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Right now if I try to start a chat page with a user with a reputation of 1, it spits out the common:

User X on has Y reputation, not yet enough to chat

I certainly understand that the user should not be able to start a chat themselves but why can't I (reputation 16k) start a chat with them? Typically if I'm trying to help some semi-interactively they'll most likely be a low reputation user! What ends up is that we have a monstrous comment session which doesn't sound very useful for posterity.

Maybe we need another reputation level which is something like:

Able to start chat with low reputation users.

Since I'm at 16k we can make that, let's say, 15k. :-) Thanks, as always, for SO!!

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The problem is that the low rep user will be given limited use of a feature, and it will be a bit frustrating when they realize that they can't use it without a high rep "sponsor". We see that all the time with comments and users with less than 50 rep, they know the feature is there, but somehow can't access it, and they just give up and post their comments as answers. –  Yannis Jun 6 '12 at 20:03
3  
Well @Yannis, they are being denied now anyway because of their reputation. I don't see how allowing me to "sponsor" the chat is going to somehow make it worse. Seems to me that at least it helps me out as well as improves the site usability. –  Gray Jun 6 '12 at 20:06
    
I'm not against this, it might work, and if it does save us from monstrous comment sessions, I'm all for it. –  Yannis Jun 6 '12 at 20:09
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I've sometimes wanted that myself. But just to tease you, I suggest it become a 17.5K privilege ;) –  Daniel Fischer Jun 6 '12 at 20:21
    
@DanielFischer hmm well there's nothing beyond the 20K privilege now... –  Some Helpful Commenter Jun 6 '12 at 21:05
    
+1 @Gray: Good suggestion! I share that frustration too :( and would definitely like it if this could be implemented :) –  Siddharth Rout Jun 6 '12 at 21:20
    
You aren't the first to think so. This link has a work-around: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/99491/… –  Mark Ransom Jun 6 '12 at 22:17
    
@Mark Correct me if I am wrong but that work-around doesn't work any more? –  Siddharth Rout Jun 7 '12 at 0:23
    
@SiddharthRout, I haven't used a chat room since then so you'll have to tell me. –  Mark Ransom Jun 7 '12 at 0:46

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