A box just comes out of nowhere which says "chat with an expert". It happened once on Stack Overflow and once on Meta. Is this an ad? Isn't Meta supposed to have no ads?

chat with an expert

Here's the HTML for that weird box:

<div id="adviza-box" style="width: 380px; ">
    <div id="adviza-status">
        <img width="34" height="34" src="http://i.stack.imgur.com/owly4.png">
        <span class="hoverable">chat with an expert</span>
    <div id="no-adviza">
        <span class="hoverable" style="display: inline; ">not now</span><br>
        <span class="hoverable" style="display: inline; ">never</span>

Looks like this line does it:

StackExchange.ready(function () { StackExchange.adviza.init(170118, 20, 100, 0); });

For those of you who are interested, here are

(courtesy of @Manishearth)

Here's what it looks like after you click it:

The iframe of the chat box:

<iframe width="380" height="280" src="http://adviza.stackexchange.com/chat/iframe?key=6tJMyqSoOUid&amp;token=Yok0qhJckSA0" id="adviza-iframe" frameborder="0" style="left: 0px; position: relative; "></iframe>

Here's my little chat with the "expert".

  • 8
    Have you tried clicking it?
    – balpha
    Mar 31 '13 at 17:51
  • 206
    I sincerely hope that chat box is directly connected to Jon Skeet. Mar 31 '13 at 17:52
  • 134
    Yes, always click on random unexpected links in pop-up messages on websites where you don't expect. What harm can come from that?
    – JonW
    Mar 31 '13 at 17:53
  • 44
    Your profile says you're from Hong Kong. I wonder what today's date is in your part of the world.
    – balpha
    Mar 31 '13 at 17:57
  • 6
    What university did Eliza go to anyway, @balpha?
    – Tim Stone
    Mar 31 '13 at 17:58
  • 3
    @Frédéric: shoot
    – Mat
    Mar 31 '13 at 18:00
  • 6
    This chat is April Fools prank from one of the East-Zone employee of SO?
    – hjpotter92
    Mar 31 '13 at 18:05
  • 9
    @Seth If this was ever an April's Fools prank, it doesn't look like it's from the Stack Exchange team. That should be much funnier.
    – Antony
    Mar 31 '13 at 18:14
  • 9
    I'd at least like some wit in my AF ... This is just annoying and confusing.
    – user98085
    Mar 31 '13 at 18:18
  • 40
    The popup box is annoying to no end. April Fool I may be, but I can't tolerate an iframe chasing me across the page. Mar 31 '13 at 20:45
  • 16
    Well played StackOverflow, well played... Mar 31 '13 at 22:52
  • 3
    Well, one can tolerate the pop up.. But the amount of meta question based on this joke is intolerable. Is it SO fooling its users, or fooling meta? Apr 1 '13 at 6:12
  • 3
    Any way to see all the transcripts? Apr 1 '13 at 8:19
  • 8
    She loves me me and we are getting married in 42 days, adviza.stackexchange.com/transcript/DPhFgydjckW6 Apr 1 '13 at 23:03
  • 3
    Does it bother you that she loves you you and you are getting married 42 days? Apr 2 '13 at 1:54

enter link description here

  • 64
    that unicorn is epic :-) Mar 31 '13 at 18:16
  • 12
    Why didn't I think of answering with this...
    – ɥʇǝS
    Mar 31 '13 at 18:16
  • 9
    Someone's got a case of the Mondays.
    – Tim Post
    Mar 31 '13 at 18:34
  • 7
    It’s the 31st of March. What’s the matter?
    – kinokijuf
    Mar 31 '13 at 22:19
  • 7
    monday is like joke already. please do not make second joke dear SO
    – meth
    Mar 31 '13 at 22:26
  • 20
    @kinokijuf So you're saying the unicorn should also offer to explain timezones.
    – millimoose
    Mar 31 '13 at 22:34
  • omfg my sides hurting from lol Apr 1 '13 at 17:48
  • Okay, so the point is, next year, when some other April Fool is done on SO, make sure you keep the time zones at mind, to not be a joke to those who are still on March 31st. Apr 18 '13 at 23:37
  • 1
    @JerryDodge: ...actually that was kept in mind. It was only shown to people for whom it was April 1 (I have seen the code, it checks the javascript Date()) Apr 19 '13 at 3:38

