We have now fully withdrawn from the Freenode Partnership.
Has Fosshost been sold?
No, Fosshost has not been sold.
Did Andrew Lee give Fosshost money?
Yes. We received a donation from Freenode to ensure that our work remains sustainable. Mr Lee sent a follow-up email thanking us for our work in the community, and this sparked a conversation between our directors and Freenode Limited. We had recently made some announcements on Reddit and other media asking for help from the community to fund growing our network and bring our service to more projects.
With his permission, and in keeping with our foundational spirit of maximum prudent disclosure, the funds donated by Mr. Lee comprise:
Fosshost has not yet drawn upon or released any of these funds.
Is Andrew Lee on the board of Fosshost?
Has Andrew Lee become part of the Fosshost Staff?
Why have dbo, nikola and eth01 now become Freenode staff members?
Three members of the Fosshost board have agreed to help with management and oversight at the Freenode IRC network. In particular, they will help ensure a consistent tone of community on the network that adheres to the Fosshost Terms of Service.
Will you provide financial accounts and reports?
Yes, to every dollar. We do this as soon as possible; however, it may take several days or weeks. We will certainly publish our detailed accounts not later than Jan 15, 2022, and hope to publish them (publicly) by July 15 to establish at least a semi-annual reporting cadence. We had not yet completed our CIC organization stats at the beginning of Q2 2021 and did not produce regular reports before we had formally organized. We have kept (we believe) complete records and hope also to publish these as time permits.
Andrew Lee is a businessman; why have you partnered with a businessman/commercial interest?
We have not partnered with Andrew Lee. We have accepted an application as we do for all potential hosting relationships, in this Andrew Lee has presented himself as the owner and operator of an Freenode IRC as a FOSS application to be considered for hosting..
Why did you not refuse the donation?
Fosshost is not generally (as an organization, our members otherwise represent themselves however they choose) in the practice of "wading in" to "political" drams within the community. We will not generally refuse donations made to us unless we have concerns of a legal nature, for example an attempt to donate money to us illegally, to donate stolen money, etc.
I left Freenode because of recent developments, and now I can't trust Fosshost because of its connections back to Freenode?
We are sorry to learn that. We intend to provide your project with a safe and stable hosting environment for decades, irrespective of how popular or unpopular it may become. But we understand. Sometimes it doesn't work out, and people need a sandbox a little further away. We are currently researching viable alternatives to our service and will soon list some here. In all events: Best of luck, and thank you for your service and commitment to Free and Open Source Software.
You are getting bad press. Do you consider this to be a careless move?
No. The Fosshost board deliberated over several days before approaching Andrew with our offer (that our directors would offer to help freenode maintain a substantial community standard while representing FOSS). We then further reflected upon learning the likely nature of the long term approach Mr Lee may be comfortable with. These details are not available to share pending final (unsigned) contracts, which we plan to circulate publicly, so our board may review your comments as we consider them.
You say that you will help change and reset the current Freenode culture, creating a welcoming, friendly and adopting IRC community?
We will work with the Freenode volunteers to look at all aspects of the project's operation and help guide stable professional practices. We hope this will cause less turmoil over time, but there will likely be bumps yet to come.
What about Libere.Chat? Are you leaving and going back to Freenode now? Should we?
We are on Libera.chat to stay! Many of our volunteers prefer Libera.chat. It provides an excellent community and has a talented professional staff. We're not thinking about this in terms of "winning users". We want Freenode to be a healthy place as long as it exists, and our actions are intended to create a transparent, direct, and accountable path toward that to the extend Fosshost may be able to help Freenode achieve it.
You say you are volunteers, but now you have all this money. Are you keeping some? Bonuses?
We're thinking about it. Right now, we have the operating funds we need for a long time. Bringing in full-time staff, most likely a network/platform engineer, would be a massive boost for our tenants and enormously increase our operating risks. We will likely make little money or money like gifts to all of our volunteers (probably excluding the directors) as a gesture of thanks for creating our project's success.