Over the last few day I've noticed a huge number of questions that should be directed to Facebook help all end up closed and usually have the comment:

Welcome to Stack Overflow! This site is for Facebook software developers and programmers only. If you have questions about your account you should go here: facebook.com/help

Or something along those lines. It's pretty clear that we can't really do anything more for the people asking the questions apart from polluting the site with alert/help/confirmation boxes for questions asked with any Facebook Tag.

The other issue for mods I assume is the time spent going around closing all these questions.

The Proposal

Should there be a 'close as facebook help' button or flag, that doesn't require mods to come across and close all these questions. Instead it has some other sort of user intervention to assist in the closure of these types of questions, like if they receive 10+ of these 'close as facebook help' flags, it will automatically be closed.

It may need to become a privilege for users with over 500-1000 rep, or for users with over 250 flag weight to avoid abuse.

What do you think? Also is there any stats on how many of these question on a daily basis in comparison to all closed questions?

  • 2
    High-rep users already have privileges to close questions (with five votes). It might be helpful to add such a close reason for facebook-tagged questions, though (although I don't usually browse facebook-tagged questions, so I don't know if it's enough of a problem to warrant a new close reason) – bdonlan Sep 12 '11 at 0:00
  • good to have some hard numbers :) Just pointing out here that the mechanism exists already - it just needs a new close reason added. (Incidentally, the rep needed to cast close votes is 3000) – bdonlan Sep 12 '11 at 0:16
  • @bdonlan, in the last 24 hours I have flagged 10 of these questions alone (out of 13 total), and I was asleep for 8 hours of that. Also about 50% of all my flags are these type of questions. (sorry about the wrong name, not paying attention) – Cubed Eye Sep 12 '11 at 0:16

There is already a new user EULA clickthrough page which explains this.

Right click the below link and select "Open link in incognito window" (Chrome) to see it:


How to Ask

Welcome to Facebook - Stack Overflow!

This site is for Facebook programming questions. General Facebook questions, as well as bug reports and general discussion, do not belong here and will be closed as off topic.

For on topic, programming related questions, here are some tips to improve your chances of getting a good answer:

Now incorporating your revised feedback:

this site is for Facebook programming questions only

  • 5
    Maybe it could specifically mention "Account Support", "Privacy Settings" or "Fan/Company Page Support" in addition to General Facebook questions...Those could link straight to the Facebook help pages. They seem to be the big ones – Cubed Eye Sep 12 '11 at 0:29
  • 1
    sure, we can improve it in any way you think will help! – Jeff Atwood Sep 12 '11 at 0:33
  • 3
    I think the problem is that this isn't very clear on Facebook's page that directs users to Stack Overflow. – bkaid Sep 12 '11 at 1:33
  • I agree, with @OffBySome. If Facebook presented this a bit more clearly on the originating end, it would help. Still, the problem itself is much smaller than I feared it would be. – Tim Post Sep 12 '11 at 6:11
  • Look good @Jeff, the only other thing that I think should be added is a dot point that says "Having Trouble Logging In" or something similar, to this link facebook.com/help/?page=214512881928339 . Only time will tell now whether or not this helps. – Cubed Eye Sep 12 '11 at 6:14
  • @offby which Facebook page are you referring to? I can contact our Facebook contacts and see if the copy can be changed there as well... – Jeff Atwood Sep 12 '11 at 6:14
  • @Jeff developers.facebook.com/support – bkaid Sep 12 '11 at 6:50
  • 1
    The problematic text being "making it one of the best places for you to get help with your technical questions.". If they just change 'technical' to 'progamming', it would be far less confusing. – Tim Post Sep 12 '11 at 9:12
  • 1
    @Tim Post - Facebook has made that change to their support page on your suggestion. – Kevin Montrose Sep 14 '11 at 4:16
  • @KevinMontrose Ah great :) That will be nice to cite in a boilerplate comment for the lost sheep that end up on SO. I hope it has the desired effect. – Tim Post Sep 14 '11 at 4:59
  • @Kevin I wish they would add a link on that same page for general account questions to help out with the ahhh! my account was hacked!! posts. – bkaid Sep 14 '11 at 16:38
  • @OffBySome - that page is under developers.stackoveflow; normal users aren't getting there. They're getting to FB.SO via google and press releases. Don't see the point in putting non-dev stuff there. – Kevin Montrose Sep 14 '11 at 17:12
  • @Kevin Gotcha. I didn't think about Google / press releases. Figured it was the FB page / forum as the questions only started pouring in once FB.SO was announced on their dev page / forum. – bkaid Sep 14 '11 at 17:15

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