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Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an old chat protocol, being designed in 1988. IRC clients are simple and available for every platform imaginable, including your old Nintendo DS. IRC is fully decentralized, with anybody being able to run a server. There are numerous large networks with their own histories. With the advent of modern chat platforms that are more mobile-friendly among other advantages, IRC usage has been on the decline, and lately (2019) it is being abandoned even by techie folks.

IRC network aggregators

There are a few IRC network aggregators, but the biggest one is probably, which also scrapes channels, their historical topics and number of users.

IRC networks

On 2019-04-26, Mozilla announced the plan to deprecate and decommission its IRC network in the "next small number of months"[1], with the Rust community already making the move to Discord[2].

IRC logs

IRC servers typically do not provide logs. Clients usually keep local logs of chats, however, unless run on a reliable server running 24/7 those logs will contain blind spots.

There is an implicit agreement between IRC participants to not publish IRC logs. However, some channels have a notice about public logs in their topic. Some logs are available online, for example:

List of IRC URLS

Instant messengers
First generation IRCICQAIMMSN MessengerXMPPSkypeGoogle Talk
Second generation Facebook MessengerWhatsAppKikSnapchatLineTelegramDiscord