I have been using chat quite a lot recently and when posting some code blocks I sometimes get them wrong and it has gone past the threshold to edit it and I try to delete it but all I can do is flag it for a moderator.

This in my opinion is very counter productive and annoying for the moderators, I think the users should be able to delete their own messages in chat regardless of age.

I don't see any drawbacks of this implementation if it were to be implemented?


  • 2
    +1 And it would be nice if we could edit them for 5 minutes – like comments.
    – user153011
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 14:19
  • @Nyuszika You can edit them for 5 minutes, I thought. I'm pretty sure that old ones, even if they aren't the most recent, can still be modified by normal users if it's within 5 minutes.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 14:20
  • 3
    @GraceNote: Two minutes. But other than that, you're right.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 14:24
  • @balpha Oh, it's only 2 minutes? Huh. Is short, but you still have the privilege at least. Thanks! ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 14:25
  • 3
    This feature request has an official response at Why is there a timeout to delete your own chat messages? Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 22:59

2 Answers 2


I don't see any drawbacks of this implementation if it were to be implemented?

How about this drawback: People would use it.

We're talking about chat here. Conversation. Talking. You can't go back to last weeks party, choose the things you never should have said, and un-say them. In particular, that could quite well remove any sense from the rest of the conversation that was not deleted.

If you feel strongly about it, go ahead and flag for a moderator, but in the usual case – just let it go! It's not the end of the world that there's a mis-formatted message somewhere.

As I side note: As a moderator, I'd much rather see the occasional "I screwed up the formatting here and it looks bad, could you please do X" flag than those ridiculous "This is off-topic!!!!" flags that keep coming up because someone dared to mention in the PHP room what they had for breakfast.

And regarding your comment on Pollyanna's answer:

2mins isn't exactly much time to review a code block

That's true. And the chat isn't an IDE.

  • 3
    This happens with comments more often than I'd expect; two people discuss something in comments, and when the discussion is over one goes back and deletes all of theirs, which makes the other half completely non-sensical Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 14:42
  • 25
    "the chat isn't an IDE." Challenge accepted.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 18:04

The chat room log is recorded on a granite mountain face in South Dakota, and edit/delete operations are expensive. They've implemented a 2 minute fifo so that users can edit/remove them before they are committed to the permanent record, but after that you have to have a really good reason for changes, which is why moderator intervention is required.

  • Well even an up from 2mins to 5mins would be better, 2mins isn't exactly much time to review a code block if you ware talking at the same time?
    – mylesagray
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 14:32
  • 3
    @Myles Chat is so effemeral. In an active chat session, 2 minutes ago is off the screen. Suddenly you're changing messages people won't look at anymore. Eventually someone will request that if a chat message is changed, everyone in the room be alerted because it might be important. Most chat software doesn't even allow one to change or retract what was already sent - it's only possible here because the chat client is the chat room. If you find you're posted something that you should NOT have posted (proprietary info, etc) then ask for moderator help.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 15:27
  • 1
    Otherwise, post a meaculpa (which everyone will see, unlike a change to a message you made 5 minutes ago) and go on with life.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 15:27
  • Now it’s 2018, and most chat software does allow editing.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 12:54
  • @SomethingBadHappened WhatsApp which is probably still the most popular does not allow editing after submitting. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 8:01

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