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Background

I have been banned from asking questions on StackOverflow, but do not understand why I have been receiving so many down votes.

When I ask questions on StackOverflow, I strive to make them easy to read by splitting them into sections. But, I do not have a great knowledge of programming and thus came here to learn and understand further. I usually research my questions before asking, and even though they might be trivial, they are important to me. If no one answers, I research further (occasionally for hours on end) to figure out my question, quickly posting the answer on StackOverflow.

I love to post answers on StackOverflow, but they occasionally contain misinformation. This is commented on, and I fix it promptly. Strangely, though, the down votes tend to come after the edit, with no additional help. This has happened to me here, here and here.

My questions have also been down voted recently. Some questions, like this one which were even starred by other users, but could not escape the wrath of a down vote.

I have read the FAQ, the About Page, and this Meta Post already in an attempt to cognate my mistakes.

Questions

  1. How should I go about editing these questions and answers - even when I am confused about the flaw in them?

  2. Some of my posts have gotten an upvote and a downvote - are these weighted equally, or because of the policy, is there no way to know?

  3. I am worried that even if I edit my posts, fix misinformation, and think more before asking a question it won't be noticed. Is there any way to fast track my (hopeful) re-acceptance into this great community?

  4. If anyone has the time, can they please point out some questions (or answers) of mine which are obviously of low quality, and point out the specific flaw? This would be extremely helpful and I will appreciate it immensely.

  5. Where should I look before asking questions - even though I research, my questions are taken down quickly.

  6. What online resources should I use to help myself learn and answer others questions. Simply saying "The Documentation" does not help. I am using Python 2.7.3

  7. Having used StackOverflow for a month now, I have realized that several of my questions do not belong here, but would be a great fit on Super User with a few tweaks. They have been closed, but is there a way for me to migrate them, thus (hopefully) regaining my lost reputation here and contributing to that community? Here is the list of them:

Closing Remarks

Thank you so much for reading this long question. Over the weeks that I have used Stack Overflow I have grown close to it. I am not sure if this is the best way to argue my point, but I have actually begun to rely upon it. I am truly sad to have been outcast from this great community.

EDIT

I have been banned again. Should I contact the Stack Overflow site moderators, or should I continue to improve my existing content? I don't believe that I have been down voted an incredible number of times, and am rather annoyed that this has occurred again. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is an example of a question that I have recently edited. While I wait for responses, I will continue to revise my previous pieces and post them in the comments. I think I have a talent for getting banned :)

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It isn't clear to me why you are banned from asking questions either, could a moderator elaborate? –  Emil Feb 16 '13 at 23:27
    
Have you asked a lot of questions, and then deleted them? Or otherwise have deleted questions on the site? –  Carl Veazey Feb 16 '13 at 23:52
3  
Given you are banned and you have no negative scored posts, I suspect you have at least 3 heavily downvoted questions that were deleted by the community or by moderators, or several lightly downvoted questions that you deleted yourself. First and foremost, you need to get the deleted questions undeleted and fixed. Flag one of your posts for mod attention and ask about undeleting your questions. –  psubsee2003 Feb 17 '13 at 0:53
2  
It is generally unnecessary to split a StackOverflow post up into sections. When I see a question split into sections, I'll often ignore it as it looks like more work than it is. Once you are unbanned I'd recommend skipping the section titles. Having said that, many of your questions are quite good. I took a look around and upvoted one or two of the best ones (can't do any more without being guilty of serial upvoting. –  David Robinson Feb 17 '13 at 0:58
    
That's weird. I only saw one deleted question here: stackoverflow.com/questions/14513729/… that I undeleted, but nothing here looks bad enough to be triggering the question ban. –  Brad Larson Feb 17 '13 at 2:01
    
@BradLarson I was wondering why I was banned... Could it have been a server fault? Anywho, how should I improve my answers? –  xxmbabanexx Feb 17 '13 at 2:15
    
@DavidRobinson Your statement brought up a good discussion topic: Should questions and answers be sectioned or not? I put up a discussion here –  xxmbabanexx Feb 17 '13 at 2:34
    
@xxmbabanexx: Looks good, but you should clarify what you mean by sectioned by giving examples (that's more important than linking to this question and my statement, for instance). Also, are you sure you are still question banned as of now? –  David Robinson Feb 17 '13 at 2:42
    
Please check this out. It details my idea for a "question ban meter" –  xxmbabanexx Feb 20 '13 at 2:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted
+50

The banning issue can only be answered by moderators or SO staff.
As for the writing of Q&A's, I can offer some feedback.

First and foremost, the mothership as I call it, Stack Overflow, is a wild place. Up and down votes fly as bullets in a western movie. Lots of good and professional fellas out there, but also lots of snippers, so keep calm, go ahead and don't let the shots take you down. In the Stack where I'm more active, things are much more peaceful, almost like a picnic in a sunny day in the country side.


@DavidRobinson makes a very good observation in the Comments:

It is generally unnecessary to split a StackOverflow post up into sections. When I see a question split into sections, I'll often ignore it as it looks like more work than it is.

IMO too, that looks like we are being presented with a Contractor Briefing. There's really no need of Header > Title > Content > Footer > OtherNotes. Simply splitting things in paragraphs, being concise and to the point, using bold and other editing styles to emphasize truly important things will make a well presented Question.

  • This "topic" separation is much more welcome in Answers.
  • Just like "sorry for my English", try not to rant about you being a novice/amateur, it doesn't matter.
  • If the specs are really important to the Q, make it a sentence: "I'm using..."
  • In Answers, try to document your code as per the specifications of the language you're using.

The How to Ask page has four links really worth reading:

Oh, I just saw that the How to Answer page also has a couple of links too. But that, apart from my previous knowledge with projects and stuff, I've learned a lot seeing how the veterans work. In your case:


Related Meta Q&A's:

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congrats on winning the bounty :) –  xxmbabanexx Feb 25 '13 at 1:27
    
thx, @xxmbabanexx, long life to the Stack, cheers ;) –  brasofilo Feb 25 '13 at 8:39

I don't know why you were banned, but you also asked for tips about improving your questions.

From the ones I looked at, they are pretty decent, and you're not getting buried in downvotes, just getting a few. Your question asking tone seems fine for the most part. You are explaining your problems pretty clearly. You are answering your commenters and updating your questions to try to improve them. And you came here to meta when you had a problem. So you're doing all the right things.

Some notes on the three questions you linked:

This is just too long and it feels like it's more than one question. You don't need to explain your experience or background. You don't need to say you're trying to improve or tell people how to answer. Just describe the problem as concisely as possible and with as little code as practical.

This seems fine. You don't need to sign off at the end though with "Thx, you guys rule!" Is that an emoticon at the end of the title? If so, get rid of that.

This is not a good question. This is a simple thing you can look up. Usually if you start a question with "How do I" and there is no code, and you haven't tried anything yourself, it's probably going to be downvoted or closed as not constructive. If you had looked up how to get text from a tkinter text box, tried it yourself and it didn't work, then you'd have a real question.

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