I recently got into a really long comment thread with a new member, in this post. It was eventually locked by Gilles, because we are not supposed to use comment threads for discussions.

I actually tried to resolve the discussion in chat, but the user didn't have enough reputation to use the chat feature. Is there another way that this should have been resolved?

  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles: I'm telling you that I tested that hypothesis, and the system told me that he had too little reputation. It is possible that in some haste, I didn't read carefully enough to determine whether or not I needed to make a specific chat room, but the message didn't exactly present me with that proposition. The immediate impression that I got was that it was not possible to move to chat. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2012 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ You may need your own chat user set up and logged in, so the system knows a legit user is calling. Chat accounts are not the same as site accounts, sadly. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Oct 25, 2012 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ @NieldeBeaudrap Ok. That still doesn't make it ok to spam someone else's post. Mok-Kong Shen actually has an account that can participate in chat (his CS account is not associated, I left him a comment suggesting that he associates it). He's waiting for you in the CS.SE general room right now. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2012 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ "good morning. you have 31 messages in you inbox". Oh mama. $\endgroup$
    – Ran G.
    Oct 25, 2012 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Ran G. Sorry; this is actually a corollary of posting comment threads that I hadn't realized until Gilles applied the verb "spam" to the activity. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2012 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


First, please don't carry out extended discussions in comments. Comments are intended to allow readers to request clarifications or provide complements or objections related to a post. Long discussions detract from the generally-useful comments. And especially do not carry out extended discussions in comments on a non-participating user's post: the poster gets an inbox notification for each comment that you make on his post.

There is a place that is intended for discussions: chat. If you feel that a chain of comment replies is going to keep going, please switch to chat (leave a last comment like Let's continue in [chat](http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/2710/computer-science).). You might even see an automated message suggesting going to chat, but don't wait for that automated message (it doesn't trigger in all circumstances where it would be warranted).

Each Stack Exchange site has a associated main chatroom; ours is Computer Science. You can take the discussion there. The main chatroom is open to pretty much anything (with the usual proviso to be nice — in theory, discussions are expected to be at least vaguely related to the site's topic, but this is only enforced in a few dedicated room.

If one of the participants in the discussion has at least 100 reputation (totaled over the whole Stack Exchange network), xe can create a new room instead.

You need 20 reputation and a registered account to participate in chat. If one of the participants has less than 20 reputation, xe can be invited by a moderator or room owner. So the best course of action if you have more than 100 rep and the other user has less than 20 rep is to create a room, grant explicit write access to the other user on the “access” tab of the room's info page, and leave a last comment inviting the user to join you in that chatroom.

If you need assistance with chat and none of the site moderators are around, try the Assembly. All Stack Exchange site moderators are moderators on chat, regardless of where the room is associated (except Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Overflow which have their own chat).

  • $\begingroup$ alas, tried creating a room on another stack exchange and tried to grant write access on the access tab to a new rep 1 user, and it gave me an error and said the user must have 20 pts minimum. if anyone knows a way around this plz let me know, but it appears to be enforced. $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Dec 29, 2012 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ further research: it looks like moderators may have this privilege (of inviting new sub-20 rep user to chat) but not reg users no matter what regular user rep. see invite low rep users to chat and chat migration notification if user has insufficient rep $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Dec 29, 2012 at 16:10

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