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This question has been superseded by the discussion here:
Is it time to reconsider Social Media links in "Share" and User Profiles, etc?


Twitter isn't going anywhere any time soon, but there has been quite an exodus and Mastodon is quickly growing as a popular alternative.

This may be a bit early (Mastodon could still prove to be a flash in the pan), but I wanted to bring it up for consideration. A little healthy competition would be good for Twitter, and Stack Overflow would be a very helpful resource for finding new Mastodon accounts to follow.

I'm aware that I can use the "Website link", but it doesn't quite have the same cachet (and would interfere with those that use this for linking to blogs, etc)

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    What about counter.social, meta/facebook, discord, etc.? I'd argue that as twitter dies out we just remove it rather than add every new social network that pops up and sounds cool for now.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Nov 8, 2022 at 20:13
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    @AaronBertrand - It was always a bit arbitrary that there was a twitter link at all. That said... a decade ago, Twitter was my main source for connecting with tech professionals (Microsoft MVPs, authors, etc). I don't think I was unusual, in that regard. To this day, if SO appears to be down, I check the SO twitter account for status updates. I suspect Mastodon will increasingly fill that role, but I suppose we shall have to wait and see.
    – JDB
    Nov 8, 2022 at 21:57
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    To be fair, the SO twitter account is different from all the twitter accounts users might post on their profiles (it's doubtful any of them are as useful to other Stack Overflow users). But let's look at the data: what % of users do you think have even entered anything in that field in their profile (never mind whether it's still a valid account)? Take a guess: (A) 40% (B) 15% (C) 5% (D) 2%
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Nov 8, 2022 at 22:28
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    ...and that's something that has had over a decade to percolate and reach some kind of mass. Jumping on the mastodon train when most people first heard of it a week ago seems... premature.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Nov 8, 2022 at 22:30
  • "It was always a bit arbitrary that there was a twitter link at all." just as a background history, the "Web presence" (now "Links") was added in 2015, and it seems there was no change (other than the sunset of SO Careers) since then despite many social platforms after that. Nov 9, 2022 at 2:50
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    FWIW... if you use the website link on your SO profile, it already adds a rel="me" attribute to the anchor tag, which is consistent with RelMeAuth and other standards used by sites like Mastodon to verify links.
    – JDB
    Nov 10, 2022 at 15:36
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    social.vivaldi.net/@[email protected]/… amusingly there's a thread about (some of this) on mastodon. Nov 21, 2022 at 0:14

3 Answers 3

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I don't think it's the place of websites to add social media links anymore, and I would only ever be in favor of abandoning our existing social links in favor of just providing a single website link box.

With the flexibility of browsers and the number of networks out there now, trying to pick and choose which ones to display here will only ever result in others being disappointed theirs isn't. I shudder when I think back to the old days when sites had entire icon packs with popups listing every conceivable social site.

These days, there are even services that let you set up a simple "link tree" style website where you can link out to every social media site, community, or whatever other place you keep a profile with minimal effort. Build one of those and slap it into your website link slot, and everyone can easily track you to wherever they want regardless of what a certain site offers and without having to type them all in at every new site.

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    I agree, thanks for the answer. Any reason you don't slap this request with status-declined? :-) Nov 9, 2022 at 7:46
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    Indeed, it isn't appropriate in 2022 to single out specific services (and arguably never was). Simply remove the Twitter special case (and the GitHub special case as well). People can always post links in their profile if they want to link to Twitter, Mastodon, GitHub, or whatever. Or alternatively, if a "links" section is considered useful, make it a variable list where the user supplies both the link title (Twitter/GitHub/Mastodon/Whatever) and the link. Retrieve the favicon to show from the link. Dec 14, 2022 at 8:48
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    I like this. However, especially when profile links are removed, could we, for verification purposes, be allowed to set rel="me" on links in the About Me section? Apr 3, 2023 at 15:44
  • So, any chance this'll get implemented (reverting to just a website box) anytime soon? :-)
    – TylerH
    Jul 25, 2023 at 13:58
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    For future visitors, there is not a follow-up post: Is it time to reconsider the Twitter link in user profiles?
    – JDB
    Jul 25, 2023 at 17:12
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    maybe just offer like 5 generic link boxes instead? /shrug Jul 26, 2023 at 12:10
  • Does any money change hands as a result of having a Twitter / X link for example? Sep 28, 2023 at 15:38
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Twitter is dead, and with its rename to X I think this post is worth revisiting.

I suggest replacing social links with a more flexible structure for social links and personal websites. I would appreciate the option to add a small number of them on my profile and have them well formatted with icons and rel=me added to them.

I think the feature for this on GitHub does it pretty well and makes me happy.

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Verification is an important reason for adding a link field.

Mastodon instances verify links by downloading the page and looking for a backlink with a rel=me attribute on the profile. If the link is valid, it will be highlighted in green to indicate that it has been verified. This means that a Mastodon user can use the link field to prove that they own a StackExchange account.

I also agree that there should be no special social network fields, but maybe you should give people more web link fields. For example, a standard Mastodon instance allows users to add 4 links to their profile. StackExchange could also allow users to tag each field with an emoji/FontAwesome icon, so you could choose an X, a Twitter bird, or the Mastodon logo.

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