Some users have already complained on Meta.SE that they didn't receive answers on legal issues. I also sent two messages to legal (at) stackoverflow (dot) com from different emails last month, but didn't receive any response. Even something like "please wait" or "your message is incorrect" was not received by me.

How does legal (at) stackoverflow (dot) com work? What is the average response time? Are incorrect/incomplete messages silently ignored? If yes, why isn't any automatic reply sent, something like "your message is incorrect"?

In general, how can I protect my rights if this email is not working? Is the start of a real lawsuit against Stack Exchange Inc. the only way?

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    looking into it Jan 20, 2020 at 14:18
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    how can I protect my rights if this email is not working What rights are you talking about?
    – Jan Doggen
    Jan 20, 2020 at 14:42
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    @JanDoggen Probably rights such as the right to your own personal info (a.k.a. GDPR law in EU). That's my guess.
    – Laf
    Jan 20, 2020 at 14:59
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    @Laf-ReinstateMonica And licencing issues, probably.
    – Mast
    Jan 20, 2020 at 15:35
  • The email may be working, otherwise you even may have received an error message. It's very probably that simply nobody though about replying so far. Btw. legal also has a mail adress and even a fax number, you could potentially start sending them letters or faxes, but it may look a bit like harassment. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "incorrect message"? Who would judge the correctness of a message and based on what rules would that be done? Jan 20, 2020 at 21:56
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    @Trilarion - I suspect this was OP's way of saying that they didn't receive a bounce message. Jan 21, 2020 at 2:38
  • I've been wondering for a while if there's even someone responsible for legal stuff at SE: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/310142/…
    – Nemo
    Jan 29, 2020 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


I heard back from the legal team:

The legal@ email address is definitely monitored. Privacy/data related requests are routed appropriately and handled. That said, we are not currently resourced to send confirmation messages for all emails that are sent. We try our best to respond to questions that do not ask for legal advice. Stack cannot provide legal advice as that is against licensing laws, so those submissions do not receive a reply.

However, please understand that legal@ cannot respond to every message (a lot of pure obvious spam comes in and has to be manually filtered), but we do respond to all messages that ask questions we are permitted to answer. We also act on all messages that require action.

If you have reason to believe your data request was mistakenly or accidentally not handled, please email legal@ with information about your original request and details describing why you believe it may have been missed. Otherwise, please know that we are on it.

  • 7
    It doesn't take much in the way of resources to set up a suitable auto-reply. Jan 28, 2020 at 19:31
  • This is actually strange. The request that I described in my message can probably be fulfilled without legal advice. It seems that I have to send another message asking what is stopping them from fulfilling my request. And, apparently, I will not get any answer again.
    – andreymal
    Jan 28, 2020 at 19:42
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    Am I the only one to find it a little ironic that the suggested solution to "I don't think legal is looking at my email" is to send an email to legal? Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that they're doing the best they can (especially if someone has to sort through spam by hand), but if they're saying that they purposely ignore a large chunk of emails and my email was one of them, wouldn't sending another email also get ignored?
    – scohe001
    Jan 28, 2020 at 20:03
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    @BobsaysreinstateMonica Looking into auto-reply, and have looked in in the past. Worry was that there is a chance that auto-reply would unflag the new inquiries in the management system and make them more likely to be overlooked. Jan 28, 2020 at 20:08
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    @andreymal I don't have access to the incoming, sorry I can't comment on specifics. I can say that there are people looking at things, and that inquiries are taken seriously and are not just ignored on purpose. Sorry that there is not a more satisfying solution here than emailing again. Jan 28, 2020 at 20:10
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    @Bob auto reply can often be misleading since not all the requests get replies. Better not give false hopes. Jan 29, 2020 at 7:16
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    @Shadow9 "Thank you for your email to legal. Please be aware we ignore X% of emails we receive. If you feel we have ignored your email in error please send another email." should cover it. Jan 29, 2020 at 10:09
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    My guess is that as soon as they have to use their legal training to answer a query, it gets classified as "legal advice" and discarded. Jan 29, 2020 at 11:42

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