Possible Duplicate:
SO Chat: Why is it that “Only members of Stack Overflow with at least 20 reputation may talk…”?

I just tried the new feature to move a conversation to chat, and got the message indicated in the title.

The whole reason the comment chain got so chatty is because this is an inexperienced person who doesn't quite "get it" and isn't likely to get a lot of reputation any time soon. Isn't this exactly the sort of conversation that should be taken off-line?

I think if someone is invited to a chat by someone with enough reputation, it shouldn't matter what their own reputation is - they should be allowed into the chat.

  • 2
    20 rep isn't that hard to get.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:08
  • 3
    @ChrisF, it might not be hard if you have some experience, but this appears to be a student stuck with one little detail on a homework assignment. They're not even aware that the lack of rep is harmful; I'm the one trying to initiate the chat, not them. Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:11
  • I realise it's you trying to create the chat, not them. I also didn't realise it was a single question they were having problems with.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:12
  • See the comments on this answer to the linked question. There might be a short window in which you can invite them to chat. NOTE: I haven't tried this.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:15
  • 2
    Switching to a chat room to discuss these things is not mandatory; just use the comments system, and flag the comments as obsolete when you are done with the discussion (if they create too much noise).
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:15
  • @ChrisF, I don't think it's quite the same. I'm trying to discuss a specific corner case that I think hurts the site. Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:25
  • @ChrisF, I tried the chat within 15 minutes of their leaving their last comment. If there's a window, it's not long enough. Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:27
  • 2
    Some people comes here with experience, for career, some comes for high reputation so they can place their SO account on their cvs.Those people can easily have 20 rep.However others, comes SO because they need help, because they cannot solve a problem or two.They can't get 20 rep because they don't have enough knowledge to answer any question.I totally agree with Mr.Ransom, this is a great idea for those who need help.
    – Bastardo
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:32
  • @Mark - as I said I haven't tried it so it could well be loop hole that's now been closed.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 21:36
  • The suggested duplicate about an online classroom is clearly not a duplicate of the question at hand. Mark is talking about encountering an individual who asked a question, who needs help, for whom there is someone willing to help them, but we can't. It's crazy. The entire purpose to help answering questions, but we're fighting the system rather than using it to help people. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 20:48
  • @RobertRyan, thanks for the support. I wasn't even aware this was closed! I suggest supporting this proposal: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/100291/… Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


We've discussed this before (but possibly not on meta; I can't find it). It's possible for regular users with 100 reputation to create a chat room, and then they can add other users to the explicit write list to allow them to talk, even if they don't have 20 reputation:

Screenshot of the explicit write access list

Since the facility already exists, it should probably be used by comment-to-chat -- it should create a chat room, copy all the comments, and add the people involved in the conversation to the explicit write list

  • Wow, I never knew this. But then, I didn't know much:)
    – Thursagen
    Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 1:19
  • Jeff said back in January that this loophole has been closed. Is this still true, or does it only work for moderators? Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 17:40
  • @TheEstablishment It still works for mods, since they need to pull users into chat for private conversations Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 18:13

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