For the third year running, the Stack Exchange team is organizing a "Winter Bash". Users earn "hats" for their gravatars by completing novel tasks (analogous to badges). Certain specific actions will trigger access to a (graphical) hat, which their gravatar can then "wear" at the user's option.

This event will run from 15 December 2014 to 4 January 2015. Individuals who don’t want to participate, don’t want to see hats, or are generally anti-hat will have an "I hate hats" option available (which will cause you not to see hats at all). The only visual change to the site itself will be the presence of the hats and the "I hate hats" button in the footer. Participation on one site does not affect accounts on other SE sites.

Two answers aim to collect votes for a community poll: Please, indicate whether you think GIS should participate in this event or not (1 vote per user). Responses from the community are due by November 30. Moderators will inform the SE team of our collective decision.

  • 3
    Based on the results of this voting, I have notified the SE team that GIS opts to participate in this event.
    – whuber
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 2:53
  • [status-completed] can now be added to this, since there will indeed be hats.
    – Doorknob
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 1:12
  • This question appears to now relate to a decision that has been taken after community discussion
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 4:24
  • @Doorknob冰 At the moment we have only been using the status-* tags on meta questions related to tagging so I opted to close the question instead. Either way, what you say is certainly correct, that the time for input to this question is now in the past.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 4:28
  • 1
    @PolyGeo, this question was not correctly closed, as it is not off-topic. If we were to close questions on meta which subjects are outdated the list would be large and in my opinion we would be misusing this feature. Status-completed tag here is more suitable ("..another type of request has been processed"). Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 16:52
  • 1
    @PolyGeo There are merits to closing and merits to keeping the thread open, as Andre Silva points out. Personally, I am indifferent to the outcome, but in making such decisions you ought to attach significant weight to whether you are unilaterally changing how the site operates: note that in the past such voting questions have not been closed--including the one I linked to in the post. For consistency with previous actions, then, consider reverting to the status quo.
    – whuber
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 17:18
  • 1
    I made a 50:50 call on this but thought I was coming down on the side of the status quo. In light of these comments the simplest thing is to re-open the question and apply status-completed which I have now done. CC @AndreSilva
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 19:36
  • 1
    @AndreSilva I think it is unfortunate that it looked like I was saying "Off-topic" because of the question content when my "Off-topic" reason (given under Other) was "This question appears to now relate to a decision that has been taken after community discussion" i.e. an endorsement of whuber's actions. Adopting a wider usage of status-completed as suggested should make this clearer in future.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 23:24
  • 1
    Thanks for reconsidering the action, @PolyGeo. Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 9:07

4 Answers 4


Yes, GIS should participate in Winter Bash 2014.


No, GIS should not participate in Winter Bash 2014.

  • Who doesn't want to participate? Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 13:32
  • 2
    @DevdattaTengshe people that do not like hats.
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 15:21
  • @Mapperz People who don't like hats can opt out and will see no change at all. Thus, those voting against participation are those who think that the appearance of hats on our site to other people is somehow detrimental to the site.
    – whuber
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 15:49
  • 4
    Some people against winter bash argued that users would game more than the necessary to get the hats, and this would be harmful to the site. A community_manager replied through comment it was a valid concern, but that it did not happen frequently in 2013 and that they would keep watching misbehaviour this year. (cc/ @whuber) Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 12:05

YES, GIS should participate in the 2014 “Winter Bash”.

The reasons are :

  1. There is a personal right for every person not to join it by choosing "I hate hats" option.


  1. There is no option for those who want to use that nice hat if GIS does not participate in the "Winter Bash".

see: Winter Bash 2012 and 2013



You'd think geographical professionals would recognise the absurdity of a "winter" event on a global site.

  • 1
    Will someone think of us, the tropical users who get no winter? Let us at-least get some of that virtual winter, and snow. Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 5:07
  • Its an absurd time of the year. Santa suits and weird headwear isn't the strangest thing you'd see in Australia, even in summer.
    – BradHards
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 8:31
  • 3
    You're right. I'm sure many of us have had the same thought. But did you know that StackExchange--and much of its team--is located in New York City? Perhaps we should encourage and celebrate manifestations of local identity as a reminder that we all indeed do have specific locations in the world and don't exist only in a diffuse global ether.
    – whuber
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 15:43
  • 1
    Well, I know that the team is. Curious what you mean by "StackExchange ... is located in NYC". The servers? The corporate HQ? Not sure I see much relevance tbh. The location of the community is much more important, surely... Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 23:13

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