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Chat room
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Chat room

A chat room is an online forum where people can chat online (talk by broadcasting messages to people on the same forum in real time). Sometimes these forums are moderated (where only certain people are allowed to speak), but usually not.

Chat systems include Internet Relay Chat (where rooms are called "channels"), Jabber, and several proprietary systems implemented on the Microsoft Windows and Java platforms.

Some chat rooms go beyond text messages, and incorporate 2D and 3D graphics and avatars. One example of a 2D chat room is The Palace.

Lesser known is the UNIX based talker and the French Minitel.

Chat rooms are often confused (especially by the popular media) with discussion groups, which are similar but do not take place in real time and are usually run over the World Wide Web.

See also