I just posted an answer for What criteria determine whether a Stack Exchange site should carry ads? question and noticed the Adzerk's About Stack Exchange excerpt on the right says "Stack Overflow, a forum..."

Here is the screenshot of it:

enter image description here

I have seen many posts that gets immediately edited whenever someone writes Stack Overflow is a "forum". I have also read the popular post Is Stack Overflow a forum? (including comments). I think it would be great if someone from SE could make a request to change the "forum" word.


The official Stack Overflow tour page says: (emphasis mine)

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers.


This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.

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    I find the weirdly right-aligned logo in the shadow box slightly more disturbing. They also seem to be missing a space in the header title.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:31
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    StackExchange is technically a forum. That doesn't mean it is bulletin board software, but more a forum to ask questions. What would you suggest the word be changed to?
    – HexTitan
    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:33
  • @animuson you're right... good catch. Unchecking the box-shadow property fixes the problem. Aug 11, 2015 at 4:36
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    @HexTitan you're saying "StackExchange is technically a forum" whereas my question talks about "Stack Overflow" which is not a "forum". I would recommend what's been used commonly i.e. "Q&A Site" Aug 11, 2015 at 4:44
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    and Stack Exchange is a network of Q&A sites, and not a forum
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:03
  • Those... utter. bastards.
    – user1228
    Aug 11, 2015 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


We just changed "forum" to "site" on our site to prevent any confusion. The original text came from Wikipedia though, so might want to change it over there as well.

  • +1 Thank you for the hot-fix! Good to see a response from Founder and CEO of the Adzerk. Appreciated. Aug 11, 2015 at 14:45
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    (edited on wikipedia...) Aug 11, 2015 at 15:06
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    @James if it's not too hard - could the StackExchange also be edited to Stack Exchange please? Because that is wrong...! It's also inconsistent on that same page - at the bottom (in The Results) it says Stack Exchange (correct), but the rest of the page says StackExchange!! Aug 11, 2015 at 15:08
  • Yep - this is done on that page and will be fixed on the home page shortly. Aug 11, 2015 at 17:39
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    @JamesAvery yep, thank you - I see it! One problem though: Big text at the bottom of the page still says Increase your revenue like StackExchange.! :( Sorry - I know I'm being picky here, but it's the last one!! Aug 11, 2015 at 17:39
  • @James All fixed now :) Thanks again for the quick response! :) Aug 11, 2015 at 18:03

Honestly... We could ask, but it's such a minor detail that I doubt it's worth anyone's time either on our end or Adzerk's.

Yes, technically we are building Q&A sites, not forums. But in context, I think HexTitan's comment makes enough sense that we can leave this well enough alone:

That doesn't mean it is bulletin board software, but more a forum to ask questions.

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    Sometimes minor things lead to major issues. Person who is not familiar with Stack Exchange see this and thinks "oh hey, cool, it's a forum" and moves on. Then later he/she joins Stack Exchange, start posting, then post something on Meta site (typically MSO or MSE, quite the same) and innocently use the term "forum", just to get rain of downvotes. Until someone explains, it's too late and the bad blood is there. Stack Exchange lost a good contributor. Doesn't it worth just asking Adzerk to change the wording? Aug 11, 2015 at 7:30
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    @AnnaLear I agree that its a minor thing but it's just that "Stack Overflow" is a flagship site of SE Network. Even SO official tour page says "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat." Aug 11, 2015 at 12:00
  • @ShadowWizard I think the solution there is to stop pouncing on every newbie who happens to innocently use the word "forum".
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 11, 2015 at 15:00
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    @AnnaLear and also stop downvoting questions without any hint of research efforts, just because they are posted with good intentions by innocent users? Where is the line? Aug 11, 2015 at 15:04
  • @ShadowWizard Are you serious? You can't see the difference between a well-worded, reasonable (perhaps a little naive, but hey, we've all been there) question and a lazy/VLQ question? I've seen people get torn apart when the only problem with their post is they called one of our sites a forum. That's insane.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 11, 2015 at 15:06
  • Sorry it took me so long to reply @Anna just didn't really know what to say. By chance, I have posted a comment on a different answer just now and it's relevant to our little "discussion" here as well: my point is, that if you (the team, not you in person) won't let the "purists" as the other person called them release some steam they will just blow from the inside and go away. So yes it's insane to downvote because of a single innocent word, but if that's what is needed to keep the core users capable and willing to keep spending time... Aug 11, 2015 at 20:01
  • @ShadowWizard I profoundly disagree that in order to keep a community together we need to let it abuse new users. There's plenty of ways to correct someone's terminology without flying off the proverbial handle. This is the thing that some folks never understood about the "Summer of Love" - noone's saying "stop being honest". The message is "say what you want/need to say, but think about how you're saying it." Ends don't justify the means, etc.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 11, 2015 at 20:04
  • @ShadowWizard Note that I'm not talking about downvotes, necessarily. Although pile-on downvoting over something that's correctable with a quick edit is also crazy.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 11, 2015 at 20:06
  • @Anna on that I agree. But downvote is a way to tell "you're wrong", especially in meta sites. I don't talk about those who also post rude comments, those should be flagged no matter who posted and why. That said, newbiews don't really understand that, and for them downvotes are enough to pack their things and leave, hence my original comment. Aug 11, 2015 at 20:06
  • Just noticed something odd and wanted to share: no downvotes here! Think MSE is getting better. (yes, OP used the horrible word "forum" ;)) Aug 20, 2015 at 6:46

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