shadowircd / doc / opermyth.txt

Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 16:21:40-0700 (MST)
From: (Ray Powers)
Subject: The myths of opers....

I've always wanted to write something like this.. Its half rant, half
fact, so bear with it. Hopefully it will be worth reading.

There's a lot of hate for opers for a lot of reasons. Some are directly
oper related (i.e. 99% of us are colossal assholes), some are directly
user related (i.e. 99% of you are raving lunatics), and some is just plain
misconceptions. I'd like to take a minute to talk about part three in
hopes of clearing a few things up. This will kind of be in a FAQ form,
maybe you'll like it,  maybe not, but its worth a shot.

Q: What can an oper on EFnet do.
A: This is an EXACT list of what we can do:
        1) /squit a server, separating it from the rest of the net
        2) /die our server
        3) /kill a user, this disconnects them from the server they are on
        4) /kline a hostmask, this bans them from our server
        5) /dline an ip, this bans them from our server, regardless of 
        6) See all invisible users on our server
        7) Mass Msg/CTCP/notice a hostmask
        8) Mass Msg/CTCP/notice a server
        9) See and send Operwall/wallops notices

That's it. We can see more server messages than you, but that's not the
point.. The point to be shown here is very simple, *none* of these things
have anything to do with channels. Which leads us to our next question.

Q: What can opers *NOT* do, but keep being asked to anyways?
A: We can *NOT*:
        1) Enter a channel that is +i or +k without being invited or 
           having the key
        2) See who is inside a +s channel  
        3) Op ourselves or op you on a channel (unless of course we are a 
           channel op for that channel)
        4) Tell you what XXXX's new nick is since they changed it to hide 
           from you.
        5) Deop someone for you on a channel (unless of course we are a 
           channel op for that channel)

Notice a trend, with the exception of 4, all of these are 100% channel
related. EFnet is made so that opers have *NO* power of channels, for
better or worse. If we don't help you with these requests, its not because
we won't, its because we are completely incapable doing so. On the other

Q: What can opers do, but won't?
A: This will be a bit differently done, because I figure I should explain 
   why opers don't do these things, when they may normally make sense.
        1) Why won't they kill somebody who has stolen your nick.
              EFnet has gone on the basis of nicks not being owned, which is 
           why there is no nickserv on EFnet.  Of course we see opers kill 
           all the time for nicks, though, so it seems rather hypocrital, 
           doesn't it?  
              An oper who kills for his nick will tell you its because the 
           other person was a bot, was juping his nick, or was imitating an 
           oper.  It may be true, but it really comes down to the same 
           feeling you get when your nick is taken "Hey! that's my name! I 
           don't want that person using my name!" 
              I personally, do not kill for nicks. If someone takes my nick, 
           they can have it. Let them get my several hundred messages a day. 
           :P  But the problem with the oper is this: How does an oper know 
           that you are really the person that uses that nick, or are you 
           the guy that wants to nick jupe that nick out from the real guy? 
           Unless the oper knows you well, they don't.. And saying that 
           people generally tell the truth means you haven't been on EFnet 
           very long. 
              I would prefer to think I am one of the more well respected 
           people on the net and people still lie to me on a regular basis. 
           So, the oper is stuck refusing to help because he can't tell who 
           is who. Remember this line of reasoning, its going to be coming 
           up a lot. :P
        2) Why won't they kill that guy nuking/smurfing/ping -f'ing me?
              This one is simple.  There is no way to prove that somebody is 
           doing any of these things to you from an opers point of view. All 
           logs are fakeable, and the oper has no way to firsthand prove its 
           happening. Your best bet in this situation is to log what you can 
           and complain loud and long to their ISPs.
        3) Why won't they help me take my channel back?
              There's a bunch of answers to this. First, it is popular 
           opinion at EFnet that channels are not owned, and therefore, if 
           you lose a channel, you should go make another one.  Notice I 
           say popular instead of official, because EFnet has never had an 
           "official" policy on much of anything. 
              But more and more you see opers killing for takeovers, so why 
           are they helping their channels and not yours.  
              Well, first, let's say your channel was taken over, and is now 
           +smtinlk. How exactly is the oper supposed to find out who is 
           oped in the channel right now to mass kill them? Even if they do get 
           all the nicks, they have to somehow manage to kill them all in 
           one hit, or they'll all just op each other again and it will be 
           fruitless. Or worse, they could have it all set up, and some 
           other oper could kill them halfway through because they don't 
           like mass-kills and it would be all ruined. 
              Or, let's say the mass-kill goes off, then the channel is 
           opless and generally speaking, chaos begins. People start 
           mass-nuking or flooding the channel to clear it out, or just to 
           be annoying. And there's still a 50/50 chance that takeover
           people will get the channel back on a split and we'll have to try 
           to do it all over again.  
              If you're about to ask why they don't split their server,
           the answer is very simple: We are not about to screw up roughly 
           30,000 peoples chatting for your channel. Its rude. This of 
           course is all based on the fact that we can prove its taken over, 
           as per the conversation about nicks, we often can't.
        4) But.. its obvious they took it from me! The topic says 
           "Ha ha, we took your channel Rick!" for Pete's sake! And 
           there's only One op, so you can kill him and get the channel 
           back immediately!
              This one is a bit more complex, but its really a personal 
           call. That one op could be a rampant smurfpup with a penis so 
           tiny he has no choice but to rampantly smurf and synflood anyone 
           that gets in his way.  This is popularly known on irc as SPS, or 
           Small Penis Syndrome.  In this case, if the oper does help you 
           out, they could end up with their server being downed for a day 
           or two, and it really isn't worth it for your channel, no 

Keep in mind that this is all spoken from the perspective of someone who
*DOES* help with channels when possible, but understands greatly the
reasons not to, and judges each situation very carefully.

That's the gist of the information I was trying to get across.  If you
were cluefull enough to get on operlist, a lot of this may be common
knowledge to you, but sometimes its good to step back and see why opers do
what they do a lot of the time. 

Hoping this is of value to SOMEONE....

Ray Powers