Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Normally, if you try to view a deleted message or a message from a private room, you will not be able to view its content. Deleted messages show as "(deleted)" in the room itself, are absent from the transcript ( + ID of message) and give a 404 if you try to view history. Ordinary users cannot access private rooms directly or through the transcript, and history for those messages gives a 404.

But if you know the ID of the message you want to view (and this is guessable especially on low-traffic chat sites like meta.stackoverflow), you can view the contents, needing only 20 rep to be able to post a chat message. To do it, post a chat message + ID of message

on any chat site, and the message will be oneboxed.

For example, from (where I am not a moderator), I can view the contents of a deleted message by entering


Similarly, I can view a message from the private Trashcan room, and even a deleted message from the private Trashcan room:


I can even view a message from the super-secret moderator-only Teachers' Lounge room by writing


The message contents are visible from when logged-out, by browsing to the chat room. See

Related: When deleting a comment, it remains in the chat

share|improve this question
Uh... Am I missing something, or did you just post as bunch of messages that you, as a mod on, already had access to? – Shog9 Feb 9 '13 at 7:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

That's a bold claim, but it's wrong.

You need more than just 20 rep on Meta for causing those messages to onebox. You also need access to the message – which you incidentally have, since you're a moderator on and thus on

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .