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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596 votes
1 answer
67k 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 ...
576 votes
1 answer
82k 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 ...
278 votes
1 answer
131k 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 ...
827 votes
9 answers
46k 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 ...
867 votes
76 answers
184k 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&...
509 votes
1 answer
89k 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 ...
422 votes
1 answer
31k 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 ...
681 votes
1 answer
130k 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 ...
1037 votes
1 answer
105k 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 ...
1842 votes
0 answers
114k 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 ...
303 votes
1 answer
42k 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 ...
720 votes
1 answer
44k views

How do I get attention for one of my own questions without a good answer?

I asked a question almost as soon as I got my account. I got a few decent answers, but none of them helped solve my problem. The question has long since become buried by newer questions, and there's ...
572 votes
1 answer
29k 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 ...
1102 votes
1 answer
501k 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 ...
800 votes
14 answers
75k 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 ...
173 votes
1 answer
35k views

How can one link / merge / combine / associate two accounts / users? (Anonymous / unregistered / cookie, or Google / Facebook / registered)

I accidentally posted a question without being logged in. Is there a way to associate that question with my account? Return to FAQ Index For more information, visit "I accidentally created two ...
205 votes
1 answer
35k 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 ...
220 votes
1 answer
51k views

Which browsers are officially supported, and what else do I need?

Which browsers are officially supported by Stack Exchange? Also, what else is needed in order to use every feature of the site? Return to FAQ index
359 votes
2 answers
96k 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 ...
385 votes
1 answer
268k 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 ...
591 votes
1 answer
110k 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 ...
763 votes
1 answer
136k 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
206 votes
1 answer
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 ...
647 votes
8 answers
379k 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 ...
343 votes
1 answer
75k 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 ...
452 votes
1 answer
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 ...
300 votes
3 answers
49k 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 ...
276 votes
1 answer
86k 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? ...
124 votes
1 answer
11k views

How can I propose a new site?

I have an idea or subject that should have a Q&A, and want to propose a new site. How can I do this? Related: What makes a winning site proposal? Return to FAQ index
326 votes
1 answer
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 ...
269 votes
1 answer
44k views

How do question bookmarks work?

What does bookmarking a question mean? How do you bookmark a question? Do users get updates on their bookmarked questions? Are my bookmarks publicly visible? How do you see your own bookmarks? How do ...
72 votes
4 answers
4k views

How does Meta Stack Exchange 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 on Meta? ...
521 votes
1 answer
273k 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 ...
305 votes
2 answers
31k 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 ...
208 votes
1 answer
20k 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 ...
484 votes
5 answers
40k 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 ...
214 votes
1 answer
33k 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,...
138 votes
1 answer
13k 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 ...
362 votes
1 answer
12k views

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

I recently received this rather amusing message while reviewing a user's first post: Congratulations! This was only a test, designed to make sure you were paying attention. This post has already been ...
213 votes
1 answer
39k 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 ...
175 votes
2 answers
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 ...
1881 votes
7 answers
612k 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
86 votes
1 answer
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 ...
164 votes
1 answer
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 ...
142 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
270 votes
5 answers
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
279 votes
1 answer
31k views

How does duplicate closing work? When is a question a duplicate, and how should duplicate questions be handled?

Questions can be closed as duplicates. When are two questions considered duplicates? Which question is the duplicate? It's a duplicate. What do I do? Should I edit the question? Should I answer it? ...
671 votes
1 answer
53k 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 ...
288 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
38 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 ...