In 2016, Stack Exchange will continue its tradition of the "Winter Bash". Winter Bash is an annual event that can run on any Stack Exchange site that chooses to participate. Users earn “hats” for their gravatars by completing certain tasks (analogous to badges). Certain actions trigger the user receiving a hat, which their gravatar can “wear”. We track everyone’s progress earning hats in a leaderboard that looks something like this:

Winter Bash screenshot

Stack Exchange sees Winter Bash as a a fun and lighthearted way to celebrate the amazing people who make the sites awesome, as the year draws to a close. Two things to note:

  • Any user can opt out (clicking an option in your profile means you won't see any hat at all - not on your own avatar and not on any other user's).
  • Apart from the wearing of hats by avatars, the site is otherwise unaffected (there is no “holiday” theme of the site's design, for example)
  • After the promotion ends, the hats disappear, as if they were never there.

This being said, we (as a community) also have to choice to opt out entirely and have the Winter Bash completely disabled on Academia Stack Exchange (no hats for anyone). In 2014 and 2015, we chose to participate.

To decide whether we will participate in the Winter Bash 2016 Edition, I've created a “poll” below this post, with two comments. Upvote one of the comments according to your preference. If you want to discuss further, leave an answer or comments to other answers.

The poll will close on Friday December 9.

  • 63
    Yes, Academia.SE should participate in Winter Bash 2016
    – ff524
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 0:41
  • 9
    No, Academia.SE should not participate in Winter Bash 2016
    – ff524
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 0:41

3 Answers 3


I'm voting yes because there don't seem to be any downsides and the hats are funny. But frankly it seems targeted mostly at the super-hard-core users. "Mere mortals" seem to get 2-3 hats and perhaps a slight sense of being less-than-adequate :-\

  • 3
    The downside is that even if as an individual you chose not to see hats, sometimes the requirements to earn a hat could result in poor questions, answers, and comments. We haven't had a problem in the past.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 0:35
  • @StrongBad: Fair enough, but SE is built to handle QC of poor comments, answers and questions. At worst we'll have to pay some -1's to downvote things.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 12:14
  • 14
    This hats thing is childish and utterly unprofessional. I'm voting yes. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 16:12

The "Ayes" have it, 58 to 9. We shall have hats!



I vote yes. Because well, Yes is positive and there is a whole lot of negative going on as of late. And maybe cos I am hoping maybe I could get a funny hat?

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