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When clicking on the "move comments discussion to chat?" link (under an answer), what actions are triggered :

(a) if the click is by the poster of the answer

(b) if the click is by a commenter in the discussion (not OP or poster of answer)

Do the comments always move automatically whenever anyone offered the option clicks the link, or are there conditions under which the request to move would (or could) be declined? Is clicking the link equivalent to paging a moderator?

I looked on meta.SO but did not find the answers to these questions.

Edit: further search on meta.stackoverflow suggests the comments are not moved, they are copied to a chat. Is this documented anywhere, such as an announcement of the feature when it was new?

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(a) if the click is by the poster of the answer
(b) if the click is by a commenter in the discussion (not OP or poster of answer)

The link only appears to the participants in a discussion that grows long enough to trigger the "move to chat" feature.

Regardless of who uses the link, the following things will happen:

  1. A chat room will be created with the name "Discussion between userX and userY".
  2. Comments between userX and userY so far will be copied into the chat room.
  3. The chat room will also include a link back to the question or answer where the discussion started.
  4. A comment will be left on the post saying "let us continue this discussion in chat". This comment includes a link to the new chat room and is addressed at the other participant in the discussion, so he or she is notified.

If one of the participants does not have enough reputation (currently 20 across all Stack Exchange sites) to participate in chat, using the "move to chat" link will show a warning and do nothing.

Is clicking the link equivalent to paging a moderator?

No, this feature doesn't alert the moderators in any way.

Is this documented anywhere, such as an announcement of the feature when it was new?

I spent some time looking for that last night as well and couldn't find an announcement. I think this feature is just documented in various questions on Meta Stack Overflow (and now in this answer :)). If you have further questions, feel free to ask them here or on MSO.

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  • $\begingroup$ "If you have further questions, feel free to ask them here..." and then wait 4 months for an answer. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jan 22 '12 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson I apologize for that. We fell behind with many new sites going into beta and graduating. Most questions can be answered by someone from the community or a moderator, and while we try to keep an eye on unanswered questions, delays happen. Your moderators can also notify us of anything that requires an answer from the community team or that they can't answer themselves for any reason. $\endgroup$ – Adam Lear Jan 22 '12 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Gerry: I am not sure about this since I don't visit meta.SO very often, but perhaps this question should've been moved there (since it is not about the math site per se). Then perhaps it would've been answered long back. :-) $\endgroup$ – Srivatsan Jan 25 '12 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ Has the copy-comments-to-chat feature been disabled? $\endgroup$ – zyx Mar 27 '14 at 3:57
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx Not that I'm aware of. $\endgroup$ – Adam Lear Mar 27 '14 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks (that was fast). I am not seeing it recently even in long comment threads, including one that I ended up asking moderators to migrate to a chat. Maybe it was only for 2-user comment exchanges or some other limitation. $\endgroup$ – zyx Mar 27 '14 at 4:00
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx Yeah, its triggers are fairly limited. I forget the exact criteria, but they are something along the lines of "a prolonged conversation between two users". $\endgroup$ – Adam Lear Mar 27 '14 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yea I don't get it. Sometimes on very short comment threads I get prompted, but on very long ones where I actually want to move to chat I can't!! $\endgroup$ – user21820 May 3 '16 at 1:03

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