Talk:Stack Overflow

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The criticism entry has been erased from Stack_Exchange and Stack_Exchange_Network several times, although it is heavily founded, several StackOverflow users and sister sites host's are lobbying for it to be erased, please request admin intervention. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs87.216.50.218 WHOIS) 19 January 2011

I am surprised there is no criticism section. In my opinion the second highest ranking tag - Java has only ok contributors above 20k score, no stellar, great or notable programmers, no JVM engineers either. Comparing it to C# where some of the .Net designers actively participate indirectly supports bias. That's a personal opinion and it's not sourced. Bestsss (talk) 17:30, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

I have been maintaining the criticism section of the SE section and I have been intimidated by avid users of SE and SO numerous times, who happen to be well standing users in wikipedia as well. If anyone is interested to help support the articles, I would appreciate the support. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yparjis (talkcontribs) 00:07, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

While I don't disagree with the Criticism section, citing a couple semi-anonymous forums falls pretty short of Wikipedia's standards. There must be some better references. Also, not sure how removing content deemed to irrelevant to the site's purpose is a criticism. (Full disclosure: I'm a Server Fault Moderator) ChristopherTStone (talk) 02:33, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

I removed the criticism section. The only citations present were links to the same blog post. I am sure there are valid criticisms of the site, their approach, and the community. However, the section as it stood was not salvageable; encyclopedic exploration of the subject requires less emotion, objective language, and better sources. (talk) 16:58, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Seems fair. Really wasn't anything encyclopedic there. --Stormie (talk) 23:13, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Criticisms to Stack_Overflow and Stack_Exchange abound in Internet. Not having a criticism section in the Wikipedia article makes the article biased (in favour of Stack_Overflow and Stak-Exchange), which is unacceptable for an encyclopedic article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:15, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

My concern here is that clearly there is widespread consternation about SO and criticism is suppressed. I have seen this before at Wikipedia regarding Nick Clegg who is a convicted arsonist and that information was suppressed by this site after I added it. The SO site itself quickly deletes most criticism and any surviving criticism is voted down. I had a line removed for referencing a blog on this site which had a 100,000 views and yet the wiki page provides excessive references to SO itself. If that is valid, I can easily provide countless SO posts accusing SO of bullying. TrevorOakley

@Trevoroakley: It is absolutely fine to include criticism as long as it's not a WP:SYNTH of multiple sources, or WP:UNDUE case like this one. If you are able to provide "SO posts accusing SO of bullying", please do so. Provided that these so-called posts are credible, I'm completely fine with mentioning about bullying. To be honest, this whole thing sounds like a WP:FART/WP:HTRIV to me. However, if it was reported by multiple reliable sources, and you insist on mentioning it, then so be it. -- ChamithN (talk) 06:00, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

The issue to me is that the "community" at Wikipedia like the one at SO is dominated by a few people. The founder of Wikipedia even said that was a weakness of wikipedia . The allegations of bullying and misuse at SO are widespread. They are heavily suppressed by people afraid of seeing contrary views expressed. These same people widely cite meta stackoverflow which is blog-like in nature as a valid source, and other sources which are far more widely read are simply excluded. Ultimately the reason is clear - people are being self-serving in nature. You asked for reliable sources but as I just said the nature of the issue makes that hard since posts are quickly deleted and measures taken to stop criticism. There are however dozens of posts on SO which did not get deleted, and the question of references to dozens of people all complaining about an obvious issue does not help. You get a crowded supply of information. The blog I linked originally summarised the issue well and was read by a 100,000 people. It was quickly deleted by @ChamithN who then tells me what he is "fine with" as if wikipedia is his personal toy. The basic facts are that people are being bullied (I was for example) and information about it is deleted quickly. The same thing is happening here. This is not freedom of speech but controlled speech by people who see themselves as self-appointed administrators. That is all fine in your own project (you can do what you like) but the sites get huge amounts of money and that is an issue for me especially when in the US and UK public money was used to save countless investors who support these projects. Trevoroakley (talk) 07:27, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

@Trevoroakley: Jeez! Wikipedia is not a democracy to begin with. Anyhow, I explicitly told you that you could provide reliable sources to justify your addition. If "posts are quickly deleted and measures taken to stop criticism", then too bad, because it's not my fault. Maybe you should deal directly with those who delete those posts. I don't care if it's criticism or commendations; you have to provide reliable sources, especially if it's controversial. Oh, and no, we don't measure reliability by no. of views; that's like saying Friday (Rebecca Black song) is epic because it got bazillion of views. What's interesting is that you said you could provide reliable sources for "SO posts accusing SO of bullying", but when I asked you to, you went on to rant about something that has nothing to do with the discussion. This discussion won't progress unless you stick to your word. -- ChamithN (talk) 07:39, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I assume you know what a consensus is. I said "I'm fine with it" by taking Wikipedia policies into consideration; we have policies for a reason. When two or more parties disagree about something, a dispute occurs. But, once all the participants are "fine with" something, it leads to an agreement, thus resolving the situation. Tell me if you need me to elucidate it further. -- ChamithN (talk) 07:48, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

