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Room owners and moderators have the ability to remove stars from chat rooms. When should they use this ability and when should they refrain from using it?

I've had several stars now removed in a particular chat room pretty much immediately after I starred the posts. I would personally consider unstarring without some very obvious reason to be an abuse of the privilege, and I'm curious what our guidelines should be on when this privilege should be used.

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14  
Anything that conflicts with the room owner, especially if it's a valid, cogent argument against their world view, certainly does not belong. –  random Feb 14 '12 at 0:04
    
The Chat FAQ may be instructive here, especially the sections "What can we chat about?" and "Do I have to be nice?" –  Adam Davis Feb 14 '12 at 0:18
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Gosh. I wonder which room you're talking about. (Seriously, we go through enough dealing with those guys on SO; when it comes to chat it might just be easier to avoid the room) –  Michael Mrozek Feb 14 '12 at 1:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I don't see a good reason to unstar anything in a casual chatroom when you wouldn't also delete the chat post. If you want something offensive to be non-prominent but still lurking in the background, that's weird.

In a serious business chatroom it's fair to unstar things that are off-topic. For example, during Town Hall chats for elections, only questions should be starred; in the mod chatroom, only serious posts with important information should be starred during chat-casts, otherwise most stuff goes as long as it doesn't push the important stuff off.

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Matthew Read's answer is spot-on; this is just some historical information on the original motivation:

In the early days of chat development when we started dogfooding (and to a lesser extent still today), we used the "starred" list of the chat dev room as a kind of to-do list/issue tracker. The "Remove all the stars!" functionality was added so we could remove completed/fixed issues from the list.

We try to keep the number of extra chat features that only work in our company-internal rooms as low as possible, and rather solve things with features that also make sense for "normal" chat use. And the "cancel stars" ability does have its use case in certain situations, even if very narrow.

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Presumably anything that is generating a bad reaction or creating An Atmosphere should be remove in the name of, well, moderating the tone.

Also messages about expired events and posts point to or about deleted content.

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