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This page provides guidance for channel owners and operators on how to deal with spam and abuse. If you are interested in general guidance on what moderation to expect and is expected from you, please refer to our Code of Conduct.

First you need to be channel owner or operator. When you first create a new channel make sure to immediately register it so that it recognizes you as the channel owner in the future. If you for some reason forgot this or lost operator rights please talk to us on the #support channel.

Banning users

Typically a /kick usernick will be sufficient to send a message to disruptive users, but they are free to join again.

For more permanent measures you can add a ban mask to the channel with the /mode +b command. /mode +b nick!*@* would for example ban the user with this nick, although that would of course not be very efficient as changing the nick is very easy.

Masks have the format nick!user@host, where nick is a nickname, user is a username/account, and host is a hostmask. The hostmask can be: an IP address, a domain name or a cloak. Masks take wildcards. You can use the * wildcard to represent strings of zero or more characters.

Users can be muted rather than banned by prefixing a ban mask with m:. For example:  /mode +b m:nick!*@*.

IP addresses are not visible to non-admins, but are tracked internally based on an obfuscated user ID or so called cloak by default. Please note that sometimes IP addresses are shared or the spammers use tor exit nodes, so banning on IP might cause collateral damage to other legitimate users.

Channel modes

Please note that some of these modes differ from what is commonly in use on other networks or are specific.

/mode #channelname +m will make a channel moderated, meaning everyone is muted by default and needs to request permission to speak. This can be temporarily done via /mode #channelname +v usernick. Registered users can be given permanent permission to speak ("voice") via /amode #channelname +v usernick. There is also a +M mode that does this for registered users automatically, but sadly +M isn't currently understood by the Matrix bridge, resulting in the unfortunate situation that spam messages remain possible and visible on the Matrix side (the Matrix bridge does understand regular +m though).

/mode #channelname +R will only allow registered users to enter the channel. Note that already joined non-registered users need to be kicked for this to have an effect on them. Non-authenticated bridged users will be prevented from sending messages.

/mode #channelname +i turns the channel into invite-only mode. Users can be invited with /invite usernick. Setting +I with a mask can exempt for example bridged users from this restriction.

If you temporarily restrict access to a channel, it can make sense to redirect everyone else to another channel by setting /mode #channelname +f #support to redirect users to the support channel or some other channel.

/mode #channelname +U messages from unprivileged clients are sent only to channel operators.

/mode #channelname +u will hide system messages from unvoiced clients. This can be for example useful when someone uses nick changes to spam a moderated channel.

All channel modes can be reversed by using the above commands, but with a - instead of a +

Use for example /mode #channelname -m will remove voice restrictions for all channel participants.

Moderation bot

More details on a how to configure the channel bot to help with moderation (flood protection for example) will be added here soon.

Network wide options

Network administrators also have some options to deal with network-wide spam and abuse. Please get in contact with us if you think this is an required response.

/SAMODE can be used to grant or remove channel privileges. For example, to create an operator in a channel that has no operators: /SAMODE #channel +o nickname.

/SAJOIN lets operators join channels despite restrictions, or forcibly join another user to a channel. For example, /SAJOIN #channel or /SAJOIN nickname #channel.

/uban add hostmask will permanently ban an IP from the network. You can add a reason and an expiry time or restrict the IP to SASL authenticated connections.

/whowas nickname can help with identifying IPs for users that already left but are likely to return.

The /defcon 1-5 command can be a quick fix for spam and abuse in multiple channels, but should be used only in extreme cases.