Right now, the year of a post or comment is not shown if the date falls within the current year, only the month and day.

This means that anyone hoping to screenshot a question to share it somewhere on social media, or to archive it in some fashion for whatever reason will need to take an extra precaution to mark the year of the question.

Even if someone wanted to share something that was posted this morning, by not displaying the year, it would be almost impossible to know if the content is from this morning or from ten years ago.

This may or may not be more important in non-programming sites.

In my opinion, I don't see any merit in the current format since it just creates inconsistency overall for little benefit.


2 Answers 2


You can always hover for the complete UTC Time code and use that as part of your screenshot.

Screenshot with hover

This should work fine when using screenshots on both Windows and Macs... not sure about Linux.

  • 2
    This won't work on touch-only devices, unfortunately. Jul 19, 2016 at 21:10

Presumably, if you are sharing a screenshot on an external platform, the post on that platform is time stamped. That should make the human friendly time stamps in the screenshot unneeded. The time stamp is not the important part of the post you are sharing. The content is. But, if you include them, I still think these are rather clear.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

As for archival purposes, both the API and full data dump contain full time stamps, not human friendly time stamps. Archives shouldn't be built based on screen scraping and screen shots.

  • Any opinion about the attribution aspect? Wouldn't a screenshot need proper attribution if featured outside of SE and with that it needs post processing anyway, specially for those cases where no timestamp is provided by the platform the content is copied to?
    – rene
    Jul 19, 2016 at 16:02
  • The user has to be attributed. That's the only requirement. Removing the user card is appropriate if the attribution remains some other way.
    – Andy
    Jul 19, 2016 at 16:08
  • Anyone familiar with social media knows that content travels far and fast. Images get reuploaded to different places, people email things to each other, and the "original" is always lost. It's impossible for an image host to know the date a post on SE was written. Jul 19, 2016 at 18:01
  • Not displaying the year causes SE posts to be incompatible with the nature of social media. Do you believe that's acceptable? Jul 19, 2016 at 18:03
  • I have no problem with how it is displayed. Can you explain why you need the date show? Aren't you sharing the content of the post?
    – Andy
    Jul 19, 2016 at 18:04
  • All I'm pointing out is that the current system of not displaying the year is broken in certain situations (such as during screenshots). If the date of a post really isn't important, then why does SE show any date at all? Jul 19, 2016 at 18:22
  • 2
    @AlexRamallo As someone who's used SE for a while, I find the current dating system to be significantly more useful than a full date. Seeing "3 hours ago" or "yesterday" or even "April 25th" is a lot more useful to me because it immediately tells me that the post is recent without me having to parse the date to recognize whether something happened an hour ago or three years ago. If there's no year, I instantly know that it's recent. Adding the full date makes it more work for the primary users... people actually on the sites.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 19, 2016 at 19:32

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