If you kick someone in chat there's no notification of that for anyone but yourself.

This is not good. I just applied the third kick to someone thinking it was the second because someone else applied another one without my knowledge. When I kick, I have to announce it manually out of a personal sense of honesty.

We have log messages for things like changing the topic or whatever that small text below the name is meant to be, but moderating actions like kicking are totally silent. We can't even see that it happened by looking at the user profile.

Can we get some kind of public announcement when someone gets kicked from the room? And when we get that, can we make sure it is not editable like the other log messages†? (A trivial way would be to have Feeds post the kick announcements)

† And while at it, can the other log messages also be made non-editable?


2 Answers 2


We talked about this before rolling out the kick-mute feature a few weeks ago. My opinion then and now is that it would be at best noisy and potentially a form of pillory for someone we're hoping gets the message and comes back later to participate constructively...

...That said, it can be confusing as it works now, particularly when there are a large number of room owners. I would be supportive of a notification to room owners and any mods present in the room that informed them of the kicker, kickee, and the duration of the mute period.

So that's what we did: any room owners or moderators present in the room when someone is kicked will be notified via one of those drop-down thingies:

user has been kicked from room by kicker and cannot return for 1 minute

This is NOT a permanent log; it exists only to give context to those who might also be preparing themselves to deal with a problem user. In particular, you shouldn't be over-thinking this by trying to count the number of times someone's been kicked - if they've returned and are still being disruptive, then kick again even if that's going to result in a longer time away.

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    Fair enough. I would still appreciate the latter suggestion. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:01

I suspect this is intended to protect privacy. Somebody who's been kicked might find it somewhat embarrassing, and prefer that the fact not be announced publicly.

Yes, there's an argument (perhaps a good one) to be made that if they didn't want it known, they shouldn't have done whatever lead to it, but but such is life. Much of the point of kicking (I presume, anyway) is that even a short cooling-off period is often enough to get somebody to sit back and think a minute, and quit doing something they probably didn't really intend in the first place.

Perhaps as something of a compromise when/if a user is kicked by one room owner, this should be announced to other room owners, but not everybody else. This balances the individual's privacy with allowing other room owners to make informed decisions.

There is, however, a counterpoint to that: if a user was kicked twice and continued to act in a manner that warranted being kicked again, then (even if you didn't realize it was the third kick) the longer suspension really made sense.

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    If someone finds being kicked to be "embarrassing", then they shouldn't behave in a way that results in a kick. They were more than likely embarrassing themselves already. Besides, it's a cruel world. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:07
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit: Yes--see paragraph two. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:08
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    I see what you're getting at by only announcing to room owners, but that starts to create a social schism between the "upper class" owners and the "lower class" regular chatters, which SO chat has always strived against. That's why SO owners are owners not "ops" or "mods", and why it took so long to get a useful kick feature. Instead, transparency is desired. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:08
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit: I'm not convinced that knowing about kicks would create a real social schism, but I suppose it's possible. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:12
  • If you want transparency, do it like we do for suspensions @Lightness: a note on the users's profile for those that care.
    – Shog9
    Oct 2, 2014 at 18:28
  • @Jerry Well I guess I meant, more generally, introducing notifications that only go to the owners. It's a bit of a slippery slope argument that I'm making but it does concern me. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:32
  • @Shog9: And as for you young man (teehee) well yeah that'd mean the information is available somewhere, but it not being part of the transcript (why would you go into the profile of each user every few minutes to poll for kicks?) means it's less than transparent, I fear. Granted, suspensions set a precedence here. Oct 2, 2014 at 18:33
  • Anyone in the room can see the user being kicked, @Lightness - their icon hops up and floats away. Assuming that folks are kinda expecting this under normal circumstances (they're misbehaving, right?) it'd then be trivial to check their profile if you're interested. Oh - and there's already an owner-only notification; it's just shown only to the owner doing the kicking.
    – Shog9
    Oct 2, 2014 at 18:37
  • @Shog9 Ah, well in that case I suppose my argument is that the floating avatar is too quick and too easy to miss ;p Yeah we can live without it I guess; I just prefer the IRC model where everything is openly logged. Online chat often involves popping in and out and I like to know everything that's going on. :) Oct 2, 2014 at 18:44
  • If I remember correctly, IRC doesn't log anything permanently unless someone explicitly decides to make that happen @Lightness. SO chat always logs everything unless someone explicitly deletes or edits it (which R. Martinho explicitly wants to disable here).
    – Shog9
    Oct 2, 2014 at 18:58
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    @Shog9: IRC clients by default show kicks and bans in the "transcript". Sure, you often have to go out of your way to make a permanent record, but I'm talking about a persistent record. Something that's on screen for more than 2 seconds so that when you scroll up 18 minutes later you can actually see what's happened. I'm defending the Robot's suggestion of adding audit to the main window and not allowing any such audits to be edited or deleted. Oct 2, 2014 at 21:53

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