All Questions

2741
votes
9answers
310k views

A Terms of Service update restricting companies that scrape your profile information without your permission

Update (April 19, 2016): This change is now live. You can view the updated Terms of Service here, or read about them below. tl;dr: We’re planning to make some changes to our Terms of Service to stop ...
1739
votes
0answers
88k 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. ...
1708
votes
49answers
36k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

There is a distinct decline in the level of civility on all the sites here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the off-topic and downvote buttons are ...
1453
votes
7answers
351k 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
1306
votes
50answers
38k views

Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I feel like there's a problem with Stack Overflow, as the number of people prowling it increases. Each question's answers are sorted by descending score and then by descending time of posting. This ...
1105
votes
13answers
14k views

Don't throw away all votes when a user is deleted

Currently, when a moderator deletes a user all of the user's votes are removed along with the user themselves. I was pretty surprised at this behaviour when I first heard about it, and I don't think ...
1053
votes
29answers
37k views

Encouraging people to explain downvotes

I used to get "upset" (though that is too strong a term) when I got downvoted without comment. If my answer isn't good enough then I'd like to know why. Not only does it improve the answer for the OP ...
969
votes
1answer
395k views

How does accepting an answer work?

How does accepting an answer work? When should I do it? Why can't I accept my own answers right away? Which answer should I accept? For more information, see "What should I do when someone answers ...
946
votes
35answers
90k views

Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?

I edit a lot of posts every day. I often run across posts with 'Hi' and 'Thanks' on the top and the bottom of the post respectively. I also run across things like: --User Should these items be ...
885
votes
1answer
271k views

Are there any clones/alternatives for running a Stack Exchange style Q&A site?

Since the source code for this site isn't available for purchase or external use, I'm looking for software that can run a Q&A environment similar to Stack Exchange. Are there any such pieces of ...
863
votes
22answers
77k views

Show all of my question/answers to me even if they are deleted

I would really like to see all of my questions and answers on the profile page, even if some of them were deleted, and I don't have enough rep to see them on the site. (Note that some questions are ...
863
votes
1answer
83k 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 ...
831
votes
52answers
13k views

Why aren't people voting for questions?

While at least some answers from every question seem to have been up-voted as a "helpful" answer: about 49% of questions have score of 0 or 1. another 21% of questions have a score of 2. Most ...
819
votes
21answers
14k views

Can we have the ability to retract a close vote before it closes?

Sometimes you vote to close something and the OP then changes it to fix the issue or issues. You can't take a close vote back though. It would be nice if you could. With the new Duplicate close ...
810
votes
51answers
24k views

Net Neutrality and Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange

It's July 12th! (in Coordinated Universal Stack Exchange Time) Today we're gonna be showing a banner directing readers to the blog post (and thus, indirectly, this discussion) from every Stack ...
791
votes
1answer
17k 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 (...
773
votes
25answers
8k views

Give an incentive for finding duplicate questions [duplicate]

At present if you see a question that may be a duplicate and has an easy answer you can post the answers or post a link to the duplicate question. (Or the few hi-rep users can vote to close it as ...
764
votes
22answers
207k views

Is there Markdown to create tables?

It seems like a lot of people try to display tables in Stack Overflow questions, but don't do a very good job. Is there Markdown syntax that supports creating a proper table?
762
votes
19answers
10k views

Allow an edit to notify downvoters: “I think I've fixed the issue now - please check”

To me, a downvote usually indicates a problem with an answer. When I downvote it's to mark the answer as having a problem, not the person. If the answer is fixed, I want to remove that downvote - but ...
757
votes
70answers
140k 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 ...
722
votes
9answers
37k 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 ...
711
votes
11answers
59k 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 ...
689
votes
147answers
27k views

Help us test the shiny new “User Activity” page! (Plus a bunch of new features.) [duplicate]

We've launched! Please give feedback here. Today, we're shipping the new "Activity Page" of the Profile here on Meta SE, so you can test it out and hopefully share some feedback and suggestions ...
664
votes
1answer
111k 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
649
votes
1answer
37k 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 ...
612
votes
2answers
15k views

Winter Bash 2016 - All Hats [closed]

I decided to start the traditional secret hats post, but instead of just another "here is how you get the secret hats" post, to also add in all the hats. There are two answers: one for the secret hats,...
582
votes
3answers
31k views

Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?

