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I have edited my profile and removed some fields like email, website, real name and age. They are shown blank when I see my profile. but when they are empty why does Stack Exchange show them?

Can we show only the fields which has data?

enter image description here

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    I guess my question for you is why is this a problem? Would you rather see the missing fields or a big white space below the last field that is populated? Oct 16, 2013 at 9:20
  • Can you link to a profile that shows a different amount of fields? Oct 16, 2013 at 9:21
  • FYI - Your real name and email are never displayed publicly and only available to you and the moderators. So those fields are always hidden, it is just age, location, and website that are displayed Oct 16, 2013 at 9:23
  • @DuncanJones stackoverflow.com/users/1838341/dd see the field count is less Oct 16, 2013 at 9:23
  • @psubsee2003 i got u point Oct 16, 2013 at 9:25
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    why downvote..? Oct 16, 2013 at 9:26
  • I think @psubsee2003 has explained your problem - you only see more fields because the profile is your own. When I examine your profile and the one you linked, they are identical in size. Oct 16, 2013 at 9:26
  • @psubsee2003 but when the fields are empty why to show them Oct 16, 2013 at 9:27
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    @sTACKoVERFLOW On meta, people down-vote when they don't like a proposal. It doesn't have the same negative connotations that you associated with downvotes on the non-meta sites. Oct 16, 2013 at 9:28
  • @sTACKoVERFLOW why not? (see my first comment) Oct 16, 2013 at 9:28
  • see qus Why the profile information field are present when they are empty Oct 16, 2013 at 9:29
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    why so downvoting..is there any wrong in qus Oct 16, 2013 at 10:14
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    @sTACKoVERFLOW Voting on meta works somewhat different than on the main site. People vote here based on how they 'like' a certain idea or if they agree that something is a problem or not. People don't seem to see this as a real problem/don't seem to like the feature request.
    – Sumurai8
    Oct 16, 2013 at 10:23
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    Why did you copy/paste psubsee2003's comment into the title? It makes no sense now because it was a question addressed to you.
    – interjay
    Oct 16, 2013 at 10:26
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    Though I feel the empty fields are ugly, I don't really care and I'd rather have time spent on other features. But still then, I also don't understand why people would downvote this. I assume in this case a downvote either means that people think the post is not useful (I feel even in the first revision the intention was quite clear; details aside) or that people actually dislike such change (but then what's the problem when this would be implemented)? In both cases I don't really understand the downvotes, and I'd almost cast a pity upvote. In short: voters, care to explain?
    – Arjan
    Oct 16, 2013 at 12:03

1 Answer 1

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Between what you mention in your comments and the body of your updated post, you really have 2 questions.

Why are "some" profiles different than others?

The answer there is there are 2 main views for each profile, a public one and a private one. Personal information, like email addresses and full names are hidden from view in the public profile, but are in the private view of the profile where only yourself and moderators (and the Stack Exchange team) can access. The "Missing" fields you are seeing when comparing other profiles to yours aren't hidden because they are empty, they are hidden because they are not available publicly.

Why aren't empty fields hidden?

The best answer to this question is somewhat of a question back at you, "why not". Is there a good reason to hide empty fields from either the public or private profile?

My take is this was a design decision to make the profile page easier to design. You only have 2 layouts instead of a dozen or more based on every possible variation of completed vs empty field. Additionally, it could partially be there to show you what information you can provide.

In the end, I think they could be hidden if there is a compelling reason to hide them, but given the fact that there are hundreds of good (and popular) out there, this seems to be a waste of time.

In fact the only fields that do show up are the fields in which you can fill in the blank yourself. Fields that are generated by the system (like how long you've been a member, or when you were last seen) as always populated.

Just a side note, there are 2 system populated fields that are hidden when there is no data in the private view of your profile. The fields for "Helpful Flags" and "Recent Names" only show up when the value is >0. But these were added after the profile page was designed and since they are at the end, I'm guessing it was easier to hide when there is nothing to show.

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