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I just came across a question on SO that was essentialy: 'my program stops here' and a short blob of code. Nothing else. He hand't even bothered to properly punctuate the four-word question. There wasn't a description of the problem, stack trace, error message, or any indication which line was producing the error.

Several people pointed out that if the user wanted a good answer, he'd have to invest more effort.

But somebody answered anyway. Sure it wasn't a good answer, but the point is that some people will do anything for rep, so regardless of how bad the question is, there'll always be an answer or two. I downvoted the question after leaving a comment, as did several other people.

And then I checked out the asker's profile: almost 20 questions, one upvote, 20% accept rate.

This user did not deserve to get any help. Is there anything that can be done besides downvoting to put a stop to this kind of behavior? Maybe some kind of warning when a user has a certain downvote/question ratio?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

If things are really as bad as you describe: downvoting helps. This will eventually get the user a "Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions from this account":

Questions from IP addresses or accounts with a history of extremely poor questions will no longer be accepted. This is intended to weed out the worst quality questions.

(hint hint, question votes matter, so please continue to vote the best questions up and vote the worst questions down.)

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That's great. I had no idea that there was a de facto banning system in place. – dandan78 Jan 19 '11 at 9:27

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