I think we can all agree, this sucks: If you've been around a little while, you've probably encountered hundreds of answers like this in various forums, some of them even marked as "The Answer" by ...
556
votes
19answers
83k views

Any way to send a personal message to another user?

There has been quite a few times that I wished I could send a message to another user on SO - not ask a question for everyone to see, but just a short message informing them of something or requesting ...
555
votes
13answers
274k 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 ...
552
votes
1answer
98k 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 ...
545
votes
0answers
57k views

Formatting Sandbox

Note: Answers will occasionally be moved to the Sandbox archive when there are too many of them. When using them to report bugs, keep an eye. As per Jeff's suggestion in this comment: You can use ...
539
votes
1answer
22k 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 ...
535
votes
2answers
47k views

Will Stack Overflow boycott GoDaddy because of their support for SOPA? [closed]

GoDaddy has apparently withdrawn their support for SOPA. Read link for more info: Go Daddy’s Position on SOPA, from their website; it is obviously yet to be seen whether they will continue to hold ...
532
votes
1answer
71k 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? ...
531
votes
29answers
44k views

Recent Reputation History Changes

Update (March, 2012): This has been rolled out to all sites in the network. Behind the scenes we've been hard at work making some changes to how we track reputation. Here are some of the issues we'...
526
votes
7answers
6k views

Cancelling upvote on comment?

As mentioned on uservoice: For something that can be done so easily by accident, there should be the ability to undo mistakes. I know that I have clicked several times on a comment up-vote ...
518
votes
1answer
55k views

How does the bounty system work?

What is a bounty? What is the "Featured" tab on the homepage? How can I search for questions that have a bounty attached? How do I start a bounty? When can I start a bounty? What is the minimum amount ...
516
votes
18answers
21k views

Global auth is dead! Long live universal login

Update: Universal login is in place and considered "done". If you see anything weird, please submit new bug reports. As y'all know, our current flavor of "global authentication" leaves a few things ...
514
votes
29answers
21k views

The NEW new “Be Nice” Policy (“Code of Conduct”) — Updated with your feedback

Update: Thanks for all the additional feedback below. We incorporated a lot of your suggestions, and this is going live (as https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice). We're also looking at ways ...
513
votes
27answers
8k views

The current review system encourages fake reviews; some people upvote everything rather than actually fixing problems

I went to a Late Answers review queue that had four items in it and started reviewing the first one by editing it into shape rather heavily. By the time I was done, someone else had reviewed the ...
510
votes
58answers
78k views

The MIT License – Clarity on Using Code on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange

Update (Dec. 22, 2015): Thanks, everyone, for your feedback to this proposal. We're going to digest this one over the holidays and should have a follow-up announcement answering your questions and ...
500
votes
8answers
41k views

How does SOPA threaten Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange?

Today's Stack Overflow system message reads: SOPA is a dangerous law. It breaks the Internet and threatens sites like Stack Overflow. Protect the Internet! How is it a threat to Stack Overflow?
493
votes
11answers
5k views

How about a “Vote not to close” option to counter the “Vote to close”?

My request is simple: Many times, there will be a question where some people feel like it should be closed. At the same time, I'll feel like it's a perfectly legit question, and it should therefore ...
490
votes
11answers
13k views

Exit strategies for “chameleon questions”

I'm not sure if there's already an existing term for this, so I'm inventing my own. (tl;dr: I call them "chameleon questions" because they change every time you submit or edit an answer. If you're ...
473
votes
10answers
34k views

Implement ```-style (fenced) Markdown code blocks

Currently, Stack Exchange’s Markdown parser only allows four-space indents to represent code blocks: // some code // another line of code GitHub Flavored Markdown and other Markdown ...
460
votes
1answer
245k 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 ...
450
votes
17answers
12k views

How to avoid “Hot Network Questions” on the sidebar

This may sound like a 'first world problem', but I am quite easily distracted by the 'Hot Network Questions' sidebar, as I find them quite amusing and some of them quite intellectual But where the ...
446
votes
40answers
22k views

Network-wide HTTPS: It's time

Update 2017-05-22 stackoverflow.com is now https://. I've written up a lot of what it took to get here in a blog post. Next up is chat and then https-only cookies. We'll be ramping up HSTS max-age ...
430
votes
7answers
5k views

Cancel misclicked flags

I'm wondering (since it just happened to me), is it possible to "cancel" ("undo", "delete", "retract", whatever) a flag I just raised if I misclicked it, so the mods won't waste time? I looked ...
428
votes
1answer
65k 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 ...

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