I really don't need sarcasm from @ChamithN saying "I assume you know what consensus is." The whole point of any judgment process is that decisions are made on a basis of rules and procedures. A consensus does not allow that for many reasons. One is that people have bias, another is that people are led, another is that people have self-interest reasons, and many more. Taking a parallel as a judicial process to the world, the Court rules on a point of law and facts accepted as evidence. Many judgments are unpopular and yet they are still binding. In the US for example, Congress has passed several times law which makes it an offence to burn the US flag. The Court has not accepted this law as legal and the law passed in Congress is not binding. There are hundreds of examples of decisions made in the Court being unpopular but they are still binding. The consensus approach is by design unfair. It will always discriminate against a minority interest. The consensus approach led to racism in the USA which existed until the Court ruled segregation to be illegal (against the consensus of Americans), and has led to sexism, a class system, nationalism, unfair trade, price-fixing and many more examples. It is unfair. Someone who supports a consensus approach for judgments does not support the rule of law.Trevoroakley (talk) 10:41, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

What the ...? You do realize that a huge portion of your reply is completely irrelevant to the discussion, right? You went into great detail to present your opinion on consensus, and I merely asked whether you know about it. Well then, if that's your opinion, I'm sorry; here on Wikipedia, that's how we deal with disputes — arriving at a consensus. Well, it's not like I made those guidelines/policies. I guess we can't continue this discussion until your concerns about WP:CONSENSUS are satisfied. I suggest you take it to the Village Pump. Good luck! -- ChamithN (talk) 11:40, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Irrelevant because you do not understand it. You delete my material, tell what you are "fine with" and ask me sarcastically if I know consensus. You then label my "opinion" as if I dreamed it up, followed by a comment "you cannot continue the discussion." You clearly failed to understand that the original complaint was that Stackoverflow bullys. A fact established by volumes of material. Bullying is a part of consensus style of management. You then adopt the same kind of methods used at Stackoverflow - refusing to discuss something, taking deletion actions, refusing to justify what you do, degrading another person, and then claiming you are "fine with something" as if you are the authority. You obviously do not see that your methods are the issue. You use double standards and refuse to discuss or justify. If I add a valid link again, I expect you will just delete it again. (talk) 14:08, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

"You then label my "opinion" as if I dreamed it up", did I? I perfectly understood that you were against a consensus. That's why I said you should take your case to the Village Pump. How can we arrive at consensus, if you are against consensus to begin with? We should deal with one issue at a time, don't you think? Anyway, you said it's "A fact established by volumes of material", yet you still haven't provided reliable sources to prove that it is. Am I supposed to take your word for granted? One individual's opinion about the site is clearly WP:UNDUE, and such sources are frowned upon by the Wikipedia community. Whenever I ask you to provide sources, you get sidetracked; either by calling me a bully, or that I'm being sarcastic (quite judgmental). I'm not being authoritative here, I'm just disagreeing with you. The point of talk page discussions are to prevent edit-warring, which is disruptive to the project. If you really are going to reinstate it, at least wait until other editors comment on the RFC below. -- ChamithN (talk) 15:09, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I've already justified why I reverted your edit, and I'm holding my ground (WP:UNDUE), until you provide reliable sources, as you initially said you would. -- ChamithN (talk) 15:17, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

@ChamithN I really find it absurd that someone keeps saying "provide authoritative sources" when the entire wiki article rests on meta posts at SO, and a simple google search shows hundreds of references to bullying at stackoverflow. It is really pointless to argue these points back and forth. I have to say cyber bullying is now a serious issue and several people have committed suicide due to cyber bullying. Politicians are now actively talking about regulating web companies to stop bullying. The basic issue is that @ChamithN presents no reasoned argument, the person just deletes material I produce. (talk) 17:18, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

*Sigh*. I find it ludicrous that even though I repeatedly told you what they are, you still don't get it. For the third time, those are WP:PRIMARY sources. Familiarize yourself with it. If a simple google search shows hundreds of references to bullying at stackoverflow, surely you wouldn't mind providing some links here? Are they even reliable? Oh by the way, if what you inserted were materials that "you produced", then you should definitely see WP:COI. I know, there are overwhelming amount of guidelines and policies. Sorry about that. -- ChamithN (talk) 17:34, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
"The basic issue is that @ChamithN presents no reasoned argument, the person just deletes material I produce." For the fourth time, my argument is that, what you added to the article was an WP:UNDUE opinion, and the source doesn't meet Wikipedia's WP:RS criteria, hence I oppose its inclusion. You should be able to provide a valid counter argument; why do you think we should ignore both these policies in this situation, and why don't you provide reliable sources like you said earlier? -- ChamithN (talk) 17:46, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

