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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96k 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. ...
1600
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7answers
422k 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
1013
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1answer
424k 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 ...
911
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1answer
89k 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 ...
817
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1answer
19k 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 removed (...
795
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71answers
161k 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"). As ...
755
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9answers
41k 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 ...
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12answers
67k 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 ...
700
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1answer
119k 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
678
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1answer
39k 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 ...
593
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1answer
108k 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 when ...
579
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14answers
306k 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: http://link ...
571
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1answer
24k 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 ...
550
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1answer
75k 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? ...
544
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1answer
59k 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 ...
469
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1answer
73k 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 ...
463
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1answer
23k 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 ...
463
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1answer
253k views

What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites?

The Stack Overflow site engine, as you know, uses Markdown for questions and answers. Per the Markdown specification, you are allowed to freely intermix HTML and Markdown tags. Not all HTML tags are ...
440
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1answer
75k 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 ...
401
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5answers
29k 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 ...
394
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5answers
14k 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 post is not a sandbox for performing rollbacks. Please do not perform ...
394
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1answer
17k 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 ...
367
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1answer
7k 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? ...
350
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1answer
24k 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 networks (is that the correct term?). Stack Overflow, being the first, has by far the most users, questions, and answers. ...
343
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1answer
247k 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 ...
334
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1answer
10k 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 ...
313
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5answers
145k 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
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2answers
64k 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 ...
301
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1answer
54k 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 ...
285
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1answer
12k 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 ...
276
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1answer
37k views

How do suggested edits work?

When clicking "edit" I see: You do not have edit privileges. Your edit will be placed in a queue until it is peer reviewed. We welcome all constructive edits, but please make them substantial. ...
275
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2answers
28k 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 ...
274
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1answer
32k 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 ...
272
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3answers
45k 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 ...
268
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2answers
12k 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 ...
260
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5answers
14k 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
257
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1answer
20k 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? ?אני חייב לדבר באנגלית Brauche ich auf Englisch zu schreiben? Do I have to use English when posting a question, an answer ...
257
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6answers
70k 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 ...
254
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5answers
89k views

How to nest code within a list using Markdown

Oftentimes, I want to include code samples in a list, for example: Item One Item Two, for example: private bool ItemTwo() { return this.IFeelLucky; } Item Three The problem is that there isn't a ...
253
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1answer
72k 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? ...
250
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1answer
25k 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 ...
242
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1answer
35k views

How do favorite questions work?

What does marking a question as a favorite mean? How do you mark a question as a favorite? Do users get updates on their favorite questions? How do you see your own favorite questions? How do you see ...
229
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1answer
71k 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 ...
228
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13answers
26k 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) ...
222
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1answer
10k 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
220
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4answers
43k views

How do I contact other users?

How can I contact another user, if that user has not specified any contact details in their profile? Return to FAQ index
219
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1answer
18k 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
216
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1answer
118k 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 ...
208
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4answers
67k 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? Not the avatar of the blank user, but the one made up of shards, shapes, and colours: ...
208
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1answer
7k views

What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused their privileges?

One or more of the following things happened to me on a Stack Exchange site: My post(s) were wrongly deleted or locked by a moderator A moderator posted a wrong comment on one of my posts I was ...