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Stack exchange doesn't have many preferences, but there are a few. And those few tend to be stuff that people have strong opinions about, like whether the top bar should be sticky or the left sidebar shown. Those settings are network-wide now, they weren't originally. As far as I remember both of these were initially per-site until SE submit to the complaints about this.

Today we have a new preference, whether to show the site with the April Fool's theme or not. This is not a network-wide preference, but cookies set for each individual SE site. This means you have to set this preference for each site individually, and on each device you use to access SE sites.

Every single time SE has introduced settings that are per-site only we have complained. There's a ton of sites, and if you are a user that visits more than a few of them, it's incredibly annoying to have to set the same preference over and over again.

This specific case is even worse as it's per device as well. This setting might as well not exist at all if you're using multiple devices and SE sites. SE doesn't add many unnecessary preferences, they all exist because they're about divisive features that people tend to feel very strongly about. There's no reason at all those should ever force users to set the same preference over and over again. They should always be network-wide settings (unless they're something that is inherently device-specific).

While this particular April Fools joke is the trigger for this request, it's really about any kind of preference or opt-out SE implements in the future.

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    Do you remember a time when Bad UI was the default? In fact, there was no such thing as UI... Do you remember it well? As well and fresh as this is in your face? Do you think it's good to reflect? Say, on an international day, that pokes at all our assumptions? Prompts us all to reflect? ... PS You didn't ask a question... I'm sure everyone agrees with you.. could you live with it for a day? Adapt... maybe, experience what others experience super intensely elsewhere with much worse... personally, I love this, it's so refreshing - Also, it gives me appreciation for the neat web we have today. – Dagelf Mar 31 at 21:23
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    Some settings, including the two you mentioned, are ones that some people want to be device-dependent because opinions about sticky controls depend on the available real-estate. All sites I agree with, but assume that would have been harder to implement for a two-day prank. – Monica Cellio Mar 31 at 21:59
  • @MonicaCellio I'm not excluding the option of device-specific preferences, but there still should be a global setting as well. And if proper opt-out is too hard to implement, SE has to consider the consequences of not allowing users to opt out efficiently and the complaints this causes – Mad Scientist Mar 31 at 22:10
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    Who says they didn't consider the consequences...and decided they can live with a day of meta complaints? – Christian Rau Mar 31 at 22:35
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    @ChristianRau: We can live with a day (or rather 2) of meta complaints, but I do think we need to formalize toggling April Fools and Hats since we do this every year. – Jon Ericson Mar 31 at 23:14

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