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2757
votes
9answers
314k 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 ...
2313
votes
45answers
206k views

Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community?

The last weeks and days have seen some erratic behaviour by Stack Exchange Inc., such as likely illegal changes to the content license and the firing of an upstanding community moderator with no ...
1934
votes
28answers
87k views

Stack Overflow is doing me ongoing harm; it's time to fix it!

Over the last month, Stack Overflow has violated its own policies and precedents to cause egregious and unnecessary harm to me -- to my reputation (personal and professional), to my health, and to my ...
1785
votes
0answers
99k 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. ...
1765
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 ...
1651
votes
7answers
454k 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
1486
votes
46answers
45k views

Thank you, Shog9

@Shog9, a longtime Community Manager here at Stack Exchange, has just tweeted that he is no longer working at Stack Overflow: @shog9: Well... I suddenly find myself in need of work. If anyone's ...
1400
votes
51answers
51k 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 ...
1170
votes
13answers
16k 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 ...
1114
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 ...
1040
votes
2answers
307k 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 ...
1033
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is Stack Overflow trying to start audio?

I often have my browser's devtools open since I'm often debugging a snippet. I noticed this message often recently: Why is Stack Overflow trying to start audio? Update. I see it's from an ad(?). ...
1031
votes
1answer
437k 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 ...
998
votes
35answers
100k 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 ...
939
votes
1answer
92k 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 ...
908
votes
23answers
89k 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 ...
905
votes
21answers
63k views

Firing Community Managers: Stack Exchange is not interested in cooperating with the community, is it?

Less than a month ago, there was some settling of the incident with firing Monica. It's obvious that there was not a lot of approval from the community on the course of action chosen by SE, or the ...
883
votes
54answers
16k 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 ...
841
votes
23answers
226k 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?
829
votes
21answers
15k 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 ...
822
votes
51answers
27k 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 ...
821
votes
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 (...
806
votes
71answers
166k 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 ...
803
votes
20answers
11k 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 ...
792
votes
25answers
9k 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 ...
786
votes
16answers
41k views

Thank you, Robert Cartaino

The title says it all. Thank you, Robert Cartaino, for everything you did for SE and the community. I don't post much on MSE, but have been a mod for about eight years. There is a lot that can go on ...
762
votes
9answers
42k 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 ...
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 ...
712
votes
1answer
122k 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
691
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 ...
689
votes
7answers
27k views

Dear Stack Exchange: a statement and a letter from your moderators

Dear Stack Exchange, Inc., We know you know about this already, so we'll keep this brief. The past two weeks have been rough. Lots of moderators have lost confidence in you; for some, it was the ...
682
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 ...
649
votes
3answers
43k 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 ...
641
votes
18answers
21k views

Monica's situation continues unresolved. Is SE hoping the problem just goes away?

This surfaced in the apology thread, but I believe it deserves more exposure. The apology thread was posted October 6th, 2019. In it, the idea was expressed that SE, the company, had done wrong by ...
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,...
610
votes
1answer
113k 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 ...
594
votes
19answers
97k 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 ...
591
votes
14answers
319k 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 ...
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 ...
569
votes
57answers
66k 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 ...
563
votes
19answers
29k views

Change in roles for Jon Ericson (leaving SE)

It’s a bit surreal to be writing this post—not many people can say they left their dream job twice. Today is my last day as an employee of Stack Overflow. I’ll be joining College Confidential as their ...
554
votes
13answers
17k 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 ...
553
votes
1answer
77k 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? ...
548
votes
1answer
61k 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 ...
545
votes
2answers
49k 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 ...
541
votes
62answers
44k views

The company’s commitment to rebuilding the relationship with you, our community

My name is Teresa Dietrich. About a month ago, I joined Stack Overflow as Head of Product and Community, reporting directly to the CEO. During my years as an engineer and technology leader, I saw the ...
533
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
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'...
529
votes
58answers
91k 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 ...
523
votes
27answers
9k 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 ...

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