There was a question implying some sensitive information. And the user asking the question used their real name. Plenty of the comments were moved to the chat.

The user was suggested to not use their real name, a suggestion they accepted. However, some of the comments to the question were moved to the chat, and both in the chat replies and in the url of the chat the old username is fully visible.

The question may lead to retaliation, because the user expressed clearly some political opinions.

What can be done to pressure SE to show some competency and some responsibility in handling potentially sensitive situations?

  • 13
    Why immediately jump to 'pressure SE to show some competency and some responsibility'? What is needed from SE that you can't do yourself (e.g. raise a flag on the post in question, asking a mod to anonymize/fix the transcript too?)
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 15, 2022 at 12:29
  • @Tinkeringbell "with big power comes big responsibility" the Spiderman
    – EarlGrey
    Nov 15, 2022 at 12:35
  • 11
    Responsibility? Why should SE spoon feed irresponsible people? The responsibility to stay anonymous, for those who choose to do it, is 100% on them. You published your name? Too bad, but that's 100% on you. Nov 15, 2022 at 13:05
  • 14
    That's easily turned around. You were given the big responsibility to raise flags, and you didn't.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 15, 2022 at 13:08
  • 1
    @EarlGrey As to flagging in chat, when you hover the mouse over a chat message, some controls appear. On the left is a down-arrow which when clicked will open a popup which will have clickable text which is "flag for moderator". Clicking that will open a new popup which will allow you to enter a short amount of text to explain the issue. You will then need to click the "OK" button to send the flag. The option to flag is available in the main chat page, but not on transcript pages.
    – Makyen
    Nov 15, 2022 at 16:38
  • @EarlGrey You would request that a chat room name be changed by raising a flag requesting that happen. You could raise such a flag on any chat message in the room. Such flags will be seen by every moderator, for every SE site, who is in chat. Alternately, you can raise an "in need of moderator intervention" flag on the post from which the messages were moved, or any post on that site, as long as you clearly describe what the issue is and what you're asking to have happen. Such flags will go to moderators on that site. You could also use a custom flag on a comment, but that's not recommended.
    – Makyen
    Nov 15, 2022 at 16:54
  • 1
    This is similar to an issue that I recently saw on Workplace - the @replies in the comments did not change the user's name, after the OP's username was changed (for the sake of anonymity). However, I flagged the mods and the @ replies where (for the most part) removed. Nov 28, 2022 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


Pressure? There's no need for pressure.

Ask nicely and a moderator can sort it out. It’s fairly trivial to purge things in chat if you're a moderator and do things in the correct order of operations. We also have a redaction tool for questions which should deal with posts.

So flag the original post, explain the situation politely, and let a moderator take a look.

The title of the chatroom is trickier. There isn't any mechanism to edit it comes to mind—but at worst the chat can be deleted as a whole.

I'd note that the safety of our users is important to us, and if it’s a big enough mess, we can escalate it to the Trust and Safety Team within the community management team for further action.

  • Because it is not explicitly defined by SE that they care about protecting users from possilbe retaliation after showing political opinions, therefore a mod intervention can be very well described as "beyond ToU" and led to problems for the mod.
    – EarlGrey
    Nov 15, 2022 at 12:34
  • 10
    Moderators are not machines - part of the role is dealing with things that don't fit neatly Into the TOU. To borrow a phrase from Jeff Atwood, we're human exception handlers. Nov 15, 2022 at 13:18
  • "The title of the chatroom is trickier." It's not trickier: it is a serious issue. "at worst the chat can be deleted as a whole." yes, sure, this is an option. Techincally primitive, but it is a solution. "safety of our users is important to us" seeing the comments my question received, this seems an unfounded statement, if by us you mean the mods. If you mean us the company, ok, but please disclose which role you have in the company.
    – EarlGrey
    Nov 15, 2022 at 15:12
  • 3
    Chat room names are certainly editable. You can do so from the "general" tab of the room info pages (same place where the room description and tags are edited). You may need to clean up any messages which Feeds has posted into the room about any prior such changes. For comments moved to chat, you may need to edit the message which was left on the post pointing to the room. I don't recall if that comment includes the full room URL with room title, or just the room number. While the link in the comment will still work without being changed, it may still have the text you're trying to hide.
    – Makyen
    Nov 15, 2022 at 16:20
  • Ah. I stand corrected - so practically the entire situation cab be handled at moderator level without needing staff involvement Nov 15, 2022 at 22:43

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