The RfC was specifically about the Medium source being usable in this context, though some editors commented on the use of other sources. The dispute has been resolved via standard editorial process, and there seems to be rough agreement that the current mention is WP:DUEWEIGHT. Closing accordingly. TigraanClick here to contact me 08:41, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this be included? Can Medium be considered a reliable source in this context, regardless of what WP:RS says about blogs? -- ChamithN (talk) 12:19, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Conditionally yes. (I am only here for the RFC and have not waded through the pages of invective on either side.)
    Not that the blogs or the opinions of bloggers are reliable in the sense that their assertions might be accepted as authoritative (that could not be acceptable either in terms of good sense or WP standards) but that they might be presented as empirical evidence of real world usages, perceptions, experiences, and references. In much the same way, Wikimedia Commons photographs might be posted in a WP article to illustrate a riot, even if not a single rioter has a citable opinion on anything and none of the photographs could be argued to represent or establish a standard for a definitively standard riot. To claim that this is unpermissible on the grounds of selective legalistic quotes would be rank wikilawyering, on a par with refusing the use of non-peer-reviewed Wikimedia photographs, either in the contexts intended by the contributor or something totally different (for instance one could use -- as I frequently have done -- mislabelled, but useful photographs to illustrate species other than what the photographer had thought he had presented). JonRichfield (talk) 06:35, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
You said that the opinions of bloggers can be presented as empirical evidence. I completely agree with you on this; however, minority opinion shouldn't be presented as the objective truth, like in this case. It's not reasonable to say "Stackoverflow has been met with considerable discontent" based on a subjective analysis by an individual. In my opinion, if we were to include this, then it should be rephrased to apprise that it's rather the opinion of the blogger in question, not what generally believed. -- ChamithN (talk)
  • Conditionally yes. Per JonRichfield, I also notice invective and bad will surrounding this, and I advise the key vocal players to chill, let's keep it WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF. Blogs are absolutely RS in the sense of reliably sourcing that an opinion is out there. It's a classic defense against {{weasel words}} that we should not be afraid to use in the proper contexts. So any article that says "some people have criticized this thing" can source that claim to a variety of blogs (preferably the bigger, more stable/reliable blogs, but that's a different matter entirely).
As for the wording - ChamithN may be right - "considerable discontent" may be too strong. Are there many, independent, and strong sources indicating discontent? If so, then add the refs. If not, perhaps "some discontent" will appease those against the inclusion of this criticism. Also the wording in question from the diff does not make it seem that this is a point of view that is authoritative or universal, only that the complaints/negative claims exist. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:01, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
I did ask the other party to provide sources, as he said he could provide multiple links of what he called "SO posts accusing SO of bullying"; but he never did. Maybe the site has truly received "considerable discontent", but citing merely one link to a blog to support that statement isn't equitable. Maybe he could reword "considerable discontent" to "some discontent" like you suggested. -- ChamithN (talk) 03:37, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes - include criticism. Just follow the cites and apply due weight, to find what should be said. I did find some criticisms about bullying at Quora, thoughtclusters, and social.msdn. I have seen other criticism Johann or Slashdot and Mendelt for example, so it might be something else instead of bullying that should be mentioned. Markbassett (talk) 22:51, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
Up until now I failed to notice that Vormeph did us all a favor with this edit. -- ChamithN (talk) 10:38, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'm aware that Stack Overflow was once a place where an ordinary programmer could ask a question and get a useful answer, and now it isn't (this may not be a bad thing, all the ordinary questions have been answered already). You just have to read it to see for yourselves. It would be helpful if this could be mentioned in the article – but I appreciate that finding a reliable independent source may be difficult. Maproom (talk) 08:28, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes - put it in. The issue of bullying is being debated in multiple fora, that can't be denied. It's unfortunate that there aren't any 'hard' sources in the form of a newspaper article or something in that vein, but it seems there's enough blog-type stuff to shore it up. However, weak (by WP standards) sources mean that the statement itself can't be too emphatic, and I'd suggest losing the 'considerable'. Suggested formulation: "Claims of bullying on Stack Overflow have repeatedly been made." -- Elmidae (talk) 08:09, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
  • No. Here by Legobot. This source, while reliable for the author's specific opinion, is not of sufficient WP:WEIGHT to include. In the rare instances when a blog is an ok source, we're either dealing with WP:PARITY or we have an author that has stand-alone expertise in the area. I see neither in this case. If this becomes something worth including that goes beyond the blogosphere, I'd imagine we'd see something in at least a tech news site, etc. There isn't a case for reducing source quality for this case right now though. Kingofaces43 (talk) 23:21, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes I agree with everyone here. We can't put opinionated sources in the article and claim that they rightfully represent the majority's view, nor would they ensue what Stack Overflow is and what it isn't. But, if there is reason to think that a certain source is attracting an attention along the lines of 'bullying', then it is simply down to conscience that we document it based on a holistic analysis of various blogs concerned. We can still be unbiased, and through impartiality we can still uphold the article's own authenticity as to its contents. What we should must do then is compile a list of blogs that raise such criticism and refer to them collectively. News articles do this, and by emulating what news articles do we can avoid being sanctioned for being biased. --Vormeph (talk) 22:42, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
  • conditional Yes - the source seems reasonable, since it appears to do some research, not just a personal opinion of the blogger. However the wikipedia phrase is childish and does not really summarize the source adequately. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:40, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

@ChamithN:, @Elmidae:, @Maproom:, @Kingofaces43: Following the vote, and over a month has past since; I have taken liberty to include the source with a mild comment that doesn't make it seem controversial. It's difficult to find sources, and it's probably due to Stack Overflow monitoring criticism, etc. I believe there was one time in this article's history where I was convinced that someone from Stack Overflow had deliberately removed criticism which was not acceptable at all. There's no proof I have of this, but there's no proof we have regarding the negative aspects of SO. What we have is a start, but it should not be presumed upon. If there is a problem with the wording of the criticism, then it should be modified so that it is impartial. Vormeph (talk) 09:39, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Yyyeah, not a big fan of the formulation. How about "Stack Overflow has also occasionally been criticised for maintaining a negative atmosphere for newcomers."? -- Elmidae (talk) 10:03, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
I personally don't see a problem with your wording, but Elmidae's version does sound better. By the way, it's a good thing you updated the article to reflect the consensus, which I failed to do, even though I was the one who invoked Dispute Resolution in the first place. Thanks. -- ChamithN (talk) 10:16, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
@Elmidae:, @ChamithN: I've changed the wording now. Vormeph (talk) 10:23, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

