What should be the limits for chat bots interacting with regular users?
Quite a premise isn't it, that the bots need to be limited in the first place? I don't think they do.
In the c# chat room we have multiple bots. They do not use the auto-greet feature, one of them is the Zirak creation CapricaSix.
It is used for utility, mostly as a thesaurus, and no one ever complains about it. How should we limit our thesaurus?
Perhaps it should only do this or that? Perhaps. It was configured to be in line with the culture of the room, just as almost every chat room is guided by its own unique culture. If there was an issue with the bot in the SU room, then the room should deal with it because we sure as heck didn't notice any exploits or annoyances while there was commotion there.
I am sure the SU room is a great place. They had some fun with the bot because bots can be fun when they are first used. Once the novelty of it wears off (and I am sure this post is contributing to that at a rapid pace) then the bot will more than likely calm down.
"Boys will be boys", which is to say, it was just a little bit of fun.
There are more than enough constructs in place to deal with abusive users. The bots are, after all, users. If they are abusive or offensive, then take action against them as you would a user. Click on one of their message's "message actions" arrow, select "flag for moderator" and then explain what is happening.
Chat is kind of a free for all in some ways. It is regulated by SE guidelines, but it can get terse at times because those guidelines are rather broad.
There really don't seem to be any direct rules dictating greeting messages. Sometimes I will greet someone who is new to the room, sometimes I will greet someone who is a regular, and sometimes I do nothing. My personal habits are not as predictable because I am a person and they depend on my mood and the other user.
The configuration of the bot in that scenario is the error, not greetings in general. And in this specific case, I think it was not intentional to spam, abuse the bot, or drive users away. It was just a side affect of product testing. Cool new feature! Turn on all the things!
If you can't handle one ping for joining a room then perhaps chat isn't for you. If your room is being spammed by greetings, then perhaps those greetings should be tampered down. But I do not think that greetings are bad, I personally enjoy joining to a hello, or seeing someone join the room with a greeting that they have arrived.
I had assumed when I first read this post we were talking about generalizations. I read through most of the content here but did not realize there was a lot more to this situation than this post or a broad statement.
With regards to the exact Root Access room, and a claim that it should be ruled with an iron fist because it is part of StackExchange and not a single exchange, I just don't buy it.
If the bot is not spamming, and is only welcoming new users to the chat room, then to me it does not seem to be egregious.
I respect balpha, and if he makes a decision about a room he has direct interest in then I wont argue with that. However, if that room is so important, it seems odd to have users be owners of it, and even more interesting that no moderators are owners.
To me, it is just another room, and they are just trying to help new users stay on topic as is defined in the faq.
Another point to make here is that users do not have to join a room in order to read its contents. Merely clicking on the transcript will allow inspection of the topicality of the room and what the recent messages have been. Joining implies participation.