- What is the purpose of the op? What are you trying to accomplish? What kind of message are you trying to spread? Make sure that the operation has a foundation that has been thoroughly thought out so that the op doesn't have to suffer later because of poor planning.
- Why should people care about the op? The op is nothing if no one cares about it. Clearly, you care about it so you had better be able to tell the rest of us why we should also care. While we encourage ops, it should also be said that not every grievance and/or government wrongdoing is a reason to rally an op.
- What are the relevant/vital pieces of information relating to the op? Assume nobody else but you know anything about the topic of the op. Gather the more important information that will get people up to speed quickly.
- How will you communicate the op to the public? Whether you are going to use Facebook, Twitter, videos, press releases, etc. have a solid plan on how to execute and spread the op.
How To Start An OP
This document provides simple guidelines on creating an operation (op) within AnonOps. If you have any questions after reading through the guide, come ask us in our IRC channel, #How2StartAnOp. It is highly recommended that you read all the way through this guide at least once before you start following the steps to create your op.
First things first, check to see if the op you want to start has already been created by someone else or if there's an op with a similar enough topic that you can discuss merging your op with that existing one. After all, there's really no need for 14 different op channels all trying to do the same thing, when there could be one channel with all those people working together and getting much more accomplished. If you don't know how to find a list of channels, you need to read this: https://newblood.anonops.com/basics.html.
Before you move forward with the idea, there are few things you should take into consideration:
Once you have gone through the checklist, it may be a good idea to prepare a press release that consolidates the information/data you have collected. This way, you can link people to a single document about your op that will help them get started.
There are many services you can use to host the press release, some of the more popular being pastebin and Riseup pad. Note that if you use an etherpad, such as Riseup pad or Titanpad, anyone who has the link to the pad can edit it, meaning that your press release can easily be edited or even deleted entirely (in other words, beware of trolls). On the other hand, etherpads are a very good tool to use to collaborate on press releases, as several people can contribute at once, whereas most paste services (such as pastebin) do not allow edits to be made.
The general format of an operation press release is as follows:
- Title: Hopefully this is pretty self-explanatory, much as your title should be. Aim for a short, easy to understand title. You don't want your readers getting bored before they even get past the title!
- Mission statement: This is the "Greetings, citizens of the world" section. There are two methods typically used to write this part of a press release (some brave writers choose to try both):
- The first is an open letter to your target, letting them know that you mean business. An example of this type of letter can be found here: http://pastebin.com/nA2t8ind.
- The second is an open letter to your fellow anons that serves as a call to action. An example of this type of letter can be found here: http://pastebin.com/VQLMN9ui.
- No matter how you choose to write your mission statement, make sure that it very clearly explains both the background of your operation and your goals for the operation.
- How you can help: Make sure that you give people who want to participate clear directions on how they can help - direct them to your irc channel, explain what actions are needed, and consider providing a list of any links that may be useful, e.g. social media accounts, tutorials, or news stories.
Pay particular attention to how you are wording your press release. Many ops have failed to attract people simply because of terribly-written press releases. This is not the place to rant about how if X person is elected president, a genocide will occur and volcanoes will explode and night will never end. In other words, present your point of view in a clear, level-headed manner. Hyperbole and sheer ridiculousness will serve only to drive people away from your op - not to draw them in.
Setting up your channel
You must have a registered nickname on AnonOps in order to create a channel. I'll say that again: You must have a registered nickname on AnonOps in order to create a channel. Don't have a registered nickname? You won't be able to create a channel. If you need help registering your nickname, read this: https://newblood.anonops.com/basics.html.
The first thing you need to do is join the channel you want to create. You should be the only person in this channel. If you join and there are other people in the channel, you've joined a channel that already exists - and you won't be able to register it. Try again with a different channel name. Once you've joined the channel you want to create, it's time to do a whole bunch of different things to get your channel registered and set up appropriately. Please note that in the following commands, anything in all caps needs to be left exactly the same when you type the command - only change the parts of the command that are in all lowercase letters. In the following list steps 1 and 2 are necessary, while the rest are optional. Also note that any /bs commands will not work unless you have completed step 2.
