According to this answer it isn't possible for normal users to unfreeze chat rooms.

It would be nice to be able to unfreeze rooms that were auto-frozen due to temporary inactivity without having to bother a moderator.

I am aware that it is possible to create a new room, but this is not so useful when there are existing links to the room. Also, if someone finds the first part of the conversation (whether via a link or via a web search), there is no obvious way for them to find the room with the continuation of the discussion (or even to know that one exists).

  • 8
    +1 Is there any particular reason they shouldn't be able to do this? Apr 28, 2014 at 23:56
  • 1
    The rationale is that if the room lacks the activity to stay unfrozen, there's not a compelling reason to allow people to unfreeze it except in exceptional cases (which is handled by moderator intervention). I don't necessarily agree with that, but I'm pretty sure that's an accurate retelling of balpha's explanation from when this came up before.
    – Tim Stone
    Apr 29, 2014 at 3:47

1 Answer 1


I think there are two different cases: rooms that auto-froze and rooms that were specifically frozen. I think it's reasonable to let any participant in the conversation (not any user at all, just the ones who have a stake in it) unfreeze an auto-frozen room, particularly if it's a long-running room with intermittent traffic.

However, as a moderator I would not like users to be able to unfreeze rooms on my site that moderators specifically froze. Sometimes a room descends into unproductivity and mods might want to shut it down, but we don't necessarily want to delete it outright, which takes away access to the whole transcript. In cases like this freezing is the right solution; it preserves the content but prevents more. If that decision was made explicitly by moderators it shouldn't be negated by other users -- who, as you say, are already free to just start another room if it's that important.

(Note: I'm a moderator on one of the religion sites and this isn't hypothetical; we've had to shut down chat rooms because of arguments.)

  • I would +1 if I could, totally agree that specifically frozen rooms should be locked until a moderator unfreezes it OR, perhaps in more extreme cases, a timer consisting of an hour or two in case the moderator has to go?
    – user259714
    Apr 29, 2014 at 4:28
  • 7
    I agree that this should only apply to auto-frozen chat rooms and I have edited the question to make this more clear. (Frankly, I don't understand why StackExchange conflates "inactive" with "frozen". Smells like one feature existed and someone got lazy and decided to overload it rather than properly implementing a separate feature.) Apr 29, 2014 at 17:35
  • Frozen rooms don't show on the default list for the site (because if they did you'd have tons of clutter from all those "let us take this to chat" spin-offs from posts). So my guess is that the "frozen" state provides a convenient marker, because you sure don't want to be doing computation ("is this room too old to show?") at display time. But I'm not an SE dev nor do I know the actual history, so that's just a guess. Apr 29, 2014 at 18:38
  • 5
    That's what I meant about them reusing one thing for another purpose. Instead of having one flag that means both "frozen by moderator" and also "inactive for a long time" they should have had 2 separate flags. Apr 30, 2014 at 1:13

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