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615 votes
1 answer

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 ...
585 votes
1 answer

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 ...
289 votes
1 answer

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 ...
843 votes
9 answers

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 ...
888 votes
76 answers

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&...
519 votes
1 answer

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 ...
440 votes
1 answer

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 ...
703 votes
1 answer

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 ...
642 votes
282 answers

Formatting Sandbox

Notes: 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 on the post. You may also want to take a look at the ...
1859 votes
0 answers

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 ...
1060 votes
1 answer

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 ...
313 votes
1 answer

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 ...
96 votes
8 answers

Give each site a parallel site for polling, recommendations and subjective-ish stuff

Stuff like polls, recommendations based on subjective constraints, puzzles, webcomics etc. do not belong on the serious main SE sites, where professionals should be considered at work and having just ...
Tobias Kienzler's user avatar
734 votes
1 answer

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 ...
571 votes
1 answer

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 ...
1112 votes
1 answer

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 ...
810 votes
15 answers

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 ...
1247 votes
31 answers

Encouraging people to explain downvotes

Note: If you're looking for a simple explanation as to why comments aren't required on downvotes, see Why isn't providing feedback mandatory on downvotes, and why are ideas suggesting such ...
178 votes
1 answer

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 ...
218 votes
1 answer

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 ...
379 votes
2 answers

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, and also makes that information queryable over the Internet at the ...
1122 votes
32 answers

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 ...
617 votes
1 answer

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 ...
223 votes
1 answer

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
397 votes
1 answer

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 ...
772 votes
1 answer

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
369 votes
1 answer

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 ...
211 votes
1 answer

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 ...
319 votes
12 answers

Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered, zero-score questions after a year?

Related to Meta Super User efforts: Old unanswered inactive questions with low views/votes and Meta Server Fault efforts: Cleaning house, really old, unloved questions We already auto-remove ...
Jeff Atwood's user avatar
1528 votes
51 answers

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 ...
658 votes
8 answers

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 ...
451 votes
1 answer

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 ...
1007 votes
24 answers

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 ...
vava's user avatar
  • 13.2k
307 votes
3 answers

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 ...
284 votes
1 answer

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? ...
129 votes
1 answer

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
340 votes
1 answer

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 ...
1195 votes
3 answers

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 ...
624 votes
13 answers

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 ...
Aarobot's user avatar
  • 34.9k
1868 votes
51 answers

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 ...
313 votes
2 answers

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 ...
79 votes
5 answers

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 ...
270 votes
1 answer

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 ...
541 votes
1 answer

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 ...
217 votes
1 answer

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 ...
233 votes
1 answer

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,...
240 votes
45 answers

The Follow Questions and Answers feature is now live across the Network

We are happy to announce that the previously announced follow question and answer feature is now live across the Network, including Stack Overflow, all Stack Exchange sites, and all Meta sites. (...
Yaakov Ellis's user avatar
  • 61.7k
514 votes
5 answers

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 ...
141 votes
1 answer

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 ...
374 votes
1 answer

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 ...

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