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Thanks all. The deadline for opting out has passed, so we'll be participating this year. Please feel free to express any concerns in a new meta post.

Happy December to everyone! Around this time of year, it has become somewhat of a tradition for Stack Exchange sites to participate in the Winter Bash.

The purpose of this post is to firstly give people who haven't been around for it in past years a primer on what it is, and secondly to let people know that we can opt out as a site.

What is it?

Winter Bash involves users completing certain tasks, much as you do for badges, and then being rewarded with an assortment of hats that you can put on your avatars. These hats get put away at the end of Winter Bash.

Why is it called Winter Bash? It's not winter!

Well, statistically, if you use a Stack Exchange site it probably is. However, the hats are fairly season-agnostic, and would look good whether it's winter, summer or anything in between!

What if I don't like hats or don't want to see them on the site?

If individual users would like not to see hats there will be the option to opt out.

When will it start?

From MSE:

Given the countdown clock, it will start December 13th, 2015 at 7pm EST (4pm PST), which is the start of December 14th, 2015 in the GMT time zone.

You can also find a whole bunch of other Winter Bash questions and answers on Meta Stack Exchange

What if I don't think Law Stack Exchange should participate in this?

We can opt out as a site, but because 1) meta isn't that visible (though I'll feature this post to be fair) and 2) not everyone that agrees/disagrees will cast a vote, I think there are a couple of things we'll need to say about this:

  • Personally, I'd hope that any reason to opt out would be convincing enough to draw a consensus. There are probably reasons for it that I just haven't thought of but I'd hope to see something that people seem to agree on (or multiple reasons that many seem to agree with).

  • There's two opt-outs - opt-out by default, and site-wide opt-out, let's call them.

    If we opt-out by default, individual users can still opt-in if they want.

    If we opt the entire site out, there's no way for individual users to opt in to Winter Bash, but there is a way for them to opt out. I'd personally want to see this considered in reasons people might advance.

  • Finally, the hats are temporary. They get put away at the end of Winter Bash, so really they're a bit of light-hearted fun at the end of the year. So please keep this in mind.


So, with all that said, thoughts? Like it, don't like it, think it's a horrible idea that will bring about the end of Law SE? Let us know!

We will be participating in Winter Bash unless we opt out before 10 December

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    To clarify, if the site opts out, that's usually a "opt-out by default", meaning that individual users can still opt in. There's also the rare complete "nope, not at all, go away", which would mean that there is no way to opt in for anyone. – balpha Dec 4 '15 at 13:22
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Lightheartedness. Maybe we could use a bit of that around here. Hats sound good

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    Agreed. I love the hats. – cpast Dec 5 '15 at 9:00
  • Law could have really unique hats. Can we customize, or only accept the general set? – New Alexandria Dec 7 '15 at 23:35
  • @NewAlexandria They're the same network-wide. – HDE 226868 Dec 8 '15 at 16:48
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Let's set a precedent — opt out!

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  • Do you mean the opt-out by default (individual users can still opt-in) or opt-out completely (no hats, anywhere)? And why? – jimsug Dec 7 '15 at 8:50
  • @jimsug, why not? IIRC from past years, they don't even last until Orthodox Christmas (January 7th), expiring just a couple of days after the January 1. – cnst Dec 7 '15 at 8:55
  • Well, I think it's a good way to celebrate the end of the year, it's a good way to have a bit of fun on the site while still contributing positively, and I like hats. Also, it's not just a Christmas event, it's non-denominational. Your arguments? – jimsug Dec 7 '15 at 8:57
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    It would not be a precedent. – Wrzlprmft Dec 7 '15 at 8:58

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