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- "Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)."
The last day it was on the page was September 12, 2016 when 1732: Earth Temperature Timeline was released.
Four hours later that day the page looked like this with no footnote or warning.
It was maybe due to the popularity of the comic that this warning was removed along with the footnote to not scare new fans away.
When the current footnote appeared, this warning did not reappear.
The warning thus lasted almost ten and a half years.
The warning on xkcd used to appear beneath Randall's list of "Comics I Enjoy", and later above the footnote, before it was removed on September 12th, 2016. For over a decade, it served as a lighthearted advisory message to users about the contents of the comics. The xkcd warning served as a humorous cautionary note to readers. It was originally added to the xkcd website as early as April 2006, as evident in the archived versions of the site. It stated:
- Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).
Removal of the warning
On September 12, 2016, a comic titled "1732: Earth Temperature Timeline" was released on the xkcd website. This comic, which gained considerable popularity, coincided with the removal of the xkcd warning. Four hours after the release of "1732: Earth Temperature Timeline", the xkcd website underwent a change, and the warning, along with the footnote, disappeared from the page.
The removal of the xkcd warning and its accompanying footnote was likely a result of the comic's sudden surge in popularity. It is plausible that the webcomic's creator, Randall Munroe, made the decision to remove the warning and footnote to ensure that new fans were not deterred by the cautionary message. The popularity of "1732: Earth Temperature Timeline" might have prompted Munroe to rethink the need for the warning, as the comic's appeal reached a broader audience.
With the removal of the xkcd warning, a new footnote was introduced on the xkcd website. This revised footnote did not include a reinstatement of the original warning message. As a result, the warning, which had been a part of the xkcd reading experience for almost ten and a half years, ceased to exist, marking the end of an era in the webcomic's history.