A chat log is an archive of transcripts from online chat and instant messaging conversations. Many chat or IM applications allow for the client-side archiving of online chat conversations, while a subset of chat or IM clients (i.e., Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger 11 Beta) allow for the saving of chat archives on a server for future retrieval. Most IRC clients and many IRC bots include chat logging to a local file as a standard feature.

Web sites exist that publish chat logs, usually dedicated to a single channel and including a search engine. This can conflict with users' expectations of privacy. Some IRC networks have published guidelines on making chat logs public.[1] Due to their real time nature, chat logs may be used to identify anonymous users by correlating information posted on different mediums.[2]



  1. ^ "Channel Guidelines". freenode.net. Archived from the original on 2015-07-02.
  2. ^ "How one man tracked down Anonymous—and paid a heavy price". arstechnica. 10 February 2011.