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Questions tagged [etiquette]

Etiquette is the norms and standards of accepted behavior and politeness in our community. The golden rule is "Think before you post."

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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 ...
955
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35answers
91k 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 ...
519
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30answers
21k views

The NEW new “Be Nice” Policy (“Code of Conduct”) — Updated with your feedback [duplicate]

Update: Thanks for all the additional feedback below. We incorporated a lot of your suggestions, and this is going live (as https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice). We're also looking at ways ...
379
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5answers
26k views

Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site?

It is possible to migrate a question from one Stack Exchange site to another by closing, but if I have a question that I think is on-topic for multiple Stack Exchange sites, is it OK to post it on ...
369
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37answers
13k views

Proposed new code of conduct for all Stack Exchange sites

UPDATE: We've incorporated lots of the feedback below into what we think is a much better version than the one we proposed originally. Thanks a ton for all the input, and let us know if you like the ...
369
votes
12answers
15k views

If you're gonna talk Politics, you must respect those who disagree

This is sort of a follow-up to two past discussions: Toward a philosophy of Chat Does the Be Nice policy require SE users to "be nice" to people who are not SE users (e.g. public figures)? ...
266
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3answers
43k views

Can I answer my own questions, even if I knew the answer before asking?

I might want to answer my own question because: I arrived at a solution before there were any other correct answers or I like mine better, can I still answer my own question? I have a folder with ...
221
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13answers
25k views

Embrace the non-Googlers

There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to "easy" questions that involve quickly answering by copy/pasting embarrassing links to lmgtfy.com (or similar responses in comments, which aren't downvotable) ...
192
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3answers
7k views

What is the etiquette for modifying posts?

I'm getting pretty close to the reputation where I can start to edit others' posts, and I'm wondering what the etiquette for when (and when not) to do so. I figure that I should edit in the following ...
171
votes
11answers
3k views

Do not delete good duplicates!

This question (currently deleted (visible only to 10kers)) is a great example of a duplicate question that should not be deleted. [Note: this question was later merged into this one, which resulted in ...
165
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6answers
27k views

Etiquette for answering your own question

Often you have a question, you can't find the answer on Stack Overflow so you search for it (or think a bit more). Having found the answer you'd like to keep a record so you can find it again later. ...
157
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11answers
4k views

Do you feel dirty if you nudge new users to accept your answer when they indicate you've answered their question?

I've had a couple of answers today where the OP indicated via a comment that I solved their problem, but the question wasn't upvoted or accepted. In both cases the person probably wasn't able to ...
154
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4answers
7k views

Is it OK to leave “What have you tried?” comments?

Some questions boil down to "how can/do I do X?" Here's an example. Sometimes, people leave comments under such questions that ask "what have you tried?" Is it OK to leave comments like that? Should ...
144
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6answers
4k views

How should a user's death be handled?

It is a bit of a morbid concept, but having recently had a friend die unexpectedly and having to deal with the online repercussions of this event has gotten me to thinking about what should happen to ...
138
votes
1answer
13k views

Are expletives (cursing, swear words or vulgar language) allowed on SE sites?

Can I use salty, expletive-laden language on Stack Exchange sites, like Q*Bert? For more information, see "What kind of behavior is expected of users?" in the Help Center. Return to FAQ index
132
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13answers
12k views

Limits for self-promotion in answers

It's been covered before that posting links to your own website is ok, but should there be a line drawn? There were several spam flags today for Ira Baxter's recent posts, presumably because they all ...
118
votes
10answers
6k views

Posting and answering questions you have already found the answer to [duplicate]

Sometimes you spend a day or more solving a technical problem, and when you finally solve it, you may want to post it on your blog (if you have one) to share with the community. However, most ...
111
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19answers
4k views

Is it appropriate to comment on people's accept rate? [closed]

I've seen a lot of comments on SO, of the kind (paraphrasing brutally): (on questions) if you start accepting some answers, I might deign to post a reply (on answers) good answer, but perhaps too ...
110
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7answers
10k views

Asking for someone to accept your answer [duplicate]

Is it improper etiquette to, as long as you're certain, add a comment merely suggesting that they accept the answer? Do I sound like a reputation whore?
105
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5answers
3k views

What is the official etiquette on answering a question twice?

When is it okay to post two answers to one question?
104
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14answers
12k views

Why “What Stack Overflow is Not” was deleted

I just deleted What Stack Overflow is Not, a collection of various explanations for things that Stack Overflow doesn't do, wasn't meant to do, or shouldn't be used to do. Several people put a fair bit ...
97
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15answers
3k views

Closing Etiquette: Why Do Some Answer *and* Close?

I've noticed quite a few cases (here's a recent one) where people not only vote to close a question, but then also answer said question. At best this is just silly, and at worst it is totally ...
92
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18answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to edit broken English?

I've seen (and written) plenty of posts which have been edited by others to correct typos, broken URLs and so on. I think everyone can agree this is a good thing. How about editing for poor/broken ...
91
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5answers
2k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to moderators?

TL;DR Moderators are human and make mistakes. If you feel a moderator screwed up, please be patient with us and try to communicate objectively to help us avoid a lot of unnecessary meta drama. All ...
81
votes
12answers
8k views

Are taglines & signatures disallowed?

I recently had a number of my valid answers voted down because people objected to the fact that I added a tagline to the end. The answers were correct for the questions asked and the downvotes were ...
79
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12answers
4k views

Do you delete your own answer when it's a duplicate?

