There's a warning bar across the top of every MSE page, warning me that the site is for discussion of the network, and that if I have a programming question I should take it to SO.

That sounds useful.

But it could do with a little fine-tuning. I suggest:

  • don't display it on profile pages - you can't ask a question there
  • likewise don't display it on a number of other pages (tag pages, user index, badges page etc)
  • don't display it at all for users over X rep, where X is a value above the maximum reputation of people who ask off-topic questions here
  • 2
    It's only temporary anyway. See meta.stackexchange.com/a/278592/226203 – Billy Mailman Apr 20 '16 at 14:43
  • 1
    Sounds really nice, but simply not technically possible. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Apr 20 '16 at 14:43
  • 3
    I think that tweaking the message is a bit of an XY issue here - we don't really need to perfect this alert message itself, we should work more on preventing people from coming and posting incorrectly here in the first place. – JonW Apr 20 '16 at 14:45
  • 1
    @JonW with a network wide notification pointing here it's pretty hard. People click it, land here, see "Ask Question" and the rest is history. :/ – Shadow The Princess Wizard Apr 20 '16 at 14:49
  • 2
    True, but there seems to be more awareness that there are more sites in the network among non-SO users than among SO users. @ShadowWizard – Patrick Hofman Apr 20 '16 at 14:51
  • @JonW (slightly related) wonder how it is at UX.SE, does it experience much load of folks posting inappropriate "SO-kind" questions? – gnat Apr 20 '16 at 15:06
  • 1
    @gnat Sort of. But mostly of the 'I like the UX of this cool menu. How do I build it in JS' sort of thing. And very occasionally the overspill of people question blocked from SO. (But every SE site gets those, I'd wager). – JonW Apr 20 '16 at 15:18
  • It should be a clickthrough that pops up every ten seconds while your speakers blare a siren warning. If your rep is ... 35015 or under. – user1228 Apr 20 '16 at 15:42

Your suggestions are reasonable if this was going to be a long-term feature, but as others have already mentioned, it's just a temporary measure. We put an inbox notification in every user's account letting them know we updated our terms of service, and pointed them here to MSE to read the announcement about what changed and why. This is pretty much unprecedented, and we didn't anticipate how many people would be erroneously posting their programming questions to MSE, so we quickly turned on this message as a temporary solution to the problem. Because it was a quick reaction, we reused a feature called a system message which is designed to appear on every single page for every user to communicate important issues like the site being in read-only mode.

Because we used the tool for something it wasn't really designed for, the solution isn't perfect, but we'll turn off the message in a day or two and return to business as usual. It's not really worth building out a full feature that supports this use case better since we don't plan to need it frequently if ever in the future.


This is just a temporary banner and actually a misuse of the system message. You should consider this is the same mechanism use when the "in read-only mode" is shown: there is no user context available, no reputation, etc.

Changing the entire system to disable it on some pages isn't useful. It will be gone in a day or two anyways.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .