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I've read this answer to find out that pinned messages are being unpinned automatically after 14 days because "we found this feature to be abused too much". I fail to understand how a pinned message in someones chat room could abuse the site in any way.

However, I find pinning a message an extremely useful feature for messages that link to different sources that keeps being updated once in a while. I have a moderation of type chat room on Stack Overflow, and I want some messages (that link to outer sources with link to poor quality questions, for instance) to remain pinned instead of every 2 weeks looking for the original message and repin it again.

So can we undo this change, or at least explain to me why we need this limitation in the first place.

  • Not the downvoter, but why do want to change something that works well, as you say? Also, I find this comment answers your question. – Marshmallow Mar 9 '16 at 10:04
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    @IͶΔ I don't really care about downvotes, but thanks for letting me know. Regarding your comment, I obviously (as an owner of pretty active chat room) think it doesn't work well, and I saw other chat room owners complaining about this too. Also, isn't this the whole point of feature requests? And the comment you linked doesn't make sense. If a chat room is being properly moderated this won't happen. And even so, why does anyone cares if pinned messages left pinned in someones private chat room? – David Arenburg Mar 9 '16 at 10:07
  • Would limiting the number of pinned messages to n/2 or similar be an option? – germcd Mar 9 '16 at 10:21
  • This would cause the starboard to always have the pinned messages, without giving chance for other messages to show up in there. – ShaWiz Mar 9 '16 at 10:25
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    @ShadowWizard isn't this up to the RO to decide what should appear on the starboard? This is all about moderation. Similarly, two users can keep staring each others messages and won't leave a room for others, so? It's up to the RO to deal with such situations, not some outside interference IMO. Not to mention that only RO can pin messages in the first place. Or a RO can remove starred messages by others and leave only his pinned messages. – David Arenburg Mar 9 '16 at 10:27
  • @David to a point, yes. RO has very limited moderation power. For example, he can kick user only for one minute. So in this context, SE team don't want that RO will be able to easily block the starboard. (RO can, but only for two weeks) – ShaWiz Mar 9 '16 at 10:29
  • @ShadowWizard but he can. He can easily unstar other messages for instance. What's the difference? I don't get why SE team should even care about such stuff. If someone doesn't like the moderation in a certain room, they can open their own. Just like I did. – David Arenburg Mar 9 '16 at 10:30
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    I think this would be a realy nice feature. For those who are afraid of abuse: it shouldn't be too difficault to limit the number of permanently pinned messages. Two or three as maximum should be fine imo. – Jaap Mar 9 '16 at 11:20
  • There is already a way of pinning information to the chat sidebar permanently: the room description. – fredley Mar 9 '16 at 12:10
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    @fredley You have a point there (and I actually thought of it too), but I don't think that any pinned message fits to the room description. Room description has it's own propose. Also, different ROs keep modifying the Room description also seem like a bad idea to me. Also, as pointed out by Jaap, Room description doesn't allow markdown, so it will look pretty messy. – David Arenburg Mar 9 '16 at 12:22
  • @Jaap That's a nice alternative, maybe post as an answer. – David Arenburg Mar 10 '16 at 10:54
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I think the ability of having permanently pinned messages would be a nice feature to have. The room owners can use that to link to valuable information for the room participants.

For those people who are afraid of abuse or that the permanently pinned messages might push other stars from the list, the solution is easy: limit the number of spots for permanently pinned messages to two or three.

The alternative of including these links in the room description is less attractive as the room description doesn't allow for the use markdown formatting as highlighted in this comment.

Although several requests (e.g.: one, two) have been posted here before for including this, markdown support in the room description is not supported yet. Adding markdown support would in my opinion be a good alternative to the implementation of permanently pinned messages.

So, to sum up: As I see it we have several options to include useful links:

  1. Allow permanently pinned messages (maximized to two or three).
  2. Add markdown support in the room description.
  3. Add new section where useful links can be included (as proposed by @ShadowWizard in the comments).
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    Or adding another section to each room, in addition to description, that its purpose would be to contain useful links. – ShaWiz Mar 10 '16 at 16:26
  • @ShadowWizard sounds good to me too :-) – Jaap Mar 10 '16 at 16:27
  • Another option could be to have a first visit message on a room, where the first time a user enters a room, they see a welcome message in chat that's customisable by the ROs – Robert Grant Sep 14 '17 at 14:42
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    Three permanent pins is too much in my opinion. Hey, let's start with ONE and see if we need to extend it to two or not. – Cœur Nov 19 '17 at 8:48

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