Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

My question revolves around a user asking the following, even acknowledging that the question was previously closed so he re-posted it:

Unable to run multiple AJAX calls without refreshing

Now I'd gladly admit my initial comment was not the most friendly and best worded, and neither was my follow-up one. But when the user even threatens to re-submit the question purposefully until getting the help he wants, it doesn't sound like a person who's going to have much at heart to contribute to the site in any way.

The user's profile points to 4 questions, for which no answers were accepted so far.

Is there a recommended way to:

  • prevent question bumping (I've seen related answers on this, but maybe I missed the "de facto" best practice?),
  • point the user to the site guidelines (I was simply going to point the user to the site's FAQ and to the appropriate sections on accepting answers, but prefer to ask first... usually the willing ones would just get the cue after a few comments asking them to accept answers, but this one received a few of these in the past few days and didn't accept answers he clearly commented on as being the winners),
  • report the user (should we or is it even necessary, or do we consider that this is acceptable noise that will organically be down-voted and become virtually invisible after a short-timeframe?).

Just looking for the de-facto / accepted ways of doing this properly.

(As a side note... maybe that exists but I'm unaware of it as I'm not a moderator, but can a moderator then send these types of users a more "prominent" message to point them to the guidelines and make sure they are more likely to follow suit? If not, I was thinking it could be an interesting feature request, to give moderators the ability to send a message to a user's inbox with necessarily using comments or to display a message on a user's page.)

UPDATE: Hadn't seen this, which covered part of my question:

share|improve this question
By reopen do you mean re-ask? The question doesn't seem closed then reopened, but one of his previous deleted questions may have been closed. Could you give a link to the closed question? – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 0:33
@TimManishEarth: Yes. The user stated a previous question was closed, so they re-asked. Though I couldn't find the allegedly closed question in his profile. Maybe it was deleted, or maybe it was a different account, or maybe there's a miscommunication. I wondered as well. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 0:34
What is so horrible about this question that it was closed (and deleted) the first time (if that happened)? – animuson Jun 8 '12 at 0:46
@animuson: no idea, but if my question was getting closed, I'd rather ask why, try to reword it, and link to the previous one for background in the new one, if I were to repost a new one. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 0:49
@animuson: but to properly answer your question, I don't think there was much wrong with it. I just wouldn't want people to get the habit of re-asking if we close their questions, just because they need an answer so urgently. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 0:52
@animuson: Yeah, I wondered that as well. Maybe it was a dupe (I can't remember if the mods delete dupes.) – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 0:54
hi, I saw your edit, please fix the title re-posting should be re-posts, I hope you manage to make the change under the 5 minute grace period of your last edit. (sorry, I should be more careful when editing) :S – ajax333221 Jun 8 '12 at 1:18
Thanks to @animuson 's edit the question was rescued. I have fired a warning shot across the OP's bow and hopefully he'll "get it" for next time. So I think we can consider the matter closed. – Kev Jun 8 '12 at 1:21
@ajax333221: Done. Not sure why you apologize, your edits were fine, I think. So... I forgive you? :) – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 1:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Note that this is not reopening--reopening is the opposite of closing and can be done on a single question with the help of some 3k+ users. That's aboveground, reopening is for questions which get improved after closing.

This is more of re-asking.

When such stuff happens, flag it for ♦ attention and explain the situation in the "other" box, like "User re-asking closed/deleted question". Coming to meta is fine as well :)

I can't see the original question, but @animuson's comments made me realize that the post may have been improved significantly.

In that case, it's perfectly in line to re-ask.

share|improve this answer
yes, my wording was wrong, I used the user's. I assume the user meant he re-asked, but as mentioned in comments above I'm not sure where that question was. And the question I link to doesn't seem to have been closed and re-opened (or I just can't see that, maybe). – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 0:50
@haylem: It hasn't been reopened, the revision history shows closing and reopening otherwise. 10k users and mods can find it. – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 0:53
yeah I thought so for the 1st part. Good to know for the 2nd part about 10k users, didn't know. Thanks. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 0:55
@TimManishEarth: 10k users can only see deleted questions if they have the link (or via their flagging history). They can't search for them. – animuson Jun 8 '12 at 1:03
@animuson: They don't show up on the user page? (They do for diamonds) – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 1:04
@TimManishEarth: Nope, only diamonds get the cool stuff. – animuson Jun 8 '12 at 1:05
@TimManishEarth: I was, however, able to track it down in the "recently deleted" 10k tools. :) – animuson Jun 8 '12 at 1:09
@haylem: Aaand one of the mods stepped in… (due to my flag most probably). – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 1:15
@TimManishEarth: yes, pretty much what I wanted to say, but not being mod I don't want to overstep boundaries :) Also, sometimes I wonder if that really stops people from behaving like this, as they can re-open with new accounts backed by disposable addresses rather easily, so much so that if they really don't want to deal with bad accept rates they can come back with a clean slate in about 3 minutes. Hopefully, that's only a minority of parasites, though, and not a large issue. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 1:18
@haylem: Sockpuppets can be caught. Mods have access to a whole bunch of tools that help them do this. – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 1:20
Accepting yours as you confirmed more stuff I was unsure about. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 1:23

If their previous question still exists (undeleted) then they should always work off that question. Any additional information and other edits they may have should be applied there and if they're unable to get the community to reopen it, they can flag for a moderator to reopen it.

If their question has already been deleted, then I honestly don't see any problem with them posting a new question so long as they actually put in effort to improve it. Chances are if their previous question is deleted, they can't even access it anymore so they wouldn't have the chance to improve that one anyways. We should always encourage users to improve whenever they can.

If the user continues to re-post the same question over and over, the community has the power to stop them from doing so. Through casting downvotes and closing their questions on a consistent basis, their account will eventually be banned from asking additional questions anyways, even if a moderator hasn't been able to step in and intervene.

Moderators can send messages directly to a user, but I'm not sure in this case it would have mattered given their comment. In this case, their question did improve significantly and I don't see any reason to close it. Kudos to them.

As far as the user not accepting any answers, that's their problem, not ours. Eventually their "0% accept rate" will start showing up when they ask questions which will start deterring other users from even providing answers until they start accepting them.

Update: I found the original question (10k only).

It appears originally he did not provide the JavaScript, which he added in after the question was closed, but the question still got deleted after that point.

share|improve this answer
Didn't even know there was such a thing as "bans" here. Good to know as well. Thanks. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 1:08
Ah, so good attempt indeed to improve it (plus you marginally improved it later on as well). – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 1:09
I can only +1 you, sorry, but thanks for the explanation, additional digging and copy-editing. – haylem Jun 8 '12 at 1:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .