Earlier today I noticed someone had created a spam chat room on money.se. The chat room was titled with the name of the website the spammer was advertising, and contained a spam chat message.

I promptly flagged the chat message, and a SO moderator wiped it out within a few seconds.

However, the chat room is still advertised in the sidebar, over an hour later. This is a relatively non-chatty Stack, and so it could easily persist for weeks if we didn't make an effort to chat in order to clear the sidebar (which I'm undertaking now). And since the spammer intelligently named the chat room the name of the service he is advertising, he's getting extensive free advertising.enter image description here

Is this just a feature of caching/etc., and it will go away naturally? If so, can this be a bit quicker? And if not, can a feature be added such that a chat room with only a moderator-removed chat message will be automatically removed?

  • @JonClements I don't know the difference - the chat room is linked in the post if you want to take a look. I can still go into the room, but it says "... has deleted the room", so ... – Joe Sep 18 '17 at 18:24
  • I should also note I realize I am not entirely being accurate on the timing: the chat was posted (now 3) hours ago, but was deleted an hour ago (edited to be accurate). – Joe Sep 18 '17 at 18:25
  • Heavily cached, think 1-2 hours. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Sep 18 '17 at 19:41
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    Joe, the room was created by another user on Money SE who wanted to have a conversation with community members about how a free tool he is developing can be of used for money Q&A -- much like how jsfiddle complements answers of a programming nature on that Other Site. Poor choice of name for the chat room? Perhaps. Garden variety commercial spammer? Definitely not. – Chris W. Rea Sep 18 '17 at 19:55
  • Example of an answer where it was used: money.stackexchange.com/questions/79005/… – Chris W. Rea Sep 18 '17 at 20:03
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    @ChrisWRea I've taken advice from other moderators and I think the room is acceptable, so I've undeleted it for now. – GS - Apologise to Monica Sep 18 '17 at 22:55

Yes, I created that chat room for Money.SE... and I do understand the initial concern and reaction that brought the chat down. Sorry to cause any stress over this.

I see this question is mostly about the strange/confusing sidebar behavior, but it also seems to be about a behavior that might mark a person as spamy instead of useful. Was it the title? I assumed mentioning something like jsfiddle or mint in a chat (or even in meta) was ok.

I'm really struggling for how to convey, even in this reply... Chris saw my test post a few months ago, and he’s right, I've created a free tool like jsfiddle, but specifically for the financial community. Hopefully anyone going to my site will see that I've got similar values and openness as SE. I've even blogged to convey the story and intent.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate any tips. -AAron

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    No stress. It's certainly something of a grey area, particularly given your relatively new standing. I'm trying to come up with any better feedback, but not really sure what my opinions on it even are at this point. Your best bet might be to make a chat to discuss finance related tools in general and then asking for input on yours would certainly be on topic there, without coming off as outright spammy for your particular solution. – AJ Henderson Sep 19 '17 at 0:08
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    Creating a room with the exclusive purpose of promoting your product or service is spam by any definition of the word, so it's not merely a semantic issue of what you could have done differently. It isn't about "openness". Open source software is all open, but unsolicited promotion of it is still a violation of our rules. – Cody Gray Sep 19 '17 at 5:42
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    I think it's pretty clearly spam to me, even if it's not intended to make you money, and even if it's intended to be something to help the community. It would be different if this was something that already had significant use by the community, or filled an actually significant niche that a large group of the community would use, but I don't see it that way. – Joe Sep 19 '17 at 15:00

A work around for this would be for the mod to rename it prior to deletion.

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