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544
votes
1answer
60k 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 ...
554
votes
1answer
76k 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? ...
220
votes
1answer
120k 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 ...
801
votes
71answers
165k 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 ...
759
votes
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 ...
446
votes
1answer
77k 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 ...
605
votes
1answer
111k 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 ...
362
votes
1answer
25k 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. ...
922
votes
1answer
91k 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 ...
1780
votes
0answers
98k 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. ...
279
votes
1answer
37k 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 ...
567
votes
52answers
65k 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 ...
681
votes
1answer
40k 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 ...
75
votes
8answers
4k views

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 ...
1023
votes
1answer
432k 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 ...
1113
votes
31answers
41k views

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 ...
163
votes
1answer
32k 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 ...
573
votes
1answer
25k 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 ...
759
votes
12answers
69k 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 ...
181
votes
1answer
30k views

How do comments work?

Across the Stack Exchange network you may leave comments on a question or answer. How do comments work? Who can post comments? Who can edit comments? How can I format and link in comments? Who can ...
352
votes
1answer
250k 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 ...
991
votes
35answers
99k 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 ...
707
votes
1answer
121k 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
321
votes
2answers
68k 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 ...
206
votes
1answer
46k 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
192
votes
1answer
25k views

What is a “closed”, “on hold”, or “duplicate” question?

This FAQ is currently outdated due to the new post notices rolling out. Members of the community are working on updates here, and the Stack Exchange team has been asked to update this FAQ here. ...
475
votes
1answer
75k 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 ...
280
votes
12answers
71k views

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 ...
1393
votes
51answers
50k 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 ...
586
votes
14answers
315k 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 ...
279
votes
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 ...
404
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
1035
votes
2answers
303k 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 ...
257
votes
1answer
74k 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? ...
551
votes
13answers
16k 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 ...
904
votes
23answers
88k 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 ...
1760
votes
50answers
41k 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 ...
105
votes
1answer
9k 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
68
votes
4answers
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? ...
245
votes
1answer
36k 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 ...
306
votes
1answer
57k 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 ...
277
votes
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 ...
179
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
472
votes
1answer
256k 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 ...
122
votes
1answer
12k views

How do “badges” work?

What are badges? How do users get badges? How can users get tag badges? What can cause a badge to be lost/revoked/taken away after it is awarded? How can I suggest a new badge? For more information,...
294
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
408
votes
5answers
30k 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 ...
335
votes
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 ...
203
votes
1answer
36k 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 ...
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'...

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