This is something I have faced quite recently. Someone very new to Stack Overflow asked a question, but is not able to communicate properly or exactly understand the answers that has been given for his question. He normally clarifies that in comments. But sometimes, it is necessary to have a one-to-one conversation with the one who has given the answer, so that the comments section is not populated with some trivial comments. So, I just felt that it'd be great if the reputation limit for talking in chat is removed.

  • 3
    A question or answer should be clear in and of itself. If it isn't then it probably needs to be revised. Comments clear up odds and ends (which may potentially end up being edited into the post if intrinsic to the query / solution.) Disjointing the areas of coverage in this respect isn't a solution. Actually, I don't even think there is a problem... (Plus, you only need 20 rep to chat.) Jul 8, 2011 at 11:48
  • 1
    Its not about the answer being clear or not, just that the OP is not able to clearly implement the answer and has problems with it,
    – Balanivash
    Jul 8, 2011 at 11:52
  • 2
    this is a fine question to ask, we're just not sure we want to open the floodgates to random users for chat at this time. Jul 10, 2011 at 1:51
  • @Jeff: would you consider granting access to those low rep users only if they are invited to a "get a room" chamber (that is, if that feature will be available on demand, and not just when the number of comments reach a certain threshold), in the spirit of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/90969/…?
    – VonC
    Jul 10, 2011 at 22:09
  • 1
    @von we've seen some abuse (ok, actually a lot of abuse) by Android users on chat.so -- however if it was triggered only by extended comment chains that might be OK, because they'd have a hard time gaming that. Jul 10, 2011 at 23:29
  • @Jeff: ok, but how one could "game" a "get a room" chat? It is only for two people, and only if one of the participant (with enough rep) invite the other.
    – VonC
    Jul 11, 2011 at 3:48
  • @Jeff: am not talking about "open the floodgates", just that a user with privileges to "create a chat room", be allowed to invite users with less reputation to the chat after a threshold has been reached in the comments.
    – Balanivash
    Jul 11, 2011 at 4:29

1 Answer 1


If you can't ask an intelligent & coherent question on the site, then I'm not really sure we want you participating in chat, either. Comments are great when you need to ask for additional clarification information, but when you get to the point of requiring an extended discussion in the comment section just to make sense of the question, red flags should start going up. This may not be a user who has found a good home on our site...

Yes, the dialogue in chat is a little less formal than the Q&A site, but the ability to participate in chat is a privilege that we only afford to certain users. Your proposal to "open up the floodgates", metaphorically speaking, is one that runs quite contrary to this notion and is a dangerous one in my mind.

And it's not that hard to gain chat privileges—only a nominal 20 reputation points are required. In other words, you need two upvotes on (an) answer(s). That seems like a sufficiently minimal bar to me. If you don't have any insights to share that are worth a measly two upvotes somewhere on the site, then we can probably afford to stand the chance that you'll take your online presence elsewhere.

Remember that all users start out at 1 reputation, including spammers. There's no way to tell a spambot from an actual contributor until they gain a few rep points. And spam is even more annoying in chat.

  • +1 To be fair, 20 rep isn't even enough to signify a user is "chat ready" but 20 is better than less or nothing.
    – James
    Jun 25, 2015 at 21:40
  • That's somewhat limiting regular people to join the community. I've just started a chat room inviting the scientific community, but then when they joined I and they realized that they couldn't even post anything in my chat room, even though I tried to grant them writing permission. Mar 17, 2020 at 18:08
  • Maybe the use could come with a 20 reputation, and then if they get kicked/muted from a chat room they will just lose reputation and won't be able to post anymore Mar 17, 2020 at 18:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .