There's a bug on the Winter Bash 2019 homepage:

Stack Exchange invites you to celebrate the end of a great year …with HATS! As you use your site, you'll discover hats and other items hidden behind certain actions. Collect all of them, some of them, or none of them, but be quick – the hats get put back in their boxes on January 2nd!

(emphasis mine)

I know this is just copy-paste from 2018, but 2019 hasn't been a great year[citation not needed]. Please change this to something neutral like

celebrate the end of 2019

Yes, I realize for some users here 2019 may have been a great year for personal reasons, which are important. Usually way more important than what happens on the Internet; this may or may not be one of the exceptions. I'm happy for you, but this question refers to the general mood here.

  • 35
    I don't know whether to upvote, downvote or just cry..,
    – hat
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 8:32
  • 3
    Yes. Some answers were deleted. They were.... not nice. Please be nice. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 11:35

4 Answers 4


There is no conspiracy, and this is not reflective of faceless corporate messaging from on high. I literally just used the copy from last year. No one else was involved here.

I am not trying to give the community the middle finger. The opposite is true: if you look at recent community interactions, (I hope that) you will actually see me giving a ton of respect to the community and trying my best to listen to what y'all have to say. I (along with many other SO employees) also genuinely care very much about the direction in which this platform is going to go.

I hope that I will not regret my interactions here.

  • 7
    +1 The question should be closed and locked. I'm sure Glorfindel wouldn't object. It's clear the message is only a boilerplate. For the rest of the network, the message will not be interpreted as being shallow or insensitive but just your bog standard equivalent to Happy New Year. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 10:47
  • 64
    It's completely understandable you'd use the copy from last year by default, but I think it's a shame not to change it when it was pointed out. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 10:54
  • 20
    @GS-ApologisetoMonica Change to what, "terrible year" to please all the resentment? It's a boilerplate New Year's throwaway message, not everything has to be 100% world-aware. Winter Bash is fun. You can choose to avoid that fun if you got nothing to laugh about this year, and that's a reasonable criticism, but it's the essence of Winter Bash nevertheless. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 10:56
  • 60
    Maybe the copy should have been changed ahead of time. But at this point, any change will end up being analyzed for hidden meaning. I am not going to get into a debate over what defines something as great (or not), or what is worth celebrating (or not). Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 10:58
  • 129
    Yaakov Ellis has been an exemplary model of company/community communication. Please don't try to crucify him here. That would be tantamount to shooting ourselves as a community in the foot. Hats on to Yaakov for stepping up and being willing to take the risk on us.
    – Mithical
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 11:03
  • 29
    While I agree this wasn't a great year and the wording should change, I respect you personally more, so accept the rejection of the request. You're indeed one of the "good guys" over there, and we should give you strength, not the opposite. Thanks. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 11:37
  • 6
    @ChrissaysReinstateMonica just leave out the adjective, like Glorfindel suggested. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 11:56
  • 7
    @YaakovEllis Why not change a great year to another year? Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 14:06
  • 10
    "another exciting year!" Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 19:36
  • 6
    A great year - perhaps not for everyone but there may be people for whom it's great. Let's try to make the rest of the year better.
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 7:30
  • 7
    @YaakovEllis People are just angry with SE and don't understand the context of you being here, and there's just a lot of them. Don't take this as the community as a whole taking a stand against an innocuous title. For what it's worth this was a great answer and I think all that was needed.
    – Krupip
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 20:32
  • 3
    FWIW... great adjective /ˈgrāt/, Southern also /ˈgre(ə)t/ 4: full of emotion
    – walen
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 15:02
  • 24
    I understand that you are obviously not in a good spot here... but this doesn't really seem to address the actual question asked. OP was aware it was most likely a copy and paste from previous years, and are requesting that it is changed. This doesn't even remotely address that request (besides partially in comments), but you've still marked it status declined. I feel like your reason for actually declining it should be in the answer instead of the comments.
    – JMac
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 16:47
  • 11
    @JMac it's mostly a response to two deleted answers (which you can't see) and a string of comments which even I can't see. Needless to say I'm not happy with the answer and I can't accept it, but I did upvote it for being honest about the matter.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 21:54
  • @Glorfindel Ahhh, happier days when 2019 was, relatively speaking, not "great" but a "normal" year nevertheless. Commented Sep 19, 2020 at 18:24

Winter Bash was always supposed to lighten up the mood and bring traffic in the holiday period. Then why not continue it on a happy note?

