Can there be a notification preference setting for each user?

A user can choose for what activity he should get notification, for eg:

  1. when answer is accepted
  2. when some other person comments
  3. when the person asking the question comments
  4. when some other person answers
  5. when a user's answer is downvoted

There might be other possibilities too.

It would be nice if a user is given the right to choose what notifications he wants to receive. Can this be implemented?

  • 5
    Rule of thumb: If it's a feature Facebook has, we probably don't want it.
    – yannis
    Jan 17, 2012 at 6:56
  • 1
    @ZaphodBeeblebrox: its not about facebook , its about good site design, if u cant implement u shouldnt downvote Jan 17, 2012 at 7:02
  • Why shouldn't I downvote? I don't want such a feature and I'm doing my bit to discourage it getting build. I don't want StackExchange to shift towards the social network side, and I'll fight that anyway I can, which mostly means down votes (and a snarky comment or two). Also, please read the faq to get a better idea of what voting on Meta means...
    – yannis
    Jan 17, 2012 at 7:08
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox: ok got it, Jan 17, 2012 at 7:11
  • Can it be implemented? Probably. I sure hope it isn't though. You talk about notifications similar to facebook's but this site is not facebook. The focus is on managing questions rather than managin people.
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 17, 2012 at 9:01
  • 1
    I think the Facebook comparison is not the point here. The feature request is an acceptable one. May 26, 2013 at 17:48
  • Somehow this question seems more relevant now Feb 10, 2019 at 6:26

1 Answer 1


I don't think such a feature would have any actual benefit, for most cases there are sufficient notification mechanisms already:

  • when answer is accepted

    This only concerns two people, the one accepting and the one who's answer was accepted. The first one knows (by default) and the second one is notified when he receives the awarded rep.

  • when some other person comments

    If people want to notify you of their comments (in posts not your own), they can use the @username format. If not, why should you be notified?

  • when the person asking the question comments

    If that person wants to notify you, (s)he can either use the @username format or comment in your answer. If not, why should you be notified?

  • when some other person answers

    Again, what's the point? You are supposed to provide good answers anyway, you shouldn't care for competing answers. If you are interested in seeing what other people answer, you can always favorite the question and get notifications of updates.

  • when a user's answer is downvoted

    If you are the one being downvoted, you get sufficient notification via the rep reduction. If you want to know when other people are getting downvoted, you'll have to explain what's the point (other than curiosity).

StackExchange sites are supposed to be Q&A sites. For any feature to be implemented, it must be valuable to the Q&A aspect of the sites first. If it only enhances people's social experience, without adding any value to the Q&A process, I don't think the developers should spent any of their time to it.

  • 2
    While I agree, this doesn't strictly answer the question - it just re-lists instances of notification that the OP does, and hence obviously knows about; the question is asking can we have configurability of these. Well, I guess the last paragraph is relevant, but that's all. Jan 17, 2012 at 8:32
  • @Mr.Disappointment I actually read it as asking for aditional notifications (when some other person answers). If OP clarifies that's not the case, I'll delete the answer, it's way off...
    – yannis
    Jan 17, 2012 at 8:40
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox: many times , it so happens that people new to SO do not use comment feature properly (dont use @), or they accept lame answers just for the sake of accepting,or some times a questioner fails to respond to comments despite asking him to make the question clear , in such cases it is useful to know what the questioner had actually asked , and the respondents of answers should know where they were wrong and probably help them learn new things Jan 17, 2012 at 9:24
  • @pratik So you are asking for additional notifications mechanisms? I don't see how the problems you describe are solvable by notifications. Also people should be able to accept whatever answer they feel like, it's their decision, and they shouldn't have to care what other people think. If your only motivation for such a notification would be to go and tell the OP that he accepted a "lame" answer, you are doing it wrong. For getting notifications on new answers, how's favouriting the question not sufficient?
    – yannis
    Jan 17, 2012 at 9:28
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox: it seems u r jst skimming my questions and comments, just read it properly , i believe u urself will feel the need to implement this feature one day Jan 17, 2012 at 18:32
  • What part exactly did I fail to read properly? Maybe you wish to clarify that part? From what I understand, it's not a feature I want or ever will. Either I'm not understanding something correctly, in which case you should clarify, or I do, in which case I stand by my answer.
    – yannis
    Jan 17, 2012 at 18:36
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox: m referring to such questions , also look at the last answer posted by the questioner himself stackoverflow.com/questions/8905433/… Jan 18, 2012 at 6:57
  • @pratik There's nothing wrong with people answering their own questions. Their answers are peer reviewed as is anyone else's. If it 's a bad answer it will be downvoted, if not, I don't see any problem. My point is, there is no actual need for a new notification. If you had interest in that particular question, you could always favorite and keep track of updates.
    – yannis
    Jan 18, 2012 at 7:19
  • 1
    Am I reading wrong, or the question was completely changed? He's not asking for new notifications, but for notifications preferences (maybe to unsubscribe of some notifications). May 26, 2013 at 17:51
  • @TomBrito But the scenarios in the question don't generate notifications (except in very specific cases). So... unsubscribe from what?
    – yannis
    May 26, 2013 at 17:56
  • 1
    @Yannis "A user can choose for what activity he should get notification", I think we could extend that to unsubscribe from notifications such as new comments, new answers, new badges (which we receive notifications in our inbox today). May 26, 2013 at 18:01

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