1. Last evening, I commented on this answer. I then closed the tab and went to bed.
  2. At an unknown time, someone responded, pinging me with @Douglas - an exact name match.
  3. This morning, comments on that answer were moved to chat.
  4. 2 hours later, I visited stack exchange again. I had no notifications relating to this whatsoever. The only reason I am aware of this is that I actively went looking for the answer I had commented on.

If this operates by the rules for pings in comments, I should have been notified. If this operates by the rules for pings in chat rooms, I still should have been notified because I was active in what later became the chat room well within the time limit and I did not visit the room until long after the notification delay period.

In both comments and chat, the behavior in other situations is consistent that if:

  1. I participated in a discussion,
  2. someone promptly pinged me in that discussion, and
  3. I did not see the response quickly,


  1. I should be notified.

This situation satisfies all the conditions but does not produce the result. This therefore appears to be a clear violation of the design intent of ping notifications overall, produced by an unintended interaction of other behaviors and how moving to chat was implemented. I'm fairly sure I have also had this happen with pings done after the move.

In addition to that design intent issue, there is also the practical matter of this behavior's consequence: very often, moving a comment discussion to chat instantly kills the discussion entirely, simply because the participants are unaware that there are new comments to respond to.

Ping notifications for comments are removed when the comment ping is deleted. This makes sense for actual deletion of a comment, but not without replacement for just moving a comment. It is triggered incidentally as a side effect here because the move happens to be implemented as delete + repost.

@name ping notifications for chat are only sent to recent participants in the chat room. The intent appears to be to limit pings to only active participants in the discussion, which is reasonable, and works correctly when the entire discussion took place in the chat room. This restriction is over-applied incidentally as a side effect here because some of the discussion took place before the room existed and the activity of that discussion is not transferred along with its content.

I think the cleanest way to implement this would be to copy the activity history, in addition to the comment text and authorship, when comments are moved to chat.

The author of each moved comment should be counted as having visited the room at the time that they made the comment. The answerer (or asker, if the comments were on a question) should additionally be counted as having visited at the time they posted their answer or question, and each edit should also count as a visit for the editor.

Once the activity record is copied to the chat room, simply apply the same chat notification rules as for other chat rooms. This will properly notify previous participants in the discussion, for pings both before and after the move.

  • 2
    I'm not so sure this actually is a bug: When comments are deleted the notification from your inbox is deleted also. Moving to chat deletes the comment and notification (as intended) and creates a chat message, but you probably won't get a notification from those, as that chat message is in a room you've never been in so you're unpingable there (which is according to current chat rules). So it seems entirely according to how stuff is supposed to work right now that you didn't get a notification.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jan 7, 2020 at 21:41
  • 7
    Yeah. It may not be optimal but it's by design. This probably makes more sense as a Feature Request.
    – Catija
    Jan 7, 2020 at 21:55
  • 2
    @Tinkeringbell I understand how and why the current implementation produces this result. I am saying that this seems to obviously be an unintended consequence of interactions of separate, individually sensible, behaviors, and breaks the overall purpose of them. I participated in a discussion, and someone replied to me promptly. Behavior in other situations is clear and consistent that this combination should result in notifying me.
    – Douglas
    Jan 7, 2020 at 22:10
  • @Catija The design intent, for both comments and chat, appears to be that "I participated in X discussion" combined with "someone promptly pinged me in response" should result in notifying me. This interaction breaks that design intent, and I therefore consider it unintended behavior and a bug.
    – Douglas
    Jan 7, 2020 at 22:15
  • 1
    @Douglas I'm not sure but it seems like you're more likely to have this shut down as status-bydesign and thus not implemented then if you keep it as a feature request. Jan 7, 2020 at 22:19
  • @Catija This was retagged as a feature request shortly before you made that comment. Jan 7, 2020 at 22:50
  • 3
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog And yet the OP is still arguing that it's a bug... so I think my comment is still appropriate.
    – Catija
    Jan 7, 2020 at 22:50
  • 2
    @Douglas As I and Rubiksmoose have said... it makes more sense / you will be better served with this as a feature request. Quibbling over intent doesn't change that both separate actions are by design and making it so that the system turns the pings into "superpings" - which is the only way they could notify someone who hadn't participated in that room... or didn't have a chat account at all - would be a new feature as non-moderator users can not super ping people and, as far as the system is concerned, non-mods (usually) own the comments.
    – Catija
    Jan 7, 2020 at 22:54
  • @Catija I rewrote much of the question to clarify things, but left the tag as is. I think it is factually incorrect to not call this a bug, but if that's really the better way to get this done... People not having a chat account may be an issue, but in other cases I think superpings are not necessary and in fact would be an inferior solution. The actual problem is that the information the notifications are based on is inaccurate for this purpose. Fix the info, and existing systems will take care of things naturally.
    – Douglas
    Jan 7, 2020 at 23:38


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