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ChanTracker — a Supybot plugin for ban tracking

This Supybot plugin keeps records of channel mode changes in an SQLite database and permits management of them over time. It stores affected users, enabling deep searching through them, reviewing actives, editing duration, showing logs, marking/annotating them, etc.

The plugin is used in various and large channels on Libera.Chat and other networks. This version works with Python 3.


Note that you may need a newer version of Limnoria than your distribution provides, so you may need to install it from the source code or via PyPI/pip to make the plugin function. (Currently it requires Limnoria version 2018.04.14 or newer.)

You can install the plugin with:

pip3 install git+

Or with Limnoria versions older than 2020.05.08, in your bot's plugins directory:

git clone

Then @load ChanTracker.


@b,q,e,i [<channel>] [--perm] <nick|hostmask>[,<nick|hostmask>] [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s] <reason>
    +<mode> targets for duration; <reason> is mandatory, <-1> or empty means forever,
    add --perm if you want to add it to permanent bans of channel
@ub,uq,ue,ui [<channel>] <nick|hostmask|*> [<nick|hostmask|*>] -- sets -<mode> on them; if * is given, remove them all
@k,r [<channel>] <nick> [<reason>] -- kick or force-part <nick> with <reason> if provided
@edit <id>[,<id>] [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s]
    change expiry of an active mode change; <-1s> means forever, <0s> means remove
@mark <id>[,<id>] <message> -- add comment on a mode change
@editandmark <id>[,<id>] [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s] [<reason>]
    change expiry and mark of an active mode change; if you got this message while the bot
    prompted you, your changes were not saved; <-1s> means forever, <0s> means remove
@info <id> -- summary of a mode change
@detail <id> -- logs of a mode change
@check [<channel>] <pattern> -- returns a list of users affected by a pattern
@affect <id> -- list users affected by a mode change
@match [<channel>] <nick|hostmask#username>
    returns active modes that affect the given target; nick must be in a channel shared with the bot
@query [--deep] [--never] [--active] [--ids] [--channel=<channel>] <pattern|hostmask|comment>
    search in tracking database; --deep to search in logs, --never returns items set forever and active,
    --active returns only active modes, --ids returns only ids, --channel limits results to the specified channel
@pending [<channel>] [--mode=<e|b|q|l>] [--oper=<nick|hostmask>] [--never] [--ids] [--count] [--flood] [--duration [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s]]
    returns active items for --mode, filtered by --oper, --never (never expire), --ids (only ids),
    --duration (item longer than), --count returns the total, --flood one message per mode
@modes [<channel>] [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s] <mode> [<arg> ...]
    sets the mode in <channel> to <mode>, sending the arguments given; <channel> is only
    necessary if the message isn't sent in the channel itself, <delay> is optional
@ops [<reason>] -- triggers ops in the operators channel
@summary [<channel>] -- returns various statistics about channel activity
@weblink -- provides link to web interface

@addpattern [<channel>] <limit> <life> <mode>(bqeIkrd) [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s] <pattern>
    add a <pattern> which triggers <mode> for <duration> if the <pattern> appears
    more often than <limit> (0 for immediate action) during <life> in seconds
@addregexpattern [<channel>] <limit> <life> <mode>(bqeIkrd) [<years>y] [<weeks>w] [<days>d] [<hours>h] [<minutes>m] [<seconds>s] /<pattern>/
    add a <pattern> which triggers <mode> for <duration> if the <pattern> appears
    more often than <limit> (0 for immediate action) during <life> in seconds
@rmpattern [<channel>] <id>[,<id>] -- remove patterns by <id>
@lspattern [<channel>] [<id|pattern>] -- return patterns in <channel> filtered by optional <id> or <pattern>
@addtmp [<channel>] <pattern> -- add temporary pattern, which follows repeat punishments
@rmtmp [<channel>] -- remove temporary patterns if any

@cflood [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if a user sends more than <permit> (-1 to disable) messages during <life> (in seconds)
@crepeat [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>] [<minimum>] [<probability>] [<count>] [<patternLength>] [<patternLife>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if <permit> (-1 to disable) repetitions are found during <life> (in seconds);
    it will create a temporary lethal pattern with a mininum of <patternLength>
    (-1 to disable pattern creation); <probablity> is a float between 0 and 1
@chl [<channel>] [<permit>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) during <duration> (in seconds)
    if <permit> (-1 to disable) channel nicks are found in a message
@cnotice [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if <permit> (-1 to disable) messages are channel notices during <life> (in seconds)
@ccycle [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config  or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if <permit> (-1 to disable) parts/quits are received by a host during <life> (in seconds)
@cclone [<channel>] [<permit>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if <permit> (-1 to disable) users with the same host join the channel
@cnick [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) during <duration> (in seconds)
    if a user changes nick <permit> (-1 to disable) times during <life> (in seconds)
@ccap [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>] [<probability>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if <permit> (-1 to disable) messages during <life> (in seconds)
    contain more than <probability> (float between 0-1) uppercase chars
@cbad [<channel>] [<permit>] [<life>] [<mode>] [<duration>]
    return channel's config or apply <mode> (bqeIkrdD) for <duration> (in seconds)
    if a user triggers <permit> (-1 to disable) channel protections during <life> (in seconds)
@cautoexpire [<channel>] [<autoexpire>]
    return channel's config or auto remove new elements after <autoexpire> (-1 to disable, in seconds)

General Usage

The bot can be used to place and remove bans (rather than the op setting channel modes directly). For example, to quiet the argumentative user 'ian' for 10 minutes and ban the spammer 'ham' for a month:

@q ian 10m argumentative again
@b ham 30d silly spammer
@b foo 1h30m must stop

These can also be done via a private message to the bot, although you must include the channel in the message:

/msg mybigbadbot q #myChannel ian 10m argumentative again
/msg mybigbadbot b #myChannel ham 30d silly spammer

For each of these bans, the nick is used to generate a *!*@host ban. The desired mask can be given directly to the bot instead of the nick. Also note that, by default, the bot will also kick users that have a ban set against them (details below).

Alternatively, the bot can be used to just track the mode changes, with ops using the capabilities of their own IRC clients to set bans. The same sequence as before:

/msg chanserv #myChannel op
/mode #myChannel +q *!*@ranty.ian.home
/msg mybigbadbot 10m argumentative again
/mode #myChannel +b *!*@ham.spam
/kick ham
/msg mybigbadbot 30d silly spammer

If you annotate the bans within 5 minutes of setting them, then you can do so without any additional syntax as above. Otherwise, the pending, edit, mark, and editandmark commands can be used to provide annotations and expiration information. For example, if you had not immediately annotated the quiet:

/msg mybigbadbot query ian!*@*
/msg mybigbadbot pending #myChannel
<mybigbadbot> [#18 +q ian!*@* by me! on 2014-04-13 13:28:16 GMT]
/msg bigbadbot edit 18 20m
/msg bigbadbot mark 18 even more argumentative and EXTREMELY ANGRY
/msg bigbadbot editandmark 18 20m even more argumentative and EXTREMELY ANGRY

ChanTracker also allows you to work out which users would be affected by a ban before it is placed and which bans affect a given user (assuming the bot shares a channel with the user).

/msg bigbadbot check #myChannel *!*@*.com     <-- oops?
/msg bigbadbot match #myChannel ian           <-- will return
<bigbadbot> [#21 +b ian!*@* by me! expires at 2014-04-13 15:20:03 GMT] "even angrier"


If you want the bot to manage its own op status, you must change this setting:

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.doNothingAboutOwnOpStatus False
@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.doNothingAboutOwnOpStatus True

After doNothingAboutOwnOpStatus is changed to False, the bot will deop in each channel it is opped in, so take a look at:

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.keepOp False
@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.keepOp True

You should decrease the ping interval, because when the bot requests a load of data when it joins a channel, sometimes it could be throttled by the server, and the bot will retry at next ping/pong:

@config 60

Here is the list of data requested by the bot at join:

JOIN :#channel
MODE :#channel
MODE :#channel b
MODE :#channel q
WHO #CHANNEL %tuhnairf,1

...and if opped or at first op:

