Internet Relay Chat

The "voice" attribute (+v) can be applied to users in a moderated (+m) IRC channel by a channel operator. It allows the said users to "speak" in the channel. The mode is redundant for channel operators, who can always speak.

Usage: "hey sugrGIRL13, u voice me?"

The moderated/voice attributes are commonly used in two ways:

  1. To run a moderated discussion over IRC. Participants send questions and comments by private message to a moderator, who can either present the comments himself or "voice" the user to let her speak.
  2. In conjunction with an IRC "bot," to secure a channel that comes under frequent attack.
The second use warrants a bit more explanation. Here's the scenario: an IRC bot that lives in the channel maintains a list of users who are persona non gratis. When a banned user joins the channel, the bot kicks them and sets a ban on the channel itself for a certain length of time. (IRC supports only a few bans on the channel at once.)

However, there can be a delay of several seconds between the time the malicious user joins the channel and the time that the bot kicks him. This time allows the invader to spout invective--sometimes a problem in a family-oriented channel.

To prevent this, the channel can be kept in moderated state all the time. When any user joins, the channel bot checks her username against the list of banned users; if she is not on the list, it "voices" her. This is highly effective at curbing malefactors, but can result in frustration for everyone else when the IRC network is "lagging": if a user joins on the far side of the lag, the bot may not see him for some time.