Virtual “rooms” where users connected to the Internet can interact by exchanging messages typed into an input box and displayed in the chat room window for other users to view and respond to. Typically, a user name identifies the individual in the chat room. Many chat rooms exist for different themes. In recent years, users, particularly females and children, have been warned by the police to take precautions when in a chat room to prevent cyberharassment and cyberstalking. Happy Online. Internet Terminology Defined: What is a Chat Room? [Online, July 18, 2004.] Happy Online Website. http://www.happy-online.co.uk/tutorial/ chat_rooms.htm.
An online discussion forum for a particular topic via keyboard (see chat). Everyone who is logged in sees what everyone else is typing, although two people can decide to break off and have a private chat.Individual Chat SessionsChat rooms hosting general discussions often run continuously; however, chat sessions between two parties are often initiated as needed for customer service. If a website hosts a chat support line, it lets a user initiate a session and interact with a representative at the other end. However, that person is often helping several people, and responses are not usually immediate.The Internet Relay Chat (IRC)Chat rooms began in the late 1980s over the Internet and even earlier via the dial-up bulletin board (BBS). Today, a hundred or so channels in the original Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system continue while thousands remain idle (see IRC). See Internet forum, instant messaging, SMS and voice chat.
Alternative spelling of chat room.
Referring to a teleconferencing channel that allows participants to converse in real-time text mode. Chat rooms typically are topical in nature, being dedicated to the discussion of specific subject matter.