Is it ok to have a personal chat with someone on SO?

Let me elaborate. If you're helping someone with their computer problems, or otherwise having a highly positive online interaction, is there anything wrong with using SO chat as a precursor to get to know that girl/guy better?

  • 9
    StackHarmony: Fall in love for all the geeky reasons. Aug 26, 2013 at 17:23
  • 5
    No, private chat is not possible. All discussion rooms are publicly visible and may be joined by anyone. Using the chat rooms to share sensitive information is probably a bad idea Aug 26, 2013 at 17:24
  • I don't think he's asking for private chat @JanDvorak, just if it's ok to get a bit more personal in (public) chat.
    – yannis
    Aug 26, 2013 at 17:27
  • 5
    I think this is pretty much answered by the FAQ Aug 26, 2013 at 17:27
  • Although I'm not 100% behind Robert's proposed voting changes it's ridiculous to be downvoting a support question.... Aug 26, 2013 at 17:35
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    @benisuǝqbackwards When someone doesn't even bother to check the FAQ first, given that it answers his exact question, I consider that sufficiently failing to do basic research before asking a question.
    – Servy
    Aug 26, 2013 at 17:40
  • Fair 'nuff @Servy... Aug 26, 2013 at 17:46
  • 7
    @benisuǝqbackwards: when I downvoted the question was still asking if he should hit on the site's female members. I suspect the edit was being too charitable.
    – Wooble
    Aug 26, 2013 at 18:10
  • 4
    I didn't downvote, but I'm in the same boat as Wooble; the original question was just kind of creepy, in that A/S/L kind of way. Aug 26, 2013 at 18:12
  • 2
    Ugh, please don't. Even if it's in the context of on-topic discussion, just don't. Take your online romancing elsewhere. I know it's normally taboo here, but just exchange e-mail addresses if you want to flirt and/or hook up. That kind of stuff is totally cool and natural and all, no judgment, it just doesn't belong on the site in full public view. Aug 27, 2013 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


As Jonathan Drapeau commented this is fairly well covered by the chat FAQ:

This site is an extension of Stack Overflow, so discussion should more or less revolve around the same topics you'd find at Stack Overflow — but in an interactive, less strictly Q&A focused way. Do have fun, but please keep it professional and always be respectful of your fellow community members.

In other words if when you're chatting to someone about code it's okay to slip into other stuff as long as you bring it back to code. Entering chat for the sole purpose of discussing cats or unicorns (however enticing those subjects might be) would not be okay.

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