These days' chatting over the Internet is popular with young and old alike. The advent of Internet chat rooms has created a way for people from all over the world to connect with a minimum of expense as opposed to the high prices that long distance phone companies charge.
There are many places where one can go to find chat rooms. These sites offer chat rooms that are often time topic specific. However, the problem of off topic talk has plagued the sites and users since the inception of the sites.
Many people consider talking off topic to be breaking the rules. The heated debate that this raises leads to a good many quarrels in said chat rooms. Off topic talk can lead an otherwise G-rated chat room into a completely different dimension.
Web sites often times make a chat room topic specific for protection against liability. There is the possibility of them being sued if they rate their chat rooms for all users and then they end up with talk that is not suitable for children.
For those who regularly take part in off topic talk it is a matter of personal freedom. Most of them believe that they have a right under the Constitution to say anything that they want. What they fail to realize is that the Constitution also protects the rights of those who do not wish to hear vulgar talk. Talking off topic has many ramifications, many of which can lead to legal action if the guilty party is not careful.
Off topic talk has made many web sites remove their chat rooms. This has caused quite the stir in the web community. Moving through out the web, you can see where many places that used to offer chat rooms site user abuse as the main reason for there removal.
The matter is of course not all that simple. There are Constitutional issues that need to be addressed as well as personal preference.
The main point made is that not all people disagree with talking off topic. They believe it to be just like having a live conversation. In life, not everyone can stay on one topic, that is a simple fact of life. But, whether that person goes to a place that is not appropriate with his/her talk is another matter.
Of Internet user polled, only 10% said they were bothered by non-vulgar off topic talk. That is the real issue in this matter. If someone wishes to talk off topic then most agree that they should be able too, as long as they stay within the rules of the web site regarding vulgar and offensive content.
This brings up the matter that both parties must face. If the site describes the talk in the chat room as based on a single topic and it is not to be deviated from, then someone does do they deserve to get banned for their actions? Most users say no, but they are not unanimous in this. There are plenty of users who believe that even the smallest of infraction should result in immediate banned status. But if you follow the simple rules and do not fly off topic then you will not face a ban. The main people that get banned are the people that constantly go onto the website and start abusing the other users or just going off topic. On most sites they will get a warning from an administrator that is monitoring the chat room. But sometimes that isn't enough.
The debate rages on, best to find which side you fall into.