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The Libera Chat network has "chat rooms" dedicated to Wikipedia 24 hours a day, in which Wikipedians can engage in real-time discussions with each other. Many Wikipedians have chatting open in one window and hop back and forth between it and other windows in which they are working on Wikipedia. The chat rooms most relevant to English Wikipedia are listed hereafter; a more complete list of channels (for other language Wikipedias, other languages, and recent changes feeds) exists at m:IRC/Channels.

"Chat room" is a name for an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel. IRC chat takes place on a network of servers; the network that hosts the Wikimedia channels is known as Libera Chat. To participate in the chat, you need a type of program or plug-in called an IRC client. Popular clients are listed below.

Use and anonymity on IRC are covered in more detail below. Note that IRC needs more care to maintain anonymity than Wikipedia editing does. Anyone can see your IP until you become cloaked, and the process to become cloaked is not immediate.

How is Wikipedia IRC related to Wikipedia?[edit]

Wikipedia IRC is not owned or controlled by Wikipedia/Wikimedia. It is a project run by volunteers of their own accord. The Wikipedia channels on Libera Chat were designed by users of Wikipedia as places for Wikipedians to chat using IRC. They are casual and not logged publicly. As far as their influence on Wikipedia goes, IRC is equivalent to a conversation in a pub – the discussion may be conducted between a small number of people but may be overheard by hundreds, or more if the logs are published.

When the channels are used to attack Wikipedians, or when IRC discussions are cited as justification for an on-wiki action, the resulting atmosphere is very damaging to the project's collaborative relationships.

IRC tutorial and host masking[edit]


Wikimedia uses the IRC server irc.libera.chat, port 6697. Connect to this server, then join some channels that interest you, such as #wikipedia-en.

Register your nickname[edit]

If you want to use a certain nickname on the network and don't want anyone else to take it, and also to be added to a channel's access list, you must register your nickname with the network. You can do so by typing (in any window): /msg nickserv register password email@address.tld, of course substituting password for any password of your choosing, and email@address.tld with your email address. Follow the steps (including sending a confirmation message in an email). Then configure your IRC client to send an identify message upon login, such as /msg nickserv identify password.

Anonymity and masking[edit]

As on Wikipedia itself, you can use IRC with a name that hides your IP address, and allows you to remember your preferred settings. If you have any special access rights to any channel, those will be remembered under your name too. On IRC these are two separate matters – registering a nickname is quick and easy (like on Wikipedia itself), and that name is then password protected for your own use, and cloaking is the request to have the account configured to hide its IP address from other users. These matters are all covered in the IRC tutorial.

To request that your IRC account be cloaked, send the following private message: /msg wmopbot cloak. Group Contacts then process these by hand. Cloaking is optional, but a good idea. Cloak requests typically take several weeks to process.

The following are the requirements necessary to obtain a cloak:

  • User must have a verified e-mail address (throwaway/disposable emails are not acceptable)
  • User must have at least 250 edits on Wikimedia projects
  • User must have a Wikimedia project account registered for at least three months
  • User must not be actively blocked from a project

Note that anonymity is maintained with more difficulty on IRC than on Wikipedia. Without a hostmask, your IP address will be visible, and indexed on some Internet websites. Even with a hostmask, your IP address is at risk of being revealed due to the nature of the IRC protocol (due to the effects of a "ghost" session). If you are concerned about your anonymity, you may wish to consult with someone familiar with IRC.

Another straightforward way of guaranteeing anonymity on IRC (and elsewhere) is to subscribe with a VPN service provider. This will re-route all your Internet traffic and effectively replace your IP address with the service providers.

Alternatively, Tor may be used to connect. Libera Chat provides an onion service under libera75jm6of4wxpxt4aynol3xjmbtxgfyjpu34ss4d7r7q2v5zrpyd.onion but authentication using SASL EXTERNAL or ECDSA-NIST256P-CHALLENGE is mandatory. Tor access to the clearnet domain (irc.libera.chat) is blocked.[1]

Publicly logged channels[edit]

There are several Wikimedia channels which are purposefully logged. Some of them are listed here:

List of applications and web clients[edit]

Most people needing live help editing Wikipedia can access IRC easily by clicking here: #wikipedia-en-help connect. Web-based IRC is a good choice for first-time IRC users, for portable use, and for those who cannot, or prefer not to, install separate software.

