This Q spawned from this chat session: Where Cole alleges that users are abusing the privilege of creating rooms

I think that there is no need to have 8 separate Android rooms, unless we can show that consistently, over time, having 1 room is insufficient for the needs of the community. This is why we don't have an http://android-design.stackexchange.com and an http://android-filesystem.stackexchange.com and an http://android-remote-data-wipe.stackexchange.com ... do we need this many rooms dedicated to this one topic?

I realize that I'm only picking on android at this point, as it's the one that was brought up in chat; but it's going to be true for many topics.

What needs to be done about this?

  • Sorry, I don't understand. I mean this sincerely, not sarcastically, but: why does it matter? What is the harm that you perceive? (Granted that I hardly ever use chat.)
    – jscs
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:07
  • 5
    Pffft. Next you'll be saying we don't need dozens of manufacturers selling scores of Android devices. WHY DO YOU HATE DIVERSITY, COLE!!!
    – Shog9
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:08
  • @JoshCaswell some other people have a tendency of whining on a topic interminably in chat, when a simple MSO Q would put the matter to rest, and give them a place to complain to the community at large. There was a question of whether there was a need to have 9 chatrooms for the exact same topic. I have a secondary reason, which is why I tagged it with a "moderator" tag, which is that the mods are being encouraged to put more of their "what should be done here" Qs on MSO. Ergo, I'm trying to get some discussion on Meta about if this is valid behavior. And getting people to stop chat-bitching.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:09
  • 4
    @Shog9 it should be evident ~ I use an iOS powered device and there is no reason you all shouldn't not do that same thing as well.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:10
  • 1
    @shog9 iOS users have diversity too. We have Verizon and AT&T. We have 16GB iPhones and 32GB iPhones...
    – Moshe
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:37
  • 3
    – user1228
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


I realize that I'm only picking on android at this point, as it's the one that was brought up in chat; but it's going to be true for many topics.

From what I've seen, Android is the only topic that has this problem at that scale.

The users chatting about Android are a very diverse group, to say it nicely. There are very active users who are willing to help people and show a lot of patience; there are lots (and I mean lots) of

@firstuser @seconduser @someotheruser @yam @letspingeverybody how i make facebook clone with android, html5 and internet? u can help me???

people, who are extremely trying for the above mentioned patience, and there are also quite a few trolls; kindergarten XXL style.

If having several rooms is what it takes to stop them all from beating up each other, and let those people chat who actually want to chat, I'm fine with that for now. Most of these

Hah, screw you! I'm creating my own Android room, and inviting all of my friends!

will be auto-culled pretty soon anyway.

Of course we should definitely keep an eye on this, and the above is not meant to say that trolling is in any way encouraged – but for now I see this unfortunate room octuplication as a way to keep the peace.

  • I'm curious if you're at liberty to expound on "will be auto-culled pretty soon anyway" .. if you mean "lack-of-activity freezing" ... are they really falling fallow that quickly? Does the problem then become that the "freeze point" is too soon? I agree with what you're saying about the keeping the peace, but that just devalues the worth of the third place (which a lot of us regulars really value strongly)
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:12
  • 3
    +1 for use of octuplation. Wow. :-)
    – Moshe
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:17
  • @drachenstern Yeah, I meant the lack-of-activity freezing/deleting. I'll keep an eye on it, maybe we should manually freeze some of them.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:19
  • that's up to team@ of course. I haven't tasked myself with trolling the logs, and it looks like you have been trolling those, so if we need to have 4 or so, then let's do that. I just kinda got tired of seeing the same set of Qs in chat and figured I would post a MSO Q for it. ;) ... lemme know if we need to introduce some SO chatroom "janitors" or what have you to trawl those servers on a regular basis. @Moshe had a good idea bout limiting room creation to higher than xxxx rep for identical names...
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 6:25
  • Last time I looked at this, most such rooms were in danger of being deleted as per meta.stackexchange.com/questions/139362/…. I probably ought to do another sweep. Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 11:29

See, the privileges list has an entry called "Trusted User". It seems as though those are the folks to be trusted. Thinking about it, several things come to mind.

  1. Why can anyone who joins a pair of SE sites make a chat room? The threshold (as told to me but not confirmed) is 100 rep.

  2. The ability to create chat rooms adds to the "third place" concept. (If I recall the blog post correctly.) Chat is a looser feeling than the strict, tagged, downvoted SE world.

  3. Despite #2, why does it only take 100 rep to make a room? "Trusted Users" are to be trusted. Given the apparent abuse, I think that StackOverflow (and only SO) should have that privilege weighted differently. Raise the minimum rep required to create a chatroom on StackOverflow chat, please.

See my answer posted here where I suggest several options, such as tying tags to rooms, preventing people from "self-service" opening rooms on SO or, raising the minimum rep required to open a room.

One alternative to that list would be to tie the privilege to a certain amount of rep/participation in a given tag. This would also prevent a new, say, android user from opening a ninth room for the sake of learning to use a list component (or whatever). They would need to have X number of valid questions/answers, to prove that they aren't abusing the system.


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