Greatest Hits

2794 votes
9 answers
318k views

A Terms of Service update restricting companies that scrape your profile information without your permission

Update (April 19, 2016): This change is now live. You can view the updated Terms of Service here, or read about them below. tl;dr: We’re planning to make some changes to our Terms of Service to stop ...
  • 52.1k
1901 votes
7 answers
634k views

What is the XY problem?

What is the XY problem? When asking questions, how do I recognize when I'm falling into it? How do I avoid it? Return to FAQ index Other languages: ES, JA, PT, RU
1105 votes
1 answer
507k views

How does accepting an answer work?

What does it mean to accept an answer? How do I accept an answer, and what are the rules? Can I accept my own self-answer? What are the reputation benefits? Which answer should I accept? Should I ...
2515 votes
45 answers
245k views

Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community?

The last weeks and days have seen some erratic behaviour by Stack Exchange Inc., such as likely illegal changes to the content license and the firing of an upstanding community moderator with no ...
  • 14.6k
-627 votes
72 answers
175k views

An apology to our community, and next steps

I’m David Fullerton, Stack Overflow’s CTO, responsible for the product, engineering, and community teams. I joined Stack Overflow in 2010 because I believed in the vision and mission of Stack ...
428 votes
2 answers
54k views

Update on the ongoing DDoS attacks and blocking Tor exit nodes

For the past month, Stack Overflow has been hit by weekly DDoS attacks that progressively grew in size and scope. In each incident, the attacker(s) have been changing their methodology and responding ...
  • 6,779
1160 votes
2 answers
353k views

Are there any clones/alternatives for running a Stack Exchange style Q&A site?

Since the source code for this site isn't available for purchase or external use, I'm looking for software that can run a Q&A environment similar to Stack Exchange. Are there any such pieces of ...
2274 votes
30 answers
130k views

Stack Overflow is doing me ongoing harm; it's time to fix it!

Over the last month, Stack Overflow has violated its own policies and precedents to cause egregious and unnecessary harm to me -- to my reputation (personal and professional), to my health, and to my ...
647 votes
6 answers
301k views

How do I escape a backtick ` within in-line code in Markdown?

How do I escape a backtick ` within a code block? This is probably a duplicate, since I'm sure it's a common concern, but I can't find a question that addresses this specifically. How do I write ...
  • 9,452
648 votes
8 answers
385k views

Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"?

I have often wondered at the practice on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and the other sites where someone will ask a question and an answer will come in that says "Look here: https://link ...
78 votes
3 answers
24k views

Announcing the arrival of Valued Associate #1214: Dalmarus

We have been on a journey to revamp and improve the /contact support experience - it has moved back to the Community Team, we hired dedicated folks to do it, and switched systems more than once by now....
  • 14k
682 votes
1 answer
56k views

What is the association bonus, and how does it work?

I was just awarded +100 reputation on all of my Stack Exchange accounts. What is this bonus for? It simply says "Association Bonus" on my reputation overview. Also: What privileges does the ...
62 votes
2 answers
16k views

Testing new traffic management tool

Stack Overflow will be experimenting with some new HTTP traffic management technologies. Users should not see any negative effects. That said, we felt it would be prudent to announce that the test ...
  • 6,779
473 votes
7 answers
87k views

How can I link to a specific answer?

Is there a permalink I can use for answers/comments?
-339 votes
60 answers
94k views

A New Code License: The MIT, this time with Attribution Required

Update: January 15, 2016 Thank you for your patience and feedback. The changes proposed here have been delayed indefinitely - we'll be back later to open some more discussions. Important context for ...
  • 5,158
158 votes
60 answers
59k views

We are switching to system fonts on May 10, 2021

Update 3 - The changes from round 2 are live, but with one notable exception: On Linux, we spec’d “Liberation Sans” and “Liberation Mono”. Did some digging on that PR and installed a few Linux VMs and ...
  • 14.8k
-442 votes
24 answers
96k views

Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow have moved to CC BY-SA 4.0

Effective today, all Subscriber Content on Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network will be available under the terms of version 4.0 of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) ...
  • 178k
661 votes
19 answers
113k views

Any way to send a personal message to another user?