1. Register your channel:
/CS REGISTER #yourchannel description
This command registers the channel, making you the founder and giving you operator privileges. The description is just a short description of your channel, and is completely optional.
2. Add a service bot:
/BS BOTLIST then /BS ASSIGN #yourchannel botname
The first command lists all of the available service bots. They all have exactly the same functions, so it does not matter which one you choose. The second command assigns your chosen bot to your channel. It will join automatically and will remain in your channel until it is unassigned or your channel is dropped.
* Set a successor:
/CS SET SUCCESSOR #yourchannel successorsnickhere
This command sets someone as the successor of the channel, meaning that if your nickname expires or is dropped, they will become the new founder of the channel and have total control over it. You don't need to do this immediately, and it's a very good idea to take some time to consider who you would want to run the channel for you if you weren't around. It's also important to ASK someone if they want to be set as the successor - you don't want someone taking over the channel who doesn't want anything to do with it! In the words of someone very smart, "make sure the successor is not overall a piece of shit."
* Set the channel topic:
/CS TOPIC #yourchannel yourtopic
This command sets a topic for your channel. The topic will be displayed to all users when they enter the channel. This is where you should put some basic information about your op. Consider including links to your press release, any important dates/times of activities, and instructions for new users to follow to help. If your op involves any questionable activity, PLEASE use the topic to inform people in the channel to join #opnewblood and learn how to secure themselves before doing anything potentially dangerous. Do everything you can to ensure the safety of everyone participating in your op.
* Set topiclock on/off:
/CS TOPIC #yourchannel LOCK on/off
This command gives you more control over who is able to edit the topic. If you set topiclock on, ChanServ will only allow the topic to be changed using the previous command, allowing you to toggle who can edit the topic by adjust access levels (this will be discussed later). The value of topiclock is definitely debatable. If you're unsure why you would want to set it on, don't worry about it.
* Turn on keeptopic:
/CS SET KEEPTOPIC #yourchannel ON
This command allows the channel topic to be remembered by ChanServ, meaning that the topic will remain even if everyone leaves the channel. If you don't set this and everyone leaves the channel, the topic will be deleted.
* Turn on kick for flood:
/BS KICK #yourchannel FLOOD ON
This command sets the service bot to kick anyone who floods the channel.
This prevents unwanted spam and bot floods, and is very important. The default setting for the service bots to kick someone is 6 lines in 10 seconds. If you're feeling brave, you can adjust the default settings by amending settings to the command: /BS KICK #yourchannel FLOOD ON ttb ln sec Where ttb is the number of times the user can get kicked before they are banned (so you would replace ttb with a number, such as 3), and ln is the number of lines that they can post in a number of seconds, indicated by sec. So if you wanted the bot to kick people for posting more than 3 lines in 5 seconds, and to ban them after kicking them for flooding twice, the command would look like this: /BS KICK #yourchannel FLOOD ON 2 3 5.
* Turn on kick for repeat:
/BS KICK #yourchannel REPEAT ON
This command will kick users that repeat themselves, also preventing spam. The default number of times someone can repeat themselves without getting kicked is 3. You can adjust the default settings by amending them to the command: /BS KICK #yourchannel REPEAT ON ttb num where ttb is the number of times the user can get kicked before they are banned and num is the number of times a person can repeat themselves before being kicked.
* Set dontkickops on:
/BS SET DONTKICKOPS #yourchannel ON
This command prevents your channel operators from getting kicked by the service bot.
* Set dontkickvoices on:
/BS SET DONTKICKVOICES #yourchannel ON
This command prevents people with voice in your channel from getting kicked by the service bot.
* Turn on peace:
/CS SET PEACE #yourchannel ON
This command makes it so that users with a lower access level cannot kick, ban, or mute users with a higher access level than them. This is a good idea to set if you're having problems with your channel operators and half-operators getting along (although making them get along is a much better option).
* Toggle signkick:
/CS SET SIGNKICK #yourchannel on/off
This command turns on or off the signed kicks feature. When signkick is on, the nickname of the operator or half-operator who kicked a user from the channel will be added to the kick message (in other words, you can see who kicked someone from a channel). When signkick is off, you cannot see who kicked someone from a channel. Most channels have signkick off.
* Set kick for badwords on:
/BS KICK BADWORDS #yourchannel ON ttb
This command allows the bot to kick users for using words that you have placed on the badwords list using the command /BS BADWORDS #yourchannel ADD word.
Setting channel operators
Great, now you have your channel set up. Now comes the hard part: managing your channel. There are a lot of things to consider regarding channel management: how to handle bots and trolls, how to direct and organize people, and how to do these things as efficiently as possible. If you followed all the steps in the previous section, you've already done a lot to manage bots - that's what the channel flood protection, repeat protection, and badwords settings are for. You can let the services bot worry about those things to take some pressure off of you. However, you're still going to need some actual people managing your channel to deal with trolls and to direct and organize people.
This is where a lot of op channels fail. Again, this is where a lot of op channels fail. Once more: This is where a lot of op channels fail. If you do not have a good team to manage your op, it will fall apart no matter how solid the idea behind it is. This is a guarantee. Do not think you will be the exception to this - you won't be. There are some basic ideas and principles to consider:
Just because someone is on the access list in another channel does not mean they should be on the access list in your channel. Similarly, just because someone says they are a good half-operator (hop)/operator (op)/super-operator (sop) does not mean they are. Make sure that anyone you add to the access list in your channel is someone who wants to help in your channel, can help in your channel, and has the capacity to do so (just because someone wants to help manage a channel does not mean that they know how to).
The access list of a channel is meant to contain people who will help manage and run the channel - not necessarily people who are doing all of the work in your op channel. Just because someone does a lot of research for you does not mean that they have the knowledge necessary to manage a channel. Setting the access list of your channel is not the place to reward people for hard work - it is to ensure that your channel is properly managed.
For the love of God, please make sure that anyone you add to the access list is not a raging sociopath. It does your channel no good to have hops/ops/sops who are impatient and unwilling to answer the questions of people new to the channel, and will instead verbally abuse and kick/ban anyone who annoys them in the least. This will simply drive users away from your channel.
There are two different ways to set and control the access list of your channel. The first is the default method on our network, the XOP system. While this system is easier to use, it gives you less control over the access levels and powers of your channel hops/ops/sops. Here is a breakdown of what each level can do:
~ Founder: This is you, the founder of the channel. You have access to all of the commands that the other levels have, and you have the power to add or remove users to the XOP list at any of the other levels.
& Super-operator: Also called SOPs, users added to the XOP system at this level have access to all of the commands that the users at the AOP level do, and can use them on any user that has a lower XOP level than they do.
@ Auto-operator: Also called AOPs, users added to the XOP system at this level have the ability to use any of the bot moderation commands (further explained in the "Channel Moderation" section) and also have the ability to use their client to moderate the channel (also explained in the "Channel Moderation" section).
% Half-operator: Also called HOPs, users added to the XOP system at this level have the ability to use their client to moderate the channel.
+ Voice-operator: Also called VOPs, users added to the XOP system at this level can speak when the channel is muted.
To add a user to the XOP system, use the command
!xOP ADD nick
where x is replaced with the level you want the user added to: S for SOP, A for AOP, and so on.
To delete a user from the XOP system, use the command
!xOP DEL nick
where x is replaced with the level that the user is at. If you want to check who is on your XOP list and at what level, you can use the command
/CS ACCESS #yourchannel LIST
which will provide you a list of all the users on the XOP list and their level.
Using ACCESS levels ("AXX List")
If you have any sense of decency and don't want to kill puppies, you won't use the XOP system and will instead use the ACCESS system, which gives you much more control over the access levels and powers of your channel hops/ops/sops. To turn off the XOP system and activate the ACCESS system, use the command
/CS SET #yourchannel XOP OFF.
The greatest benefit to this system is, by far, the ability to have a great variety of user access levels with customized access to certain commands. Here is a breakdown of what each level can do with the default settings:
~ Founder: This is exactly the same as the XOP founder setting.
& Levels 10-9999: These levels are identical to the SOP setting in the XOP system. While a user with an access level of 10 has access to the exact same commands as a user with an access level of 9999, note that the user with the access level of 10 cannot kick, ban, or mute the user with the access level of 9999 if you set PEACE on (step 11 of "Setting Up Your Channel"), but the user with the access level of 9999 can kick, ban, and mute the user with the access level of 10.
@ Levels 5-9: These levels are identical to the AOP setting in the XOP system. Again note that users with a higher access level in this bracket can kick, ban, or mute users in this access level bracket with a lower access level than them, but the reverse is not true.
% Level 4: This level is identical to the HOP setting in the XOP system.
+ Level 3: This level is identical to the VOP setting in the XOP system.
To adjust these default levels, type
/CS HELP LEVELS
and read the provided documentation. In many cases, there is no reason that you would need to change the levels.
To add a user to the access list, type
/CS ACCESS #yourchannel ADD nick level
where level is a number such as 4 or 5.
To delete a user from the access list, type
/CS ACCESS #yourchannel DEL nick
If you want to view a list of who is on the access list and at what level, use the command
/CS ACCESS #yourchannel LIST
Now we're back to the easy stuff! This is the idiot's guide to how to moderate a channel:
* Kicking: You can accomplish this one of two ways. The first is by using your client, which allows you to use the /KICK nick command. Some clients also allow you to right-click a nickname in the userlist and kick them from an options menu. The other method is using the services bot to kick someone, using the command !KICK nick. A user that has been kicked can rejoin the channel right away unless a rejoin timer has been set. This is primarily useful as a warning to a user who is starting to get out of line.
* Muting: You can use the services bot to mute a user with the command !MUTE nick. Many clients also allow you to right-click a nickname in the userlist and mute them using an options menu. This keeps the person who was muted from being able to speak in the channel until you have removed the mute, and is very useful when a user is causing minor problems in your channel after having been repeatedly warned and told to stop. They are typically very short-term. Mutes can be removed by using the command !UNMUTE nick or by using your client (in hexchat, use the menu path Window > Ban list).
* Banning: This can also be accomplished using either your client or the services bot. To use your client, use the command /MODE #yourchannel +b *!*@* where at least one of the wildcards (*) is replaced with information from the user's hostmask (using the form of [email protected]). If you don't replace at least one wildcard, you will ban everyone from your channel. Don't do that. You will be mocked. A hostmask ban (*!*@AN.somenumbersandlettershere.IP) is typically used. Some clients allow you right-click a nickname in the userlist and ban them using an options menu.
To ban someone using the services bot, use the command !BAN nick. Bans are useful when a user is causing major problems in your channel after having been warned to stop. They are typically long-term, and paired with a kick. Once a banned user has been kicked from the channel, they cannot rejoin until the ban is removed. To remove a ban, use the command !UNBAN nick or by using your client (in hexchat, use the menu path Window > Ban list).
There are dozens more settings you can use. Some relate to the service bots, some relate to chanserv, and some are channel modes (which were not covered in this document). It is highly recommended that you spend some time on your own learning about the various commands and settings, all of which are incredibly well-documented and can be accessed using the following commands:
The more you know, the better you will be able to run your channel. If you have questions, simply ask in #How2StartAnOp - we are there to help you successfully start an operation.
