A different proposal in response to the problem documented in Warn new users when they ask a question after a previous question is closed, downvoted, or deleted.
After a user has had a first or second question closed and furthermore has demonstrated recalcitrance to improvement per our question ban algo, they should be displayed information on how they should improve:
Before you ask another question...
One or more of your previous questions have been closed as off topic. The scope of on-topic questions is defined in the FAQ, as follows:
What kind of questions can I ask here?
Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about […]
and it is not about […]
… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!
Then given a review quiz showing three successive questions, two good and one failing, which the user must accurately assess.
- This solves the problem of making sure they actually process our FAQ's information. I'm opposed to throwing more text and a continue button at users but wish there were a way we could inform them between "here's more text" and "you can't ask questions, sorry," which is what I'm trying to accomplish here.
- This may need to wait until we refactor NC/NARQ questions so that user's previous mistakes can be better aligned with audits. Consistent with "lean startup" approach just hand-pick these questions at first and use the same ones each time. If it has any positive impact, then worry about automatically curating a set going forward.
- During beta testing and possibly long term, it's fine to show same user same audit - if they pass the set the next time then great, they at least processed the information enough to remember which one was right and actually have a chance of asking a better question this time around. This is already an improvement.
- And question ban if they still ask awful questions.
Anyway, I want to emphasize: the point of this is last-measure attempt at user education and retention, not another way to punish users on the initial learning curve. The nuisance will be as opposed to a question ban. I don't know the specifics of our question-ban algo (which are obviously kept secret) but I feel this measure should happen after we know the user has demonstrated some inability to improve, so that we don't annoy an existing user on the usual learning curve, but give another resource to users who we more or less were confident were going to fail the learning curve.