There has been quite a few times that I wished I could send a message to another user on SO - not ask a question for everyone to see, but just a short message informing them of something or requesting ...
  • 10.7k
222 votes
6 answers
11k views

Duplicated votes are being cleaned up

It was reported on MSO that it is possible for a user to upvote or downvote more than once on a single post (resulting in reputation changes for the author for each vote). After some data examination, ...
  • 58.1k
871 votes
76 answers
185k views

The Many Memes of Meta

Catchphrases and concepts that spread from person to person are known as memes, which, courtesy the Internet, can now explode across the Earth like a highly contagious virus (hence "going viral&...
1228 votes
31 answers
45k views

Encouraging people to explain downvotes

Note: If you're looking for a simple explanation as to why comments aren't required on downvotes, see Why isn't providing feedback mandatory on downvotes, and why are ideas suggesting such ...
537 votes
58 answers
98k views

The MIT License – Clarity on Using Code on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange

Update (Dec. 22, 2015): Thanks, everyone, for your feedback to this proposal. We're going to digest this one over the holidays and should have a follow-up announcement answering your questions and ...
  • 5,158
-650 votes
95 answers
26k views

New post summary designs on site home pages and greatest hits now; everywhere else eventually

Update 3 - 2022-02-01 We've rolled out another small set of changes + bugfixes. The largest change was that we removed the yellow from watched tags entirely, leaving just the new "watched" ...
  • 5,185
768 votes
1 answer
138k views

Which tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network?

What tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network? See also: Which tools and technologies are used to build Data Explorer? Return to FAQ index
31 votes
2 answers
207k views

If I leave a comment, then delete it, does a person still get notified?

Sometimes I leave a comment, then think better of it -- perhaps I decide to answer instead. If I delete the comment, does the user still get notified that new comments are available or does the ...
  • 44.2k
59 votes
12 answers
20k views

How might the Staging Ground & the new Ask Wizard work on the Stack Exchange network?

We have been working for some time now researching ways to improve the new user onboarding process while also addressing issues with question quality from new question askers. Based on our user ...
  • 58.1k
1569 votes
46 answers
52k views

Thank you, Shog9

@Shog9, a longtime Community Manager here at Stack Exchange, has just tweeted that he is no longer working at Stack Overflow: @shog9: Well... I suddenly find myself in need of work. If anyone's ...
  • 56k
386 votes
1 answer
270k views

How do I format my code blocks?

How do I post text so that it is formatted as code? What do I need to do so that my code shows up properly — not escaped or removed — when posted? And how to get the correct syntax ...
829 votes
51 answers
29k views

Net Neutrality and Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange

It's July 12th! (2017) (in Coordinated Universal Stack Exchange Time) Today we're gonna be showing a banner directing readers to the blog post (and thus, indirectly, this discussion) from every Stack ...
  • 434k
1098 votes
34 answers
114k views

Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?

I edit a lot of posts every day. I often run across posts with 'Hi' and 'Thanks' on the top and the bottom of the post respectively. I also run across things like: --User Should these items be ...
224 votes
7 answers
290k views

How to write nested numbered lists

I just posted an answer on Stack Overflow where I wanted to have nested numbered lists, something like 1. Dog 1.1. German Shepherd 1.2. Belgian Shepherd 1.2.1. Malinois 1.2.2. Groenendael 1.2.3. ...
  • 2,343
993 votes
22 answers
82k views

Firing Community Managers: Stack Exchange is not interested in cooperating with the community, is it?

Less than a month ago, there was some settling of the incident with firing Monica. It's obvious that there was not a lot of approval from the community on the course of action chosen by SE, or the ...
577 votes
1 answer
82k views

How does "Reputation" work?

On Stack Exchange, users may gain a certain level of reputation. What does reputation do? How can a user gain or lose reputation? See also What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? in the ...
496 votes
15 answers
96k views

Congratulations to our 29 oldest beta sites - They're now no longer beta!

