I am trying to notify myself with an email whenever there is a reputation change on my account every 30 mins(which will come via a cron job). So I am hitting a StackExchange API to get this.


When I hit the API, I get a pretty weird character stream like below:

enter image description here

API Endpoint:




namespace StackbotNotifier\Controllers;

class APIController{
    public const API_DOMAIN = 'https://api.stackexchange.com/2.3/';
    public const API_ENDPOINTS = [
        'REPUTATION.CHANGE' => 'users/4964822/reputation',
        'INBOX.UNREAD' => 'inbox/unread'

    public static function makeAPICall($endPointURI, $params = [], $method = 'GET'){        
            $method = strtoupper($method);
            $ch = curl_init();
            $absoluteEndpoint = self::API_DOMAIN . self::API_ENDPOINTS[ $endPointURI];

            if($method == 'GET'){
                $absoluteEndpoint .= '?' . http_build_query($params);

            curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $absoluteEndpoint);
            if($method == 'POST'){
                curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, true);
                curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST, $method);

            $headers = ['Accept:application/json'];

            if($method != 'GET'){
                curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, json_encode($params));
                $headers[] = 'Content-Type:application/json';

            curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, $headers);
            curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, true);
            curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYHOST, 2);
            curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CAINFO, ini_get('openssl.cafile'));

            $response = curl_exec($ch);

            $curl_info = curl_getinfo($ch);

            if(preg_match('/^2\d\d$/',$curl_info['http_code']) !== 1){
                throw new \Exception("Error occurred with http status ".$curl_info['http_code']." !! Response is ". $response);

            return $response;
        }catch(\Exception $e){

Driver Code:


use StackbotNotifier\Controllers\APIController;

echo APIController::makeAPICall(APIController::API_ENDPOINTS['REPUTATION.CHANGE'], [
    'page' => 1,
    'pagesize' => 10,
    'fromdate' => '2022-12-30',
    'todate' => '2023-01-01',
    'site' => 'stackoverflow'

Can anybody help me out with the same? My controller has a straightforward cURL request and yet it fails to give me a proper JSON.

  • I'm not familiar enough with PHP cURL to know whether it supports compression by default. Otherwise, could you try e.g. this?
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 1 at 15:01
  • @Glorfindel sure, will try and let you know soon.
    – nice_dev
    Jan 1 at 15:23
  • 1
    Sure, if it works, this question is probably a duplicate of Possible Gzip or data format problems when trying to read JSON.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 1 at 15:24
  • @nice_dev Welcome. It's best to post text as text instead of images. Jan 1 at 16:11
  • @Glorfindel Yes, it worked after adding the encoding. You can mark this as a dupe now. Thanks a lot for your help again.
    – nice_dev
    Jan 1 at 18:38
  • 1
    @JamesRisner Sure, will keep that in mind moving forward.
    – nice_dev
    Jan 1 at 18:38


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