As of May 2009, Notability is in Question[edit]

This article uses primary sources and overall does not meet the guidelines set forth in WP:GNG. I did some searching for a short bit and it's currently difficult to remedy this problem, simply because there is not enough extensive and independent coverage of the material herein, at least that I could find. Your assistance in making this article notable is welcomed. CaptainMorgan (talk) 09:04, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I'll have a go over the next week or so. dottydotdot (talk) 20:11, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
OK-I don't really have much time to weave into the passage-so please, anyone do it for me!
From ReadWriteWeb, in December 2008 they received 3million visitors-ReadWriteWeb which makes it pretty notable.
I also have this link about it [1].
I'll see what others I can get as well. dottydotdot (talk) 16:41, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I think it is notable enough, but the primary page? How about stack overflow the programming bug? Or at least the disambiguation page as the default? (talk) 04:05, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Stack Overflow and Stack overflow are diferent articles, so this one it's not “default”. Svick (talk) 22:10, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I've improved this article and added several independent references. David Condrey (talk) 04:06, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia Article Name[edit]

Please guys reconsider the name of this article. "Stack Overflow" is not a good name as it is just differs in case with the original term: "Stack overflow". This page should be either named "Stack Overflow (Website)" or "". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:32, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

According to my reading of WP:TITLE, Stack Overflow is the best title for this article. It does not clash with Stack overflow, Stack buffer overflow or Stack overflow (disambiguation). — LinguistAtLarge • Talk  18:35, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with LinguistAtLarge; there's no problem with the current name. --Jonik (talk) 18:49, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Letter case is a poor way to disambiguate discrete topics. Any search engine could tell you that. In a few cases the use of common nouns as proper nouns causes a collision. The titles of affected articles should make this more obvious, not less so. I support moving this to “…(web site)” as proposed above. ⤺ms.⁴⁵ 15:56, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I am also a proponent of adding (Website) to the title. That way, it is clear what the content of the article is about just from reading the title text. A change in capitalization isn't very noticeable and there exists too many inconsistencies with what capitalization entails. Some titles are all caps even if they would not treated the same way in the middle of a sentence. --Dbmikus (talk) 03:57, 4 June 2010 (UTC)


I removed the {{prod}} template, because I think that SO is notable site. Some independent online sources I found that mention it:

Svick (talk) 12:15, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

For the record, I fully agree with Svick on this. Stack Overflow is already extremely popular among programmers, and it has only been gaining momentum, so I am quite certain that, at this point, attempts to get the article deleted are doomed. --Jonik (talk) 18:55, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I had never heard of the company nor ever used them; I cannot answer for their status or standards though I have been a computer professional for decades, and I say that to accuse them of not being notable enough for inclusion is so ridiculous as to raise questions of personal prejudice and bad faith. Far less notable topics by the thousand have their own articles, and many or most of those are of value to WP users by the city load. Notability certainly is important, both in terms of WP policy and of function and common sense, but it does not follow that every minor topic must be a household name to earn its place in WP. And it is not clear that this company isn't enough of a household name to qualify anyway. Sometimes it is for minor topics that an encyclopaedia is at its most useful. JonRichfield (talk) 06:01, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Partisanship section recuringly censored by MICROSOFT vendors[edit]

The page has been 'protected' to actually prevent well-known information to be published regarding the MICROSOFT bias of Stackoverflow.

The text below has been censored by (check the IP addresses) companies like Amadeus SAS (France) who is a preeminent MICROSOFT partner (top level MSFT directors come from Amadeus):

In addition to use IIS and ASP.Net Stackoverflow is a MICROSOFT partner, receiving revenues from MICROSOFT advertising. This is creating a very oriented ambiance where everything that is not benefiting MICROSOFT is systematically dismissed or censored by 'super-users' who have full-power to edit or delete the posts and accounts of other users.

All the Stackoverflow 'super-users' (> 50k reputation) who censor posts and accounts are MICROSOFT C# developpers and book authors about C#, flagging anything that outdoes C# as 'SPAM' -and arguing that discussing IIS and C# is legitimate and informative but that discussing a (much faster) Free Web server using full ANSI_C scripts is "obvious advertising" (citation missing after the user account and all its posts have been censored).

The most obvious consequence of this filtering strategy is that C# accounts for many times more questions and replies than any other topic[1].

But it also makes Stackoverflow a much less interesting Q&A site as the technical level of its contributors is reflecting the Web site's sponsor agenda, discouraging anything that promotes efficiency[2] to better sell solutions designed to underperform in order to sell more hardware (which in turn benefits to MICROSOFT as Windows Server licenses are sold bundled with hardware)[3].

