Welcome to #buddhism! This began as a channel on the Undernet Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network many years ago.
It is now linked via a relay bot to #buddhism on a number of other networks.
The name of the relay bot is gem3. Users on your local server will appear the same as usual, but users from remote servers will appear like <gem3> [net] <remote_user> Hello World! That is the bot, network name in square brackets, the user speaking, and their message.
The idea of the channel is to support practicing buddhists in their practice, and provide a place online to discuss buddhism in a friendly, inclusive, relaxed environment. Think of it like a coffee shop next door to a monastery.
There are many paths to enlightenment, both within the various buddhist traditions, and also outside of them. Channel participants should be respectful of all paths, and not impose a particular view on any others.
That said, in order to allow any beings a place to seek refuge, certain things aren't appropriate. Trolling or other harmful conduct won't get far. All forms of hatred or intolerance are right out, including sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. Any slurs are discouraged at best. If you feel such things, you aren't required to change your view on them, but you will have to leave those aspects outside of the channel. There are plenty of other places online where you may troll freely, this doesn't need to be another one.
Participants aren't required to stay on-topic all the time, but if someone comes along and wishes to discuss a buddhist topic, please be mindful and let the focus shift to buddhism. If you're engaged in a deep off-topic convo, feel free to take it to private messages or a different channel. It's also encouraged to look for a buddhist angle to any off-topic things that come up.
And what is right speech? Avoiding speech that's false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. This is called right speech.
For IRC access, you'll need an IRC client. You can download an IRC client for your operating system, such as Hexchat (Cross-platform), mIRC (Windows), Colloquy (macOS), or irssi (command line). Alternately, you can use a web-based IRC client at irccloud.com or kiwiirc.com.
Server: us.undernet.org Port: 6667 Abbreviation: [und]
Server: irc.ssl.ircnet.com Port: 6697 (SSL) Abbreviation: [irn]
Server: irc.rizon.net Port: 6697 (SSL) Abbreviation: [rzn]
Server: irc.slashnet.org Port: 6697 (SSL) Abbreviation: [sln]
Server: irc.lunarirc.net Port: 6697 (SSL) Abbreviation: [lnr]
Server: irc.libera.chat Port: 6697 (SSL) Abbreviation: [lba]
Server: irc.choopa.net Port: 9999 (SSL) Abbreviation: [efn]
Server: irc.stardust.cx Port: 6697 (SSL) Abbreviation: [sdn]
You can see a list of users who are currently connected to each server at the userlist. The list isn't updated in realtime (yet), but you can refresh the page whenever you want to update it.
This work is provided freely, for the benefit of limitless beings.