MODE :#channel e
MODE :#channel I

The channel modes that will be tracked are currently defined here (by default bq, and eI if opped -- only ops can see the e and I lists for a channel):

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.modesToAsk
@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.modesToAskWhenOpped
@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.modesToAsk b, q
@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.modesToAskWhenOpped e

The command used by the bot to op itself is editable here, where $channel and $nick will be replaced with the target channel and the bot's nick at runtime:

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.opCommand "PRIVMSG ChanServ :OP $channel $nick"

You can also tell the bot to use ChanServ for quiet and unquiet, if it has the +r flag on Atheme services:

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.useChanServForQuiets True
@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.quietCommand "PRIVMSG ChanServ :QUIET $channel $hostmask"
@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.unquietCommand "PRIVMSG ChanServ :UNQUIET $channel $hostmask"

For more readable date information in output, you should change this:

@config supybot.reply.format.time.elapsed.short True

The bot can have a reporting channel like an -ops channel, where it forwards a lot of important information about channel activity. You can set it globally or per channel:

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.logChannel #myGeneralSecretChannel
@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.logChannel #myChannel-ops

You can use colors in it:

@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.useColorForAnnounces True

You can tweak which information you would like to be forwarded to the reporting channel. Some reporting is activated by default, like topic changes, mode changes, etc. While some are not, like ban/quiet and edit/mark by the bot, etc. Take a look at:

@search supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.announce
@config help supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.announceModes

If desired, the bot can send a private message to the op that sets a tracked mode. Note the op must be known as channel op by the bot; the bot owner automatically has that capability:

@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.askOpAboutMode True

You can add op capability to someone by doing:

@user register opaccount password
@hostmask add opaccount *!*@something
@admin capability add opaccount #myChannel,op

The bot can set a default duration for new tracked mode changes, in order to automatically remove them:

@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.autoExpire 3600 (1 hour)

The plugin can create persistent bans to help manage large ban lists that exceed the IRCd's limits on the length of ban lists. It can remove bans from the IRCd ban list while checking all joining users against its own lists. If a user matches, then the IRCd ban is reinstated:

@config channel #myChannel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.useChannelBansForPermanentBan true
@channel ban add #myChannel *!*@mask
@b #example --perm baduser,baduser2 1w stop trolling (--perm adds computed hostmasks to Channel.ban)

With autoExpire enabled, the IRCd list is pruned as appropriate and bans are rotated in a way to not reveal the pattern used for the match. Due to a Supybot limitation, extended bans are not supported with this feature.

If supported by the IRCd, the bot can track account changes and get GECOS and username information when a user joins the channel. This requires IRCd CAP features:

The plugin also supports extended bans/quiets including $a, $r, $x, and $j (account name, real name, full match, and ban channel). If you want the plugin to support your IRCd's extended bans, please file a feature request or contact us via our IRC channel.

By default, if the bot is asked to set a ban (+b), it will also kick affected users. See:

@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.kickMode
@config supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.kickMessage
@config help supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.kickOnMode

The bot will remove exemption modes (that is exempt e, or invite exempt I) for people banned if doActionAgainstAffected for the given channel is True.

Channel Protection

The plugin has a lot of built-in channel protection features that can be enabled either individually and per-channel, or globally:

  • flood detection
  • low-rate flood detection: flooding but with client rate-limiting
  • repeat detection
  • capslock: detect people who are EXTREMELY ANGRY
  • ctcp: detect sending CTCPs to the channel
  • notices: detect sending notices to the channel
  • hilight: nick spam
  • nick: nick change spam
  • cycle: join/part flood
  • massJoin
  • evades of quiet/bans via gateway (if resolveIp is enabled)
  • clone detection

You should tweak settings to fit your needs, do not use default values. It really depends on the channel's population and usage...

