It seems like there is a common trend of new users not understanding the format of the site, and asking questions that could be easily addressed in chat. They are unable to do so, however, until they have at least 20 reputation points.

Should this requirement be lowered? A reputation of 10 for example would let someone into a chat discussion if only one person votes their question as a good one (10 pts).

  • That's why there's comments. SE made the chat so people could discuss points at length.
    – user3961
    Feb 26, 2016 at 15:58
  • True, but I've noticed that after a few back and forth comments, there is a pop up stating that the comments section is not for discussion, and that it should be taken to chat. Feb 26, 2016 at 16:30
  • 1
    Yes, that is true. But the script that runs that message can't tell the difference if you are helping a new user with their post and understanding the site or if you are just blabbing on about something else. If you are helping a new user, then simply ignore the message. If they are over 20 rep, then you can migrate to chat if you want. Once everything is handled, flag the post for moderator attention and they will clean up the comments.
    – user3961
    Feb 26, 2016 at 18:48
  • @fredsbend Thanks. I appreciate your thoughts on this. Feb 26, 2016 at 22:59
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    Happy to help. Just keep making good original content and making existing content better. That's why we're all here.
    – user3961
    Feb 27, 2016 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


This is the reputation required to enter chat across the entire Stack Exchange network, so convincing the powers-that-be that a change is required will not mean merely convincing us at Christianity.SE, but also the community at Meta Stack Exchange and the SE staff.

As for why the limit is 20 reputation, take a look at this related question: SO Chat: Why is it that “Only members of Stack Overflow with at least 20 reputation may talk…”? The short version is:

  • The focus of Stack Exchange is asking and answering questions, not chatting, and a lower threshold would reduce that focus
  • Addressing new user issues through comments on the main site, or questions on Meta, helps acclimate new users to how the site normally works, and is more visible (since not everyone participates in chat)
  • A higher threshold prevents chat from getting as many spam or spam-like posts as we see on the main site

Our approach to helping new users should be to first leave comments and vote on their questions and answers. If they continue to struggle, a meta post may be in order (only 5 rep required for that).

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