Free as in freenodeJonathanD on 2009-09-15
Most of you are probably familiar with the various freedoms that are frequently stated, such as freedom of speech or expression. While freenode does exist to promote communication amongst free and open source projects, it is not an open forum for all to use in any way.
The purpose and goals of freenode are simple, but often misunderstood. Freenode is a privately operated special purpose irc network, aimed at improving communication between developers, and users, and others interested in free and open source software. These people and their ability to communicate efficiently are our primary concern and focus. The "free" in freenode in intended to indicate this goal, and our commitment to providing a collaboration platform for those with an interest in free and open source software, rather than "freedom of speech or expression".
As a private network, we do reserve the right to limit the sort of content allowed on freenode. Some of things considered on and offtopic are outlined here.
Hopefully this clears up a little about what the "free" in freenode actually stands for (and what we do, as well).