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ | C# dominates all othre Stackoverflow Tags... for a reason
  2. ^ | Stackoverflow promoting inefficiency
  3. ^ | The U.S. DoJ ruled that making MICROSOFT .Net benchmaks illegal harms end-users
The reason your additions have been deleted is because your sources don't support your claims at all. Where is any reference to marking non-C# questions as spam? How are responses to one question indication of (what you claim is) more general issue? The third reference doesn't even mention SO. All this is just your opinion. You are entitled to have it, but Wikipedia is not a place to publish it. Svick (talk) 13:47, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW, one of your claims is provably false. I have looked at the profiles of the top 5 users on SO (many more have >50k reputation) and two of them (Alex Martelli and cletus) don't seem to be particularly interested in C#. Svick (talk) 13:52, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

As explained (but you obviously are not interested in the facts) ALL the posts (and the user accounts) have been CENSORED on ACCUSATIONS of ADVERTISING -so NO REFERENCE IS AVAILABLE BECAUSE OF STACKOVERFLOW CENSORSHIP. And, despite this issue being the most recent, you moved it at the BOTTOM of the page (because it is a bit more a pain than 'notability issues'). Many Stackoverflow super-users are regularly claiming that they have no ties with MSFT to avoid abeing accused of any bias. There are evidences (were you ready to consider any) that super-users MAKE BLATTANT LIES regarding what they do, like SAM SAFFRON (a moderator and C# developement Satckoverflow contributor) who claimed during a conflict that he is a RUBY developer while in fact he works as a C# developer. The fact that you are FAKING to be willing to investigate this issue is raising the question of the neutrality of Wikipedia moderators... (talk) 09:02, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

What is needed is not an evidence that this is happening, but a reliable source discussing this issue. And that could be available if this was actually happening.
I moved this thread to the bottom, because that's the way discussions are organized here (see WP:TOPPOST).
I don't care where or on what position these people work, because that is irrelevant. What's relevant here is how they act on SO, i.e. what kind of questions do they answer.
Also, I am no “moderator”. I am just an ordinary editor like yourself.
Svick (talk) 17:42, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

You are "only an Ordinary user" -of course. With a Wikipedia "User" page and the ability to lock-up (sorry, "Protect") a page against a properly documented MICROSOFT-BIAS (I provided links to Stackoverflow pages that illustrate the points -but you are only busy proving me wrong, not considering the references) that has been CENSORED by MICROSOFT 'Strategic Partners' (like AMADEUS SAS France, look at the IP addresses that CENSORED the article, caliming that it was vandalism while this is merely INFORMATION - the MSFT bias is well-known and obvious, given the obsequious Stackoverflow coverage on MICROSOFT.COM). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:37, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Your main point is that SO is censored and you didn't provide any reference for that. Just the fat that Microsoft technologies are among the most popular there doesn't prove that. Maybe C# programmers like to use the site more than, say, Linux/C developers? Or maybe C# is actually popular? Svick (talk) 18:34, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

This is complete nonsense. As a web developer I use exclusively non-MS technologies. As a desktop developer I use C# and the .NET framework. I have equal success getting answers about the non-MS stuff as I do the MS stuff. So what if the site owners take microsoft money? (If they even do that is...) Firstly, the site is effectively run and managed by the community. Secondly, what would they stand to gain by eliminating questions about the competition? Take your conspiracy theories elsewhere. TdwrighT 10:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Criticism (October 2011)[edit]

Criticism continues to be erased by Stack_Exchange moderators and employees citing no known notable figures having directed the criticism despite numerous claims from individuals in the community including issues being debated on their own website . [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Uberholden (talkcontribs) 05:46, 24 October 2011

There's no lobbying. You're adding the section of another community - Super User as evident from the screenshot. Stack Overflow community is significantly different from Super User. And your bias in adding the notice is evident from the fact that you've added the "Criticism" the moment you were suspended from Super User. SathyaBhat (talk) 14:55, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
As you list yourself as a StackOverflow moderator on your profile, I hardly consider you an unbiased source. Moderators from your community have been erasing criticism long before today. Crticism sections are quite common and the tone of this one somewhat balanced and sourced directly from one of the founders of the website in question.
I'm not a Stack Overflow moderator. SathyaBhat (talk) 15:18, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
The reversals are not done by Stack Overflow Moderators nor Stack Overflow employees. The section was added once you acknowledged a suspension and adds no value to the entry and it has already been confirmed that a blog entry is not a reliable source to quote. Furthermore, Super User is not Stack Overflow, and is simply a part of the network itself. I cannot see how adding a whole section on suspension adds any value to the Wikipedia article, or what is achieved by adding it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by DiagoZA (talkcontribs)
I'm a moderator of a StackExchange site (but not StackOverflow) and I consider the fact that this criticism was added by a banned member immediately after having been banned to be the ultimate red flag. It's like adding criticism to a page about traffic law because you got a ticket. An individual doesn't necessarily represent public opinion and if you've been banned from a StackExchange site, chances are you don't represent the opinion of the entire userbase. Enmaku (talk) 16:26, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Disagree, because that's like saying Rosa Parks wasn't entitle to have her opinion on things immediately after she was kicked off a buss. Would her opinions have been easier to digest if she'd taken some time to calm down first? Indubitably. But the fact that the above fellow is angry doesn't mean that he doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to an opinion, under the current context and scope of wikipedia. If people weren't allowed to write while they were angry, then some important subjects would receive almost no coverage. I'm sorry that you were having trouble with the above fellow, and genuinely hope that you are able to sort it out with him.
What evidence do you have that the entry has been added by a banned member? This discussion page about criticism has been modified over 2 years (since Dec. 2010) for a variety of issues ranging from censorship, microsoft bias & user suspensions. It's nothing new and I find the insistence of an lone "enraged" user weak. While the entry in question is poorly written, and its motives *possibly* questionable? Wikipedia does not dismiss criticism. A brief search on google turned up more than a few thousand critics. What is more worrying is the concerted efforts of Stackoverflow to remove criticism for almost 2 years and the zeal with which their moderators pursue it.
Agreed. Personally, I think that people wouldn't be taking the argument to Wikipedia if they were just a bit more forthcoming about tolerating, or even encouraging this sort of discussion on their own website
The problem is more that the 'criticism' is simply a description of perfectly normal community moderator tools. There is nothing remotely notable about that section. As soon as WP adds a similar "Criticism" section to the Wikipedia article itself, I'll buy that it's reasonable. Somehow I doubt that will happen. Actually... I'm going to edit out all of the rumor-mongering junk, and let's see if the section still stands on merits. -- Kiru

