At around 00:30 UTC today, a global notice was sent out on freenode and mass disconnections occurred. Upon logging in to the "new freenode", all channels and users are completely non-existent. Any existing community which still existed on freenode no longer does. If you had a nick, it is gone too. You can effectively register any channel or nick now.
Global Notices below:
[Global Notice 1/3] We are moving past legacy freenode to a new fork. The new freenode is launched. You will slowly be disconnected and when you reconnect, you will be on the new freenode. We patiently await to welcome you in freedom's holdout – the freenode.
[Global Notice 2/3] If you're looking to connect now, you can already /server chat.freenode.net 6697 (ssl) or 6667 (plaintext). It's a new genesis for a new era. Thank you for using freenode, and Hello World, from the future. freenode is IRC. freenode is FOSS. freenode is freedom.
[Global Notice 3/3] When you connect, register your nickname and your channel and get started. It's a new world. We're so happy to welcome you and the millions of others. We will be posting more information in the coming days on our website and twitter. Otherwise, see you on the other side!