Lengthening Nickname Expiry

by kline

Hello Libera Chat users,

We intend to extend the routine nickname expiry policy from 10 to 20 weeks, doubling the time a nick must be unused to consider expired. Please read on below to find out more about what this means and why we’re doing it.

One of the unusual things about IRC is that you can group multiple nicks to your account identity - essentially giving you what seems like multiple usernames.

This is cool, but in order to prevent nicks becoming unusable where an account has grouped them, but never uses them, we also have an expiration policy: currently that policy states that any nick unused for 10 weeks can be removed from your account, on request for re-use, at staff discretion.

This is a policy that’s been extant for many years, inherited from our previous incarnation, and it’s served us well. After giving it much thought, however, we’ve decided that we believe that 10 weeks is too short a period of time. It’s not been uncommon for people to take 2-3 months away from IRC and find that their account has been dropped.

With this in mind we have considered a number of options, but decided that simple is best, a straight doubling of the time-span. This also means that setting your account into VACATION mode also doubles, reaching 60 weeks - a bit over a year.

We intend to bring this policy into effect in 10 weeks time, so as to avoid changing the status of any nicks until a full expiry period has elapsed under the current policy. You can see the exact working of the policy change at the pull request here.

Please note that as with the current policy, expired nicks are not automatically dropped. Expired nicks are only dropped on request, and subject to staff discretion. Please do not be concerned about your account or nicks - we are only extending the current policy to make it even less likely that they are expired. We also plan to re-evaluate how this policy has gone in a while, to see whether 20 weeks is working for us all.

As always, we’re available on /stats p and in #libera to answer any questions you have about this policy.