Questions tagged [faq]

These posts are your quick guide to the what, how, where, and when of the Stack Exchange network.

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789
votes
14answers
74k views

Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange

This is an unofficial list/changelog of new features and various changes to Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network. It is maintained by the community, while a Stack Exchange employee changes ...
1833
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7answers
576k 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
587
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1answer
66k views

How does the bounty system work?

It's possible to offer and award bounties of reputation on questions. What is a bounty? How can I find questions that have a bounty attached? How do I start a bounty? When can I start a bounty? Why ...
302
votes
2answers
30k views

What are the “spam” and “rude or abusive” (offensive) flags, and how do they work?

When flagging, there are two special case options: spam and rude or abusive. What is spam, and when should I flag content as such? What is considered offensive, rude or abusive content? How does the ...
424
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5answers
16k views

What is a 'rollback'?

What is a 'rollback' on Stack Exchange sites? I have seen this mentioned but I do not understand the term. Please note: this question has been locked as it was used as a sandbox for performing ...
20
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1answer
813 views

I lost control of my account before registering. Can it be recovered?

I asked and answered a question on a Stack Exchange site without registering. I was accessing my unregistered account through my browser, which kept me logged in. However, someone reset my cookies and ...
452
votes
1answer
22k views

A site (or scraper) is copying content from Stack Exchange. What should I do?

Since day one of Stack Overflow, all content posted on Stack Exchange sites by their users (i.e. you wonderful people) has been provided to the whole universe under the CC BY-SA license. For my fellow ...
511
votes
1answer
270k views

What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites?

Stack Exchange sites use Markdown for questions and answers. Per the Markdown specification, intermixing HTML and Markdown tags is allowed, but not all the HTML tags are allowed, to avoid XSS. Which ...
270
votes
1answer
130k views

What can I do when getting "We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account"?

If you are reading this, you may have been affected by one of our post quality bans. If so, it is important that you read the following information to understand what has happened and how to regain ...
501
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1answer
87k views

How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

What circumstances can cause a question or answer to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? How can a post be deleted? When can't I delete my own post? Can I still see my post even after it's ...
297
votes
1answer
41k views

How do suggested edits work?

When clicking "edit" I see: Your edit will be placed in a queue until it is peer reviewed. We welcome edits that make the post easier to understand and more valuable for readers. Because ...
281
votes
1answer
23k views

Do posts have to be in English on Stack Exchange?

Otherwise known as 必须用英语吗?(is English required?) ¿Necesito hablar en inglés? ?האם אני חייב לכתוב באנגלית Muss ich auf Englisch schreiben? Do I have to use English when posting a question, an answer ...
71
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8answers
14k views

Filtering questions by multiple tags

I know you can select a tag and then click on unanswered to view the unanswered questions for that tag. But is there a way to view questions only for a certain set of tags > 1 tag? Mainly I'd like ...
150
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3answers
11k views

How do you reopen a closed question?

To reopen a closed question, up to five (5) people✝ with the ability to cast reopen votes must agree that the question is suitable for the site and cast votes to reopen the question. But: How does ...
120
votes
1answer
95k views

How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?

Where does the image come from? How do I change my profile picture, or avatar? How do I change my profile picture on all SE sites at once? How can I use different avatars on different SE sites? How do ...
100
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1answer
2k views

Why does flag marking as helpful/declined not always correlate with moderator action?

I flagged a post and (choose one) my flag was marked as helpful, yet nothing was done my flag was marked as declined, yet the post was deleted/edited/closed Why? Return to FAQ index
160
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1answer
8k views

What is a “protected” or "highly active" question?

Questions can be protected (i.e. marked "highly active"). What does it mean for a question to be protected? Why are some questions protected? Who can protect and unprotect questions? Who can answer a ...
353
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2answers
90k views

Database schema documentation for the public data dump and SEDE

Stack Exchange releases "data dumps" of all its publicly available content roughly every three months via archive.org, and also makes that information queryable over the Internet at the Stack Exchange ...
170
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1answer
7k views

What to do when plagiarism is discovered

How should I act if I discover a user plagiarizing fellow users' posts? What if I find someone plagiarizing external resources without attribution? See also: Users are calling me a plagiarist. What ...
409
votes
1answer
30k views

Which computer science / programming Stack Exchange sites do I post on?

There seems to be more than a few computer science/programming Stack Exchange sites. Stack Overflow, being the first, has by far the most users, questions, and answers. What is the reasoning for ...
86
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1answer
6k views

What is a historical lock, and what is it used for?

Historical locks are sometimes applied to questions. What is a historical lock? What is the purpose of a historical lock? How are questions affected by historical locking? When is it appropriate to ...
836
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1answer
20k views

What does "user was removed" mean and why did my reputation change because of it?

Message appearing when a user was removed. It seems I lost 1765 reputation points on Stack Overflow yesterday. The reason given in my history is "removed", with the description of "...
163
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1answer
11k views

How do I remove my name from a post, in accordance with CC BY-SA?

