Private rooms work so that if there's no moderator activity in them for seven days, they're automatically frozen. This doesn't prevent the moderators from using them, as mods can still chat in a frozen room, but it does prevent anyone who isn't a moderator but was invited to that room from using it. This includes moderators of sites other than the one the room is parented on.
Anyway, the moderator room on one of the sites I use is really low-use and it gets frozen and unfrozen a lot because I don't really like talking in a frozen room even if I can. As such, I have a bunch of data points of when the last message was posted and when the room is frozen. I was looking at them the other day and I noticed that the time of the last post was not the same as the time the room was frozen seven days later, which I half expected.
My second guess was that there was a script that ran at a scheduled time each day and closed any rooms that were inactive... but in that case, the close messages should all be posted at the same time.
I did a search for the word "automatically" to see all of the messages about the room being frozen and I found something really odd...
- The times are mostly all different except for in September 2016, when three of them happened at the same time... but not seven days apart.
- Sept. 5, 2016 - 2:47 PM
- Sept. 7, 2016 - 2:47 PM
- Sept. 11, 2016 - 2:47 PM
- The username of the feed that posts the message changes from "Feeds" to "Stack Exchange".
- The message isn't always the same. Once, in January of 2017, the message was different and included a link to this page... which is a bit out of date and doesn't have anything to do with private rooms (though the message doesn't specify "private room" the way the others do).
What you can't see in this image is the comparison between what time the last message was posted and when the room was frozen. Sometimes it was a delay of seven days and an hour or two or four or six... but sometimes it was almost a full day "tardy", if you will.
If you do the math, which I did with a neat widget I found, you get a difference of 7 days 16 hours and 3 minutes.
So, how are our mod rooms frozen? What's the explanation for the random times between the last message and the room being frozen and why was the room being frozen so often in September 2016 - two of the times the room was frozen (the 7th and 11th) were after 18-19 hours!
I'm starting to think I see feet behind the curtain... can it be?