Since my comment yesterday to an answer by Jeff to the question with the very same title seems to have gone unnoticed, I feel the need to post this officially.

According to Jeff's answer, that room was closed because "there appears to be zero programming discussion in it." Note that the room's tagline was

Rule #1: Enter the room, Introduce yourself, with Gender Rule #2: No Technical discussion here Rule #3: Break all the rules and enjoy the life :P (if better is possible, good is not enough..)

Yesterday, some message was flagged which I looked closer at, and it came from this room, which turned out to have the very same tagline. I can't help but assume that it exists for the same (wrong) reasons as the one that was closed.

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Educated guess: The room that was closed, wasn't closed because it had no technical discussion, but because some (most?) of the discussions were deemed inappropriate. Since a lot of the discussions in the new room are in a language I don't know, I have no idea what's going on in there and whether this room should be closed as was the previous one. The tagline alone, however, strongly hints that this room also needs to be looked closely by the moderators... –  Yannis Jul 10 '12 at 10:29
@Yannis: That, or something similar, has been said about the C++ room quite often. Always, though, was "C++" included as a possible topic of the room. And, surprisingly, C++ discussions indeed do come up in the C++ room. As well as discussions about Java, .NET, Python (just an hour ago), operating systems (right now), and whatnot. The lounge's purpose is not to never talk about programming, it's to be a place where programmers hang out. So it's a wild mix. We keep repeating the "sex, drugs, and C++" tagline because users come there when they are too lazy to write a question for SO proper. –  sbi Jul 10 '12 at 10:34
@Yannis: As for what the room I pointed out is all about: I only speak German and English, so I don't know, really, whether the room's topics are appropriate or not. That's why I am asking for support here, after all. I only noticed that this is a room with the very same tagline as the one that was closed down for being totally off-topic, so I thought I'd better ask. –  sbi Jul 10 '12 at 10:36
Hope you realize my first comment wasn't exactly serious, was fooling around a bit. As for the closed room, I'm not convinced it was closed (only) for being totally off topic, whatever Jeff says in his answer. Don't know for sure, and wouldn't/couldn't share if I did, but my spider sense is tingling, there's something more there. Perhaps a more... interesting definition of totally off topic. Anyway, the point is that the new room is worth investigating. –  Yannis Jul 10 '12 at 10:41
@Yannis: No offense taken, and I thought your statement is friendly teasing. Still, I felt the need to explain the difference, as some at meta have an, erm, quite peculiar opinion about the C++ room, which I don't feel needs to be fed. –  sbi Jul 10 '12 at 14:30
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2 Answers

up vote 23 down vote accepted

I've noticed that many users, especially Indian ones, use the chatrooms as a place to socialize (nothing related to the site/topic, just IMing), as well as to garner votes.

Many of the users in these rooms aren't even active on SO/SE, they just chat

Also, these rooms are usually in Romanized Hindi (or another Indic language), so the mods just leave them alone.

A few weeks back, I'd taken up the task of keeping an eye on these Indian chat rooms. We had deleted, and I had found some others:

(and more, but I don't have a list of those)

But I was able to find a bit of technical discussion in each, so I didn't escalate the issue.

Most of the banter in these rooms comprises of small talk, jokes, and flirting. There's a bit of technical discussion, though I dunno if it's enough to allow their existence by Jeff's rules--I feel that they just ought to be deleted..

Update: It's been deleted, along with the others.

If you find any more such rooms, please let me know in chat or in the comments here. I already have a list of these rooms, which I shall go through one by one and request deletion if necessary.

