX.wikipedia as a cloak, where XX is a language code, *except* if
the language is English, in which case it is not used (although we
could change this if desired).
There has also been talk about a Q: line for the Recent Changes bots'
nicknames. This would prevent someone using the <enrc> or
categorically similar nicknames without authorization.
I think that all of these issues could be best resolved if we had
official sanction for at least one #1 Head Honcho group contact, and a
good place to manage these affairs.
You keep using that word...
I do not think it means what you think it means.