In 2013, there was a feature request asking to disable the chat system's behavior to invite people into rooms when their messages are moved. That request was declined for the following reason:
The "Trash can" / "Recycle bin" system is just a (currently tolerated) abuse of the message migration functionality. It certainly is not a use case that we will support by special-casing such rooms.
However, as of now, this is not considered an abuse of the move messages tool, but rather the primary use case of the tool. The chat moderation FAQ mentions it as the sole use case:
If unsuitable messages are being posted, then you have the ability to move the messages to the trash can. A “trash” (or “bin”) is just a room created for the sole purpose of holding unwanted messages.
(It's worth noting that the text in question was written by a CM at the time, which means that it's considered official and thus not merely a "currently tolerated abuse".)
Prior to writing this request, I hadn't been aware of, and hadn't seen, any other use case of this tool, which would warrant sending an invitation to all users who sent messages that were moved. It's confusing to new users, such that many official room websites have an explicit disclaimer in their list of rules.
Doing my research for this post, I found that the original reason why the tool was implemented was to allow conversations to continue in another room, in which sending invitations would be desired. I've personally never seen this being done on a wide scale; the majority of the feature's uses I've seen today are for trashing messages, not this. Also, sending invitations to all involved users isn't desirable: when a conversation is moved, I'd rather invite just the users who were recently participating in it, and not those who were initially involved but later left it. It's much better to keep invitations manual so that there are no unexpected surprises or annoyances.
There is a workaround, to have a moderator move messages to a private room, which doesn't send invitations since users can't be invited to private rooms, but that's not really desired since private rooms are intended solely for things involving PII and things unsuitable for the public record, and requires pinging a mod every time. Additionally, some rooms (e.g. SOCVR) routinely move messages that need to be cleaned but aren't necessarily unsuitable, and should be retained in a public archive.
In summary, can the decision to decline the earlier request please be reconsidered? While this may have been a minority use case at the time it was declined, it is the majority use case today, and the system should be coded around majority use cases rather than minority ones.
Update after answer
Per Mithical's answer, I see that the original use case of moving currently ongoing conversations to another room is still occasionally used. Their idea of having a checkbox option of whether to issue invitations or not seems like the best idea to me, but I think that's unlikely to be implemented due to the lack of chat development.
Given that, I still think that my original proposal to not issue invitations and have them handled manually if needed is the best option, if their proposal can't be implemented. As tripleee commented on their answer:
There are already too many magical secrets which require you to know in detail how the system works, with very little documentation.
As an alternative proposal, though, I'd be open to issuing invitations only if messages are moved to a public room, not to a gallery room. There's already an exemption for chat invitations when messages are moved to private rooms; this is to have a similar exemption for gallery rooms. Pretty much all trashcan rooms across the network are set to gallery mode, to allow for a public archive but prevent users from talking in them. This would make it so that invitations are only issued when a conversation is moved and being allowed to continue in another room, not when a conversation is being stopped and the messages trashed. (Update: After further research, I found that users are actually prevented from issuing invitations if the user to be invited doesn't have write access to the room. Since such invitations can't be issued manually, they shouldn't be being issued automatically either, and that they are being issued is a bug.)
Merely fixing the bug isn't ideal, because I may want to move a conversation to a publicly writable room, but still not issue invitations to anyone, if I'm moving a conversation that has since ended. Also, there's the issue of unexpected surprises that tripleee and I pointed out.
My preferred solutions are as followed, in order of decreasing preference:
- Have a checkbox to indicate whether or not users should be invited
- Not invite users at all, leaving that responsibility to a human
- Fix the bug that automatically invites users even if messages are being moved into a gallery room where they don't have write access
Can we have the highest possible one of these, please?