Each of those detections has the same kind of settings:

  • *Permit: (-1 to disable)
  • *Life: time interval over which the bot will track previous messages/behaviour
  • *Mode: allows you to select which action you want to use against the user
  • *Duration: duration of the action taken
  • *Comment: (empty for no comment)

The action modes that can be set are:

  • q: quiet the user
  • b: ban the user
  • k: kick the user
  • r: remove (force-part) the user, if the IRCd has the feature
  • d: debug -- forward action to log channel, if configured

For bans (b and q modes), you can choose the *Duration of the quiet/ban, and set a *Comment for it. The bad settings, when enabled (badPermit > -1) keep track of users who did something wrong during badLife, and can lead to badMode if the user exceeds the limit.

Example: Flood control -- to quiet for 1 minute anyone who sends more than 4 messages in 7 seconds to #channel; if the user continues to flood, after 3 times within 5 minutes they will be banned:

@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.floodPermit 4 <-- max number of messages allowed
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.floodLife 7 <-- in 7 seconds
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.floodMode q <-- quiet the user
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.floodDuration 60 <-- for 60 seconds
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.badPermit 2 <-- if user does that 3 times (more than 2)
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.badLife 300 <-- during 5 minutes
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.badMode b <-- ban them

Additionally, the bot can track how many bad actions occur over a period of time and if a threshold is passed, this constitutes an attack on the channel. The attack* settings, when enabled keep track of bad actions, and if the number exceeds attackPermit within attackLife, some specified channel modes are set for attackDuration.

Example: Bot flooding -- catch a wave of bots which send the same message from different hosts:

@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.attackPermit 2 <-- if bot triggers 3 bad actions (more than 2)
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.attackLife 300 <-- during 5 minutes
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.chantracker.attackMode +rq $~a <-- then bot will set these modes
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.chantracker.attackDuration 1800 <-- for 30 minutes
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.chantracker.attackUnMode -rq $~a <- and bot will set these modes after they passed

Example: A user repeating the same thing:

@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatPermit 3 <-- triggered after 3 similar messages
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatLife 40 <-- keep previous messages during 40 seconds

@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatMinimum 8 <-- minimum size of candidate patterns
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatPercent 0.88 <-- 1.00 for identical message, don't go too low or you will get false positives
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatCount 6 <-- or the number of times a pattern is repeated in a single message
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatPatternMinimum 12 <-- mininum size of temporary lethal pattern
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatPatternLife 120 <-- life duration of those patterns in seconds

@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatMode q <-- quiet
@config channel #channel supybot.plugins.ChanTracker.repeatDuration 3600 <-- for 1 hour

protected Capability

You must remove the protected capability given by default to everyone, because the bot will not do anything against users having this capability:

@defaultcapability remove protected

Other Tips

Maintaining separate bots for the banning/bantracking functions and other factoid, snarfing, or amusement functions is good practice.

If the main purpose of your bot is to manage bans etc and never interact with users, you should remove all plugins from the default capabilities, which will prevent the bot from responding to various commands and being used as a flood tool by others (like with @echo SPAM):

@defaultcapability remove <pluginname>

You could otherwise change the value of supybot.capabilities.default, but be prepared to waste a lot of time each time you add a new user account on your bot. If the setting is changed to False, then when you want to grant access to a command for someone, you must do it this way:

@admin capability add <accountname> User
@admin capability add <accountname> User.whoami
@admin capability add <accountname> whoami

If your bot manages different channels or communities, remove all User.<action> from the default capabilities, create one user per channel/community, and add ops' hostmasks to it -- it's easier to manage this way. Until you have someone with rights in multiple channels/communities, who will need a separate account.

You should keep your bot as quiet as possible. It should not reply to errors, users without capabilities, etc:

@config supybot.reply.error.noCapability True
@config supybot.replies.genericNoCapability ""
@config supybot.abuse.flood.command.invalid.notify False
@config supybot.reply.whenNotCommand False
@config supybot.reply.error.detailed False
@config supybot.replies.error ""
@config defaultcapability remove channel.nicks
@config defaultcapability remove channel.alert
@config defaultcapability remove alias.add
@config defaultcapability remove config
@config defaultcapability remove help
@config defaultcapability remove list

There are other commands that are prone to abuse as well. It's better to use this command:

@config supybot.capabilities.default False

Bugs and Features

Requests can be made via or in #chantracker on


supybot ban management and channel flood/spam/repeat protections plugin





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