When I post an answer to a brand new question I usually find that someone else has submitted that same answer just moments before. (Matt Hamilton, usually ;-) ) What I've started to do lately is (I ...
75
votes
10answers
9k views

Thanking users who answered my question

Quite often a number of users will give similar answers to one of my questions. Sometimes someone will give an answer that is interesting, but does not really help with my question. In all cases, I ...
73
votes
8answers
10k views

Why is it considered rude to say 'thanks in advance'?

A high-rep member told the OP of this question that saying 'thanks in advance' is rude. Why is this so?
72
votes
18answers
1k views

Should users edit other users' posts to correct grammar and spelling problems?

Question says it all: Should users edit other users' posts to correct grammar and spelling problems? I've seen arguments both ways, and lean toward yes...but...
72
votes
7answers
2k views

Is voting to balance in the spirit of the site?

The other day I saw an answer which was ok. Not great but not bad. So no reason to upvote or downvote. However the answer already had a single downvote. I felt this was unfair so upvoted the answer to ...
68
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5answers
2k views

Show your work: one simple trick to make meta effective

Every day, good-hearted people come to these sites and run into serious problems. And then you come here or to another meta site, seeking to propose a solution to the problem you've encountered... And ...
67
votes
7answers
2k views

Etiquette for posting civil and informative comments

Sometimes I leave a comment like "Stack Overflow is not your personal research assistant," but am accused of being rude. How can I craft a comment that is seen as civil to the community and ...
60
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9answers
2k views

How should we deal with duplicate answers?

Duplicate questions are "solved" — it's clear what to do with them, there're tools to deal with them... but what happens when two users post the same answer? This happens a fair bit, ...
54
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5answers
2k views

Does the Be Nice policy require SE users to “be nice” to people who are not SE users (e.g. public figures)?

I've seen users remark that it is not a violation of the Be Nice policy to insult people who are not SE users -- i.e. that users are only required to "be nice" to other SE users. Usually this is ...
52
votes
2answers
1k views

Flag Answer, duplicate

When flagging an answer there doesn't seem to be an option for duplicates. Is there an etiquette for this, or nothing in place? If there is nothing in place can I suggest a flag as duplicate option. ...
51
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I mention my own products in answers? [duplicate]

Twice now I've seen questions on Stack Overflow where one of my company's products might provide an answer to the question. One was a slightly vague connection about object-relational mapping, but ...
51
votes
7answers
653 views

Editing versus answering?

If you want to expand on someone's existing answer (add more detail, provide an example or code snippet, etc.) and have the ability to edit other folks' answers, is it better to add your own answer, ...
47
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5answers
1k views

Is excessive bounty hunting good etiquette?

I figured I'd confront this question directly, because it's been on my mind since I started answering questions on SO again as a recreation. I've been trying to increase my reputation on SO by ...
47
votes
3answers
958 views

How many down-votes is enough for a user to understand their problem?

I am wondering what users should do if they encounter a question that has already been down-voted for a particular reason. If you agree with the down-vote, should you down-vote the question as well? ...
45
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5answers
11k views

Answer or comment: what's the etiquette?

I very often see comments about a question posted as answers, e.g., "format it this way" or "why don't you post it over here". I think this practice clogs up the answers and the comment feature is ...
43
votes
10answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to insult god in a user profile?

Like always I hang around in Stack Overflow's chatrooms. Today, someone posted a link to his new "reloaded" user profile.demo Along the lines I read in Arabic "god is a pig". So I asked him to remove ...
42
votes
1answer
967 views

Should I answer off-topic questions?

Should I post an answer to an off-topic question after flagging it? I seem to find off-topic questions that I can give a good, useful and correct answer to. (The specific question tonight is this ...
41
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7answers
2k views

Duplicate question etiquette: to delete or not to delete? [duplicate]

Let's say I'm a good Stack Overflow citizen: I have a question, I search on SO and on google to see if someone's asked the same thing, and I can't find anything that shows up, so I go ahead and post a ...
39
votes
2answers
425 views

How to deal with rude comments (from the OP) that are not exactly “offensive”?

User A has provided an answer to user B's question. User B (the OP) responded to the answer: No, you CANNOT [do that thing suggested in your answer]. If you do [your suggested aproach] -- well ...
37
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to ask for upvote/accept in an answer when submitting it?

I searched duplicates, and my impression was that requests may be acceptable, or at least tolerated, after questioner has indicated the answer solved his problem, and with the request for points via a ...
37
votes
3answers
550 views

Getting downvotes after I flagged an answer by a high rep user

Today I was going trough some reviews on Stack Overflow on the Low Quality Posts list. I flagged this answer as "Not An Answer" as "This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or ...
37
votes
4answers
948 views

Policy regarding questions related to unethical or “shady” practices

I recently saw a question on Stack Overflow relating to the iPhone Unlock Process. The guy wasn't asking for code at all, meerly asking what the process involved. It was immediately slapped with a ...
36
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it poor form to switch accepted answers?

I had a question of the form "does something like X exist?" Someone wrote a response to say that, No, X does not exist, but I could write it if I liked. I had suspected as much, so I marked his answer ...
36
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4answers
4k views

What's the policy about having multiple user accounts? [duplicate]

Take this example: all SO user accounts of user known as "icepax". I can imagine of any human reasons to create a new user account at SO, e.g. willing to restart with a clean (reputation) history. ...
35
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5answers
453 views

Is it bad form to prompt new questioners to formally accept your answer?

Every so often I see questions with good or even clearly correct answers that go unaccepted because the questioner is a new user who hasn't quite grokked the mechanics of the site. They'll leave a ...