Is it possible to submit a question with an API?

We have some forums and we would like to add a button [Also submit to StackOverflow]. Of course users would have to authenticate themselves but this would be great.


5 Answers 5


I would generally advocate against any API that writes information into SO.

Gather info, sure.

Notify me when there's been a (comment, answer, up/down vote) to my question, absolutely.

With some creative scripting, you might be able to set up a "submit to SO" function yourself.

  • I've used that "creative scripting" but I'm just afraid for that code maintainability...
    – user136354
    Sep 26, 2009 at 10:09

Please, No

that's just asking for bot spamming!

plus, it's hardly a "community" if every other sub-par Q&A site can cross-post their questions here, is it?


It is very, very likely that the first iteration of the API will be read-only for all the reasons others have listed.

Not everyone on the SO team agrees on this point, but I think we need to get a good V1 out there for reading, before we even begin to attack the much harder writing problem.

  • especially to handle the authentication issue - if questions/answers were to be posted via an API, wouldn't it mandate authenticated sessions, so you'd have to be able to hand your OpenID token along, too so that you can avoid spamming?
    – warren
    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:10
  • What if I want to make a native client to access all of SO features, out of hatred of web apps? :P
    – Nicolás
    Dec 26, 2009 at 2:51

There has not been any real public API released by StackOverflow at this point but it is something in the pipeline. I would guess, however, that functions such as asking and answering questions will not be API'ed and that the API will mostly be used for pulling back information in a variety of methods for other websites and applications to aggregate and parse.


This seems to me to be a superb idea if it can be done well.

If a developer uses a special key (different from public keys as can be used in Client-side JS, and disallowing JSONP), and if their users use OpenID, it should be possible to request Stack Exchange to verify that the supplied user has privileges to post on Stack Overflow and that the developer's site has rights to their supplied user's data (as well as API privileges), there is absolutely nothing inherently prohibitive here about allowing alternative APIs to be created.

The possibility for spam here is no different than for spam posted to Stack Overflow directly if implemented correctly. Questions would not be automatically approved just because they came from a developer--that would depend on the user, functioning the same as though they logged in through Stack Overflow.

Some sites do not wish to take advantage of the API until it can provide users with the immediate ability to continue asking their questions on that site. The ability to allow alternative interfaces, and to allow any information-based site to replace its comment system with Stack Exchange's is a very compelling one both for those sites as well as the Stack Overflow users who can find way more questions and answers in a unified way.

  • Check our use case. We display users with possible answers from various sources for their specific problem. When match doesn't score high, they have option to publish their question. About abuse, with the first abuse, the admin can lock down the api key. In our case, we will be taking care of abuse on our side before it gets posted to stackoverflow. That is, the user says publish it and then our dev support will check valid publish and then the dev will publish it. But it should happen with the click.
    – i-Dev.in
    Jul 3, 2013 at 6:03

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