The usual way to access IRC is by downloading an IRC client. These are more full-featured and make it easy to watch multiple chats at a time. Scripts to enhance IRC clients are available online at Wikipedia:Scripts. From the long list of IRC clients, some popular options are:

IRC error: Unable to join channel (invite only)[edit]

This error occurs when you attempt to join a non-public channel (see non-public channels, below). If you know that you have access to a non-public channel and you still receive this error, the simplest fix is to ask ChanServ for an invite (see /msg ChanServ help invite for more info). If you have a cloak, you can ask a channel op to add an invex (+I) on your cloak so that you do not need to ask ChanServ for invites each time you need to join the channel.

If, however, you know you both have access to the non-public channel and you know that you have an invex (+I) on your cloak for that channel, your client might be automatically joining the channel before authenticating. Double-check to make sure your client is set up according to Libera Chat's connection guide, and configure your client to log in when you connect.

Use of IRC[edit]

Once you are connected to the Libera Chat IRC network, you can choose which public channels you join and which chats you engage in. If you are authorized to join non-public channels then you can take part in those too. Consider also requesting a cloak to mask your IP address and give other users confidence that you are the Wikipedia user you claim to be.

In general on IRC, each channel operates autonomously and each has its own norms and policies—these may cover conduct (including civility, appropriate topics, and language), on/off-topic chat, who may join, and who may be asked to leave. Each channel is autonomous and in general there is no appeal from a decision by the operators of that channel to an outside body (which may have any or no reason), so it is worth checking the channel norms and rules before accidentally making a mistake of conduct. That said, in general most channels used by Wikimedia communities are friendly and do have people you can contact in case of problems. (See problems and help below.)

Once connected, some users stay logged-in to the chatrooms whenever they are on Wikipedia, and check in on the discussions from time to time, to read what has been accumulating there and to participate. Some programs used for chatting notify you whenever there is activity in a chat room so you will not miss anything. Often, users jump onto a chat room to draw the attention of others there of something on Wikipedia that needs attention.

Non-public channels[edit]

A number of non-public channels exist, to which access is limited. The best known of these on English Wikipedia is the administrators' channel, but others exist also for groups such as the arbitration committee, checkuser and account creator collaboration. Access to these channels requires use of a registered account, described previously. If you are part of a given group that has a non-public channel, you can request access so that you can join.

Steps to getting access to non-public channels:

  1. Request it — Post a new request under pending requests for access, at the end of this page, providing your registered IRC account and links evidencing access.
  2. Get it — A channel operator will then drop by to give you access to the channel. Alternatively, ask in #wikimedia-ops, using the !ops keyword to get attention.
  3. Use it — Once your request is complete, you can invite yourself to the channel using ChanServ's INVITE command as long as you've identified to NickServ. (See /msg NickServ HELP IDENTIFY and /msg ChanServ HELP INVITE for more information.)
  4. (Optional) In order to gain automatic access to a non-public channel (i.e. without having to use the ChanServ's INVITE command each time), you should first obtain a cloak. From there, simply ask an op on the channel to add an invex (+I) for your cloak. If you already have a cloak when requesting access, ops will typically add an invex for you at the same time they're giving you access, but if you obtain a cloak after gaining access or you change your cloak after gaining access, you can typically reach the channel's ops by using either the !ops keyword or requesting assistance in #wikimedia-ops.

The IRC instructions page may also be helpful for getting around.

List of useful channels[edit]

Non-public channels listed with a blue padlock icon () require additional user access in order to join them. See non-public channels and pending requests for access for more information. See meta:IRC/Channels for a more extensive list.

General channels[edit]

The main general-purpose channels relevant and related to English Wikipedia are:

Channel Description
#wikipedia connect General Wikipedia related chat.
#wikipedia-en connect General chat focusing more on the English-language Wikipedia.
#wikipedia-en-help connect Help channel for Wikipedians. Helpers are voiced, a setting that lets what they say be seen by everyone in the channel. Request a cloak to be voiced automatically (if you have autovoice on your account already, identify to NickServ by typing /msg NickServ identify <nick> <password> to activate it). More information can be found on its page.

User groups[edit]

Functional groups[edit]

Channel Description
#wikipedia-en-admins connect Used by admins and some other users. I.e.: stewards and Wikimedia Foundation staff. (See #wikipedia-en-admins below for more information.)
#wikipedia-en-functionaries connect Used by English Wikipedia functionaries and global stewards.
#wikipedia-en-arbcom-clerks connect Used by clerks and members of the Arbitration Committee.
#wikimedia-admin connect Used by admins across all Wikimedia projects for cross-wiki admin co-ordination. (See the page IRC/wikimedia-admin on Meta-Wiki for more information.)
#wikipedia-en-BAG connect Used by the Bot Approvals Group for coordination and discussion/monitoring of Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval. BAG members are voiced (i.e. typically shown in IRC clients by a "+" next to their nickname); anybody is welcome.
#wikimedia-vrt connect A public channel for matters related to the Volunteer Response Team and its volunteers. This channel is for co-ordination and collaboration, and to find a VRT user to speak to in private; it is not suitable for confidential discussion. VRT agents are voiced (i.e. typically shown in IRC clients by a "+" next to their nickname).
#wikipedia-en-editfilters connect Used by edit filter helpers, edit filter managers, and administrators for semi-private discussion relating to edit filters.

