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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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810 votes
15 answers
78k 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 ...
529 votes
1 answer
95k 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 ...
314 votes
1 answer
45k 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 ...
57 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 ...
160 votes
1 answer
65k 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
113 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why does the Community user sometimes review suggested edits?

Why does the Community bot sometimes approve or reject edits? How does a machine know if my edit is valid? What does it mean if my edit was "canceled" by Community? See also: Who is the ...
373 votes
1 answer
95k 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 ...
314 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 ...
624 votes
1 answer
130k 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 ...
62 votes
1 answer
2k views

When is a review task "completed" or "invalidated"?

I've noticed that the number of reviews required to remove a post from a queue varies. For example, to accept/reject a suggested edit, you need two votes of the same kind. If the votes are conflicting,...
211 votes
1 answer
27k views

What is a "closed" or "duplicate" question, and how does question closing work?

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 ...
621 votes
1 answer
71k 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 ...
61 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which links and sites are handled specially (oneboxed) in chat? How do these oneboxes work?

There is a special linking to some sites in chat, also known as "onebox". What is the full list of supported and integrated sites? Are oneboxes updated if the resource behind them is ...
342 votes
1 answer
20k 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 ...
219 votes
1 answer
19k 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 ...
161 votes
3 answers
12k 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 ...
65 votes
2 answers
2k views

What events trigger an inbox notification?

The global inbox was once introduced because it became hard "to keep track of all your questions, answers, and comments across every site you participated on". The small red number tells ...
1863 votes
0 answers
128k views

FAQ for Stack Exchange sites

Community FAQ For sites in the Stack Exchange 2.0 network To see a list of commonly used words and phrases, see the glossary. For official guidance from Stack Exchange, visit the Help Center. Asking ...
382 votes
2 answers
124k 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 ...
157 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 ...
402 votes
1 answer
8k views

What is a disputed flag?

In my flagging summary under the statistics, there is 1 flag listed as "disputed". This is the first time I've ever seen a disputed flag in my summary, so I'm just curious, what is a disputed flag? ...
142 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 ...
353 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
109 votes
2 answers
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 ...
730 votes
1 answer
78k 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 ...
301 votes
3 answers
18k 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 ...
193 votes
7 answers
9k 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 ...
545 votes
1 answer
283k 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 markup is allowed, but not all the HTML tags are allowed, to avoid XSS. Which ...
374 votes
1 answer
12k views

What are review tests (audits) and how do they work?

I sometimes receive this rather amusing message while reviewing in the review queues: Congratulations! This was only a test, designed to make sure you were paying attention. You passed. If I am not ...
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can I log in to my Stack Exchange account if I'm unable to use my current account provider?

I usually log in to a Stack Exchange site using another site (Google, Facebook, etc.) as my account provider. However, I'm currently unable to use my current login provider (e.g., forgot the password ...
78 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 ...
45 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why should I register my account?

I can use many of the site's features while unregistered. I am looking for a simple explanation of what benefits a user can have from registering. For more information, see "Why should I create an ...
174 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 ...
86 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
118 votes
1 answer
8k views

What is a "locked" post?

On Stack Exchange, a post can sometimes be "locked": What does it mean to lock a post? Who can lock a post? When should a post be locked? Return to FAQ index
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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
816 views

Why did I (not) receive a message saying I have been granted a privilege even though I (don't) have enough reputation?

The site shown a message saying I have been granted a privilege, but the reputation required for that privilege is higher than the one I actually have. The opposite case can also happen: one can ...
83 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is an acceptable answer?

I answered a question and my answer was: (pick one) Deleted Converted to a comment Added to my question as an edit Why was this? Why was my answer not acceptable? What is the definition of an ...
120 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why isn't it required to provide comments/feedback for downvotes, and why are proposals suggesting this so 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 ...
145 votes
1 answer
9k views

What are the reputation requirements for privileges on sites, and how do they differ per site?

Formerly Reputation requirements compared. What are the reputation requirements for privileges on the various sites in the network? Also, how do reputation requirements for various privileges compare ...
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&...
86 votes
1 answer
2k views

When should I create a new tag? How do I request a new tag if I don't have enough rep?

Can someone please create the tag foo on our site? We need to have it because Foo is a recent/upcoming release / edition / model / episode of a popular, established OS / board game / bike brand / TV ...
1997 votes
7 answers
767k 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
845 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 ...
39 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do I read the history of my reputation?

When I visit the reputation tab of my profile, I see a lot of stuff. I can make out some of it, but not all. What do all the event types mean? Why do some events show an odd reputation gain or not ...
209 votes
1 answer
32k views

Why does the suggested edit queue have a fixed size, and what is its size on each site?

Stack Exchange sites have a suggested edit queue, visible to the users who have the edit questions and answers privilege. What is the suggested edit queue's size limit? What happens when the queue is ...
236 votes
1 answer
43k views

What is migration and how does it work?

I posted a question which was closed as off-topic and it seems like it could fit on another site in the network. How can I go about moving it there? What is migration? When can a question be migrated,...
442 votes
1 answer
34k 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 ...
570 votes
1 answer
31k 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 ...
138 votes
1 answer
7k views

What shortened URLs are available through s.tk?

It was announced on the Stack Exchange Podcast episode #23 (at 1:05:26) that Stack Exchange has its own URL shortener, http://s.tk/. Users can't create their own, they can only use the ones that are ...