Is there something as IRC etiquette? It often seems like users are just there to insult other users, ignore them, or just flood the channels with MP3 tags without ever chatting. Yes, there is a certain etiquette to IRC just as in any other conversation in cyber space or in real life. Unfortunately users are often being rude whether it is intentionally or not. But we first do have to make a distinction between the kind of users and how to recognize them.
- Servers - Multiple servers together make the network and provide different kinds of services. Some are there to make users able to connect to the network. Others are there to provide services as NickServ, ChanServ, Security, and so on. On a "/Whois" command you will be able to see a users hostmask, vHost (virtual host), which will reveal what type of user you are dealing with.
- Bots - Bots are scripts connected to a server that perform automated tasks other than what servers already do or in cooperation with servers. There are many kinds of bots and they are not always easy to recognize because some will appear to be normal users. Network bots will have a vHost specifying what kind of bot they are and will normally have the "User Mode +B" set. Privately owned bots could be part of a user client or be standalone as well. These bots can have malicious intend like flooding or spamming. Private bot owners should set "User Mode +B" on their bots. Bots that do not have this mode set can be subject to a server ban.
- Network Staff - Network staff all have a vHost that describes their rank in the network hierarchy. Form more details about this and what ranks are on the network you can check the forum on this website.
- Regular Users - Any other user is considered a regular user. However a regular user can have a certain position within a private channel which will give him/her certain privileges on that channel.
It is always polite to respond to other users when not AFK (away from keyboard). Even though it is not a must, a user could use an "away-nick" to indicate they will be AFK for a longer period of time and will most likely not respond. Servers and bots do not use these kind of nicks because they are automated scripts that are always around. Network staff could use "away-nicks" but are not obligated to do so. When it comes to chat, users are expected to be respectful to other users this includes taking a private conversation to a private chat if the content gets to explicit. If a channel topic, name or entrymsg indicates that a certain language is being used in a channel then users should not conduct chats in other languages for an extended period of time. If no specific language is being indicated the language used will be English. The etiquette is all about being respectful to other users, channel and network staff. There really is not that much to say about chat etiquette except to use your common sense. Most users will know when they are being disruptive or disrespectful and should not be surprised when action is taken against them.