The Stack Exchange team are very transparent and open. Have they considered adding a humans.txt to the Stack Exchange websites?

  • 9
    "...contains information about the different people who have contributed to building the website.". That's every single one of us ;) Would be a big file...
    – Lix
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:31
  • 10
    I guess the question is actually "Why implement it?" This is your feature request so you should be providing reasons for implementing the request. "Google is doing it" isn't really a reason... Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:32
  • 14
    I present: Stack Overflow's humans.txt.
    – yannis
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:33
  • 9
    You guys are posting answers as comments again! Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:34
  • 3
    @Lix Well, to be honest, I don't think all users in there are human (and, no, I don't just mean community)
    – yannis
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:36
  • 3
    For some reason I keep seeing an implied equivalence between robots.txt and humans.text, but I just don't see what it could be. One is a set of instructions to cooperating webcrawlers, the other is a bunch of credits.
    – user200500
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:43
  • 2
    @Yannis Does not compute.....
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:45
  • 2
    @Bart He is right. Some of us are not humans. Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 18:46
  • 1
    While I appreciate the spirit of the humans.txt campaign, I think its actually a terrible idea security-wise since it gives a potential attacker ammo in a social engineering attack, letting them know exactly which individuals within a company to target to potentially gain access to the resources they control. Not saying this should be a concern for SO, just in general, esp. smaller companies w just 1 or 2 employees run the whole show
    – WebChemist
    Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 7:16

5 Answers 5


It's not called humans.txt, but they do have an about page. Use the 'Management' and 'Team' tabs on that page to reach https://stackexchange.com/about/team, where the full team is listed.

There are also "Welcome Stack Overflow Valued Associate #000X blog posts for most of the team, available by searching for that phrase or filtering the announcements category on the blog.

humanstxt.org states:

Because it's something simple and fast to create. Because it's not intrusive with the code. More often than not, the owners of the site don't like the authors signing it; they claim that doing so may make the site less efficient.

In this case, Jeff and Joel take time to blog about each employee, and give them a face on a set of pages specially designed to show off the team. This is, IMO, better than a humans.txt, and 'about' is linked in the top of every page rather than being hidden behind a secret URL.

I might support redirecting humans.txt to the /about/team page, but the current setup is better.


They kinda do, https://stackexchange.com/about/team.

  • d'oh, I forgot that I'm supposed to post quickly and then edit within the 5-minute window. FGITW goes to you on this one! Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 15:26
  • 1
    @Kevin From experience, quality can easily trump speed. Lose not yer faith!
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 15:45

From the Wikipedia entry about humans.txt:

There are no standards to the file. Developers are free to include whatever content they wish. The primary goal is to acknowledge contributors to a site.

We already have something like that, it's the /users page. There you can see who contributed to the site in quite some detail. I see no advantage in putting that information into an unformatted and unstandardized text file.


I don't see any payoff for implementing this. It would basically reproduce our existing user list unless you propose some sort of criteria where users would be featured in that file.

If you needed to do something exceptional and difficult to game like modem whistling an answer to the server that gets 100 up votes in order to get your name in that file along with geek code, I can see it becoming a source of nerdish pride unlike any gold badge we've seen.

Implementing it just for the sake of implementing it seems like a bit of a waste to me.


"All the cool kids are doing it" seems to be the only argument for doing this, really. As pointed out before, an organised list of contributors to the site already exists, so a humans.txt would be redundant.

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