We have today, after much discussion, changed our terms of service. The reason for this is that the way it was previously done was confusing for users. The terms of service were previously called “Rules” and featured prominently on our site. Many users confused these with a definitive set of laws for which punishment would surely be issued if they were broken. This is not the case. They are a set of guidelines to ensure GeekShed remains “a free to use and family-friendly Internet Relay Chat network”.

Some parts of the terms of service are legacy remnants which have been removed due to no longer being relevant. Others have been refined to make them more clear. We have also removed the following clause:

Do not send Private Messages, Notices, and or CTCP requests to a user without his or her permission.

This has always, throughout the history of IRC, been considered common courtesy. It was, on reflection, an oversight to have this in our terms of service and as the network has grown, we are becoming unable to handle the number of complaints about PM without permission.

In the near future, we will post an article for newer users of IRC which details the expected standards of behavior and common courtesies – ‘Netiquette’. EDIT: here it is!

Our refined TOS can be found at http://www.geekshed.net/tos/. If you have any questions on this, feel free to ask in #help or as a comment on this post.