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I will bring forth a likely case. Stack Exchange is hiring new employee, for example new Community Manager, who didn't have account on any site before. The employee start new account and get a shiny diamond. So far everything is good.

Now suppose that employee is participating here on Meta by answering, but his opinions are not accepted well by the other users and his answers get barrage of downvotes. It happened before, the most downvoted post belongs to no other than Jeff himself.

Will the auto post ban kick in, preventing the poor employee from posting further answers?

To make this somewhat constructive rather than just "Yes/No" question: assuming there is currently no protection against post ban, I think it's better to add such protection to avoid the trouble of having to lift this ban somehow.

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closed as too localized by BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 18 '13 at 17:19

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I find your premise of Stack Exchange ever hiring a community manager or dev that has never been active on any Stack Exchange site before to be highly unlikely ;) – Oded Mar 18 '13 at 13:40
You know, if that situation ever came to pass I'm sure SE would be able to special case it. Why is this even a question we need to care about? Where is my NARQ close vote when I need it? – Martijn Pieters Mar 18 '13 at 13:41
@Oded yeah, can see the unlikelyhood as well.. but suppose some super-mega-star from other major Q&A site or big forum? It certainly can happen. – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 13:41
@MartijnPieters my curiosity plus my last paragraph: feature request to prevent it, thus avoiding headache of special casing it after it happens. – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 13:42
Personally, I think YAGNI applies here. And if the unlikely happens - we will deal with it there and then. – Oded Mar 18 '13 at 13:44
Diamond moderators are exempt from many restrictions, suspending them e.g. does pretty much nothing. If the post bans work through similar means, they might already be excluded. But I would also consider special-casing this to be unnecessary. – Mad Scientist Mar 18 '13 at 13:44
@ShaWizDowArd: I'm calling into question both the likelyhood of the situation and the need for your feature request. Special casing is fine for rare cases. How many community managers are there? How many are there likely going to be in the future? How likely is it going to be that one of them will be so green around the ears to get themselves a question ban on Meta (where it is harder to be banned)? Those numbers are so exceedingly small that I fail to see the need to bother the devs with an actual feature request for this. – Martijn Pieters Mar 18 '13 at 13:47
@Oded OK, I hope I won't have to say "I told you" some day. :) – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 13:47
@MartijnPieters it's (probably) one more condition in a WHERE clause somewhere, not something complicated that requires days of hard work. – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 13:49
@ShaWizDowArd: Adding features for the sake of a vanishing probability the situation might occur is never a good idea. Each and every feature in code has a cost beyond the 'simple WHERE clause condition', it needs to be maintained, tested for, etc. Code is never that simple, I am afraid. – Martijn Pieters Mar 18 '13 at 13:59
@Martijn as stated in other comment here there are already exceptions e.g. moderators are immune to suspension; following your logic such feature should have never existed because moderator suspending other moderator isn't something that should ever happen.. – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 14:36
@ShaWizDowArd: I didn't say anything about things that should not happen. I am talking abou the likelyhood of something happening. – Martijn Pieters Mar 18 '13 at 14:40
Under normal circumstances would have deleted this, but leaving it be just in case the impossible will happen and I can laugh all my way to... dunno. :) – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 16:01
Another option is to add a clause to the employment contract that it is a firing offense for a Community Manager to get banned at the site. – Bo Persson Mar 18 '13 at 16:32

Personally, I think YAGNI applies here. And if the unlikely happens - we will deal with it there and then. – Oded♦


You don't code for such small likelyhoods in anticipation.

People that do that, end up creating SingletonFactoryCommandFactorySingletons, or they never actually finish any project. When a real condition arises, they can no longer make it work with existing code, because they ensured their code would work with everything(TM).

There's a difference between ensuring code is easy to modify, and modifying to ensure it's no longer easy to modify.

Unfortunately, because we are time-limited beings, we have to let business concepts like opportunity-cost creep into our lives in a responsible way, because we're notoriously bad at managing these things ourselves, spending more time on "fun" projects, and less time on fulfilling IRL project requirements.

Now, if a real condition arises, then you need to modify, and hopefully you don't have this massive SingletonFactoryCommandFactorySingleton to understand before you can add the feature.

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I had to read very carefully, with some effort, to realize this really was a related answer. The analogy seems fairly sound, and I agree with the assumed premise of the answer; but it would take some effort for people - especially visitors from non-Stack Overflow sites - to really grok this. (Ironic use of 'grok' is intentional!) – Andrew Barber Mar 18 '13 at 17:23
I think you took it to the very very very (...) extreme. – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 20:57
@ShaWizDowArd I'll agree to disagree. This isn't that extreme. I've seen a lot of good code get turned to crap because someone added a feature, but then wanted to make sure the feature would work with any possible software for the next millennium, and made it too hard to maintain. The result? We yanked the whole thing and coded a more elegant solution, and have never had to add anything to it. I've also replaced a system that was too inflexible and couldn't be modified. So the trick is finding the correct balance between modifiability and maintenance. – Lee Louviere Mar 18 '13 at 21:52
@AndrewBarber My reply relies on some information from comments for the question. I could put on the top that this is an unlikely case, and that they don't want increase code complexity for that case. But I would hope that SO readers would understand that the site works on code and not magic. – Lee Louviere Mar 18 '13 at 21:55

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