I just visited the shiny new Code of Conduct page on my home site. And was immediately put off by a giant picture of the SO logo, in a style of drawing which I've seen before (maybe on the blog?) and associate with SO only.:

CoC image

Is this page something SO-specific, like a lot of the blog posts - something that, as a non-programmer and a user of non-SO network sites, I can just close and not bother reading?


But if I hadn't known about this CoC already from following previous meta discussions, I would have assumed it was another SO thing and just closed it.

Please can this be changed so it feels more inclusive of the rest of the network? Of course you don't want to design a special image for every single site, but how about no image at all? Unlike some other images further down the page, this one isn't necessary at all to help people understand the CoC.

I apologise to the designers who worked to create this image, but I really think it gives the wrong impression to us non-SO users, and that it should be removed.

  • 4
    Really? I see no unicorns here.
    – user351483
    Aug 8, 2018 at 10:06
  • 4
    Isn't every site run by Stack Exchange? Isn't SO the mother site? Isn't the stack of books = knowledge, inclusive? I don't feel excluded in the slightest. Aug 8, 2018 at 10:06
  • 8
    @Mari-LouA Stack Exchange =/= Stack Overflow. Regardless of how the company chooses to label itself, I'm part of the network of sites which don't share that "stack overflowing" logo or other branding which is specific to the site for programmers. Aug 8, 2018 at 10:07
  • 7
    I recently just saw the image, after trying to work out what it was and realising it was the SO logo I too thought it was odd. The network is StackExchange not StackOverflow after all. Aug 8, 2018 at 10:08
  • 4
    @intentionallyleftblank 1.3 Not excluding any section of society or any party involved in something.: Seems perfectly fine to me going by that definition. Aug 8, 2018 at 10:58
  • 7
    We're talking about this now, just FYI. It may take a day or three to post back about it.
    – user50049
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:20
  • Most of the blog posts that pop up are entirely unrelated to the sites I use. Mostly I just use ad-block on them to get them off my screen
    – Richard
    Aug 8, 2018 at 16:29
  • They aren't coding on those laptops they're 'shipping ST:TNG characters on furry forums.
    – user1228
    Aug 8, 2018 at 17:20
  • Well, if all and every community really does uphold all the comments ruling, sure, let's think about a different logo. But some part of me really doubts that moderators in smaller communities will start to accept all "no longer needed" or "unfriendly" flags as is the case on SO. Aug 8, 2018 at 23:36
  • @FélixGagnon-Grenier The CoC is intended to apply to all communities. That doesn't mean accepting all NLN/unfriendly flags though; invalid flags will always be a thing. Aug 8, 2018 at 23:38
  • Yes of course! I don't mean to say that it's only for SO. I just wonder if all communities will be as zealous with comment removal as what we see right now on SO. Which I realize now is... pretty orthogonal to your question. Aug 8, 2018 at 23:39

2 Answers 2


If you look hard enough at anything, you can find something that wasn't included...

While the main focus of the image is based on the Stack Overflow logo, the Stack Exchange network itself has a similar logo, made up of stacked bars. The ones on SO are just curved and sitting in a box.

The main point of the image to me is to show a group people in what looks like an office setting performing tech related tasks. This seems pretty appropriate for the community here but...

Should I feel not included because I don't work in an office? Should I feel not included because I use a desktop instead of a laptop? Should I feel not included because while there is a person a wheelchair, there are no amputees shown? Should I feel not included because there are no animals shown (because I like cats more than people)? Should I feel not included because everyone has clothes on (shout-out to the nudists)?

Or since we are talking about the communities as a whole not individuals, should the image include a piece of the 173 communities? A simple fix might be to change it from and SO centered logo to an SE centered logo , but is that inclusive?

I think you are focusing on the wrong thing here. The code of conduct is "site specific"; each site has their own CoC page (i.e. the webpage you link is scifi.stackexchange.com/conduct), it is not just listed on the main SE landing page and it calls out the community name in the opening.

We commit to enforcing and improving the Code of Conduct. It applies to everyone using Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange and the Stack Exchange network, including our team, moderators, and anyone posting to Q&A sites or chat rooms.

