Stack Overflow Gives Back 2017

One of the most lasting gestures of philanthropy is when folks give so generously of their time and hard-earned knowledge so that others may benefit from their efforts. 2017 marked the year we saw Stack Overflow surpass 15 million questions and almost 4 million more across the network. But this year also marked another milestone — making a lasting difference from our little corner of the Internet.

Every year we set this time aside to remember the people and organizations who desperately need our help. A few weeks ago, I contacted the 566 Moderators of Stack Exchange and asked each of them to select a charity for which we would make a $100 donation on their behalf.

Giving Back Works!

Today I am pleased to announce that the Giving Back program has surpassed over a quarter-million US$ in charitable donations, in our continuing efforts to provide the support these wonderful organizations need. So on behalf of the 566 Moderators of Stack Exchange, here are the charitable donations going out this year:


A non-profit organization whose vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science, dedicated to expanding access and increasing participation by women and minorities (
International Association for Suicide Prevention
An international organization dedicated to preventing suicidal behavior and providing a forum for survivors, mental health professionals, and those affected by suicide (
International Rescue Committee
Responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helping people to survive and rebuild their lives; at work in over 40 countries, more than 90% of every dollar goes directly to help refugees in desperate need (
Doctors Without Borders
An international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists (
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Defending your rights in the digital world (
TOTAL   $56,600.00


And from our engineering and IT staff, it is important to remember some of the tools and organizations that make what we do possible:



LetsEncrypt           $1,000.00
Python Foundation           $1,000.00
HAProxy           $1,000.00
Creative Commons           $1,000.00
Have I been pwned?           $1,000.00


Earlier this month, equal access across the Internet took a crippling blow here in the US with the overturn of Net Neutrality. Opposition to this unfortunate turn was evident in this year’s strong show of support for organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation leading the fight. And with recurring themes in the news like the victims of natural disasters, mental health concerns, and growing support for under-represented groups making the headlines, it’s no wonder organizations like Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee,, and the IASP continue to rally such a generous outpouring of support.

And to all the users of Stack Exchange, thank you… thank you… thank you! Without your passion and your generosity, none of this would be possible. It is our hope that, with your continued support, we can make a lasting difference around the world by continuing this wonderful tradition of giving back.

See you next year!


Robert Cartaino
Director of Community Development

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  1. rogerdpack says:

    We should all donate to good causes, nice work.

  2. Rope_Necktie says:

    Earlier this month, equal access across the Internet took a crippling blow here in the US with the overturn of Net Neutrality

    No. Obama’s Net Neutrality rules were an illegal power grab by the federal government. All those years when those rules weren’t in place, google, FB, twitter and also SE come into being.

    When did getting politicians involved ever make anything better!?

    If you want people to donate to your sites, I suggest you keep your politics out of it. I was going to donate. Now I will not.


    1. Avamander says:

      > illegal power grab by the federal government

      They were boosted to avoid all the violations that were rampant and absolutely a misuse of the power the telecoms have, here’s a small list of the violations:

      MADISON RIVER: In 2005, North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked the voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) service Vonage. Vonage filed a complaint with the FCC after receiving a slew of customer complaints. The FCC stepped in to sanction Madison River and prevent further blocking, but it lacks the authority to stop this kind of abuse today.

      COMCAST: In 2005, the nation’s largest ISP, Comcast, began secretly blocking peer-to-peer technologies that its customers were using over its network. Users of services like BitTorrent and Gnutella were unable to connect to these services. 2007 investigations from the Associated Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others confirmed that Comcast was indeed blocking or slowing file-sharing applications without disclosing this fact to its customers.

      TELUS: In 2005, Canada’s second-largest telecommunications company, Telus, began blocking access to a server that hosted a website supporting a labor strike against the company. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Toronto found that this action resulted in Telus blocking an additional 766 unrelated sites.

      AT&T: From 2007–2009, AT&T forced Apple to block Skype and other competing VOIP phone services on the iPhone. The wireless provider wanted to prevent iPhone users from using any application that would allow them to make calls on such “over-the-top” voice services. The Google Voice app received similar treatment from carriers like AT&T when it came on the scene in 2009.

      WINDSTREAM: In 2010, Windstream Communications, a DSL provider with more than 1 million customers at the time, copped to hijacking user-search queries made using the Google toolbar within Firefox. Users who believed they had set the browser to the search engine of their choice were redirected to Windstream’s own search portal and results.

      MetroPCS: In 2011, MetroPCS, at the time one of the top-five U.S. wireless carriers, announced plans to block streaming video over its 4G network from all sources except YouTube. MetroPCS then threw its weight behind Verizon’s court challenge against the FCC’s 2010 open internet ruling, hoping that rejection of the agency’s authority would allow the company to continue its anti-consumer practices.

