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According to Come Take a Look at our New Contributor Indicator!:

The new indicator works by the age of a user's first visible post.

This could be a question or answer, and the association bonus won't influence the behavior. While you might not be new to our engine, everyone is new when they first join a new community, so the indicator is shown.

  • How old does one's first visible post have to be for the indicator to be removed?

  • Is the indicator status calculated on the fly when loading a post, or is it permanently attached to a post and only removed on later posts?

  • Finally, what happens if the first visible post gets deleted? Is the calculation still based on that post, or is it based on the next post that continues to be visible? In other words, if I posted a few years ago and later post again, and I delete my post from a few years ago, will the indicator start showing up?

  • When is the "new contributor" label dropped, how many months does a user have to be a member before they are no longer a NC? I can't find that information, and I've looked at nearly all your posts which mention this feature. – Mari-Lou A Jul 6 at 8:26
  • @Mari-LouA The answer below mentions this. The user is no longer considered a "new contributor" at a maximum of two weeks after their first post, but if all of their posts later get deleted and then they make a new one, they are considered so again. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 6 at 15:15
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tl;dr We put the indicator on all the posts you make within your first week of posting. The indicator stays on each post for a week. Deleted posts aren't considered when determining if it's your first week.


I'm going to give you the technical spec and then answer the questions individually.

This indicator is a bit that's added to posts when they are created. To set the bit, we look for a user's oldest non-deleted question or answer. If one doesn't exist or that found post is less than a week old, we mark the post as OwnerIsNewPoster. So, basically, all your posts for the first week will be marked as "by a new contributor".

We show the indicator only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Indicators are enabled on the site. Right now Stack Overflow for Teams and Stack Overflow Enterprise do not get the indicator.
  • The post is marked as OwnerIsNewPoster.
  • The post is not a community wiki.
  • The owner is not deleted.
  • The post is less than a week old.

So, to answer your questions:

How old does one's first visible post have to be for the indicator to be removed?

The indicators only appear in your first week, and each disappears after a week. So after two weeks you will have no indicators on the site.

Is the indicator status calculated on the fly when loading a post, or is it permanently attached to a post and only removed on later posts?

The indicator is permanently attached to the post but is not rendered on the site.

Finally, what happens if the first visible post gets deleted? Is the calculation still based on that post, or is it based on the next post that continues to be visible? In other words, if I posted a few years ago and later post again, and I delete my post from a few years ago, will the indicator start showing up?

Deleted posts aren't considered in the calculation. If you were to delete all your posts right now (please don't) and posted a new one, it would have the indicator. Funny enough, I saw this in the first post I checked on Meta. A post from 2011 got deleted in 2016 and the user asked again a few days ago.

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    Why doesn't it consider profiles on another SE sites? Member with 10k on SO (like this meta.stackexchange.com/users/399862/ernest-k) will have this indicator on MSE if it is his 1st post here. But he is clearly not "new". – Suvitruf Aug 21 '18 at 22:01
  • @Suvitruf That might be an optimization worth considering if it can be done in a performant manner. Not sure it is critical though since experience on one site doesn't 100% transfer to every other site in the network. – Joe Friend Aug 21 '18 at 22:03
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    "If you were to delete all your posts right now (please don't) and posted a new one, it would have the indicator." Doesn't that kind of work against the whole point of the feature? If someone can get "New Contributor" status by deleting posts, how is that helpful? This seems to incentivize users who post just long enough to get an answer, then delete the post. – Nicol Bolas Aug 21 '18 at 22:04
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    So, it doesn't even check the acc age. – Suvitruf Aug 21 '18 at 22:09
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    @NicolBolas: Yeah, that seems to be a peculiarly perverse corner case, where the new feature not only does not reduce confusion, but actually clouds the issue more. Someone who has previously posted should not have lies told about their status: this makes it harder for watchful community members (especially on small sites) to catch traces of account abuse. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 22 '18 at 7:05
  • Just to be sure, what exactly is a "week", for the purpose of this feature? – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Aug 28 '18 at 10:42
  • @Shadow Appears to be seven days. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Oct 9 '18 at 22:42
  • @Sonic suppose the first post was made at 2:00 PM. Will the user still be new contributor 7 days later at 3:00 PM? It is still the same day, so question is more of technical nature. I know what a week means. :) – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Oct 10 '18 at 4:58
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    @ShadowWizard TimeSpan.FromDays(7) – Brian Nickel Oct 10 '18 at 5:04

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