I want to measure the inflation of "favourite" flags in chat rooms, but can't find any way to query it.

All Q&A sites exist in SEDE, but why not chat.stackexchange.com?

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    Because chat is not Q&A, and as such is out of the scope of SEDE? Sep 25, 2013 at 11:03
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    It's generally more useful to just suggest a change than to ask why something isn't already the way you think it should be. Sep 25, 2013 at 11:14
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    @FrédéricHamidi Directly from the SEDE help page: "Stack Exchange Data Explorer is… …an open source tool for running arbitrary queries against public data from the Stack Exchange network." How the is chat.stackexchange.com outside that scope? Sep 25, 2013 at 13:21
  • @BilltheLizard You're right, I just didn't know how to word it properly. Help please? :-) Sep 25, 2013 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


I guess the argument can be made that chat transcripts shouldn't be made public through the data explorer. Different from the Q&A data, that's not really in the "public interest".

Chats are informal conversations between people and have little value for future generations. The way I see it, chat is explicitly outside Stack Overflow's mission of creating an archive of canonical content.

That said, it's of course perfectly legal for anyone to use and analyze chat content - like everything else on the network, it's published under the Creative Commons Wiki license. Perhaps there should be a chat stats dump?

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    @Pekka - re: "use and analyze chat content", the C# chat room has 784k messages in its transcript. Accessing them without a data explorer would probably involve a lot of requests (page scraping) to the server which is looked down upon. How, at present, would chat content containing 784k messages even be accessed without undue load on the server? Perhaps it is best to discourage the analysis of chat content, I am not sure, but I don't think anyone should be writing a scraper for it any time soon.
    – Travis J
    Sep 30, 2013 at 20:51
  • @Travis yeah, you have a point... it seems perfectly justified to want to analyze user behaviour, usage states, etc.... for chat - as justified as we analyze stuff in the Data explorer. Maybe there should be a dump if not of the content, then at least of the stats
    – Pekka
    Sep 30, 2013 at 20:58
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    It's totally correct that the data from chat would not meet the same "public interest" criterium, but as @TravisJ notes, If it's all public anyways why not expose it? At least to any member with 50+ rep points in the network Oct 1, 2013 at 12:04

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