I'm sorry, this isn't really a question, but when I clicked the "feedback always welcome" link, I was brought here, so here goes.

I am really sad and frustrated that you're allowing your API to be used by non-Stack Exchange sites. You may wonder, "Why, why is this a bad thing?" Think about it: your whole Q&A design is, for the most part, amazing. So, people are going to be spamming it all over the Internet.

It's already bad enough that there are sites leeching off of, say, Stack Overflow (which is really annoying). What do you think will come of this? I say no good, and I absolutely hate the idea. I hate the overwhelming majority of junk on the Internet, and it sucks that your nice software will inevitably litter search results with junk.

Then ask me, "Since the software is great, why will it be junk?" Think about it. You really think a lot of these people using the API are going to have a decent enough consumer base to support a useful Q&A site? Nah, probably not. I say your meta site is perfect. Moderate sites. The idea of using a voting system like you have in order to release a site is perfect; it really is. You can kill a proposal if it fails, so it doesn't clutter up the Internet with 10-year-old information, or just a bunch of spam.

Maybe I'm overreacting. I don't know, what do you think?

  • Most APIs on the web have limits to avoid abuse (spamming).
    – kennytm
    Commented Nov 6, 2010 at 9:20
  • I guess the main thing is if you release the api for others, it seems to defeat the purpose of stackexchange "regulated" sites, I would think? Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 7:38
  • @kelton52 , can you answer Jeff's question below? I'm not too sure to follow either. thx!
    – Adriano
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 9:53

2 Answers 2


I think the argument here is "providing an API lets sites clone SO questions, which is bad". Quite a lot of sites do clone SO posts, but the posts are licensed in such a way that that's completely fine, and if there weren't an API the sites would pull from the data dump or just scrape pages (like they used to do). On the other hand, the API allows people to write tons of useful apps, so removing it would break all those applications and do very little to stop clone sites


I am sure you mean well, but this is an unanswerable rant.

Can you provide some specific examples of what you are talking about?

  • 3
    I think he is referring to the fact that the sites' content can be reused by crappy aggregator sites (not really API related at all)
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 6, 2010 at 11:33

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