What will happen if MSE or SE in general be closed someday?

I've made lots of questions here and I would like to have them during my lifetime, If MSE is going to be closed someday, I would really like to have my questions and favorites with answers in pdf, jpg or some kind of text file.


1 Answer 1


There is no realistic scenario I can think of that would make SE close the Math site, it's pretty successful. But even if for some reason SE would shut down, all the content is licensed under a Creative Commons license that allows you to reuse it somewhere else (as long as you provide proper attribution).

SE provides a database dump of all graduated sites every few months, you can use that to set up a copy of this site if you like. For every site that was shut down (only beta sites have been shut down, no graduated sites), SE provided a final data dump with all the site content.

  • $\begingroup$ Economics SE as been dumped, where can I find it? $\endgroup$
    – Red Banana
    Aug 23, 2012 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ @GustavoBandeira area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/1618/economics $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Aug 23, 2012 at 14:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ FWIW: most recent dump for graduated sites: clearbits.net/torrents/2076-aug-2012 $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    Aug 23, 2012 at 17:11
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ SE could go bankrupt or be taken over by creditors/investors who demand that the fat be trimmed. For all the activity and usefulness of the site, it's beyond me how our antics here can possibly generate a cash flow for keeping the servers alive. It's not as if we're being shown any paid advertisments, or offered premium memberships for a fee. I can see that SO functions to funnel people into the for-profit Carreers 2.0 job board, but how many employers would pay extra for applications from high-rep mathematicians? $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2012 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm I think I've seen a few paid advertisements on the site from WolframAlpha/Mathematica. That being said, it's beyond me how costs are maintained as well. $\endgroup$
    – mboratko
    Aug 26, 2012 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm The additional server cost for this site is probably negligible, SO is far larger than the rest of the network combined. The most expensive part is likely the SE staff keeping an eye on the site. SE seems to wait until a site becomes very large before trying to earn money with it, at the moment only SO, SU and SF have ads and they have Careers. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Aug 26, 2012 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ :(((((((((((((( $\endgroup$
    – Mikasa
    Sep 2, 2012 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm You might be interested in searching some old blog posts like this, that or another. To quote: "In 2010, we incorporated as Stack Overflow Internet Services with venture capital funding" $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2012 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ @TobiasKienzler: I don't think I get your point. What am I supposed to conclude from those links? $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2012 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm That SE got enough venture capital do not having to bother about ads for quite some time. So it is very unlikely they go bankrupt $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2012 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ @TobiasKienzler: Even venture capital comes with an expectation of return on investment. If the funders grow impatient, they could swoop in any day and demand that sites that don't generate revenue be shut down. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2012 at 14:47

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