If a user is question banned and the cause of the ban is too many deleted questions, how can the user fix this on their own? Until recently, advice has been to improve their questions, but since they can't see the questions on their question screen, they can't improve them:

Feature request: Allow a question banned user to see their own deleted questions, or warn them that deleting questions could lead to a question ban.

  • Until such thing is in place, we can advise them to post new answers, this also should lift the ban once the answers get enough upvotes. Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:21
  • @ShaWizDowArd Does that resolve a question ban? Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:22
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    @Dennis Indeed; in this case I'm willing to keep it scoped to just question banned users, although in reality I'd like it to be extended to everyone. In this case, the current logic presents a bad user experience: "You're banned, but because you deleted your posts (not knowing any better), you can't improve them, and thus can't get unbanned!* " *caveats apply. Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:24
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    @George I'm 99% sure of that, remember I advised it to somebody and he came back later saying it indeed lifted the ban. Let me find it.. Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:24
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    I'd be happier if all of us could see their deleted questions, but it's more important for qbanned users. Both requests have my vote.
    – Dennis
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:26
  • For what it's worth, I thought @ShaWizDowArd's suggestion was the standard advice. I don't think I've seen anyone -- other than banned users themselves -- say that the solution to question bans is improving deleted questions.
    – Pops
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:02
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    He had to bring down the entire network to do it, but Kevin persevered until this change was completed.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


Why not allow any user to see their own deleted questions, even if they aren't question banned (yet)? A user might have deleted a couple of questions and, potentially, learn that they can proactively improve those to avoid a ban, instead of waiting for the ban to happen and learning how to reverse it later. I realize most won't go out of their way to learn that, but...

I think we should also consider putting more barriers in place to make it clear to users that deleting questions is not a good thing; improving them is better. I think users get delete-happy as soon as they get one or two down-votes, especially since at low rep that's such a huge impact on their rep. Under some rep threshold we should add a pop-up to say something like:

Are you really, really sure you want to delete this question? Deleting questions can be worse for your experience here than down-votes.

Not exact wording, and probably even more elaborate, but it may make a few users think twice. As far as I can tell, it doesn't harm anything to add this kind of prompt for low-rep users except the work involved in setting it up.

And as I have expressed in the past, I think we as peers need to be better about commenting / VtC instead of down-voting poor questions. I suspect that the reactions that lead to question bans are almost always triggered by down-votes.

  • To appease the naysayers, you should add that this message will only appear the first time you try to delete something. A 10K user will get quickly annoyed by this. Other than that, I like the idea. +1
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:51
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    @jmort253 that's why I said, specifically, under some rep threshold
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:52

Users can now see recent deleted questions in their profile. We're normally not particularly eager to direct folks in that direction though, since in many cases they'd be hard-put to salvage them: most folks who hit the quality bans have made a lot more mistakes than just deleting their questions, if they had anything to do with the deletions at all...

Warning them first is a reasonable idea though. In fact, warning folks who try to delete their own answered questions would be a good idea even if the q-ban didn't exist - in many cases, this is just plain rude! So as of right now, anyone trying to delete their own question will see this:

We do not recommend deleting questions with answers

Folks who are already banned from asking questions who try to delete their own questions will see a somewhat more candid warning:

Note: Deleting this question will not help you regain posting privileges.

Deleting unanswered questions can actually be a good idea (it won't help you get out of a q-ban, but if you're prompt about cleaning up after yourself it can save you from getting in deeper), so we won't be warning about that. Never the less, for those who are banned, editing to improve existing questions will remain a more effective means of getting out - so those who opt for deletion instead are just digging their own grave.

It pays to read that help center article linked to from all these warnings...

  • So the restriction that OP can't delete his own question when it got upvoted answer or more than one answer is removed now? Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 11:59
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    Oh, hell no. But you won't find out about that restriction until you've clicked through this message. So hopefully this will not only reduce the number of users deleting their questions the second someone posts an answer, but also the number of moderator flags begging for such deletions.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 14:02
  • Oh, that's very smart then. Kudos! Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 14:10
  • As for "you won't find out about that restriction until you've clicked through this message", related: If we can't delete a question, don't show us a warning about deleting it.
    – Arjan
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 9:55
  • there is a complaint over at MSO that warning is shown rather indiscriminately: asker is a high-rep old-timer, question and answer were laying dormant for over 2 years without votes...
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 12:08

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