I am not saying forget the whole problem, just to enjoy the holiday on a good note.

Also, there seems to be no conspiracy here, just a copy-paste case. Even the hats are all ill-prepared and copy-paste of previous years. So why not just chill for this one?


I just read the very last question of this year's Winter Bash FAQ:

Why are you doing this to us?

For sites that have hats on by default, your moderator teams or your communities indicated that hats would be a fun, lighthearted thing to do. Why did we offer it in the first place? Because we thought it was a nice way to finish out another really [insert preferred adjective here] year. You can always decide you prefer not to see hats and turn them off.

The text on the homepage has changed as well. It's a bit late, but thanks anyway. I wish everybody a great 2021 and let's hope we can celebrate the end of this year in style.


I personally think that we need to leave the past in the past.

We are all people, and we all make mistakes, and one of the best features of a person is to be able to forgive them. I sincerely believe that the Stack Exchange network understands its mistakes, and will prevent them in the future. 2019 is still a great year, both for the community and the SE team, so please let's celebrate it as we always did, and keep up the festive mood in our and others hearts.

  • 18
    What about reinstating Monica ?
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 21:21
  • 3
    @Alex So far we have not received any news from Monica. I understand that SE has made an awful mistake, but [My answer above].
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 21:25
  • 27
    I for one don't think SE learned from their mistakes because they still didn't even admit they made anything wrong. And they'll make more mistakes for sure. So the past can't stay in the past, since it dictates the future. Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 21:47
  • @ShadowThePrincessWizard At least we have to wait for a while to see if things are getting better.
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 21:49
  • 4
    If Stack Exchange had learned from their mistakes, the Monica situation could have been easily resolved before it escalated.
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 9:34
  • @Alex Well, I don't claim that they had learned but hope they will act better in the future.
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 9:36
  • 28
    I sincerely believe that the Stack Exchange network understands its mistakes, and will prevent them in the future. Mwahahahahaha :) That's a good one. Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 11:54
  • @FrédéricHamidi Lol yes, I actually did not write my opinion, it was just a test of how the community will respond to this.
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 12:56
  • 3
    The future is too late. SE needs to make Monica whole. If it does not, SE has no future with me.
    – user540056
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 0:50
  • @ab2ReinstateMonicaNow Meh, you're just another silly participant, why would SE need you? They have plenty more!
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 6:47
  • As for you, you fit in perfectly with the ethos and manners of SE.
    – user540056
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 13:36
  • @ab2ReinstateMonicaNow Sorry, but no I don't.
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 15:49
  • 1
    @VerNicksaysReinstateMonica Really, you don't? Your behavior here sure seems to fit. You want to sweep un-recanted mistakes under the rug, you don't change your mind when met with organized resistance, and you dismiss people as "silly participants" (yes, I can see this is sarcasm, it landed about as well as anything Sarah has attempted).
    – Kyeotic
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 6:42
  • @Kyeotic It's not my real opinion, you see? This whole post is just a test of how people response to such ideas, and could they have already forgotten how Monica suffered. My real opinion is the same as yours and many others here. BTW, +13 shows there are actually some people around who agree with this post.
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 19:27
  • 2
    Yea, you didn't invent trolling. I get it, but it doesn't protect you from the fact that you are actually saying these things, even if you're covering it a thin layer of faux-sarcasm. It certainly doesn't stop you from embodying the attitude you are being accused of.
    – Kyeotic
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 22:25

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