If you're a user on a long-toiling beta site that's been waiting 7-8 years to get out of beta, this may be the post you've been waiting for. The 29 Beta sites that are 7+ years old no longer have the ...
  • 94k
314 votes
12 answers
92k views

Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered, zero-score questions after a year?

Related to Meta Super User efforts: Old unanswered inactive questions with low views/votes and Meta Server Fault efforts: Cleaning house, really old, unloved questions We already auto-remove ...
151 votes
18 answers
27k views

Updates to Privacy Policy (September 2021)

As you know, periodically we update our privacy policy. Today is one of those days: we've made a few changes to the privacy policy. The policy covers how we collect and use data on the entire network, ...
  • 13k
1849 votes
51 answers
47k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

There is a distinct decline in the level of civility on all the sites here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the off-topic and downvote buttons are ...
218 votes
11 answers
27k views

Congratulations to the 59 sites that just left Beta

This is an exciting day for all of us who work on community here, and for the communities that have given thousands of hours of their time to build sites on the Stack Exchange network. Today, we are ...
  • 8,132
1044 votes
1 answer
106k views

What are "Community Wiki" posts?

Some questions and answers are marked Community Wiki and are owned by a community wiki user: (In fact, this very question is one of them) Why have Community Wiki posts? How do Community Wiki posts ...
688 votes
1 answer
132k views

How do comment @replies work?

How do the comment replies (aka "pinging users") work? Who can I send an @reply to? How do I respond to a specific user when entering my comment? Will they be notified? What do people mean ...
549 votes
17 answers
18k views

How to avoid "Hot Network Questions" on the sidebar

This may sound like a 'first world problem', but I am quite easily distracted by the 'Hot Network Questions' sidebar, as I find them quite amusing and some of them quite intellectual But where the ...
13 votes
2 answers
140k views

How to pass "I'm not a robot"

I didn't have trouble answering questions in the past, but now I fail the human verification check. Basically, instead of a CAPTCHA, I can check "I'm not a robot". When I check it, it goes away and I ...
369 votes
12 answers
40k views

Stack Overflow for Teams is now free for up to 50 users, forever

Today we’re launching our Free plan on Stack Overflow for Teams. We know that sharing knowledge and async collaboration is critical to companies and teams of all sizes. We also know people need a good ...
  • 13.7k
334 votes
5 answers
162k views

How do I write a good title?

A good title helps your question get the attention it deserves. What goes into a good title? Return to FAQ index
583 votes
55 answers
62k views

We're switching to CommonMark

I’m Ham and I’m a developer on the Teams team here at Stack Overflow. Over the past few months, I’ve been heads down working on the way we turn Markdown into HTML when writing and editing posts across ...
  • 11.5k
-430 votes
44 answers
29k views

We're testing advertisements across the network

For several years we've had advertising solely on technology-related sites. But many of our sites aren't about technology at all, so we haven't sold ads for them. Traditionally, that hasn't been a ...
  • 6,004
349 votes
1 answer
78k views

Why do I need 50 reputation to comment? What can I do instead?

Users with less than 50 reputation points cannot write comments on questions and answers that they don't own. Why does this limit exist? But I want to contribute now. What should I do instead? But I ...
-359 votes
69 answers
60k views

Post for clarifications on the updated pronouns FAQ

Over the past week we've been busy reviewing our previous FAQ to directly address concerns over pronoun usage. We tried to anticipate likely questions, but… missed the mark a bit. Inspired by the ...
  • 14k
311 votes
38 answers
51k views

Goodbye, Prettify. Hello highlight.js! Swapping out our Syntax Highlighter

Update 2020-09-24 This is now live network-wide. Update This is now live on Meta Stack Exchange and Meta Stack Overflow. Any bugs and feedback can be posted here as an answer. I’m Ben and I’m a dev ...
  • 5,185
1499 votes
51 answers
60k views

Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I feel like there's a problem with Stack Overflow, as the number of people prowling it increases. Each question's answers are sorted by descending score and then by descending time of posting. This ...