Should skeptics.SE be more aggressive about moving comment threads to chat?

I have spent some time recently on workplace.SE, and just like skeptics.SE, comment threads can get long and sometime off-topic. Mods there, though, seem pretty quick to move comment threads to chat (of course not all users are happy about this).

I think we have the opposite problem here. Right now I see a whopping two chat rooms in skeptic chat, compared to dozens of rooms with current or recent activity in workplace chat. And we have plenty of rambling comment threads, especially in recent political posts.

The sites are not that different in size, but it does appear they've developed very different ways of using the chat rooms. More than just it being a place to banish off-topic comments, people actually seem to use the chat to continue the discussion.

As a user (not a mod), should I be more aggressively flagging comment threads? If so, what's the proper flag for "don't delete this, just move to chat"? Is it "Too chatty"?

A related question: after a few back and forth comments, I noticed the comment page on workplace changed to include a "would you like to move this discussion to chat?" link:

enter image description here

Now I have no idea how often users do this, vs mod action, but is this feature something we'd like to see here here? Is it even available network-wide?

This Q is somewhat related to, but not exactly the same as, the following meta questions:

  • Where are you getting the sense Sk is not so much smaller than TWP? Questions there routinely get multiple answers, dozens of upvotes and downvotes, meta is almost never without a new post daily, and every question has hundreds of views. Here? Lucky to get one answer after a week, extremely lucky to get total voting in double-digits, and downright miraculous for anybody except moderators to post a new meta question. I see more TWP threads that should be moved to chat on a single question and its answers than I do in an entire week on SK. It's just not a problem here.
    – Nij
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 9:38
  • @Nij I guess what I was trying to say is that the difference in chat volume (and meta volume, now that you mention it) doesn't seem proportional to the difference in front-page activity, and wondering if it was due to site philosophy, or mod habits, or what. But I think you're right, I thought TWP was about twice as busy, looks like it is about 4x as much (by views and questions).
    – BradC
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 13:52
  • But that doesn't answer the question: do we have a broader issue with comment threads spiraling out of control? Or was it just a few recent political threads I happened to notice?
    – BradC
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 13:54
  • Lower traffic + Heavier moderation of comments = A forced habit of not leaving long comment threads on the Q&A. People are trained by now to move them or be pinged, and those that didn't learn no longer come here, and the rest is occasional forgetting or new users.
    – Nij
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


The "Please avoid..." prompt appears when there have been a few back-and-forths between two users. I think you should probably use it most times you see it and continue in chat.

Regarding moving comments to chat for mods, I don't think you need to flag comments specifically. If you see something bad happening, and it's a bit more complex than a canned flag, just use the "in need of moderator attention" option and explain what's going on. It's much better for us to be told the problem than the solution directly. :-)

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