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Should users be discouraged from asking new questions until they’ve accepted a certain % or deleted old unaccepted questions?
Please charge rep for questions after threshold

Just a suggestion - but have a look at this question - this user has been given some good answers to their questions and have given nothing back to the community offering them help... it clearly annoys people within that community - look at the comments!

Maybe users who have asked enough questions to have an accept rate calculated need to attain a minimum acceptance level, say 25% before asking any more questions...

just a thought...

Update: Thanks all for the feedback - I understand that the original suggestion was a thumping bad one, for the reasons given...

as you were, everybody - sorry to have bothered you ;)

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marked as duplicate by John Rudy, random, fretje, Ether, Shog9 Dec 12 '09 at 8:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I know that this is a duplicate. – perbert Dec 10 '09 at 11:17
Two of that questions comments just got flags from me. You don't vote to close just because the questioner has a low (or non-existent) accept rate. Yes, the question is low-quality, and the questioner may need mod attention, but some of the others on that thread are just as guilty (if not moreso) of abuse. – John Rudy Dec 10 '09 at 12:08
waveyλger: Let me help with that:, possibly – John Rudy Dec 10 '09 at 12:17
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I disagree.

Accepting an answer shouldn't be a requirement for participation. Yes, it should be encouraged - and it already is - but I see no point in raising the barrier here.

There are some people who dislike accepting answers for personal reasons, and while I may disagree with them, I don't want to punish them by stopping them from asking more questions - particularly if those questions are good, and get good answers.

Aside from anything else, I think people would just create new accounts, at which point we've gained nothing but account fragmentation.

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You make some good points - I agree with you that people should not be discouraged from asking good questions, especially if that puts good answers into the public domain; I guess my question/observation should have been more along the lines of "what can be done to actively encourage people to accept answers, given the observed ill-feeling this causes in the SO community?" – IanR Dec 10 '09 at 9:56

I've deleted all those comments, and e-mailed at least one of the authors to kindly be civil to other users. Accepting answers is not a requirement for the site. Desirable, yes; demanded, no.

Being polite, however, is. So far, the only fault I see is in the comment-posters. The question was originally poorly written, but that was tidied up.

I'll be open here: I generally delete rude comments about people's accept rate on sight; apart from other things, comments about accept rates are the single biggest cause of comment flags (that I've seen, at least). Politely worded comments would be broadly acceptable, but they are very rare.

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Your point is well made, Marc... I humbly stand corrected :) – IanR Dec 10 '09 at 18:35

I agree with Jon about "accepting an answer shouldn't be a requirement for participation", but this user not only doesn't accept answers, he never votes, never responds to requests for more info. He just copy/pastes the code and goes for his next question.

I think there should be something to prevent users like this, but I'm not sure what can be done about it.

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Inform a moderator who can put them into the penalty box. – Georg Schölly Dec 10 '09 at 10:06
It doesn't matter; the store of knowledge on the site is increased; the efforts of the respondents are rewarded by upvotes from other users. It matters not one iota. – Marc Gravell Dec 10 '09 at 13:04

This only annoys people who are after the reputation. If you don't like those questions, don't answer them.

I'm sure that generally there's a connection between having a low acceptance rate and low quality questions, but I'm also certain that there are some exceptions who ask difficult questions. Such a rule would punish those users too.

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It's not about the rep, it's about showing appreciation for someone who took the time to answer the question, and apparently cares more about getting the answer right than even the OP does. Such lack of attention to detail is really troublsome to see in a field where precision and detail are so important. – Ether Dec 10 '09 at 17:12
Yup - the original question wasn't about the rep - it was an observation on people's negative reaction to those members of the community who do not contribute... – IanR Dec 10 '09 at 18:33

The site admins already have a policy for dealing with people whose participation is so poor as to be a problem. These individuals are a very small proportion of the population.

Merely having a low acceptance rate is not enough to warrant being labeled as "giving nothing back". A few snarky comments are not an accurate measure of the community's opinion.

Jeff's criteria (from the Q linked above) for "Problematic" users are:

  1. Asks dozens to hundreds of questions over a period of 3-6 months (or more).
  2. All questions are consistently of low quality and hard to understand, requiring major editing.
  3. Extremely low answer accept rate (below 10%).
  4. No increase in quality (effort expended to make questions good, clear, and useful) over time between oldest questions and newest questions.
  5. Extremely low answer count (0-10). User does not "give back" by occasionally trying to help other programmers answer their questions, only "takes" by asking questions.
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Are all these criteria strictly required? I've seen many users that qualify for all but one or two of these points, but IMHO still deserve to be sanctioned. – Ether Dec 10 '09 at 19:04
@Æther: Your guess is as good as mine. If you feel someone should be sanctioned strongly enough, email and make your case. – ベレアー アダム Dec 10 '09 at 22:33

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