That's simply absurd. I'm also Stackoverflow moderator ( a part of StackExchange ), the user made several obscene comments on SuperUser and added more than a 100+ questions which were flagged as spam by myself and several others and then left mean and disparaging comments about each one of us. His IP has been banned and his account completely erased. He is now lashing out creating exaggerated wikipedia entries. He is angry and nothing he says should be believed or read. Jeff and I are morally outraged that he could insinuate our actions as anything less than genuine or twist our words. We had valid reasons for banning him as mentioned before, he is a bad apple. I'm also a moderator for Stackexchange and have preemptively banned him so he will not threaten our community further. If anyone here is a Wikipedia moderator, I would ask that he be banned here as well before he and his bot-net get out of control. We at Stackoverflow only ban users for very specific criteria and all of what he wrote on wikipedia was blatantly false and cannot be believed.

Thank you for posting, and for volunteering the information that you are in fact a Stack Moderator. I'm sorry you're having trouble with the disgruntled guy but I, for the record, find it somewhat troubling that that you've taken the effort not only to ban him from your own site, but then to follow him over to W-Pedia to continue to hash it out with him. Wouldn't you suppose that he wouldn't be (ranting?) here if you gave him a voice on your own site? The fact that you're also requesting Wikipedia to ban him exemplies what he is claiming to be a problem. Without wishing to sound biased, there can be little doubt in my mind that the site currently has management problems, and for this reason I can only ask that you treat the Uberholden with just a bit more respect. Also, I'd like to emphasize the point that this article could benefit from an expanded criticism section. The criticism should be drawn from the most reliable sources available. If blogs are the most reliable sources, then we should use the most reliable blogs. Good luck with your web site administration efforts -- I think that Stack has a lot of potential if people could get past a bit of the growing pains.
Haha... "growing pains". You do realize that SO has more active contributors than WP at this point, right? The (supposed) SO mod "followed him over to WP" when he was essentially vandalizing the article on their site, which you don't seem to feel is a problem. You are extraordinarily biased, and it shows. I've made an effort to remove the obvious bias and misleading (non- and mis-sourced) statements from the article, but left everything that could be sourced... and it's suddenly not very interesting. It suddenly bears a striking resemblance to the moderation policies at WP. -- Kiru
Thank you for making the changes. You brought up the issue of SO vandalism. Just to be clear, my goal is to remain more or less neutral on this issue. While I wouldn't want anyone to read something that I wrote and feel that I've encouraged vandalism of your website, I'm not in any position to ask people not to vandalize your website either, no matter how much you would prefer that they didn't. Minimally I can promise you that I will not personally vandalize SO, if that serves as any consolation. I also apologize that you're having trouble with Wikipedias editing policies. Certainly I wouldn't suggest that our policies here are perfect. At any rate, you might want to be careful about accusing WP editors as being biased. We are here to help you and even if we were found to be biased, it wouldn't change things for you the way that I suspect that you think it will. In any event, how about the addition of a controversies section to the article? This would bring it into closer alignment with other technologies. Thanks again and I hope that we have the opportunity to collaborate on other articles.
Hmm, I think we might have miscommunicated somewhere. I was referring to the edits on this page as "vandalism." Perhaps a bit strong, but considering the misleading use of source material (as well as outright fabrications) in the original version of this section, I'm tempted not to temper that judgement. I don't actually have any problem with WP's policies, but was just attempting to explain that SO policies are remarkably similar to the WP policies, as well as matching nearly all other reasonable online communities. Because of that, I'm not convinced that a factual explanation of these policies is sufficiently notable for a section in this article. That's more of a "does this really help the article?" argument, as opposed to any other concern. Kiruwa (talk) 20:11, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
No problem. We can sort it out. And actually, I'm tempted to agree with you. I tend to think that much of Wikipedia would be a lot better if most of our editors were a bit more given to self-reflection. Given that consensus, I attempted to go first and to add some comments about the Wikipedia Article that called for expanded criticism...but actually, there seems to be a lot more criticism included in the article since the last time that I read it. Tell me, what further criticism do you think should appear in the Wikipedia article? If it's reasonable, I'll cheerfully call for its inclusion.


  1. ^ "Stackoverflow Criticism". 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 

Legal status of systematic exclusion of less articulate / intellegent users[edit]

Mention if the systematic exclusion of less articulate / intellegent users might conflict with Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (mental impairment), etc. laws.

