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When Facebook drove a truck of money to 55 broadway and closed down their forum (where they did reply to questions around 25% of the time), was there any type of agreement that they would help out answering questions or moderating? I haven't seen a single Facebook employee since the mini site launched and some of the questions simply can't be answered by non-employees (and thus I usually vote as off-topic). You would figure they would at least show some kind of commitment for the first few days.

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Moreover, they do not seem to make it clear in their blog post that only programming questions are on-topic here. Has there been some kind of miscommunication? –  hammar Aug 26 '11 at 14:56
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Even if the employees were here to answer those questions, I would still close many of them as off topic. –  Brad Larson Aug 26 '11 at 14:56
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They're Facebook users, why wouldn't everyone try to wash their hands of them? readwriteweb.com/archives/… –  random Aug 26 '11 at 15:00
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Synergy Mk II? –  ChrisF Aug 26 '11 at 15:04
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Please do not vote questions off-topic just because of who can answer them. –  Lance Roberts Aug 26 '11 at 15:39
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@Lance: I don't think that's the concern. Putting aside anecdotal evidence, the real issue is that the old Facebook forums allowed lots of questions that were unrelated to programming and the Facebook APIs. Since the Facebook mini-site doesn't actually change the standing rules of SO (and since all the content posted there will also appear on SO), those non-programming related questions are clearly off-topic. I think they should be closed in that case, nothing to do with who can/can't answer them. –  Cody Gray Aug 26 '11 at 16:42
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But I do agree that questions requiring specialized, insider knowledge that only Facebook employees/developers might know are not off-topic. Not anymore so than questions about C# that only someone on the compiler team can answer. We'll just wait for one of the Facebook employees to answer, just like we wait hopefully for Eric Lippert to answer. It's the content of the question that matters, not the knowledge required to answer it. –  Cody Gray Aug 26 '11 at 16:44
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@Cody Gray: Good point. Looking at the old forums, there are several non-programming topics, and it's not at all clear from the announcement that these are off-topic on Stack Overflow. –  hammar Aug 26 '11 at 18:01
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your "truck of money" misconception was covered in the podcast: blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/se-podcast-16 –  Jeff Atwood Sep 1 '11 at 9:12
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2 Answers

up vote 27 down vote accepted

From the Facebook developer blog.

Many Facebook engineers actively participate on Stack Overflow, along with some of the most knowledgeable Facebook developers, making it one of the best places for you to get help with your technical questions.

A quick query reveals 20+ Facebook employees registered on Stack Overflow, with a few hundred posts between them including a couple since the Facebook Stack Overflow announcement. Nearly all of these accounts existed before the Facebook Stack Overflow project was discussed, they aren't a direct product of the partnership.

If you're asking whether they've been given a quota to answer a day or something like that, no of course not. That's insane for the same reasons LOC is a crazy measure of productivity.

As an aside, any question on any technology that cannot be answered without "inside knowledge" that only an employee would have is generally not allowed and should be closed* either as too localized or off-topic. The same standard applies to Facebook questions, naturally.

*Part of this is because these questions are almost always speculative about the future. It has to be completely clear that a question expects an employee/inside answer though, just thinking an employee should answer is not sufficient grounds to close.

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*) Two asterisks, one footnote? ;-) –  Arjan Aug 26 '11 at 17:27
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@Arjan - doh, fixed. Sometimes I just get a little asterisk happy. –  Kevin Montrose Aug 26 '11 at 17:34
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Hmmm, I still feel some information is not revealed to us ;-) –  Arjan Aug 26 '11 at 17:49
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Just wanted to support Kevin's answer here. As he mentioned, many of our engineers were already on Stack Overflow before the announced partnership and have enjoyed interacting with you here. We're also now tracking the SO questions answered on our Developer Blog. –  Cat Lee Sep 3 '11 at 22:56
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As Kevin mentioned, many of us have been part of the Stack Overflow community for some time.

We care about it as much as anyone else on this thread and it is one of the reasons we want to spend even more time here.

Our goal was not to do something special for Facebook (we don't get any special privileges because of this partnership), but to support our developers the best way we knew how: on Stack Overflow.

Each week, we publish the number of questions answered on our Developer Blog. We also try to make it clear to developers where they should seek support on our Support Page (http://developers.facebook.com/support).

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Not sure why I have two profiles: facebook.stackoverflow.com/users/821917/cat-lee –  Cat Lee Sep 3 '11 at 23:14
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We participate in the discussion, but we do not moderate every question. Most of the questions marked off-topic have not been from an FB employee, as far as I can tell. Regarding reporting what % of questions are answered by an employee, it's technically a bit more complex than what we used to do with our forums, and it is something we are looking into. We participate actively on StackOverflow and, honestly, we've been having a blast doing so. I've answer ~20 questions since we launched the site, and I'm far from the most active FB employee on the site. –  Dhiren Patel Sep 4 '11 at 3:15
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@OffBySome - We'll try to make it more clear. We have communicated in our blog posts and on the support page on the Dev Site. As for employee support, on this page (facebook.stackoverflow.com/…), which shows the top SO participants answering FB questions this quarter, 12 people are Facebook employees. –  Cat Lee Sep 4 '11 at 7:05
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@OffBySome Thanks, appreciate it. We'll be in touch, though you could have reached out without trolling. ;) –  Cat Lee Sep 7 '11 at 18:55
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@CatLee: A new profile is created for each site you sign up to and Meta is considered separate from Stack Overflow. If you use the same login details, your profiles should be linked. –  Ambo100 Feb 7 '12 at 17:47
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