Social channels[edit]

Channel Description
#wikimedia-social connect A channel intended primarily for social discussion among contributors to Wikimedia projects.
#Wikimedia-offtopic connect A semi-social channel for conversations that don't really fit into the other Wikimedia project channels.
#Wikipedia-coffeehouse connect A place for relaxing, intellectual on-topic chat related to Wikipedia and other associated topics.
#wikipedia-politics connect A channel to discuss politics.
#wikipedia-trivia connect A fun channel with trivia for both new and veteran editors to polish their Wikipedia knowledge.

Channels for specific tasks[edit]

Channel Description
#wikipedia-en-unblock connect For the discussion and review of blocks and features live updates of CAT:UNBLOCK. Administrators are voiced (i.e. typically shown in IRC clients by a "+" next to their nickname). Not recommended for idling.
#wikipedia-en-accounts connect Used for coordination and collaboration between members of the account creation team. This channel is invite only (+i).
#wikipedia-en-accounts-admins connect Used for coordination and collaboration between administrators of the account creation team. This channel is invite only (+i).
#countervandalism connect For requesting voice in restricted channels and technical help running a countervandalism channel. See m:CVN for details about the CounterVandalism Network.
#cvn-wp-en connect For listing and discussing current English Wikipedia vandalism issues (requires confirmation).
#cvn-wp-en-newpages connect For listing new page creations on English Wikipedia that contain possible vandalism.
#wikipedia-en-spam connect A botfeed of all links added to English Wikipedia. Channel is for linkspam reverting. Feeds for other languages and projects also now exist.
#wikipedia-spam-t connect Talk channel associated with #wikipedia-en-spam connect.
#wikipedia-en-csd connect For listing edits that add a speedy deletion tag.
#wikipedia-en-lta connect Discussion about long-term abuse. Semi-private: All users active on English Wikipedia who either have a wikipedia cloak or are eligible for one are welcome. Users with cloaks are automatically invited.
#wikipedia-en-abuse-log connect For listing recent edits that have tripped the edit filter, as specified in User:DatBot/filters.
#wikipedia-en-abuse-log-all connect A feed of all edit filter hits. You can subscribe to get direct messages when specific filters are tripped. See User:MusikBot/AbuseFilterIRC for documentation.
#wikipedia-en-revdel connect For sending urgent revision deletion requests to administrators. Administrators are opped (i.e. typically shown in IRC clients by a "@" next to their nickname) and are the only ones able to see requests.
#wikimedia-npp connect General discussion regarding new page patrolling.
#wikipedia-en-spi connect Public channel for coordination among sockpuppet investigation clerks and other users.


Channel Description
#wikipedia-en-afc connect Used by the AFC project to discuss the backlog, administrative changes (especially to our helper script) and other related tasks.
#wikipedia-chess connect For WikiProject Chess.
#wikipedia-en-ambassadors connect Coordination and collaboration for members of the Wikipedia Ambassadors Team (part of WikiProject: Public Policy).
#wikimedia-lgbt connect Used by WikiProject LGBT studies for cross-project coordination, collaboration and socialization.
#wikiphys connect For WikiProject Physics.
#wikipedia-en-roads connect For WikiProject Highways coordination and collaboration. Retired in favor of WP:DISCORD.
#wikipedia-teahouse connect Used for discussion on the Teahouse by guests and hosts.
#wiki-hurricanes connect For WikiProject Tropical cyclones.
#WikiProject-United-States connect For WikiProject United States and related projects and topics.
#wikipedia-library connect Used for discussion on The Wikipedia Library by coordinators and guests.
#wikipedia-medicine connect Used for discussion and coordination with WikiProject Medicine and related projects and topics.
#wikipedia-en-openproxies connect Discussion and coordination related to the WikiProject on open proxies

Technical channels, and technical support for tools[edit]


Channel Description
#wikimedia-tech connect Technical issues related to the Wikimedia systems.
#mediawiki connect Discussion and technical questions related to the MediaWiki software (including template help, and other questions).

