From Fedora Project Wiki

IRC Help Channels Code of Conduct

This is a general code of conduct that those who wish to represent the Fedora project in a help channel should follow. Those who agree to follow this code of conduct should be highlighted to end users, so they can decide who's help they would like to receive from the help channel.


When representing the Fedora project to provide support for one of the help channels, volunteers should always try and remain polite and friendly. Volunteers should avoid obscene or highly charged wording, and stick to technical terms wherever possible. Volunteers should explain and espouse the ideas of the Fedora Project, but be careful not to judge or ridicule users for a differing stance. In the event a Volunteer gets frustrated or upset helping a user, they should retire from the discussion and allow someone else to help the user.

Note: This document is for the IRC support channel (I would love to see this same sort of document for mailing list, forum, and talk help channels)

There are 3 groups of people in the IRC support channels, each with their own set of guidelines and rules.

Shifts are established for some groups of supporters. While it's fine to provide support at times when you are not signed up for an offical shift, you should make sure and be available for any shifts you do sign up for.

Channel Operators

Channel operators should monitor the channel for any shifts they are signed up for, and take the following actions:

  1. Users who use profanity should be warned once, then removed from the channel for 24 hours.
  2. Users who paste or dump large amounts of text in the channel (more than 4 lines) should be warned once, then removed from the channel for 24 hours.
  3. Users who are consistently off topic when others are trying to get help should be warned once and then removed from the channel for 24 hours.
  4. Users who are dropping on or off and flooding the channel with many leave/join messages may be removed from the channel until the next Operator shift.
  5. Long term or repeat offenders may be removed for longer time periods at the descretion of the entire pool of Operators.
  6. Users who consistently provide incorrect or dangerous help (telling users to 'rm -rf /' or the like) will be warned once and then removed from the channel for 24 hours.

Any time a channel operator removes a user from the channel They should mail a short exerpt from the channel log to the pool of all channel operators, and explain why action was taken. (A mailing list or alias for all Operators should be established).

Channel operators should tell the incoming shift of any special activities or issues that took place in their shift, as well as any bans that should be removed.

New channel operators should be elevated from the group of channel helpers. Interested helpers should be nominated and approved by a majority vote of the other existing operators. New Operators should agree to follow these guidelines and be added to a alias or mailing list.

Channel support helpers

Support helpers should be on the channel for the times they have signed up for. When multiple helpers are available They should alternate helping new end users to spread the support load around.

  1. Helpers should be mode +v when working their shift. Helpers should mode -v when their shift is over or if they are idle. This may allow users to note who to ask questions of. (optional/down the road perhaps)
  2. Helpers should try and point end users to official Fedora documentation. Failing that, they should point to fedorasolved or fedoramobile. Other sites can be used, but should be carefully reviewed first.
  3. Helpers should try and gather information from the end user via pastebin links and questions and try and help solve the end users question. Where possible they should also try and teach the user where to look to solve other questions down the road.
  4. Helpers should remain on topic when there are users asking questions. Off topic conversation should be done in #fedora-social or other channels.
  5. Helpers should channel users to other support channels when they don't know the answer or are unable to find it out. Either other irc channels specific to a area (#selinux, #fedora-kde) Mailing lists or forums.
  6. Helpers should try and empower users to file bugs when they run into them, as well as doing quick searches to point end users to already filed bugs about their specific problem. Helpers can use bugzilla quick search bars in firefox or the like for this.
  7. Helpers should point users at Open Source/Free software wherever possible, but shouldn't Judge users who decide to use something else.
  8. Helpers should try and be consistent about the message they give users. Where in doubt a discussion should be made between the pool of helpers to provide a unified message about a specific topic.
  9. Helpers should be elevated from the pool of users on the channel. They should be (self) nominated and approved by a majority vote of the operators of the channel.

End users seeking help

End users should be pointed to a FAQ link (most likely at the fedoraproject wiki) when they join the channel. This FAQ will list the behavior(s) that will get them removed from the channel, along with general guidelines on how to ask smart questions.

End users removed from the channel should be able to ask for review of their case. The FAQ should mention how to do this contact. We need to determine how much and what kind of review is needed.

End user should be encouraged to:

  • Ask questions pertaining to supported fedora releases
  • use pastebin links for diag output
  • Listen to the help or advice of Operators and/or Helpers (mode +o or +v)

End users should be discouraged from:

  • Off topic discussion
    • NON Fedora Linux questions
    • NO longer supported Fedora Releases.
  • Asking over broad questions ("Is fedora better than Ubuntu?")
  • any of the items that will get them removed

Discussion items

  • This document
    • 24 hour banning enough? too much?
    • other things that should result in bans that aren't listed yet?
  • Should we be a SIG?
    • More organized
    • could try and bring in forum and mailing list and talk support under one group
    • Can we point people to livna and other non fedora content?
  • Do we have enough helpers/ops?
  • Should we have a #fedora-ops channel to communicate with ops/helpers?
  • How to manage "shifts"? Need a open source calender/scheduler.
  • revamping the ops list: Remove inactive ops, add more.
  • making a helper list: Prime with current helpers?
  • making a FAQ for joining the channel. Point to guidelines, but more general for users.
  • adding new ops/helpers procedure
  • mailing list/contact procedures. Must have a way to contact all ops/helpers via email.
  • bot. Should we have one?
    • logging? Would need to note that logs are made in the topic.
    • priv message to all but helpers/ops to prevent user abuse.
    • announcements of shift changes?
    • voice/devoice helpers?
    • detect and kick floods?
    • provide common pointers to faq issues?

Pointers to other groups IRC policies

Additional Reading