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Make it possible to revoke write access to public chat rooms

So many times in chat rooms I have noticed some users cross their limits, start abusing and cross their limits. And ultimately causing an affray. Today only I saw one user challenging me to come his own created chat room to continue war when I scolded him for being rude and aggressive. He posted some aggressive comments and deleted in few seconds so I could not flag it to moderator to draw attention.

The problem I have seen is chat room owner or co-owner don't have power to ban that user from room so arguing and flame war keeps on going and couple of flags for moderators to deal with. I suggest if room owner has power to ban these kind of users Chat rooms will be running more smoothly and moderators will also have less burden from such problems.

In my chat room I usually visit, my chat room owner advised me to ignore that user which is really a good suggestion but I feel little more power should be given to room owners/co owners.

What are your thoughts?

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    What do you mean by "co-owner"? – balpha Apr 12 '12 at 11:28
  • Co owner means more than one room owners appointed for looking after chat room.. – rohan-patel Apr 12 '12 at 11:38
  • My bad there is nothing like co owner. – rohan-patel Apr 12 '12 at 11:40

There is a "Flag for moderator attention" option separate from the spam/offensive flags. You can use that one to get a moderator in there and deal with the situation. Moderators can see deleted messages, so the deletion won't stop them from investigating the situation.

There is no tool that bans specific users from a single chat room (except making it a gallery chat and allowing everyone else). There is only the complete suspension from chat that is available for moderators.

Who becomes chat owner is often a pretty random choice, so I'd be wary to give chat owners more powers. Moderators have been either selected by SE staff or elected by the community of an SE site, so there is a bit more screening than for room owners.

I'd also like to recommend the "block user" function, if someone is annoying you this feature allows you to completely ignore all their posts. It's not a solution for really disruptive users, but it's a good way to deal with disagreement between specific users.

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  • Since OP mentions that the user deleted their messages, ignoring them might be a good option too, as you can't flag deleted messages. – yannis Apr 12 '12 at 11:35
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    We can block that user but what about the chat room atmosphere they spoil by their rudeness and become headache for other users and room owners? Its tragic that room owners are helpless in this situation. They can't do more than flagging these comments.. – rohan-patel Apr 12 '12 at 11:52
  • @anonymous Flagging should be enough, moderators have the necessary tools to deal with such users. They just need to be made aware of this. – Mad Scientist Apr 12 '12 at 11:56
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    @anonymous Keep in mind that every moderator is a moderator in chat, not only the moderators of the site the chat room belongs too, so flags are resolved pretty quickly and someone who is repeatedly being rude will have to face the wrath of 100+ moderators. – yannis Apr 12 '12 at 11:58
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    @YahooAnswersenthusiast That' only the case on Chat.SE, not on Chat.SO where there are far fewer mods. – Mad Scientist Apr 12 '12 at 12:02
  • @Fabian Oh, I always forget that little detail... In any case, flagging is the preferable approach. – yannis Apr 12 '12 at 12:09
  • I agree but sometimes moderators comes after everything is finished and cooled down.. For quick solution I suggested this feature. :-) – rohan-patel Apr 12 '12 at 12:59
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    The key point is "Who becomes chat owner is often a pretty random choice, so I'd be wary to give chat owners more powers." Powers to room owners doesn't seem to be the best solution. – Alenanno Apr 24 '12 at 22:07

If you're getting annoyed by a user, you can shut him up with this shiny new bookmarklet!!