See also[edit]

Jidanni (talk) 08:58, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

The ADA covers employment, public entities, and public accommodations. It does not apply to free contributions to a website; and certainly not when that exclusion is based on the quality of the content by people who have no foreknowledge of the contributor's disability. Also, you misspelled "intelligent". ChristopherTStone (talk) 02:18, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Stack Apps section[edit]

The section needs rewriting: for years there has been a full read/write API (version 2 now) and the stack apps website is a minimal part of that ecosystem (basically a showcase). API docs are here Full disclosure: I'm a Stack Exchange employee and moderator. Sklivvz (talk) 11:25, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Criticism (bis)[edit]

I'm not going to add this to the main article as probably being below WP:RS, but I think that in time more reliable sources will probably appear. Some problems are well known and highly upvoted withing the SO community itself, so they aren't a matter of singular opinion, e.g. [2]. We're already seeing some academic attention paid to SO, although not nearly as much as Wikipedia has seen. JMP EAX (talk) 15:35, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

This isn't criticism, but I remembered this page also needs to cover how (the inevitable) vote fraud and sockpuppets are dealt with. Point of start [3]. But we need some staff/founder blogs as more RS than that. JMP EAX (talk) 19:32, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Disagreement over criticism section again[edit]

Hi User:Aldaron, User:Vormeph, and User:Dandv - I see some adding and reverting of a criticism section again, which is a pattern that has been happening with this article since at least 2011, as you can see from this talk page. It would likely be more productive to discuss this section here instead of just adding and reverting it some more. Two things to consider: citing a discussion thread (such as a Reddit thread or Hacker News thread) is not usually considered a strong source (especially not for controversial statements), and sections titled "criticism" tend to be content forks, as described in the essay at WP:CSECTION. Dreamyshade (talk) 06:27, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

It is required that there be a balanced article covering both sides of the argument. Stack Overflow (SO) is notorious for its cheeky practices that are both patronising and condescending towards users of any kind. There is a real hierarchy that requires an entire beratement of personality to pervert what they describe as 'good answers or good questions'. News articles that dare to publish anything bad about SO risk being sued or flamed by SO fans to the max... or worse. There are many good people in this world who have to live in silence, and I have read their blogs and I am utter proof and anyone can be so by simply going on SO and seeing the correlation between 'downvoted' questions/answers and trolling. Clearly it's a polarising discussion, but it ought to be addressed.

Removing the criticism section is out of the question, and it is unbiased because there are loads of sources out there, and if need be I will even cite questions to show how debilitating SO can be. However, in all fairness, the tone and language of such criticism shall be moderated to ensure it is not defamatory (and indeed, the criticism section is hardly defamatory) thus it is required we gather as much references for the criticism from as many individuals as possible. Vormeph 14:14, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

I am also in favor of a balanced article, and I also know that there are cultural problems with Stack Overflow. But as part of building a high-quality article, we need to stick to Wikipedia's standards for reliable sources (Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources), which usually means not referencing discussion threads. We also should convert the "criticism" section to something more like a "reception" or "community" section, which would cover all the major points about how people feel about Stack Overflow, both positive and negative. Can you dig up some reliable sources that cover perspectives on the Stack Overflow community, to replace the references to individual discussion threads? Dreamyshade (talk) 19:23, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Requiring a WP:RS to prove that SO has alienated hundreds of users reveals a systemic failure with Wikipedia. You're not going to find this in the mainstream media, because they have no incentive to cover it. Tons of valuable content getting deleted and users leaving in disgust isn't as juicy as a random isolated case of sexism. That doesn't make it any less true, or less painful. On the other hand, if the same blogger who posted a rant against SO somehow got the very same post syndicated by HuffPo, then poof, we have a reliable source. I know, I should take my proposal to Village Pump. No thanks. -- Dandv 00:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I come across many blogs that criticise Stack Overflow's community. It's more than just coincidence because if people are complaining about the community then it's a case that there's merit in what these blogs are pointing out. I agree that the section should also be renamed to 'reception' and that any modifications within the section are checked to ensure sources are accurate. In the meantime, it is safe to flag the said section until either of us find suitable sources. I have not come across any news articles that criticise Stack Overflow's community, and so the only alternative is to appeal to those within the community for what they have experienced. This would very much be anecdotal, but I'll leave the interpretations thereof down to editors superior to me. Thanks for alerting this! Vormeph 22:06, 27 August 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vormeph (talkcontribs)
Wikipedia has a lot of systemic issues, some of them on display here, but ignoring the guidelines is a recipe for edit warring and controversy. A reasonable strategy is to read the guidelines carefully and stick to them very carefully, since they tend to have some room for covering niche topics if you use the best available sources with precise writing from a neutral point of view. So: if you dig around, what are the strongest available sources that comment on Stack Overflow's community/atmosphere, both positively and negatively? For example, if you can't find any mainstream news articles or books covering this, who are the most reputable/recognized experts who have commented on this somewhere, even in a self-published source? Limited use of self-published expert sources can be acceptable, for example if you quote the statement as from that particular person.
I googled around a bit and found a journal article titled "Gender, Representation and Online Participation: A Quantitative Study of StackOverflow" (full text PDF), which has some overview comments about negative aspects of Stack Overflow culture. I also found a blog post on Women 2.0, which isn't the strongest reliable source on its own, but the post demonstrates some research, so it could be used in a limited way. This indicates to me that sources are probably available for a reception section, they may just take some research to find. Dreamyshade (talk) 06:04, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
What I propose is that we list sources of any kind that praise or criticise Stack Overflow in any way. Thus, we can then agree which ones can be appropriate for citation when it comes to compiling an entire section devoted to a new section Reception within this wikipedia article. Here's some sources I got, and they're really interesting reads:
Now, when it comes to soures, the authors of which I have listed appear genuine in the claims they raise. What I can ascertain is that beause they are mature and as they are developers so knowledgable in the field they are accreditted in, it becomes clear that there is no sign of deception in what they say about Stack Overflow. SO is indeed popular, but there's a hidden reality that very few are willing to address. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vormeph (talkcontribs) 18:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Check out the specific guidelines at WP:USERGENERATED and WP:SELFSOURCE for how we can use self-published sources: "Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications" and "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as the following criteria are met...It does not involve claims about third parties (such as people, organizations, or other entities)."
In order to work within those guidelines, we need to figure out whether any of those blog authors have had other work published in reliable third-party publications. If they haven't, the extent to which we can use them would be something like "Michael T. Richter, a software developer who was in the top 3% of Stack Overflow contributors in 2013, said that he found the scoring system to reward answering trivial questions, among other problems he saw with the site, which he said frustrated him and contributed to him closing his account." That's an accurate and neutral statement, and it's probably not pushing too hard on the "claims about third parties" guideline, since it's presented as his personal opinion. But if you look at this sentence from the perspective of a reader who is trying to learn about Stack Overflow, it's a bit of an odd thing to read, since there are probably dozens of blog posts by individual software developers who are frustrated with Stack Overflow - are we going to have a whole paragraph listing positive and negative opinions from many individual blog authors? It doesn't quite make sense as a way of building an encyclopedia.
I'm not saying that individual non-"expert" blog authors are unreliable sources of information about their own opinions and thoughts - they are probably writing what they feel, with little motivation to lie - but they aren't usable as "reliable sources" for making broad statements about Stack Overflow. I'd support continuing to collect as many sources as you can here though, to help pick through and figure out whether some are better than others. Dreamyshade (talk) 02:26, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