While I'm sure these were not hard things to do, I feel it reinforces to the person visiting the page this is for you/your community

  • 5
    "If you look hard enough at anything, you can find something to be offended about anywhere". I feel like that is not a very nice sentence. In the Code of Conduct it says "No subtle put-downs or unfriendly language". Your first sentence sounds to me like a subtle put-down.
    – Vincent
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:31
  • 1
    While I agree with the general sentiment here, you yourself raise a point for why the image shouldn't be the SO logo but rather the SE one... "The code of conduct is "site specific"; each site has their own CoC page" Aug 8, 2018 at 13:31
  • 10
    @Vincent When you think the sentence "If you look hard enough at anything, you can find something to be offended about anywhere" is a put down, this to me kind of proves the point. I cannot fathom how this can be interpreted as a put down. Is it the word "you" which is the problem here? Would it be better if it said "If someone looks hard enough..."? Aug 8, 2018 at 13:36
  • @Vincent Putting my Philip J. Fry face on right now... Can't tell! If you can help me identify what is unfriendly I will gladly correct it.
    – Skooba
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:38
  • 2
    @ReeceKenney In my opinion, the sentence is insinuating that the OP is not really interested in the point he brings up, but only posted it to create drama. This is interpretative feedback. In any case, it adds nothing to the post and is certainly not very friendly.
    – Vincent
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:41
  • 4
    @Vincent I couldn't disagree more. The question talks about how the image isn't inclusive. His opening sentence just explains that if you look hard enough at something, you'll always be able to find some reason that it's not inclusive. This is a direct response to the point of the question Aug 8, 2018 at 13:47
  • 3
    1) My issue isn't really about "inclusiveness" so much as using an SO-style image for the whole network. Much of your answer reads like a response to the now-deleted sentence in Mari-Lou's answer. 2) "the Stack Exchange network itself has a similar logo, made up of stacked bars" - really? That's a stretch, surely? The thing in the image is clearly an SO logo. And in any case, there's also the very SO-ish style of the image (cf this page). 3) Your last paragraph seems confused: the CoC is not site-specific, but it looks as though it's SO-specific. Aug 8, 2018 at 21:38
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor 1) Your question explicitly states "Please can this be changed so it feels more inclusive of the rest of the network? ". I might add to my example, it would be impossible to include something from the 173 communities to be fully inclusive. 2) Yes the logo is not my strongest argument. I would expect that the designers employed by SE would perform similar style works. 3) Yes, main body of the CoC is not site specific, but if you notice the link you provide directs to a SFF page, not an SO or even Main Meta page. Also the community is mentioned by name in the second paragraph.
    – Skooba
    Aug 9, 2018 at 16:22
  • 2
    @Skooba Meh, I should have known better than to use a word like "inclusive" and hope not to start a diversity debate. I still feel your answer misses the point. Things like ethnicity, gender, desktop vs laptop, amputees, and nudists are mostly irrelevant to the working of SE sites: you can ask and answer questions regardless of all that. But using a style specific to one site, on a page that's (very) relevant for the whole network, is ... jarring. Differences between sites are relevant to our usage of SE. Aug 10, 2018 at 10:28

I don't feel excluded in the slightest, and I know next to nothing about coding.

Founded in 2008, Stack Overflow is the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

If we look at the numbers, SO has to date a staggering 16,275,978 questions, 25 million answers, and 9.2 million users. It makes business sense that the designers want visitors/users to associate the CoC primarily with SO, and successively to its sister sites.

Besides, isn't SO the oldest and most well-known site?
Isn't every site run by Stack Exchange?
Doesn't the stack of books represent knowledge, and is therefore inclusive?

  • what? so it's ok for a conference poster to show only men as long as most of the attendees are men? You're totally missing the point about being inclusive. "But most of our X are Y" is never why you show only Y's in the material about X. Aug 10, 2018 at 19:27
  • @KateGregory It makes sense that the illustration is orientated towards digital devices and not gardening tools, right? Despite there being a community called Gardening & Landscaping. It makes sense that the illustration contains the logo of Stack Overflow because that is the "mother" site, with the greatest number of participants. Aug 10, 2018 at 19:38
  • However, there are members of religious faith Q&A sites that in theory should or could interest millions of visitors, should the designers have included religious symbols of Christian, Jewish or Hindu faith then? As long as there were two female figures in the illustration, I'm fine. The vast majority of users on SE are men but they are NOT the only sex. I don't have a problem with that. Aug 10, 2018 at 19:39
  • It's fine that you don't feel excluded (neither did I) but the logic "hey most are SO users so it's fine" is not logic I support. While it would be crazy to get all the logos in there, or depictions of all the site activities, choosing to use the SO logo instead of the SE logo is like putting only men on the conference poster. Choosing a majority image to represent the whole. That is not inclusive and saying "but SO is the majority" doesn't make it inclusive. Aug 10, 2018 at 20:16
  • @KateGregory It makes business sense, there are approx 5.7 million registered SO users, so it's not just the "most" it's overwhelmingly the vast majority. It would be foolhardy to expect the designers to come with an illustration that represents all 133 communities. It cannot be done. But you can attempt to reflect the different sexes, races (not very successful IMO) and ages of millions of users, which I think was the aim of this illustration. Aug 10, 2018 at 20:34

You must log in to answer this question.

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