Apparently IRC participants don’t really like the idea of their conversations being indexed and searchable. Which is exactly what we said when we first wrote about IRSeek four days ago.The site has now shut down. A blog post explains why:
we have disabled the site…we were under the impression that users in public chat-rooms are aware that their conversations are, by definition, public. Since people are allowed to go in and out of such channels, and anyone could be logging (and most likely automatically logging the conversations in their own IRC client) the channels, it will come as no surprise to users that their chats are available on the web. Also, we assume you are aware of the fact that IRSeek is not the first entity to place IRC logs on the web, and most likely not the last one to do it (ignoring the possibility that chat logs may be stored by others, and not made available to the entire community). We think that users/operators who believe that their discussions on public channels on IRC are private (except their IP, realname, fullname, nickname) are under a serious misconception, with-or-without IRSeek. With that, we read the responses of our users and realize that some are definitely concerned.
Great idea, but people are freaked out about having their IRC chats be public (even though they already are). IRSeek is deadpooled for now.
Update (1/4/08): IRSeek is back up in a limited form. From the IRSeek blog:
Please note that following the concerns voiced by many IRC users we have removed the majority of our content. We are hoping to bring a lot of content back as soon as we get an approval for it, together with a lot of new content.
The service now has both opt-in and opt-out features, and has scaled back its archived conversations from 300 million to 15 million. We’ll see if these moves are enough to pull it out of the deadpool.