The purpose is to help the addicted user stick to a decision to concentrate on a different, short-term real-life problems s/he urgently has to deal with.

I've seen this feature on some high-activity community forums. "Ban myself" button should offer several pre-defined periods for banning: starting with a few days, and up to 2 weeks (or maybe even a month, but that seems too much).

Optionally, this button should ban the requesting user on all profile-linked SO sister sites.

Clearly, there should be no way out of self-ban period.


How do you escape an addiction to stack overflow? (web archive for <10k users)

How addicted to StackOverflow are you? (web archive for <10k users)

  • 17
    You've got a problem! :) – Ladybug Killer Dec 8 '09 at 15:46
  • 54
    If that button existed I would have about a bazillion SO accounts by now... – Adam Davis Dec 8 '09 at 15:47
  • 5
    Clever, but not really a good idea. Who'd click it? Would there at least be a confirmation to prevent accidental clicks? Does it not violate the "don't make me think" principle? – John Rudy Dec 8 '09 at 17:46
  • same problem of mine: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/48472/… – Cesar May 1 '10 at 3:24
  • 6
    Am I the only one who sees the simple solution: self control? And if you would now excuse me, I just missed a deadline and ha...oh look, there are new questions on SO. – Time Traveling Bobby Aug 11 '11 at 12:06
  • 1
    Here's a working solution to your problem: a userscript meta.stackexchange.com/a/126695/178438 – Manishearth Mar 24 '12 at 13:16
  • This looks like a great idea for a 50k+ privilege ! – Surb Apr 20 '18 at 8:06

You could try adding the following lines to your hosts file:   www.stackoverflow.com   stackoverflow.com

It has the added benefit of punishing you should you attempt to browse there.

  • 7
    I can undo that :( – chronos Dec 8 '09 at 16:31
  • 15
    ha-ha, I've checked those IPs :) – chronos Dec 8 '09 at 16:34
  • 6
    And now this question is on Google's first page of search results for the query ""; just great. – Pops Aug 30 '10 at 5:08
  • 1
    What if someone already has an account there? – rwong Jul 9 '11 at 5:12
  • 1
    You can undo it, but will you? I've found that the momentary flow break caused by not being able to get to a given site is sufficient to remind me why I "host-banned" it in the first place. – Kyralessa Mar 23 '12 at 18:26
  • Just visited that site first time in a long time. And ran away promptly when it said "Trusted by the U.S. Government" – Jonathan. Apr 6 '12 at 23:19
  • The IPs listed here have changed since this was posted in `09, removing because it's pretty much noise now, and this keeps coming up. – Tim Post Oct 23 '12 at 15:16
  • 1
    Restored with new IPs 'cause it's a damn good idea if you find this place has become too much of a habit... – Shog9 Sep 15 '13 at 4:21

So.. an ejector seat button?

know when to pull it http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/3520/knowwhentopulliteject.jpg

But more seriously, browse http://stackapps.com a bit. For example

Ban myself/enforced break userscript

No Answering: prevent answering questions


Perhaps "Take a Break" would be a better name for the button.

this is a very good idea; self-control is enhanced by technology ;-)


Wikipedia has a "Wikibreak enforcer" script, so I decided to modify it for SO.

Here's the script: Ban myself/enforced break userscript

Note that since SO does not have the ability to install userscripts for a user(on any computer/browser), this is much more easily uninstalled than on Wikipedia, where you have to ask an admin to blank your personal js page.

  • 1
    Too easily uninstalled, you say? I'll just open an SO question about how to fix that. – Justin Morgan Nov 14 '12 at 23:21

Do alcoholics get a "ban myself" button on the case of bud? Do smokers get a "ban myself" on the pack of cigs? Do women get a "ban myself" button at the shoe store (women who are addicted...)?

It would seem to me that a little personal responsibility would go a long way here. If you have other things to do... You should do those...

  • 2
    Of course, in a way one could argue that banning yourself (or locking yourself out of a system) is a means of accepting personal responsibility. – rjzii Dec 8 '09 at 16:10
  • @Rob: I can see where you're going with that, but still... If you got other stuff to do, do it... – RSolberg Dec 8 '09 at 16:17
  • I believe not a single class you listed (alcoholics, smokers, women) is capable of limiting that class's access to the object of addiction in such a way that bypassing it will be (marginally) illegal. In the case of SO, banning oneself and then re-registering would the violation of TOS (I haven't read TOS, so might be wrong on this one). Thus, "ban myself" is just a lever for exhibiting proper personal responsibility. – chronos Dec 8 '09 at 16:29
  • 6
    Though I don't see a self-ban option necessary, some online poker sites have this feature. – Austin Salonen Dec 8 '09 at 16:30
  • 7
    If only this was an online poker site... – juan Dec 9 '09 at 13:20
  • 1
    Well, it'd probably be a very good thing if alcohol and nicotine had, "Ban myself buttons". Then again I might prefer "F5" buttons. – Peter Ajtai Aug 30 '10 at 5:02
  • but why not to use technology to ban yourself, when it is so easy, simple and working? – Tomas Aug 11 '11 at 10:59
  • 1
    'Does case of bud / pack of cigs / shoe store have "ban myself" button?' ... then stackoverflow would be the first drug in the world to have it! Wouldn't that be great and exciting for SO? – Tomas Aug 12 '11 at 11:05
  • 2
    With Google Glass, you could now have something that electrocutes you every time you see alchol, cigarrettes or shoes. – Jonathan. Apr 6 '12 at 23:21
  • 8
    Really? Addicts should just exercise self-control? They don't ever need external controls to prevent them from accessing their addiction? That's exactly what rehab is, no? I don't think this needs a feature, but this response seems a touch dismissive of what's involved in overcoming addiction. – Jaydles Oct 19 '12 at 15:33
  • I'm honestly amazed you escaped the wrath of SO's female users with your shoe store comment. Are we really all guys here, or have I just been spending too much time on places like Reddit? – Justin Morgan Nov 14 '12 at 23:17

I think that adding features to Stack Overflow to help fight a Stack Overflow addiction isn't going to help.


Well in my case a huge dependence to stackoverflow is the best damned thing thats happen so far in my career. Maybe in the days of the broland usenet groups. This place is making me into a much better programmer then before. Very fulfiling too.


Agree, this feature would be helpful! I have a strong feeling that some kind of solution would be really helpful to many of us :-)

The user would not be allowed to login during the number of days specified by him. However, his rep could be increased as other users vote for his posts. If he needs to search for some problem solutions, he can browse the site anonymously.

The problem might arise when he needs to ask question he really needs to do his work. Personally, I wouldn't mind to ignore this issue. It was my decission to give up. But one might invent solutions like unlocking the account after 4 hours from request just for adding 1-2 questions. However, it's not needed by my opinion - keep it simple.

You may argue that is personal issue of everyone, but - why not allow this, if not only is it possible, but also simple and working?


There's been a few questions closed as a duplicate of this - asking for whether a moderator can suspend a user voluntarily.

As a mod - my typical response is - well, we're not your parents or your sense of self control.

Someone I know actually got a friend to change his password, seal it up and keep it somewhere in case he wanted to come back. I mean, sure you could reset the password if you have a recovery email (which is optional) but this adds a small barrier of re-entry.

Asking a mod or having a button to suspend yourself helps little since at best you're not solving the root problem, or you cheat and make a sock. You might still spend all day reading the site or posting anonymously. It pretty much solves nothing.

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