The Creative Commons FAQ states that: Third, if the licensor does not like how the material has been modified or used, CC licenses require that the licensee remove the attribution information upon ...
302
votes
2answers
36k views

Should questions include "tags" in their titles?

I've seen questions edited to remove the language name from the title. Won't search engines - and folks using search engines - have an easier time finding them if these "tags" are kept as part of the ...
819
votes
9answers
45k views

What are the badges I can earn on each site, and what are the exact criteria for earning each badge?

Formerly List of all badges with full descriptions. What are badge name's requirements? Why didn't I get badge name (right now)? Which badges can I earn multiple times? Jump to: Question Badges ...
573
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1answer
28k views

What is serial voting and how does it affect me?

I just noticed that I lost a bunch of points from my reputation score, and I used the "reputation" tab on my user profile page to try and track down the cause. During my investigation, I noticed ...
250
votes
1answer
96k views

Is Stack Exchange / Stack Overflow available for private or internal use?

Is the Stack Exchange engine that powers Stack Overflow available to download or install internally for an enterprise or company? I think Stack Exchange's engine is very great and could be very cool ...
159
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1answer
7k views

There's an election going on. What's happening and how does it work?

The community bulletin says that there is a moderator election occurring. How does the election work and how can I get involved? Return to FAQ index
568
votes
1answer
104k views

What is syntax highlighting and how does it work?

I noticed that sometimes my code gets highlighted in different colors when rendered. What is syntax highlighting? How does it work? Why isn't my code being highlighted correctly? How do I report a ...
273
votes
1answer
84k views

How can I delete my account?

How can I delete my Stack Exchange account(s)? Also, What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well? What if I'm suspended, rate-limited, or banned from posting questions or answers? ...
55
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I report bugs with or request features for the Stack Exchange mobile apps?

I'm using the official Stack Exchange mobile app for iOS or Android, and My app crashed! It doesn't look good on my new smartphone. It won't run after I updated my device. I noticed another bug. I ...
859
votes
75answers
181k 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&...
69
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14answers
5k views

How should you respond to "Give me a fish" / RTFM questions?

How should you respond to "Give me a fish" / RTFM questions? I mean the case where people post questions simply to get someone else to write their code for them, on topics that would usually be the ...
200
votes
1answer
34k views

How do comments work?

Across the Stack Exchange network you may leave comments on a question or answer. How do comments work? What are comments for, and when shouldn't I comment? Who can post comments? Who can edit ...
268
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5answers
15k views

How do I audit my reputation?

If I am concerned that my reputation score is incorrect, how can I audit it, or get a report of a detailed breakdown of my reputation? Return to FAQ index
473
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5answers
38k 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 ...
202
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1answer
5k views

List of unlinked pages on Stack Exchange sites

Here is a list of special, unlinked pages (they may be linked in questions and answers) on Stack Exchange sites. Most pages listed here are work in progress or legacy. Currently, this list is ...
248
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1answer
21k views

What are the review queues, and how do they work?

I see a "review" link on the top of the page, which takes me to a few "review queues". What is a "review queue"? What are the various queues for? What can I do in each queue? Return to FAQ index
645
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1answer
46k 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 ...
203
votes
1answer
16k views

Who is on the Community Management Team, and what does it do?

The members of the Community Management Team (sometimes referred to as the Community Team or CMs) are employees of Stack Exchange the company, but not all SE employees are Community Management Team ...
103
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1answer
6k views

Users are calling me a plagiarist. What do I do?

Other users have been leaving me angry and hostile comments accusing me of plagiarism and saying that I'm a liar and I should stop stealing answers. But I have only been copying content from other ...
245
votes
1answer
11k views

What are the limits on how I can cast, change, and retract votes?

What limits are there on how I can vote? How often can I vote? How do my votes become locked/unlocked? Return to FAQ index
274
votes
1answer
30k views

How should duplicate questions be handled?

What should I do when I see a question that is a duplicate of another one? Should I answer it? Should I downvote it? Should I comment? Should I edit the question to indicate it's a duplicate? If I ...
322
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1answer
16k views

The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide

I noticed that I can only perform certain actions such as commenting a finite number of times in a given period of time. Obviously, rate limiting is in place to prevent accidental misuse or ...
174
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2answers
19k views

How does comment voting and flagging work?

Comments can now be upvoted and flagged. How do those features work? Do users get rep for their upvoted comments? Do upvoted comments have any effect on comment sorting? And can users see their own ...
83
votes
12answers
9k 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 ...
186
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7answers
7k views

What are the guidelines for reviewing?

About reviewing The review queues contain posts that possibly need further action from the community, like improvement, closure, or deletion. By presenting those posts for peer-review, the system aims ...
106
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag?

What is the "Not an Answer" flag and what is its purpose? When should I use this flag? When should I not use this flag? But I'm still not sure if I'm using the flag correctly... An answer is ...
1095
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1answer
488k 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 ...
203
votes
1answer
26k views

What is a "closed" or "duplicate" question?

Questions can be closed or marked as duplicates. What does it mean for a question to be "closed"? What does it mean for a question to be marked as a "duplicate"? Who can close a ...