IRC Operator Guidelines
- Trolls, flooders, people with no social skills; they all visit #ubuntu-women and #ubuntu-women-project 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.
For more on managing trolls, check out this excellent document: Searching for Safety Online: Managing "Trolling" in a Feminist Forum
Know thy channels
There exist quite a few special purpose Ubuntu channels on Freenode. These are all listed on the Internet Relay Chat page. Keep this this page handy so you can direct people to the correct channel when needed.
Don't use ignore
Even when people are very offensive to you in private chat, don't use your /ignore function. A soft-ignore (aka simply not responding) works also. If you /ignore too much, chances are you miss problems in the channel. Do not filter your channel info (joins/parts/klines etc). These also hold much info. It is also recommended that you disable the Freenode filter that filters out private messages from unregistered users. /msg nickserv set unfiltered on
Use remove rather than kick
Freenode has a rather nice /remove function (either /remove #ubuntu-women nickname reason or /quote remove #ubuntu-women nickname reason) 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.
Use mute rather than ban
- Another nice thing on the freenode servers is the mute function (/mode +q hostmask_or_nickname). This will not ban the user, but prevent him from sending text to the channel. Useful to stop (accidental) floods.
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
- 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.