I never RTFM on Stack Exchange and got myself trapped in limbo on AskUbuntu:
After sifting though similar questions about this happened, I'm guessing that I have a few deleted posts. In an effort to help others I left some quick, unpolished answers (that ideally would have been comments, but I didn't have enough rep points to leave one), and most recently an incorrect answer.
I honestly didn't think I needed to manage my account because I didn't find participating in up and down voting to be of much interest, and I assumed my consistent attempts to help others by posting my own solutions to problems would eventually result in some rep points.
Moreover, in the early days of SE, while I was using blueobelisk, that exactly how my accounts (one of which seems to be gone forever) were treated. Thus, I was totally caught off guard when I found I had been banned from answering questions on AskUbuntu.
Anyway, I read through the guidelines on how fix an answer lock and it says to "Begin by fixing your existing posts" and then it gave some advice about how to post better answers. Unfortunately, all of my posts were deleted, and since I am banned from giving answers, I can't provide new answers as a way to contribute positively. Moreover, it claims that commenting privileges don't change, but I never had the rep points to comment with, so I can't contribute that way either. Thus the only way I'm allowed to contribute to AskUbuntu in a positive way would be to ask a question, correct?
Based on this conclusion came across quite a paradox. I was searching for solution to question that someone else had asked. Several people had answered the questioner, but none had solved the problem for the questioner or myself. I needed more clarity from one of the answerers and wanted to let others know that this was not an isolated problem. Yet, even before my answer ban, I could neither up-vote, nor comment. And thus would be left in the unsatisfactory position of either putting this information into an "answer", or be forced to duplicate question to add in my tiny insights.
To me, this indicates a flaw in the efficiency of the system that could potentially be corrected if:
- "Me Too" was metric decoupled from up votes and could be set by any user and up votes would be just a type of moderation about the quality and uniqueness of the question.
- A "Request for clarification" is an actionable item that to make answers better, and as such should be decoupled from a "comment", and have a very low rep limit, or none at all.
Anyway, partially because I know it's a Stack Exchange rule, and partially because it's a pet peeve of mine, I decided it would be better to try to fix my rep score than ask a duplicate question. I incorrectly assumed that bringing my Stack Exchange account into good standing by answering as many questions as I could on other Stack Exchange sites would help. However, after acquiring a fair amount of rep points, I went back over to AskUbuntu and found my ability to ask questions there was still locked.
Shocked that my account was still stuck in limbo, I began trying to think of other ways I might be able to gain rep points. I realized that if I decoupled one of my launchpad identities, I could use it to answer questions on AskUbuntu. And since I seemed to be able to uncouple and recouple identities with out problem, I assumed (again incorrectly) that any rep points I might acquire while working under this user ( http://askubuntu.com/users/224641/user224641 ) could be transferred back and unlock my account.
It quickly became clear I really had no other but to ask a question in hope to restore my answer blocked account. However, while formulating the question, I came across an insightful answer to my question for a specific subset of other users that I hadn't seen elsewhere, and thus decided to post that question instead, hoping that I'd be at least allowed to answer my own question (as I'd seen others do). But this, of course, also did not work, and rather than risk wasting someone else's time on an answer I already knew I guiltily my other account to answer it.
While I could continue down this path, it seems incorrect. Indeed, while searching questions about multiple accounts, I inevitably came across complaints of users doing similar things.
Thus I'm now here asking your opinion:
- Should I just continue to try to game the system and ask dumb questions that I could easily google the answer for, possibly wasting someone else's time?
- Should I duplicate questions that were answered unsatisfactorily?
- Is there a better way to structure privileges or give warnings to user so things don't get so out of hand that users feel forced to consider how to game Stack Exchange? And
- Exactly where am I suppose to send requests to merge my duplicate accounts?:
(sorry this was so long)