The OP in https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/155169/why-was-my-answer-on-the-java-reporting-tools-question-deleted#155169 has raised a fairly interesting point.

An old question, "Java Reporting Tools" (10k only), was deleted. It was unconstructive but was available to be answered.

The OP has claimed they were answer-banned because their answer got deleted by a moderator. I obviously can't tell whether this is true or not and it's irrelevant to this discussion. Assuming the OP is correct and they got banned because of this deletion the same would have happened if the question was deleted by the community rather than the answer by a moderator.

Is it fair that a user, especially a new user, can get banned for answering a bad question that the community has left open and available for answering?

This is a discussion, not a feature request. I'd be interested to hear people's views.

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    There is absolutely no way someone was banned for having a single answer removed. Also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/155169/…
    – yannis
    Nov 9, 2012 at 15:25
  • Very fair point @YannisRizos, but if someone has made a habit of going round and answering these old shopping list questions it is possible that they've been led into a ban that wasn't their fault. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:27
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    However I somewhat agree with the sentiment. Someone who's new to the community might be overly enthusiastic in posting the same (inappropriate) answer to several questions, causing him or her to be quickly answer banned. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:32
  • @NullUserExceptionอ_อ Which would be (yet another) very good reason to close all these questions...
    – yannis
    Nov 9, 2012 at 15:36
  • @YannisRizos Which would be (yet another) very good reason not to delete all these questions... Nov 9, 2012 at 15:38
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    Not to delete? Nov 9, 2012 at 15:38
  • @NullUserExceptionอ_อ Now you're just talking crazy. ;P
    – yannis
    Nov 9, 2012 at 15:39
  • @YannisRizos I don't have nearly as a big of a problem with closures as I do with deletions. Closing isn't too bad, but deletions are horrible: all of a sudden you've lost all this content and links (both internal and external) that used to work are suddenly broken. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:44
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    it's sure OK for new-users to miss sometimes. But if vast majority of their answers turn out to be to crap questions, ban would look rather fair.
    – gnat
    Nov 9, 2012 at 15:47
  • @NullUserExceptionอ_อ And? Unless you're arguing against deleting anything ever, which I don't think you are, just go fix whatever is wrong with a deleted post and undelete it.
    – yannis
    Nov 9, 2012 at 15:48
  • @NullUserExceptionอ_อ: I'd normally agree with you, but as I said before, those questions are dragged in here as excuse to create more bad questions. Until a mechanism is supplied to conserve the information in a good way (the archive suggestion which is floating around somewhere in here), those questions should be deleted from the prying public. That would also reduce confusion of new users. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


Three out of four of that user's answers are now deleted. I don't know if it's possible for a user to be banned based on the downvotes/deletion of a single answer, but it's not the case here. That was just the one that pushed them past the ban threshhold.

Is it fair that a user, especially a new user, can get banned for answering a bad question that the community has left open and available for answering?

It probably would be more fair to not count an answer against someone if it was only deleted because the question was deleted. It wouldn't have made a difference in this case, since the answer was deleted individually (before a correction was made and the whole question was deleted), but individual bad answers on good questions should probably count against you more than (good or bad) answers on bad questions.

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    I think the OP means, answering a bad question that is left open and then deleted. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:30
  • That's exactly what I mean @Null, I've clarified the question slightly. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:34
  • @Ben Thanks for the clarification. I've updated my answer. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:38

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