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This is something I have faced quite recently. Someone very new to Stack Overflow asked a question, but is not able to communicate properly or exactly understand the answers that has been given for his question. He normally clarifies that in comments. But sometimes, it is necessary to have a one-to-one conversation with the one who has given the answer, so that the comments section is not populated with some trivial comments. So, I just felt that it'd be great if the reputation limit for talking in chat is removed.

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A question or answer should be clear in and of itself. If it isn't then it probably needs to be revised. Comments clear up odds and ends (which may potentially end up being edited into the post if intrinsic to the query / solution.) Disjointing the areas of coverage in this respect isn't a solution. Actually, I don't even think there is a problem... (Plus, you only need 20 rep to chat.) –  Grant Thomas Jul 8 '11 at 11:48
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Its not about the answer being clear or not, just that the OP is not able to clearly implement the answer and has problems with it, –  Balanivash Jul 8 '11 at 11:52
    
    
this is a fine question to ask, we're just not sure we want to open the floodgates to random users for chat at this time. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 10 '11 at 1:51
    
@Jeff: would you consider granting access to those low rep users only if they are invited to a "get a room" chamber (that is, if that feature will be available on demand, and not just when the number of comments reach a certain threshold), in the spirit of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/90969/…? –  VonC Jul 10 '11 at 22:09
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@von we've seen some abuse (ok, actually a lot of abuse) by Android users on chat.so -- however if it was triggered only by extended comment chains that might be OK, because they'd have a hard time gaming that. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 10 '11 at 23:29
    
@Jeff: ok, but how one could "game" a "get a room" chat? It is only for two people, and only if one of the participant (with enough rep) invite the other. –  VonC Jul 11 '11 at 3:48
    
@Jeff: am not talking about "open the floodgates", just that a user with privileges to "create a chat room", be allowed to invite users with less reputation to the chat after a threshold has been reached in the comments. –  Balanivash Jul 11 '11 at 4:29

1 Answer 1

If you can't ask an intelligent & coherent question on the site, then I'm not really sure we want you participating in chat, either. Comments are great when you need to ask for additional clarification information, but when you get to the point of requiring an extended discussion in the comment section just to make sense of the question, red flags should start going up. This may not be a user who has found a good home on our site...

Yes, the dialogue in chat is a little less formal than the Q&A site, but the ability to participate in chat is a privilege that we only afford to certain users. Your proposal to "open up the floodgates", metaphorically speaking, is one that runs quite contrary to this notion and is a dangerous one in my mind.

And it's not that hard to gain chat privileges—only a nominal 20 reputation points are required. In other words, you need two upvotes on (an) answer(s). That seems like a sufficiently minimal bar to me. If you don't have any insights to share that are worth a measly two upvotes somewhere on the site, then we can probably afford to stand the chance that you'll take your online presence elsewhere.

Remember that all users start out at 1 reputation, including spammers. There's no way to tell a spambot from an actual contributor until they gain a few rep points. And spam is even more annoying in chat.

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