What’s up with all the monsterhigh.edu hostnames? That’s not a real domain name is it?

No, it's not a real domain name. It actually cannot be one. See this Wikipedia article for why that is the case.

The meaning of the hostnames is different depending on which subdomain they are.

  • students.monsterhigh.edu: Real users with a custom hostname and ident set by the server.
  • alumni.monsterhigh.edu: If you EVER see a user with this one who is not using the nicknames Danni, Penny, Batgirl, or Penguin report it immediately! No legitimate users will ever have this hostname. It was used by Clawdia when she was alive. Some of Penny's and Danni's IRC operator logins set this hostname still, but work is being done to eliminate those.
  • ghouls.monsterhigh.edu: These are bots, 100% of the time. Only bots named after the female Monster High characters are allowed to use these.
  • mansters.monsterhigh.edu: Same as the above ghouls one, but for the bots named after the male characters. Trust me, it makes sense in context.
Can I discuss a moderation/administration issue related to abdlstoryforum.info?

That depends a great deal on what you mean by "discuss". If you have a complaint about moderator's decision, you should appeal the decision to Danni via the forums or via issues@abdlstoryforum.info.

If you mean "discuss" as in "talk about a decision with others" then that is a different matter. While you can talk about it, be aware that none of the moderators nor admins present in the channel will get involved in the discussion.

What do those characters in front of some people’s names indicate?

In all channels, the characters !, ~, &, @, %, and + all indicate various levels of channel status.

  • !: IRC Operator (server moderators) in the channel on official business. You always do what they say. No exceptions.
  • ~: Channel Founder/Owner. With the exception above, these are the users who have final say in a channel. There are some special exceptions to this for official channels. We'll address that below.
  • &: Channel Admins. These are channel moderators the Founder/Owner has designated to moderate the channel in their abscence. Realistically, most channels will not use this mode.
  • @: The standard channel moderator flag you'll see for most channels. This is the type of moderator you're most likely to see in unofficial channels.
  • %: Halfops. These are moderators assigned by a channel founder with very limited access to do things like ban and kick users. They cannot affect users with @, &, ~, or ! modes.
  • +: Voiced users. These are users who are allowed to speak even if a channel is set to moderated status. All operator levels (!, ~, & and @), include this exception automatically.
You said there are exceptions in official channels. What are those exceptions?

In official channels, ! is used by some special bots whose primary purpose is to log the chats. They are granted this mode to protect them from being kicked by anyone but Danni.

~ in official channels will always be an account belonging to either Danni or Penguin, and this may include bots they own such as the official logging bots Howleen and Clawdeen (they manually set themselves to the higher protected status of ! after joining most channels)

We use & in official channels for all human moderators to ensure they can disable user-owned bots if necessary.

@ in all channels, bots belonging to BotServ get this mode. They don't require it, but people tend to get weirded out when a bot bans someone without being a moderator, so it's purely cosmetic. In official channels, the only moderators who get this mode are the bots owned by BotServ.

We do not use half-ops in any official channel so you won't see the % prefix.

Can anyone see my IP address on IRC?

Only our IRC Operators can see your IP address. We use a very strict method of hostmasking to prevent normal users from ever having access to your IP address, or even anything that would identify who your Internet Service Provider is. We take user privacy very seriously.

How do I get a custom hostname?

Currently, we will only grant custom hostnames in the following circumstances:

  • IRC Operators - A default hostname is assigned to their oper login
  • Users who use SASL authentication - This is necessary for custom hostnames to be set properly before the auto-join to #general happens. Note that while technically the public web client does use SASL authentication, we will not grant custom hostnames to the public web client users any longer.
  • Donors - The web client available to donors when configured correctly uses SASL authentication and thus supports custom hostnames properly
  • Users who have static IP addresses - While we do require a donation of $2 due to the manual nature of the setup, if your IP address is truly static, we will grant you a custom hostname that gets set when you connect. This is the only option if you do not register with NickServ.

Do note that while we do not currently have any configured, we may in the future setup generic ones that any user can use by issuing a special command.