Ban Evasion Problems

2009-July-03

One of the problems we've been having in the 68kMLA channel recently is that we had to switch Mibbit over for the Freenode Web Chat client. Upon the switch, one or two members from the forum found their way to the web chat and proceeded to cause a fairly big amount of problems.

The member in question typically behaves pretty decently on the forum, the occasional inane post gets in the way of their credibility, but in all reality, who among us doesn't suffer from that problem?

In the IRC channel however, the person seemed to have changed almost completely. Everything they said was complete inanity, and upon breaking a few rules and being warned about the rules, they not only continued to break the rules, but seemed to revel in doing so.

The person was kicked once or twice, if not more and was continually warned that they should read the rules and proceed to abide by them. Instead of heeding the advice of multiple channel operators, the person continued to refuse to behave.

At that point I banned the person, so we didn't have to deal with it anymore, unfortunately because they were using the web client, they were able to get back in simply by closing and re-opening the web client. After a few times like this, ultimately what needed to happen for the channel to continue peacefully was to ban the web client.

And so for the past week or so, that's how we've been carrying on -- the web client is no longer outrightly banned but it is hanging out in a somewhat unusable state of being muted, with the hope that anybody joining the web client legitimately could either be given voice, had a ban exception added, or simply relocate themselves to another web client, or gain access to a shell server with access to software like screen and irssi (which is one of the biggest things for which I use tacgnol.)

Ultimately we're switching the channel over to a mode that will force the users to be registered and authenticated to our network's nickname services, which should address a lot of the going concerns.

The hope is that we'll be able to allow our users to use a web client as well as keep everything in the channel running just that much more smoothly. Will our goals become true? We'll find out as the change is implemented in the next few days.