 javascript:function incrementUser(a,b){var c=$('img[class^=user-gravatar][title="'+a+'"]').parent();if(c.children("div.counter").length==0){c.append('<div class=counter style="position:absolute;top:-10%;left:-10%;font-weight:bold;font-size:20pt;color:red">0</div>')}c.children("div.counter").html(parseInt(c.children("div.counter").html(),10)+b);if(b>0){setTimeout(function(){document.title=document.title.replace(/\((\d+)\)/,function(a,c){return"("+(parseInt(c,10)-b)+")"})},100)}}function removeUser(a){$("#chat").bind("DOMSubtreeModified",function(){if(removing){return}$('.user-container[class~="monologue"]').each(function(){if($(this).children("a").attr("href").toLowerCase().indexOf(a.toLowerCase())!=-1){removing=true;try{var b=$(this).find(".message");incrementUser(a,b.not('div[data-removed="true"]').length);b.attr("data-removed","true");$(this).css("display","none")}catch(c){}removing=false}})})}var removing=false;removeUser(prompt("Who do you want to ban? Capitalise properly please","Jon Skeet"))

It removes all their messages (on your computer only), even as more come in. It keeps a fat red count on their gravatar of how many messages have been removed (so it can be tracked). Simple, client-side solution.

Refresh to undo.

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Disclaimer: I'm one of the owners of the room that the OP is talking about.

Flagging the user hasn't worked so far, although he is currently under suspension for claiming to be 13 (which he probably isn't).

Ignoring the user doesn't work, because his messages still appear to everyone else in the room, and new members will also see the messages - which makes the noise-signal ratio higher in the room.

Moving his messages out of the room hasn't worked, because he then works up a rage of "What power do we have of deciding what messages are and are not appropriate"

Locking the room seems to be the final option - but we don't want to do so because closed rooms are unfriendly to new users and people who just want to ask a quick question.

I appreciate that room owners do not have the same stature and accountability as site moderators. However, it is already possible to create a locked room where only certain users have write access. Is this really much different to being able to create an open room but restrict certain users to readonly access. In fact, wouldn't this be a friendlier approach for new members; where access is granted straight away but can be suspended for "disruptive behaviour".

The vast majority of users in the chatroom (the ones that I have seen, at least) use it in the correct manner; Asking and answering questions, having some light hearted chat. But the disruptive ability of a few users is out of proportion to their number. 30 minutes of trolling can change the atmosphere in the room for the rest of the day.

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  • Flagging should be the proper recourse for a user being a dick in chat. If it "doesn't work", we need to fix that before we worry about this. – Cody Gray May 6 '12 at 10:38
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    I understand that site changes like this take time and need thought. In the meantime that means I'm going to be flagging every disruptive message this user makes at the risk of upsetting the mods and being suspended myself. However, as a competent troll, he is currently in a quiet state and adopting a helpful personality which means that disruptive messages will seem to be aberrations rather than the norm. – Abizern May 6 '12 at 10:44
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    Have you tried flagging for moderator attention (not the spam/offensive) flag? If that doesn't help, I'd write a mail to team@stackexchange.com with links to messages that show disruptive behaviour. My experience is with Chat.SE, not Chat.SO, and there you'd quickly get half a dozen moderators in the room when you flag stuff. – Mad Scientist May 6 '12 at 16:59
  • Yes - the left moderator flag, not the one on the right. Thanks for the tip though - I'll start bookmarking the offensive conversations. – Abizern May 6 '12 at 17:01
  • They posts and deletes offensive comments, links so fast that before we flag they remove it.. Making thing difficult for us. – rohan-patel May 7 '12 at 9:41

I agree with your view point.
I have also faced this, in some chat room during a discussion; I have also seen a user abusing someone else, and I flaged him but due to his behavior, other users got spoiled, and some user got away from the room without completing the discussion.
In this case, if the room owner can throw him out, there is no need to flag and wait for a moderator.
The time taken by moderators is few, but not always; sometimes moderators take much time, which cause users to leave the chat room because of a bad user.

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  • 2
    Point to be noted. So many users leave room due to this without completing discussion due to this.. – rohan-patel Apr 12 '12 at 12:31
  • Means? Sorry did not get you... – rohan-patel Apr 12 '12 at 12:35
  • @anonymous And chat room owner got embarresed of the situation because his discussion got failed. – Ankit Sharma Apr 12 '12 at 12:40

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