As an operator you will have special powers. In order to become an operator for your channel, use the command:
/msg chanserv op #channel-name your-nick
When you no longer need operator powers then you can remove them using this command:
/msg chanserv deop #channel-name your-nick
Here are some points to remember when enabling operator status:
- Trolls, flooders, people with no social skills; they all visit #ubuntu from time to time. If someone is abusive, warn them. If someone won't learn or gets aggressive, remove them from the chat. If someone is (accidentally) flooding: mute or remove that person and give the url to the pastebin (don't forget to unmute when you think the flood is over). Never swear at people though, always stay friendly. If you remove a very abusive person, don't respond to the cheering you will get. Don't be surprised at the abuse and swearing in private messages you will get either.
Know the channels
There exist quite a few special purpose Ubuntu channels on freenode, These are all listed on the InternetRelayChat page. Memorize this page so you can direct people to the correct channel when needed.
Don't stay +o for long
- After you did what you needed the operator privileges for, de-op yourself again. Staying +o for long times is not really useful (and you'll attract all questions - which may not be what you want). A possible exception is when general commotion might be going on in the channel and staying +o might be useful to indicate to other members that you are around, so that they don't need to call !ops.
Don't use ignore
Even when people are very offensive to you in private chat, don't use your /ignore function. You gave up that privilege when you opted to accept the position. A soft-ignore (aka simply not responding) works also. If you /ignore too much, chances are you miss problems in the channel. freenode also has +g user mode, which will block private messages and notices, but not channel activity. If someone is abusive in private, /mode <your_nick> +g can help, you can add exceptions with /accept command (see /accept help). Do not filter your channel info (joins/parts/klines etc). These also hold much info.
Ban on sight
So far there have been very few really abusive users. These users are added to a special list in ChanServ that prevents them from ever entering the channel again. If you think someone qualifies for this list, discuss it with the other operators in #ubuntu-ops.
Clean your bans regularly
- #ubuntu is big, 1000+ users on a daily basis. It is unavoidable that people will be banned. Make sure that you look at the banlist from time to time and clear old bans you have set. The bantracker will help.
Comment on your bans
- Ubottu logs all kicks/bans/removes/mutes in #ubuntu, #kubuntu, #ubuntu+1 and #ubuntu-offtopic. You can comment on your actions on the bantracker (using @btlogin in channel) - this is really useful to keep track of both abusive users and bans that are around for too long. Comments can also be used to alert other OPs that a ban should not be removed before talking to you. Without such a comment, the ban can be removed by another OP at their discretion.
- If someone misbehaves, don't retaliate. Take only the appropriate actions to prevent further abuse (kick, ban, contacting freenode staff). Retaliation is against the code of conduct and will make us look bad as an operator team.
When to ban/kick someone
This is a summary of the current ad-hoc policy used by the operators. Please do not change this list before discussing on the mailinglist. And if you want to change it, please don't hesitate to come to our list.
- Flooding: remove
- Accidental flooding (pasting): mute/remove and point to pastebin. Remove mutes when you think the paste is over
- Swearing/offtopic: warn
- Repeated swearing/offtopic: kick
- Swearing before saying anything else: ban, clear troll
- Someone who comes back after a kick and continues misbehaving: ban
- Trolling: ban
- Searching for the limits of what's allowed and what not: see trolling
- Personal attacks against people: ban
- Speaking in another language than english: use ubottu to point to a loco channel
- Continuing to speak in another language: kick+forward to loco channel
This is not an exclusive list. Operators are expected to have some common sense and to seek for additional opinions when in doubt. The term trolling has explicitly been left undefined, the common sense will have to be used there. Examples of trolling:
- Repeatedly asking about other OSes
- Seeking for the limits of what's allowed
- Lots of CAPS
- Being only negative about either Ubuntu or some people
After staying in #ubuntu for a while, ops tend to get a bit trigger-happy. Don't forget that accidents do happen. Please don't put too severe punishments on accidental mishaps.
Using freenode's /remove
- freenode has a rather nice /remove function that lets you kick a user without actually kicking. To the user (and all others) it seems as if he has simply left the channel with a special part message ("Requested by your_nickname"). This has the advantage that it does not trigger auto-rejoin scripts.
Using freenode's mute (+q)
- Another nice thing on the freenode servers is the mute function (/mode +q hostmask_or_nickname). This will not ban the user (i.e. they will be able to re-enter the channel), but prevent him from sending text to the channel. Useful to stop (accidental) floods.