I've been a regular over at the SFF chatroom, Mos Eisley, for several years, and I've seen many trends in chatting come and go, but, traditionally, giving a comment a star meant the comment was exceptionally funny, useful, courageous, or topical. Oh, and if you're @Tango, you can get a star for saying the word "crap". ;)

Anyhow, I've recently noticed that lots of comments that, in my opinion, are just general chat statements, getting starred for reasons I am clearly not understanding. I realize people star things they think will be helpful, but it seems a lot of the starred comments are coming from general conversations. If this is so, can't a user can just read the transcript to get all the details? I don't know -- it just seems like there's been a huge shift in what kind of comments are starred in the chatroom.

ETA: Just wanted to add that I'm not upset by the change in dynamic, but rather I'm just curious as to whether it's appropriate and if the star board is more of a use and let use thing.

Do we want to revisit our policy (if there is one) on what is appropriate to star in the chatroom?

  • 8
    Since they're essentially meaningless, it's right that there's no guidance on what you can star
    – Valorum
    Jul 27, 2015 at 5:29
  • 2
    Seems like most stars these days are "I see your comment", and often happens when a couple of people are talking to each other... This seems to be because there's no "like" or "+1" feature in chat... <-- 100% speculation on my part though.
    – Möoz
    Jul 27, 2015 at 5:31
  • 1
    The star board has become essentially meaningless; hopefully it's just a phase that will go away sometime soon :)
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 27, 2015 at 10:40
  • 2
    @Mooz I suspect you are correct there, because my impression is that there is a flurry of char-stars when a particular subset of newer users is actively chatting :)
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 27, 2015 at 17:40
  • @MichaelEdenfield - That's me.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jul 31, 2015 at 17:47
  • You can't enforce policies on our behaviors (especially if it's not hostile). It looks to me this simply social out-of-sync thing like generation gap thing. Just try to keep up with the dynamics. Don't suggest to enforce a policy on what should I star. I can star whatever I like. There shouldn't be a rule to dictate me.
    – user931
    Nov 20, 2015 at 14:37
  • 1
    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 -- I didn't suggest in any way what should or should not be addressed, nor am I suggesting any formal rules regarding What should or should not be starred. I was merely curious. Nov 21, 2015 at 3:32

4 Answers 4


What gets starred?

Seems anything.
Essentially, people seem to be starring things which they might want to bring to the forefront to show that they have 'seen' or even just 'like' the comment made by the other person. This often happens when there are two or more people "just chatting" (no one will be singled out here - on purpose).

I suspect that this is because there's no 'Like' Button or any way to show that you appreciate the person's response to you.

What should get starred?

Again, anything.

But; here's the only piece of guidance I've found from the Chat FAQ:

Feel free to star any message you feel is particularly useful or worthy of summarizing in the transcript. You can star a maximum of 20 messages per room per day. Messages can be starred by anyone in the room; the more stars, the more interesting the message to that room.
[emphasis mine]

Additionally the tool-tip info text for the chat star suggests that you should "star as interesting" indicating that if you star it, perhaps you have found the comment interesting:

Comment tool-tip, indicating the comment star is used to "star as interesting"

Do with that what you will...

Now to guidelines

Don't bother
Only because, it's just going to be too difficult (probably technically impossible) to police. I know @Richard ♦ is prolific, but even he won't be able to hammer down on "misuses" of the chat star guidelines; nor should we.

Going forward
Try to reserve your stars to the more stellar comments. Having said that, it is purely your opinion as to what is and isn't stellar.

Consider though, that there are only a limited number of slots in the chat star board. Therefore, if you are starring comments more often, then that will push the comments away more transiently, and people might miss the stellar comments.

I'm the funniest person I know

One thing's for sure, you can't star your own message(s); much to my dismay:

Can't star own message in chat.

  • 2
    "First, your star was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement, so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a chatter for the Chat FAQ to apply. And thirdly, the Chat FAQ is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules." Jul 27, 2015 at 6:08
  • 1
    Moderators do have the power to clear all stars from a post (and possibly make it impossible to re-star), so it would be possible for someone like @Richard♦ to 'police' it, but I absolutely agree that that shouldn't happen and would be a misuse of power. Fortunately, even though Richard has a reputation for misusing power, he also seems to enjoy fun and have a sense of humour :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Aug 7, 2015 at 18:01
  • 1
    What a great answer! Thanks for taking the time to put it together (And since this post already stands at -3 votes, I won't care that we're not supposed to say "thank you" :P ) May 13, 2016 at 18:10

I star what I find interesting or entertaining. I admit to enjoying seeing some of my comments up there on the scroll, but don't feel the lion's share ought to have been singled out. On the other hand, the only concern I can see about the high turnover rate of starred comments in what is generally an off topic chat room is somebody might not get 50 or 60 stars before their comment rolls off the screen. Are starred comments an issue? No. Not really. Not even Tango's crappy ones. ;)


My own criteria for starring comments in the chat room:

  • Comments about stars

  • Comments containing profanity and vulgar language

  • Comments that make me larff

  • The rare comment that is genuinely insightful

  • Anything about Richard being a jerk

  • 2
    +1 for honesty.
    – Ixrec
    Aug 2, 2015 at 22:26
  • 2
    ... in that order?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Aug 8, 2015 at 18:35

The only rule I've ever heard about starring a comment in chat is that a comment should be starred if it's from certain users and it contains the word 'crap.'

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