Greatest Hits

2818 votes
9 answers
322k 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 ...
Jaydles's user avatar
  • 52.7k
1996 votes
7 answers
764k 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
1193 votes
14 answers
115k views

Moderation Strike: Stack Overflow, Inc. cannot consistently ignore, mistreat, and malign its volunteers

Update On August 2nd, 2023, negotiations between community representatives and representatives of the company concluded with an agreement being reached. The details of the agreement can be found at ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 81.7k
1120 votes
1 answer
537k 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 ...
1200 votes
3 answers
369k 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 ...
150 votes
4 answers
27k views

Shifting the data dump schedule: A proposal

My colleague Rosie recently announced that, because of our difficulties predictably getting data dump files to the Internet Archive[1],[2], we are setting more realistic expectations for completing ...
Aaron Bertrand's user avatar
  • 42.7k
791 votes
21 answers
72k views

Moderation strike: Results of negotiations

We have reached the following conclusions during negotiations between community-selected strike representatives and representatives of Stack Exchange, Inc. This aims to address most of the concerns ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 81.7k
2573 votes
45 answers
264k 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 ...
amon's user avatar
  • 15.2k
-445 votes
30 answers
24k views

Our partnership with Google and commitment to socially responsible AI

Today, we announced an exciting new partnership with Google to bring Google's Gemini to Stack Overflow and to provide Stack Overflow content directly within Google Cloud. The story of this partnership ...
Rosie's user avatar
  • 13.9k
-672 votes
72 answers
179k 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 ...
user avatar
721 votes
6 answers
343k 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 ...
smartcaveman's user avatar
  • 10.2k
-253 votes
54 answers
46k views

Practical effects of the October 2023 layoff

I hope that by now you’ve all had a chance to read and digest the announcement and the blog post about today’s layoff. This was not an easy decision to make, nor is this an easy conversation to have. ...
Philippe's user avatar
  • 21k
2373 votes
30 answers
151k 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
728 votes
1 answer
77k 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 ...
660 votes
8 answers
422k 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 ...
-563 votes
46 answers
34k views

We are graduating the updated button styling for vote arrows

Update This experiment has been graduated. The new styling for vote arrows is now live across the Stack Exchange network. About a year ago, the Product team, focused on improving the general ...
Bella_Blue's user avatar
  • 5,018
105 votes
31 answers
19k views

Changing how community leadership works on Stack Exchange: a proposal and rough timeline

For nearly fifteen years, Stack Exchange community leadership has taken a very simple form: there is the community-at-large, and there are moderators elected by ranked-choice voting. This system is ...
Slate's user avatar
  • 7,542
494 votes
7 answers
99k views

How can I link to a specific answer?

Is there a permalink I can use for answers/comments?
-427 votes
39 answers
52k views

New blog post from our CEO Prashanth: Community is the future of AI

For posts following this one, see: An example of a generative AI tool: Suggesting better question titles AI/ML Tool examples part 3 - Title-Drafting Assistant Stack Overflow will be testing a title-...
Philippe's user avatar
  • 21k
71 votes
22 answers
34k views

Update: New Colors Launched

November 22, 2023: To help with internal managing issues, you may see a reference number added next to the status tag on your post. These numbers don't determine the order or priority of issues but ...
Piper's user avatar
  • 5,635
-76 votes
5 answers
18k views

Upcoming privacy updates: removal of the Activity data section and Google conversion pixel deprecation

Activity Data section within the Users Preference page Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange sites currently have an “Activity data” section within the Users Preference page. It looks like this: What’s ...
Emerson's user avatar
  • 854
-346 votes
60 answers
96k 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 ...
samthebrand's user avatar
  • 5,188
296 votes
3 answers
28k views

We're rolling back the changes to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

I’m writing this post to let you know that we’re fully rolling back the changes made yesterday to the AUP and having them go through moderator review. I also want to briefly talk about how it happened:...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.7k
682 votes
19 answers
117k 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 ...
a_m0d's user avatar
  • 10.9k
-585 votes
21 answers
41k views

Statement from SO: June 5, 2023 Moderator Action

Update: GPT on the platform: Data, actions, and outcomes As you may be aware, a number of moderators (on Stack Overflow/across the network) have decided to stop engaging in several activities that ...
Philippe's user avatar
  • 21k
263 votes
7 answers
378k 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. ...
MarcoS's user avatar
  • 2,733
1253 votes
31 answers
48k 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 ...
893 votes
76 answers
196k 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&...
48 votes
9 answers
18k views

Updates to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) – January 2024

As part of our ongoing efforts to review and update policies, we’ve updated our Acceptable Use Policy. These changes come after a review period in which we made adjustments as a result of moderator ...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.7k
32 votes
2 answers
221k 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 ...
tvanfosson's user avatar
  • 44.5k
-218 votes
48 answers
24k views

If more users could vote, would they engage more? Testing 1 reputation voting on some sites

Update April 3rd, 2024 We have posted an update on the status of this experiment on MSO. Please leave any feedback, questions, or critiques on that post. TL;DR: We are interested in finding 2-3 Stack ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 109k
152 votes
5 answers
19k views

Sites can now request to enable a banner to warn about their policy on AI-generated content

February 22, 2024 Update The help center articles have been rolled out network-wide. See revision 15 of the February 7th post for more details. If you're interested in enabling one of these banners on ...
JNat's user avatar
  • 24.4k
771 votes
1 answer
143k 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
1123 votes
32 answers
121k 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 ...
542 votes
58 answers
100k 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 ...
samthebrand's user avatar
  • 5,188
310 votes
13 answers
39k views

June 2023 Data Dump is missing

The data dump usually gets refreshed the first weekend of the month, every 3 months. The current data dump is still from March. Is there just a problem and it's delayed like in the past? Relevant ...
Data Dude's user avatar
  • 1,801
827 votes
51 answers
30k 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 ...
Shog9's user avatar
  • 451k
399 votes
1 answer
278k 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 ...
321 votes
12 answers
100k 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 ...
Jeff Atwood's user avatar
586 votes
1 answer
84k 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 ...
1869 votes
51 answers
50k 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 ...
1064 votes
1 answer
113k 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 ...
-454 votes
24 answers
99k 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) ...
user avatar
-430 votes
30 answers
34k views

Starting the Prompt Design Site: A New Home in our Stack Exchange Neighborhood

Update (July 25th) We have moved the GenAI site into its Public Beta. Privileges have been set to normal public beta thresholds as well. Update (July 13th) As promised, you can follow along for ...
SpencerG's user avatar
  • 10.8k
568 votes
17 answers
20k 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 ...
Mohd Abdul Mujib's user avatar
-188 votes
17 answers
18k views

Update to our Advertising Guidelines

Today, we have updated our Advertising Guidelines as follows: “Retargeting pixels are not allowed on any campaign. allowed for a limited number of vetted and pre-approved Programmatic partners.” ”...
Des's user avatar
  • 3,939
705 votes
1 answer
138k 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 ...
438 votes
12 answers
34k views

We've added a "Necessary cookies only" option to the cookie consent popup

We’ve added a “Necessary cookies only” option to our cookie consent banner across stackoverflow.com, all Stack Exchange sites, stackoverflow.co, stackoverflow.blog, and all other Stack Overflow sites. ...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.7k
1607 votes
46 answers
57k 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 ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 81.7k
350 votes
6 answers
169k 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