User:Vormeph, I appreciate that you made an effort to retitle and rewrite the section, but it needs to stick to the guidelines a lot more closely than this. Since this is a controversial section, a good guideline is for every sentence to be sourced. We also need to avoid "weasel words" (WP:WEASEL) - it's important for each sentence to be as precise and concrete as possible. The strongest source so far is still that journal article titled "Gender, Representation and Online Participation: A Quantitative Study of StackOverflow" (full text PDF), specifically these two sentences: "The focus on gender under-representation in online communities is further motivated by anecdotal observations: it has been suggested that the Q&A website StackOverflow (SO) strongly promotes oneupmanship; fosters flame-wars and the down-voting of individuals; and it is based on earning prizes, reputation and badges, that allow participants to access new features and gain more control on others’ postings. Experience suggests that this results in a lesser participation by female users, who do not engage with the community or use gender-neutral names to be accepted by the mostly male audiences, while male users sometimes masquerade as females believing other (male) users would be less aggressive towards them and their questions." If you paraphrase that research and balance it with a paraphrase of some observations about positive aspects of the site, that could be a start to a reception/community section. Dreamyshade (talk) 21:11, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

User:Dreamyshade I will study the pdf file and amend the section accordingly. In the meantime, the current section as-is will be removed. Thanks! Vormeph 21:16, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

The Reception section seems to be a rehashed version of the Criticism section that has appeared on and off over this article's lifetime. The first two sentences of the section even explicitly mention the word "criticism." It feels a bit disingenuous to have a Reception section which appears to be a reskinning of a section about Criticism. This makes it appear as if the only reception to the site has been this single negative paper, while most reception (good or bad) simply doesn't meet the standards for Wikipedia. The Reception section should just be called Criticism unless the Reception section can be expanded to have multiple sources. Alternately, since there do not appear to be enough sources for a fully fledged Reception section, it could be renamed to something akin to "Studies done about Stack Overflow" and contain other studies such as this. Info326sk (talk) 20:09, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

@Info326sk: It was agreed to keep the section in question neutral, so long as there's no bias. Sources help, so if you feel that something is worth adding then by all means do so. It is only after it's added that we can decide what to modify. Unfortunately that's how it ought to be; I know full well from personal experience that Stack Overflow has a dodgy community; but original research isn't an acceptable form of reference for that. Vormeph (talk) 03:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Hey @Dreamyshade:, @Dandv: and everyone else! I think it's time we updated the section in question so that it has more substance. I know Wikipedia always demands reliable sources, but some sources can be held reliable based on their readability and ratings. Leniency should be exercised in which case. It's important to also include valid opinions from actual users of Stack Overflow, rather than derive a conclusion from an objective analysis. By including sources that have opinions from both sides of Stack Overflow, we can leave the conclusion down to the conscience of the reader while still maintaining impartiality as to the nature of the section. Thoughts? Vormeph (talk) 15:16, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

It makes sense to me to flesh out this section with more perspectives instead of just one reference, but I'm pretty strongly in favor of sticking to the most reliable available sources - for one thing, we will have a much easier time finding consensus if we use strong sources. What sources do you want to bring into this section? Dreamyshade (talk) 20:27, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
@Dreamyshade: Today, I've added another perspective to Stack Overflow on the Reception section. This new section references: which is a case study in academia. It doesn't mention anything about the negative drawbacks of the reputation/voting system, but does provide plenty of logical basis as to why it's a useful system. Vormeph (talk) 22:19, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Just now saw that this has been a topic on here. Anyway, I removed the part about gender on the basis of misleading statements. The actual content of the study is that is shows that there are more men than women involved. It does in no way show any of the things that were stated in the section (at some instances it mentions "anecdotal evidence" or "experience", but I think we can agree that this can under no circumstances be a standard for Wikipedia). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
@ Your edits have been retracted as they removed a counterargument within the Reception section. Please always refer to talk pages before making unnecessary retractions as they have been discussed thoroughly as you can see. Failure to abide by this and I will report you. Happy editing. Vormeph (talk) 21:28, 3 March 2016 (UTC)