A question about wearing a skiing helmet lived in compliance: no-one really opposed the possibly dangerous idea to wearing a skiing helmet while driving a bicycle. I was shocked that this kind of life-critical issue attracted vague-descriptive answers and the op even accepted one. Now the problem is that the future random walkers may think that wearing a skiing helmet while driving a bike is totally safe. The odds are against them because it not mean for it. I have tried to analyze the topic a bit deeper and my rough analysis shows that it is probably more dangerous to wear skiing helmet to a bicycle helmet while driving a bike, more here. I haven't yet found a scientific research about the issue so I cannot verify it. But during this waiting time I want to ask whether SO is responsible for any suicide-wise or dangerous threads? And should mods take more active roles to notify users of them? And how should users act when they notice something like that? Is flagging enough?

I hope this example will create some discussion because compliance is no sign of truth in life-critical issues! Even if SO takes no responsibility of the thread, I am still interested to know how to attack threads that may contain false information that may endanger lives? I do hope that this idea is far-fetched and nothing like that will happen.

  • See Also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64559/…
    – freiheit
    Feb 20, 2011 at 3:28
  • See Also: meta.bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/99/…
    – freiheit
    Feb 20, 2011 at 3:29
  • Some more related discussion here: meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/402/…
    – freiheit
    Feb 20, 2011 at 3:30
  • @freiheit: thank you for the links but I think you are on the right tracks as me. The best way is to keep things open. I hope no sactions to SO but I hope this type of possibly dangerous questions will get more peer-review. I hope my way of doing things draws the attention: flagging, downvoting, upvoting, and writing alerting answer. But even with all of this extra bloat about law and urls, we still have the problem unsolved without proper data. Please, write an answer with the evidence about the data if you found something about the tests. I will award the bounty to one who does it with evid.
    – user652
    Feb 20, 2011 at 3:43

2 Answers 2


No, Stack Overflow does not take any responsibility.

From the bicycles.SE legal statement, section 5 (Warranty disclaimer):

To the fullest extent allowed by law, Stack Overflow disclaims any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, availability, completeness, legality or operability of the material or services provided on this Network. By using this Network, you acknowledge that Stack Overflow is not responsible or liable for any harm resulting from (1) use of the Network; (2) downloading information contained on the Network including but not limited to downloads of content posted by subscribers; [...]

And also sections 8 and 9:

8. Indemnity

Subscriber will indemnify and hold Stack Overflow, its directors, officers and employees, harmless, [...]

9. Limitation of liability In no event shall Stack Overflow, its directors, officers, shareholders, employees or members be liable with respect to the Network or the Services for (a) any indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever; [...] or (d) damages related to downloading or posting Content. Stack Overflow's and the Network's collective liability under this agreement shall be limited to three hundred United States Dollars. [...]

My Opinion:

Who decides that the answer is dangerous? The usual way around here of deciding which answer is best is the democratic process of voting. If somebody posts an answer that you think is dangerous, it's likely there's some disagreement on the topic.

If you feel that the current answers on a question could be dangerous, probably the best thing to do is comment about your concerns. Polite and concise would be best. Perhaps suggesting a specific change to the answer. The answerer may choose to edit their answer based on your comment, but even if they don't, other people will see your comment. Providing your own better answer, downvoting any dangerous answers, and upvoting any good answers would also be highly appropriate, of course.

  • I agree with you here but I am sure you understand that live-critical issues are no debate question: they are yes/no questions. Even if million people up-voted the stupid ideas there without evidence, they are still stupid ideas. My view is no compromise with live-critical issues and I think I am doing a favor. I may be wrong but I would care less. I want that the problem will be solved with proper evidence -- not with mock-upvoting, compliance is no truth. But please do not let this red herring stray our thought, let's solve the issue!
    – user652
    Feb 20, 2011 at 3:36
  • 6
    @hhh: life-critical issues are just as grey as another other question. If I suggest that cycling is a useful means of transport, thousands of people are killed while cycling every year. Everything has risks, it's got to be up to the reader to evaluate them and commentators to point out any they think are missing.
    – Мסž
    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:20

Does SO take any responsibilty...?

See the Warranty disclaimer, the Indemnity, and the Limitation of liability.

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