On Meta SE: June 2023 Data Dump is missing.
On Meta SE: Moderation Strike update: Data dumps, choosing representatives, GPT data, and where we’re holding (Restoring the data dumps is a precondition for ending the strike.)
On Meta SE: Philippe says that the data dump will be restored.
On Meta SE: Aaron Bertrand says the June data dump is complete.
Every three months, Stack Overflow published a data dump of our site's contents to the Internet Archive. This enabled projects like Kiwik, various other projects (e.g. making a better search system so I could find those other projects!!), and enabled us to migrate the site to another software platform in extremis.
This is no longer happening. This will resume happening.
The rest of this post, while true, is currently (and hopefully forevermore) outdated.
What this means?
This site is no longer a community-controlled resource.
Stack Overflow has positioned itself to enclose the commons. This move centralises power in the hands of the company: it allows them to hold us hostage. In my experience, this only happens when a company's management expects to need to hold the users hostage:
Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.
I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a "two sided market," where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, holding each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.
The company has an excuse, so this may not be their intention – but it is the effect, and I don't think their justification is a good one.
Until the company resumes the data dumps and commits to that, I will no longer be contributing exclusively to the Stack Exchange network.1
- No questions, except if they are available elsewhere.
- No answers, except if they are available elsewhere.
In addition, I will be cooperating with with the ongoing moderation strike until its conclusion, by:2
- No voting, except on meta.
- No curational moderation.
- No curational edits.
I encourage you to do the same – if not sign the strike letter directly.
If you want to continue using Stack Exchange
If you want to continue using Stack Exchange, please Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. If you need help setting up your own website, you can post a comment or an answer (or contact me elsewhere), and I (or another) will provide it. Neocities is a good web host for these purposes: it's quick, they have tutorials, and they promise not to lock you in.
If you care about any contributions you've made since early March (2023-03-05), make sure you have another copy of them. We can no longer rely on them continuing to be available on this site.
If you've made friends here, and you haven't already, consider exchanging contact details.
1: Apart from working on accessibility tooling. Lacking up-to-date data dumps makes that a tad harder, but that's no reason to throw in the towel.
2: I reserve the right to deal with anything egregious, if I come across it. That almost never happens here, but the Smoke Detector is shut down as part of the strike, so it might become a problem.