Promoting Your OP Using Social Media
While many anons don't use social media for various (and usually obvious) reasons, social media platforms are helpful to bring attention and supporters to your cause. That said it should be fairly self-explanitory to say use them securely and with caution. The anons you may encounter using some social media may be leary or unknowledgeable about using IRC. Be patient with them; social media supporters may often out number the users in an IRC channel during an operation. Your goals should be to gain as much support as you can from wherever you can. Here are a few suggestions to help promote your operation on social media:
* Task a specific person or people with the job of maintaining and posting on all of the social media accounts for the operation. Centralizing the task makes it easy to keep track of whats happening and what work is being done. Make sure that this person can be trusted - many ops have lost valuable social media accounts because a person trusted with access to the accounts had a fight with the founder or someone else and changed all of the passwords.
* Make sure all social media accounts are established with ONE safe secure email address and that the channel founder has access to as well as passwords to each social media account. To reiterate the point made earlier, you don't want to lose access to any accounts.
* Never use any operation related social media accounts without being hidden and secure. We typically recommend using the tools and practices taught in the #opnewblood handbook, however you must tailor your security methods to fit your threat model. There is no "one size fits all" solution to security.
* Post more content than promotional material in social media streams. Content statistically gets far more interaction from a user than the promotion of the page or operation itself. News articles, stories, and other outside information relevant to the subject matter of the operation makes great content for the average user to interact with and have an opinion on.
* Double check your facts. Once you put something on social media, there is really no way of taking it back. If you want your operation to maintain credibility and integrity, make sure the information you are giving out is verified very well first and/or from a credible source.
* Make your operation logos, pages, headers, banners, avatars and other customizable graphical features are creative and visually thought-provoking. Dimensions will vary from site to site, design these to fit the exact dimentions of each and make them visually relative to your subject matter.
* Be consistent. If you say you are going to do something, do your best to deliver. Don't allow social media accounts to sit idle, consistently add content and interact with the other users interested in your cause; that's how you gain individual supporters.
* Don't spam. Twitterstorms are a great way to promote an operation but it's not recommended to tweet more than once every 5 minutes. No one likes spam in their feeds on any social media and an account will often lose followers if it tends to spam its follower's feeds.
* Stay away from the infighting and drama. We all know that social media websites are full of all sorts of drama, from people who simply enjoy causing problems to people intentionally sabotaging operations. You were smart enough to get this far, do yourself a favor and avoid this bullshit at all costs.
* Read the terms and conditions of each social media website in their entirety to know what is acceptable and what is not. A lot of work can be put into building a trusted well maintained social medai account, it is a shame when all that hard work gets removed from the internet because of a violation of terms and conditions.
These are suggestion and are by no means the only ways to promote an operation. #Anonmediacentral and #Propagandadept are two channels on the anonops irc network that can help with software and how-to infomation to create graphics, video and audio promotional materials.
Promoting your OP on IRC
Promoting an operation on IRC is a bit different than on social media and requires some common sense. There are how ever some similarites to the methods mentioned above. Here are some suggestions for promoting your operation within the Anonops IRC network:
+ Don't spam other channels, period. It's rude, against network rules, and it will usually not end well for you. It also draws negative attention toward your op.
+ The main channel, #anonops, is a great place to promote an operation. However, it takes some tact and common sense. Try watching until a conversation has stopped and then make an attempt at starting a conversation that relates to your operation. Don't come right out and say "Hey come join #opblahblahblah", fewer users will hear you out.
If sharing a link is appropriate in another channel, make sure it is to a reliable, safe source: Imgur, Youtube, Twitter, Wikipedia, known news outlets, ect. Don't use short links, and please, for the love of all that is holy, make sure the link you're about to share isn't 3 pages long.
+ Understand that the sharing of links that are a honeypot or are harmful to other users in any way will result in a ban from the network.
+ Be mindful of channel topics when you enter the channel. Some channel operators will not appreciate you barging into their operation and disrupting their work to discuss your own operation. Respect other operations and their moderators.
+ Make sure you and others users participating in promoting your operation in IRC know what they are talking about. Make sure your facts are current and cited with legitimate sources.
For information about Chanserv and it's uses for registering and administrating channels see the main services tutorial at https://anonops.com/services.html.