IRC Etiquette

General Etiquette

IRC etiquette can be very specific to the IRC network you are joining; however, there are some general rules and guidelines that are widely accepted as proper IRC etiquette.

  • Understand that while IRC is real-time, not everyone is always paying attention to IRC. If you are freshly commenting or asking someone a question, you may not receive a response immediately. If you are actively engaged in a conversation and must leave or step away for a time, please let the person you are talking to know that you are doing so.
  • Respect the rules of the channels that you are in. On many networks (and the CAT IRC network is no exception), different channels may have different rules on what is allowed or expected while talking in the channel. If you repeatedly break the rules of a channel, you may be kicked or even banned from the channel by those responsible for maintaining the integrity of the channel.
  • Read and understand the Message Of The Day (MOTD) of the network. This MOTD will outline the rules and guidelines for using the network safely and correctly. If you missed the MOTD, see the section below on Reading the Message of the Day. If you disobey the rules of the network, the network operators may talk with you to help correct the situation.
  • If you are kicked or banned from a channel, it was probably for a good reason (at least in the minds of those managing the channel). Take a step back and think for a minute about why you may have been kicked or banned from a channel. After thinking about it, if you were kicked and were not told to stay out of the channel, you may try joining the channel again. If you discover that you have been banned from a channel and wish to resolve the situation, try to do so nicely by messaging the person who kicked/banned you and talking to them about the situation.
  • Do not paste more than 4 lines of text into a channel at a time. If you need to paste more than 4 lines, use a pastebin service ( or message a person directly. Pasting more than 4 lines can flood a channel and drown out existing conversation. In the same vein, exercise common sense in messaging people on the network. If you are unsure if it is okay to message a person or not, ask them in a channel first.

Messaging another Person

Different IRC clients have different ways of going about messaging a person, but one of the universal methods is to issue the following command:

/msg <nickname> <message>

This will message the person on the nickname <nickname> with the message you provided immediately afterwards. This message must be one line, but can contain normal speech otherwise. It will be sent directly to the nickname you specify.

Reading the Message of the Day (MOTD)

The MOTD on most IRC networks is a method used to outline the rules and expected behavior of people on the network. Most IRC clients will display the MOTD when you connect to the IRC server, however if you missed it, or wish to read it again, you can issue the following command,


which will display the MOTD again.