I've built a Storm topology that predicts the amount of reputation a user might earn by answering newly asked SO questions given that user's past success at answering questions. The results are displayed to the user, either on a web page (the Storm topology runs in the background as a server-side job) or as HTML embedded in an e-mail. I want to show enough of the question content to let the user decide whether or not to go to the stack overflow page for that question to read/answer the question. I also understand that I shouldn't show too much content from the question in my HTML.

Is a display containing title (linked to the stack overflow page), question tags and amount of OP reputation too much to display?

  • Are you asking from a UX perspective (How much information do users want to see?) or from a licensing perspective (How much information am I allowed to show?)? Sep 13, 2013 at 19:06
  • @BilltheLizard It's more the latter. I know SO wouldn't want me to show all question content and meta data, but there's probably a logical subset of content that conveys the gist of the question but doesn't infringe on SO Sep 13, 2013 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


As long as you follow the guidelines Jeff laid out on Attribution Required you should be able to display as much content as you want.

  1. Visually indicate that the content is from Stack Overflow, Meta Stack Overflow, Server Fault, or Super User in some way. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious; a discreet text blurb is fine.
  2. Hyperlink directly to the original question on the source site (e.g., https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12345)
  3. Show the author names for every question and answer
  4. Hyperlink each author name directly back to their user profile page on the source site (e.g., https://stackoverflow.com/users/12345/username)

One other detail from that post that's worth noting is that the links must not be nofollowed.

It should also be fine to display any meta-data about each post (views, votes, favorites, etc.), as it's the content that requires attribution.

  • Not sure why you would want the nofollow. This isn't for a user going to his/her question, rather it's a user going to a question that looks interesting. So why shouldn't that count towards a reference? Sep 14, 2013 at 0:59
  • @ChrisGerken I'm not sure either. It might have been observed in the past from sites that were scraping giant amounts of content from Stack Overflow, so they put that clause in just to explicitly tell people not to do it. Sep 14, 2013 at 1:12

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