IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a text-based, distributed, real-time chat system used by many communities.


Each user requires IRC client software to use IRC. This is usually a desktop application that connects to the IRC server, though there are also mobile and web-based clients available.

Cultural norms

  • Each IRC server generally sets policy around acceptable behaviour
  • Individual IRC channels may set channel-level policy
  • Pseudonymity through the mechanism of Nicknames is common
  • Etiquette around Private messages varies based on sub-communities

Best practices

These best practices are primarily for long-standing channels dedicated to a particular purpose.

  • Create a webpage describing channel policy and cultural norms, and link to it in the channel topic
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.