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Recently, Meta Stack Overflow and the other Stack Exchange meta sites have started to receive an influx of Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions from this account on Site XYZ, and we keep closing them as duplicates, but they keep coming, rearing their ugly head again and again...

We close all dupes as the exact duplicate of:

What can I do when getting "We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account"?

A few duplicates:

Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions from this account
I can't ask questions on the regular Stack Overflow. Why?
http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87808/help-cant-ask-question-to-stackoverflow
Cannot post into superuser.com
Is SO have limited question for each account?

What can we do about this?

share|improve this question
4  
There is a suggestion to add a link to that FAQ to the error message. But then I guess that would attract even more people who don't read to MSO... (Wondering how many people get blocked and do not find their way here. Maybe they simply create a new account and are not detected due to dynamic IP addresses? Maybe they actually get the message? Maybe they start answering and earn some points? We'll never know, I guess. But: I'm curious!) –  Arjan Apr 21 '11 at 8:17
1  
(Still wondering about the sock puppetry of that "{help}" question by te way!) –  Arjan Apr 21 '11 at 8:29
7  
Crush them? See them driven before us? Hear the lamentations of their women? –  Won't Apr 21 '11 at 13:28
1  
Someone commented on one such post that he actually enjoys seeing them, because it shows that the "keep the worst of the worst out" policy works. –  Pops Apr 21 '11 at 15:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 20 down vote accepted

First of all, I think that the error message should link directly to the meta post explaining the new limitation. This way, users will know right off the bat what the problem is and how they can start trying to fix it.

Secondly, I don't think users should get that far in the first place. The error message should be shown before they get the chance to compose their question. When they click on "Ask Question", it should go to a page explaining very clearly that we are no longer accepting questions from their account, why, and what they should do to proceed - basically, everything in the meta post, just laid out clearly before they even get as far as asking to plz send teh codes.

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1  
Then I guess that not linking to MSO, but linking to some other explanation, might keep the vampires away? Really, I've not seen those who have to ask about it (while the error message text is easily found here on MSO) improve. Though Mikhail is asking questions on SO again, and answering too. (Not high quality, and sometimes their own questions, but well...) –  Arjan Apr 21 '11 at 8:26
    
This would indeed alleviate the vampires-on-meta problem. Good point. –  nhinkle Apr 21 '11 at 8:31

Everything I've read about this suggests that users don't find out they can't ask any more questions until after it happens. It seems like it might be worth having an early warning indicator, so that if a particular account is getting close to triggering the lockout / suspension, they start getting a warning when they ask questions to encourage them to think about the quality of what they're asking. Something along the lines of:

It looks like some of your questions haven't been well received 
in the past.  Check the faq <insert link here> to see how to ask
great questions and become a better member of the community.  
Repetative low quality questions risk losing the ability to ask 
future questions.

Being a bit more proactive may help to prevent accounts from getting into such a bad state.

Of course it's possible this is already done and I've just not read about it :)

share|improve this answer
    
Attempt for a discussion about early warning: Implementing a warning system before account locks. Closed though, but voting to reopen right now might not be needed given this new question. –  Arjan Apr 21 '11 at 8:44
    
As far as I know, the EULA (with a checkbox, like "I'll keep this in mind") is all that is explicitly shown nowadays. And, of course, the references to the help in the rightmost column, while composing questions. –  Arjan Apr 21 '11 at 8:47

Why not just extend the block to asking questions on "meta". There are users that are so bad we don't want them in our club, so why allow them into the "AGM" of our club.

share|improve this answer
    
Er, brilliant! I was worried about possible errors, as it is (some sort of) IP address ban. But then: those who are really blocked erroneously will figure out how to contact the team about that. –  Arjan Apr 21 '11 at 12:11
    
One of the things I don't get about the restriction is, if I've been blocked from asking questions, what stops me from creating a new account and asking from there? –  forsvarir Apr 21 '11 at 12:59
    
@forsvarir It's IP based, not account-based. –  Grace Note Apr 21 '11 at 13:03
    
@Grace Note: Then why does it say 'from this account'? Doesn't that mean that I may be able to ask from an internet cafe, but not from home? That one of my co-workers could get the whole company banned because we're behind the same public address? Or am I just a bit confused? :) –  forsvarir Apr 21 '11 at 13:09
    
@forsvarir I imagine it might affect both to some degree, to prevent trying to circumvent in that fashion. I don't know the full details, I only know that it does involve IPs to some degree and there are some levels of measure against people just creating new accounts for this. –  Grace Note Apr 21 '11 at 13:12
    
@forsvarir, the exact detection algorithms used aren't released publicly, in order to prevent circumvention, but we know that it involves a combination of user account, email, and IP address. –  nhinkle Apr 21 '11 at 17:02
    
@nhinkle: fair enough, I'll work under the assumption that I'm never really going to need to know the algorithmn :) –  forsvarir Apr 21 '11 at 17:48

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