IRC Operator FAQ

Note: If you do not know what IRC is, you may want to read the basic IRC guide here, as this guide will assume that the user already has intermediate understanding of IRC. This guide will try to be as extensive as possible in covering questions that we hear all the time on AtomicEdge. If you are already fairly familiar with the concepts covered here, then this guide is probably not for you.

What is an IRC Operator?

At its most basic an IRC Operator is a user who has privileges beyond those of a regular user. All IRC Operators are volunteers and are not paid for what they do.

What do IRC Operators do?

IRC Operators can be considered similar to moderators. Where their job is to enforce the rules of the network they help out on as well as maintaining the servers. Each server on the network has at least one IRC Operator.

What are some of the shortened names for them?

Typically, users will say "oper" or "IRCop" and some older users might even say "csops", but they all mean the same thing.

What are some powers IRC Operators have?

These are the powers you can guarantee they have:

How do I become an IRC Operator?

This is a very common question and the answer is that there is no right way to become one. Typically, there are two ways to become an IRC Operator. Either link a server to AtomicEdge or show extensive knowledge of IRC and of the community. Usually, the first way is beyond the reach of most users due to monetary and time constraints, so lets assume that if your intention is to become one, you've taken the second option.

Having extensive knowledge of IRC is great, but that's not enough to qualify you. You are more likely to be chosen if you're a long-time user, rather than someone who came in a few weeks ago and decided to just help out. Why is knowing the community so important? Simple, if you know the community, then you know what it takes to handle a lot of the situations that may come up during your time as an IRC Operator.

One of the things you could do is perhaps idle in #help or #net and help users out when they ask a question. Be polite, be courteous and have some common sense. If you do not know the answer to something, it never hurts to ask others. Finally, and most importantly, be patient, some users take time to understand the things you're saying and may even refuse to understand what you're saying. It is these types of situations that you have to handle as an IRC Operator, so think of it as a test of character. If you're simply looking to boost your ego by getting some power, then chances are that becoming an IRC Operator is not for you.
Do not ask to become an IRC Operator as this will guarantee that you won't become one.

Are IRC Operators and Channel Operators the same thing?

No, IRC Operators typically have duties that extend beyond a channel. An IRC Operator CAN be a Channel Operator, but the reverse is generally not true.

How do I find an IRC Operator?

IRC Operators tend to idle in #net or #help, but for those that do not, you will usually find out they're an IRC Operator through their /whois information.

Example:

Vash is ident@host * Name
Vash using server.domain.tld
Vash is an IRC Operator on AtomicEdge
Vash is available for help.
Vash is logged in as AccountName
Vash is a registered nick
Vash is using a secure connection
Vash End of /WHOIS list.

Another way to find them is to type /stats P, which will not only tell you who they are, but also how long they have been idle. Finally, there is also looking at the staff listing here to find out who they are. Note that they may not always be using the nicknames listed if you use the website.

Will IRC Operators help me with my channel issues?

The short answer is no. The longer answer is that it depends on the situation. If it is a dispute between a user and a channel operator, then IRC Operators have no obligation to assist, but if the situation involves ban evasion or targeting of a specific channel then they may get involved. IRC Operators generally take a hands off approach to dealing with issues in that they will not interfere in many typical channel situations. That being said, do not be surprised if an operator refuses your request to get rid of someone from your channel. That is not their job.

Why do some IRC Operators refuse to answer private messages?

IRC Operators are all volunteers and have lives beyond IRC. Some IRC Operators may block messages from unregistered users and others ignore the messages outright. Chances are that unless you talk to them regularly, they're not very likely to answer your messages.

Why do I see some with IRC Operators with different titles?

Just like any other entity, a hierarchy exists to divide the duties evenly.