It appears to be a mechanism to confuse newbies and make them feel unwelcome.

enter image description here

  • 64
    That does seem like an unintended side effect.
    – Johan B
    Mar 31 '13 at 22:16
  • 24
    @JohanB I thought confusing people and making them feel unwelcome was the point.
    – millimoose
    Mar 31 '13 at 22:34
  • 7
    @millimoose I thought it was to boost total meta rep with the inevitable "I've never heard of April Fools Day before, so I'm going to be really confused on every website I visit today" questions Apr 1 '13 at 0:14
  • 2
    Try saying "goodbye" then "yes" then the expert will leave. Ha! Apr 1 '13 at 9:11
  • 22
    I'm hoping they're only playing this "joke" on users with enough reputation to get it... People new to the site probably aren't going to get it.
    – Chris S
    Apr 1 '13 at 13:40
  • 4
    +1 April fools are fine, unless they are not.
    – yo'
    Apr 1 '13 at 20:13

It is an April fools bot of course....

"Expert: Hello, how can I help you today?

User: Proof that you are a human and not an April Fools bot.

Expert: Oh right, it's April 1st today. I'll have to quit the internet for today. I don't have any humor.

User: Do you think you can pass a CAPTCHA?

Expert: Yes.

User: To prove that you're a human and not an April Fools bot... The only thing you need to do is to type the letters on this image: http://bit.ly/9BO2hm

Expert: Is it April already? Still feels like December.

User: So, please type the correct letters and proof that you're not an April Fools bot.

Expert: Is it April already? Still feels like December.

User: I'm sorry. You failed the test!

Expert: You're not the only one who is sorry."


  • 32
    The "An Expert" artificial intelligence probably isn't smart enough to know you mean "prove" when you say "proof". Apr 1 '13 at 0:42
  • 13
    That was part of the CAPTCHA ( "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" ) as well ;) Apr 1 '13 at 0:44
  • 2
    The simplest kind of Turing test (-: Apr 1 '13 at 0:46
  • 4
    I guess you have to be "A Super Expert" to pass this one ;) Apr 1 '13 at 0:48
  • 3
    +1 nice trap its an artificial intelligence
    – Sathish
    Apr 1 '13 at 10:39
  • 1
    Yeah. A bot. Smart enough to pick keywords from the question I was browsing and post responses accordingly. adviza.stackexchange.com/transcript/QKQdblNr7EW5
    – publicgk
    Apr 1 '13 at 10:51
  • 11
    Congratulations user1095340, you have figured out the Internet. Programmers will name their sons after you, developers will leap into the code shouting your name.
    – Peter
    Apr 1 '13 at 11:12
  • 1
    I found it funny, it actually seems to have some information about technology available to it. I mentioned Ubuntu and it spoke about Canonical. Apr 1 '13 at 13:43
  • ifhkfp is all I have to say. Apr 18 '13 at 23:39
  • I have a hunch that Watson is behind this... NOT! This was a rather dumb bot, made to look for certain words and patterns. Apr 18 '13 at 23:42

It's a slightly freaky April Fools joke. I picked up on my third response that it's just a funny trick. If you ask the right questions you can actually have a conversation with the 'expert', must be quite an interesting algorithm. It 'breaks' when you mention April Fools a few times though


Direct answer to the original question: an annoyance… since I prolly have to click "never" on each and every SE site.

[Hint: stack exchange people should feel free to regard this as user feedback. ;) ]

  • 30
    +1. Humour = 1/10, irritation = 8/10. Mar 31 '13 at 23:55
  • 2
    @Dukeling: 1/10 = unsure.
    – A.P.
    Apr 1 '13 at 10:30
  • 6
    Humor- .0000000000000009 irritation .999999999999991
    – HLGEM
    Apr 1 '13 at 21:27

It's the newest and most productive form of duck debugging I have ever seen. It also saves you the money for the rubber duck so you can buy the teddy bear you always wanted. Thumbs up!

