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According to the Winter Bash 2017 FAQ, users can opt-out of the Winter Bash by clicking "I hate hats" in the snowflake menu.

I hate hats! How do I get rid of them?

When you click the snow flake icon in the top bar, a popup appears that has a link labeled "I hate hats!" This will turn off all hat-related events on all sites for you. You won't see people wearing hats, you won't be alerted when you earn a hat, and you won't be seen wearing a hat by any other users.

The FAQ doesn't specify what happens if a user has a change of hard and wants to re-opt in to the Winter Bash.

  • Can a user decide to re-opt in to the Winter Bash after declaring their hatred for hats?
  • What will happen to the hats they've earned before opting out?
  • What happens if a user meets the requirements for a hat while opted out?
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Yes, you can opt in again using the same link (because the snowflake doesn't go away when you opt out), and you retain the hats.

(source: just tried it)

What happens if a user meets the requirements for a hat while opted out?

As confirmed by balpha in the comment below, opting out of hats just means it doesn't display them for you. The triggers for the hats are still checked, so you do earn hats while opted out.

  • 2
    To your last point, that is correct. While the publicly visible behavior is like you don't have hats (e.g. it's not visible on your avatar, you don't count towards the site leaderbords, etc.), the fact that you deserve the hat is recorded for all users, regardless of opt-out status. So once you opt back in, the hats are immediately there. – balpha Dec 13 '17 at 16:40
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Just tried. You can, like every year.

And like every year, there is no "I have changed my mind" secret hat.

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    I’ll be honest, opting out for a secret grinch hat was the first thing I thought of. – Stevoisiak supports Monica Dec 13 '17 at 16:36
  • @StevenVascellaro I try that. Every year. No luck. I also usually send a mail asking how much would an hat cost (see the "buying hats" notice on the Winter Bash site faqs). Never got a reply, not even a "please stop" one :P – Hitodama Dec 13 '17 at 16:38
  • Why would we give a hat for hating hats? (Even for a moment.) – Jon Ericson Dec 13 '17 at 16:49
  • @JonEricson because irony? – Hitodama Dec 14 '17 at 8:41

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