Questions tagged [faq]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
344 votes
6 answers
166k 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
886 votes
76 answers
192k 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&...
101 votes
1 answer
3k views

When are moderator flags automatically dismissed as "aged away" by the system?

Moderator flags can be dismissed as aged away. What does this dismiss reason mean? What causes flags to be dismissed with this reason? Do aged away flags affect my daily flag amount? Can I cast a ...
716 votes
1 answer
69k 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 ...
810 votes
15 answers
77k 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 ...
312 votes
2 answers
32k 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 ...
251 votes
1 answer
12k 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
376 votes
2 answers
112k 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 ...
585 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 ...
217 votes
1 answer
22k views

How do I change my login provider(s)?

I no longer use the service that I originally used to register, and would like to change the service I use to log in, or at least add a second account. Is this possible? How do I change my login ...
60 votes
3 answers
3k views

Denoting keyboard shortcuts in Stack Exchange posts

What is the recommended method/syntax for denoting keyboard shortcuts in Stack Exchange questions and answers? For example, how would you write the following in a less verbose manner? Press ctrl, ...
571 votes
1 answer
30k 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 ...
107 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why isn't providing feedback mandatory on downvotes, and why are requests suggesting such negatively received?

Sometimes my post receives downvotes with no explanation on what I've done wrong. Even worse, sometimes I just get snarky comments! It seems like this is especially bad for new users, who are made to ...
301 votes
6 answers
108k views

Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?

I was wondering about the copyright of code snippets from answers. Let's say you ask a question and the solution consists of ten lines of code, which are given in an answer. Are there any restrictions ...
396 votes
1 answer
275k 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 ...
155 votes
3 answers
10k views

A guide to moderating chat

Chat is an offshoot of the main site, and using it is a privilege users earn early on during their time here. Chat is our place for: Real-time collaboration Meeting fellow members of the ...
111 votes
2 answers
6k views

What are the moderation tools available to 10,000+ reputation users?

The site FAQ refers to moderation tools, available to users who've earned more than 10,000 reputation: 10,000   Delete closed questions, access to moderation tools What are these tools ...
284 votes
1 answer
88k 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? ...
438 votes
1 answer
33k 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 ...
111 votes
1 answer
6k views

What are tag synonyms and merged tags? How do they work?

What are tag synonyms? How can tag synonyms be distinguished from "real" tags? How are new tag synonyms created? Who can create tag synonyms? How can I delete/reverse/undo bad tag synonyms? What are ...
298 votes
1 answer
29k 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? 英語で書かなければなりませんか? Do I have to use English when posting a ...
340 votes
1 answer
19k 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 ...
215 votes
1 answer
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 ...
290 votes
1 answer
134k 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 ...
153 votes
1 answer
10k views

I've just been downvoted. How should I react?

I've posted a question or an answer, and I have received one or more downvotes. I am not really sure why I was down voted, or I think I know why, but I disagree. Why did this happen, and what should ...
1112 votes
1 answer
527k 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 ...
519 votes
1 answer
93k 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 ...
56 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why can any user edit any other user's question or answer?

I see an "edit" link after each question and answer. So I was wondering: how come any user can change any other user's question or answer? I think the reason behind it is that each one can share their ...
106 votes
1 answer
3k views

The Real Essential Questions of Every Beta

The blog post Seven Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta gets linked to prominently from every beta's meta. However, this blog post is somewhat inaccurate and misdirects new users. In almost every ...
843 votes
9 answers
48k 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 ...
194 votes
7 answers
8k 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 ...
216 votes
1 answer
18k 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 ...
221 votes
1 answer
42k views

What can I do when getting “This question body does not meet our quality standards”?

While trying to ask a question, I got the error message This question body does not meet our quality standards. Please make sure that it completely describes your problem - including what you have ...
141 votes
1 answer
14k views

How do "badges" work?

What are badges? How do users get badges? How can users get tag badges? Can badges be lost/revoked/taken away after they are awarded? If so, how and when? How can I suggest a new badge? For more ...
170 votes
1 answer
14k 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 ...
297 votes
3 answers
17k views

Stack Exchange Glossary - Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms

What are the common phrases, words, abbreviations that are used on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User, Meta Stack Overflow, and the other Stack Exchange sites? This is meant to be a very quick ...
423 votes
5 answers
17k 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 ...
55 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is a "merged" question?

Questions can be merged into other questions. What is a merged question? When should questions be merged? Who can merge questions? How do I request it? What happens to merged posts? Anything else I ...
168 votes
1 answer
8k 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
55 votes
4 answers
3k views

Who owns the content I post?

Does Stack Exchange own the content that I post? What do I do if I want all of my posts and my user account deleted? Return to FAQ Index
313 votes
1 answer
44k 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 ...
171 votes
27 answers
27k views

How should we deal with Google questions?

There have been a lot of questions that can be answered with a simple Google search. For these questions, an answer can be found by just copying and pasting the question directly into the Google ...
846 votes
1 answer
21k 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 User was ...
540 votes
1 answer
279k 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 ...
157 votes
1 answer
63k views

How to upload an image to a post?

Sometimes I need to upload, embed, or display inline an image in a question or answer. How can I do that? Return to FAQ index
308 votes
3 answers
51k 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 ...
256 votes
1 answer
23k 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
21 votes
1 answer
867 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 ...
234 votes
4 answers
75k views

How is the default user avatar generated?

Is there a name for the default avatars that are generated for users who do not assign one themselves and register using an authentication mode other than Google or Facebook? Not the avatar of the ...
79 votes
5 answers
5k views

What is Meta Stack Exchange, and how does it work?

Meta Stack Exchange seems to have different rules and user behavior than the "regular" Stack Exchange sites. How is it different? Individual questions answered below: What do votes mean ...