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I got hit with the "automatically move this discussion to chat" in question where I had commented twice, and someone else had commented six times.

I clicked the link to try it out. It did create a chat session and moved a message, but the "automatically move this discussion to chat" link sticks around on the main question. So you can't really say yes, and you can't really say no.

Is that by design?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The comment system was originally designed to remove conversations from questions and answers. The chat system was designed to remove conversations from comments. Comments are now intended to be used for clarification only. All of this is intended to further the end-goal, which is to create a high-quality repository of useful content. Extended discussions in comments detract from that goal.

You do, of course (at your peril) have the option of ignoring the link and continuing the "conversation" in comments. But by design, the comment is meant to be insistent.

In a way, it was nice that the SE network went out of their way to provide such extended facilities for conversation, when such conversation is considered of secondary importance. The chat system they created is one of the finest I've seen. I once thought of chat as being the ghetto, the place where you're sent when nobody wants to talk to you anymore. But that's not true at all. As a moderator, I use the chat facility extensively to talk to other moderators, and have found it to be a reliable and invaluable resource.

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In my sub-community (Delphi questions) nobody uses chat yet, hopefully we'll get that going then, and avoid chatter in questions. Maybe a question owner should have the rights to zap chatter in their own questions (remove the entire long chatter-comment thread).... What do you think? – Warren in Toronto Jul 2 '11 at 19:01
The owner of the question can flag for moderator attention, if the comments are too long, chatty or rude. – Robert Harvey Jul 2 '11 at 19:05

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