Frequently Asked Questions

IRC can be intimidating for new users. There are many different commands, modes, and symbols that have many different meanings. That intimidation is something that every new IRC user faces. However, it's quite easy to understand how IRC works. In this section, we'll answer some of the most common questions for first-timers.


What do the @ and + symbols mean next to some people's nicks?

These symbols denote a different "rank" of users with privileges within an IRC channel.

  • @ Users with this symbol next to their nick are Channel Operators.
    • Channel Operators or Ops have the power to ban users, kick users, set the channel's modes, set a topic, and even op or voice other users in the channel.
  • + - Users with this symbol next to their nick are Voiced Users.
    • Voiced Users can talk through bans and the moderation mode.
    • In #USA, Voiced Users have a low access level.
    • In #USA, being Voiced is considered an honorary status symbol of an active, positive chatter.

How can I become an Op?

Make a large donation to yoshi@usa-undernet.com. In all seriousness though, this depends on the channel. Each channel has its own procedures for appointing new ops. In #USA, generally, new ops are chosen on an as-needed basis by the entire Ops team. Prospective op-candidates are usually selected from existing voiced users, though sometimes a non-voiced user is selected. It depends on the level of skills you present to #USA, as well as your contributions to our channel. As stated before, this may not be the case in other channels.


Okay, so how do I get voiced?

In #USA? This is easy. Just be an active, regular chatter. Follow the rules, and be someone who makes #USA a worthy place to chat. The ops are always on the lookout for users like this.


Someone keeps bugging me in privmsg, what do I do?

For starters, ask them nicely to stop. If that doesn't work, /ignore them. Our security guide better explains this.


I got banned from a channel. How do I get unbanned?

For most channels, you'll probably have to wait to be unbanned. Of course, you can always message the op who banned you, or one of the other ops in that channel, if you know their nick(s).

In #USA, you can file a complaint on our forum, or contact one of our Ops. You can find our op-list on the forum.


Why do I keep getting disconnected?

This can be for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons you've been disconnected from IRC are:

  • You've lost internet connectivity. Literally, check your connection and see if you can access a website like bing.com or google.com.
  • An IRC Operator restarted the server you were using. This is highly uncommon.
  • There was a brief connectivity issue upstream. Your ISP connects to other ISPs who eventually connects to the ISP of an IRC Server. If any of those ISPs have an issue, even for a slight second, it can result in you getting disconnected.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Broken Pipe.
  • The IRC Server expected your IRC Client to respond within a certain amount of time, but your client didn't do so due to lag or some other network bottleneck. The server assumed you disconnected and closed the other end of the connection. This is another common reason for disconnects.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Ping timeout.
  • Your IRC Client crashed or quit forcefully.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Read error: EOF from client.
  •  Your IRC Client didn't close the connection properly.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Connection reset by peer.
  • You tried to send too much information to the server at once. Servers will disconnect you if you've sent more than a reasonable amount of messages within a very short period of time.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Excess Flood.
  • You received too much information from the server at once. Servers will disconnect you if you requested too much information within a very short period of time.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Max SendQ exceeded.
  • You changed to a nick that someone else tried to change to at the exact same time.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Nick collision.
  • You are using the same nick on two different servers. This commonly happens after a netsplit.
    • Users disconnected by this will quit with the reason: Older nick overruled.
  • You were killed by an IRC Operator. This can happen for one of two reasons.
    • An IRC Operator is toying around with you -- usually this means you know an IRC Operator, or it's your birthday, and they caught wind of it.
    • You've broken a network rule or policy, or done something that warranted the IRC Operator engaging in disciplinary action against you.
    • Users affected by this will quit with the reason: Killed (*.undernet.org (Whatever the reason is.))
  • You were banned from a server or the entire network. This is rare, and usually only happens if you break the network rules.
    • If you have too many connections, this can happen automatically.
    • Users affected by this will quit with the reason: G-lined (if it's for the entire network) or K-lined (if it's for a server). The reason will also be displayed.

A lot of people just quit at the same time. Why?

If they quit with the reason *.net *.split then the server those users were using has been disconnected from the network. Those users are still chatting on that server, and to them, you just "quit". Usually netsplits end within a few minutes once the server automatically reconnects to the network. You'll know when a netsplit is over, because all of the "disconnected" users will rejoin the channel at the same time.

Posted in: IRC

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