Tools, and support for tools[edit]

Channel Description
#AutoWikiBrowser connect General discussion and support requests for AutoWikiBrowser.
#huggle connect Support for the tool Huggle.
#swviewer connect Support for the tool SWViewer.
#wikipedia-userscripts connect Help and discussion of JavaScript tools.


All current and former English Wikipedia administrators in good standing have a presumption of entry to this channel, subject to appropriate conduct. Stewards and people who currently work for the Foundation are allowed access, too. Access to this channel is set to invite only (+i). Administrators who want to join this channel have to request access to this channel before being able to join the first time. Access can be requested hereafter.

Once an editor is granted access, they retain it unless they are involuntarily de-sysopped or request removal of access to the channel. Formal access to the channel will not usually be long-term revoked unless a participant refuses to abide by the standards of conduct expected of channel members or unless the user is involuntarily de-sysopped. If a user is theoretically unable to ask for and receive their administrator rights from the Bureaucrats' noticeboard, they will not be permitted access to the channel.

The channel has an internal code of conduct and newcomer information. These guidelines set out some "anti-abuse" provisions that consensus agrees the channel operators may draw on, if they are notified of a problem. However, as with all guidelines, they are intended to be for the benefit of the project, with common sense, and not "set in stone".

IRC/wikipedia-en-admins on Meta has more details, including a list of all users who have access to the channel. See also Wikipedia:List of administrators/IRC nicknames.


Problems and help[edit]

Help for accessing IRC itself is best requested on the talk page, if you have read the tutorial and other information and are still unable to use it. Once you can access IRC by some means, there are help and information channels on most Wikimedia-related topics listed above, type /join #channelname into any window, to join them and ask your question (e.g., /join #wikipedia-en-help). It is customary on IRC to just ask, not to ask whether you can ask. :-)

Within the Wikimedia and English Wikipedia channels, your first recourse if you have difficulty, is to ask to speak to a channel operator, if any are around. You can identify channel operators in most of these channels since they will appear as having the "o" flag in a list of channel users and flags. Type /msg chanserv flags #channelname for a list of users and their access levels (this can sometimes have hundreds of lines). Further help can be obtained as follows:

  • #wikipedia-en: Ask to speak to a channel operator. If needed, you can often address such problems to administrators who are IRC users. (Please see the userlist of #wikipedia-en-admins for information.)
  • #wikipedia-en-admins (the non-public admins channel): Has adopted its own code of conduct that covers problematic situations; please see that channel's guidelines and user information above, for relevant links and userlists.
  • All other #wiki... channels: Speak to a channel operator for that channel.
  • Beyond that, the Wikimedia channels are supervised by the IRC Group Contacts—currently Dungodung (dungodung on IRC), Snowolf (Snowolf on IRC), Az1568 (AlexZ on IRC), Fox (foks on IRC), Stwalkerster (stw on IRC), Matthewrb (Matthew_ on IRC), and AmandaNP (AmandaNP on IRC)—who can advise on serious problems that channel operators cannot resolve.

If the problem relates to user conduct in any channel, your first recourse should be to try and resolve matters with the person involved. If this fails, ask to speak to a channel operator. If your problem cannot be resolved by channel operators, then it may be raised further, as previously mentioned.

It is the policy of some channels that you should not post logs on the wiki, or circulate them without permission from those involved; rather, if a matter requires logs then please obtain permission before circulating or publicizing them, and if in doubt ask a channel operator or other experienced user for advice.

Pending requests for access to channels[edit]

Ops: Please remember to update m:IRC/wikipedia-en-admins/User list when you add a new user.

If you wish to access a non-public channel, please add your name and details below. Alternatively it can be quicker to leave a note on the talk page of any user of that channel (who might be able to help, or can add you to the access list) who may see it, or another appropriate talk page.

Please also register your nickname before adding a request (type in /msg nickserv register password email@address.tld, replacing password with one of your choice and email@address.tld with your email address). You may also optionally register a cloak (see above). Format for requests (add to end of list):

* Username and rights links: {{Userrights|{{subst:REVISIONUSER}}}} ~~~~
** IRC account: (IRC username)
** (Optional) cloak: 
** Channels and evidence: en-admins, [[Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/{{subst:REVISIONUSER}}]]

Be sure to replace (IRC username) with your username.

See also[edit]



User essays[edit]


Other discussion venues[edit]


  1. ^ "Connecting to Libera.Chat - Accessing Libera.Chat Via Tor". Retrieved 13 July 2021.

External links[edit]