We in the C# chat room are having an issue with people abusing stars. When someone starts spam-starring messages, we cancel the stars, but this gives the user their stars back, enabling them to spam us with more stars.

I think that stars should not be gotten back, so that someone who spams with stars can't use more than the daily limit.

Another possible solution I thought of is requiring the user to wait 15 or so seconds between stars. Even though that wouldn't stop the spam, it would make it more manageable.

  • 8
    Of all the things that could be abused on the site, it's chat stars... Someone must be having way too much time on their hands...
    – Mysticial
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:12
  • 3
    Sounds like this is the way it should work
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:13
  • @Mysticial: Unfortunately, flags do too sometimes. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:16
  • Unfortunately stars have no context, especially canceled ones. Which means you don't get much out of flagging the chatter. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:18
  • I think it would be nice for stars added to have a hidden chat message attached. So you could flag that message. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:19
  • 1
    @JonEricson "You can star a maximum of 20 messages per room per day." -the chat FAQ (bold text is original)
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:21
  • @benisuǝqbackwards Not a dupe; that one says nothing about star-cancelling. Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 1:46
  • They're both requests to rate-limit the number of stars people can use in a day somehow @michael. I don't think they're different at all. They ask for what might be different reasons but that makes the argument for the feature request being completed better. Theoretically, there should be an answer to the other question that states this use-case. Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


Seems to me that this is a super-edge case. (Out of the millions of people who use Stack Exchange, how many use chat? How many use the C# chatroom specifically? How many of them care about stars?) As such, I think the solution involves making the user stop — by mod if necessary — not changing the code for the chat starring system.

  • 2
    But it's such a logical change. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:22
  • How can we get them to stop, if we don't do anything? Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:24
  • @KendallFrey Request mod attention? (Which I daresay you've already done, by asking here.) Are 20 stars a day even that disruptive? I suspect that if you ignore the star spammer, he'll just go away. You may be playing into his hand by trying to clean up after him and showing him that you're annoyed... troll psychology is weird. (Disclaimer: I never visit the C# room, so I don't know how you use your star list or the personalities of anyone involved.)
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:27
  • But the thing is that cancelling a star effectively adds one to the 20 the user has. Meaning he has virtually unlimited stars. How is that not a loophole that needs to be fixed?
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:29
  • 3
    It's more than 20 stars a day. It's 20 stars in about 1 minute, and after we cancel the stars, the person gets them back and later goes on another rampage. And we don't want to leave 20 random messages in the sidebar. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:29
  • @Pekka It is sort of consistent with the rest of the site, though. If posts you downvoted get deleted, you essentially get those votes back (which is how some people cast more than 40 votes in a day). Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:30
  • 2
    @jadarnel but in this case, it's your own abuse that increases your quota, instead of other people's bad content like in your example.
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:31
  • Again, you're assuming that you need to cancel the stars in the first place. If you don't, then the guy will leave after the one minute is up, and you can continue on in peace. I suspect that if you all just ignore him, he'll get bored and quit the room for good after a day or two, and then a room owner can go into the transcript and clean up stars from the past two days. Remember: 1) trolls want attention, and 2) telling a troll that he's being bad and that you disapprove does count as giving him attention.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:34
  • 1
    @Pop you have a point, but still. Abusing a feature shouldn't increase your quota for that feature. That's a bug.
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:42
  • 1
    @Pekka how would you tell the difference between someone who's abusing the system and someone who's getting stars refunded legitimately?
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:44
  • 3
    @Pop is there such a case as a legit refund of a star? (I'm really asking. I'm not that familiar with chat these days.)
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:45
  • 1
    For the few inappropriate stars by a non-abuser that are cancelled, it shouldn't make much of a difference. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:48
  • 1
    @Pekka I remember balpha saying once that the original purpose of the star list was to give team members a way to sort pending code changes by priority. Once implementation was complete, the stars for that feature would get canceled.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:57
  • A source for Pops' quoting of balpha above: balpha's answer to "When should room owners/mods remove stars in chat?"
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 16, 2020 at 7:32

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