  • 3
    +1 This is the very first funny point about that thingy.
    – yo'
    Apr 1 '13 at 21:08

This is an another unfunny joke from stuckoverflaw devs dedicated to 1st April day. "Expert" on the other side is merely a kind of ELIZA software easily recognizable by rephrased replies (that is, this software rephrases your message to form apparently sensible reply). The other kind of replies this software can give is indefinite (see the transcripts in the other answers).

My solution is to use AdBlock Plus:


because it wasn't humorous at all (I recognized a bot in 1 message by typing very fast and by "rephrased" pattern). Another annoyance factor was a failure to be unobtrusive - this element fails to be at the screen edge and obscures real page content.

I completely second @Dukeling's opinion on that: low rank on humour, high rank on irritation.

  • I thought I had gone some obscure adware at first but then realized the chat logs linked to this site. It is slightly funny, but it does get in the way. Apr 1 '13 at 4:13
  • 10
    Why adblock plus ? There is an option called Never on right side of the chat box,perhaps that should stop the caht box appearing on all pages.
    – GoodSp33d
    Apr 1 '13 at 5:50
  • 2
    @2-Stroker, the key word is perhaps, while I want it to never reappear for sure. pyroscope in his answer feared what user will have to opt-out at every SE site and I share his fears.
    – user539484
    Apr 1 '13 at 6:13
  • I dont see the pop up anywhere now, think its closed, well back to work :P
    – GoodSp33d
    Apr 1 '13 at 6:25
  • QQ​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    – user154510
    Apr 1 '13 at 15:32
  • 1
    Amusingly she seems to know about Eliza (I mentioned her and she responded with "Don't speak of her.") Apr 1 '13 at 23:01

the Expert

It's not a joke, she is real!

  • 6
    Probably someone has changed his/her profile photo and username. Look at his other profile. Apr 1 '13 at 12:48
  • Here is an origin of avatar image tineye.com/search/703f64a0f0a1e78bc447faecec03fa9f55bf7372
    – user539484
    Apr 1 '13 at 15:08
  • she is so ..... so, familiar!?!? ;)
    – JFK
    Apr 1 '13 at 17:56
  • 1
    here is one more profile
    – Jaguar
    Apr 1 '13 at 18:14
  • 2
    Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays.
    – JYelton
    Apr 1 '13 at 19:07
  • Hmm she seems to be a great hacker. I don't get how come she has 37k rep and less than 20 answers and 4 questions... Apr 1 '13 at 19:31
  • 1
    @izomorphius That link is to the meta site. There are far more than 20 answers and 4 questions on the main site account.
    – jw013
    Apr 1 '13 at 20:24
  • So, she is 22 ? Jul 14 '14 at 13:35

I was fooled for some little while. I couldn't find the "transcript available online". But I had already copied.

@balpha to the rescue! http://adviza.stackexchange.com/transcript/9u1BXUJcs0HF

And then I was 100%.

Edit: this was highly unlikely to work:

Using code inspired from here, I'm trying to recover the link. I think it's an amusing one. But I'd like to take up a little less space here. :)

while true;
do u=http://adviza.stackexchange.com/transcript/$(tr -dc a-zA-Z</dev/urandom|head -c12);
curl $u -s 2>&1|\
             grep "It's hanging \"under the edge\" of the window" -q && echo $u;
  • Oh. It was a link. I missed that. :( Apr 1 '13 at 7:18
  • 1
    here's your link
    – balpha
    Apr 1 '13 at 8:46
  • 1
    "being human is what I'm here for" Gold. Apr 1 '13 at 18:27
  • @machee Yeah. That's the line that got me ... for a while. Apr 1 '13 at 20:23
  • "User: Is this on a terminal in a glass window in Amsterdam? Am I playing to an audience?" :D
    – Mr.Wizard
    Apr 3 '13 at 7:18
  • 1
    @alpha As of today, it gives a site not found message. But the good old WAYBAC Machine still has it. I wonder who it actually is? There's no way this is a bot.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 3 '21 at 15:33

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