According to this post on MSO there is an algorithm in place that is used to trigger whether a Question or Answer ban is automatically applied to a user.

However, if an answer is left to a question and that question is subsequently closed and deleted, this means all the answers are also deleted. Do these collateral damage deleted answers count towards the Answer Ban criteria?

These answers could well be good and well researched answers (albeit against poor questions) left in good-faith.

Yes, one could argue that people shouldn't be posting answers to bad questions in the first place, and that it's then their own fault if they end up being banned from answering because of it, but SE is full of people who just want to help out even when questions are poor, so should these people be punished in the same ways as people who just leave "lol, great post! Check out my free-coupon website" answers?

  • I doubt that answers on deleted questions are actually deleted... they're just unreachable since the parent (question) is deleted. Tagging each answer as deleted when deleting a question seems like an unnecessary overhead (and would cause issues if undeleting was supported, how do you know which answers were deleted with the question and which were already deleted), so I wouldn't expect that answers in this situation would count towards automatic banning...
    – forsvarir
    May 8, 2012 at 13:11
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    @forsvarir: Well, they do carry a deleted notice, but without any attribution to a user. May 8, 2012 at 13:18
  • @forsvarir: The answers do get deleted, and zombie uprisings are checked for and squashed regularly.
    – sth
    May 8, 2012 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


An automatic filter is in place to ban questions and/or answers from IP addresses or accounts with a history of extremely poor posts. To avoid bypassing the filter its internal rules are a secret, but it is partly based on downvotes cast by other members of the communities.


Yes, deleted questions (if less than 30 days old) and deleted answers count towards an automatic ban.

Taken from the FAQ you link against.

Do these deleted answers count towards the Answer Ban criteria?

Yes, if they're poor...but then they'd count anyway...

  • 2
    Well, now that's cheating. No one actually reads the answers to the FAQ. May 8, 2012 at 11:46
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    I think the quoted part doesn't address the question here. As I understand it, the quoted part is about answers that are individually deleted, while this question is about answers that are deleted as collateral damage to the deletion of the question they answered. May 8, 2012 at 11:48
  • @DanielFischer: I don't see that. If they answer is poor, it is poor and counts towards the ban...if it was deleted, it still counts, no matter how or why it is deleted... May 8, 2012 at 11:51
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    @Kobobby But if the answer is good, does it still help averting the ban? May 8, 2012 at 11:53
  • @DanielFischer: I'm 99.99999999999999999% sure that's not the case...the question/answer ban is here to keep low-quality content away from the system. May 8, 2012 at 11:54
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    @DanielFischer Yes, it's the collateral damage answers that I'm curious about.
    – JonW
    May 8, 2012 at 12:30
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    @Kobobby you don't address the question. May 12, 2012 at 0:33
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    I've seen plenty of closed/downvoted questions get highly ranked answers. May 12, 2012 at 0:34

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