      PAXFIRE: In 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that several small ISPs were redirecting search queries via the vendor Paxfire. The ISPs identified in the initial Electronic Frontier Foundation report included Cavalier, Cogent, Frontier, Fuse, DirecPC, RCN and Wide Open West. Paxfire would intercept a person’s search request at Bing and Yahoo and redirect it to another page. By skipping over the search service’s results, the participating ISPs would collect referral fees for delivering users to select websites.

      AT&T, SPRINT and VERIZON: From 2011–2013, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked Google Wallet, a mobile-payment system that competed with a similar service called Isis, which all three companies had a stake in developing.

      VERIZON: In 2012, the FCC caught Verizon Wireless blocking people from using tethering applications on their phones. Verizon had asked Google to remove 11 free tethering applications from the Android marketplace. These applications allowed users to circumvent Verizon’s $20 tethering fee and turn their smartphones into Wi-Fi hot spots. By blocking those applications, Verizon violated a Net Neutrality pledge it made to the FCC as a condition of the 2008 airwaves auction.

      AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

      VERIZON: During oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC in 2013, judges asked whether the phone giant would favor some preferred services, content or sites over others if the court overruled the agency’s existing open internet rules. Verizon counsel Helgi Walker had this to say: “I’m authorized to state from my client today that but for these rules we would be exploring those types of arrangements.” Walker’s admission might have gone unnoticed had she not repeated it on at least five separate occasions during arguments.

    2. Zhuinden says:

      The rules were set in place to prevent Comcast and Verizon and the other USA monopoly ISPs from doing nasty stuff to their customers. Google came around 19 years ago, in the age of dial-up and 64 kbps internet. Maybe the world has changed in almost 20 years? Maybe this is a different problem than what they had 20 years ago? Maaaaaaybe?

      1. Rope_Necktie says:

        What problem was there 20 years ago?
        What problem was there in 2015?


        1. MK says:

          How is deregulation going to promote competition in a market where the monopolisers are deeply entrenched, have strong ties to local, state and federal governments and have a vested interest in preventing any competition from getting off the ground?

          And in his scenario where no one is able to compete with them, they can charge whatever they want with little to no reason to improve their products or services.

          (And regulation is not nationalisation.)

          1. MMesser says:

            How is deregulation…
            Consider learning some History. Start with Ma Bell. But judging from your spelling, you’re not American either, so you’re clueless.

            And regulation is not nationalisation.

            Every form of government regulation is partial nationalization. Deeming private resources to be subject to regulation of public utilities is certainly included.

          2. MK says:

            Ma Bell and the break up of AT&T is an example of government regulation and, therefore, nationalisation as you define it. No laws came from it but it is still the government meddling in the affairs of a private company.

            And when private resources start having the scale and impact of well established public utilities, it’s time to start treating them as such. The internet is no longer a novelty for a privileged few – just like telephones.

          3. MK says:

            Okay then, what mechanism is there to prevent these companies from abusing their position? The reach of these companies, and therefore their power, is immense – what holds them accountable?

        2. MMesser says:

          “Maaaaaaybe” you’re a brainless Hungarian communist.

        3. Marcus Whelan says:

          I am sure you won’t complain when you are charged an extra $20 to visit your favorite sites and get your internet speed throttled because you visited your max sites for the month. The reasons these laws were put in place is because companies figured out they could take advantage of their large stakehold of the market. For someone like me who practically lives off the internet and uses it 100% of the day for my job. You are saying I should have to suffer? That would be like me finding a cure for cancer, and then charging to save people’s lives.

          1. Rope_Necktie says:

            That would be like me finding a cure for cancer, and then charging to save people’s lives.

            Which you’d be perfectly justified in doing. Not everybody is a Marxist like you.

          2. Marcus Whelan says:

            Just because I have one belief about something I consider to be a moral obligation for humanity does not make me a Marxist. You shouldn’t judge someones entire political opinion so strictly. People are organic and many of us overlap in our beliefs. Myself I am mostly Republican. But that does not mean I don’t agree with all democratic and socialistic ideals.

            The point is that most of the world considers the internet a human right. And the fact the the US is voting against it should be a warning sign.

          3. Rope_Necktie says:

            People like you are a warning sign.

  3. Didn’t you donate to Wikipedia?!

    1. ..or better “Wikimedia Foundation”.

  4. LoveLiveFight says:

    As a huge promoter of depression and suicide awareness, the mods and company have lifted my sad and weary heart today when I saw just how much was going to a suicide prevention group. I applaud all of you, mods and staff, for all you do for as many people as you can each year.