Freenode, the open-source project that powers Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks, is involved in the most recent scandal after some of its developers quickly called it quits for the org.

According to the former staff members, Korea's Crown Prince, Andrew Lee, has been in charge of the platform. The developers called Lee's action a "hostile takeover" due to his alleged asserted control over the IRC network.

What is Freenode?

Freenode IRC Staff Members Quit Over Andrew Lee's 'Hostile Takeover'

(Photo : Freenode via screenshot from Twitter)
Freenode IRC Network

According to the report of VICE on Thursday, May 20, it was in 1994 when Freenode started as an open-source project for IRC networks. Since then, it has become popular with the masses when it comes to the internet chat protocol.

From the official website of Freenode org, 90,000 users have been benefiting from the project's service since its launch. During that time, there were 50,000 registered channels.

Like other startups, it began from small beginnings, but what put it in the top position is its free software project for all aspiring developers.

However, Freenode has faced an issue involving the sudden resignation of 12 staff volunteers of the organizations. Based on the written letter, the developers believed that Lee has already taken control of the whole network. They say what the Crown Prince of Korea did was under false but legal pretenses where the staff could not have the power to contest his implementation.

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What Will Happen to the Freenode Members Who Quit?

According to the members who have left the network, they will be developing a new chat org called, which will take over the discontinued undertaking of Freenode.

One staff member who resigned in his post said that a "Korean royalty" who is also a fanatic of the former president and a bitcoin millionaire has completely asserted his power to control the Freenode IRC network.

Another former Freenode open source project developer wrote that there was no legal way for the org to be sold. He said that he was now numb from the pain of leaving the org.

The developer added that someone who uses Freenode should be aware that the project is now entirely under someone's control. In addition, he said that the user's data could strike privacy concerns in the takeover.

"Given the millions, I have injected into Freenode thus far, the fact I own it and the fact that I protected the Freenode staff with professional legal work and funding when they needed help and they could still lie and slander like this... says a lot about who they are," another departing staff shared.

The same developer said that it saddens him to leave when the hostile takeover happened. He wrote that he only wanted the Freenode to be an awe-inspiring IRC network.

Due to many concerns in privacy, there were several solutions that the developers have proposed to counter Lee's actions. Besides moving to the Libera chat platform, others have been doing the same thing of transferring to the networks.

Over the past years, Freenode org has been competing with other communication groups like Discourse and Matrix through the projects that the developers made, Phoronix reported.

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Written by Joseph Henry

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