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Glad to see our official Indian chat room exterminator already hard at work ;P –  Yannis Jul 10 '12 at 10:50
@YannisRizos: :P Not really hard at work, though--I slacked off from that after I found that there was some technical discussion (veeery leetle though), and Jeff's criteria allowed chat rooms with a bare minimum. This list I compiled from the transcript of the chat moderation room. –  Manishearth Jul 10 '12 at 10:52
flirting? wow –  Pëkka Jul 10 '12 at 11:58
@DiscountGucciHandbags: Yes, flirting. Borders on sexual harassment sometimes. Pestering for email addys, etc as well. And loads of other stuff. –  Manishearth Jul 10 '12 at 12:25
Well that's just creepy –  Ben Brocka Jul 10 '12 at 14:04
Thanks for looking into this, Manish! –  sbi Jul 10 '12 at 14:05
@Discount: We're talking a society here that's been preferring male fetuses over female ones for a very long time, and for decades now has access to the medical tools to satisfy that preference. They have between 5-20% more males there than females. Of course those boys are desperate. –  sbi Jul 10 '12 at 14:14
@sbi Unfortunately true... Though it's not just that, really, it's also how such things are tolerated in society. A girl won't complain to someone else, because such things (harassment, rape) impinge on her honor. So these things, as well as their lesser forms (what we see in the chat rooms) go by unnoticed. IMO, it's not due to desperation as much as it is due to such stuff being "the norm" and tolerated. –  Manishearth Jul 10 '12 at 14:20
@Manish: Yes, I believe you that this, too, is a problem. However, I was merely referring to the puzzlement that someone would attempt to flirt at SO. –  sbi Jul 10 '12 at 14:26
Sigh Just to note, not everyone of indian extraction approves of such a thing. I will gladly throw a very large book if i can at such things, especially if there's a flag. There's a good bunch of users of indian extraction or from there. It isn't really a norm in my own culture, to the south, where we actually respect women to an extent. Please don't judge us based on these idiots :) –  Journeyman Geek Jul 11 '12 at 5:17
@JourneymanGeek: No, we're not judging everyone (I'm Indian myself). We're just saying that you see this more amongst Indians. In fact, SO has lots of problems with Indian users--bad grammar, vote rings, etc. I'm not saying that the majority of Indian users do this--I'm saying that the majority of such stuff is from Indians. Subtle difference :) –  Manishearth Jul 11 '12 at 5:21
No offence taken, just wanted to point out the other side of it, and for some reason, whatever pride i have in the country of my extraction seems slightly hurt that people do these silly things ;p. –  Journeyman Geek Jul 11 '12 at 5:24
@JourneymanGeek: Same here. I can easily realize when it's an Indian doing it, and I cringe every time. –  Manishearth Jul 11 '12 at 5:27
I'm all for it. Those rooms are breeding grounds for trolls. –  Octavian Damiean Jul 11 '12 at 8:03
@Reno: Rest assured, I already know of most of those rooms (except two of them, thanks for that ^.^ ). But there are I also do know that many users come here just to chat, and that's part of what I'm trying to stop. (I have a list of users who are constant visitors of such rooms as well, I can use their profiles to dig out more such rooms--and keep track of the respawning). Next time, let me know via a comment or in chat (You can find me here: Also: good catch about ninjaturtle, he's been called out before. I let an so mod know :) –  Manishearth Jul 11 '12 at 8:23
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I've noticed that some of the rooms have started to be closed. However, there is a corollary effect:

Some rooms have been plagued in the past by users who just come into the rooms to chat, disrupt and troll. In the past couple of months this hasn't been happening because they've moved on to these content-free rooms.

Now that the spurious rooms are starting to be closed - they are coming back into the technical rooms and dropping the signal to noise ratio.

I feel what is really needed is a policy of what constitutes disruptive behaviour in a chat room and some sort of sanction.

Or at least some kind of community guidance on how to deal with them.

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I felt the same need; we now have an official policy…. Please refer users to that if they are plaguing your room with OT chats (again, a bit of OT chat is OK--but the users shouldn't be there just for OT chat). Also, if you feel that a deleted/frozen room was of the constructive-if-a-few-people-weren't-there type, let a mod know. Note that in my cleanup, I am trying to identify such rooms and exclude them(instead of requesting deletion, I'll just notify the involved users) –  Manishearth Jul 11 '12 at 14:50
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