[openstack-dev] [all] A quick note on recent IRC trolling/vandalism

Clark Boylan cboylan at sapwetik.org
Tue Apr 3 21:11:34 UTC 2018

Hello everyone,

During the recent holiday weekend some of our channels experienced some IRC trolling/vandalism. In particular the meetbot was used to start meetings titled 'maintenance' which updated the channel topic to 'maintenance'. The individual or bot doing this then used this as the pretense for claiming the channel was to undergo maintenance and everyone should leave. This is one of the risks of using public communications channels, anyone can show up and abuse them.

In an effort to make it more clear as to what is trolling and what isn't, here are the bots we currently operate:
  - Meetbot ("openstack") to handle IRC meetings and log channels on eavesdrop.openstack.org
  - Statusbot ("openstackstatus") to notify channels about service outages and update topic accordingly
  - Gerritbot ("openstackgerrit") to notify channels about code review updates

Should the Infra team need to notify of pending maintenance work, that notification will come via the statusbot and not the meetbot. The number of individuals that can set topics via statusbot is limited to a small number of IRC operators.

If you have any questions you can reach out either in the #openstack-infra channel or to any channel operator directly and ask them. To get a list of channel operators run `/msg chanserv access #channel-name list`. Finally any user can end a meeting that meetbot started after one hour (by issuing a #endmeeting command). So you should feel free to clean those up yourself if you are able.

If the Freenode staff needs to perform maintenance or otherwise make announcements,  they tend to send special messages directly to clients  so you will see messages from them in your IRC client's status channel. Should you have any questions for Freenode you can find freenode operators in the #freenode channel.

As a final note the infra team has an approved spec for improving our IRC bot tooling, http://specs.openstack.org/openstack-infra/infra-specs/specs/irc.html. Implementing this spec is going to be a prerequisite for implementing smarter automated responses to problems like this and it needs volunteers. If you think this might be interesting to you definitely reach out.

Thank you for your patience,

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